It happens – Men in Uniform


Once an Indian Navy Sea Hawk took of from INS Vikrant! It’s mission – Marriage!!

Sometime in May 1965 the war clouds with our Western neighbour were building up and Vikrant steamed out into the Arabian Sea to provide some gunboat diplomacy. Such sudden deployments cause disruption in the lives of the crew but that is what the men in Uniform are about. To operate under VUCA conditions they are adept. One such disrupted young Lieutenant who was a pilot of the Sea Hawk was scheduled to proceed on leave to get married the day the ship sailed.

Possibly after a lot of discussions with his superior, his Captain ordered him to take off at dawn on the big day in his Sea Hawk and set course for Bangalore and get back to deck by 0600 hours the next morning! Off went our young bridegroom. The Navy is strict, but it likes to take care of its seamen. Fleet Commander BA Samson blessed the adventure. But how did he carry his clothes and toothpaste?

A bright technician suggested they empty out the cannon ammunition bay and that made just enough space for his clothes to be stuffed. Onto the steam catapult and off to old HAL airport at Bangalore. The bride of this arranged marriage lived close to the airport and between the nervous MIL and pensive FIL and clueless bridegroom’s parents they didn’t know what to do. Here was the auspicious day and the hero nowhere in sight. Because the ship was on a full alert patrol there was no radio communication (and age without mobiles, remember?)

Even the HAL airport control tower did not know that our man was zeroing in till he asked permission to land! Then suddenly the piercing roar of the Rolls Royce turbo jet filled their ears and thumped their hearts. Our man deftly landed, parked his flying machine and was whisked for the muhurattam with minutes to spare.

Next morining 0400 hours he took off again and in little over 90 minutes got back to the carrier deck in the middle of the sea. This young pilot was SK Gupta, who later commanded INAS 300 White Tigers in the 1971 war and was awarded the Maha Vir Chakra.

On his return to the ship there were no flowers on the ship to celebrate, his fellow pilots garlanded his with a mala made of vegetables. And his collegueas wrote ‘Just Married’ on his Sea Hawk with a pair of boots tied to the nose of the aircraft.



I love the Men in Uniform and their ways … Long Live India!



WOSAF Tip # 82


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Situational Awareness is the key to Women Safety. A lot of us think that, while walking, being on the phone is OK .. sorry, its not OK!! It distracts you and since you are distracted, your sensory organs (to smell danger, gut feel), is not working.

The security arrangements and privacy issues in a number of the social media sites are suspect. Sharing your address, bank details and any personal details is inviting trouble. Why should your address be known to the bad guys? Share details with caution.

When in a new place, don’t walk around with the map in hand; its a dead giveaway. Remember the route or take the public transport. When asking for directions and someone offers to show you the way by having you follow them, do not go. Just ask for them to point you in the right direction. Often, predators just want to get you to a place less crowded where your screams can’t be heard.

It is imperative that your actions in public places be discreet. The louder you are, more attention you will get, which is only making you a potential target. Look around, look confident, don’t scan the handbag for keys, and be aware of your surroundings. Drooping shoulders, forlorn and dejected look are symptoms as potential victims. Be aware. Looking around sends a message, that I can see you. If there is a police lineup, I can recognize you.

The safety of ours is our prime concern. The bad guys are looking for opportunities. We should not provide them one.

Be Alert .  Be Aware . Be Safe .

Trust: is this an alien word?


During all my interactions, I keep harping on the fact, that if you don’t have belief in yourself, how do you expect the other person to believe you? Have belief in you. Sir, er, I’m not confident that I can do the job, but please Sir, give me the job? Hullo, it doesn’t work that way.

Similarly, TRUST, if you don’t trust people, expect not to be trusted. Trust is built over a period of time and once broken, takes immense effort to mend. Communicating in an environment of no trust is impossible. Even if communication is clear and precise, people will always look for hidden meanings and agendas. But when there’s high trust, communication is easy and instantaneous. Mistakes hardly matter, because people trust you: “Don’t worry about it. I understand.” Enduring trust in a relationship cannot be faked and is rarely produced by a dramatic, one-time effort. It’s the fruit of regular actions inspired by conscience. The interactions we make have a profound impact on the level of trust in any relationship.

