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Blast From the Past:a Tale of Love

An Air Warrior and prolific writer with over 60 published short stories and 9 books on fiction

blast-from-the-pasta-tale-of-love

The beginning

The past is something that cannot be brought back but at the same time thoughts of the past can re-emerge in your life, especially if it concerns something sweet and nice. As a young Subaltern Ronnie was posted to Bombay and was staying at the officer’s mess at Cotton Green. This is the heart of Bombay and it’s 10 km from the famous Victoria Terminus. The place was known as Air Force Station, Bombay and was situated in extremely quaint and picturesque surroundings. It was inside the dock area. The entire area belonged to the Bombay Port Trust and had been leased out to the Airforce for their use. Along with the officer’s mess, it had a small headquarters where the Station Commander and the adjutant sat. For their personal work all the officers had to come to the headquarters.

Ronnie whose real name was Raunak Singh was detailed to work with the helicopter unit to give logistic support to the oil rigs in the Arabian Sea. He and other pilots normally operated from the Juhu airfield. As per plan, workers on completion of their shift of 15 days were ferried to and from Juhu to the various oil rigs in the ocean which were sometimes 60 to 100 miles away. It was tricky flying but definitely not all that difficult because once you set course with your NAV equipment, you straight away reached the rig and then could land at the designated helipad that was clearly marked.

Raunak popularly called Ronnie enjoyed his work. His best friend was the engineering officer Joginder. He would get the chopper ready and sometimes he himself hopped in with the passengers who had to be ferried to the rig. They would stop there for an hour and then come back with the people who had completed their shift.

The chopper used was the Sea King but two Allouette II helicopters were also available. Both the officers used to visit the headquarter often and speak to the adjutant and have a cup of coffee with him. This helped to sort out any official problem and check-up the Personal Occurrence Reports(POR).

The AF headquarters is still located at the same place. It is located in such a way that the barbwire fence gives a clear view of the small road leading to the BPT headquarters. Many a time when Ronnie was sitting, he would observe a beautiful girl walking on the other side of the barbwire towards the BPT headquarters. Now this is not a common thoroughfare and only those who are either from the air force or the Bombay Port Trust use it, so he assumed this girl would have something to do with the BPT.

She was extremely beautiful and always wore short skirts so he surmised that she would have some European blood in her because most of the time Indian girls would only wear a trouser or shalwar kameez.

He saw her many times and it was obvious she was going to the office and then he got hold of his Jeeves, Joginder and asked him, “look pal, there’s a girl I see walking outside the fence towards the BPT office, could you find out who she is?”

He was a close friend almost like Sancho if Ronnie was Don Quixote.

Joginder promised he would check up and about two days later, once they were airborne in the Sea King to one of the rigs, he conveyed to Ronnie that she is from Goa and has Portuguese ancestry. He also disclosed her name as Rosie Ferrao and that she was working at the Bombay Port Trust office. He gave some other information also which Ronnie found very interesting. He informed that she was attending evening classes in law at the KC College.

The information fertilized Ronnie’s mind and straightaway made a plan to join the KC College of Law for evening classes as well. That would give him the chance to be close to this girl. He took the necessary permissions from headquarters and enrolled in the college.

Ronnie would attend classes three or four days in a week and on the very first day he tried to locate where Rosie was sitting. He found that she was sitting in a corner. The first meeting went smoothly and he went up to her introduced as an officer from the air force. That had the desired effect and she shook hands with him and he couldn’t help observing that she almost looked like Bridget Bardot. Now she is an actress from another era but he had seen her pictures and she was the ideal for him.

The class was over at 8 PM and while walking out he asked her if she would mind that he drop her home

“How will you drop me?” she asked.

He squeezed her hand and replied,” I have a Royal Enfield Bullet and I could take you up on the pillion and drop you home. Are you staying with parents?”

“No,” she replied,” I stay alone with a friend who also works in the BPT but you seem to have been gathering a lot of information about me.”

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blast-from-the-pasta-tale-of-love

Romance

They walked along to the motorbike and the bike sprung to life with one kick and with Rosie behind drove out into the streets of Bombay. He took her to Marine Drive and the Malabar hill and then continued down to the Bandra bandstand. This is a wonderful place and people who have gone there relish the beauty of the Arabian Sea as it crashes against the bandstand which during the days of the Raj was alive with the police band playing nostalgic tunes.

