Tuesday 29 December 2020



        We adored and cherished 2020. The world loved the format of the new game, since its inception by England and Wales cricket board in 2003 for the inter-county Championship. The unassuming idolization of this format catapulted 2020 to such elevation that on most international tours, the cricket playing host nation organizes at least one. Despite the adoration acquired by the term ‘2020’, the year 2020 shall sink down in history as the most abhorred during the current century. Although NFMC kick-started 2020 in an opulent style conducting Veterans Day events of Cricket and Sailing, culminating in India’s first-ever Veterans Day Parade at Marine drive on 12 Jan 2020, the year has strongly been  defined and overshadowed by the COVID-19. The evil Pandemic has led to global socio-economic disruption, mass cancellations of events, worldwide lockdowns and largest recession since the great Depression of 1930s.

      'Hope' is a powerful tool for mankind. It works like wizardry, like a torch within you when you are certain that bliss shall presage eventually. You can make things happen.  Even as the COVID-19 gripped the world in its clutches commencing early this year, some extraordinary people, most of them unsung heroes emerged as Corona Warriors. They comprised Health Care workers, Armed Forces and Paramilitary, Policemen, Delivery men and the like. The World bows to them. 2020 owes it to them.  


      Mankind had never ever imagined a world of ‘social distancing’ as it approached the end of 2019. During that period, a variant of Corona that originated from a Lab in Wuhan (China), experimenting with Bats,  soon engulfed the countries of the world and started gulping people in geometric progression. The new unknown Virus (a derivative of SARS) was designated COVID-19, that called for special precautionary measures to deal with and arrest its spread.  All international flights across the world were ceased and borders sealed, including harbours and ports. The scientists world-over  were struggling to device an antidote/vaccine, the enormity of the Pandemic can be estimated by the fact that by end August the Global positive cases had shot to 25.6 million with 8.5 Lakh deaths.

       The CDS, Gen Bipin Rawat addressed the press on 01 May and paid his tributes to the Doctors, Health Workers and Corona Warriors. The Armed Forces on Sunday, 03 May in Solidarity conveyed their appreciation to all the Corona Warriors by the display of Formation flying aircraft from Srinagar to Trivanthapuram and Gauhati to Kuchch besides showering of Petals by Helos on the Hospitals treating Corona patients. The Army carried out band displays at various locations in the country and Indian Naval Ships at anchorage carried out illumination and firing of Vary’s pistols at the dusk time at all Naval harbours. India enhanced the production of PPEs, testing kits, medicines and Ventilators many folds. However by end August we had 36 L cases with  65,000 deaths.




        While the Lockdown was in force, the Navy Foundation of Mumbai Chapter with over 1200 members was on a high, sending out important Govt Advisories and instructions on WhatsApp to all its members. The President NFMC living in Kharghar, Secy in Borivali and Treasurer in Colaba, the NFMC functioned wonderfully providing regular updates to its veteran members. A video conference meeting of the Committee members of NFMC was held on 31 Mar under the Chairmanship of Cdr Vijay Vadhera, President NFMC. This was followed up with regular VCons twice a week on Monday and Thursday.




      Two members of our foundation stood out  for exceptional  contribution during COVID. LtCdr Rajeshwari Kori (DyControler of Civil Defence) and her team, were issued a COVID-19 ID card to assist the society for any emergency.  Cdr Angsuman Ojha founder of IESECCI, a non profitable organisation that assists the retired Armed forces personnel to join the Corporate World and deals in their Welfare,  performed a commendable job during the present crisis. Mustering up a team of experts as ‘COVID Yodhas’ to fight the pandemic. NFMC is proud of both the Veterans. 


       NFMC took the initiative of procuring and distributing Face shields to all the Veterans and spouses including Veer Naris  in mid May. Cdr George Duke assisted in its procurement. In addition Naval Dockyard fabricated 2000 cloth masks for Veterans and delivered them to the Area Committee Members for further distribution to Veterans. The Committee members of NFMC formed the Area wise WhatsApp groups: The groups were instrumental in the distribution of the Face Shields and masks to all Veterans and Veer Naris, encompassing the length and breadth of Greater Mumbai, a noble gesture that has been well  appreciated by senior Naval Officers in Command and NHQ.  Dr Gazala Azam Sheikh, a Homeopath  agreed to supply complimentary ‘Arsenicum Album 30’ which had been approved by AYUSH as immunity booster.  This Medicine along with Face shields and Face masks was distributed to all Veterans, a step that drew appreciation of the fraternity.  

