Gp Capt Kapil Bhargava, a legend in his life time, passed away in Bangalore today, 17 Dec 14, following a brief illness. I feel totally incompetent to write his obituary. I was not privileged to know him till much after his retirement and hence have just heard about his outstanding professional record. The one thing that I am certain about is the fact that he was brutally honest, gave off his best always and was never sparing in his criticism of his own as well as others’ shortcomings.
As far as I am concerned, I came into contact with him when this blog started. Cuckoo Soares asked me to contact him for advice. From that first call I made to him, till just about a month or so ago, he was my mentor and guru on all things concerning the blog and on much else. No matter what the time of day, he always had the patience to listen to my constant pleas for help and he never once showed anything but total commitment towards whatever guidance I needed. There were times when he went off at a tangent to relive some of his run ins with the high and mighty at HAL and in the IAF. An education in itself.
Were it not for his advice, encouragement and contributions, by way of material and ideas, I doubt this blog would have lasted as long as it has. On my own, I would have given up. In fact in his own way, even the Golden Jubilee celebrations we held in 2011 had a lot of Kapil Bhargava energy in them. It was he who actually officially initiated the idea with the CAS and got HAL involved in the celebrations. Thereafter along with Bhushan Narang he coaxed, cajoled and liaised with HAL over almost a year. The result was a wonderfully organised event that went off like clockwork thanks to their efforts.
Having Commanded Jodhpur when the Marut squadrons first moved there, he was more familiar with the original and earlier lot of Marut personnel. I am sure they will miss him all the more.
A full life, well lived with total dedication.
To Mrs Bhargava and the family our deepest and heart felt condolences.