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

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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Author: Usha Pisharody

A rambler, pretends to be a teacher, loves to dream, and go on Quixotic Quests in the Realm of Romance With Life...

57 thoughts on “Commodore Vijay K. Pisharody, Nao Sena (नव सेना) Medal

  1. Wow. Quite a life, quite a tradition.

    Thanks for the peek into his life. May I congratulate and thank him for this rare honour and for the deeds.

    No wonder, the blood that runs in you has so much of rebellion and goodwill in itself.

    God bless.


  2. amazing narrative! What honours of such profound caliber.

    Mam, i can feel the pride u must be feeling having such an eminent mariners as parent, siblings and offspring 🙂

    glad to know u mam. I wish more of such brightest feathers in the cap to u brothers and son 🙂


    • Sunita, thank you, on behalf of our family 🙂 As a part of the services family, I am sure you too share in this joy that we feel 🙂 thank you too, for the wishes!
      Glad to know you too, and to be the recipient of your appreciation!


  3. Beautiful write up aunty! U have given him a well deserved decoration of your own!! 🙂 Best wishes to the commodore ! Wishing him even greater laurels in the future!


  4. Wonderful write! Quite a tribute indeed! This must be a very proud moment for all of you. May this be the beginning of a very rich and enduring legacy!


    • Rakesh, thank you. Yes indeed, the 25th Jan, when we heard was a darned proud moment… 🙂 Kept feeling high all through the next few days… and, as you can see, it has yet to wear off!
      Thank you for sharing in this and leaving your words behind!


  5. Congratulations to the Commodore :)May he conquer the ‘Seven Seas’.


  6. Dear Usha

    You have time and again proven your prowess with words!! This, I’m sure would ‘ve have been one of the most effortless and easy of the lot, considering the pride and love involved. Shall not thank you, but congratulate you too, as you are a big part of the whole!!
    Would love to see Viju’s face when he reads it !!! Love you!!


  7. Time and again you have proven your prowess with words, this must have been one of the most effortless and easy of the lot considering the pride and love that you feel.. shall not thank you but, congratulate you too as you are a big part of the whole!! love you!!


    • Anu, I clicked approve, not realizing that both the comments were the same… 🙂
      Well, it’s a lot of joy all around, so a surfeit of the same words is well in place. Love you too, for your warm perspective, and the generosity that you always have showered 🙂 🙂 I’m going to thank you, dear Lady, for finally appearing 🙂 🙂 Hugs!


  8. Usha…….. beautiful!!!
    Congratulations to the commodore and you


  9. Wow, Usha, this is incredible!! Congrats to your entire family for such wonderful achievements 🙂


  10. I don’t know how I missed this! :O

    What a wonderful post. The pride, love and joy come through 🙂
    So very happy to read about the Commodore. Congrats to him and you of course.
    What a coincidence that he served first on the same ship as the one your Dad served last before retirement!

    I liked that bit about you deciding not to conform Yay!! 😀 😀 And errr…. terrors huh all three of you?? You too??!! *rethinking whether she really wants to meet Usha or not* 😉 😉 😛 😀

    OH, by the way, my Uncle, fathers younger brother served in INS Vikrant, Commander Mukundan. Must be a contemporary of yourDad, I am not sure. He is no more.


    • Shail :D! Thank you for finally being here. Don’t worry I probably would have spammed you with a link 🙂 🙂

      Thanks also for all those words for the Commodore 🙂 Dad would always talk of these coincidences, and when he knew I was going to write, he did make sure that he gave me all the details (his memory is still so very sharp, and the minutest details of his own long service are part of him 🙂 ) . He would probably know of your Uncle, or maybe the Commodore might. Word gets around, as you are well aware, in the services 🙂

      Me? Lol. The rebel. And now the terror. Ask the kids 🙂 But only in school, and with my two 🙂 Now a toothless (more or less literally too 😀 ) terror 🙂 as far as my two are concerned. I assure you I am non violent and do not bite, though 🙂

      Thank you so much, Shail. I enjoyed reading your words too!


      • Love that toothless terror now bit. The same goes for me I guess. Haha!
        I will take your word for it that you are non-violent! Hehehe…
        Do ask your Dad/bro whether they know my Uncle. He hailed from Palghat.


        • Shail, lol! I did ask my dad, and he confirmed that he knew him. Infact, I think his wife had been in touch with my dad, after your uncle passed away, with some queries concerning the ECHS. I think they had worked together for a while in Kochi too. Perhaps, if you are in touch with your aunt, you could ask if she know my father, Cdr. U K. Pisharody 🙂


  11. Wow Usha Ma’am, that was terrific reading. It indeed is a moment of great pride and hearty congratulations are due to you all. 😀

    PS: I loved the poetic ode in the beginning. 🙂


    • Deboshree, we’re still all awed and ga ga even now 🙂 But through it all the protagonist is most unfazed and wonders what the hullabulloo is all about :P!

