Wednesday, 18 May 2022



Honour to the soldier and sailor everywhere, who bravely bears his country’s cause. Honour also, to the citizen who cares for his brother in the field and serves, as he best can, the same cause…..Abraham Lincoln

         Seldom do Veterans get an Honoured opportunity to interact with a Cabinet Minister in a congenial circumambience. The humane fortuitousness was facilitated by HQWNC for the Naval Veterans of Mumbai, when the Defence Minister Shri Rajnath Singh visited the Financial Capital on 17th May for the Launch of two stealth ships 'Udaygiri' and 'Surat' at the Mazagaon Docks. After the Launch of the two ships the Minister was taken to Naval Uprising Memorial, Colaba to lay wreath and pay Homage. He then reviewed the Gallery of RIN Mutiny and was presented the Book “Naval Uprising – 1946” by our Commander in Chief VAdm AB Singh, PVSM, AVSM, VSM, ADC. 

The CRSO, Capt Sunil Anand had requested NFMC and VSF for 20 and 30 Veterans respectively for Lunch interaction with RM at 1230 hr on 17 May at Sailors Institute ‘Sagar’. Due to restricted numbers and paucity of time Cdr Vadhera had nominated select Veterans and informed the CRSO. Elaborate arrangements had been made by OIC Sailors Institute. INS Kunjali had catered for adequate Parking arrangements opp Sagar. Cdr Vadhera was informed about him sharing the Head Table along with RM, CNS and CinC along with a VSF Veteran. Very thoughtful of the Command to provide opportunity to Veterans to freely interact with RM.

The ground-floor central Hall was well decorated with adequate seating arrangements for about 200 personnel. It was a pleasure indeed to meet some of my Veteran sailors from my ex ships and INS Valsura. Veteran Shashikant Mishra, MCERA who was among the Veterans in the First Veterans Day Parade, cheerfully met the Veteran Officers and snapped their group photo. Lt Ambika, the JA from Angre briefed all present about the schedule to be followed. The Veteran Officers who were fortunate to interact with Flag Officers and senior officers of WNC and later with RM were Cdr Vadhera, President NFMC, Cdr Nozar Engineer, Cmde Anand Singh, Cdr Abhishek Kankan, Cmde Odakkal Johnson, Surg Cmde(D) Arun Mehta, Cmde Prodip Mehra, Cdr Man Singh, Cdr Sanjay Karve, Cdr Shailendra Sharma, Cdr SK Jana, Cdr PVR Krishnan, LtCdr Rajeshwari Kori and Surg LtCdr AH Subudhi.   

The Arrival of Chief Guest was indicated by the chiming  of the sonorous orchestra of the Naval Live Band from the First Floor of Sagar. Raksha Mantri was accompanied by CNS and CinC and interacted with serving personnel followed by Veterans. Cdr Vadhera stole the Golden opportunity to confidently brief the RM about the Veterans Day Parade being prided by Australia & NZ (ANZAC Day) on 25 Apr; USA And Allied nations (Remembrance Day) on 11 Nov every year and our very own First Veterans Day Parade on Marine Drive on 12 Jan 2020. He requested the RM to consider this event Pan India by all three services on Veterans Day annually. RM had been quite receptive and nodded his appreciation and said he’d speak to the Chiefs during the joint meeting. A very positive outcome of the Day that fills our Hearts with pride indeed. Hon Lt Upadhyay soon took to stage and welcomed the Raksha Mantri in a Josh Speech. RM spoke about the sacrifices of Jawans of all three services and said the Nation is undeniably proud of our Armed Forces. Do listen to his motivational speech (attached below).

The multicuisine delectable Lunch was exceptional on white tables, where we had an opportunity to interact with other sailors and Veterans. The Ras-malai and Kulfi were exquisite.

A splendid Event organized very meticulously by Western Naval Command. “BRAVO ZULU”

IN THE NEWS :   Hon'ble #RakshaMantri Shri Rajnath Singh launched two frontline warships of the Indian Navy, 'Surat' and 'Udaygiri at #MDL, Mumbai on 17 May 2022. 'Surat' is the fourth Guided Missile Destroyer of P15B class, while Udaygiri' is the second Stealth Frigate of P17A class launched in MDL. Both warships have been designed in-house by the Directorate of Naval Design (DND) and built at MDL, Mumbai. The RM in his address described the warships as an embodiment of Government's unwavering commitment to enhance the country's maritime capability, with focus on achieving #AatmaNirbharta. He congratulated MDL for continued ship production activities despite the pandemic and meeting the requirements of Indian Navy in current geo-political scenario. He emphasised that Udaygiri and Surat are shining examples of India's growing indigenous capability and will represent India's strategic strength to the world. The warships will be among the most technologically advanced missile platforms in the world and cater to the present as well as future requirements. He also said that in the times to come, India will not only fulfill it's own needs, but will also meet the shipbuilding requirements of the world in line with the Hon'ble #PrimeMinister Shri Narendra Modi's vision of #Makeinindia, Make for the World. #AatmaNirbharBharat #HarkaamDeshKeNaam #Indian Navy #ShipBuilding     

TWEET BY PRO NAVY : Raksha Mantri Shri @rajnathsingh

 accompanied by Adm R Hari Kumar #CNS, laid a wreath & paid homage at the Naval Uprising memorial at Colaba #Mumbai on 17 May 22.

 The RM was also presented a book on the Naval Uprising in 1946 by VAdm Ajendra Bahadur Singh, CinC #WNC.



(Photographs courtesy Cdr Mahul Karnik, PRO WNC)



Thursday, 12 May 2022



The bliss of interacting with like-minded Veterans is indeed priceless, we did realise when the world came to a standstill 2 yrs ago, forcing our foundation to conduct the AGMs virtually. The pandemic brought along a lot of misery; we lost some of our close friends, course-mates and relatives. It did teach us to be protective and provide utmost care to our health and build up our immunity. Along with misery it did bond the families closer in their very own homes. Albeit the Social interaction was virtual. We learnt to operate devices for Video conferencing. Now that the pandemic is on the decline, Life is fast rebounding to its usual quick pace.

The Annual General Meeting of the Naval Veterans of Mumbai Chapter at IMSC Colaba, has always been a much awaited affair organised in Apr/ May every year. This year it was planned for May 29th after the Navy AGM in Goa scheduled on 22nd May, and a mail and Whatsapp msg was sent to all NFMC Veterans and Veer Naris on 11 Feb regarding the same. However, owing to our Treasurer LtCdr Farokh Tarapore’s busy Yachting  training schedule in foreign shores in end May (where he’s coaching the Indian Team for Asiads), the AGM had to be preponed to 08 May all members were informed on 11 Apr regarding the change.


This year’s AGM was historic on two counts, One… it was being held physically after 15 Sep 2019, (when Cdr Vijay Vadhera was elected President NFMC with a thumping majority), Two… the 3 yr terms of both Cdr Vadhera (President) and LtCdr Farokh Tarapore (Treasurer) were culminating and nominations for the two posts were sought by 10 Apr, vide the post promulgated on 11 Feb. Attendance of members was sought by WA, and it was heartening to see that 315 members, spouses and Veer naris had messaged willingness to grace the get-together. Fiesta caterer was hired to provide delectable snacks and multi-cuisine Lunch for all. An elaborate msg was promulgated  on 22 Apr along with previous yr’s MOM, Balance sheet and schedule of AGM that was planned to commence at 1130 hrs in the Sea Lounge of IMSC for the members, even as their spouses enjoyed the Fiesta snacks and Chaat at the Drona Hard enclosure ouside. Capt Rakesh Agrawala and Cdr SK Patnaik kept the ladies regaled during the AGM.



