THE BEST RAAHI OR MUSSAFIR SONGS

Raahi or Mussafir (wayfarer or journeyer) is a beautiful word in Hindi and Urdu and is used in songs not just in its ordinary meaning but also in a deeper meaning, that is, a wayfarer in quest of something. Have a look at this quote from my page on Facebook: Make Your Own Quotes: Often the word Raahi or Mussafir is used as Pyaar Ka Raahi or to describe oneself […]

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MISSILE BARRIERS!

  First a caution before reading this post: Do you remember what Alfred Einstein said about Mahatma Gandhi? You do! Well, nevertheless I am refreshing your memory; he said, “Coming generations will scarcely believe that such a man of flesh and blood ever walked the earth.” It was the same with CN in the Navy. He was a unique person. He was thinking out of box even before they had […]

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WHEN ON WATCH YOU HAVE TO HAVE YOUR WITS ABOUT

First a little explanation for the civilian and non-navy friends: A ship is normally controlled from the Bridge. In the accompanying picture you can see what a Bridge looks like. This is where all the navigational and engine controls are there besides some controls for weapons, sensors and countermeasures. The watch (usually extends to four hours) on the Bridge is under an Officer of the Watch (OOW). Everyone is on […]

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LONG TIME NO WAR

When you agitate about a cause these days – unlike Mahatma Gandhi in pre-independence India whose strength was always truth and hence he called it satyagraha – you do it from a position of strength. Your position of strength invariably stems from the great harm, inconvenience, and loss that will accrue to people because of disruption of services caused by the agitation. Lets take truckers strike to demand abolition of […]

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WHAT’S THE CONTACT DOING?

How often we have heard our CO ask us this at sea; and now, in the twilight years of our lives, we all know the answer. But, let me explain this to our civilian friends in this group: When you first sight or detect another vessel at sea, it is like a speck. What interests you most about the vessel (contact) is its bearing as seen on the gyro compass. […]

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OH, THE MEMORY OF THOSE DRUNKEN SOIREES

Oh, the memory of those drunken soirées. I sometimes feel that perhaps these didn’t happen. But then, these actually happened and – lo and behold – we survived. I was posted at the Navy’s Leadership School named Agrani in Coimbatore. I had taken leadership role in many things: stage acting and heavy drinking being two of them. Once, my friend and senior Amarjit Bajwa and I were sent to Cochin […]

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NAVIGATING BY BEACON OF LOVE

I was posted on the minesweeper Karwar after completing my Bridge Watchkeeping undertrainee period on the second Leander Class Frigate Himgiri. It was quite a come-down. Himgiri had the latest in radars and sensors and propulsion; whereas, Karwar took you a century behind in time. However, in the end I learnt more on Karwar than on Himgiri. First of all, on a small ship, you are all by yourself; there […]

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YOU CAN’T AVOID FUELLING AT SEA

Out of all the evolutions and exercises that the ships participate in at sea, the favourite of the Fleet Commander and his staff is Fuelling. It is because the entire Fleet is at close quarters and easy to take charge of, with beautifully concocted signals such as: “Where are you going?” and “Read back your station” and “Are you always confused like this?”. The feel of being ‘in control’ can […]

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MY EXPERIENCES WITH THE ARMY – PART III

I was posted as Assistant Director in the Directorate of Tactics at Naval Headquarters, New Delhi, in the year 1987, after my sea tenure on Indian Naval Ship Ganga. It was sweltering heat in the capital with temperatures above 40 degrees Celsius on almost everyday basis. Many of us in A Block Hutments dreamt of air-conditioning. But, I was told that air-conditioning was for Flag Officers only. For commoners like […]

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MY EXPERIENCES WITH THE ARMY – PART II

In the Part I we agreed that the Army personnel are as nice, as professional and as normal as any of us in the Navy. The one thing different or peculiar about them is the penchant to use abbreviations and acronyms in their writing. Then there is another very peculiar thing about the army. To understand this, one has to recall ‘A Psalm of Life’ by a certain bloke called […]

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