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Dear Members of the Corps of Signals fratenity,
With grief we are posting details of our colleagues who leave for their heavenly abode. We request members to forward their "shradhanjali". Kindly share with us the photographs, fond memories and association.
We await tributes from associates/ course mates for publication.
Blog Team

RMS Tributes
  • Amar Jawan: Roll of Honour of the Indian Armed Forces
  • The Kargil Memorial
  • Tuesday, March 24, 2009

    Col GT Vazirani

    Dear Signallers,
    I am sad to inform you about the demise of IC-10458X Col GT Vazirani (Retd). He left for his heavenly abode on 23 Mar 2009. Name of NOK: Mrs Kusum Vazirani, wife.
    For more details please see the email received from DG Sigs Adm, appended below.
    We pray to Almighty to give peace to the departed soul and strength to all near ones and dear ones to bear this irreparable loss. Those of you who wish to write a "Shradhanjli" for him, may kindly send it for being posted to our weblog -
    The Shradhanjli be kindly emailed to - Col James Kanagaraj, The Moderator at -
    In sorrow -
    Chander Kamboj

    Respected Sir,
    We regret to inform you about the sad demise of IC-10458X Col Vazirani GT (Retd)on 23 Mar 2009 at 1245h.
    Details of illness: Brain Hemorrhage
    Next of Kin: Mrs Kusum Vazirani
    Name and relationship: Wife
    Name of Children: Mrs Ritika Kotwani (Daughter)
    Cremation date and time: 23 Mar 09 Electric Crematorium Yerwade
    Information about Officer:
    1. Date of birth.: 28 Oct 1937
    2. Date of Seniority: 08 Jun 1958
    3. Date of retirement: 31 Aug 1978
    4. Date of demise: 23 Mar 2009
    Lt Col AS Mankoo
    Dir Sigs Adm

    Monday, March 9, 2009

    Col Girish N Purandare - Down Memory Lane

    ...photographs - of happier times.
    Col C Mani

    Sunday, March 8, 2009

    Lt Col Kalyan Singh

    Dear Signallers,
    I have just received a telephone call from Mrs Minu Sundaram, w/o Late Brig Sundaram, that Signals Veteran, Lt Col Kalyan Singh, 3 IMA Course, left for his heavenly abode on 07 Mar 09 (AN).

    The only details available with me at present are:
    Cremation likely around 1.00 PM at Pankha Road Cremation Ground (Opposite Supply Depot Pankha Road) New Delhi. Exact time can be known after the body is received from RR Hospital.

    Name of wife of Col Kalyan Singh - Mrs Bhupinder
    At the time of initiating this email there is no one answering this phone - probably all family members have gone to RR Hospital.

    Other close friend of Col Kalyan Singh's family keeping track of information-
    Col Madan - and Mrs Madan, Som Vihar. Mrs Madan is trying to get more information regarding exact time of cremation.

    We pray to Almighty to give peace to the departed soul and strength to all the near ones and dear ones to bear this irreparable loss.
    In sorrow-
    Chander Kamboj.

    The cremation will take place at 2.30 PM, on 08 Mar 09 at Pankha Road Cremation Ground, opposite the Supply Depot, New Delhi. (Going from Army Golf Course towards Delhi Cannt Railway Station after you go pass the Kirby Place Crossing, just before the flyover near Delhi Cantt Railway Station, take the road going to left).
    In sorrow
    Chander Kamboj

    Lt Gen K Chandrasekharan

    Dear Friends,
    Jai Hind.
    Condolence emails received for that great soul - Lt Gen K Chandrasekharan, MD AGI, who left for his heavenly abode on 02 Mar 09, are reproduced in the blog
    May God give peace to the departed soul.
    In Service of Indian Military Veterans
    Chander Kamboj.

