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
When I returned from Iraq in February 1976, the immediate family was scattered all over the country. The eldest was in Bal Bharati Air Force School in her tenth standard. She could not be shifted till the end of the school term. The second and the third were with my mother and my brother in Bankura West Bengal attending a School with Bengali medium. School term ended there in December. Those two were thus free to move back to me. My wife set up a small household looking after the eldest and the youngest at New Delhi while I set up another House and brought the middle three children, Sukanya Swagata and Subir with me to Tambaram. Sukanya was all of 15 years old and promptly became the mother of the house. Read the rest of this entry
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
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
The world is a small place. I have no doubt about it. However, I find it difficult to be not astonished when a link becomes visible literally circling the globe just to prove that adage. My tale today is on one of that kind. Read the rest of this entry
It was in the month of November 1970. I was at the tail end of my tennure as the CO of Black Archers (Number 47 Squadron Indian Air Force), then located at Hindan near Ghaziabad. I already had my posting order for my next appointment in my pocket; I was going as a Directing Staff to DSSC (Defence Services Staff College) Wellington, Nilgiris, Tamilnadu It was an appointment to my liking. I had the option of availing my full joining time and make the travel to Wellington into a holiday. On the other hand, Leena had not seen her parents for a long time while my mother had visited me just three or four months ago. It would be nice I thought if Leena could visit her parents at Siliguri before we moved down south. Read the rest of this entry
Archita Mehta was at Kalakshetra with my daughter Swagata (who is known popularly as Mishti). Archita was known to her friends as Chiku. Mishti and Chiku grew to be close friends, close enough for Mishti to learn Gujrati and Chiku to learn Bangla to a high degree of fluency. Slowly, her parents also got to know us. Leena and I found the Mehtas to be friendly. Usha Kant Bhai Mehta was deeply immersed in history of arts and craft and was engaged in research and publication in that field. Sadhana Ben was a dancer herself, specializing in folk songs and dances from before her marriage to Usha Kant. They were clearly an artistically inclined family. I presume they also found us to be worthy of their friendship. The two families grew close together. 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
The Indian Air Lines Viscount brought me from Kolkata to Madras just before eleven on the morning of 14 October 1959. It was a fine morning when I landed; the breeze from the sea was cool and the sunshine bright, but there was sadness in my heart strangely admixed with the jollity and merriment of the past three days. Read the rest of this entry
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.