Archive for January, 2013

Soldiers True …

Posted on January 18, 2013. Filed under: American Thinkers, From a Services Career, Guide Posts |

Spirit of The Services

As I came out of the supermarket that sunny day, pushing my cart of groceries towards my car, I saw an old man with the hood of his car up and a lady sitting inside the car, with the door open.
The old man was looking at the engine. I put my groceries away in my car, and continued to watch the old gentleman from about twenty five feet away.
I saw a young man in his early twenties with a grocery bag in his arm walking towards the old man. The old gentleman saw him coming too, and took a few steps towards him. I saw the old gentleman point to his open hood and say something. The young man put his grocery bag into what looked like a brand new Cadillac Escalade.
He then turned back to the old man. I heard him yell at the old gentleman saying: ‘You shouldn’t even be allowed to drive a car at your age.’ And then with a wave of his hand, he got in his car and peeled rubber out of the parking lot.
I saw the old gentleman pull out his handkerchief, and mop his brow as he went back to his car and again looked at the engine. He then went to his wife and spoke with her; he appeared to tell her it would be okay. I had seen enough, and I approached the old man. He saw me coming and stood straight, and as I got near him I said, ‘Looks like you’re having a problem.’
He smiled sheepishly, and quietly nodded his head. I looked under the hood myself, and knew that whatever the problem was, it was beyond me. Looking around, I saw a gas station up the road, and I told the old man that I would be right back. I drove to the station and went inside. I saw three attendants working on cars. I approached one of them, and related the problem the old man had with his car. I offered to pay them if they could follow me back down and help him.
The old man had pushed the heavy car under the shade of a tree and appeared to be comforting his wife. When he saw us he straightened up and thanked me for my help. As the mechanics diagnosed the problem (overheated engine), I spoke with the old gentleman.
When I shook hands with him earlier, he had noticed my Marine Corps ring and had commented about it, telling me that he had been a Marine too. I nodded and asked the usual question, ‘What outfit did you serve with?’
He had mentioned that he served with the first Marine Division at Tarawa, Saipan, Iwo Jima and Guadalcanal.
He had hit all the big ones and retired from the Corps after the war was over. As we talked we heard the car engine come on and saw the mechanics lower the hood. They came over to us as the old man reached for his wallet, but was stopped by me. I told him I would just put the bill on my AAA card. He still reached for the wallet and handed me a card that I assumed had his name and address on it and I stuck it in my pocket. We all shook hands all around again, and I said my goodbye’s to his wife.
I then told the two mechanics that I would follow them back up to the station. Once at the station, I told them that they had interrupted their own jobs to come along with me and help the old man. I said I wanted to pay for the help, but they refused to charge me.
One of them pulled out a card from his pocket, looking exactly like the card the old man had given to me. Both of the men told me then that they were Marine Corps Reserves. Once again we shook hands all around and as I was leaving, one of them told me I should look at the card the old man had given to me. I said I would and drove off.
For some reason I had gone about two blocks, when I pulled over and took the card out of my pocket and looked at it for a long, long time. The name of the old gentleman was on the card in golden leaf and under his name was written: ‘Congressional Medal of Honor Society.’
I sat there motionless, looking at the card and reading it over and over. I looked up from the card and smiled to no one but myself and marveled that on this day, four Marines had all come together because one of us needed help. He was an old man all right, but it felt good to have stood next to greatness and courage, and an honor to have been in his presence.
Remember, OLD men like him gave you FREEDOM. Thanks to those who served and still serve, and to all of those who supported them, and who continue to
Remember, Freedom isn’t Free. Thousands have paid the price so that you can enjoy what you have today.
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For Horse Lovers …

Posted on January 18, 2013. Filed under: Sports |


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Marriage Vows – Dussehra Day, Oct 24, 2012 …

Posted on January 10, 2013. Filed under: Personal Stuff |

Please join hands and face each other.

We are gathered here today to witness the marriage of R and R and to celebrate the new chapter in their lives.

Marriage is a promise that is made m in the hearts of two persons who truly love and respect each other. It is a pledge be loving friends partners, to appreciate and cherish one another’s uniqueness and to help one another through life’s ups and downs.

Marriage is commended to us to be honorable among all persons and it should not be entered into lightly but rather with reverence for its responsibilities. Happiness in marriage is not something that just happens. A good marriage must be nurtured.

