I had assumed Command of The Black Archers (47 Squadron Indian Air Force) at the end of March 1968. It involved a change of location (from Delhi to Chandigarh) and learning to fly a new type of aircraft (MiG 21). Read the rest of this entry
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
Flight Lieutenant Kuke Suresh walked into my office with a grim face. Flight Lieutenant M S Vasudeva walked in just behind him. Kuke was my adjutant and Vasu was the Unit Flight Safety Officer. It was the 29th of September 1969 and I was Archer One. We were at Hindan. ‘There has been an accident in Chandigarh‘, they sang out in unison. Read the rest of this entry
Our lives are but long strings of incidents. The incidents themselves are little beads that get threaded over a string of time. As time goes by, the beads recede into obscurity and are lost sight of. Yet, after many years, if one decided to pick up one of these discarded strings and looks at one of the beads threaded there on, one finds that though encrusted in dust, the bead itself has lost none of its colour, nor its ability to revive the taste and smell of that time.
As I travel back in time to 1962 and pick one incident, I find that it is as complicated as one could be. It has all the little shades of events and emotions to be remembered as a story. So, here you are….. Read the rest of this entry
Like last time, the telephone call came from my son Subir. Like the last time, the news he conveyed was sad. ‘Daadi Shastri has passed away’. ‘Daadi Shastri’ for Subir meant the mother of Kukke Suresh and Grand mother of ‘Bubba’ Aishwaria. She was in her nineties and ailing. Such passing is inevitable but that does not make any such happening any less sad. It also revives the memories of other such sad moments: like the last time. Read the rest of this entry
Another shifting of the house was due. I was to shift from Subroto Park New Delhi where I was the Operations I at HQ Western Air Command to Chandigarh where I had gone to command the Black Archers. Read the rest of this entry
End of March is usually very hot in Delhi and Punjab. The month of March 1968 was however a bit of an exception. A passing Western Disturbance had cooled things down a bit. Therefore, as I arrived at Chandigarh on 30th March 1968 to pick up command of 47 Squadron – The Black Archers – I found the weather to be almost pleasant. Read the rest of this entry