A Quest on Overdrive … :)

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


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Commemoration of Kargil Vijay Divas

… at my school, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan’s Vidya Mandir was a deeply moving experience this year. It is the fifteenth anniversary of that conflict, fought on the snow covered, harsh terrains of the mountainous regions of the Kargil, Drass and Batalik sectors of Kashmir. A period of time when we sat at home, glued to our TV sets, following what perhaps later came to be known as the the pioneering “live coverage” of such an event – a war to be precise. It was a time when we watched, hearts in our mouths, and experienced first hand, almost, the despair, the sorrow, and even the hardiest cynic doffed his hat in respect to our soldiers who lived that line of daring to go where the brave fear. A memory that is an unhealed sore, even though we have declared victory, especially if you had lost someone dear, or knew of someone who did.

July 26, 1999, when the conflict was done with, and victory was ours, unfolded even more horrors when the stories of battles and hardships began to pour in. What followed too has lifted our morale and our belief in our country and its defence services! In the next few years, there were greater numbers of young people, both boys and girls, wanting to recruit in the Armed Forces, in whatever capacity they could. Ten years after, on the tenth anniversary, the NDTV took families of the martyrs to spend some time at the spots of conflict; Capt Vikram Batra, PVC (Posthumous)- whose answer to a question put to him just before he died, taking down about five of the enemy “Yeh Dil Mange More”- had a twin brother, Vishal, who was one among those who did go, describes his brother, and his visit thus (click on link to read). This is only ONE story. What about the hundreds of others’ stories – soldier, or Officer, who perhaps were not as widely known?

At school, the planning of the Commemoration began a few weeks ago, and the idea of sharing a soldier’s life, his dreams, the family he leaves behind when he attains martyrdom, were some of the themes considered. Finally the Hindi Department, led by Smt. Vrinda Pradeep, conceptualized a short programme detailing it. The key to the success of reaching out to the young learner group in school lay in some hard work that the chosen students would have to undertake. Learn Drill. The Military Way. As luck would have it, in drops a former student at the right time – a young lady who was an exemplary NCC Cadet while in college too! The Act was coming together. Krishnaja, the young lady afore-mentioned- Senior Under Office Krishnaja K, to be precise was equally enthusiastic about working with the young students! She began her training, with her friend in tow, and within the hour of starting, the body language of the group had visibly and energetically improved! They looked up to her with the kind of respect that we teachers, who were present, envied. She coached them in the different steps and methods of drill, literally drilling posture, movement, leg and hand co-ordination into them! Also helping with the Slow March was Shri Prakash, of the 148 BN, BSF. He spent a couple of days with them too. At the end of about 5 days, they were a fine bunch of soldiers indeed! And dancers, and fighters, and actors! Having observed them, from the moment they were selected, to the moment of their performance, I am proud to have known them and learnt with them.  You readers also need to know that most of the boys selected were what a lot of “teachers” would call as the mischievous ones in class. They changed. In a week. At least for the performance. That was a lesson for me – the potential is there, and we need to tap into it, by inspiring them, not degrading and insulting and pushing them down!

A group of students from Class 10 were inspired to present a mime on the same theme.

Shri Prakash, 148BN, BSF, Thrissur, addressing the audience

Shri Prakash, 148BN, BSF, Thrissur, addressing the audience

As the day, Friday, 25th July approached, the skies grew darker, and the rain incessant. This was a problem as the whole programme needed to be done in the Assembly Ground, the quadrangle, which was spacious enough to accommodate the performers and the entire school, of more than 2500 students. Prayers were breathed, fingers crossed, but no one, not a single person spoke of Plan B. There simply wasn’t any. The words of The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho worked that day. The deep deep wish, and prayer was granted, and it stopped raining about half an hour before the programme. The sun came OUT. Shone and blessed the show. And after the last command was done, simply let loose heavy heavy sudden rain. A Miracle. Duh. What else? 🙂

The Sun Shone. And on the ground the Stars of the Day shone in the brilliance of their dedication in their performance. It was one of the most moving performances ever, and the audience, gathered around the quadrangle, were one, in the way they responded, muting their usual over-the-top inappropriate cheering , and going on to give us a lesson on how to watch with absorption of the spirit. Truly a moment to cherish.

As the heavens poured, at the end of the performance, the Guests shifted to the corridor, and a special occasion followed, with the distribution of the letters of Appreciation, sent by the HRD Minister, Smriti Irani to the Children With Special Needs (CWSN), applauding their efforts and reminding them that they should continue to show their committment to their learning. Three students of Class 10 last year, received the letters.

