I felt nostalgic and became sentimental yesterday on two counts. First was when I heard the news that India’s first aircraft carrier warship INS Vikrant is being scrapped. Way back in 1972-73, when I was posted in Bombay, western naval command held a war exercise in the sea. Then Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Vasant Rao Naik was invited to witness the same.
Journalists were also taken on the board of INS Vikrant to see the exercise and to write on it. I was one them. It was the first time that I saw, how Sea Hawk or Sea Harrier ( not sure which one) takes off and lands on a small airstrip of the ship. As a part of the exercise , naval men were shifted from INS Vikrant to another ship, which was moving parallel to it in the sea. Besides the Chief Minister, the journalists were also shifted through an iron rope connecting both the ships moving at a fast speed. I have those photographs including mine, still preserved.
Second, during my brief posting at Goa in 1977,I , my wife and our one and half year old daughter used to visit the places in the state on my scooter on almost every Sunday. Since Goa is 30 kilometer wide and about 90 kilometer long, one could visit any of its place by a two wheeler and could come back home by evening. One of the places, we used to visit every Sunday was Old Goa, a Church town having several historic churches. One of them was where the body of great Christian saint Francis Xavier has been kept. He is known as Goencha Sahib ( mean Sahib or Sir of Goa in Konkani or Goani). My wife, though not much aware about Christianity, would not miss to light the candle in this Church. She would say this great saint is known for his services to the humanity. Relics of the saint, were kept in glass cascade, or exposed to the public after every ten years. Yesterday was this great event in Old Goa.
This nearly four hundred year old relics of Sahib attract large number of Christians to this Church. I had the picture of this church and cascades, in which the relics have been kept, till many years but lost it some where when I was transferred from Delhi to Patna and then many other places. When I watched it on TV I became mesmerized for several minutes.