Wg Cdr Sam “Samboo” Sekhar RIP

September 28, 2017
Sam Sekhar
Sam Sekhar passed away peacefully on 25th Sep 17 at 1155 hrs in Toronto . Born on 01 Nov 1945 he joined the Air Force in 1967. He is survived by his wife ( Nippu ) and two daughters ( Aparna & Shimona ) who are settled in Canada.

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The Good Die Young: Maj Akshay Girish Kumar – RIP

November 30, 2016


Got a message early this morning from Eddie while Koch and I were on the golf course, informing us of the passing away of Akshay, son of Girish and Meghna, in the encounter at Nagrota yesterday – 29 Nov 16.

What can one say at moments like this? That he died a hero? Bravely doing his duty? Mission accomplished? How banal it all sounds. How does that cut through the grief and the loss that Sangeeta, Meghna and Girish are going through right now? No nothing will cut through that.

Please know, however, that this Marut family of yours, through its own tears and grief, is totally there for you right now, sharing your loss, pain and misery and trying to give you strength.

This nation owes you big time.

Truly, only the good die young.




Long Time No See

September 7, 2016

Five years ago in Bangalore we did look ahead and sort of vaguely agreed that we could meet again in 2017. Actually I am so impressed I even remember! The occasion – to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of the formation of the first Marut Squadron – No 10 Sqn, formed at Jamnagar on 01 Apr 1967. Though formed at Jamnagar, the unit soon moved to Pune and so – here we are.

How about it? There are quite a few who can remember the very day itself – Air Cmde Murthy, AVM Sisodia, Groupie Minnie Menon, AVM Lamba and others like Keru, AM Ramdas, Sam Shekhar and the like who were almost there from the word go. The rest of us were also rans – but so what! Some bonds are permanent.

Keru did some research locally and there are a few hotels that have packages for Service Officers arriving on temporary duty. Right now the Sun N Sand, charges around 5800/- a night, spouses complimentary stay and breakfast. The rest chargeable at discounted rates.This is the current rate, there maybe changes by the time we meet.

So, what say? 2017 is almost upon us, are peeps interested? If so, could you please let me know either here or on email. Depending on the response we could move further on the matter and finalise details. We could plan for a 2 night stay and if convenient, organise everything at the hotel itself so that there are no hassles of planning lunches etc etc. Please specify a convenient period also, if not April, then around about the same time.

Right now we are looking at the response. Details can then follow. All suggestions welcome, all decisions rest with Punekers.




Is Being A Fighter Pilot Really Women Empowerment?

January 3, 2016

Air Marshal P V Athawale PVSM, AVSM, VSM (retd), a former Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Indian Air Force’s Maintenance Command, recently drew my attention to an article he had authored Beyond the fighter pilot glamour on Rediff. To me it was a totally new perspective, worthy of sharing and circulating widely. Read it and I hope you agree that it is indeed an eye opener.

” ‘Why have we focused mainly on the question of women becoming fighter pilots? Why have women never asked for induction as Airwomen, Security Guards or Enrolled Non-Combatants? Is it that these jobs at lower levels demand far greater hardships without being glamorous?’ asks Air Marshal P V Athawale (retd). Read the rest of this entry »

Not very good news on Bhuvs.

October 16, 2014

Sadly Bhavs passed away around 09.0 am on Saturday 25 Oct 14. The cremation was held this afternoon.

A prayer meeting will be held  on Tuesday 28 Oct, between 3.30 pm and 4.30 pm at the Gurudwara behind Hiranndani hospital.




Just heard from Eddie and Shanta that Bhuvs is in the ICU at Hiranandani.

Had seizures following treatment and apparently still present. Had similar attacks few months ago and recovered.

Request from Meher, please call Shanta for information. She will be in touch with her.

Pray for his recovery and to give Meher and the family strength and courage.





Calling all budding authors

August 26, 2014

Reproducing below mail from Kuku Thakur. Please also pass on to anyone or Group that you may have in mind.


“Geopolitics is looking for contribution for its Air Force Day issue (submission deadline mid Sep).

Some of the topics they have in mind are listed below but the editor is open to ideas that fit in with the theme.

There is much writing talent with rich IAF experience in the Marut Fans group; any of them could make a fine contribution, and get some some pocket money for some fine beer. Their editor, Prakash Nanda, can be directly contacted at prakashnanda@newsline.in

I was wondering, if you would like to share this information on the mailing list?

Best Regards,


Open Topics

· A review of the ongoing projects of the IAF such as MAFI, FGFA, MTA, LCA, AMCA, IJT etc

· What are IAF’s plans with regard to its ISR requirements and what procurement plans are under work right now in this critical sector?

· Air Force fighter and transport fleet is undergoing massive up gradation. The AN 32, Jaguars, Su 30s, Air Defence Equipments. An indepth story that how is this upgradation happening and what is it going to bring for Air Force

· Training is the backbone of any armed force. In the recent time Air Force has been in the middle of controversies related to its training of the rookie pilots. The basic trainers had been a cause of worry. Then the Intermediate Jet Trainer/ Kiran are about to complete their service periods. Air Force is also shifting towards the Simulator supported training. This story will critically analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of training and also the evaluation of equipments”

The CDS Debate: Confronting Issues – II

August 1, 2011

Following the first two parts of this debate, there have been several views received on email from some who have had personal experience in dealing with the CDS question. As they are too lengthy to be put as comments I felt it would be better to post relevant extracts as separate topics subsequently. For now, we continue with the second  part of Groupie Bhargava’s email on the CDS debate:

“My second reservation is that a CDS would be unable to prevent turf wars of which the Services are always accused. There is little doubt that the CDS from any element would tend to view the case for its demands more favourably than others. Not only is this human nature but is also very easy to rationalise.

My last (at present) reservation is that the appointment of a CDS does not seem to promote or enhance inter-Service cooperation. A typical example is Britain. Despite a head of all armed forces being around, the RAF says that the Navy is superfluous and the Navy wants RAF to be totally disbanded and its tasks handed over to the highly competent Royal Navy. Even in the USA, we see much inter-Service rivalry and non-cooperation. In short good and honest Jointness seems to be our only viable answer to me.” Read the rest of this entry »