The Blood of Sikhs on the Hands of Congress !

By:  Wing Commander Sudarshan

It was in the early eighties, we started our flying training in Air Force Station Bidar in Karnataka.

The training was on Basic trainer aircraft called Hindustan Trainer-2 (HT-2). The Training schedule was tough both physically and mentally. There was fear of elimination at each stage of training. The first round of elimination takes place when the instructor feels that you can not go ‘SOLO’. Then that Cadet gets two more flights extension, may be with a different instructor. If there is improvement and if the Chief Flying Instructor feels confident of sending him ‘Solo’, he is sent on a solo flight or else he returns home. Then look out for new career options. After getting past the first hurdle there was a brief respite, but just for a short while. Subsequently every stage of training, be it, Aerobatic maneuvers Formation flights, Night Flying, Flying by Instruments and Navigation every stage there was fear of failure and imminent threat of returning home. After getting through all these phases successfully then comes the Mother of All Tests.. the Final Test (FT). It use to be a nerve wracking experience to watch your friends, not able to cope up with the rigours of training and go home. Some would just succumb to the shear stress and despair…and just quit. What worried us then was the ignominy of returning home and tell my near and dear ones that I couldn’t make it. To admit..that I failed is not easy.

In one of the pockets of my flying suit, I always use to carry a palm sized book titled “Powerful Speeches of Swami Vivekananda”.

Whenever the sense of insecurity use to creep in, I would just sit in a quiet corner, read a paragraph from the book, close my eyes and meditate for a while and overcome the fear of failure. It worked like a miracle. I sailed through the various stages of training and Lo and Behold… .I was going to fly with Chief Flying Instructor for my FT… the mother of all tests.

The day didn’t start well.. for, it was a sleep deprived, groggy morning I woke up to. It was still dark when I started cycling to the technical area. My flight was planned for an early morning Take off. The briefing board has to be prepared after obtaining information about weather, ATC information etc. I was not able to concentrate on anything. Kept touching the pocket in which palm sized Vivekananda’s book was kept. Praying all the time…give me courage, strength.. don’t let me fail.

Just then, saw from a distance CFI approaching for the briefing. He was a tall hefty sardar. A very affectionate figure, use to call every Cadet…myson…bacche…kaake.
He was coming with another tall and younger sardar. A very handsome and charming personality. What was unusual about him was the colour of his beard…he was almost blonde!

Wished both of them in attention…my voice was shaky and squeaky. I was trying my level best to appear confident but it was just not happening.

CFI put his hand on shoulder and said.
“Beta there is some error in your flying hours.. you have to do another thirty five minutes flight before your FT ….toh abhi, just do a short flight with Blondie….I mean with Flight Lieutenant Kahlon, whatever you want to do feel free, he will not interfere, so enjoy the flight and then I will fly with you, that will be your FT”

God was so kind to me and at once I was completely relaxed. Wow..I get to fly a sortie, out of syllabus!

Flt Lt Kahlon put an assuring hand on my shoulder and said… Let’s go.

A unique tradition of Air Force is to call each other by nicknames.. specially amongst the pilots. I was my fellow pilots, my friend saxena was…sexy always, even his wife called him like that! Gupta was always Goofy, Banerjee was a banjo, Chatterjee was a Chato, Sundaram was a Sandy…etc. So this tall, handsome, blonde sardar was called ‘Blondie’.

Another unique tradition of Air Force is
” Guru Shishya Parampara” amongst the pilots. During training the hard task master would get angry, abuse, even hit on your oxygen mask, shake you by the shoulders….but he is your mentor, guide, friend and philosopher for ever…rest of your life in Airforce and beyond.

As the sun rose on the Eastern horizon of Bidar.. we were airborne.

This was not an instructional flight. I started with a steep turn tightening the gut muscle and shouting that I shouldn’t blackout. Following it with a loop and a Barrel roll. No word, no criticism, no correction from behind and I got emboldened…it was pure peacock dance in the sky. After an exhaustive but not exhausting flight, we landed back just a minute after stipulated thirty five minutes.
I continued to stay in the cockpit while the instructor switch took place. My FT began and I passed.

Few years later, to be precise, on 03 November 1984… I having crossed all the hurdles of Air Force training, now the staff pilot of a Prestigious Unit in Central Air Command, got a message from Flt Lt Kahlon ( Blondie) that..can he take a lift in my Aeroplane flying from Delhi to Chandigarh.

“Come on sir. anything for you” I said .. I owe you a lot for that surprise flight which I feel, saved life… now it is my turn to reciprocate you.

Mrs Indira Gandhi was assassinated just Four days ago by her own Security guards. Whole country was in turmoil. Entire Armed Forces we’re activated. Sad… the gloomy environment was unbearable.

Even in that sad state of affairs, I was excited. Excited because I was about to meet a person who had etched a long lasting impression on my mind in that thirty five minutes flight…I had never seen him earlier or later. I am going to see him now.

But he didn’t come, my wait could not be prolonged, I was duty bound. We took off . Took off without him.

When we returned to Delhi the next day, we were told an Airforce officer was burnt alive in the vicinity of Palam airport … only next day to our shocked souls, we realised that it was Blondie Kahlon .. The entire Air Force mourned the death of an Airforce Pilot.
The Congress goons had no mercy for a Soldier.

Why did you… Rajiv Gandhi in whichever hell you now reside and your bloody goons … kill my GURU?

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  1. Trackback: Electing Parliament: The On-line Way (2) | Indian People's Congress

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