In Passing

I read the news the other day about the escalating violence along the Indo-Pakistani border, and out of curiosity, went over to Facebook to check in on some friends. Specifically, a former co-worker whose husband was a fighter pilot in the Indian Air Force.

Bit of a good news/bad news situation. Nobody’s been shot down…

…but my former colleague’s husband, a pilot in “Surya Kiran”, the Indian equivalent to the Thunderbirds, was killed during a rehearsal for an exhibition last week.

I met WIng Commander Gandhi a few times, when he was visiting his wife – I was struck by the irony that in the US, it’s usually the military spouse that spends their time overseas; among Indians, it’s the spouse who works in technology that does the globetrotting while the military spouse stays in India and watches the borders).   I was struck – as were many others – by his passion for flying jet fighters, shared with everyone I’ve ever known who took up that vocation (including longtime friend and occasional commenter “Fingers”, who’s so passionate about it he did it in both the Navy and the Air Force).

I’m not so young that I don’t expect people I know, even obliquely, to die unexpectedly.  I’m not so old that it doesn’t shock me a little, still.

3 thoughts on “In Passing

  1. I totally understand the passion for flying. Much to the dismay of my mother I looked seriously into joining the Air Force and Navy to try and become a pilot, but in that era my eyes were too bad to be allowed to become one. These days, were I that young again I probably could have qualified with corrective surgery and my life would have taken a *very* different path.

  2. Back when the Magaphobes were caterwauling about Trump’s “Muslim ban”, I like to ask people, what is the world’s most populous Muslim country.

    Few people got it right. It’s Indonesia with 210 million++ Muslims.

    Next, I asked them to guess most next populous Muslim country. Nobody got that one right. It’s India with 180 million++ Muslims.

    India has more Muslims than Pakistan.

    Fun facts: Of the ten most populous Muslim countries, counting for over 1 billions adherents to the religion of peace, only Iran with 73 million is on the travel ban list.

  3. I know it’s small comfort to his family and friends, but he died doing what he loved. I have unlimited respect for the Blue Angels, Thunderbirds, Snowbirds . . . they are the Richard Pettys, Dale Earnhardts, Jeff Gordons of the sky, the best of us all.

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