WISDOM OF “LOTUS KING” AND THE TORPEDO MAN
I would like all you readers who do not have a clue about the identity of LOTUS KING to please raise your right hand.
Lotus King is a MORTAL like us in the Marut fraternity. He is well liked because of his simple wisdom and pure spirited ( 100 percent proof ) living life styles.
People listened in rapt attention when the Lotus King dropped his nuggets of simple rules of life. Especially the officers passing through Jodhpur on temporary duty.
His gems of wisdom were and I quote :
Be kind to dogs ( MOTU RAM / ROCCO )
Fly fast – fly low.
Enjoy the spirits in your life and moderate them in direct proportion to your seniority in earth years.
Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you, but make sure you do it first. (Be nice)
If you have nothing nice to say, hold your peace. (Do not foul mouth folks)
One pleasant saturday evening the following folks had just completed a good spirited session and were calling it a night.
Jeremiah was of Goan/Anglo Indian descent who was undergoing the helicopter conversion training having left the fighter fleet. He was and still is a nice guy.
His one month of fame was in the year of our Lord 1968.
108 Squadron which was based in Bagdogra switched over from Vampires to sports cars ( Type 77‘S ). The unit was relocated to Adampur.
Jeremiah along with a Technical officer and the full compliment of two Mk.55’s and two Mk.52’s along with ground crew and equipment were left behind at Bagdogra. He was told to hand over all kith and kaboodle to the Fighter Training Wing staff.He was told to ensure all aircraft were serviceable and in a flying condition.
Fighter Training Wing was running behind in the training of a Pilot Course and Hakimpet told him, it be about four weeks before take over.
True to the spirit of his orders Jeremiah ensured the serviceability of all aircraft, by doing a sortie on each aircraft six days a week.The trainers were the Bird Cage Canopy type and the folks on the base who had the “ GUTS “ got joy rides.
He became a popular man and the whole base loved him. You must remember that Battle Axe Hunter squadron on the base had poor serviceability and over 40 pilots. Jeremiah boosted the morale of the Joy Riders.
Four weeks later the F T W Instructor Pilots and crew came over and collected the aircraft and equipment. A few days later on going through the records in Hakimpet it was revealed that Jeremiah had flown over 100 hours on the four aircraft in four weeks.
True to Air Force form, Air Hq asked Jeremiah why he logged on the massive hours on the aircraft?
His famous reply was “Sir I followed the spirit of the orders and kept the aircraft serviceable and air worthy.“
Needless to say the “S H ONE T“ hit the ceiling.
Jeremiah underwent some “P” Staff torture and after a few years landed in Jodhpur for his Helicopter conversion.
This particular evening Jeremiah was feeling a bit tipsy due to too much spirits in his system.
Lotus King immediately told him of an instant remedy.
The best way to counter attack the booze in his body was to introduce a liquid sponge in to his system. Lotus King says one liter of hot milk would do the trick. The milk would suck the liquor out of his blood stream and pass it out in another form. This special elixir was available at the Gateway to the old city on the main road. This road side enterprise was run by a Hal-Va-Hi and he had a humongous vessel with milk boiling constantly at all times.
The seating arrangements are Lotus King driving, Sree in the centre and Sam on the left.
PABX and Jeremiah take the back seat.
The car is in motion and as it exits the Mess gates, Sree and Sam spot a BLACK CAT cross the road from left to right.
Sam and Sree both wait for the exorcism ritual to commence.
Lotus King was superstitious and his wisdom dictated, that if ever a black cat crossed the road while he was driving, it was not only a very bad omen, it was also a curse.
To undo this curse he had a few options.
If time and space permitted, do a hard left/right and avoid crossing the path of the cat.
Take another route without crossing the path of the cat.
If these two options are not feasible use emergency brakes and stop the car.
Build up a big blog of spit in the mouth and spit a wad towards the cat. The sound effects had to be right. It sounded like Aaaaaaachhhh Theeeeeeeew.
Proceed on to destination.
Since no action was forth coming from Lotus King they realized that he had missed spotting the cat crossing.
They held their peace – it was a big mistake.
Lotus King stops at the Milk Cafe and all five leisurely sip the hot milk from huge steel glasses.
The hot milk loosens the tongue of Jeremiah and he says after his conversion he would like a posting close to Bombay during his service career.
Lotus King drops his next wisdom on him. He tells him that he has to go to the top of the MEHRANGARH FORT and perform a ritual for his wish to come true. Quick as a flash all jump in and Lotus King drives to the top of the fort.
Here Jeremiah is made to stand on one leg and face east and wish loudly.
He is then asked to stand on the other leg, face west and make a wish loudly.
A cloud burst happens right then and it pours very heavily.
Lotus King tells Jeremiah that it is a good omen and his wish will be granted.
Jeremiah is an instant convert and believer of “The Book of Lotus King. “
The other four silently make their wishes.
The rain soon stops and Lotus King commences the journey home. He is driving at battle speed down the hill and the only illumination of the road are his headlights.
