Monday 26 April 2021




Of all the branches of men in the Forces there is none which shows more devotion and faces grimmer perils than the submariners. – Sir Winston Churchill

We shall never forget that it was our submarines that held the lines against the enemy while our fleets replaced losses and repaired wounds. – Adm Chester Nimitz

Sleep well tonight because somewhere in the Ocean’s depth someone is protecting your freedom.

 A Submariner


      RAdm Arun Auditto, AVSM, NM(G),(00176-Z) (NFMC, L-45) a Legendary Pioneer Submariner was the first Flag Officer of the Submaines of Indian Navy, India’s War Hero,  who revealed to us the secret that prevented USS Enterprise and the Seventh fleet from entering the Bay of Bengal to rescue the 1Lakh Pak troops from East Pakistan during the 71 War.


     A Legendary Submariner, who saw action during 1971 War and had played a key role in the assault on Anjadip island during the 1961 Goa liberation, transited to the higher realms of existence on the morning of 21 Apr 2021.

           The departure of the legend from this planet unfolded when Mrs Rajana Auditto called up at 1115 hrs on 21 Apr 2021  during the online meeting of the NFMC CMC to convey the tragedy of Admiral’s fall in the bathroom and later his demise in the drawing room of his Malabar hill home. Cdr Vadhera informed the HQs and INS Vajrabahu and all possible assistance was rendered to the grieving family. The funeral was held at Chandanwadi cremation the next day. The assemblage at the crematorium was restricted to 20, due to the severity of the ongoing pandemic. Dignified last rites were accorded at the residence of the Admiral prior to his final departure, where Adm VS Shekhawat, PVSM,AVSM, VrC, our former CNS and a fellow Submariner laid wreath on behalf of all Veterans. VAdm RB Pandit, AVSM, COS WNC on behalf of CinC and CO Vajrabahu on behalf of all Submariners also laid the wreaths.

Adm Vijay Shekhawat, PVSM, AVSM, VrC 

 “I marvelled at Arun’s determination and effort, literally dragging himself every day over three flights of steps by holding on to the railings, just to exercise and keep going, his legs having given up on him. He was a thorough professional with an indomitable spirit and passionate devotion to the submarine arm and submariners as individuals. We were both in “B” squadron in 1952 and swam for the NDA team. In Vladivostok in 1966, we sat in class together, I translated and faired notes, he made diagrams and the end product was shared with others.

We last met at Karanj commissioning on 10 March and agreed to meet soon over lunch. I could not foresee that my friend for over 65 years would be unable to make it, having been summoned to some higher duty.”      


Cdr Vijay Vadhera, NM(G), President NFMC

In the sad demise of founding father of S/M Arm, Adm Arun Auditto, we have lost our greatest stalwart, most respected leader and a fighter who shouldered our arms upbringing from inception till the time he took over as first Flag Officer Submarine. His devotion to the s/m arm was second to none. A true professional & strict disciplinarian legend has faded away . Have innumerable memories of him having served with him as SO(O) Virbahu when he was CO Virbahu , as his Staff Officer when he was FORTAN , as Cdr (Ops) when he was FOSM and again as Hon Secy when he was President NFMC. He was like a coconut , hard from outside and soft from inside who had a humane approach in dealing with his juniors. He even sent his BLO , Virbahu Late Cmde Anil Dhir on long leave so that I as newly married got the house in Naval Park for 2 months. His great contribution to the S/M can be assessed by the fact that the present leadership of the Arm has been trained by officers who were trained by them. The S/M arm  will for long mourne the fading away of a great dolphin. He will remain immortal on the Kursura Museum beached at Vizag as the Commissioning CO .He shall remain live in our heart forever .My heartfelt condolences to his grieved family. May his soul rest in eternal peace. Our prayers , gratitude and respect for a beacon , stalwart and legend of our great Submarine Arm . Om Shanti.๐Ÿ™๐Ÿฝ๐Ÿ•‰


        The greatest tribute that we can pay to a Legend who has faded away, is by remembering the glorious time spent with him. I recently met the Admiral, good lady Ranjana and their daughter Mondira, when despite Admiral’s frail health, they came to Borivali all the way from Malabar Hill to pay their last respects to a younger fellow Submariner Cdr SR Paranjape who had passed away on 06 Apr 2021(Last post video below).  

