Thursday 30 January 2020


      “Behind every soldier, there is an even stronger woman who stands behind him, supports him, and loves him with all her heart.” Lauren Tamm

                She stood in the storm, and when the wind did not blow her way and it surely has not, she adjusted her sails.—Elizabeth Edwards

           Said Queen Elizabeth, “If a Naval officer loves you, Raise your head and walk like a Queen. ! " Beauty and Grace are two essential ingredients that a Naval Wife is composed of. Even as the Sailor is guarding the maritime frontiers onboard his man-of-war, She is indeed the Hero back home.

              Navy has always cultivated a lasting bond with our Veteran fraternity and has endeavoured interactions with them.  In their strive to strengthen the bond and stay connected, they have been entreating the Veterans and ladies at various events conducted during the Navy Week and yonder. One such event is ‘Anubhavi’ an Annual gala, wherein the First lady of  NWWA (Naval Wives Welfare Association) of each command invites the ladies of the veteran officers and the Veer Naris for fun, frolic and games. Over a month in advance, the NWWA coordination team, sent a word across to Navy Foundation Mumbai Chapter to promulgate to its members to save the Date 28th Jan  for the ‘Anubhavi 2020’ Coffee Morning. Additionally, they emailed the programme to each lady personally. ‘Red and White’ was the theme for this splendid gathering. Buses were organized for pick-up and drop from Kharghar, Powai, CST and Churchgate.

    Come the morning of 28th Jan, a lustrous and radiant aura descended over South Mumbai and settled over IMSC, preceding the angels gliding down from Heaven to greet about 250 charming Navy Queens  of Mumbai and suburbs, elegantly attired in ‘Red and White’. The Organising Queens were in classic Yellow Sarees. As the graceful Queens stepped into the Arch of IMSC, the Best 15 were shortlisted and numeric badges clipped on their tops. The event kick-started with a Cat-walk of the select Queens in the neatly decorated Sea Lounge, even as the spectators applauded from their round tables. It was a Fashion show at its best. The Judges unanimously crowned Mrs Urmila Bhatia as the Winner amidst a huge round of applause. Other games included  Group Toran making contest and a Game of Housie or Tombola. The hosts in yellow mingled around with the guests in Red and White. A Lark that flew in inadvertently has reported of an exquisite Garden of Yellow marigolds interspersed among the Red & White Roses.

     The organisers had setup NWWA stalls that boasted of varied handicrafts, embroidery and titbits from different States, one could buy. The Lunch was indeed delectable with varied cuisines to choose from.

     Time compression was encountered as the magnificent ladies got completely engrossed in the captivating events planned by Team Anubhavi, for which they deserve rich praise and accolades. The Navy Queens bid farewell to the Organisers and each other, thoroughly satiated with a tremendous amount of pleasant and blissful moments that they carried along with them to reflect back in footprints of time to come.  

    The event would not have been triumphal and glorious sans the involvement of the Anubhavi Coordinators  Mrs Geetika, Mrs Amrita, Mrs Rashmi, Mrs Shylon and Mrs Seema under the expert guidance of Mrs Sunita Ajit Kumar, Mrs Priya Pandit and Mrs Srinivasan.

      Mrs Archana Marya, One of the Anubhavi Coordinator has elegantly summed it up, Anubhavi is not just an opportunity to meet old friends but an experience in itself. When the responsibility to organise this year's event came our way, there were apprehensions and self-doubts to measure up to the expectations and standards of the ladies who have always been looked up to. The preparation commenced under the able guidance of Mrs SRINIVASAN. It was a roller coaster ride that brought the ladies of the yard much closer and also gave them a perspective into various facets of organising an event of this stature. While all the preparations were in the place, there were still butterflies on the D day. However, all our doubts vanished and the gleeful atmosphere dawned when the Anubhavi ladies made an entry into the venue. Thereafter the event was a breeze both for the guests and the hosts. The biggest takeaway from the event was the learning that you may go out of Navy, but Navy does not go out of you ..Once a Naval wife, always a Naval wife.


It was my first time and I really liked it. The hosts were very friendly and welcoming. The theme was red and white..we enjoyed the games-Tombola, Toran making. The best part was the NWWA stalls, where we were able to buy beautiful sarees, block printed dupattas, ikat work bags, mobile covers, semi-precious jewellery which were all handmade and very reasonable. Then there were mehndi, bangles, foot massage and tattoo stalls which gave a very festive look. There were some interesting spots like a beautifully decorated frame and a swing for photoshoots and selfies. The food and drinks were great. It was lovely meeting so many old friends. It was like a reunion.It was a beautiful sight to see all the ladies in red and white on a bright clear day near the sea. Then there was a catwalk to choose the best red and white attired lady. We really felt welcomed. Overall a beautiful day well spent with happy smiling faces.- Veer Nari Rekha Malhan

"Anubhavi-2020” ,  a joyful morning of glitter, glamour n sumptuous snacks .. where the committee members of the welfare association hosted the veterans. The dress code for the guests was Red & White... and the hosts draped bright yellow...There were few stalls comprising of sarees, embroidered linen, handicrafts, trinkets, a special foot massage spa to soothe the tired veterans, Tarot reading...Wonderful meeting comrades known to us for decades Veer Nari Mukti Ghosh

          Anubhavi, as the name suggests, is an experience in itself. Having been away from the Indian Navy for years, the iconically named annual Coffee morning to pamper the better halves of the Navy, brought me back into the fold of fun, frolic, games and food, all in the breathtakingly beautiful location of IMSC ( Dhanush). And can one forget shopping when ladies are involved? The colour scheme of Red and White sparked up my inner Bengali-ness while incorporating a unique sense of fashion that I associate with the Navy. As a Veer Nari, I am comfortably back into the cocoon of Naval sharing and caring. I eagerly look forward to the coming Anubhavis! – Veer Nari Nandita Banerjee

Anubhavi Lunch, a yearly feature organised by NWWA ladies is looked forward by all the Ladies of Veterans & Veer Naris, was a different ANUBHAV this time, on Tuesday, the 28th January 2020. The dress code for Anubhavis was red and white.on arrival at IMSC Foyer, it was heartening to see a warm reception with a big smile by our hosts dressed up in beautiful Basanti colour. Anubhavis were all dressed to kill in their best of Red and White attire with accessories, bubbling with excitement and energy, crowding at various stalls and buying beauty items and getting their photographs clicked by Beautiful Meena Dutta herself dressed as Bengali bride in Red and White. It was total excitement, meeting and greeting old friends. As the Anubhavis settled on their respective tables they were treated to an excellent entertainment programme of Music, dance, brain teaser quizzes & games & selection of Anubhavi Diva, along with a constant supply of soft drinks and small eats. Sumptuous lunch followed the programme. In the end, I must say, it was an excellent programme by the NWWA Ladies dressed in Saffron colour, a colour of Sacrifice. JAI HIND -- Veer Nari Dr Kanta Mukherjee


       The success of Anubhavi 2020 can be evaluated by the remarks of the above Veer Nari Guests. Hail the wonderful Ladies of NWWA and Hail the much-awaited ‘Anubhavi’  year after year. In her ‘Vote of thanks’, Mrs Meena Dutta on behalf of NFMC thanked the organisers for an exquisitely organised Anubhavi-2020.  The pics below by Meena convey a lot more about the appeal and charm of the Event than words could ever convey.

Shano Varuna … 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.