In marriage, the little things are the big things. It is never being too old to hold hands. It is remembering to say I love you. It is never taking each other for granted. It is speaking words of appreciation and showing gratitude in thought ful ways. It is never going to bed angry but having the ability to forgive and forget.

It is not marrying the right partner but rather being the right partner.

R do you take R to be your lawful wedded marriage partner? Do you promise to love R and comfort, honor and keep R, in sickness and health richer or poorer, in good times and bad, for all the days of your lives?

R and R, today you have made the commitment to each other which has been symbolized by the joining of hands and the exchanging of vows. May you continue to love each other for ever as husband and wife and remmembering to be each others best friend.

BY VIRTUE OF THE AUTHORITY VESTED IN ME AS DEPUTY COMMISIONER OF CIVIL MARRIAGES, and in the presence of these witnesses, I pronunce you as husband and wife.

You may now kiss your bride”!

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1962 War: Sam Manekshaw on the Nehru – Krishna Menon Combine …

Posted on January 10, 2013. Filed under: From a Services Career, Personalities |

This was during the Question Answer session at the end of Sam’s lecture at the Staff College given on Armistice Day, a quarter century after he laid down office –

Question: In the 1962 war, what was your appointment, were you in a position to do something about the situation?

FM: In the 1962 war, I was in disgrace.

I was  Commandant of this Institution. Mr. Krishna Menon, the Defense Minister, disliked me intensely.  General Kaul, who was Chief of General Staff at the time, and the budding man for the next higher appointment, disliked me intensely. So, I was in disgrace at the Staff College.  There were charges against me – I will enumerate some of them – all engineered by Mr. Krishna Menon.

I do not know if you remember that in 1961 or 1960, General Thimaya was the Army Chief.  He had fallen out with Mr. Krishna Menon and had sent his resignation. The Prime Minister, Mr. Nehru, persuaded General Thimaya to withdraw his resignation. The members of Parliament disliked Mr. Krishna Menon and they went hammer and tongs for the Prime Minister in Parliament.

The Prime Minister made the statement, “I cannot understand why General Thimayya is saying that the Defence Ministry interferes with the working of the Army. Take the case of General Manekshaw. The Selection Board has approved his promotion to Lieutenant General, over the heads of 23 other officers.  The Government has accepted that.”

I was the Commandant of the Staff College. I had been approved for promotion to Lieutenant General. Instead of making me a Lieutenant General, Mr. Krishna Menon levied charges against me.

There were ten charges, I will enumerate only one or two of them – that I am more loyal to the Queen of England than to the President of India, that I am more British than Indian.  That I have been alleged to have said that I will have no instructor in the Staff College whose wife looks like an ayah.  These were the sort of charges against me.

For eighteen months my promotion was held back.  An enquiry was made.  Three Lieutenant Generals, including an Army Commander, sat at the inquiry.  I was exonerated on every charge.  The file went up to the Prime Minister who sent it up to the Cabinet Secretary, who wrote on the file, ‘if anything happens to General Manekshaw, this case will go will down as the Dreyfus case.’

So the file came back to the Prime Minister.  He wrote on it, “Orders may now issue”, meaning I will now become a Lieutenant General.  Instead of that, Ladies and Gentleman, I received a letter from the Adjutant General saying that the Defense Minister, Mr. Krishna Menon, has sent his severe displeasure to General Manekshaw, to be recorded.

I had it in the office where the Commandant now sits.  I sent that letter back to the Adjutant General saying what Mr. Krishna Menon could do with his displeasure – very vulgarly stated. It is still in my dossier.

Then the Chinese came to my help.  Krishna Menon was sacked, Kaul was sacked and Nehru sent for me. He said, “General, I have a vigorous enemy.  I find out that you are a vigorous General.  Will you go and take over?” I said, “I have been waiting eighteen months for this opportunity,” and I went and took over.

So, your question was 1962, and what part did I play, none whatsoever, none whatsoever. I was here for eighteen months, persecuted, inquisitions against me but we survive….

I rather like the Chinese.

Post Script. A long while later, Karan Thapar, whose father had been made Chief after Gen Thimayya, had Sam over for a Q and A Session on his TV Show. Towards the end, he asks Sam whether he ever met Krishna Menon after wards. Sam’s response went something like this –

“Oh Yes – \we did meet. It was towards the end of an invite at Rashtrapati Bhavan, and as I and my wife were walking out, who do we see along side but Mr Menon. I immediately said, “Good Evening Sir” and he responded with the same greeting. Where upon, I turned to my wife and said, “Dolly, don’t you remember Mr Krishna Menon?” And the prompt response was, “Most Certainly, I DO NOT!!”