      I had been regularly meeting Adm Arun Auditto and Ranjana Ma’am รกt our NFMC meets and occasionally at the US Club in the evenings. Meena and I were delighted to get an invite from them on 17 Nov 2019 at their Malabar Hill home. …Read ON…(a Blog written after the visit)


          In keeping with our foundation’s ‘meet and greet campaign’  to honour our Senior Veterans, Cdr Vijay Vadhera, President NFMC suggested me to call on our pioneer Submariner RAdm Arun Auditto. I contacted Mrs Ranjana Auditto a day prior and fixed up our programme of call-on at 6pm for 17th Nov at their Malabar Hill abode. She had instructed the ‘White House’ sentry for guiding us to the Parking slot as I and Meena wheeled into the compound. The ‘White House’ enclave represents two rows of beautiful white Bunglows either side of a straight descending concrete stairway on the Malabar Hill’s southern slope. The stairway was adorned with wonderful Sculptures and a Ganesha Idol. Meena leisurely got herself snapped with her favorite Ganesha as we nonchalantly stepped down to reach the wooden gate to the Admiral’s palatial heritage Bunglow on the right, overlooking the Sea limited towards the east by the horse-shoe shaped glistening Queen’s necklace of Chowpati.     

         Even before we could press the Bell, we were greeted by the fluffy Lara (Cocker Spaniel) wagging her tail. Adm Arun Auditto, Mrs Ranjana and the charming bubbly Mondira (their elder daughter) greeted us smilingly at the door. We warmly exchanged salutations and handshakes as Meena & I presented the glorious couple with a set of white carnations that Meena had crafted during our drive from Borivali. We were escorted to the ornated drawing room of the Heritage Bunglow that had a special corner designated as the Kursura corner adorning a Lifebuoy from the same Submarine that the Admiral commanded during the 71 War. The drawing room that was akin to a museum, had a study table on the opposite corner displaying various memorabilia and the Adm’s Flag reminiscent of his glorious service to our fine nation. Adjoining the drawing room was the balcony suite facing the sea and overlooking the Queen’s necklace, high rises of the Nariman Point and the Cuff Parade. We all entered this room and comfortable settled down in the Sofa and caned chairs.

            Adm Auditto told us how the original ‘Aditya’ or ‘Adito’ a bengali Surname, got modified altogether to suit the British pronounciation ‘Auditto’. The Admiral went into his family history and told us that his father Shri Gyan Chander was an English Lecturer in Govt College Lahore, before shifting to Allahabad. Adm Arun was born in Allahabad on 24 Jul 1934. His elder brother Cdr Dilip Aditya joined the Indian Navy in 1940 and was from the first batch of Shivaji marine engineers. Young Arun passed out of Boys’ High School, Allahabad with 5 distinctions from Senior Cambridge. He then enroled in Ewing Christian College for a year before his selection for JSW, Dehradoon. He’s from the 5th NDA (1949) and Gen Bipin Joshi is his coursemate. After the JSW, Cadet Arun Auditto was posted to INS Tir (1954) for his cadetship and midshipmen training followed by  Subscourses and Watchkeeping on board Godavari. After a little over 2 yrs tenures onboard Tir and Cannanore, Lt Arun Auditto was selected for Long TAS.

        During his long course he met beautiful Rajana. daughter of an Army officer, Brig Victor Longar at the US club and they tied the knot on 21st May 1961. The couple are blessed with a Son Debashish (settled in Gurugram) and two adorable daughters Mondira and Gayatri. While Gayatri is settled in Pune and doing medical transcription in Hinjewadi, Mondira has dedicated herself in taking care of her parents.