    Lt Gen K ChandraSekharan

    Date: Thursday, 5 March, 2009, 12:16 PM
    Deeply grieved to read the loss of Lt Gen K ChandraSekharan.
    No amount of words can convey the full meaning and gratitude of what the SERVICES owe to the contribution made by the far reaching vision of the departed general.
    HIS PRESCENCE will remain part & parcel of every soldier/veterans' prosperity and welfare for all TIMES.
    MAY GOD give strength for his near and dear ones and also to the AGIF to bear this and face future.

    Brig G Natarajan (Retd)

    Lt Gen K Chandrasekharan

    Date: Friday, 6 March, 2009, 11:32 AM
    It was with utmost sorrow that read your mail regarding the sad demise of General Chandrashekaran. I knew him rather well in my service days when I learnt many things about GIF when I was overseeing NGIF. The PPOC meetings which we attended are still vivid. I was happy when the Army retained him after retirement for continnuity and experience. He showed that the Army officers are quite capable of running large financial institutins
    May his soul RIP
    Vice Admiral Barin Ghose (Retired)
    Member Core Group IESM

    Lt Gen K Chandrasekharan

    Date: Thursday, 5 March, 2009, 11:00 AM

    Gen Chandraseharan was more than a soldier. He was an institution. Here is what I know about him.
  • He began his life as an assistance in CME, Dapodi. Obtianed an Engineering degree through the AMIE route.
  • Was commissioned as a Technical graduate , in the Corps of Engeineers; with the age on his wrong side.
  • That notwithstanding, he rose to command a Mountain Brigade in the High Altitude Areas in Sikkim. And that is where I first met him in 1982.
  • We were both posted to the AG's Branch in 1983, he in the PS Dte and self in the Pay Cell.
  • Gen Chandrasekhar was promoted, but with the age against him, he was not given a Div. Instead, he was absorbed in the AHQ itasel.
  • And then began a journey which has few parallels. He joined the AGIF in around 1986 and remained there for a record 22 years. He was granted the Hony rank of Lt Gen. In sheer ability to work hard and go into details, he has no equal. As a footnote to this obituary, permit me to add that only a few days ago, I saw him in my dreams and he looked askance towards me, when I enquired about his retirement plans. His body language showed that he planned to go with his boots on.

    In all probability, he holds an unbeatable record for the number of years spent in the service of the Army. By my calculation, it is over 56 years! (counting the initial period in the CME)
    Maj Gen Surjit Singh (Retd)
  • Lt Gen K Chandrasekharan

    Dear Friends,
    Jai Hind.
    I am sad to inform you about the demise of Lt Gen K Chandrasekharan, MD AGIF.
    The Army All Ranks would know that he performed outstanding service in managing the Army Group Insurance Funds and the quality of customer service for which AGIF is so well known.
    We pray to Almighty to give peace to the departed soul.
    For more details you may kindly contact Lt Col HM Joshi, DD Systems, AGI. His contact details are given in the email appended below.
    In sorrow
    Chander Kamboj.

    Date: Wednesday, 4 March, 2009, 9:19 AM
    Dear Sir,
    With profound grief I put across the news that Lt Gen K Chandrasekharan, MD AGIF, has passed away on 02 Mar 2009 at 1930H in RR Hospital.
    Lt Col H M Joshi (Retd)
    DD Systems
    AGI Bhawan, Rao Tula Ram Marg,
    PO Vasant Vihar, New Delhi- 110057