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A TOAST to this GRANNY …

Posted on January 9, 2013. Filed under: Searching for Success |

Granny Ava Estelle, 81, was so ticked-off when two thugs raped her 18-year-old granddaughter that she tracked the unsuspecting ex-cons down … and ‘Shot off their testicles’.

The old lady spent a week hunting those men down and when she found them,she took revenge on them in her own special way,” Said Melbourne police investigator Evan Delp.

Then she took a taxi to the nearest police station, laid the gun on the sergeant’s desk and told him as calm as could be: “Those bastards will never rape anybody again, by God.”

Cops say convicted rapist and robber Davis Furth, 33, lost both his penis and his testicles when outraged Ava opened fire with a 9-mm pistol in the hotel room where he and former prison cell mate Stanley Thomas, 29, were holed up.

The wrinkled avenger also blew Thomas’ testicles to kingdom come, but doctors managed to save his mangled penis, police said.

“The one guy, Thomas, didn’t lose his manhood, but the doctor I talked to said he won’t be using it the way he used to,” Detective Delp told reporters.“Both men are still in pretty bad shape, but I think they’re just happy to be alive after what they’ve been through.”

The Rambo Granny swung into action August 21 after her granddaughter Debbie was carjacked and raped in broad daylight by two knife-wielding creeps in a section of town bordering on skid row.

“When I saw the look on my Debbie’s face that night in the hospital, I decided I was going to go out and get those bastards myself ’cause I figured the Law would go easy on them,” recalled the retired library worker.

“And I wasn’t scared of them, either – because I’ve got me a gun and I’ve been shootin’ all my life. And I wasn’t dumb enough to turn it in when the law changed about owning one.”

So, using a police artist’s sketch of the suspects and Debbie’s description of the sickos, tough-as-nails Ava spent seven days. prowling the wino-infested neighborhood where the crime took place till she spotted the ill-fated rapists entering their flophouse hotel.

“I knew it was them the minute I saw ’em, but I shot a picture of ’em anyway and took it back to Debbie and she said sure as hell, it was them,” the oldster recalled.

“So I went back to that hotel and found their room and knocked on the door, and the minute the big one opened the door, I shot ’em right square between the legs, right where it would really hurt ’em most, you know. Then I went in and shot the other one as he backed up pleading to me to spare him. Then I went down to the police station and turned myself in.”

Now, baffled lawmen are trying to figure out exactly how to deal with the vigilante granny…

“What she did was wrong, and she broke the law, but it is difficult to throw an 81-year-old woman in prison,” Det. Delp said, “Especially when 3 million people in the city want to nominate her for Mayor.

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Sam Manekshaw on Officers Then and Now …

Posted on January 9, 2013. Filed under: From a Services Career, Personalities, Uncategorized |

This is from the Lecture given by Field Marshal Manekshaw at the Staff College some 25 years after he retired –

Question: The Army has changed and progressed. Do you find any difference in the mental makeup of the young officers compared to your time?

FM:  Over the years, things have changed…… there is a lot of difference, dear.

In my time, my father used to support me until I became a Lieutenant Colonel.  I used to get an allowance to be able to live. Today, the young officer has not only to keep himself but has to send money home.

In my time, we did not have all these courses. The only course I ever did, (of course, we had the four rounds of courses that every officer had to do), but we had mules there so I had to do a course in training mountain mules.

Today the young officer hardly stays in his regiment. He is sent from one place to another to do this course and that course, and he does not get a chance of knowing his men.

We knew our men.

Also there wasn’t so much work in those days. We got up in the mornings, did Physical Training for half an hour , came back ,dressed, had breakfast , then went to our company lines and spent all our time avoiding the Commanding Officer.

Those Commanding Officers were nasty chaps. They did not give a damn for anybody. I will give an example of the Commanding OfficeI was made quartermaster of my battalion. The Commanding Officer sent for the Adjutant and myself.  He said, I want to take the battalion out tomorrow morning for an exercise. We did not have motor cars, we had to indent for mules, so, I as quartermaster indented for a company of mules. He said we were going to leave for the exercise at 6:30, so I ordered the company of mules to arrive at six.