        On completion of Long TAS Lt Auditto was handpicked for HMS Dolphin to undergo Submarine specialisation. On return he was posted as sqn TAS Offr onboard INS Khukri for almost 2 yrs followed by an instructional tenure in TAS School. In 1965 he was promoted to the rank of LtCdr and underwent Russian language course and crew training for the first submarine Khanderi to be inducted from Russia. LtCdr Auditto was the commissioning ExO (1968-69) of Khanderi, that was brought around the cape of good hope. He was promoted to the rank of Cdr and took command of next S/M Kursura (Aug 1969-Mar 1972). His exploits of the Submarine during the War  narrated below. Adm’s career time line after the War :

1972-76 :  ExO Virbahu,

1976-78 :  CO Virbahu.

1978-1980 : CO INS Trishul.

1980-84   : NHQ Director S/Ms and ACNS(Ops)

1984-85    : COS ENC

1986-87 : FORTAN

1987-Jul 1988 : First FOSM (Vizag).

        Post retirement the RAdm Auditto was absorbed by VAdm KR Menon in his company AVC Dubash as its Chief Operations Officer for 8 yrs. He then headed the Bashir Associate’s Marine Insurance Company for another 8 yrs before taking over as President Navy Foundation Mumbai Chapter for two terms as President from 2011-2017, before handing over reins to RAdm RM Bhatia. 


               RAdm Auditto was a young just married Lt on Trishul when the ship was being readied for deployment for Goa liberation. He writes in ‘Periscope- Dec 2017’ : ‘On the evening of 17th Dec’61 Fleet Commander RAdm BS Soman got himself transfer by Jackstay on Trishul. I explained to him my plan of Landing on a small beach SE of Anjadiv, nicknamed Ladies beach being used for ship’s picnics prior to outbreak of hostilities. We would then ascend the plateau and proceed northerly to a position of strength overlooking their Garrison to capture it.’ The Admiral agreed to the plan. Next morning Lt Auditto and Lt (SD) Neol Koleman (2 oic) and their team were all set for the assault on Anjdip. Lt Auditto and his team landed on the Ladies Beach and sent the Boat back to get Lt Koleman and balance of the Landing Party. As the boat loaded with remaining troops was approaching they came under heavy machine gun fire. The ships firing silenced the machinegun but Lt Koleman had received gunshots on both his thighs. 5 sailors had been killed and some wounded. The young sailors, mostly seamen gunners were stunned into inaction initially when the boat beached.  Lt Aditto shouted and asked them to disembark quickly, and ordered the boat to return to the ship with the dead and the injured. He then mustered his men and carried out the assault lining up his contingent line abreast and advancing leapfrogging from cover to cover.   

           During the advance Lt Auditto was himself hit by a bullet on his left shoulder, but with field dressing he continued the assault. Although they were pinned down, he contacted Trishul on walkie-talkie and requested them to bombard the hill top with 4-inch guns. A couple of salvos were enough to scare the daylights out of the portugese troops, who knowing that they were outnumbered came out and surrendered. The assault ultimately was succussful, albeit with some casulties. One of our own man was grievously shot in abdomen with guts spilling out. He was carried on strecher to the Mysore boat along with and other injured. Adm Soman himself received the injured troops at Mysore’s gangway. The sailor couldn’t be saved as he’d lost a lot of blood. Lt Auditto despite his own gunshot injury, stood beside him holding his hands in his last moments, the sailor  requesting for his family to be cared for. Lt Auditto assured him that it was his bonded duty to do the very utmost. 

          RAdm Auditto writes, “The very next day we were paraded on the Flight deck of Vikrant for CNS address to our team. The CNS came to Lt Koleman on stretcher and shook hands and praised him.” Lt Auditto and his contingent was accorded a Hero’s welcome in Cochin, where he continued his TAS course and was informed of his selection for HMS Dolphin. The Republic day awards of Jan 1962 announced a Kirti chakra for Lt Koleman and CNS commendation for many others.

       VAdm BS Soman took over as CNS in 1962. He made made sure to award NM(G) to Lt Auditto for for the Anjadip Operation. The citation reads, “for the calmness, ingenuity and courage displayed by you during the Anjadiv Operation on 18th Dec 1961. The Navy is proud of the fine example you set on this occasion and the qualities of leadership you displayed, which contributed to the ultimate success of the operation.”