    Thursday, March 5, 2009

    Col Girish N Purandare

    The sad news of sudden demise of Col Girish Purandare has come as a rude shock to us. Destiny has dealt a grave blow to his family by snatching him away from them in the prime of his life. I am writing these lines to pay my homage to Girish who was a great human being and an excellent Signaller. His early departure is a great loss not only to his family but to the Corps of Signals too.
    Although I had not been in regular touch with Girish for many years now (having taken early retirement 9 years ago), I had been hearing about his steady success in the Corps through others. I recall those CME days in 1986 -87 when he was a student of SODE 56 course and I happened to be their Instructor teaching some Electronics subjects. He was one of the brightest and liveliest students of the course and a good sportsman too. I remember, there was a healthy competition for the top position among 3 - 4 students in the course - Girish being one of them . Girish raised the bar for others also. Those youngsters could give tough times to an instructor if he did not come well prepared and I enjoyed teaching them. In the end , it was Girish who pipped others by his sheer brilliance and hard-work. He stood first in the CME leg of the course and later in MCTE leg too . Even in his success, he was a symbol of humility and was well liked by all his friends and colleagues.
    May God Almighty bless his noble soul.
    Mrs Purandare, we are with you in this hour of your grief. You can depend upon us, this fraternity of Signallers, for any support required any time. May God give you courage to bear this great personal loss and strength to shape the lives of your young children in the mould of their brilliant father.

    Col Niranjan Pandey (Retd)

    Wednesday, March 4, 2009

    Col GN Purandare

    Col Purandare was admitted in the Comd Hospital, Calcutta just about a month plus ago. He complained of persistent fever at his place of duty and was transferred here.
    I must say he was most cheerful till the very last day and was willing to fight it out. Even while in the hospital he always spoke to the doctors most cheerfully, and with respect to the senior doctors when they met him. He had high fever in the last few days and passed away on the 26th evening.
    Mrs Purandare was with him throughout the hospital stay and so were his brother and sisters who were here whenever they could. The family support system was most remarkable.
    Mrs Purandare was sad but most composed even during this phase. Purandare was a fine officer and will be missed by all of us. We extended all the support that we could while the family was here.
    May God rest his soul in peace.
    Maj Gen NV Pande
    Col Comdt

    Tuesday, March 3, 2009

    Col GN Purandare

    .....thoughts on passing away of our brethern

    Birth was not our choice
    Death will not be our choice
    But the way we live our life is our choice.
    Absolutely our choice.
    Live today fully and
    Strive to learn something new today.
    Do Not take Life for Granted.
    May Yours be filled with LOVE and Happiness…

    Brig VA Subramanyam

    Col GN Purandare

    The Mahabharata is replete with stories of human foibles, daring and endeavour. But my favourite story was the one that my friend, Girish Purandare, often recounted to me during the heady days when we did the Young Officer’s Course at Mhow. Girish was a strapping young lad of physically immense proportions but with a heart of gold. Now for the story. Dharmaraj Yudhishtra and his brothers are making the long arduous trek to heaven, and one by one his brothers fall. Finally, only Yudhishtra and his dog reach the gates of heaven. While the dog is allowed entry Dharmaraj has to see hell for a day for having told a truth with bad intent that caused the death of Dronacharya. During his brief sojourn in hell, he finds all his brothers including Krishna’s favourite Arjuna undergoing the torments of hell. When he finally enters heaven, who should he find there but his arch enemy Duryodhana. A nonplussed Dharmaraj is told by Yama, the God of Death that Arjuna could’nt get over the failing of pride over his prowess as an archer. And Duryodhana? Simple, he died on the battlefield fighting for his mother land. Having divine sanction for our sinful actions as young officers we willfully entered into an orgy of pleasure, wining dining and wooing in Mhow. Given the hostile neighbourhood of India our chances of doing a Duryodhana– Houdini escape act was rather bright.

    We were again together during the three year long degree engineering course at Pune and Mhow. After the dusty UP towns where our regiments had been stationed, Pune was like heaven on earth. We were virile energetic young bachelors packing in as much action as we could into every minute of the day. The Course itself was academically demanding and it was an exciting time to be in the field of telecommunications. The possibilities of telecommunications and computers converging into cyber space was close to becoming a reality. We were the best of friends playing squash, wining and dining together, but it soon became clear that we would both be vying for the top honours. For a while, it seemed that I would give him a good run for his money until he went and fell in love with a tall beautiful engineering student Radhika, from a local College. Before, you could blink your eyes he was married and well settled while I continued on my philandering ways. After that there was no contest and he was cantering away. By the time I got hitched to Jayanti in the final semester at Mhow it was too late and I had to settle for second spot while Girish walked away with the Gold Medal. Jayanti of course always made me choose ‘the harder right instead of the easier wrong’ but that is another story. I had the minor satisfaction of giving him a good hiding in the squash finals and to his eternal mortification our names as winner and runners up for 1988 still stands in the Walker Squash Courts. We were both nominated for Post graduation studies at the IITs. Again he chose the more difficult field of computer sciences while I settled for telecommunications. Meanwhile, we had both been blessed with lovely daughters quickly followed by a strapping boy each. Life was full of promise.

