Wednesday 14 December 2022


Their remembrance be as lasting as the land they honoured (Daniel Webster in Veterans Quotes)

The honour ‘Veteran’  is earned by those, who served the nation , with a pledge to safe guard the honour of their country till the last breath of life .

Sunday, 11 Dec 2022 was yet another Red letter Day for Navy Foundation Pune Chapter, when the Naval Training Team of National Defence Academy invited the Veterans of Pune Chapter for a grand get together and Feast. It was a pleasure for Meena and I to be invited for the get together that was organised at Peacock Bay as part of  Navy Week ongoing celebrations. The invite was from Cdr Jenis Paul, OIC NTT, facilitated by Cmde PK Malhotra, President NFPC, who himself was away to England.

I tied up with Surg Cdr Rajesh Verma (alias RC) and his good lady Deepali and drove together to NDA from Vishrantwadi on directions by Google. We reached the Officers Mess well in time for the planned shuttle service by Mini Bus from 1130 hrs. It was a pleasure to meet up with early birds even as Meena snapped group photos with the growing crowd (Pics below). The shuttle service conveyed the veterans in 3 trips to Peacock bay, while quite many Veterans had driven their Cars directly to the venue. We accompanied VAdm DM Deshpande and the last few Veterans in the last Shuttle.  

As we entered  we were given our name tallies to pin on our shirt. There was a huge white Shamiyana rigged at the Peacock bay with decorated round tables and chairs. At the rear a small stage was setup for the band and crooners. On the left and right flanks of the stage were rigged two well stocked up Bars. Commandant NDA, VAdm Ajay Kochhar, my Subscourse-mate of 1988 warmly welcomed us. We recollected old times as he recalled other aviators who were with us for abridged subscourse. We were literally on cloud 9 meeting and greeting our Naval brotheren. It was heartening to see that the senior most Veteran at the gathering was Surg Capt Bal Jog (93 years young) on a wheel chair, who had been CO Jeevanti prior retirement and later President NFPC in early 1990s (1992-94). Surg Capt Jog had been accompanied by his good lady Mrs Lalita Jog.


The bliss of interacting with like minded Veterans is Priceless. We were indeed excited to meet old Naval friends Cdr HS Girn, Cdr DV Wannere, Cdr Hardeep Singh, Cdr Vikram Karve (Blogger), Cdr M Joglekar, who reminded me of our Garuda days and the elbow bender evenings, Capt V Bhasin, Cdr S Galande, Cdr Sandeep Bedi, Cdr AB Kulkarni, Cdr Pandey, Cdr Ram Kumar, Cdr BP Singh, Capt RM Oka, Capt Kukreja, Cdr Sahasrabuddhe, Capt Sondur, Cdr Mohan Philip (VP NFPC), Cdr Naresh Kumar, Capt Lambhate, Naphade brothers - Cmde VR Naphade and Cdr VR Naphade, Cdr MS Phogat, Cdr DK Mali and their good ladies. Meena met some colleagues of her parents whom she used to call Uncle and Aunty as a kid in NOFRA, where she spent all her childhood. I also met Gp Capt V Datta from the AFTT.  It was a pleasure to meet Senior Veterans VAdm V Pashricha, VAdm DM Deshpande, Surg VAdm Ravi Kalra , VAdm RN Ganesh, VAdm MS Pawar, RAdm MP Taneja, RAdm PD Sharma, Cmde HA Gokhale, Cmde N Kapur, Cmde DN Sud, Cmde S Tewari, Cmde AN Sonsale, Cmde Inderjit Singh and other senior officers and their charming ladies.

Cdr S Nadgouda, Secy NFPC took to stage to felicitate the NDA NTT officers and the organisers before requesting VAdm V Pashricha and Commandant NDA to address the gathering (Vid below). The presentation was followed by continued meet and greet of Naval veterans of Pune amidst the flow of beer and drinks. The buffet lunch to follow was indeed a top class delectable feast: topped up by Gulab Jamun and sweet chocolate.

 As the Veterans started departing Meena caught them in groups to click  snaps at the exit of Peacock bay. Rajesh, Deepali, Meena and I took a lift on the last bus to RSI to get dropped at the Officers’  Mess enroute. Before deboarding I chanced to meet Cmde DN Sud and reminded him of our Trip to Kakinada in 1994, for the proposed Amphibious Warfare School. Great recall.

      While RC Verma  was on wheel with our smiling better halves, to his Niyati Vishrantwadi home, I was wondering !  Agar koi hum Veterans se poochhe, ke zindagi mein kya khoya aur kya paya ? Toh hum be-Jijhak kahenge, ‘Jo khoya vo hai hamara bachpan hamari nadaani, aur jo paya wo hai hamare Rab ki meharbani ’… !!!


Shano Varuna … Jai Hind  !!

PS- Kindly double click to play Videos at the bottom.

(Double click to play)

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's been commended by Director General Coast Guard (1986) and FOCINC (South) (1992) for flying proficiency. 

 He is the Hon Secy of NFMC, a Master of Ceremonies and an avid blogger.  





  1. fabulous post Sir. . . appreciate the sincere effort Madam took to click the pictures and record them for posterity. . . Also, sincere thanks to our gracious host and NTT to fill the afternoon with joy and rememberance. . .. . . ☺+πŸ€— πŸ‘ŒπŸ«‘ 🀟

  2. Happy Vetrans with old good memories
    Kind of the present Generation to facilitate the Vetrans