Flight Lieutenant Abhishek Gurwara
“When you have tasted flight, you'll forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards. For their you've been and
there you would always want to return” - Leonardo Da Vinci.
Apparently it all started in the month of November 1994 when my family shifted to Hyderabad into a new house. I being a seven year old kid, studying in class one; somehow got my television set cable wire connected to an iron nail on the wall. I am still unaware of the science behind this, but managed to view channels like DD1 and DD2. But the most irritating thing that happened every 8 minutes was experiencing static disturbance whenever an aircraft flew over my house. Sixteen years passed when I recollected this vague experience cycling from Flight Cadets Mess to the Squadron around five in the morning with the temperatures touching 150C. It was the day I was authorized to fly the same jet aircraft alone over my own house with a faith imposed on my shoulders that I would land back the aircraft safely.
I feel privileged to share these young days of my life in the Indian Armed forces with aspiring minds of tomorrow. I was a part of Sherwood for 12 long years of incredible learning. I passed out in the year 2006 with my batch mates, everyone having some or the other goal to achieve. I exactly do not remember if I had any, but one thing was for sure that we were going to enter a life where there was no more wearing of school uniform. We could wear clothes as funny as they could look and have Elvis Presley's hairstyle. I graduated in Bachelors of Science from Bhavans Vivekananda College, Secunderabad and along with it joined the National Cadet Corps (NCC). Three years of college life was more of NCC in uniform and crew cut hairstyle and less of college days. I hardly got a chance to bunk classes or while away time in the canteen. Rather I bunked college to learn parade, attend camps, learn flying on a microlite glider aircraft, etc and do something different.
This is when I was introduced to a different fraternity of people living on earth. Now I had a dream - A dream to fly a fighter jet faster than the speed of sound. A dream to one day chase an enemy aircraft(not to send him back), but to engage him in an air to air combat with 'g' loads increasing from 7 to 8 to 9g, taking a missile lock and shattering his aircraft into debris. No other place could let me fulfill this dream. So a decision was taken to give a try, to test my capabilities if they could give what demanded out of me.
One of the organizations which doesn't accept any kind of reservations, but a simple combination of those basic qualities like honesty, initiative, perseverance, loyalty and mould them into future leaders ready to give away their lives for the nation. And soon I realized that these qualities are inculcated in a person from the time his mother teaches him to walk. It is “Vision, Challenge, Commitment and Success (which is never ending)”. Truly said, “Some things are taught in school”. Without this mantra, I don't think I would have ever passed out as an officer. The training we went through, involving activities which are classified (must only be experienced and not heard) would one day fetch the nation something worth living for. It's a place where the smallest of mistakes can lead to a loss of life and the smartest of actions can save a hundred. It's a place where you have to take multiple decisions in milliseconds, leading to catastrophic changes. It's a place where you get to live with your head proudly raised in the society with the motto, “Service Before Self” embedded in your veins. A place, where your aspirations find satisfaction. To make you such an individual is not a one day effort, but a lifelong commitment aiming to achieve excellence and not run behind success. Godspeed and happy landings.