A Quest on Overdrive … :)

An eccentric rambler on life's lessons and mercies, found and lost… :)


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Commodore Vijay K. Pisharody, Nao Sena (नव सेना) Medal

Commodore Vijay Kumar Pisharody, IN, Nao Sena Medal

 

Here it goes, an ode to you,

For another capped feather, all anew.

In 2011, the Republic Day,

You made us proud in every way.

Once again you’ve proved your mettle,

To  adorn  your chest, you’ve  earned the Nao Sena Medal.

The honour bestowed… much deserved,

More laurels for you are surely reserved.

In the years ahead, as you go the length,

May you sail from strength to strength.

(written by Captain Vinod Kumar Pisharody, my younger brother 🙂 )

(Alert 🙂 Long Post… but I hope you will stay with it 🙂 )

That is my elder brother. The brightest star, on our horizons. The one with the Professional Acumen (my FB’s words!). Genius. Integrity. Dedication. Sheer presence of mind. Great bulldozing tactics 😆 (well you need that you see, when you command men 🙂 ). Yoga fiend. Health freak. No-nonsense. Huge Hindi Film Fan. Mohanlal too :D. Great fun.

He’s got what it takes, and has done what needed to be done. Not many do both. And for Devotion to Duty, he has been awarded the Naosena Medal, NM as it is referred to. I cannot of course, stop here. 🙂 That would be sheer injustice to the subject, the blog and the eccentric rambler, who cannot act out of sync with her image now, can she? Lol!

A word on the Medals and Awards given to Defence Personnel, and announced on the eve of Republic Day, each year. This year’s awards can be viewed here, on the Press Information Bureau’s Website. (Select 25 Jan 2011, as the date on the left sidebar, and you will notice a link further down , 440 Republic Day Gallantry and other Defence Decorations Announced – (This year we were pleasantly and awesomely (!!!) surprised to hear one of us being named as an awardee. The actual ceremony takes place later, in May I am told. And is telecast live on Doordarshan 🙂 Will post an update on that as soon as I know)

Medals are given for Devotion to Duty or for Gallantry. The Ashok Chakra, the Kirti Chakra, the Param Vir Chakra, the Vir Chakra, the Shaurya Chakra are all gallantry awards of the Highest Order. Next come the Sena Medals, the Sena (Army), the Vayu Sena Medal (Air Force) and the Nao Sena (नव सेना) Medal (Navy) which can be either for Gallantry or for Devotion to Duty. The PVSM (Param Vishisht Seva Medal ) and the VSM (Vishsist Seva Medal) follow. Each with its due credit and importance.

My father is a VSM recipient, having been awarded in 1970, when he was involved with setting up the communications network for the Naval Airport in Goa. (Trivia: My younger brother is a Naval pilot –have mentioned him here – who is stationed there, President,  AIRCATS –  Aircrew Categorization and Inspection!). He, my father, ie, retired as a Commander, having worked his way up from the ranks. Sheer hard work and dedication. As my younger brother remarked, first my elder brother outranked him, when he became a Captain, and now a Commodore, and now he has out medalled him as well, with an NM- a Nao Sena Medal!

Viju, as I call him, Pisha as he is known to his coursemates (Common Name for both my younger brother, (and me while in school) 😀 ), and Pisha Sir as he is known to the others others… :), is someone you might say is… (*hunting desperately for a word, and failing to find any*) an allrounder. It’s cricket season, and he loves cricket, plays very well, so let us use that metaphor for now. You’ll understand what I mean as we go on 🙂

Born at the height of the ascending of the Sun (മേടം രാശി, സൂര്യന്‍ ഉച്ചത്തില്‍ medam raashi,sooryan uchchathil), during the Uttarayana, in the Malayalam month of medam (Aries, by the Western Zodiac – a perfect offspring of the sign 🙂 ), on the monrning of Vishu, the new year, that year, in 1962, his planetary positions, according to my mother, were near perfect! That is not to say that all he has achieved is because of them. This is to say that even that had fallen in line 🙂 The perspective is that it could not be otherwise 🙂