At eleven o’clock at night, the commanding officer changed his mind. He said, “I will not go at 6:30, we will go at nine o’clock”. There was nothing I could do. I got on my bicycle, went off to the lines, where the mules had arrived. I told them to unsaddle, and go into the shade, when who should arrive on a horse but the Cavalry Officer with his daughter!

I touched my hat. He said, “What are those animals doing here, young man?” I said that we were going out on an exercise. “When are you going?” “Nine o’clock.” He tore strips off me – “going at nine o’clock and you have the animals waiting here at six o’clock”. He was riding with his daughter on a horse. What could I say to a General officer, I had two pips on my shoulder.

Suddenly, who should be coming on a bicycle, but the Commanding Officer! He touched his hat, said, “Morning, General.” Turning to me, he said, “What is the matter, Sam?” I said, “Sir, the General is angry with me because we are going out at nine o’clock and the mules are here at six.”

He turned round to face the General, and said, “I will thank you General to know who commands this regiment. Me, and not this young man. I will not have you ticketing him off in front of your daughter.”

He turned back to me and said, “Have you had your breakfast, Sam?” “No.” “Go along. Have your breakfast.”

I was delighted to go off. But when we came back from the exercise, at about eight o’clock in the evening, in my letter rack, was a letter from the General’s wife, inviting me to tea the next day. Now, I did not want to have tea with the General’s wife! But that’s the sort of thing that happens”.

When I became the field Marshal, I was the guest of her majesty in England. I had given a reception at India House, where the same Commanding Officer with his wife were also invited. He came in, shook hands with my wife, shook hands with me, and walked off. After about half an hour, when everybody had arrived, I walked up to him with a glass of whisky in my hand.

He turned to me, “May I call you Sam?” “Please do, Sir. You used to call me ‘bloody fool’ before and I thought that that was my Christian name!”

The difference between the officer now and then. My first confidential report was written by him. Before you went in to sign your confidential report, you had to go in front of the Adjutant, beautifully turned out. We did not have any medals in those days but w needed to have a sword to go into the CO’s office.

I walked in, saluted the Adjutant, he looked me up and down and said, “You are going to see the Colonel now? Look at you! Your bloody strap is filthy really dirty! Look at your belt, disgusting. Go and get dressed properly.” I walked out, waited for five minutes and came back.

He looked me up and down, “Much better.” Then he said, “You are going in there. Do you have a fountain pen?” I said, “Yes.” “The CO will read your report. You will initial on the left hand corner. Is that understood?” “Yes.”

I walked in there, saluted the Colonel, “Mr. Manekshaw reporting, Sir.” He looked me up and down, thrust the report on me – just one line – “This officer, I beg his pardon, this man, may someday become an officer.”  I initialed it and walked out.

Khalid Sheikh, another officer from my regiment, who became the Foreign Minister of Pakistan and a Governor later, came out.   “Khaled, what report have you got?” I asked. He said “One line – this officer tends to be irresponsible”.  I said, “That’s a bad report, Khalid.”  He said, Uh! Last year the bugger said I was irresponsible.” But we did not mind.

Today, if the commanding Officer writes and says this officer is irresponsible, the officer wants to appeal to the President of India saying he is more responsible than the Commanding Officer.

That was the difference, dear. We simply did not give a cuss.  Anything else?

Thank you Gentlemen, thank you for your kindness. Thank you for your patience.

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India needs to adopt the Parsi Values …

Posted on January 2, 2013. Filed under: Business, Guide Posts, Personalities, Searching for Success, The Good Book |

No Indian community internalized the civilizing mission of the ancient Hindu culture as did the Parsis. Only 50,000 remain in Mumbai today, mainly in South Mumbai, the most disciplined and cultured part of India .

In South Mumbai, the cutting of lanes by drivers is punished, jumping a red light is impossible, parking is possible only in allotted areas,roads are clean, service is efficient, the restaurants are unmatched – civilization seems within reach. South Mumbai has some of the finest buildings in India, many of them built by Parsis.

The Parsis came to Mumbai after Surat‘s port silted over in the 17th century. Gerald Aungier settled Mumbai and gave Parsis land for their Tower of Silence on Malabar Hill in 1672. The Parsis made millions through the early and mid1800s and they spent much of it on public good.

The Ambanis built Dhirubhai Ambani International School , where fees are Rs. 348,000 (US $8,000 a year in a country where per capita income is $ 600 per year) and where the head girl is Mukesh Ambani’s daughter.!!!