    The first hint of our rivalry not going the full distance came when it was time to appear for the prestigious Staff College Entrance examinations. I opted only for the Technical Staff course while he duly got selected for the Staff College. He scolded me,’ I thought we would fight to the finish, and you did’nt even turn up at the start line’. After the course, we went our respective ways, he to the troubled Kashmir Valley and me to Shimla. He again distinguished himself when leading an adhoc operation by knocking off three terrorists. Fate willed that we be brought together again and we were both posted to Delhi. Here he created a software package for qualitative analysis that would provide decision support for procurement of weapon systems, for which he was commended by the Chief of Army Staff, while I slaved away at the Postings Branch an object of much criticism. The powers that be however felt that we were both eligible to command units and detailed us for the Senior Command course at Mhow. As India progressed on the vehicle of Manmohanomics, Mhow seemed to have been left behind.. Except for a few grey hairs on the moustaches of our favourite tailors and an odd sign board advertising mobile service providers Mhow seemed to exist in a time warp. Our respective bosses had exhorted both of us to come back with flying colors, but the soothing environs of Mhow coupled with the absence of our nagging spouses made us regress back to our Young Officer days. Come the post lunch hour and a keen look would appear on Girish’s face. ‘ Can you hear it?’ he would ask much as the Gopis longed for the sweet strains of Krishna’s Flute. He was of course referring to the aged lambretta of the Kulfi wala who knew where the connoisseurs of his wares lived. We muddled through the Course, reveling for once in the anonymity of mediocrity. Not for long though, as we were again forced to rise to the challenge of commanding units in the backdrop of OP PARAKRAM. Apparently we had both been good commanding officers as we found ourselves nominated for the Higher Defence Management Course at the College of Defence Management, Secunderabad. The competition here was much stiffer as the course had the best and brightest officers from the three Services. Girish, however still excelled coming second on the course as also receiving the second prize for his dissertation on The Indo US Nuclear Deal. I had to remain content with the first prize for the best case study. After, the course while I stayed back as an Instructor he was posted on staff to the North East. He had by now left his squash playing days behind and become an enthusiastic Golf player outdriving other more skilled players by using his sheer physical strength. Which was why it was such a shock seeing him lie comatose in the Command Hospital at Kolkatta, his body racked by the low grade fever that characterizes Leukemia.

    The first round of chemotherapy had thinned his hair, darkened his face and enlarged his spleen distending his stomach. He had undergone severe bodily discomfort including blister like eruptions and a debilitating diarrhea due to the side effects of chemotherapy. His defences having been laid low he was susceptible to infections, and no visitors were permitted to meet him. I had to pull strings to meet him, the sanctioning authority being his wan but resolute life support system, Radhika. She warned me not to speak of his illness, but true to his great fighting spirit he was confident of his chances and getting ready to move to Delhi for two more rounds of chemotherapy to be followed by a bone marrow transplant. I assured him our rivalry would continue as he was certain to make it in the Brigadier’s promotion board scheduled in Apr 2009. He could’nt talk for too long as he tired quickly. Now, I am no Reiki Master, but when he asked me for therapy to ease the pain, I called upon all the healing powers in the Cosmos to descend on my feeble palms. When he seemed at peace I left the room. Later, that evening Radhika told me that he had benefited from my touch but could’nt see me as the fever had returned. As darkness descended, Girish again demanded to see me. I walked in not knowing what to expect. True to form, there was soft music playing and Girish was conducting an invisible orchestra as the soulful hindi numbers of our youth filled the room. We listened in silence as Kishore, Lata and Mukesh expressed all that we couldn’t say. He soon began speaking of how he had not let down the Corps of Signals when called upon to analyse the Chinese threat, of how proud he was to be a Signals officer and of how much he owed to the Corps. He had written a poem on the day he was diagnosed of blood cancer and was keen on circulating it to his course mates and obtaining their opinion on it. The poem was remarkably moving expressing the paradox of surrender to the almighty while simultaneously being engaged in a pitched battle with him for the gift of life. He was determined not to give up.