THE SECRET OF 1971     

           The Hero of 1961 Goa liberation was in command of Kursura since her commissioning in Aug 1969 in Russia. Although based in Vizag as part of the 8th S/M squadron, they spent most of the time working up the Western Fleet in anticipation of the conflict. We sailed early November for Patrol and were deployment in Area for a month’s time. On 03 Dec they received instructions from WNC to return to Base, to be relieved by Karanj, being commanded by Cdr VS Shekhawat (later CNS). The R/V given was the enterance of Persian Gulf. Writes RAdm Auditto,”We stayed at Periscope depth with DF operating.Sure enough  we detected Karanj on surface proceeding towards R/V totally unaware of our presence. We therefore decided to give them a shock treatment by surfacing abreast of them for handing/taking over. As their deep freeze motor had packed up we transferred the item by Bow  to Bow jackstay. Meanwhile we could manage our requirements with stock in cold storage. We returned to base and got readied for deployment in bay of Bengal. The US had planned to rescue about 1 Lakh pakistani troops trapped in East Pakistan.The US enterprise group had entered Malacca straits for proceeding towards Chittagong. The Ghazi was expected by us to to be deployed off Vizag for blockade and thus prevent our Carrier group from entering the Bay of Bengal. We had however preempted their plan and our Vikrant Carrier group was operating off Chittagong. The US group however never entered the Bay of Bengal.”

        “Many years later when Adm Goroshkov was on his farewell visit to India and I was his LO on his very 1st visit too, he had a soft corner for me, so as a parting gift he confided in me the information about the USSR’s role in the 1971 War in his Private suite at the Ashoka Hotel over our last toast with the traditional neat Vodka.”

      “Admiral Goroshkov heading the USSR Armed Forces had planned to disrupt the US plan by positioning a nuclear S/M in the Bay of Bengal and when the US satellite passed over the surfaced Russian S/M  thereby warning the US of her presence. Thereafter the Russians sent an uncoded signal to NHQ recommending that Khanderi carryout a Torpedo atack on Enterprise in posn____.(This was meant to and was intercepted by US thus knowing that US would not be able to blame the USSR of any action). Ofcourse the US were not knowing that Khanderi was no where near the Enterprise ! The plan worked resulting in the unconditional surrender of Pakistan.”

     The above detailed info was not known to anyone in our Navy at that time and we wondered what made the powerful USA to withdraw from the Game.     


        Admiral Arun Auditto was one of the Pioneers of the Indian Naval Submarine Arm. Some men are born to be Submariners, he was one of them. I had seen his palm, he had a strong mountain of Jupiter, a thumb jutting out declaring firmness and independence. Mount of Venus soft and developed, making him intelligent, bold and sentient. He was my first S/M Commanding Officer. Some people do not retire in thought and deed. He is one of them. He is 5’5” tall, but when he speaks, he stands 7 feet tall. The office of the Captain Submarine, was awesome, not in size, but the power of the chair, the Aura, the decisions made on lethal deployment of submarines. The management of a thousand men, thousand brave Souls. When you meet him at his home, he hugs you as an elder brother, the soft Venus at play. In the office it’s the Thumb that’s pre-dominant. His nose stands straight, his eyes not only look at you, but also bore through you.”

       Very true Cmde MV Suresh Sir, having personally interacted with RAdm Aun Auditto, one thought that has come to my mind, “Although Leaders may be made, but Legends are Born”.



Sam No Varunah

Jai Hind






Monday 19 April 2021



     Mother India seldom fails to amaze us. Even as the World is fighting the Pandemic, the world's largest democracy sends its Vaccines to scores of countries, while herself gears up to inoculate crores of her own children, starting with the health care workers on 16 Jan. The second phase of the elderly is underway since 01 Mar. And what exceptional arrangements as the Health care workers team up with IT professionals and local police to pull off a miracle in the most amazing fashion in thousands of hospitals and CVCs rigged across the Country. I personally was overwhelmed to take my Jab on 9 Mar in NESCO, Goregaon amidst thousands of awed and amazed seniors. I overheard an elderly Gujarati couple whispering, "Baddha arrangement Saaru chhe". Mother India is blessed.

Exactly a year ago who would’ve thought India would lead the way through these exceptional and difficult times?!

