Joe Bakshi Passes Away

Joe Bakshi - Jodhpur March 2010 - RIP

A noble soul and extremely popular squadron commander, Air Cmde KK “Joe” Bakshi passed away early this morning at Delhi. He had been operated on a few months ago at Delhi for a malignancy. Even so, he had committed to coming to Bangalore when again he felt unwell and had to be hospitalised at Delhi for the past few weeks

A thorough professional and an unassuming personality he was a down to earth man who cherished his family – his squadron was as much a family to him as anybody else. He will be remembered most for his zest and cheerful attitude to life, his professionalism, his unstinting loyalty to his squadron mates and the way he went out of his way to protect and shield them. In his eyes, they could do no wrong.

Our heartfelt condolences to Mrs Bakshi and his family members.

May his soul rest in eternal peace.



14 Responses to Joe Bakshi Passes Away

  1. Virat Vaid says:

    There are two kinds of people in this world, the first kind leaves a memory and the second leaves an impression. He was the latter. His versatility by virtue of his raw intellect was extraordinary in its depth. His insight, his wit, his voice, his humility, the baritone in his laugh were all legendary. But what really set him apart was the brilliance in his deeply penetrative gaze. He could simply look at you and you would know that the man in front of you is someone different, he resonated a force of personality that I in my very limited life have never come across. We would talk for hours about anything from aircraft to the many video games that he would sit through to simply humor me. He had a very profound impact on anyone who has ever interacted with him and I am no exception. In my eyes my humble Sabre- killing Nana Ji is the epitome of a true gentleman. A man i respect above all others and rightly so.
    Virat Vaid

  2. Kavita Vaid says:

    The inevitable was written all over the wall. But I guess I just did not want my daddy, my hero,my best friend to leave me. Even in sickness, he taught us how to live with courage. He had an aura of strength and positivity that touched all of us and made it easy for us to see him through his illness.A fighter he was, he fought till the very end and finished the game of life a winner. He may not be physically here, but he has left us stronger than ever and well equipped to face the game of life. We are well taught daddy. I am sure your children and grand children shall make you proud, just as proud as we are of you.

  3. Aparna says:

    My earliest memories of Shori Uncle is of him sweeping me up and flying me around the room like an airplane. He was my favorite uncle – always up for a good laugh and that deep jovial gurgle of a laugh still reverberates in my ear. He was the uncle who would transform from just being “Shori uncle” to the first gentleman I saw in a uniform – looking so smart and authoritative.

    As I grew up, the stories I heard of him from my grandmother, parents and his children (Kavita didi and Ratan bhaiya) became more meaningful and I began to understand the true valor of the man I knew as Shori Uncle. Years later when I met him, me as an adult and him still being my Shori uncle, I asked him to recall the day he “shot that plane down.” Being the humble man he was, it took a bit of coaxing from me to hear the story. And then when he started recalling his memories, I saw the fighter that he was – he had a gleam in his eye as he used his hands to show me the maneuver he had done….

    That is the memory I will always cherish… yes he was my Shori Uncle but he was a military hero – one of the finest air force pilots in India. I called him a couple of weeks before he passed and he recognized my voice immediately (we hadn’t spoken to each other over the phone in sometime). When I showed my surprise at him recognizing my voice, he laughed the way only Shori Uncle does and said, “Aparna, my dear, my body might be failing me, but I am still sound of mind!” And that was so true – he fought tooth and nail, this last battle of his life, and while he might have lost this battle, I know he has won the war.

    RIP Shori uncle. You will always be the ultimate hero to me.

    Dedicated to Shori Uncle (Cmde KK Bakshi): “A hero is made in the moment, not from questioning the past or fearing what’s to come.”

    – Aparna Choudhari Gray (Melbourne, Australia)
    Niece of KK Bakshi (Shori Uncle)

  4. menonckk says:

    Copy of email posted to MarutFans blog on 22 June 2011:
    This morning Brother, when I called him gave me the sad news of Sir Bakshi’s demise. Sir Joe joined 220 Squadron in 1969, soon after me. Very quickly he achieved fully ops status on the Marut and rightfully became our senior flight commander. His gusto, sense of humour and can-do attitude enthused all of us at 220. He was not only a great friend, but also a terrific example of a true leader to whom I looked up for inspiration.

    Sir Joe was the one who approved of my marrying Nina in 1970. He and I rode his Vespa from Pune to Mumbai where Nina lived. Close to Mumbai on the dark, unlit Expressway I hit a row of foot-size rocks blocking the road; they were placed there by the octroi guys in order to force traffic to take the kutcha diversion which led to the octroi post. Needless to say we both fell; Sir Joes face and nose were badly scratched, and I cracked a collar bone and cut my eye brow. The octroi guys commisserated with us, saying this happened often nights! We then straightened our the front mud guard and drove on to Sion Hospital where we were stitched up and fixed. We reached Nina’s home four hours later at midnight looking like rags. I had literally fallen in love, and Sir Joe declared that Nina and her family were up to “scratch’! A few months later Nina and I were married.

