Tuesday, 30 April 2019


           I was indeed glad to receive a call from Lt Shreekant Bhende yesterday during my return drive to Borivali from Colaba, where Meena and I had savoured some funtastic moments capturing snaps during the Adm BS Soman memorial Lecture conducted by NFMC and steered by Cdr Vijay Vadhera, that was followed by AGM-2019 and farewell to RAdm RM Bhatia and his good Lady Bala ma’am the same evening.  

            I pulled the Car to the left and was glad to learn from Lt Bhende, the Architect of ‘Amar Jawan’ monument in Borivali  that the Baby is 2 yrs young and that he has invited RAdm & Mrs RM Bhatia for celebrating its 2nd Anniv by wreath laying at 4pm. He and Cdr Kutty with their charming ladies had just arrived and we greeted each other with euphoric delight although we had met in NFMC meet a day previous. Indeed the feeling of emotive bonding between Veterans during any congregation is priceless. Soon RAdm RM Bhatia arrived with his good Lady Bala ma’am. The love and affection that the Adm and Lt Bhede possess for this monument was visible in their moist eyes as we all climbed up to pay our Homage to the ‘Amar Jawan’. The monument  depicts every soldier who has laid down his Life in every War that India has fought. The ‘Amar Jawan’ is also representative of every Soldier who stands guard at our Borders in Sun and Rain, Day and Night. Adm Bhatia laid the wreath as we all saluted and paid our Homage to the Martyrs. It was 2 yrs ago when the Adm had himself inaugurated the monument as President of NFMC in the presence of Veterans of Mumbai Suburbs.

       After the wreath laying Lt Bhende invited us to his white marble abode that’s at a stone's throw from the monument. The interiors of the huge home have very exquisitely been crafted by Lt Bhende and his good lady. We all recaptured and narrated moments from our Naval past which had some uncanny resemblances. Their maid, a nice lady, who has been like their family member for long served us assorted sandwiches, biscuits and fruit Juice. Later Mrs Bhende prepared and served us delicious hot coffee.

     It was kind of RAdm and Mrs Bhatia to have driven down 56 kms from Colaba to be with us all to celebrate the second Anniv of ‘Amar Jawan’. He lovingly patted us all before departing. Salutes Sir and Bala Ma’am.

     Thank you so much Lt and Mrs Shreekant Bhende for calling us for the Solemn occasion. Sir, you and Ma’am are energetic Veterans from whom Meena, I and many young veterans draw inspiration….JAI HIND !

To View the first Blog on ‘Amar Jawan’….click the link below.