A Face Shield and Mask 

distributed to Veterans



           When all Veterans and Veer Naris were home quarantined due  to the  pandemic there were noble Veteran professionals who Volunteered to help out the Veterans in their hour of need by offering consultations on phone. NFMC is grateful to them :

a) Veteran Surg LtCdr AH Subudhi (75595-F)(MUM-0273) Volunteered to advise Veterans and Veer Naris on steps to be taken during  home quarantine to avoid the Pandemic.

b)  Veteran Surg VAdm AA Pawar, AVSM, VSM (75256-K)(MUM-1107), former DGMS (Navy) volunteered to advise Veterans and Veer Naris for mental Health consultations.

c)  Veteran LtCdr Farokh Tarapore (02296-T)(MUM-0219) volunteered to advise Veterans and Veer Naris regarding maintaining marital harmony.  

 d)      Veer Nari Dr Kanta Mukherjee (MUM-0107) and LtCdr (D) Vijay Sangam (79040-K)(MUM-0369) volunteered to offer their consultations to Veterans and Veer Naris regarding their Dental problems.

 e)  Cdr Ritesh Menon (03866-K) (MUM-0663) conducted online morning and evening Twin Heart meditation sessions.

 f)    Cdr Puran Rawat (02690-N) (MUM-0719) offered to conduct online Pranic healing for Veterans and Veer Naris with medical problems. 

        As the lockdowns were being extended over most parts of our country and Mumbai, it was contemplated to hold our NFMC  AGM on VCon, that was originally planned for 24th May in Hamla. A safe App ‘MS Team’ was firmed up and concurrence obtained from DESA. A weekly VCon was programmed by Cdr Vadhera for all Veterans on important topics by inhouse speakers as a precursor to the VCon AGM on 09 Aug. He spoke on the Role of Navy foundation in an interview with Cdr Ritesh Menon,  LtCdr Farokh spoke on immunity Boosting measures, Cdr Girish Konkar talk on stress Management was enlightening, Surg Cdr Shabeena Tawar, SHO Asvini spoke to the Veterans on the current Pandemic and precautions to be taken. Cdr VK Jaitly forcefully spoke on his SWOT analysis of India Post Covid-19.  The purpose of these VCons was twofold. One to make the Veterans getting  use to the VCons besides  keeping them occupied and educating  them on the topics of current interests.

       Virtual AGM of the Navy Foundation Mumbai Chapter was held at 1100 hrs on Sunday 09 Aug on ‘MS Team’ Video Conference App. Along with the Management Committee a large quorum of 173 members including our former CNS Adm Vijay Singh Shekhawat, PVSM, AVSM, VrC, former Patron VAdm Girish Luthra, PVSM, AVSM, VSM, former COM VAdm IC Rao, PVSM, AVSM and founder Secy & President of NFMC  Capt Raj Mohindra attended the VCon meeting. In addition Cmde Pankaj Sharma,PDESA, Cmde Sandeep Chakravarti, Dir RC ECHS, Cmde Simon Xavier, Cd Welfare Offr and Secy RGC(W), Capt Kanchan Mukherjee, SSO(Welfare) and Capt Sunil Anand, CRSO attended. The AGM started with paying of tributes to 27 members of NFMC who had departed for heavenly abode since the last AGM. The President NFMC after his opening address welcomed 93 new members to our fold. The Balance Sheet of FE-2018-19 was passed by the General Body as also the previous minutes and the New Working Rules 2020. The agenda points were discussed with expert comments by PDESA, Dir RC ECHS and Secy RGC(W). The Virtual AGM was a huge success as was evidently reflected in the appreciative comments that the Managing Committee received from the members.  

       The AGM successfully culminated, albeit the NFMC continued organizing the monthly VCons for Veterans by inviting Guest  Speakers .

 VCons that have been conducted by NFMC in 2020 :

1. Tue 16 Jun, on Facebook by Policy Times "Post Covid 19 devastation, Enhanced Role of ex Defence personnel for National reincarnation" Expert Panelists LtGen Ravi Shankar, Air Cmde Motilal, Cdr Vijay Vadhera and Cdr Anirban Das. Moderator- Dr P Sekhar

 2. Thur 25 Jun, on gotomeeting app "Investors Awareness Programme" for Navy Foundation by Mr Sarvottam Rege,an investment expert. Organised by KC College.

