We Met. We Partied. Big Deal.

February 7, 2017

That’s right. We met, we partied, we parted and we had a whale of a time. It would have been even whaler had all our friends joined us. So while we had fun there was always a stray comment – “Pity so and so couldn’t be here”. There is always a next time though and it’s closer than you think. Bossman Bhushan has decreed that we assemble again, within the year, at Bangalore. No ifs – no buts.  Read the rest of this entry »

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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.

Dara

 

 


Will Miss You – Gp Capt DS Jain – RIP

June 23, 2015

 

Jango

Another dear friend leaves us with memories to fall back on.. Jango, how many ever picture him without his trade mark smile?

Happily for him his passing away was in a moment, while on his walk last evening. What a wonderful way to go, what a shock for Cash, Ekta & Nitya. God give them the courage and strength to see them through this ordeal.

If ever one was feeling low, a few minutes of Jango’s company and the world seemed bright again. Everything had a brighter side and he always saw it. If you didn’t, he conjured it up for you to see.

My last memory of him is sitting with Cash & him at Jodhpur airport 2010, waiting to catch our respective flights to Delhi & Mumbai. Both flights were late. Spent an hour talking and catching up with our news. He had moved on to Air India Express but all we did was reminesce about the Air Force days and bringing each other up on our families. Thereafter we were in ‘touch’ through his bulletins he sent to all of us giving progress on various topics of interest to veterans.

With our deepest and heartfelt condolences to Cash and his two daughters.

PS: The worst thing about maintaining a blog like this, which is really just a story of days gone by, is not just the obituaries that one writes out with increasing frequency these days. Painful as that is, the worst is removing people who have been a part of our lives from the mailing list. Its heart wrenching. A final good-bye and a window of our lives closes forever.

 

Dara

 


NDA ‘NIRVANA’

June 8, 2015

Cyclic grew up, got kicked out from RIMC and was told to go and join NDA in Dec 66.

There were many things that I had no clue about, could not do, or did not know that I did not know, when I joined the NDA, sometime late Dec 1966. Therefore, NDA was a great learning experience.

About eight and a half seconds after I stepped into Fox Sqn, with a steel trunk on my head, I was called a ‘Joker’.

‘Joker, come here’, called Cdt AK Passi, who was a term senior, basically to show off his new found status as a non joker, and to try out his new found powers of punishment. Read the rest of this entry »


Life Of ‘Pi’

May 27, 2015

This is an Enid Blyton type of story, follies of my youth in RIMC, 1962 to 66, after which I joined the National Defence Academy (NDA) and became a mercenary of sorts.

Here it goes………. Read the rest of this entry »


September 1965 – I: Why Now?

October 15, 2014

Two separate yet related incidents have brought about the need to revisit the 1965 war. The first was an announcement that the IAF would commemorate the 1965 war from 05 Sep 14 to 04 Sep 15. This would also involve a series of seminars at various Command HQs and perhaps other locations. The aim being to discuss experiences, introspect, and perhaps also see how far we have progressed since then. The second was a controversial article in the Business Standard (BS) of 02 Sep 14, “The day nothing happened” by Ajai Shukla. What caught my attention subsequently was a tweet by the author – “Why is the Indian Air Force announcing a year-long celebration of the 1965 war–which everyone accepts that it lost“. It was this rather sensational and outlandish heading, that cried out to be challenged.  Perhaps that was the very intention – that it draw attention. Thereafter followed a series of tweets spread over a few days between us. The author stuck to his stand and would not really answer questions which didn’t suit his argument and perhaps the same sentiment was reciprocated by him. We had reached an impasse and so called it off. I thanked him for a feisty discussion & hoped we could agree on something next time. That is now water under the bridge.

I get the impression, consciously or otherwise, the author pre-determined a premise, of a defeated IAF, and then went around weaving a narrative to fit that premise into the article.

Read the rest of this entry »


September 1965 – IV: “Some hits, Some Misses”

October 15, 2014

It is time to move on to what some could describe as a slugfest between the two Air Forces. Some events have been recorded in the Official History (OH) of the 1965 war. Ajai Shukla has mentioned attacks and dog fights in his article in the Business Standard (BS) of 02 Sep “The day nothing happened“. There are other sources and eye witness accounts too that shed light on some significant aspects of the war.

On 06 Sep Ayub Khan officially declared war against India. The PAF conducted a series of attacks at IAF bases on the Western Front. Commencing late evening – Pathankot, Halwara, Amritsar, Adampur, Jamnagar, Srinagar were attacked. Read the rest of this entry »