Sunday 8 April 2012

My Third Post

Im back for my next blog. This time happier because I know people are reading my blogs :) This morning the chef at Holiday Inn Kochi came up to me and told me that he reads my blogs ! :) Thank you chef for taking time out and reading the last two blogs..

 This time my blog is on my experience with the Indian Navy. I performed for the Southern Naval Command which is at Kochi, yesterday with Srinivas uncle, Amma, Anand Narayan, Vipin Xavier and a lovely orchestra headed by Mani. The evening turned out to be one that I will cherish for the rest of my life. Thanks to Srini uncle and the Navy for the opportunity. I feel so priviledged to have performed to a white-hued packed stadium, all sailors of the Indian Navy dressed impeccably in their white uniforms, along with their family members. The audience cheered us on ever so lovingly. Even though we dint spot anybody shaking a leg, we knew they were enjoying themselves when the stadium was as packed as it was when it started even when it ended. Later, we came to know that once the sailors are in their uniforms, they have to maintain a code of conduct and discipline and so they stuck to good ol' clapping. 10 points up the wow-o-metre .

 All of us were put up within the naval base itself. It was another world in itself. Suddenly from the hustle-bustle and chaos of the city, this place was so traquile and organised. Commodore Sunil Anand, Captain Sridhar, their respective wives, Liason Officer Tanushree, our car drivers, specially appointed personal assistants were all so warm and hospitable. People gave respect to everybody. There was integrity in character and personality. They valued time and the spoken word. If they tell you that they will deliver what you need, they will do so punctually. You can leave your home door open and venture out. The place is that safe. 50 points up the wow-o-metre. I wish the whole of India was like this.

 It was such a pleasure to meet the Commander-in-Chief Sushil sir. Had only read about him in the papers until I met him. Was happy to know that he is a malayalee. He and his wife sat through the entire show. Commodore Sunil Anand was telling us that he usually never sits for any show for more than half an hour. It touched us. The C-in-C looked like somebody we all can look up to... high up there in the ladder yet charming and down-to-earth. The Commodores and Leiutenants themselves served us dinner. 40 points up the wow-o-metre :)

 The highlight of the whole trip was the microlight flight that we took today! Amma was a litlle reluctant in the beginning, considering her fear of flying and the safety of her 'one and only' daughter :) but Srini uncle and my dad, who took the flight yesterday, insisted that we dont miss it and it turned out to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience indeed! If you google 'microlight aircraft' and see the images, you ll be able to know what Im talking about. It is like a flying scooter :) its a two-seater glider, the pilot controls and passenger sits behind. It is an adventure club activity of the Navy. The pilot who flew us around flies a fighter jet when on duty. Couldnt understand a word of the instructions that kept coming from the Air Traffic Control. Nevertheless felt like I was flying it :) the pilot gave me a split second to manoeuvre the aircraft! Wanted to sing aloud 'Vegam vegam povom povom Magic journey' but apparently even the ATC could hear what we were talking on the aircraft and so I decided against it. Was also wondering how these pilots would feel on their first flight alone :) leave alone flying a fighter jet on a Republic day airshow or an MiG during warfare. 50 points up our metre!

 Our defense personnel are truly the unspoken heroes. To go through so many hardships, tough training regimes and a not-so-rewarding job thereafter. All this so that civilians like me can live peacefully and happily. And who gets all the limelight? I wish more is written about these unsung heroes in our media. They deserve to be praised more than celebrities who have their share of money, glam and fame anyway. When my Amma sang 'Ay mere watan ke logon' yesterday, I had a tear swelling up.
 जब् अन्त्-समय् आया तो
 कह् गये के अब् मरते हैं
 खुश् रहना देश् के प्यारों
 अब् हम् तो सफ़र् करते हैं
 तुम् भूल् न जा उनको
 इस् लिये कही ये कहानी
 जो शहीद् हु हैं उनकी
 ज़रा याद् करो क़ुरबानी

 Jai Hind ! Jai Hind ki Sena !