    But as the John Lennon song goes,’ Life happens when we are busy making plans’. Or, as in this case, death happened. That great heart was stilled by a cardiac arrest at 1800h on 26 Feb 2009. The cancer had insidiously eaten into his vital organs. Girish had fought his final battle, and here he was wrapped in the tricolor, lying lifeless as the buglers played the Last Post. The crematorium was a sea of green as the arms guard gave him their ‘Salami Shastra’. His beloved Corps of Signals was represented in full strength. I was not in green however, for, you see one can’t cry in uniform.

    I don’t know if his battle for life meets the exacting requirements of Yama, but the courage with which he fought the good fight could not have escaped the notice of the Great Reaper. The religious teacher who performed the last rites, seeing my tears told me, ‘Ab woh sare bandhan se mukt ho gaye hain’. It was then that it hit me. In the race that mattered his soul had made it to the finish line before mine.

    Colonel C Mani

    Monday, March 2, 2009

    Col GN Purandare

    The Shradhanjlis to Col GN Purandare are so warm and full of affection. He must have been a great officer. I think I missed meeting him.

    Such officers brighten the Corps and their passing away in the prime of life and career is a very sad happening indeed. It is indeed a great loss to the family and the Corps.

    Deepest condolences to Mrs. Purandare, Family, friends and colleagues of Col GN Purandare. The Corps and us Veterans are solidly with you.

    Lt Gen and Mrs. Harbhajan Singh

    Col Girish N Purandare

    For once God has got it wrong. If there was a gift of god to the Armed Forces, Girish was one of them. A tall, heavily built officer with an infectious sense of humour, Col GN Purandhare will be missed by all who knew him.
    He actually looked like a huge warm grizzly and once when my wife told him that he said - " Come, i will give you a bear hug!!".
    When he was a major he would pick up the phone and say "Maj GN Purandhare" and immediately the the voice on the other end would become highly respectful thinking it was a Maj Gen at the other end!! This was Girish's stock joke.
    We were regular squash players at MCTE. But Girish's problem was that he could never get up early for a morning game. He would often jibe me saying - "Even doodh wallahs don't get up that early".
    We studied together for three months for the staff course entrance examination in Sep 1994. He was intelligent and had this uncanny knack of predicting what type of questions would come in the exam. One night before the Tac B exam he said - "Mac, just write it down in your diary. Tomorrow's appreciation is going to be on establishing a road block". I disagreed and and said - "No way, it's going to be on Cordon and Search". Girish was right. He made it to wellington and I having flunked my Tac B went to IAT Girinagar for the TSOC.
    I last spoke to him when he was at Dimapur about six months back. So cheerful was he that one never imagined his days were numbered.
    He met Radhika during the degree course at CME - she was doing her engineering at Pune. An ideal match, that resulted in wedlock. I do not know Anandi and Rishikesh too well but i'm sure they will do him proud.
    For Radhika, no amount of words will suffice. But we know her to be a brave person and would like to reassure her that she can fall back on us without hesitation any time.
    Finally one of Girish's wishes in life was to beat me in squash at least once. Sorry mate, that will have to wait. I wonder if they have squash courts in heaven.
    Bye Girish. We will miss you. I suppose God has better things in mind for you.

    Col R Mahesh (Retd)