Monthly Archives: March 2011

A Very Small World – 4: Locating Bhaskar


It was an early morning in November 1959.   November is perhaps the best month for weather in Kolkata and I had just arrived on posting to 12(Bengal) Air Squadron NCC at the Jadavpore University a few weeks ago.   I had not yet setup a household.   My wife Leena was with my Parents in Deoghar.   This posting to Kolkata was on my own request so that I could look after my ailing father a little better by being located not very far away.     My boss Squadron Leader RA (Bob) Rattan called me into his office and declared that I was to go down to Ranchi over the week-end.    The NCC Air Squadron at Ranchi had just received their gliders.    There was to be a formal inauguration of flying activity there.    The NCC Headquarters had asked the Group Commander at Kolkata or his representative to attend the function. The Colonel Sahib who was the Group Commander was not keen to make the tiresome journey; in any case he had some other more pressing plans for the week end.   He had therefore asked my boss to be his representative.   Bob was similarly disinclined to spoil his week end.   I was young and available.     I was therefore required to go.  Read the rest of this entry


My Time With The Bullets-4: Flight Safety


The men and women of the officer cadre in the central government services, be they of civil or military persuasion, are expected to be ready to become appointed experts.  I mean they are first appointed to a job and are then expected to become experts on the special features of the appointment they are given, instantly if possible.    Those who cope with this style of functioning survive and progress, those who do not and are from the military part of the services are allowed to gently fade away at a relatively young age.    I had got quite used to this style of functioning.    Some times such appointments are thrown at you without pre-thought or prejudice; you get it thrown at you merely because you happen to be there.   (This happened to me when I got selected to be the project manager of the Jaguar induction project somewhat later in my life).    At some other time you are given such appointment to groom your growth in the service. (This happened to me when I was made to perform the duties of the Senior Technical Officer of the Squadron under then Wing Commander Katre commanding 7 Squadron on Hunter aircraft in 1962-63).    And then some time you get picked for a job because some one wishes to remove you from your present appointment.   My story today is about one such incident.  Read the rest of this entry