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China Air Crash: Separating Facts from Fake News

A Boeing 737-800 of China Eastern Airlines crashed yesterday, baffling a lot of real as well as self-styled ‘experts.’ The confusion was not helped by fake videos and pictures doing the rounds on the social media, being picked up even by prestigious news outlets. I’ve been flying Boeing 737 for almost two decades, which is …

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Operation Ganga – Rescue from Ukraine: A Pilot’s Personal Perspective

You’re a pilot. A lady pilot. Your husband is a software engineer, in a booming multinational, in the management, at a high level. He works 9 to 5, Monday to Friday, and often works from home. Which is good, because your daughter is only 4 years old. And your timings are odd. Early morning one …

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India Fires a Missile into Pakistan: All Your Questions Answered

Is it true, or only Pakistani propaganda? It is true, and the Indian government has acknowledged it with regret. Which missile was it? From the flight path described, we can surmise that it was a BrahMos missile. India developed it in collaboration with Russia and therefore named it after two rivers in the two countries: …

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Bell Bottom – A Tale Without a Bottom

You may have read my review ‘Bhuj – The Pride of India is But a Ride of Hysteria.’ I wrote that as a former fighter pilot of the Indian Air Force. And now I write this as a current commercial pilot in an airline, flying the Boeing 737NG, the latest version of the hijacked airplane …

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‘Bhuj – The Pride of India’ is But a Ride of Hysteria!

I was a fighter pilot in the Indian Air Force and have done two tenures in Bhuj. Having spent five years flying over and driving around Kutch, I was keen to relive the happy memories of my days in the IAF and in Kutch. I must confess, the movie brought tears to my eyes. Tears …

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In Defence of Air Power

The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) recently said, “…the Air Force continues to remain a supporting arm, just as Artillery or Engineers support the combatants within the Army…” I retired from the IAF full 18 years ago, and to borrow from Harry Belafonte, “No one wants my opinion anywhere, any time, on any subject, about …

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Don’t Blame the Pilot – Just Yet

Deepak Sathe was my friend and a longtime colleague. Our lives and careers followed a similar path except that he was a brilliant senior and I was a wide-eyed and often awed junior. My sense of loss is personal, and I have so far shared my feelings only with my family and close friends. But …

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“Where is the Maulana?”

I normally avoid television news, to preserve what little is left of my sanity. Internet headlines are enough to paint the grim picture for me. But, in these Corona days, getting the latest news is important, so I began to endure the news channels. Last night, a popular channel announced an exclusive special report on …

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MG Road and Corona Virus

Is there a connection? There is! Most Indian cities have the ubiquitous MG Road. Thankfully, youngsters can still identify MG, unlike the SB Roads in Pune and Mumbai. A young lady who lives there didn’t know what SB stood for. Her friend knew the full-form, but not the person they named it after. Worse fate …

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Unnati – The Progress

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose, by any other name, would smell as sweet.” Shakespeare said. Who can argue with the great Bard? But maybe, the times have changed, and names evoke expectations in products and people. For example, if you see a restaurant called ‘Nana-chi-Tang’, you would expect Oriental food …

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Happy New…?

I did nothing special on the night of 31st December, but, hearing the revelries outside, began to wonder why they were drinking, dancing and bursting crackers all night. I wondered why they were drinking, dancing and bursting crackers all night. Why were they celebrating? To forget the stress of the lives they led last year, …

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DTH: A Truly TRAIng Task!

“Haven’t you done the job yet?” Wife asked. “I’m trying…” I said, actually trying only to sound more confident than I felt. If you have done that job, and that too in one attempt, I salute you. I’m talking about the Package Selection for the television channels from your DTH provider, as mandated by the …

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The Difference

In 2012, my son Agneya, then 19, was doing Bachelor’s in Commerce while simultaneously studying to be a Chartered Accountant. To become a CA, the first step is to pass the Common Proficiency Test (CPT) and the second test is for the Integrated Professional Competence Course (IPCC). The number of students that pass the CPT …

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Who’s the Fairest of Them All?

I believe I am fair. Fairly fair. Fair in my feelings and dealings, but not fair in the colour of my skin; not the way we complexion obsessed Indians look at it. I have, what the matrimonial ads call, a ‘wheatish’ complexion, which as per the Oxford Living Dictionary means, ‘complexion of the pale golden …

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A Year After Demonetisation

Exactly a year ago, on the night of 8th November 2016, I got a call from a friend, asking agitatedly, “Are you watching television?” “Yes,” I replied, “A movie.” “Movie?” My friend screamed, “Watch the news, you fool, the world is coming to an end!” “What happened? Earthquake?” I saw visions of massive eruptions from …

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Facebook Friend or Fiend?

Remember the song from The Sound of Music, ‘I am sixteen, going on seventeen?’ Well, I am fifty six, going on fifty seven. Naturally, I’m not too active on Facebook. All I do is regularly wish people happy birthdays and occasionally post links to new articles on my blog. Beyond that, I’m largely a mute, …

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Horrific Honorifics

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose; By any other name would smell as sweet,” said William Shakespeare, in Romeo and Juliet. I was reminded of this quote on seeing a government advertisement some time ago. It was very practical, and refreshingly different. Names of public office holders and political leaders were …

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