Monday 13 September 2021



The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things. – Ronald Reagan

It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit – Harry S Truman

Spread Love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier – Mother Teresa

           The above three quotes aptly epitomise the persona that RAdm DN Thukral, VSM (Retd) is blessed with. He has been a torch and an illuminating light-house to several in the Indian navy and later in his second innings. I had the pleasure of maiden interaction with the Admiral in US Club during the 75th Birthday celebration of Veer Nari Mrs Janki Bhandoola 2 yrs ago (15 Mar 2019). 


    Little Dev was born in Delhi on 08 Sep 1941, in the pre independence era to Shri Badrinath, an Accounts officer in MOD  and Shrimati Durga Devi, a Housewife. They were four brothers and a sister. The parents infused a sense of Patriotism in their children and 3 of them joined the Armed Forces post-independence. RAdm Dev Thukral’s other siblings : Mr NN Thukral (Dep Asst Fin Advisor  in Min of Def Accts), Col Inder Thukral, SM (Bengal Sappers), Mrs Santosh Sawhney (spouse of Mr KP Sawhney, Employment Offr UP) and Cmde AN Thukral, VSM ( NC  2nd NDA).

      Adm Thukral accomplished his initial Schooling in St Thomas and Harcourt Butler School Simla upto 5th Std, thereafter    Senior Cambridge, New Delhi in 1957 and same year joined NDA’s 17th Course. After NDA he opted for the Engineering stream and completed BE from INS Shivaji Lonavala. He stood First in the Order of Merit in the POP of Naval Cadets on Board Kistna in Jun 1960. On commissioning in Jul 1961 he opted for specialisation in the Electrical stream from INS Valsura. After completion of his Technical courses he served in various ships and establishments. He was one of the pioneers of the Submarine Cadre of Indian Navy, who after training in UK and USSR set the foundations of operations and maintenance of the Submarines in our Navy. He was selected to head the Naval overseeing team for the construction of Submarines in West Germany, where he interacted with various industries in Germany, Europe and USA for inspection of equipment from 1982-87. 

      On return from Germany, he was appointed as DGM(Material), DGM(Planning) and later as GM(Tech) in Naval Dockyard Mumbai. He’s an alumnus of NDC that he attended in 1989. He was awarded the Vishisht Seva Medal by the President of India for Distinguished Service of a High Order. He has the reputation of being an expert in Project Management functions, ISO 9000 series, Quality Assurance, Total Quality Management as well as ISM concepts.   

    With his domain expertise, he was immediately absorbed by  MDL as Director shipbuilding on retirement in Feb 1991, where he served for 3 and half years, heading a separate division of over 8000 employees and has the distinction of completing all Projects successfully on schedule.  before shifting as Managing Director of Duke Offshore. From 1997 to-date he has been heading the Dubash group of companies, initial 5 yrs as CEO and now as Principal Advisor. Such has been the glorious career of RAdm DN Thukral in the Indian Navy and later in his second innings. We take a Bow, Sir. 


           Cdr Vijay Vadhera along with CMs of Powai decided to personally wish the Admiral at his Powai abode (D-201) on his most auspicious day on turning an Octogenarian on 08 Sep.

         Cdr Vadhera, Meena and I decided to rendezvous in D-402 residence of Cdr SK Patnaik. The drawing room is the domain of Mrs Atasi Patnaik and She has immaculately decorated it including a large wall cabinet housing the exquisite crystal ware. Cdr Srikant’s usp in the house is his museum room of Philately and Ancient coins and memorabilia that he has been collecting for the past few decades. He proudly showed us his prized possessions, after pouring us a single Malt to gently sip on.    

        We then descended 2 floor to ring the bell of the Birthday Boy. Admiral Thukral himself open the door and greeted each one of us with an infectious smile and a warm hug. Adm’s good lady Mrs Shama Thukral, their charming daughter-in-law Dr Tania Thukral (a famous Dentist, runs a Dental Clinic at Gelleria, Hiranandani Gardens), grand children Tanvir and Alisha warmly met us. Admiral showed us the large table-top illuminating ‘80’  that Tania had lovingly gifted and a memento and Saibaba's blessing gift that Cdr & Mrs Patnaik had presented him just past midnight. So thoughtful of Tania and Patnaiks indeed. Each of us were then served a drink of our choice.  

       Cdr Vadhera prior to presenting Octogenarian Mementos to the Admiral said, “It indeed give me great pleasure along with my committee members Cdr Raj Dutta, Cdr Kanan Ramdas and Cdr Srikant Patnaik to felicitate our most respected member of our Navy Foundation and senior Veteran Adm Dev Thukral on his 80th Birthday today 08 Sep, when he starts earning 20% extra pension. I’ ve known Adm Thukral for the past 40 yrs whilst in the Submarine Arm and also after I hung my boots and worked in a company where he too was working as my Head. He is very kind, very knowledgeable and always ready to help out his colleagues and juniors in rendering valuable advise for their good. He’s a heart-throb of any party, where he enjoys and makes others also enjoy. On this occasion Adm Thukral Sir, let me wish you many more to come and we celebrate your Birthday, whenever there is 20 % increase of your pension- 85 yrs, 90yrs, 95 yrs and when you score a century and start earning double the pension. All the best Sir, may God bless you with long and happy, healthy life. Thankyou”

       The grand celebrations commenced with presentation of CNS memento and the exquisitely designed NFMC’s Golden Sail boat to the Birthday Boy by President NFMC on behalf of all Veterans and Veer Naris. Mrs Guddy Ramdas then presented the book ‘Health Secrets to light 100th Candle’ authored by our NFMC Veteran Cdr Ashok Shinde. The delectable Cake slicing was a roar with a Sing-a-long session of the joyous Birthday song, (authored by Patty & Mildred) each one holding onto the special placards distributed by Tanvir and Alisha. The euphoria was unmatched. We marvelled at the marvellous display of Lifetime memories of the Admiral of his younger days, crafted by Tania, with attention to details. It was a wonderful evening of merry bonhomie at Admiral’s abode, albeit we did miss his Pilot Son, Capt Prabhu Thukral,  flying for Indigo had been away on his scheduled ferry flight. The other Son Rishi is settled in New Jersy along with better half Shilpa and their Son Ritik. Master Tanvir Thukral on his Dad’s footsteps aims to be a Commercial Pilot and had a long chat on the issue with me as I narrated to him episodes of my life in the Naval Aviation. Cdr Vadhera, Meena and I were the last to depart seen off warmly by our cheerful hosts.

   Dear Adm Dev Thukral Sir, here's wishing the youngest Octogenarian, on behalf of each member of Navy Foundation, hearty Congatulations on 8 decades of accomplished Life and Best Wishes for many many more years for spreading and sharing your wonderful smile, a rejuvinating Tonic for us. Its a blessing to be in your company, Sir. May you be blessed always in times to come.  

(Friends desirous of wishing the Admiral may contact him on Mob- 9821092116  email -

Sam No Varunah

Jai Hind

(Grateful to our photographer, Mrs Meena Dutta for photo credits of celebration and Video compilation)  





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