I was the only one of us five siblings, to join the Navy. It is amazing that a prophesy based on my horoscope became a reality. I recall that sometime in 1944-45, my late father came in contact with a Punditji from Meerut. My father invited the Punditji home and he read the horoscopes of all of us brothers. When my turn came, he told my parents that my life would be very different from my other three brothers (we were four brothers at that time). The Punditji predicted that I would not be a rich man, but I would always have sufficient income to lead a good and comfortable life. Also, that I would earn a good name and respect from those around me. He also told my parents that water is dangerous for me. My father immediately reacted and told me “no more swimming for you”.
Now, looking back over the years, all my brothers became prosperous businessmen with good money while I in the Navy lead a different life with a lavish lifestyle of a different kind, lived sufficiently well, traveled widely and earned the respect of community at large with dignity...And I joined the Navy in 1949... almost five years after the prophesy.
During my career in the Navy, I experienced a few setbacks when a few officers, close to my seniority tried one-upmanship, and sidelined me and gained their own upper hand. Luckily, I came unscathed through these professional upheavals thanks to my competence and continued high performance over the years. I was very fortunate to have the support of some very fine officers under whom I worked, and those who worked under me. I wish to record their names and pay tribute to them for their trust and support of me from my earlier days as a young lieutenant and the years that followed. They were Late Cdr. Keki Dalal, Late Cdr. Girdhari Uttamsingh, Late Commodore I. K. Malhotra, Late Shri Parmannandhan, Late Commodore Mukundan, Late Admiral Narinder Bhalla, Late Admiral Laj Mehta, Late Admiral R. Tandon, Commodore Nikki Nadkar, Admiral Billu Chowdhury, Admiral Dick Shunkar, Late Admiral K.R. Nair, Late Admiral Barboza, Late Admiral Krishnan, Late Admiral Stan Dawson and Admiral Tony Jain. From the Ministry of Defense, I thank the ex Additional Secretary Mr. Shastri and ex Defense Secretary, Mr. N.N. Vohra (Now our Governor in J&K) for their support and trust. I am also deeply grateful to Commodore N.D. Salwan and Commodore Shridharan Shekhar for their help, unwavering support and dedication to me in implementing certain critical and important naval projects.