As a young boisterous laddie, in Delhi, he managed his first FEAT. Twice in a row, around the same date, consecutive year, he fractured his right arm, between his wrist and elbow. Once, it was while trying to climb a pole that some of us, me and few other children were instructed to hold. We, being awed, and being us, 😆 let go, in sheer admiration, (the pole, ie), and he took a gentle tumble, fracturing his right arm. The next year, same time, he was showing us how to dive off the bed. Bingo. His arm was fractured again. And would you believe the coincidence? Same place, bone, and spot! He lived to tell the tale, swing some mean shots, on the Cricket field, Captain the NDA team, and sail in regattas. Unputdownable. That says it all.

This young man in school,  Balwinds Boys’ High School, Bangalore, was consistent. Topper in class. Consistent. On the sports field, in the swimming pool, always there, always bringing back medals. It was sometimes difficult for me, the ham of the sandwich (errm, I have an equally competent and brilliant younger brother! 😛), to live it down. The green eyed monster kept rising to the surface. Then I learnt to deal with it, hatke! I just decided not to conform, and a rebel was born. Ah! but I digress. This one is for the First Born. Viju.  🙂

In the eleventh standard, he found his calling. Well, I was not so sure then.  (I told him he was training his head – that should be engaged in doing complex stuff at IIT- to be an enemy’s target!!! 😛 ). But now, in hindsight, the bigger picture unfolds. There is something called destiny. You do not realize it in proximity. It is always the distance that leads one to focus on what counted, and what still counts 🙂

At that time, he was a member of the Karnataka State U-19 team, that returned home, runners-up! He maintained a demonic schedule, even way back then. Early morning, cricket camp, back home, school, back home, studies, and play, and back all over again! And then, he was selected to train at the National Defence Academy, Khadakwasla. The year was 1979. He had decided to join the Indian Navy, just like his father, Cdr. U. K. Pisharody, VSM. My dad too… :P!

The rest as they say, is History! 😀 But I must share a few moments from that 🙂 In the NDA, he was an Eagle, ie he was in Echo Squadron, (my younger brother and my first born also went there. All belonged to different squadrons- Vinu, my brother was Bravo-Alpha-Bravo,  and Arjun was Alpha then India ), and to be certain, he did fly very high. He was Captain of the Cricket Team (they called him the Kapil Dev of the Academy 😛),and his exemplary performance got him a Cricket Blue – an honour given to remarkable and gifted and consistently high achievers of a particular field. The blazer that is given is proudly preserved even now. As is the yearbook of the Academy of that time.

>>Fast Forward a few years. He was commissioned as an Officer of the Indian Navy in 1983, and served in various establishments, and ships. In due course there are very many more feathers he has donned on his well deserved cap. After his Long Course/ Specialization in Logistics, he has done courses at the IIM, Kozhikode, Defence Management at the premier institute, College of Defence Management, in Hyderabad. He was part of an Inter-Services team that went to the United States of America and Canada to attend an International Supply Officers Course in 2006. One thing I remember him telling us on his return was about the ocean currents off Nova Scotia, Halifax, that we had learnt about. The warm current and the cold current and their mingling creating rich sea life. It stands out, because he mentioned that it was fascinating to see, for real, something that is abstract for us, in a Geography text book. I concur entirely! Even I was fascinated by his description!

One of his stints was at his Alma Mater, the NDA. Newly married, in 1988, he took up the duties of a Divisional Officer, of the Alpha Squadron. At that time, my younger brother was in the NDA, in the self same squadron, that his elder brother was in charge of. Poor chap, Vinu (the younger one), he had to move out to Bravo Squadron! (And that made it a Bravo – Alpha – Bravo shift for my younger brother, as he was first assigned Bravo, then shifted to Alpha to even out numbers of their course, then back to Bravo, when the elder brother arrived on the scene 🙂 )

There is yet another interesting tidbit : The first ship he served on was the INS Mysore (the erstwhile), which incidentally, was the last ship my father had served on! INS Mysore has since been decommissioned and now we have a new ship that goes by the same nomenclature. I have always wondered at this coincidence, and found it a fitting event 🙂

He also served on other ships the INS Deepak, INS Taragiri, INS Mysore (the new one), and in  Materials Organization, Mumbai and Vishakapatnam.