The Kingfisher Mallyas gilded the insides of the Tirupati temple with gold.
Lakshmi Mittal, the fourth richest richest man in the world says he’s too young to think of  charity!! … He’s 57 and worth $45 billion.
The Birla Family built 3 temples in Hyderabad , Jaipur and Delhi .

These days Hindu philanthropy means building temples. They do not understand social philanthropy.

And these days, the Hindus’ lack of enthusiasm for philanthropy has become cultural. The Hindu cosmos is Hobbesian and the devotee’s relationship with God is transactional. God must be petitioned and placated to swing the universe’s blessings towards you and away from someone else.

They believe that society has no role in your advancement and there is no reason to give back to it because it hasn’t given you anything in the first place.  This is something that needs to be changed and reverted to our Sanatan Dharm.

The Parsis, on the other hand, understood that philanthropy – love of mankind – recognizes that we cannot progress alone.  That there is such a thing as the common good. They spent as no Indian community had ever before, on building  institutions, making them stand out in a culture whose talent lies in renaming things other people built.

The Parsis built libraries all over India , they built the National Gallery of Art. The Indian Institute of Science was built in 1911 by Jamshedji Nusserwanji Tata, the Tata Institute of  Fundamental Research was built by Dr Homi Bhabha, the Tata Institute of Social Science was built in 1936 by the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust. The Wadias built hospitals, women’s colleges and the five great low-income Parsi colonies of Bombay . JJ Hospital and Grant Medical College were founded by Sir Jamsetjee Jejeebhoy.

By 1924, two out of five Indians – whether Hindu, Muslim or Parsi – joining the Indian Civil Services were on TATA scholarships.

They gave Mumbai the Jehangir Art Gallery, Sir JJ School of Art , the Taraporevala Aquarium. The National Center for Performing Arts, the only place in India where world-class classical concerts are held is a gift of the Tatas. There are 161 Friends of the Symphony Orchestra of India (SOI) –

92  of them are Parsis. For an annual fee of Rs 10,000, Friends of the SOI get two tickets to any one recital in the season, they get to shake hands with artistes after the concert and they get to attend music appreciation talks through the year.

The  Parsi dominates high culture in Mumbai. This means that a concert experience in the city is unlike that in any other part of India . Classical concerts seat as many as two thousand. Zubin Mehta, the most famous Parsi in the world, is Director of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra  since 1969. He conducts the tenor Placido Domingo, the pianist Daniel Barenboim and the soprano Barbara Frittoli. Four concerts are held at the Jamshed Bhabha Opera House and then one at Brabourne Stadium with a capacity of 25,000.

No other city in India has this appetite for classical music and in Mumbai this comes from the Parsis. Despite their tiny population, the Parsi presence in a concert hall is above 50 per cent.

Symphony Orchestra of India concerts begin at 7 pm. Once the musicians start, latecomers must wait outside till the movement ends. The end of each movement also signals a fusillade of coughs and groans, held back by doddering Parsis too polite to make a sound while Mendelssohn is being played. No mobile phone ever goes off as is common in cinema halls: his neighbors are aware of the Parsi’s insistence of form and his temper. The Parsis were also pioneers of Mumbai’s Gujarati theatre, which remains the most popular form of live entertainment in Mumbai.

Mumbai’s first theatre was opened by Parsis in 1846, the Grant Road Theatre, donations from Jamshetjee Jejeebhoy and Framjee Cowasjee making it possible.

Want to add about the generosity about Ratan Tata who did so much about the staff of Taj Hotel during the terrorist attack in Mumbai. Not only that but he also set up camps for all the other victims and their families who suffered during the attack at Bori Bunder.

The  Parsi in Bollywood caricature is a comic figure, but always honest, and innocent as Indians believe Parsis generally to be, rightly or wrongly. In the days before modern cars came to India the words ‘Parsi-owned’ were guaranteed to ensure that a second-hand car listed for sale would get picked up ahead of any others. This is because people are aware of how carefully the Parsi keeps his things. His understanding and enthusiasm of the mechanical separates him from the rest. Most of  the automobile magazines in India are owned and edited by  Parsis.

The Parsis are a dying community and this means that more Parsis die each year than are born (Symphony concert-goers can also discern the disappearing Parsi from the rising numbers of those who clap between movements).

As the Parsis leave, South Mumbai will become like the rest of Mumbai – brutish, undisciplined and filthy.

Preserve this race…You are privileged if you have a Parsi Bawa as your friend…He/She is indeed a “Heritage” to be treasured for ever.

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