    In early ’77, I had the privilege of inheriting 10 Squadron from Sir Joe. During his tenure as CO, he had honed the squadron into a fine fighting force in spite of the fact that it had a training role.

    A couple of months ago, while conversing with Sir Joe over the phone he was enthusiastic about attending the Marut’s Golden Jubilee celebrations. He felt strong and thought that he was recovering very well. Many years ago, Sir Joe and I had found a common guru in a saintly man at Bangalore. He taught us a mantra to recite. We talked about our common mantra which he still recited. In his latter years Sir Joe had led quite an ascetic life and was deeply religious. Nina and I will sorely miss a good friend and a great role model. He has been released from terrible suffering. May his soul rest in well earned peace. Our heart felt condolences go to Neelam Bhabhi, Raj and Kavita and their families.

    Mini Menon

  5. Anoop says:

    You filled in the void created by demise of my father. I looked up to you for your meticulous ways in whatever you did. Your energy levels despite the excruciating Arthriris were enviable.You were as good as your word,which is such a rarity.
    You were not affected by the weather.You carried your own weather.Be it Arthritis or Cancer your spirit was undiminished. You were an Officer and a Gentleman in the strictest sense of phrase.
    The Gods above are in August company……..

    With fond memories


    I consider it a proud privilege that Shori Bhaiya accepted me in the Bakshi family, way back in 1976, as the youngest brother in law and from then on he has not only been a father figure to all of us but also a true friend, philosopher and guide. He was always there for patient hearing and advice on any subject, be it Engineering ( Automobiles) or Medicine ( Homeopathy), the additional two subjects that he mastered as a hobby .
    We will miss you Bhaiya

    Capt Ashok Kumar Moudgil ( Retd.) IN

  7. swati bakshi says:

    thank you very much for sending this very well worded article. no words at this time can ever soothen the pain of losing a brother,father,husband,uncle,friend, so dear. we are left with only fond memories of great souls who pass away.
    our sincere prayers to the almighty who blessed us with his presence for these many years that his soul rests in peace and to give the family immense strength.

  8. Vikram Bakshi says:

    People come and go but a very few leave a legacy behind. He was surely one of them.

    He was a person larger than life. Dignity is one of the words that rightly described him. His will was beyond compare and a true fighter that he was made him sit and fight right until the very end. His grand way of living life will always be remembered…

    And as someone thoughtfully said, “We are because He was!”

    Vikram Bakshi
    Grandson of Joe Bakshi.

  9. Poornima says:

    A Charismatic Personality,
    with an Impressionable Voice & Laugh.

    A Strong Willed Man with a yet stronger sense of duty,
    The Father Figure in the family.

    My dear Mamaji, as I saw you
    and very fondly always will.

    Poornima (Puntu for you)

  10. Ashok K Bakshi says:

    I am proud to be the youngest brother of Joe Bakshi (Shori Bhaiya as we called him in the family). All of us in the family are , of course, sorely going to miss him. He was not only a great brother & was also my mentor – our father died when i was only 9 years old & he was literally a father figure for me.
    However, i think the ultimate tribute was paid by my wife, Sunita, who said that it is not just our family who has lost a much loved member but that the world has lost a great human being.
    We are all praying for his soul to rest in peace. May God grant us strength to bear this great loss

    Ashok K Bakshi
    Youngest Brother of Joe Bakshi (Shori Bhaiya)

    • Dara says:

      My dear Ashok,

      On behalf of all of us here at Marutfans please accept our deepest sympathies.

      Your Shori Bhaiya was a very popular personality with all of us and more so with those who worked with him over the years.

      Personally, he was also my instructor in Jodhpur and I owe him a lot for what I am today. He was not just an instructor but also a mentor, on life itself, during those few months.

  11. Sudhir Batra says:

    Shobha and Self have known Joe sir and his family since long. He and his wife have always showered their affections and blessings to us. We will miss his absence in our life. May God give courage and strenght to Mrs Neelam Bakshi, Raj and Kavita in filling the void created.

    Me and my wife send heartfelt condolence to the entire family and pray God for his soul to rest in peace.

  12. Dara says:

    Joe is Dead ….Long Live Joe. !!

    A Sabre killer by Marut . Brought Fame & Glory to HF-24 in 1971 war.
    Fighter pilot, ever smiling and ever willing to take any risk and accomplished
    all tasks assigned to him with exceptional devotion to duty.

    My heartfelt condolence to the entire family and pray God for his soul to rest in peace.

    Base Commander at UTTERLAI
    during 1971 War with Pakisthan.

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