3. Tue 30 Jun, Facebook Live Cdr Vadhera talks about "Functioning of Navy Foundation" in Rendezvous with Ritesh Menon.

4. Thur 02 Jul, on MS Team App by LtCdr Farokh Tarapore on "Building positive Health through Immunity"... Moderator Cdr Vijay Vadhera, NM(G) President NFMC

5. Thur 09 Jul, on MS Team App by Cdr Girish Konkar on "Biology of Stress and Stress Management"... Moderator Cdr Vijay Vadhera, NM(G) President NFMC

6. Fri 17 Jul, on MS Team App by Surg Cdr Shabeena Tawar (76256-H), OIC SHO on "How to deal with Covid-19" ... Moderator Cdr Vijay Vadhera, NM(G) President NFMC

7. Fri 24 Jul, on MS Team App by VK Jaitley (50662-R) on "Post Covid : SWOT analysis of India".... Moderator Cdr Vijay Vadhera, NM(G) President NFMC

8. Thur 30 Jul, on MS Team App by Cdr Ritesh Menon (03866-K) on " During Covid How to do self healing through Energy Healing".... Moderator Cdr Vijay Vadhera, NM(G) President NFMC

9. Sun 09 Aug Virtual AGM of NFMC in which 173 members participated on MS Team app.

10. Sat 15 Aug, An acoustic evening of Live musical extravaganza for NFMC Veterans by Sujaan group on 'meet google' app.

11. Thur 24 Sep and Tue 29 Sep VCons on MS Team app by Arjun awardee LtCdr Farokh Tarapore, VSM (02296-T)(MUM-0219) on "Relationship building and Harmony" for Veterans.

12. Fri 23 Oct 2020, VCon on Zoom app by Surg Capt PS Tampi MD(Med), DM (Pulm), FCCP(USA)(75266)(L-23) on Corona Virus, Myth Vs Reality.

13. Tue 17 Nov 2020, VCon on Zoom by Cdr KV Subbarao (01194-N)(Retd) (NFMC L-660) on "Emotional Intelligence"

 14. Fri 04 Dec 1830 hrs, to commemorate Navy Day an online classical musical concert by Sambhav Kadam in collaboration with St Xavier's IMG and NFMC.

 15. Fri 18 Dec 1900 hrs, VCon on MS Team on Dental Hygiene and Care by Veer Nari Capt (D) Kanta Mukherjee NFMC (MUM-0107)



   Having conducted the Veterans Day events in 2020 in a marvelous fashion, NFMC had planned similar treats for 2021 in a more glorious way, but the current ongoing Pandemic has forced us to shelve the fanfare. Cdr Vadhera has promulgated the following msg to NFMC Veterans :

“The past few days / weeks have seen an alarming rise in Covid cases in the city, as a result of which State Government has imposed several restrictions afresh. The COVID situation is unlikely to improve in the near future.

Rightly so, HQWNC too has cancelled all the Navy Day Events this month due to the Pandemic.

Under the circumstances, it is imperative that we prioritize safety and well-being of Veterans and Veer Naris.     

The Managing Committee, in consultation with HQWNC, has therefore decided NOT to go ahead with   *T-12 Cricket Match scheduled on 03 Jan 21, *Sailing Race scheduled on 06 Jan 21 and *Veterans Day Parade scheduled on Sunday 10 Jan 2021.

Decision on Wreath laying ceremony on Veterans Day i.e 14 Jan 2021 will be taken later on by HQWNC.

18th Admiral Soman Lecture this time will therefore be held virtually on MS Team at 1900 hrs  on *Thursday 14 Jan 2021 and the Guest Speaker will be *Cmde Srikant Kesnur, Director Maritime War College, who will be speaking on *Memory & Remembrance-Ties that bind Veterans with Navy and Nation*


       Eleanor Roosevelt famously has quipped, “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams”. Even as we glance back at 2020 and the Veterans Day events regaled in a grand style in Jan 2020, let’s dream of a great 2021. Let’s pray for Kindness and Courage for the people of the World. Its not the Stars that foretell our Future, but our belief in ourselves.  

      On behalf of the President and all Committee members of NFMC here’s Wishing a Grand New Year 2021 of new Dreams, new Hopes, and new  Aspirations  to all the Veterans and Veer Naris.

Shano Varuna

Jai Hind

Link for Veterans Day 2020 Blog






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. 




