9 Apr 2018


This is a 43 Sqn story of 1973 or 74, don't remember, except that I was 23 or 24, a mighty godzila in Indian 'Far Eastern' Air Force.

Then Flt Lt Aroskar (Rozie) had to go to Mumbai on 30 days leave to get married and bring his brand new bride back to Jorhat. He was very worried. ‘How will a highly urban Mumbaikar girl adapt to Jorhat ? How will we get off at Mariani Railway Station and reach Jorhat ?. Where will we stay ? Endless moral doubts that made him want to cancel his arranged marriage and remain a bachelor.

Timmy Mullapudy, the mighty gentleman Adjutant of 43, promptly said, 'Rosie, don’t you worry, Main Hung Na ?'. So Rosie was put under arrest and escorted to the Indian Air Lines Fokker, lest he run off and refused to get married.

Timmy immediately delegated and empowered me to make sure that ' load must go and fall on DZ'. I was the piddly ‘Asst Adj’,  whose only interest was to see that I was on the flying programme. I learnt to type when I was in NDA because only place to find a GF in Kerala was in typing school. So no matter whom our esteemed boss Le-Le, the Flt Cdr desired on the Talk Board, my name was always on the typed flying programme. I was the man who typed and signed the flying programme, fudging everyone's signature.

So Rosie went to Mumbai, got married, and even sent a telegram on rail reservation and time of arrival at Mariani - 2100 hrs.

I forced one of the married officers to go on 60 days leave, with 30 days authorised absence without leave (AWOL) to be regularised in unit routine orders (URO), so that Rosie could have uninterrupted marital bliss for 90 days. I even raised a 905, requisition for an Air Force transport to pick up Rosie from Mariani like Ola/Uber,  three weeks in advance, and made sure that a bottle of  rum was given to the Warrant Officer (Ola/Uber in charge) to prevent sabotage of my war plan to pick up Rosie and his brand new wife from Mariani.

All well laid military plans get laid. When the evening arrived, for Rozie and his wife to arrive at Mariani, there was severe thunder showers, which the Met office did not predict. Being worldly-wise, Timmy knew that CBs & thunder showers also affect scheduled arrival of trains. So we went to the bar and had a few. Filled two batlis with rum & pani and set course to Mariani to receive Rosie and his wife, in a 5 ton world war vintage truck which would start only when Timmy and I pushed.

Mrs Rosie, the Mumbaya girl, had never seen or heard about the Far East, definitely didn’t know where on earth was Mariani or Jorhat. I think she thought that it was a jolly good place to begin a married life. These Mumbaikars, they think the world begins at Colaba and ends at Thane. Mariani was 3400 km away, and involved change of 6 trains including the bumpy Furkating to Lumding section, where newly married are advised by railways to climb into the upper birth and have a god time.

Just as Timmy predicted the train was beset with CBs enroute and arrived at 0200 the next day. By then Timmy and I were quite drunk. What else to do waiting for trains that never arrived in Mariani. Like all newlywed Mumbaya girls, Mrs Rosie jumped off the train in great enthusiasm to start a newly married life.

Mariani had power failure and no lights.
The only ones who got off were Rosies.
There were none else on the platform.
There was a fog.
Like the movie 'Bees Sal Bad', two drunk fellows, wet as Otters emerged. By Bollywood standard both looked like rapists.

Mrs Rosie ran back and locked herself in the toilet.  Sadly we had no IFF (identification friend or foe), even after the war. Luckily she was not carrying pepper spray.

Somehow Rozie managed to activate search and rescue (SAR) and convinced Mrs Rosie that Timmy and I were friendlies and not frontal assault types.

Timmy carried all the heavy boxes on his head, like a coolie. He was the mighty Adjt of 43. Being Asst Adjt I got to carry only hand baggage. And Jesus Christ, Rosie had got dowry, even a Dosa grinding stone which weighed about 250 kg 😂

Mrs Rosie set up house immediately like a good Tantia, there wasn't a day when Timmy was not invited for dinner. I was the side kick, and had to gate crash to claim my name and fame 😂
Rosie and Timmy marched off to Valhalla some years ago. Where ever you are Mrs Rosie, you remain an unforgettable mile stone in my life, the Mariani encounter !!!



  1. Any idea what happened to the Rosies post IAF stint?

  2. Don't know Sir. Never met them after Jorhat, mid 70s. Recently heard that he passed away some years ago. No contact with Mrs Rosie.

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  5. Thank you for all the air force tales. Brings back so many memories :)

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  8. You make life in the early seventies in the East sound like magic. It was so. Except that the magician was invariably the person going through that experience.

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  10. Alas both Rosie and Timmy are in Valhalla.Rosie I met last in 25 and Timmy was with me in Comn San
    After he left service he was with Airworks.Died due to a heart attack on a very rainy day in Mumbdi.

  11. Thanks Kartha you made my day.Happy new year and more memoirs of the Ibexes.