At last the programme was done, but the appreciation for the participants and the teachers who worked behind scenes continued to pour.

Later in the day, I collected pictures, and three videos – one by our school photographer Mr. Bastian, one taken by a student who was instructed to do so, with his own handycam – Neeraj Namboodirippad, of Class 10, and the third taken by our School’s Man Friday, Mr. Kuppuswamy. Armed with this collection, I set out, on Saturday to make it into a movie, using Windows Movie Maker, which refused to work on my system 😀

Plan B (yes, here I did have one!) – to call on my nephew Kiran’s cousin, Abhay Krishnan (also in Class 10 there), who is rather fantastic in photography and makes tasteful videos, all in sync, to help out. So, on Sunday, between about 12 noon and 10.30 at night, we worked, with appropriate meal breaks, and power cut breaks :P, to produce this film, shared herewith. This here is an awesome picture of us hard at work, taken by Kiran 😀

Abhay and I, at his house, working on the video

 

Many many thanks to the Hindi Dept. for their creativity, the Principal and Vice Principal for their support to the teachers and students who were involved in it, and the most of all to each of those thirty odd students who help us to constantly learn and understand – life really is simple, provided you make it so 🙂

I would like to acknowledge at this point, very sincere thanks, to even my nephew and niece Kiran,and  his sister, Lakshmi, for their valuable inputs. It was great fun learning and working on the video – my contribution to the actual structuring is the captions mainly – apart from the PJs and the stories and anecdotes on the side while working. But Abhay sat through the whole thing, despite his cold and cough, to enable me to wrap it up asap 🙂 Here’s a huge round of thanks, with applause to you, young man. You do have great talent, one I hope will find more expression and reach a wider audience 🙂 No more pictures are being shared, for the obvious reason that the entire video is here! It runs to about 26 minutes, and well worth each second it contains! And no, I am NOT biased! Please remember it is the effort of a young lad, an old teacher, and a heart full of enthusiasm and deep respect to all those who guard our borders!

For those who simply want the link, here it is:

I know for sure that it will be a great motivation to not just Abhay, but other students with such talents too, to have your words, and comments here at the blog, or at the video link that is going to be shared. It is a heartfelt attempt, amateur maybe, but presented here with our hearts and head held high – in regard for the brave soldiers who have, time and again, shown us the way in not hesitating to go beyond the call of duty.

Jai Hind

27 July – 28 July, 2014
Post No. 499 🙂

Links from last year:

https://ushus.wordpress.com/2013/07/25/fourteen-years-on/

https://ushus.wordpress.com/2013/07/28/truly-a-vijay-diwas/


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I Have a Dream …

(sic) with due apologies to Martin Luther King Junior 🙂

I am not plagiarizing. I swear :D! The original with video is here:

http://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/mlkihaveadream.htm

 

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history of our Interactions on Facebook and Twitter as the greatest demonstration for urging a victory in the much touted and tainted game of Kiricket in the history of our nation.

This momentous introduction to the GAME came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Indians who finally found a way to douse insults having been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their seeming helplessness! we Indians wielded the willow for the first time, quivering in the symbolic shadow of the English (Many score years ago)

But many hundreds of matches later, the game is mired in murk and  is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination! We have seen the glorious game thrown to the bookies, have had the underworld dons rule the roost and fix matches, we have seen the worst happening!  And so we’ve come here today to dramatize a return to the days when we loved it for what it was. A battle of wills. A class apart, in terms of style, cut and action : )

In a sense we’ve come to our own FB walls and Twitter Timelines with a score to settle and to  cash a cheque. We expect and pray and hope with a desperation bordering on violence that this cheque be  honoured, this sacred obligation, that the Cup that Cheers a Billion Hearts stays with us. Where it belongs. We have an inalienable right to it! Call it an earthworm vision if you wish, but it is also the vision of the eagle that flies on high… and sees that speck miles below, that it WILL OWN!

But we refuse to believe that the bank of victory is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. And so, we’ve come to cash this cheque, a cheque that will give us upon demand the riches of our dreams and aspirations to that very MOMENT!

We have also come to this hallowed spot our FB walls and timelines on Twitter with the fierce urgency of Now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of victory. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of bad-mouthing and desperation to the sunlit path of radiating HOPE. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of negativity to the solid rock of brotherhood and blessing and prayers. Now is the time to make The Royal Blue Men’s day out superlative and a reality for all of us serenely madly-in-love-with-Kiricket folks.

(laughing away, cant type, holding sides, shaking uncontrolably* Pray God MLK forgives this blashphemy!)