Saturday 19 December 2020



          Never since antiquity, in the history of mankind, a new nation was born resulting from a War between two nations. The jointmanship of the three brave Armed Forces of India together with Mukti-Bahini had written a Chapter of Glory and Valour, to be remembered in footprints of time for the future generations. The attack on Karachi (OP Trident and Python) on the western Seaboard, the attack on Dacca, Chittagong, Khulna, Cox Bazar and Mongla by the Seahawks from Vikrant, The stealth attack by the daredevils of Muktibahini trained for Operation X by Late Capt MN Samant, MVC and his team, the joint attack by the valiant Indian Air Force’s precision bombing and the charged up Army advancing through the Padma and Meghna fronts and the  Bangladesh terrain, closing in from all directions into Dhaka… resulted in the surrender of the 95,000 Pak, 49 years ago… resulted in the birth of a new Nation… “B-A-N-G-L-A-D-E-S-H”. A great Day for Sam Bahadur, Indira Gandhi and Shaikh Mujibur Rahman.

                A week prior to Vijay Diwas, the Dep High Commissioner of Bangladesh Mr Md Lutfor Rahman called up Cdr Vijay Vadhera, President NFMC inviting the Veterans, who had participated in the Indo-Pak War, for their 50th Victory Day celebrations programmed on 16 Dec 2020 at Taj President, Cuff Parade Colaba, by the Bangladesh Consulate. The later broadcast a WhatsApp message to the NFMC members requesting for names. The list was forwarded to Mr Rahman, but unfortunately Cdr Vadhera had to be hospitalised for Gall bladder complications and requested Cdr Raj Dutta, Secy NFMC to represent him at the Bangladesh Day celebrations

          I called up Mr Rahman and promptly he WhatsAppéd me the invite for the Taj function together with Time line of the celebrations. I and other Veterans attending got in touch with Mr Azhar Mallam, the Protocol Asst  and responded RSVP. 


 At this point of time, it would be prudent for us to get acquainted with the impressive profile Mr Md Lutfor Rahman is blessed with.

Mr. Md. Lutfor Rahman was born in Thakurgaon, Bangladesh on 16 October, 1970. He grduated from the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology in 1995. He joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Gvoernment of Bangladesh in Febraury, 1998. He served in the Headquarters for 2 years as Assistant Secretary in different sections. He was posted to Bangladesh Embassy in Hanoi, Vietnam in 2000 and continued to serve till September, 2004. He then served as First Secretary for two years in Bangladesh Deputy High Commission in Karachi, Pakistan. Mr. Rahman returned to the Headquaters and assumed the charge as Director in Febraury, 2007.  After serving for 02 years in Dhaka, Mr. Rahman joined Bangladesh Mission in Riydh, Saudi Arabia as Counsellor. After a rather short stint, he was posted to Bangladesh Embassy in Rabat, Morocco as Chrge d’Affaires ad interim in 2010. Upon completion of his tenure of 04 years, he came back to Headquaters in September, 2014 and was promoted to the rank of Director General. He led the Consular and Welfare Wing and the External Publicity Wing respectively before being posted to Bangladesh Deputy High Commission in Mumbai. His hobbies are reading books watching Sports & movies. He is primarily interested in literature, mythology and Development Economics. Mr. Rahman is married and blessed with two children.

                                  Md Lutfor Rahman with Governor of Mah

H.E. Shri Bhagat Singh Koshyari

16 Dec 2020- VIJAY DIWAS

      It was a fine cloudy morning when Meena and I left our Borivali home in our Tata Manza at 0730 hrs for the Golden Jubilee of Victory Day celebration of our eastern Friend scheduled at 11 AM. After a comfortable long drive, we wheeled into Taj President, Cuff Parade. It was a coincidence that we and Mr Rehman with his beautiful Lady Shehnaz stepped in together. Being the early birds, Meena was ecstatic, getting herself clicked against the dazzling Décor set for the occasion in the Ballroom. The arrival of the cheerful guests in the Banquet Hall made the fascinating environment even more buoyant. The bliss of interacting with like-minded Veterans is Priceless and evident during such an effervescent gathering, made even more ecstatic due to everyone having being home quarantined this year due to ‘Miss pandemic’. It was a pleasure for the august gathering of Veterans and spouses to interact over a cup of Tea, before being ushered into the Main hall for the formal function. The Banquet hall was abuzz with distinguished Veterans : Lt.Gen KS Brar (Blue Star fame), Maj.Gen Soli Pavri, Maj Uday Sathe from Pune,  Veer Naris Dr Geeta Kasturi & Dr Shreelatha Banger, Cmde & Mrs Mike Bhada, Cmde & Mrs Suresh Kumar, Cmde & Mrs Ajay Chitnis from Pune, Cmde NN Rao, Cdr & Mrs SK Jana, Cdr Shailendra Sharma, Cdr & Mrs DK Bose (Spl in Av Med), LtCdr & Mrs Darshan Singh.           