Sree and Sam, having been on this path on many an occasion, are laid back and cool as they know that they are in safe hands. PABX and the now sober Jeremiah are both gripping the back rest of the front seat and peering over the three heads at the road. Their knuckles are turning white and both commence silent prayers.
Lotus King hits the plains and is still driving at battle speed plus.
The streets of Jodhpur did not have street lights and the drainage system not being efficient, large pools of water are formed on the road.
At times the car is aquaplaning and then it hits a big pool of water and coasts to a stop as the engine dies. We are still 5-6 miles from the Mess. The bonnet is opened and on diagnosis it is confirmed that water has entered under the distributor cap and the spark plugs are also water laden.
The cap is removed and dried. No tools are available for spark plug removing and drying. Lotus King says fellas lets chill for a while and the ignition system will dry out.
Sree and Sam exchange looks about not informing Lotus King about the cat crossing.
Jeremiah is in la-la land wishing he had not opted for this ride and is nervously handling his good luck charm.
PABX has been dealt a bad hand as he is posted to a S.U. at a young age. A fighter pilot serving under a GURU is a fate worse than death. He is dreaming how best to fix “Fat Cat“ Sharma his Boss. He is contemplating using “MAYA “ and VOODOO DOLLS. He goes back to his favorite dream of being a second world war German air ace battling RAF planes flying a M.E. 109.
The three cats in the front seat are as usual, making plans about the next practical joke.
It is pitch dark and not a creature is stirring.
The stillness of the night is blasted by an almighty explosion. The whole car is violently rocked on its wheels. Glass is flying inside the car and a huge object enters the car from the rear forcefully. You could call it an invasion of a foreign body. The reaction of each individual is different.
Jeremiah – ”Dear Lady of my faith, please let me come out alive from this explosion and I will never again associate with these mad men.”
PABX. ”Ah you english pig, you will not escape from Baron Von Bakshi. I have you in my sights.”
When the dust settles inside the car there is a sixth body in the car. He happens to be a Rajasthani gentleman with his head gear askew and he has entered the car through the rear windshield of the fiat car. His body is wedged in the car up to his waist. Both his arms are pinned by his side. He is moaning loudly.
Jerimiah grabs the TORPEDO man’s shoulders and shakes him and asks “Dirty Dwag what are you doing?“ This in Gora Sahib hindi with a Byculla accent.
PABX is pointing his right hand as a gun at this gentleman’s head and screams “ DIE ENGLANDER PILOT – DIE “
Lotus King. “Sambo what have you done.”
Sambo. “Not me Bambo.”
Sreeboo. In his typical “Alfred Hitchcock“ voice says
“Gentlemen we have a sixth body in the car“
All five exit the car and survey the damage. They see a bicycle on the road with its front wheel shaped like a sine curve and a man’s legs sticking out of the rear window. They pull him out and the shaken fellow says he was on his way home and at a good speed when he slammed into the car. They tell him to beat it. He picks up his bicycle over his head and does a 100 meter sprint and vanishes in to the night.
Lotus King announces “Start pushing”
He gets behind the wheel and the four commence pushing.
As the car is eventually stopped at the open air garage behind the Mess, the first rays of the sun are just peeping over the horizon.
We take stock of the evening and the WISDOM of Lotus King.
We are all cold sober. Maybe the milk or the pushing.
Should have informed Lotus King of the cat crossing. He would have performed the Aaaaaach Theeeeewe ritual and the incidents would not have unfolded as they did.
The granting of the wishes.
Jeremiah asked for Bombay posting. He is currently flying for an oil company from Mumbai.
PABX asked for an announcer’s job in All India Radio and he got it for fly pasts. He also asked to be on public media and he got it as an Air Force expert on NDTV.
Sreeboo wants to play in the Masters at Augusta as an Air Marshal. He became an Air Marshal but did not make the cut to the Masters.
Sambo asks that he be kept out of deep trouble. He is not granted this wish and is mostly in S H ONE T all the time up to his neck and his buddies are throwing stones at him.
LOTUS KING is KAMAL RAJ is KERU is K.R.SINGH.
He wished for Air India and he got Air India and as a bonus, Kingfisher.
Sreeboo=Kallithal Payan Sreekanth.
Green Hornet. Lotus King’s 1970 fiat car, number plate H I M 9063.
S H ONE T is a gentleman’s way of saying shit.
Hal-Va-Hi. The rotund owner of the milk cafe who was 350 pounds because he was always sampling his sweet meats.
TORPEDO MAN =Rajasthani gentleman with a massive headache and a damaged bicycle and did not leave his name behind.
Top speed reached down hill on the Green Hornet 80 plus.
Gentleman standing next to the cannon at the fort is the tallest flying officer of the HF-24 fleet. Why the shorts we do not know.
MOTU RAM- Lhasa Apso.
ROCCO – Son of MOTU RAM
T.S. True Story.
LOTUS KING AFTER A DRINK AT THE FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH