Sunday, 27 January 2019


         When a few like-minded Veterans assemble and bond together on a National Day, the euphoria created by them is bound to be priceless. It happened at 6pm on 26th Jan 2019 at Immaculate School, Borivali(West), where about 20 Naval Veteran couples converged to celebrate 70th Republic Day and pay their second Anniv homage to the ‘Amar Jawan’ monument,  resurrected by Veteran Lt Shreekant Bhende.

          When Lt Bhende shifted to this location 5 yrs ago, he noticed a dilapidated old statue peeping through the tall grass and plants on a traffic island, with its helmet missing and the gun in tatters. A pathetic sight it was and an insult to martyrs. Lt Bhende decided to restore its glory. But getting the requisite permission through the maze of municipal bureaucracy was a difficult task. He approached the municipal Commissioner who verbally approved the request to erect the ‘Amar Jawan’ monument. Lt Bhende then restored this monument by durable weather resistant FRP, that had been his lifeline for 22 yrs after his retirement. The monument was finally erected by Lt Bhende,  and inaugurated by RAdm RM Bhatia, President NFMC, in the presence of  RAdm  S Mahindru (FOMA), Cdr Vijay Vadhera, Secy of the Foundation and other Veterans of the Navy on 07 Apr 2017, two yrs ago.

      Shri Harish Raoji Chhedda, the Corporator of Borivali(West) was requested to grace the occasion as the Chief Guest to lay a wreath on the ‘Amar Jawan’ monument, followed by the sounding of the ‘Last Post’ as a homage to our martyrs and a minute of Silence. Subsequently, a gettogether was prearranged at the lawns of the Immaculate School. The Corporator could not  join the festivities due to his preoccupation, but that did not dampen the spirit of the Veterans, as after the Wreath Laying by Col Unni Chandra Shekhar, Mrs Verma and Cdr KK Kutty, all Veterans assembled at the glowing  decorated lawns for a scintillating evening of Gala, where the MC  Cdr Raj Dutta after recounting his motivational story, enthused each and everyone present to share episodes of their service careers. Capt RS Sharma, Cdrs KK Sharma, Paranjpe, GB Singh, Alok Rastogi, KK Kutty, Peter Saldhana, M Hadish, Shukla, Midha, Vishnu Gaonkar,  Col Unni,  and Dr Bela Verma very enthusiastically narrated events of their glorious past with elan. We engrossingly listened to Mrs Bangar’s interesting courtship day tales with her late husband Cmde Bangar. A few ladies even sang a few melodious songs of the bygone era to create a nostalgic aura. Lt Bhende recounted his association with Late VAdm MP Awati, followed by a few more officers recounting episodes with Late Adms Ronnie L Pereira, MP Awati and other senior officers that they served with. A Fauji brat, Ms Priya Singh(an Airhostess in Qatar Airways)  and her friend who were passing by during the wreath laying, gladly joined our festivities. She was highly appreciative of the Veterans contribution to our nation.

         A sumptuous dinner culminated the festivities with a firm resolve of even greater participation of Veterans at the same location, for the Independence Day later this year.  Jai Hind.      


No comments:

Post a Comment