Interactions include: a. Seek First to Understand. We don’t even know the other person unless we understand that person from his or her frame of reference. b. Make and Keep Promises. Nothing destroys trust faster than breaking a promise. c. Honesty and Integrity. If we can put our integrity and our relationship with another person above our pride and natural desires to hide our mistakes and avoid embarrassment, we can form powerful bonds of trust. d. Kindnesses and Courtesies. Everyone has feelings. Small courtesies and kindnesses can yield huge dividends. People see through superficial techniques; they know when they’re being manipulated. True kindness comes from a deep character. e. Thinking Win-Win or No Deal. The key to breaking out of the “win/lose” mind-set is to settle on championing the other party’s win as much as your own. This requires courage, abundant thinking and great creativity. f. Clarifying Expectations. Most communication breakdowns originate with ambiguous or unfulfilled expectations about who is to do what and how goals are prioritized. g. Being Loyal to Those Not Present. This is one of the highest tests of both character and the depth of bonding in a relationship. When everyone seems to be bad-mouthing someone who isn’t there. h. Apologizing. To learn to say “I was wrong” or “I was on an ego trip. I overreacted,” and then to live accordingly, is one of the most powerful deposits you can make. i. Giving and Receiving Feedback. Giving negative feedback is one of the most difficult communication tasks. Many people have serious blind spots they never confront, because no one knows how to give them feedback. To give feedback, describe your feelings, your concerns or your perceptions of what happened. Don’t accuse, judge or label the other. He or she may then become open to information about a blind spot without feeling threatened. When receiving feedback, express gratitude for it, however much it may hurt. Our sense of worth is intrinsic and doesn’t come from a particular weakness or behavioral pattern. j. Forgiving. True forgiveness involves letting go and moving on. We all make mistakes. We need to forgive ourselves and others. It’s better to focus on our own mistakes and ask forgiveness than to dwell on other people’s offenses, wait for them to ask forgiveness first, or give it begrudgingly if they do. When you forgive, when you refuse to bear a grudge, you actually take away another person’s power over your life.

TRUST within organizations help healthy inter personal relations. Dependence of co-workers improves and productivity improves. The office environment is healthy and there is growth as an individual and organization. Trust is the key word which gets people to commit and take risks. “I trust you” are the soothing words every human being yearns to hear.

You’re Born to Lead

Rise and Shine: You have it In YOU !!!

When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bounds. Your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new great and wonderful world.

– Yoga Sutra of Patanjali.

At the core of every human being are four dimensions: Body, Mind, Heart and Spirit. In all philosophies and religion from beginning of history you’ll find these four dimensions: the Physical/economic (Body), Mental (Mind), Emotional/social (Heart), and Spiritual (Spirit). They represent the four basic needs: Body – survival – To Live, Mind – growth and development – To Learn, Heart – relationships – To Love, and Spirit – meaning and contribution – To Leave a Legacy.

In the job it translates as:

Body pay me fairly (physical and economic)

Mind use me creatively

Heart treat me with respect, and

Spirit serve human needs/ ethical business in principled ways.

body mind soul spirit

There is nothing so powerful as an idea whose time has come – Victor Hugo

All of you are born genius; 9,999 of every 10,000 are promptly and inadvertently degeniusized by grownups. Our first Birth Gift is ‘The Freedom to Choose’. If you ask, one subject, one point, that has the greatest impact on people; what one great idea that resonates deepest in the soul than any other, without any reservation and with deep conviction, I believe it is that we are free to choose. Next to life itself.

This power and freedom stand in stark contrast to the mind set of victimism and culture of blame. We are product of choice, not nature (genes) or nurture (upbringing or environment). Choices based on values. Your power to choose the direction of your life, to re-invent yourself, to change your future and influence the rest of creation. If we’ve given away our present to the past, do we need to give away our future too?

So, I believe YOU are born to Lead! YOU need to ask yourself, what are the choices YOU have made.