It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Mohali Environs will not pass until there is an invigorating freshness of fragrance of sweet gain. 30th March is not the end, but a beginning. There will be neither rest nor tranquility in here until the day is won. The cup is won.  The whirlwinds of comments, updates and review, views, tweets and smileys, and ^&*##@$%&^()^+%#@ will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of The Cup emerges.

But there is something that I must say to my cohorts-in-cahoots who are tagged with this: who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the realms of heaven, just thinking of the victory: In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for victory by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our support on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative urging to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. (!) The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the FB community must not lead us to a distrust of all who detract us, for many of them, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. And they have come to realize that theirdesire to see the cup stay at home is inextricably bound to our very wish!

We cannot walk alone. They cannot play alone. We are there, each of us, to hit each ball, take each wicket, run behind the fleeing ball and catch it before it reaches the boundary, and always but always, have a smile and cheering word and a pat on their backs! NO MATTER WHAT!

And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead.

We cannot turn back.

Some of you have come fresh from narrow minded thoughts. And some of you have come from areas where your quest — quest for victory left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of unhelpful negativity by others! You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive. Go back to praying, go back to urging, go back to crossing your fingers, go back to your banishment by spouse/partner/ offspring/ self (lol!!!), , knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed.We WILL MAKE IT!I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations.

Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends.

And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the Kiricket Crazy Indian dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal. But Sachin is the BEST!”

 

I have a dream that the little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character, and the HISTORY of this WIN!

 

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; “and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.” For on a day that is was deemed to be The Day. We did what was to be done!

This is our hope, and this is the faith that I go back to the bed, and my papers with. (:D)

With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together,  to stand up and cheer  together, knowing that we will be victorious THAT day.

All of us  will be able to join hands and sing in the words of from the Classic Film… My Fair Lady: And when this happens, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when

You(We) did it!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-RT3cx1b9ZM

Sample of the lyrics:

You did it! You did it! You said that you would do it, and indeed you did.

I thought that you would rue it;

I doubted you’d do it. But now I must admit it

That succeed you did. You should get a medal

Or be even made a knight……

LOL!

 

Apologies Apologies my dear friends and any human rights activists. The momentary urge to give in to this ridiculous temptation to unburden myself of these deepest desires was too strong to hold back. And also it’s Leenuka Reddy’s fault for egging me on. If you must stone me, pelt one at her too! 😛 She’s tagged with this.

 

And another one to Anita C Warrier, if she makes any remark on 30th against the Indian team :D! She’s tagged too!Leenuka, now to my papers :D!!

 

*Phew* *Wipes sweat off brow*

 

26 March, 2011

 

Pls to excuse any and all  typos in here. Am too exhausted to edit anymore :D! Thanks in advance! I enjoyed every bit of this. Hope this dream is yours too!


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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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A Word of Congratulations!

Congratulations to Cdr. Yadav and Lt. Cdr Kanwar, of the INAS 315, proud pilots of the Winged Stallions, INS Hansa

I read of it this morning, in the Indian Express, and was glad, for these brave pilots Cdr. Yadav, and Lt. Cdr. Kanwar,  who have been awarded the Shaurya Chakra, (the third in the ranking of honour, after the Ashok Chakra, and the Kirti Chakra) belong to the IL-38 Squadron, the 315 Squadron, INS Hansa, Goa, commanded by my younger brother, Capt. V. K. Pisharody. They call themselves the Winged Stallions, and an edifying statue of a Pegasus stands guard at their Squadron building.

The Ilyushin Il-38 formally entered service with the Indian Navy on 1 October 1977, with the commissioning of INAS 315 “Winged Stallions” at INS Hansa in Dabolim, Goa. The squadron was formed with just three aircraft in 1977 and two more examples joined the squadron in 1983.

They had had the best safety record amongst the squadron, when tragically, a freak accident occured during their 25th Anniversary celebrations, on 1 October, 2002. The mid-air collision between two IL-38 long-range patrol aircraft of the Indian Naval Air Squadron (INAS) 315 in Goa was cruel irony. The occasion was not just a celebration of INAS’ silver jubilee but also of over 30,000 hours of accident-free flying. All aircrew on board both aircraft were killed and both aircraft were destroyed.

This morning, when my brother called, it was a voice rich with emotion, and pride, and vindication of all the work done by the Squadron, to regain, and restore the former glory. It was truly deserved, for the Naval Aviation wing is not in the news much, and this time, it was, for all the right reasons. After 20 long years, a bright shining light has fallen upon them, and held them up for all to see and applaud!