         The Ball room center stage was adorned with a large backdrop of revered Bangabandhu ‘Shaikh Mujibur Rahman’ on whose memory the Golden Jubilee year is dedicated ‘Mujib Year’s Diplomacy: Friendship & Prosperity’. The sacred corner on the left of stage was dedicated for the frames of Bangabandhu Mujib, PM Shaikh Hasina and President Mr Abdul Hamid. The presentation screen and the acoustics corner was to the right.




         After the distinguished guests were seated Ms Nafisa Monsur, the beautiful Mistress of Ceremony with a sweet voice, welcomed the gathering and requested the Senior Veterans to join in for the wreath laying at the sacred corner followed by the Flag hoisting (Pics below). She then called on stage the Dep High Commissioner, Mr Rahman to commence the proceedings by reading out the messages from Bangladesh PM Mrs Shaikh Hasina, President Mr Abdul Hamid and the messages from the Minister of Foreign Affairs. She then welcomed on stage the Senior Gallantry Legend of the 1971 War,  LtGen KS Brar, PVSM, AVSM, VrC to recount his memories of 1971.  The Gen very effectively delivered his mesmerising talk and experience of the War, when he was the commander of MLI battalion and with the first batch of troops stormed into Dhaka on the morning of 16th Dec ’71.  During the War his battalion was pitted against the 31st Baluch of the Pakistani Army. The Baluch Regiment launched continuous attacks against his battalion. His soldiers had to move across the river Brahmaputra, at a location where no bridges existed. Therefore, they were able to carry only limited weapons on a man-pack basis. Brar moved from company to company in the midst of the battle, motivating his soldiers to continue the fight. He was awarded the Vir Chakra for the battle fought at Jamalpur on the night of 10 December.

       I was the next speaker and elaborated on the jointmanship of the Indian forces on two fronts very effectively to be Victorious in a 13 day War. Mentioned about the strategic partnership of Russia in keeping the 7th Fleet at bay, away from the Bay of Bengal. On behalf of the President NFMC it was my honour and privilege to present our NFMC memento to excellency Mr Md Lutfor Rahman. Cmde Mike Bhada, the next orator spoke on his Vikrant Carrier operations during the War, deployed in the Bay of Bengal. He lauded the contribution of the MDL and the Navy in fulfilling his dream of erecting a small Vikrant memorial opposite the Lion’s gate before presenting a small elegant memento to Mr Rahman on the occasion of their 50th Victory Day.

      The next speaker Senior Veteran Maj Sathe spoke on his Gurkha Battalions valiant advance through the hilly enemy terrain. His close-armed combat with a taller enemy soldier with a khukri, resulting in enemy soldier’s kill. His ethos of saluting the dying enemy soldier epitomised humane sentiments of respect for soldiers the world over.

      The last speaker Dr Vaishali Rama Wade, Professor Somaiya Institute of Engr & IT, spoke on her organisation’s innovative research on Robotics for delivery of medical treatment to Covid patients.

     After the talks the Dep High Commissioner felicitated the speakers with beautifully embroidered Shawls on stage and delivered a Vote of Thanks. He prayed for an everlasting friendship between the two brotherly Nations with continued benefits of mutual growth, envisioning the dream of Bangabandhu and in keeping with the Golden Jubilee motto ‘Mujib Year’s Diplomacy: Friendship & Prosperity’.

      The guests were then escorted to the Banquet Hall for the exquisite Lunch and merriment, where everyone recalled their times of the era 49 yrs ago. It was a joyous gathering of Veterans after almost 9 months of lockdown due to Miss Pandemic, albeit amidst conscious precautions to keep CV at bay.

     Meena and I were the last few to thank and bid farewell to Mr Lutfor Rehman and his good lady Mrs Shehnaz. As we wheeled out of Taj, we smilingly recalled our childhood days of that era and saluted the Veterans and martyrs of India and the Mukti-bahini who fought valiantly and brought Glory to our great Nation and to the new Nation Bangladesh.
Happy Bijoy Diwas !

Jai Bongla !

Jai Hind !