ANNUAL INSPECTIONS WITHOUT TEARS

When I was in school, we used to have any number of these small books available helping us to pass our exams without – what they promised – tears or too much of effort. These were named, just like For Dummies series, English Without Tears, Maths Without Tears and so on. I present you here, based on my extensive observations, Annual Inspection Without Tears. Annual Inspection of a ship is […]

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ACR SEASON

ACR or Annual Confidential Report is the most important report on an officer. In the Indian Navy, depending upon one’s rank, an ACR would be due by a fixed date. The period of say a month or so leading up to this date, the actual writing of ACR by one’s IO (Initiating Officer), is called the ACR Season. There is no other season of the year like this. During Diwali […]

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INDIANS AND DRAWING ROOM WARS

I joined the Indian Navy in 1973. In a decade or so before that we had fought two bloody wars with Pakistan and one with China. The 1962 War with China resulted in shame and embarrassment thanks to the civilian leadership’s shortsightedness including the decision not to use the Air Force. The 1965 war was indecisive though we tasted many victories. The 1971 War, however, had resulted in a resounding […]

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RAKSHA

Six years ago, she was born on the day of the Raksha Bandhan, a festival of the Hindus and the Sikhs that celebrates the love and duty between brothers and sisters. Hence, her mother had named her Raksha, one of the two common names based on this festival, the other being Rakhi or Rakhee. Her mother Mubarak had found job as an ayah (a nursemaid or nanny) in a middle […]

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AAWAAZ DO HUM CHOR HAIN – AN ANTHEM OF THE MODERN NETA AND BABU

The most shameful images that this country had to see in Independent India were aired yesterday, on the eve of India’s 69th Independence Day, when the government tried to forcibly break-up a peaceful protest by ex-servicemen for the long pending demand of OROP (One Rank One Pension). Lets contrast it with the historic Jallianwala Bagh massacre of 13th April 1919 when the soldiers of the British Indian Army tried to […]

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ALL PHOTOGRAPHERS AND WRITERS, NO VIEWERS AND READERS

The biggest two techno-social changes that have happened in the last decade or so have affected our lives in a huge manner. Thanks to these two changes, everyone is a photographer now and everyone can write and publish. People of this generation, who are already used to these two, won’t even know how difficult it used to be in the past. Lets take photography first. At one time, as you […]

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NOSTALGIA ABOUT TELEGRAMS

On the 15th of July 2013 we bade adieu, in India, to the 163 years old Telegram service in India. It was started by the British East India company between Calcutta and Diamond Harbour in 1850. Four years later it was made availabe to the general public. It was, for a century and half, the fastest means of communication available to the common man in India and elsewhere in the […]

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PROCRASTINATION WAS MY HOBBY NUMBER ONE UNTIL…

When I was small, I used to wistfully look at the hobby selection of my friends. Some were good at stamp collection and had friends in distant corners of the world exchanging philately. During our childhood days, we used to have a candy called Fruitex that had stamps just under the wrapper. People would spend days, months and years collecting stamps from Magyar Posta, USSR and countries whose names we […]

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SENIOR NAVAL OFFICERS AND SENSE OF HUMOUR

There is an anecdote about a Midshipman going berserk on a ship. He started playing with shit with his hands and at the same time asking the Topasses to obtain more and more shit from the WCs. The man-management bug had just started in the Navy and hence, rather than sending him straight to the cooler, his Training Officer decided to use tact and counseling with him. He asked him […]

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