(Image from web 🙂 Though I have a bonafide picture, I dont think I will be forgiven for using it 🙂 )

Go, Stallions go!!!

*******

Here is the article itself 🙂 From the Times of India, online edition.

VASCO: It’s an honour that is rare even if measured by the Indian Navy’s high standards of heroics.

It’s not often that a real-life hero’s act of valour and courage is so outstanding that the country deems it fit for honour. And when you consider that this has occurred after 20 years in the aviation history of the Indian Navy, the effort and the achiever have to be special.

For the first time since 1991, Cdr Niteen Anandrao Yadav — an aviator of the Indian Navy, based in Goa – has been chosen to receive the Shourya Chakra, the third in order of precedence of peacetime gallantry awards after the Ashoka Chakra and Kirti Chakra.

Lt Cdr Ajay Kanwar, first pilot during the operations that earned Yadav the Shourya Chakra, has also been rewarded with the Nao Sena award for gallantry.

“Cdr Yadav exhibited a high degree of maturity, composure and a sense of resolve in the face of impending peril,” said Rear Admiral Sudhir Pillai, flag officer commanding Goa Area.

Yadav’s moment of truth arrived in the afternoon of May 22, 2009 when he was detailed as co-pilot and safety pilot for a search and shadow mission.

Aboard the massive IL38 aircraft and in the face of cloudy weather, the IL38 — for the first time in the history of its operations in India and Russia — encountered a situation where all the generators on the aircraft failed one after the other. The aircraft experienced what is known as a total electrical failure. The oil radiator shutters were stuck in closed position and the radiator was unable to perform its function of cooling the engine.

This, not surprisingly, led to an imminent possibility of the engine catching fire in case of prolonged flight at low altitude.

“It’s very difficult to keep one’s mind cool and display professionalism in such a scenario, which Cdr Yadav managed to do,” Pillai said.

Taking charge, Yadav prevented a catastrophe, leading his superiors to point out how his exemplary courage, outstanding professionalism, superior leadership, and perseverance were all in keeping with the highest traditions of the Indian Navy.

With his several years of experience, Yadav directed the first pilot Kanwar to reduce altitude so as to avoid freezing because of the height. He lowered the undercarriage (the aircraft wheels) immediately before there was loss of electrical power and delayed descent in order to minimize risk of engine fire at low altitude.

Yadav provided flying inputs at the crucial time of landing approach to a relatively inexperienced first pilot Kanwar (who had only 13 hours of flying experience then) to fly the aircraft bereft of virtually all instruments necessary for flight.

Born in Karad in Maharashtra on May 2, 1970, Cdr Yadav was commissioned as an officer in 1992 and has flown four kinds of aircrafts. He commanded the Indian Naval Ship INSDB T60 in 2005. His wife and two children live in Mumbai.

15 August, 2010


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A Conviction that Garnered Courage!

From this morning, I have been watching and wondering, and praying that all the protests everywhere on the expression of exercising our Constitutional Rights, would go peacefully, and successfully.

And successful this was, the Delhi meet, which was the result of the courage, and conviction born out the indefatigable heart of Namrata, supported admirably by others, as you will find at these blogs:

Indyeah’s

Aneesha Mathur’s

Poonam’s

Also, here is the video, from CNN IBN, with Namrata being the Citizen Journalist of the day!

Had to share it here :

http://www.ibnlive.com/videos/85356/cj-raises-voice-against-moral-policing.html

Congratulations and Kudos to all, for a job well done 🙂

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Also, in the Indian Express, on the edit page, the link of which is given below is a very uplifting article, though its overtones sometimes make it rather flippant :), about a Gandhian ideal being sustained, in the loin cloth, being metamorphosized into a pink panty 🙂 It made for good reading as I waited for the day to unfold, this morning 🙂

Can’t seem to get the exact page clearly, so here is the link at which you will find it; the title will make it easy for you to get it 🙂

It’s on Page 11, of the Saturday’s edition, on the Edit page 🙂

http://epaper.expressbuzz.com/NE/NE/2009/02/14/index.shtml

The voices were heard.

Thanks to the PCC, the Protest Marches, and all the peaceful displays of affection for All 🙂

And, as Indyeah has mentioned, there have been instances of sheer violence by some SS workers, and in Ujjain, a couple beaten up, forcible marriages. But just think, a lot more that could have happened, especially in Mangalore today, was actually prevented. I think that counts for a lot.. a lot.

And this is just the beginning. That is what is most uplifting.

Kudos and Congratulations to all who wished so hard for this upliftment, the thoughts count as much as the actions 🙂