Akashganga : The First steps...(Tales apocryphal or otherwise !)

Discussion in 'Military History' started by Sunil Kumar Banerjee, Oct 7, 2013.

  1. Sunil Kumar Banerjee

    Sunil Kumar Banerjee New Member

    Nov 18, 2012
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    Reminiscences always swing between the real, remembered and the intelligent guess !And,wickedly sometimes a twist in the tale !Not since the days of Veda Vyasa, Mahabharata and the Phantom, fables and folklore have been so haunting and mysterious !Fact, they say, very often is stranger than fiction ! And I prefer the latter... as someone so famously averred.And with that having been said, Dhritharastra bade Sanjaya to speak...

    It all began after the Tricolour flew free !As is so commonly known Paratroopers Training School,(PTS) situated at Agra went on to become the almamater of jumping out of aeroplanes ! The legacy of the British carried on well and truly:the maroon Berets of the Indian Army and the aircraft and Instructors of the Indian Air Force was the broad construct and policy.Those were there the days of the joint family,remember !You have to only walk through the hallowed hush of the Ground Training Hangar of PTS to feel and see a central British presence : The Exit trainer !

    Montgomery's shadows and his "men apart" went on to become the show piece of the Indian Armed Forces. Later on, many a young boy and girl from the NCC(National Cadet Corps),adventure seeker of the IAF,(Indian air Force)from the Indian Navy or a friendly foreign country came and joined this merry band of "identity-seeking" people stepping out into the blue.This was but, cosmetic. ! Parachuting, remained the prevail of those in Uniform.

    From the first Parachute Jump Instructor(PJI) commanding PTS becoming also the last ever, from the X parachutes without reserves to the low-altitude static- line parachutes,from the Daks, Packets,Otters,An-12's, Mi-4's,Avros,on to the more modern An-32's, Il-76's,Mi-17's,Aloettes parachuting has gone higher and further. Have a perch and we shall jump was the refrain ! Many jumped for glories,and the flash bulbs.Some for just the fun of it all and most for the regular bread and butter.Stories were told and written of the death-defying encounters,close shaves, broken bones and of soldiers no more .Yet,something was missing.

    Two decades and more jumping was becoming a tad bit tedious ! and ,I dare say, boring !Across the shores, our former masters had cut the umbilical cord of the static-line and were deep into the real fantasies of free falling-ecstasy. Ever since ,the travels and tales of our sea-farers and explorers had finally whetted the winged pen-pushers condescension to peek at this new treasure !The Advent of the New- Man !?

    And oh ! how I long to have seen that joy and tear in many an eye of those bravehearts, then- the PJI's, !But,I do know of the many bottles that were drunk and broken,of good food that went uneaten and unseen and the voices of good cheer and fellowship too,fading into the dawn of another early day...
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2013

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