A brilliant technicolour feather in his cap is his tenure as the Station Commander, or what they call Commanding Officer, of the renowned Logistics and Management Training Establishment, in Mumbai, known as INS Hamla .  He served almost two years, from 2008 to 2010,  in this capacity, bringing a sea change (pun intended!!!) in both the training and day to day running of the establishment. My son happened to be there, for a brief course, while his uncle was the CO 🙂 He speaks of the awe in which the others held the CO, and the fact that he was called a terror. All of which, instead of putting Viju off, merely added to his pleasure 🙂 🙂 Likewise his sister and brother. We are all honoured to be known as terrors in their own fields 😆 !!!

Presently, he’s a hotshot :D! The Principal Director, Procurement, Integrated Headquarters, Ministry of Defence (Navy), in Delhi. There is much more to add, but due to constraints of your time and energy, 😆 , I shall spare you that!

1798. Word Count ie. Time to stop. Not before congratulating my brother, and his wonderful family, his wife, Anuradha, his children Archana, and Arun, along with my parents… and wishing we have a re run of the joy when the younger one (Captain Vinod Kumar Pisharody) also brings in his dues 🙂 Or rather, the Navy recognizes a long overdue duty they need to do, to him :). For now, we’re celebrating a rare honour, and basking in the reflected glory 🙂 🙂 !

25 February, 2011

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Rain on…

Drop by tingling drop.
Shine, sparkle, tickle and slather.
Rush down, to meet the yearning land
Merge, soak, overflow
As do those emotions, storming
Whirling, tumbling, and then
Soothing.

Rain on, deep in the heart too.
There is too much that is parched;
That is yearning.

So that the scent of fresh love
Might, once again, draw me in
To you.

Online, on a rainy line of thought 🙂
22 February, 2011
It rained and rained, this lovely evening 🙂

Picture, courtesy, Google Images 🙂


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Fly to You!

Cosy and warm
In the cocoon
of your love;
Engulfed,
I watch myself change!

A gawky woman,
Was I:
Unsure, chewing
upon the painful cud
on the distant horizon,
Of a million memories.

Then;
The light fell
upon me,
As you!

And;
As you spun
the magic silky strands
of tender love,

I couldn’t help
but want
to be more to you,
Though you looked
beyond, and into me!

And now, am I
on the threshold:
Donning your colour
Of love,
On the wings
you gave me;

Ready,
And waiting-
And wanting-

To fly to you!

 


25 September, ’07
Picture courtsey, google images 🙂


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Just when I thought Love was Humbug…

… suddenly something beautiful happened. Unexpectedly. (this bit is from an FB status of a dear friend 🙂 ). I replied on the comment thread saying- I know. It’s called a Miracle 🙂

Time and time again, we live clichés. We dress them up, we wear them down, but most times you simply cannot live them down. :D! OK, I’m getting ahead of myself here :).

Before I proceed further, let me do the clichéd thing. Give you required alerts for reading, and of course the mandatory disclaimer.

Alert*** – long post, that will certainly get lost within itself, and perhaps make you wonder where you are 🙂 Reader discretion advised. This is pure mush and goo. 😀

Disclaimer**** – All the characters in this tale are very real people. It’s of course another matter altogether that you might want to take that with a big pinch of salt. They are real to me and a few who might know them, if they do get to this page. The incidents are real, and any resemblance to person(s) is entirely deliberate. The writer also wishes to inform all those who have gone astray here that she does not know any of them, personally :D!

Let me not kill the story before it is even born 😀

This is a love story. A love story that I heard; was narrated to me, in fact, by one of my  best friends. It moved me to tears, right there in a noisy room, and it created, quite suddenly, a faint rose-coloured aura all around, just for a few moments. Both my friend and I saw that, for sure. There are no knights in shining armour, or any damsels in distress; there is no rebellious elopement. It is all about a moment when a roomful of people cried, while two people smiled at each other. I was not there, but listening to what had happened, I re-lived each moment, truly. My friend has a gift of narration, and I shall try to use her words as truthfully as I can. But me, being the rambler, I am bound to embellish it with all sorts of nuances that I hope did exist, having escaped, perhaps her narration 😀 😀 :D!!!