      The ode is written by the other brilliant brother, Vinu 🙂 Really apt for the Commodore 🙂

      Thank you too, for being here, and for all those wonderful words!


  12. WoWWWW!!! So very impressive!! And my hearty Congratulations!! 🙂 Whatta family!! Hats Off!! N hope the accolades continue to come, always!! 🙂


  13. Congratulations to the Commodore and to all of you. Best wishes for your younger brother too!
    I agree with the resemblance to Sean Connery mentioned in the comments above.


  14. Hearty Congratulations to Commodore Sir and Maam thank you for the inspiring and beautiful chronological description of the achievements of his life and your family too.
    “Lead by Example” as we say… sir had set a new benchmark in terms of Rank and Medal for the younger generations of your family to achieve.
    Best wishes to You, Sir and family.


    • Pradeep Kumar, thank you for your kind wishes. “Lead by Example” you say, and it is true in our family, certainly! My father has been a sterling and shining example, and I am glad that my brothers have upheld that tradition! Thank you once again!


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  16. I had the privilege of serving under his command in INS Hamla. I wouldn’t be exaggerating when I say that it is an honour for the NM to be worn by him. Not many officers today have the moral courage to stand up for what they feel is right. I hope all young officers are able to inculcate the same values in their career.


    • Dear Sandipani, welcome here. And, on behalf of my brother, thank you for the gracious words of appreciation 🙂 You are bang on with the perceptions you share, and yes, hope more officers out there are able to emulate the qualities! Thank you, again.


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  18. The Commodore! It seems the navy blood runs strong in the family 🙂
    Please do pass my greetings and awe


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  20. Simply wow n i remember u telling us about NM medal …. Such a inspiring life …. Leader in a true sense . I think in pisharody family everyone is an achiever in some way or other . Lucky to know u guys so closely 🙂


  21. Wonder if this post is a a year late but I am thrilled to see it, for I have had the privilege of meeting Cmde V Pisharody, in turn he welcomed the students of St Stanislaus High School Bandra Mumbai to experience a drill contest and Naval courtesy at INS Hamla, an experience all of them will treasure for a lifetime. Many of the now ex students still fondly remember that day and a bearded officer who spent time with them and their principal. The main Photograph posted was clicked by myself…. 🙂


  22. Peter deSouza, thank you for visiting this blog, and leaving these lovely words here. I’m sure my brother too would remember that occasion with a lot of fondness. Am glad too, that the children got to witness, first-hand, both drill and the Naval courtesies. I do hope some of them do go on and imbibe them in life!
    The pictures you have taken are indeed wonderful. This one, and the full length portrait, that I found on your blog. The subject does shine through!
    Thank you once again. I shall direct my brother’s attention to this note from you, and I am sure he will be touched and gratified at your having remembered. God Bless.


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  24. I had the privilege to work with him during his tenure as Staff Officer to Admiral Vijay Shankar. Good officer and a great human being.
    I look forward to remain in touch but not sure where to reach him. I am available on +233 24 3261756 so if he reads this message hope he will text me his number or just say ‘Hi’ on WhatsApp.
    PT Ramdass, Ex Sea1

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Ramdass Sir! It is such a privilege to hear from those he has worked with, and for us, his family to hear of such good words for him! I shall definitely let him know. Thank you for writing in!


  25. You can skip the Sir, a simple Ramdass would do. If you speak to him just let him know that I still do alternate nasal breathing that he taught me in fleet office 🙂 I am eagerly looking forward to hear from him. Often times when I take a stroll down the memory lane and relive those nostalgic moments from my Navy days I fondly remember a few names and Commander Pisharody (he was a Commander then) is always one of them. He was able to look past my rank and see the real me which only a few could do. I can’t thank you enough for being a source of re-connection.


  26. We ,coursemates of Vinod at NDA were taught a very difficult naval subject there in our 6th term , by Cmde Vijay Sir and it formed a solid foundation for our later on professional acumen in the Navy. Sir was very patient, dedicated and absolutely made us comfortable with the suject in class. Many congrats and more power to him.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Sudarshan Ghost, for writing in and sharing your experience with my brother. Indeed he’s a wonderful teacher/trainer/mentor and taskmaster. It’s with the best of them that one learns best, the lessons for life!
      Thank you again!
      On a side track, I must mention that my younger brother, your coursemate, is just as much an inspiration for those who’ve worked or trained with him!
      And they in turn are carrying the Baton forward from my father 🙂

      Do excuse the digression 🙂


  27. Hell, that’s me, with Vijay! So he went to the NDA too! Birds of a feather. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Chanced upon this accidentally while googling something else, but delighted I did. This such an interesting glimpse into the man Viju is and the affection and awe in your writing is so sweet and brings the narration to life. Love and hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

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