The morning of 19th November 1956 was quite calm and cool. It had rained a bit in the night in Hyderabad. The sky was overcast and some light drizzle was possible, but every one hoped and prayed for the rain gods to leave us alone for the next five days.
The New Zeeland Cricket Team was touring India and they were to start the first test at Hyderabad that morning. Read the rest of this entry
I am unashamedly from a ‘Moddhyo Britto Bhadro Poribaar’ from ‘Poorbo Bango’ . In plain English that would translate to being from a Middle Class Gentle Folk from Eastern Bengal. Like every other social group in this world, this social group also has its baggage of ‘do’ s and ‘dont’s just as it has its own set of behavior considered socially right and socially wrong. One of the values for this group during the first half of the twentieth century was abstention from alcohol. Read the rest of this entry
Naoroz Noshar Dadachanji and I were close pals for a long time. We were batch-mates at Begumpet for the 60th Pilot’s Course in Number 1 Air Force Academy. We both became Cadet Under Officers on the same day. Naturally we were commissioned on the same day too: 1 Apr 53. We were both sent into the fighter stream; therefore both of us did our fighter conversion on the Spitfire together at Hakimpet. From there we were sent to the same squadron, No,1 : The Tigers. Our twin fates remained intertwined even after this long stint together. Read the rest of this entry
We were at Coimbatore under-going the ‘Methods of Instruction’ course at the Air Force Administrative College when our posting orders to the two flying training colleges came through. Very naturally, those of us who received orders for Hyderabad were more elated than those who got picked for Jodhpur; is there ever a comparison between a desert and an oasis? Of course, those three or four who got picked for Hakimpet were happiest of all. Not only would they get to go to Hyderabad, they would also get to continue flying the Vampire. In 1955 the Vampire was still a ‘front line jet fighter’! I was picked for the Begumpet lot. Read the rest of this entry
In 1955-56 many of us young instructors posted to 1AFC Begumpet were really a bunch of grown up kids; barely out of our teens, we were almost in the same age group as the pupils we were instructing. We missed fighter flying and envied those of us who were posted to the FTW at Hakimpet; at least they were getting to fly the Vampire while we flew only the HT2 or the Harvard T6G. There was a tendency for us to sneak into Hakimpet on any pretext and cajole the CFI there to let us fly a sortie or two in the Vampire. The CFI was none other that ever obliging Squadron Leader ‘Stan’ White. He strongly felt that if a young instructor is keen to fly he must be encouraged in his endeavour. Read the rest of this entry
G Viswanathan was ready to get married and I was invited to attend the wedding. The invitation card came as a bit of surprise. Read the rest of this entry
It was a fine evening in the summer of 1956. The 68th Pilot’s course was engaged in night flying in Harvard aircraft. Perhaps it was in the month of March. The phase (of night flying) was coming to an end. Moon-rise was somewhat late; the first couple of sorties were being performed as ‘Dark Night’ sorties. In any case, the level of activity at Number 1 Air Force College at Begumpet was high that evening. Read the rest of this entry