It happened just last week, when a certain not so young man nearly 40 was to wed. He, apparently, could not live down his image of being the black sheep of a rather well to do family. If there had been anything to try, all that should not be tried too, he must certainly have tried it. But he had a redeeming grace. He was affectionate, helpful, and quite favourite with a certain couple of uncles who took “care” of him 🙂 Supplied him with the necessities to meet his needs, like, for eg. money :D! My friend constantly kept referring to how he used to be too playful as a young boy, rather a rebel as he grew up, how he probably never went beyond his Class X in academics; and yet how he seemed to be doing well at that moment, dabbling in different kinds of businesses that he found himself in. A rather prosperous youngish man, with prospects, if not the kind of “character” that parents seeking matrimony for their beloved daughters look for. Who, asked my friend, would willingly give their daughter to him in marraige? The prospect seemed bleak.

Then, happily enough, it happened. A proposal came by, boy met girl, families were pleased, and the D-Day was set. Of course, he being a black sheep (what is it with the colour and sheep, anyone?? 🙂 ) something untoward was to happen, right? Right. The afternoon before The Day, he set off for a spin, with a cousin, on a bike. Very close to his house, they met with an accident. Seemingly silly, they were swiped quite nastily by an autorickshaw carrying a long oxygen cylinder sort of thing. Our hero is laid up with a fractured thigh. The flesh around the thigh had been displaced by the object that was jutting out of the auto. Pretty serious injury, though not life-threatening. It was enough to spread a pall of gloom all over the big family. He was in hospital, an operation was to be performed almost immediately, plastic surgery remained to be done, and obviously he was in ICU.

The girl, in the meantime would start, anytime, from Trivandrum, to Guruvayoor, where the wedding was to take place, the next day. The family was in council. Who would inform them? What would their reaction be? Tremors of emotion, the aftershocks of the event, still went shuddering through the family, most of them quite elderly. The Right Thing had to be done. The girl’s family had to be informed. And so they were. It was painful, but it was done. The wedding could still take place, said the boy’s family to them (Ah, why do I keep saying boy? Let’s call him K. 🙂 ). Only it might have to be at the hospital, or else it could be postponed. Or… nobody dared to even envision a third option.

The girls family (let’s call her Devi, shall we? Am in a rather spiritual mood right now 🙂 ) said they would get back. And they did. To confirm that they were coming down here, and would reach by morning. And that they would like the wedding to go on schedule. Later it was known what transpired. But let’s get to that later. 🙂

And so they arrived. The hospital provided a sort of executive suite , big enough to seat 15 odd persons, laid out chairs, had the bed wheeled in, for K. could not obviously stand, having just come through a major surgery. He was brought in, dressed suitably by the staff, in his new mundu and shirt; his face showed how much pain he was in, by the very expressionless face he tried to put on. To say that the pain was not tangible to all his family would be an untruth. And then they arrived. Ah! I haven’t told you about the appearances, have I? He is slim, tall, and not fair. And now, my friend gets to tell me about her. She came along with her family, into the room. Just eight of them in total. She too was slim and tall, and (of course.. 🙂 ) not so fair. Matched

As they entered, there was awkwardness. The surge, normally, would be towards each other; the families. Here there was an uncomfortable silence. More uncomfortable noises. Clearing throats. Suspicious sniffles. Wringing of hands. While the families grappled with the situation, she, Devi, gave a beautiful, sweet smile, and walked straight ahead, towards him. Went up to him, took his hand, and looked into his eyes. And continued to smile. And he smiled back. Just that. The world stopped turning, for both of them it seemed. They might have been the only persons there, it seemed. It was a Moment. And as they smiled, silently, at each other, there was an outpouring of emotion for all those who looked on. Tears. On everyone’s faces. More tears. There was no stopping Emotion then. At how it could be so perfect. Just that. Just that!

