Late December 1971
Cease fire was announced and a glorious chapter in the Indian Armed Forces was etched in stone for posterity.
The citizens of Punjab were the true patriots of the Country.All their farm lands were inundated with the Indian Army dug in with various forms of arms, transportation and equipment.Not a single Punjab da Puttar asked for any compensation for loss of the crops.They never evacuated their towns and villages and went about their daily business and endured the air and ground attacks by the enemy.
The day the fighting ceased the local folks set up kiosks/tents all along the road sides and were manned 24 hours a day.The good ladies of Punjab would have the fires going and hot Punjabi delicacies were being churned out.All Army vehicles were stopped and the fighting men would be escorted in to the eating spots and would be fed to their heart’s content.All the time they would sing praises and burst in to impromptu song and dance.
Patriotism was swelling all the chests of the Punjab land.
Late January 1972
The day was the 26th and a massive Republic day Parade was in progress.The country had pulled out all the stops and the Fighting Forces of Bharat were on glorious display.
Melville DeMello the Great Commentator of All India Radio was working the crowds on the P A system with his deep baritone. As each contingent approached the dais he would in crisp and concise commentary sing their praises.
Suddenly he drops his voice by two octaves and says
“Ladies and Gentlemen for the first time in the History of Republic Day Parades we have a float with a live aircraft and a live pilot.
This is the Folland Gnat aircraft.
This is the Saber Killer.
Nay it is the Saber SLAYER.
It was the terror of the skies to the enemy.
In september three sabers were shot down by three Gnats.
The fourth limped home and Sunith missed out.
In december 1971 many aircraft were shot down by this Hornet of a Sting Ray.
The Pilot standing beside the aircraft in his splendid Anti G Suit and inner and outer helmet is the Swashbuckling Hero of the western sector.
He carried out over 40 Air Defence Missions during the WAR and had the enemy on the run as soon as they got a glimpse of his GNAT.
He has THE EYES OF THE CONDOR and could spot the enemy miles away.
He is Flying Officer “P Hamilton K”, “PILOT EXTRAVAGANZA.”
By this time the spectators are on their feet yelling hoarsely
The PILOT stays ram rod straight and is taking in all the adoration.
Soon the float passes the ARCH and heads towards circular New Delhi.
The crowds are a little thinner but the chant has changed to:
Soon the ACE PILOT asks the float driver to halt.
The crowd senses that he is about to bless them and a silence falls over the multitudes.
PILOT BABA jumps off the float and heads towards a small gap in the crowd.
The masses fall to their knees and fold their hands and whisper
PILOT BABA DARSHAN DHO.
PILOT BABA BLESS ME.
Pilot Baba reaches the crowds and puts his hands straight out and turns his palms outward and gently touching a few says in Pucca British accent
“ EXCUSE ME “
“ LET ME PASS “
“ EXCUSE ME “
“ LET ME PASS “
The crowds within a radius of forty feet scream
“ PILOT BABA BLESSED ME “
And go into a swoon and faint.
PILOT BABA nimbly steps through the prostrate bodies and executes a 100 yard dash.
He spies a PHAT PHATI going past and nimbly jumps on to it and commands the OPERATOR to take him to CENTRAL VISTA MESS and he would pay him double.The operator speeds up and leaves the crowds behind.
At the MESS the operator settles for PILOT BABA’S autograph and touches his boots in respect.
Pilot Baba feels his helmet is getting a bit tight and takes it off.
In time he gets married to a beautiful young lady and they ago on an European Moon Of Honey.
The newly married young lady is perplexed why he is wearing Ray Ban sun glasses even after dark.
He says IT IS THE FIGHTER PILOT CREED.
CLOSE CALL ONE
He is now in FIS doing the QFI course in 1974 and has rented a bungalow near Tambaram railway station to reside in.
He has to buy a side cap and a peak cap two sizes bigger.
One sunday afternoon he returns to the house from shopping along with his wife and enters the main bed room and turns right.
His spidey senses tell him that all is not right and at his left extreme periphery vision he sees a King Cobra on his bed with his hood open and giving him the look.
Pilot Babu keeps his cool and his eyes locked and inches ever so slowly to the main cupboard.
He opens it gingerly grasps his PURDIE over under shot gun and Praises the LORD that it has two shells in it.
The Cobra is ready to strike when he blasts it to HELL with both barrels.
His only regret he had to throw away his silk bed linen.
CLOSE CALL TWO
He is now in AFA doing the training of cadets.
He has to again buy two sizes bigger head gear.
Life is good as you get to do 4 trips a day fill out the paper work and head home.
He now starts growing his hair long to complete the F P image.
One day he is summoned to Station Masters office along with 20 odd QFIS”.
Laxman Katre reads out a few lines from his pen picture and tells him good show and carry on.
Terrance DeSa the CI tells him to wait for him outside.
P H K realizes that he is in BIG S H ONE T because of his long hair.
He charges out and kicks his bike and breaks the land speed record for a Vespa and makes it to the Barber shop.
A quick machine cut and he is back in the waiting room as the last officer is going in to see the Station Master.
Soon Terrance comes out and looks at all angles at Pilot Baba and he cannot figure out why he wanted to see him.
Desa tells him to beat it.
I believe Pilot Baba went on to Jags.
Did a stint as an Attache where there was some mortal combat about his first name.
He later jointed a cult called Seventh Day T O G W.
First day study aircraft chronicles.
Second day study Form-700.
Third day externals.
Fourth Day internals.
Fifth day start engines.
Sixth day taxi.
Seventh Day (Not Adventist ) Take Off GOD WILLING.
I spotted this Pilot at the 50th year do during the speeches ceremony.
The Ray Bans and Long Hair is still in vogue.
The next time you are in the RSI Bangalore in the evening and see a guy wearing SHADES at 2000 hours say hello to
PARVEZ HAMILTON KHOKAR
and give him our regards.
The next time you are in New Delhi go to 354 Bara Khamba Road and you will see next to the main gate a white marble plaque 4 feet by 4 feet with a GNAT carved on it with the words “PILOT BABA “