Friday 20 December 2019


“A true leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, and the compassion to listen to the needs of others. He does not set out to be a leader, but becomes one by the equality of his actions and the integrity of his intent.”
--- Gen Douglas MacArthur

         With Indian Veterans Day about 3 weeks away, we honour those who have passed away and the very senior veterans who have laid the foundation of our Armed Forces post Independence. I am fortunate to be living in a country blessed with a great traditional and cultural heritage and guided by Senior Veterans who have been exceptional military leaders. Today we glance with awe at some of those Naval Officers of our incipient Indian Navy, who laid the foundation for the mighty three-dimensional force of the sub-continent that we today are.  

           One among the Senior Octogenarian is the 89 yrs young empathetic Admiral GC Thadani. The Admiral recently rang me up and shared with me some very rare nostalgic photos of that era, the ones that I proudly share with you all today.      

Albeit, Let me also share with you the letter of noble thoughts of our very handsome Admiral Thadani.

Dear Raj,

          Reference my telephonic conversation with you this morning and sharing with you some thoughts that came to my mind while taking a stroll last evening, and later on by pouring a ‘Chhota’ one and thinking of the beautiful and noble life in the Navy.

           A few days ago, in the process of cleaning my house and lightening our burden, I came across many photographs of earlier years whilst I was in the Navy & working under and with some Legendary Officers of our Good Ol’ Navy. Memories of those beautiful years can never be forgotten or of the STALWARTS, who guided, strengthened and saw to the growth of our Navy during the later part of the last century.

          I am sending you about 30 photographs on your mobile and pl have a dekho . These could be circulated on our NAVY CHANNEL if you  & Vijay consider appropriate. These photographs could be a sign of remembrance and paying tribute to the ELDERS who have passed away as also to those veterans, who by the LORD'S grace are living on a reasonably good pension.


        These photos include late Admirals Jal Cursetjee, Ronnie Pereira, Ram Tahiliani, Bambie Barboza, Pougy Nadkarni, Ramesh Arte, Subash Chopra,Narinder Bhalla, Adm Bhatia, Laj Mehta, Dastidar Sahib, S B N Singh, K T Raju, Adm Batta Sahib, K R Menon, , Surinder Gadihoke, Adm Kirpal Singh and Adm Sharad Shahane, Commodores Kakkar, Vijju Shahane, I K Malhotra, Jimmy Martin, Ravi Sikka, Surg Cmdr Mukherjee, Mukundan, Kulin Lohana,Mundi  , Vishnu, Riswadkar and others.

        Our living legends are Adm Dick Shunker, Tony Jain, Billu Chowdhury, Adm Ramdas, Chacha R R Sood, Gulu Wadhwani, Dev Thukral, Madan Puri, Mouli Ghosh, Cmdrs Nikki Nadkar, I J Sharma, Kuldeep Singh, C S Khuman, Navin Chandra, Prem Garg, Indru Wadhwani, Awasthi, Subroto Bose, Lalit Talwar [ 1st C O Vagli ]  

     There are photographs of  Prince Charles who visited the Naval  Dockyard in Dec1980,  R N's Navy Chief Adm Sir Henrey Leach in Nov 1980, and Rear Adm Sir Jeremy Black of Falkland War fame [ happens to be my coursemate in Dartmouth] in 1986.

        I hope my writing to you is not a waste of time- maybe it is an emotional remembrance  of having wonderful shipmates, sailing for months on the high seas and writing poetry while sitting on the grating  after coming from the Engine room. I now feel light after writing the above & both you & Vijay take the final call. 

With very warm regards,

Gulu Thadani

       Dear Adm Thadani Sir, it indeed is an honour for Team NFMC to publish this blog of reminiscences of our earlier Naval era. Grateful for sharing your thoughts and the snaps.

Shano Varuna .. Jai Hind !


PS-  To glance at RAdm GC Thadani's Book launch reminiscences last year you may click the following link :