There is a wonderful cafeteria overlooking the sea and though the place has been refurbished, the cafe has not changed much. Both sat there and talked and discussed endless things over hamburgers and coffee. She told everything about herself as he did. Her grandfather was Portuguese and as such she had the the right of entry to Portugal.

This was a bit of a dampener and he wondered whether she would go away to Portugal. However, he dropped her at her hostel where she stayed with her friend.

This was the beginning and now it became a regular occurrence. Ronnie was not interested in the course and his main interest was to attend the classes and take Rosie out after that for dinner and long drives.

One day he took her after classes up the Malabar hill to the Parsi restaurant. It’s a lovely place and one gets a bird’s eye view of Bombay from there. They ordered seafood along with beer and then Rosie asked me,” hi Ronnie, can you take me to the oil rig? it’ll be a thrilling experience.”

He thought for a moment and replied,” I will try because only authorized people are supposed to travel by the chopper to the rigs.”

“Surely you can manage it.”

After the dinner she gave me a kiss and that sealed it, and he made up his mind to take her to the rig.

He immediately accosted Joginder and told him that he wanted to take Rosie to the oil rig.

“You can’t do it man,’ Joginder replied,” only an authorized person is supposed to travel and how are you going to authorize her travel.”

“You are,” Ronnie replied, tongue in cheek,” why don’t you make a flight plan in the Allouette and I will ask Rosie to get into a flying overall and then take her to the oil rig. Nobody will ask any questions there and then after an hour or so we’ll come back.”

He was thoughtful for a moment and then replied,” I will have to ask the flight commander and then make out a training sortie in the Alouette but again pal getting your girlfriend into the chopper is going to be a bit dicey.”

“Well,” Ronnie said,” what the hell, what are you there for? you come along also after all you are a friend.”

“OK Ronnie, I will arrange for a flying overall and we better make the trip tomorrow because the monsoon is likely to break.”

The next day he brought Rosie to Juhu airport and in the crew- room told her to remove her skirt and blouse and get into the flying overall. She was a bit hesitant and sensing her reluctance, he said,” Don’t worry I won’t look”

He turned away but was facing a large mirror and he could see Rosie in it. She stripped her clothes and got into the flying overall and he couldn’t be aware of the fact that Rosie looked absolutely stunning and again it reinforced his opinion that she was not less than Bridget Bardot. She had the loveliest legs and absolutely flat midriff with a clear white skin.

The three got into the chopper and soon were airborne over the Arabian Sea. It was an exhilarating flight as Ronnie flew the machine just a 100 feet above the ocean, which looked placid and calm. After about 45 minutes of flying, he could observe the oil rig and slowly began to bring the chopper down.

He brought the machine to a halt and the trio went over to the crew- room to have some snacks. Nobody asked any questions except the oil rig superintendent who asked Ronnie whether we would like to spend the night on the rig.

“No,” he replied,” we are going back. If there is a passenger who wants to come, we will take him.”

He nodded his head and went away.

As they were munching the ham sandwiches one of the supervisors came and said,” I have secured the helicopter to the concrete moorings because I don’t think you’ll be able to go back today.”

“Why,” Ronnie asked,” what is the matter?”

“There is a storm brewing and the ocean will be rough and there will be rain and strong winds as well, and you won’t be able to go back so I’m going to unlock two rooms and I hope you three can manage.”

The man looked at the trio in a matter-of-fact way and said,” one is a small room and the other is a double room so you can decide how you’re going to manage.” Ronnie thanked the man who left. Joginder told that he had a runny nose and Ronnie looked at Rosie and she nodded her head.

.

They came out of the crew room and outside they could see monsoon gathering momentum. Rosy suggested that Ronnie and Joginder could take the double room and she could stay in the single room. Joginder however butted in and like a true friend said, “No, I am having a runny nose and some cough and like to be alone, so you both can use the bigger room”

He looked at Rosie and continued, “Surely Rosie, I hope you are not alarmed with my friend as after all you know him for over a year.”

All drank wine and had a wonderful dinner. Everything including the wine and whiskey is the house and subsidized by the government. When everything is free you have a tendency to overdo. They drank even after dinner and retired to the rooms. Rosie was looking at Ronnie awkwardly as she had only the flying overall on and so had Ronnie. They hadn’t catered for a night on the rig.