The following Core  Committee & Co-opted members of NFMC and a large quorum of 187 members, including our former CNS Adm Vijai Singh Shekhawat, PVSM, AVSM, VrC ;    former DGCG VAdm RF Contractor, PVSM, AVSM, VSM ; VAdm IC Rao, PVSM, AVSM; RAdm PK Sinha, AVSM, VSM ;  RAdm V Balachandra, AVSM, NM, VSM; and RAdm DN Thukral, VSM  attended the AGM. In addition, Cmde Sunil Rishiraj (CO Kunjali), Cmde Aditya Hara (CO Angre), Capt Sunil Anand (CRSO WNC), Cmde Sridar Ramaswamy (OIC NAVPEN), LtCdr Abhimanyu Shekhawat (NAVPEN), Cmde Ranadip Bose (OIC NAVPAY)  also attended the AGM :--


a)            Cdr Vijay Vadhera,NM ----------President

b)            Cdr Rajinder Dutta    ------------ Hon. Secy

c)            LCdr. FarokhTarapore ,VSM ---Hon. Treasurer

d)            Cdr Nozar Engineer   ------------ Rep Western Suburbs

e)            Dr Mrs.KantaMukherjee------- Rep Western Suburbs

f)              Cdr Manjul Mayank   -----------Rep Western Suburbs

g)            Cmde Anand Singh -------------Rep Navi Mumbai

h)            Cdr GC Rai ------------------------Rep Navi Mumbai

i)               Cdr Kannan Ramdas----------- Rep Powai

j)               Cdr-At-Arms S K Patnaik------ Rep Powai

k)            Captain Rakesh Agrawala ----Rep Central Mumbai

l)               Cdr Dinesh Rai, NM -------------Rep South Mumbai

m)         Cdr Puran Rawat -----------------Rep South Mumbai




The AGM commenced with observance of 2 minutes silence in honour of the Veterans, Spouses and Veer Naris who left us for their heavenly abode since the last AGM held on 25 Apr 2021. The last post was played as all stood up to observe 2 mins silence. The President in his address mentioned about the welfare measures been/ being taken by NFMC managing committee, particularly during Covid times, the Webinars being conducted every month, the recent Veer Naris get-together which shall be an annual feature along with Octogenarians, the Veterans Day celebrations every year in Jan, Matrimonial alliance being facilitated for Veteran members of all 3 services, the foreign tours undertaken pre-Covid  times being resumed in Sep this year, the continued updation of NFMC Master directory, the resumption of dignified last rites of our members transiting to higher realms. He brought out that 60 new members had joined our foundation since the last AGM. 11 of those present introduced themselves, some with a touch of humour, declaring themselves to be ‘happily married,’ a class oxymoron that’s second to none. Among the new members we welcomed Veer Nari Mrs Shyamal Vijayaraghava, who has shifted from Chennai to Mumbai.  The Previous AGM’s Minutes and Balance sheet was approved during the AGM. Among the Old Agenda points the utilization of Mankhurd Officers’ Mess remained and Cdr Vadhera  urged the members to utilize this  facility as often as they could, to prevent the facility being withdrawn.


Next item was honouring the Octogenarians that is being

undertaken by CMs of respective Areas by visiting Veterans on their 80th Birthday. RAdm PK Sinha, AVSM, VSM (50131-H) was presented memento by our former CNS, Adm VS Shekhawat, PVSM, AVSM, VrC (00189-B). Cmde ED Chauhan, NM (00480-R) was presented memento by VAdm IC Rao, PVSM,AVSM (40061-Y)


The Hon. Secy brought out that LtCdr Farokh Tarapore (our Hon Treasurer for 12 long yrs) had successfully accomplished his 4th term now. Fresh nominations for the post had been sought by 10 Apr 2022. Since no nominations had been received by due date, Lt Cdr Farokh was re-elected for a further term of 3 yrs. Cdr Vijay Vadhera had been Hon Secy NFMC for 12 long yrs at a stretch followed by President elect for 3 yrs. Fresh nominations for the post had been sought by 10 Apr 2022. Since no nominations had been received by due date, Cdr Vadhera stood re-elected for another term of 3 years. It was heartening to see all hands up for proposing and seconding both these appointments.

