Friday, February 09, 2007

WHEN THE SKIES ROARED


The urge to see and imbibe all that is characteristic of your city is the strongest when you are counting your last days there. Over the years, I’ve given a lot of events unique to Bangalore, a miss. Probably because of the tendency to take it for granted that it is all well within easy reach & accessible any day, anytime… With those thoughts, years go by and then one fine day you realize, you haven’t got much time left!

First in the list of attendance was Chitra Santhe. It was unfortunate to have missed out on the Republic Day Flower exhibition at Lalbagh as well as the Bangalore habba. Fortunately though, I get to visit The Aero-India show 2007 due to the persistence of a fellow enthusiast. Passes are hard to get by (sold out two weeks supposedly) and we ride off in the eternal hope of getting them at the venue.

The ride is long, and the bike unresponsive to the strains of high speed. We finally make it by 10:30 AM and secure tickets too J As I have always believed, Indian security check procedures leave a lot to be desired. The pamphlet, pass and the banner at the entry point clearly state no cameras or cell-phones are permitted. Yet, all they do is minimal frisking, some unsatisfactory checking and let you in. I do not complain of being let in with a camera (prohibited item), but I wish they’d be a little more diligent in their duties.

By the time we get in, a few parachuting maneuvers are all that we have missed. What follows is truly delighting ….. Choppers and Fighter jets whizzing around the display arena at high speeds, performing dangerous and high “aaaaaah” quotient maneuvers. Throughout the event, there is a running informative commentary about the Aircrafts, the pilots having these beauties at their command and the skills required to make possible their majestic flight. It is another matter altogether that with the Jets crossing the sound barrier repeatedly and creating ear-splitting noise, it becomes virtually impossible to hear most of it. Apt music (part military style, part rock) adds to the overall ‘feel’ of the event.

The prominent aircrafts on display are the C-17 Boeing, the MIG 29, Sukhoi, LTA, BEL 407, F-16 Viper, Tejas LCA, IJT, Saras heli-team, among others. The most supple and mercurial, in my opinion, would be the Sukhoi, an aircraft that played a major role in India’s victory in the Kargil war. The Saras heli-team performs dangerous maneuvers at close quarters (a week ago, they lost a team-member in a crash – hats off to them for a brilliant performance). MIG and F16 are mighty impressive too, but the craft that takes the cake and my breath away is the C-17 Boeing from the US Navy – majestic, and massive. Weighing well over a thousand kgs, with a wing-span of half a football field and a tail height of over 20 meters. Phew! Beat that! To top it all, the C-17 is extremely agile and capable of deft maneuvers and short landing in spite of its gargantuan husk. Truly impressive!

A lunch break ensues at 1pm, and the display would resume only at 3pm. I have to meet some friends, and reluctantly leave the display sooner than expected. We have our fill, browse through some exhibition stalls showcasing memorabilia of the Indian Air Force, and depart.

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My reputation supersedes me. At a recently married friend’s place the same day, my past catches up on me. She is relating he adventures with making ghee out of thick milk (full cream). I enquire with genuine interest about thick milk since I knew not what it was.

Given my past reputation for cracking vulgar jokes (I still do that often ;), all I get as an answer are dirty looks from all the female presence in the room. C’mon girls …. I’ve reformed, or I think I have J


“Lead me not into temptation
I can find the way myself!!!”

2 comments:

  1. Oh, just wanna to leave a message (not related to your blog) to you that i'm so impressive to your performance. Keep going on! We are expecting more from you.

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  2. Anonymous5:24 AM

    lol... but you cant be as nasty as Russell Peters...although girls make funny faces at a crewed jokes they do enjoy it in closed doors.....:).- apg

    ReplyDelete