        Process this bit of information and understand what we are witnessing today in our country. What India has offered to the world. Put down your prejudices for a moment and truly understand her potential. Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech are the chief manufacturers. Since early January, nearly 160 million doses of Covishield (the local version of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine) produced by the SII have been either exported or used domestically. More manufacturers are coming forward in this initiative.


·        SIICovishield, Novavax

·        Bharat BiotechCovaxin, CoraVax

·        Biological EJohnson & Johnson

·        Zydus CadilaZyCoV-D

·        Hetero BiopharmaSputnik V

·        Dr Reddy's LabSputnik V

         You could register for a vaccine on government of India portal AROGYA SETU or COWIN, for yourself and for 3 other members of your family, in less than 5 minutes from the comfort of your home.    And get to your neighborhood hospital of your choice? Although after due registration, it may not have allotted you a Covid vaccination center of your choice, but the CVC’s set up all round India and your city in Particular have welcomed and vaccinated Senior citizens even without registrations on the Arogya Setu or the Covaxin Portals.   

You could opt for a free vaccine or choose to pay the sum of Rs.250 for a single shot?

Be done with it in an hour and return home with your vaccination certificate in your Mob vaccination portal that messages you a link to your downloadable certificate even before you leave the hospital ?!

The hospitals, both government and private are open 24 hours for you and their standard of service is what you may not even get in the finest hospitals of the world! IM NOT KIDDING YOU! It will leave you speechless. 4-6 weeks later you could walk into any hospital with your first certificate and get your second shot. This period was raised to 6-8 weeks for better efficacy of the Vaccine.

    A decision was taken by the DGAFMS to arrange for Vaccination of Veterans, Veer Naris and dependents at Military Hospitals across India and INHS Asvini started the same at the premises of ECHS Asvini starting 23 Mar under the supervision Of Cdr R Jayachandran (Retd), OIC ECHS Asvini. President NFMC via a WhatsApp post disseminated the procedure for registration and Vaccination at ECHS Asvini. Till date 19 Apr, 1204 Veterans, Spouses and Veer Naris have taken their first jab from Asvini. 

     And to think this simple facility but of a mind boggling scale is available to perhaps half the population of India today ranging over 45 years of age presently and would be made available to all age groups above 18yrs from 01 May. Till 19 Apr the GOI has supplied 144 million doses of Vaccines to states of which 127 m  have been consumed. The manufacturers are ramping up their capacities, which is a good sign. 


It was heartening to see favourable comments of some Veterans after their first Jab….

Cdr Pankaj Bhardwaj, Powai

My India never fails to surprise me. Just taken a jab at Walk in facility in Mumbai created by BMC. About 4000 plus inoculations per day per booth, and there are about 30 booths. What a massive drive, all for free! Plus they give you bottled water, tea and coffee, air conditioned very well regulated clean facility with sanitized clean seated arrangements for the queue! Makes one dumbstuck at the massive proportion of it all. I almost gave up when I saw 500 odd people ahead of me. But it cleared in less than an hour. All under close monitoring by centre. They have been asked to meet the target, vaccine supplies for free by centre....God Bless... Birdy


Cdr GB Singh, Mira Road

I got the above message on 03 Mar, from our Corporator. I got mob no of Dr Arun Pujari from my Society member.We went to Pramod Mahajan Hall in Bhayandar East on 05 Mar without registration on line and contaced the Doctor. The security guard at the gate took us straight to the Doctor without waiting in the crowd. He asked about my Navy Service. I briefly told him about 1971war/attack on Karachi and my services in IPKF/ Sri Lanka in 1987. He registered us on his mobile and gave us Vaccination. With in one hour we were back home. He is very helpful to Veterans. Today again I requested him and send 3 more Veterans from our Srisht Sector 3, Mira Road.


Cdr VS Shukla, Thakur Complex

Self and my better half took the jab on Saturday the 6th We were registered for NESCO but being Saturday it was crowded so we went to Balaji Hospital Malad East a paid facility Whole process was finished in about 45 minutes and there was no problem

I had no after effects at all but my wife had slight fever and severe headache All recovered and back to normal She took two Paracitamols.


