TEMPLE OF GOD

“Hurry”, said the man from his rickshaw seat, “Else, we would be late for the Mangal Pooja”. His wife tugged nervously at the flowers, She had gathered as an offering to the gods. Her face was red with accusation, Not just against the frail rickshaw puller, But also against her husband, “I told you not to hire this man, He hardly has strength to pull, Let alone pull with speed. […]

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DURING OUR DAYS

One month out of the Navy and already I am using this hackneyed expression. Read on; it may just be different from the old-hat.After wielding the stick at me for some time, one of my COs suddenly shifted to the carrot approach. “You are lucky”, he thundered, “I have made a list of my COs and believe you me, all of them were b——s of a very high order”. But […]

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SEVENTY-EIGHT NOT OUT

A few days back, on the fifteenth of March to be exact, my mother became seventy-eight years old. She has been a widow since my father died of an unfortunate jeep accident on First of May in the year Nineteen Hundred Eighty Four. She is a very simple person; some may call her ordinary. She is still the greatest person that I have come across. Greatest and the most beautiful.She […]

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ALL IS NOT WELL

Recently, when we watched the movie ‘3 Idiots’, we were entranced by the song ‘All Is Well’. We not only liked the song but also identified with its theme. We do believe that things and the situation we are in would improve and we won’t have to worry too much if we assumed ‘All Is Well’. Reminds me of the time when we were kids and we used to get […]

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LEADERSHIP IN THE NAVY – PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE

We Revere Our Heroes 1. ‘Band of Brothers’; is that what we expect our youth to become in tomorrow’s battlefield? Nelson used this phrase on a number of occasions to describe the remarkably close and friendly relationship that existed between him and the captains who served under his command at the Battle of the Nile on 1 August 1798. The phrase also connotes a personalised or ‘collegiate’ style of leadership […]

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IPR

No, not Intellectual Property Rights, though enough debate has been generated in the public forum on that too. This article is about Inter Personal Relations. During my tenure of approximately thirty-seven years in the Indian Navy (including training time) I have been on the receiving end of a charge of having less than satisfactory IPRs with some of the others, which included a Commander-in-Chief. I have done a little soul-searching and […]

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ONE GOOD ADVICE DESERVES ANOTHER

How we admire the wisdom of those who come to us for advice. Indeed, some people are convinced that rendering advice is a fundamental right at par with such other rights as Right to Speech, Right to Religion, and Right to Property. Whatever be a person’s condition, these advisors are convinced that he or she would benefit from their (unsolicited) advice. Should the concerned person then do the unthinkable of […]

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BREAKING NEWS – INDIAN STYLE

A midshipman was being trained by a Captain on the art of breaking news. A telegram was received for one of the sailors that his father had expired. “Let me see you use your imagination”, the Captain told the snotty, “and break the news to the sailor in the most indirect fashion”. The midshipman went straight to the ship’s broadcast and announced, “Do you hear there? Do you hear there? […]

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THE VIRTUAL WORLD

The entire ‘Srishti’ (Creation) – any Swami (man of God) would tell you – is ‘Maya’ (mirage); the only Reality is God. I heard this in my childhood and I heard it many times later. I heard it again recently and it is only now that I am beginning to realize that there is a great deal of truth in it. Reality is what one believes to be real. That’s […]

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PRAYER OF THE FAITHFUL

Give me the good sense, O’ God, Though I am most useless of the blokes, To see sense in First Lady’s plans, And to laugh at my Captain’s jokes.   I too want to rise, my Lord, I too want to belong. I want to be in tune with times, I surely can’t do no wrong.   I too have visions of me, my Lord, To up to the highest […]

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SMALL VESSELS BIG RESOLVE

My stints with the Killers were two: the first one was as a commanding officer of INS Vipul, the 1241 RE ships collectively named as the 22nd Killer Squadron, the flame bearers of the legacy of original Killers – the 25th KS. This was in the year 1993-94. The second one was as NOIC (Andhra Pradesh) when the 25th KS in its second avatar (that is the Chamak class of OSA II […]

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ONLY FOR THE LARGE HEARTED

There is a risqué joke about how only real men can drive taxis in Paris. Professionalism and other attributes apart, I feel only the real large-hearted can do well on Viraat; and if you haven’t been one before being posted, you become one soon enough. I took over as the ship’s commander after my command of a 400 ton boat, Vipul. Whenever I used to meet Viraat at sea or in harbour, […]

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“WE ARE TRYING OUR LEVEL BEST”

“We are trying our level best”; what a lovely expression it is. The first thing noticeable about it is that it is typically Indian, almost at par with such great Indian innovations as “Law would take its own course”, and “We are servants of the people who have elected us”. The use of this expression fills us with hope, satisfaction and joy. Someone, somewhere is thinking of us and – […]

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WE ARE LIKE THAT ONLY

‘Slumdog Millionaire’ did for us Indians something different from an article in the Readers Digest, a few years back. The article had labelled Indians as some of the rudest in the world based on an international survey. We went to town confronting the western perception about politeness. What good is western politeness, we asked challengingly, when no one comes to anyone’s rescue? Indians, on the other hand, we asserted, would naturally […]

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IS THERE REASON TO CELEBRATE WOMEN’S DAY IN INDIA?

Today, we are again excited with the idea of celebrating International Women’s Day. We are good at celebrating days; we celebrate Republic Day and watch and applaud soldiers, sailors and airmen smartly march by and then forget about them for the rest of the year. We organize talks, fashion-shows, sing-song sessions, and car rallies to mark the IWD and then clap our hands and get it over with. The fact […]

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