• the-south-asian.com                                               JUNE  2002




June  2002 Contents



 Mt. Everest - beginning of 50th
 year celebrations

 Sherpas - the Real Men who
 bring glory to others

 Everest Facts

 K2 - an account of a winter



 Super Achievers & Success
 Marshal of the Air Force
 Arjan Singh

 Shovana Narayan, Sidhartha
 Basu & Anjolie Ela Menon

 KPS Gill & Dr. Trehan


 Indra Varma - Polymers


 Sahir Raza - capturing Gujarat



 Jeev Milkha Singh

 Baba Saheb - the grand old
 man of kite-flying


 Raja Bundela's 'Pratha'


 The reincarnated Rickshaw


 'Ananda' spa in Garhwal


 Indu Gupta's new dimension
 to Tanjore paintings


 'Knock at Every Alien Door'
 - Serialization of an
 unpublished novel by
 Joseph Harris - Chapter 6



the craft shop

the print gallery


Silk Road on Wheels

The Road to Freedom

Enduring Spirit

Parsis-Zoroastrians of

The Moonlight Garden

Contemporary Art in Bangladesh





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Super Achievers

- Still in the Fast Lane


Isidore Domnick Mendis

Some individuals always stay on top. They all have one thing in common - passion and commitment. They have so many  goals and interests in life that every negative emotion pales before their achievement-oriented lives. We asked some of India's super-achievers, in various fields, what kept them going, how they defined success and what it takes to be happy. This is what they said.


Marshal of the Air Force Arjan Singh


The Government of India conferred Arjan Singh with the rank of the Marshal of the Air Force in January 2002 making him the first and the only 'Five Star' officer of the Indian Air Force
(Photo: Sondeep Shankar)

(Retired) Marshal of the Air Force Arjan Singh at 83, displays an amazing zest for life more seen in men less than half his age. 

Marshal of the Air Force Arjan Singh too has a similar formula for success.

Air Marshal  Arjan Singh.jpg (64289 bytes)"I’ve followed four simple rules. Firstly you should be thorough in your profession; secondly you should complete the job at hand to the satisfaction of everyone; thirdly you must have implicit faith in your subordinates and fourthly your efforts should be honest and sincere. If you follow these four principals you can never go wrong."

"He was Chief of Air Staff when the IAF saw action in its first combat of the modern age in 1965. He was hardly 44 years of age when entrusted with the responsibility of leading the Indian Air Force,  a responsibility he carried with considerable flamboyance and élan. born on 15 April 1919, in Lyalpur, completing his education at Montgomery.  He was still in college in 1938, nineteen years of age when he was selected for the Empire Pilot training course at RAF Cranwell. Having flown over 60 different types of aircraft from Pre-WW-2 era Biplanes to the more contemporary, Gnats and Vampires, he also had flown in transports like the Super Constellation. in September 1965, when the subcontinent was plunged into war
he was summoned into the Defence Minister's office with a request for air support. With a characteristic nonchalance, he replied "...in an hour." And true enough, the air force struck the Pakistani offensive in an hour. 

Arjan_Singh_Noor_khan_Peshawar_1966.jpg (11892 bytes)
Arjan Sigh and Noor Khan in Peshawar 1966
Source: www.bharat-rakshak.com

Arjan Singh was awarded the Padma Vibhushan for his leadership  of the air force, and subsequently in recognition of the air force's contribution in the war, the rank of the CAS was upgraded to that of Air Chief Marshal and Arjan Singh became the first Air Chief Marshal of the Indian Air Force. He retired in August 1969, thereupon accepting ambassador ship to Switzerland. He remained a flyer to the end of his tenure in the IAF, visiting forward squadrons & units and flying with them. Arjan Singh was a source of inspiration to a generation of Indians and Officers.

In recognition of his services, the Government of India conferred Arjan Singh with the rank of the Marshal of the Air Force  in January 2002 making him the first and the only 'Five Star' officer in the Indian Air Force." - excerpted from www.bharat-rakshak.com

At a felicitation ceremony on  the Marshal's 83rd birthday on April 15, George Fernandes, the Minister of Defence, remarked,  "We all fade with age; the Marshal blooms with age."

His Hero

Field Marshal Arjan Singh looked up to a colleague in his flying days, Wing Commander Majumdar. " He was a very daring officer. He taught us to be cool in this high pressure job."



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