And while hearts burst with relief, and tears refused to be stemmed, the two of them quietly stayed where they were, refusing to give in to tears. Not needing to. While my friend narrated this part, her eyes were filled, and mine grew misty. I’m not saying this too well, I know, and  I wish she was here to tell you, in that deeply intimate description she gave of that moment. Soon, the event was done.

Suddenly, a knock on the door. The media had arrived. Apparently, while on their usual beat, they came across this interesting tidbit, a rarity, certainly by any standards, of a wedding being solemnized in an hospital room, and came to investigate. They were, rightfully, refused to do so. Thankfully.

I wondered aloud, then, as to how she could have gone through it, in hospital. Wouldn’t it have been better to wait? My friend explained then. She, D. , was a brilliant student. A rank holder even at the M.Phil. level, it was possible to have been married even to someone way better, at least, academically. But then why him? I was told that when he went to “see” her, he was utterly and absolutely frank about himself. The scrapes he had gotten into. The trouble she would be inviting should she even consider saying yes. But yes, he did promise to be a better man, should she be foolish enough to say “yes”. When the accident took place, I would have thought that it was the perfect way out, for her, and maybe her family. There, she showed her strength of resolve. What I do believe that makes her truly special. Instead of dumping him, or even allowing him to do that, she apparently was the one who insisted that the wedding take place at the time it was scheduled to take place. She told them that of all those prospective grooms, who had come to meet her, this man was the only one who talked of himself, honestly, even willing her to refuse him, knowing that she was worthy of someone way better than him. Her family had reservations, and she had none. Backing out at this time, would certainly bring more misery all around. Strangely, I still do not think it a sort of sacrifice or some sentimentality on her part. This is one courageous woman. Someone who knew of honour. The sort that is real, and faithful to none but one’s own conscience. Of that I am more sure now.

There is more. Poignant too. Usually, after the wedding, the bride along with her bridegroom, goes, ceremoniously, to his house, and are welcomed in the traditional way. She went there alone. In the hospital-room-turned-mandap, the excitement was over. He was being taken back to the ICU. She wanted to stay. He told her he would see her at home, once they discharged him. In that flash of a moment, her face fell, and she was a picture of dismay, the first cloud on her smile. She wanted to be there, with him, and he? Perhaps, knowing that she would have to wait interminably in the area outside the ICU, he probably did not want her to. However, the family gathered round, spoke to him and convinced him to let her also be there, if she so wished. He finally agreed. For, by now, his very notion of himself, his worth, perhaps, his realization that someone somewhere cared, had visibly lightened his face. As my friend put it, she, Devi, was to him, K., just that… a Devi. A goddess come to Earth, in that form.

Yes, miracles do happen. I’ve been witness to enough, to know that. It comes without starburst, or flashes of lightning, or a zillion violins playing in the background. It comes quietly. To hearts that believe. To eyes that see. And minds that receive. Love happens. And a cliché, suddenly, becomes a miracle. It does not have to be thunderclap-hit-me-on-the-head-moment. It arrives, as Love, quietly. And with the right faith, it stays.

As I hope it will for these two who have perhaps found themselves and each other at a moment and lived through a commitment such that they will never give up on each other. What is it they say about finding something to love, in a person, at his/her weakest moment, that only makes you love them  more, never less?

The whys and wherefores of love has always been a mystery, hasn’t it? For me, I’m happy to let it be that way 🙂 So long as love is… 🙂 So long as it continues to amaze us with miracles such as these. I’m glad I heard that story, especially at a time when I was down in the dumps, and had a quarrel with that very Emotion 🙂 🙂 Life, suddenly looked, looks, promising, once again.

For all those of you who love, and to be sure, each one of you do…. you do, yourself, your parents, children, friends, pets, and all those very many things like ice-cream, and chicken…. wateva (as my son would put it) … may your lives be filled with it always.

A final cliché. Happy Valentine’s Day to you all… 🙂 🙂

(My friend adds that both are well and happy, and they had visited both of them this evening. A big thank you to her, for letting me be part of the fairy tale, at least in its sharing, with you all 🙂 )

13 February, 2011