Monthly Archives: January 2012

A Very Small World – 10 : The Silver Streak Comes Home


It was perhaps a morning in March 1987. I had retired from the Air Force in August of the previous year and had come down to NOIDA without any clear plan about my resettlement. NOIDA had seemed to offer the most convenient set of advantages. It was a new township near Delhi. House rents were affordable. My eldest daughter had found a job as a school teacher. My second daughter was away from home at Shanghai studying Chinese on a scholarship. The third, Swagata, had just returned after her post-grad studies in Bharat Natyam from Kalakshetra in Chennai. My son Subir had just finished his ten plus two and little Sudeepta had just completed her class X. My wife Leena had picked up a job to keep the home fires burning. So, the house was full though Leena was mostly away at work. Read the rest of this entry


FIS…Abjuring a State of Denials


I had taken command of the Flying Instructors’ School at Tambaram on 16th February 1976 and I had found myself in conflict with my bosses at the Command Headquarters just as I began this tenure. I needed better serviceability, more instructors, less interference from the Command HQ and more organizational support to run the unit properly. My demands on the Command HQ looked quite like the case of a truant child throwing a tantrum. Read the rest of this entry

JSW – The New Avataar for ISW


The second term at Clement Town started with a number of changes. First of all, the name of our Academy was changed from AFA (the Armed Forces Academy) to NDA (the National Defence Academy). We were made to change our shoulder insignia to reflect the new name. We also had to change our cap badges. The AFA sported the Star of India as its cap badge. The motto printed on it was ‘Heaven’s Light Our Guide’ . I liked our old insignia and the motto. However, as we returned to the Academy, we were given out new cap badges and shoulder plates. The new cap badge was the newly constructed tri-service insignia over a three-fold motto panel that read ‘Service Before Self’ . It took only a few minutes to change into the new Avatar. Read the rest of this entry

And Pirthi Needs a Tooth Brush


We, the men (and now a days also some women) in uniform live in a strange world. While we are tightly bound by rules and regulations, we are also expected to be innovative creative spontaneous decision makers in the face of unpredictable odds at all times. This dichotomy, between the need to be rule bound and yet be spontaneous and decisive, often land us in situations that are either hilarious or at other times are quite irritating. Read the rest of this entry

FIS… Asserting Control


As I assumed my Command of the Flying Instructors’ School at Tambaram on 16 February 1976, a strange kind of emotion filled me. I had been a part of this unit on three different periods of my career in the past. I was very fond of the unit and was very proud of it. My previous tenures had been very happy. Now I had arrived at the unit for the fourth time, finally as the Commanding Officer. However, my initial impression of the environment of the unit on arrival was not favorable. Read the rest of this entry


The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Syndey Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 24,000 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 9 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Jostling With Ethics -2- : Puffing a Bit of Smoke


One of the earliest ethical jostles that I remember was about smoking. I was in Class X and I was going to a school where many of my friends, the tough and the non-sissy ones, were experimenting with tobacco. Holding a cigarette, inhaling its smoke, blowing a ring, all these seemed so macho. I must admit that I was tempted to join these heroes of my class. Read the rest of this entry

Jostling With Ethics -1- : Finding the Roots


When and where did I format my conceptions about ethics? How and when was I convinced that right and wrong have to be adjudged, right is to be adopted and the wrong shunned? I do not think I was ever lectured about ethics. Yet, my parents managed to transfer their value system into my subconscious so well by the time I left home that I seldom had any difficulty of choice in real life. How did they manage this transfer? This is a mystery that I have not been able to solve. Read the rest of this entry

Jostling With Ethics -0- : Finding A Definition


I have often struggled within my self to answer a question: Is my behavior ethical? The first impediment in finding the answer has been to find the definition of what is ethics. The dictionary told me that ethics is a set of moral principles that govern a man’s behavior. I found myself no wiser be cause I then had to define what is moral. Morality I was told is the ability to ascertain between right and wrong. But, is not right and wrong subjective terms dependent upon environment and circumstances? Read the rest of this entry