Cdr & Mrs Madanlal

Self,wife,son#&his wife have taken first jab on 9Mar at a local facility .PaidRs 250 each, Have received PROV. CERTIFICATE

250 is a small Amt ,,,,Madan


    Amidst the Vaccination drive the nation was engulfed in rapid increase of Covid-19 cases, due to the eruption of the Second Wave the signs of which became visible in from mid Mar itself.(watch the curve video at the bottom) Maharashtra is the major victim. Despite Lockdown and night curfew imposed in Mah from 15 Apr for two weeks, it has reported a spike of 68,000 cases on 18 Apr. People have been urged and appealed to stay indoors.



   The medical officers and staff of Asvini are doing a yeoman’s service in care for the Covid patients in Asvini including Veterans. Cmde Anand Singh, Cmde SK Bhalla, Cmde HK Sharma, Cmde R Thiagrajan, Cdr Ajay Kumar, Cdr GKK Nair and others have hugely complimented the dedication of the staff. The msgs of Cdr Ajay Kumar (Retd) and Cdr GKK Nair  to President NFMC are inspiring.


Dear sir.

As you are aware I just returned home from Ashwini after having recovered from covid infection.

2.  I wish to convey my great appreciation and gratitude to the the medical staff of INHS Ashwini whom I found to be highly professional and walking the extra mile in care of the patients.

3.  The staff was working in extremely  uncomfortable environment as they had to put on full PPE KITS.

4. To make the matters worse , there were many  older patients who would refuse to corporate in accepting proper medical treatment.

 5. It was therefore really a very  emotional and touching experience to see nurses taking special interest in such patients and it appeared as if they had a special Bond with these patience.

6. I also learnt that CO Ashwini was monitoring the complete situation herself and needless to say a that such high level of COMMITMENT and motivation in the medical staff could not have been without the personal example being set by the commanding officer herself.

7. The food provided was of very good quality with different types of menus being served everyday.



Cdr Ajay Kumar and Ms ARCHNA Sharma

Setrac Group


Dear Cdr Vadhera Sir,


Good Day


Thanks for all the follow up u have been doing and showing concern and keeping my wife updated on my condition on daily basis.

I fully and doubly endorse what Cdr. Ajay kumar had earlier written after his discharge fm Covid Ward.

Only words limit the description of the relentless commitment by the medical and non medical fraternity.

Its not easy for any of the foot soldiers or conservancy staff or doctors.

They are at their best. Performing under leadership of the CO and senior management like never seen hither to.

It’s really a Veterans care hospital. I feel so proud of getting treated in my Asvini. That’s the difference these wonderful officers and men of Asvini have demonstrated. I bow to them.

Love the variety in food too amidst my illness. That takes the cake.

Thanks ๐Ÿ˜Š to the CO and staff.

God bless us all out of this pandemic and let us all pray that God restores the normal peaceful life to all of us.

This karma will rerurn its blessings in abundance.

Jai hind. Blessed to have u heading NFMC.


Cdr. GKK Nair (Retd)

Still recouping in the Covid Ward of Asvini


        NFMC had appropriately organized an online talk by renowned Pulmonologist who is also our foundation’s esteemed member Surg Capt PS Tampi (Retd) on Corona Vaccination “Myth Vs Reality” on Mon 12 Apr, that was attended by a large number of Veterans from other chapters too.  

      NFMC on its part is updating the Veterans on all important instructions from GOI, Govt of Mah, CO ECHS etc…organizing important online monthly lectures on Zoom/ MS Team. Presently looking forward to NFMC AGM at 1100 hrs on 25 Apr 2021 on MS Team, where attendance is expected to break the 200 mark.


Stay Home to Stay Safe

Sam No Varunah

Jai Hind


Link to the NFMC 2020 Reflections 

Cdr & Mrs Madanlal

Cdr & Mrs VS Shukla

Cdr Baxi

Mrs Baxi

Cdr GB Singh

Mrs GB Singh

Cdr Guddu Sharma Beach Candy

Cdr Raj Dutta, NESCO

Cdr Vadhera, Tata Kharghar

Cdr Manjul Mayank, Seven Hills


Sandeep Sharma NESCO

Mrs Lalitha Ganeshan, Seven Hills