The Hon. Secy spoke on the Genesis of NFMC, the role of the foundation including dignified last rites to the Veterans, spouses and Veer naris, leaving for their heavenly abode, the nomination of Mentors for the Veer Naaris and the honoring of the Octogenarians on their 80th Birthday. He wished the Veterans and the Foundation Best wishes in times to come.

   The president thanked all the Veterans for attending the AGM and making it a historic event with overwhelming attendance of 187 members, reposing faith in the present Managing Committee and re-electing the President and Treasurer for another term of 3 yrs. He thanked the HQ WNC and associated establishments for total support to the Veterans fraternity at all times. He was grateful to RAdm Sanjeev Sharma CSO(P&A), for ensuring all help to the Veterans. He then presented the NFMC memento to CSO(P&A) bidding him a warm farewell on behalf of all Veterans, as he proceeds to NHQ in end May to take over as ACOL. Mrs Sunita Vadhera presented Mrs Archana Sharma the famous book authored by NFMC Veteran Cdr Ashok Shinde, “Health Secrets to light the 100th Candle” . The AGM concluded by singing of the National Anthem.  


The meet and greet session then started amidst rounds of Beer and drinks and sumptuous Eats. Meena kept clicking groups of Veterans and Veer Naris meeting after a long time, capturing the prized moments to be frozen in footprints of Time.  It was indeed a pleasure for me to interact with 3 of my COs ; Cmde HA Gokhale (Betwa), who has recently shifted from Pune to Mumbai, Cdr VK Punera and Cdr Shailendra Sharma (both COs INAS 315 - IL-38s) and their good ladies. It was pleasure and honour to interact with 92 yrs young Nonagenarian Lt CL Chawla, whom Meena called ‘Uncle’ from her childhood days.

     Everyone that I happen to interact with had a word of praise for the NFMC Management Committee under the leadership of Cdr Vijay Vadhera. Soon the Karaoke session was initiated and the Ladies homed on to the dance floor swaying to the melodious numbers being crooned. (videos below) The young and energetic Karoke performers comprised Cdr Vijay Vadhera, Cdrs Raj, Ritesh Menon, Anoop Verma, H Subrananiam, Mrs Renu Agarwal, Mrs Meenakshi Verma, Nishi Kumar, Cdr RK Sharma and Lt Ambika, the JA from INS Angre (Video below).


   A Kiosk each had been established by Kunjali and Angre for the renewal of New format ID Cards Dependent Cards of Veterans, Dependents and Veer Naris at the entrance of the Sea-Lounge. An NFMC initiative that was well appreciated.  The multi-cuisine Lunch was a delectable pursuit topped up with exceptionally delicious Kulfi dipped in mouth-watering Kheer along with varied pastries. (Menu displayed below) Cdr Vadhera and I being the hosts were the last to hit the Drona Hard for Lunch, which indeed was an exquisite affair.   


            A remarkable day revelled in magnificiently. Awaiting next interaction with Veterans during the forthcoming Navy Week celebrations…Cheers ! Agar koi hum Veterans se poochhe, ke zindagi mein kya khoya aur kya paya ? Toh hum bejijhak kahenge, ‘Jo khoya vo hai hamara bachpan hamari nadaani, aur jo paya wo hai hamare Rab ki Meharbani ’… !!!


Sam No Varunah

Jai Hind.





About the Author

Commander Rajinder Dutta (Retd) has been a Naval Pilot and a Qualified Flying Instructor with about 3000 hrs of flying on various fixed wing Aircraft of Indian Navy, viz HT-2, HPT-32, Kirans, Islander, Super Connie, Fokker F-27 and IL-38.

 He is the Hon Secy of NFMC, a Master of Ceremonies and an avid blogger.