Dec ’74 to Apr ’77 was indeed a short stay at 10 Sqn, because I could have spent a lifetime with Maruts.
Learnt initial lessons and gathered worthy experience at Jodhpur.
Became an engineer in any sense for the first time at 10 Sqn under the guidance of the STO, Francis, who I first saw as he was coming out of the Marut air intake, feet first.
The most affectionate and tough Sqn Cdr, KK Bakshi single handedly held the whole village across the bridge as villagers came charging at Sqn boys for trespassing (unknowingly) into women’s bathing area. Tex Mathur firmly stood by Boss’s side while the whole Sqn hid behind KKay’s broad shoulders.
The Flt Cdr, Dodi Bansal had simple rules of functioning and all spontaneity – if he had his ways, he would have passed me out of 10 Sqn as a pilot.
10, 220 and 31, the three squadrons seemed to exist in a family house without walls; KKay-Pinky-Bhadgamkar, Minnnie-Johri-Bharat and Francis-Amrit-Prasad all ensured that.
The toughest yet the most lovable and professionally competent CTO, Shashi Ramdas was the ultimate for techies to emulate. The provision for pilot training for EOs was gone! So, the next best – he pushed me to be an aircrew. And, I left the Sqn prematurely, with a heavy heart. But, for many years, Marut’s memories were revived every morning by the one parked at the entrance of ASTE.