A tribute to the commander in the clouds ..

Impressions of a Pilot

Flight is freedom in its purest form,
To dance with the clouds which follow a storm;
To roll and glide, to wheel and spin,
To feel the joy that swells within.
To leave the earth with its troubles and fly,
And know the warmth of a clear spring sky;
Then back to earth at the end of the day,
Released from the tensions which melted away.
Should my end come while I am in flight,
Whether brightest day or darkest night;
Spare me no pity and shrug off the pain,
Secure in the knowledge that I’d do it again.
For each of us is created to die,
And within me I know,
I was born to fly.

— Gary Clause Stoker

During my former years spent in Marol, I had the opportunity of spending my childhood with one of the most admirable personalities I’ve ever encountered in the aviation industry - an Indian Air Force Wing commander, a respected and adored figure at his workstation and at home, with his loved ones too.

I'll always remember his undying passion for flight which he expressed in almost every manner, the cheerful gatherings we had at his residence, his warm smile that made you feel like home and those neat airplane models he'd make himself by assembling random household objects together, toothpaste caps, boxes and what not.

I'll remember how my mum would always address him as 'Sir' during her flying days with him in Jet, and how that title never changed, out of her deep respect for him.

I'll also remember how my initial awe and admiration for him as a child, gradually matured into immense respect and affection, through the years.

And though his soul may have 'taken flight', in reality, I'm sure that all the distinctions he's achieved, all the good work he's done and all the support he's given will always live through the hearts of the many thousands who, like me and my mum, were fortunate to have encountered such an inspirational personality like him.

Rest peacefully in heaven, Uncle David... continue to look over those that care for you from above, amidst the clouds and blue skies, like you did, as an exceptional pilot.
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