Tag Archives: Kolkata 1960

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


A Very Small World – 3 : My friend Mr Roy


I have talked of this world of ours being a very small place on a number of occasions.   This feeling of being in a very small place has been brought to me many times at many places, some times quite unexpectedly and other times as if to reinforce a belief already held quite firmly.   Let me take up the case of my friend Mr Roy. Read the rest of this entry

Bird Strike over Hoogly


After my father’s death I shifted my mother and my wife to Kolkata from Deoghar.    The accommodation I was allotted at Kolkata was tiny, but it was rather well situated in New Alipore.   I was then an instructor with 12(Bengal) Air Squadron NCC with my office in Jadavpore University Campus.   For flying with my cadets I had to go Bengal Flying Club which was then located in Barrackpore.    For those readers of mine who are unfamiliar with the geography of Kolkata, Jadavpore is a suburb in the south of Kolkata while Barrackpore is a township quite a way north of the city.   Between the office and the flying club I was kept quite busy.

Read the rest of this entry

A Plate of Fried Prawns


I must admit that I am quite confused about how to string together my story of the day.  When I first thought about writing this story down, it appeared to be quite simple and small, but as I thought about it a little more, it became a jumble of many little stories in a massive knot.   I do want to narrate this story and let my readers enjoy it.    I shall try to untangle the knot and present you with the threads laid out in an orderly fashion. Read the rest of this entry

Rammed on the Red Road


The most enjoyable part of my job while I was in Kolkata with 12 Bengal NCC (Air) Squadron as an instructor pilot in 1960 was my freedom to go and fly with Bengal Flying Club at Barrackpore.   On week days, my cadets were generally not able to come for flying as they were all college students and had classes to attend.   My boss Squadron Leader Bob Rattan was quite happy to leave me alone to handle the flying part of my job and he never questioned my visits to Barrackpore.   Read the rest of this entry

Caught in a Cog at Coimbatore


 In 1960 I was a QFI (Qualified Flying Instructor) with 12 Bengal Air NCC Squadron.    My unit was attached to Jadavpur University.  Our cadets flew with the Bengal Flying Club at Barrackpore.   At that time, Air Force Station Barrackpore was a fairly busy place.    Read the rest of this entry