“Don’t worry,” Ronnie said” nothing is going to happen.”

“Any way,” she said, “you have already seen me.”

“How do you know?”

“You were looking into the mirror.”

As Rosie removed her overall, her incandescent beauty shone. So white and pure like snow white. She now stood nude in the lamplight except for her black embroidered cotton lingerie which was held up by an elastic band around the waist. Rosie was staring at Ronnie as the emotion had overpowered her. She held her arms across her breasts as Ronnie walked up to her. “Lie down. Rosie,” he whispered as he felt light-hearted, not the least because of the wine and scotch they had consumed. She sat down on the bed and looked at what was coming.

He began to caress her and she was squirming and her flesh cringing with each application. She buried her face in the pillow

Gradually she relaxed and her flesh shook and quivered. The bedside lamp seemed to dim for a moment.

At this moment a hoarse unearthly crash of thunder and a short gasp from Rosie followed. It was a loud like a hedonistic clap and at the back of his mind, Ronnie hoped she would conceive. What a silly thing to think of at that moment!

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The end or another beginning?

They spent two days at the rig and after that the storm vanished and Joginder, Ronnie, and Rosie climbed back into the chopper to fly back. They took two passengers who wanted to go back.

Things didn’t move smoothly because the very next day Ronnie was called to the flight commander's office along with Joginder. The flight commander looked angry and said, “ I’ve come to know what happened but I’m not going to make an issue of it because war clouds are gathering and you have to proceed to Kashmir; you leave immediately but before that, you will be spending 6 working days for your conversion back to the 29.”

Ronnie telephoned Rosie and told her he was leaving but he would come back. She didn’t answer anything and he had a feeling that she didn’t believe me. He was gone for almost 6 weeks and missed the law exams; later he came back and put in a special application to the university to be allowed to take the test but Rosie was not there as she had gone back to Goa.

He would often ring but then she stopped answering the calls and he was wondering what had gone wrong. After about three months or maybe a four, he decided to go to Goa and contact her because he had her address. He went to Varca Beach where she stayed and reached her house. It was a very small lovely cottage but found it was locked and as he was looking around a man came and asked who he was. After a moment he said,” you the air force man? Well, she has left a letter.”

“Yes”

“Good, you can take this letter because she has gone away to Portugal. They left a month back as immigration had cleared them.” Ronnie’s legs felt jittery and he opened the letter and read it; a beautiful letter with a flower embossed on the front. It was a short note, ‘thank you for a wonderful two days. They were like the island of Eden, what with the rain and storm and time on our hand with booze and food but I had to leave because you didn’t come for a long time and now I’m going away to Portugal, in case time and tide allows, you can come to Portugal. I shall wait.’

That’s the end of the story folks. The future? That’s another tale.

Comments

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on May 17, 2021:

Thank you, Devika, just wait.

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on May 17, 2021:

Thank you, Devika, for commenting. Glad you liked the story

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on May 17, 2021:

I look forward to the second part of this story just had a sharp end with a lot to think about here.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on May 17, 2021:

emge You have written an interesting romance story,

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on May 13, 2021:

Pamela, thank you for sparing time and commenting.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on May 13, 2021:

This is a lovely, very romantic story, MG. I enjoyed reading it, as usual. The details were interesting as well. Thank you for sharing it.

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on May 13, 2021:

Thank you, Chitra, yes part II is on the way..

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on May 13, 2021:

An engaging romantic story, and I enjoyed reading it. Are you going to write a second part too?

Reading about Bombay and it’s amazing locations was enjoyable to me. I have lived at Bombay for ten years, and I love the city.

Thank you for sharing!

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on May 13, 2021:

Peggy, so sweet of you to comment.

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on May 13, 2021:

Tom, thanks Bardot was much before my time but I did dream of her HER. Glad you have seen many movies of her.

MG Singh emge (author) from Singapore on May 13, 2021:

Bill, so nice you commented. I. should have finished the tale here but there is another part also.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on May 13, 2021:

Bridget Bardot was a pinup girl for many a serviceman during wartime. They probably dreamed of stories such as the one you wove together.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on May 13, 2021:

Well you can't leave us hanging like that. What happens next? Please! I want to know if they meet again and what happens when they do.

Wonderful historical facts sprinkled in here, just enough to give the story authenticity. Well done!

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