A soldier is never off duty. That’s what exactly defines the life of Mr. Amit Kumar Goswami Ex IAF Wing Commander. After serving the nation for decades, he invested in entertaining the country through his novels and short stories. The retired officer is also in collaboration with multiple voluntary works to serve the people in times of the pandemic.
Interview Times had a great conversation with a gentleman from heart and soul, Mr. Goswami, ahead of the release of his second book, which includes many armed officers’ real-life incidences.
Here’s how the Interview went-
How did the love for writing books evolved in you?
A few years back, I met with an unfortunate accident in my home. I had a severe fracture in my leg. It was about to be amputated, but luckily my doctors were good enough to fix it with the help of two rods. However, after the operation, I was bed-ridden for two months. I am not a social media freak and was idle at home most of the time. Therefore, I decided to experiment in the field of authorship and novel-writing.
What was the motive behind writing your second book, which incorporates all compelling stories of men in uniform, which are rare to hear?
It was the first book’s success, which enacted a sense of compassion in me to write more and more stories. Also, you see- my second book consists of stories that are real and are mostly unheard of. We always see the men in uniform in action, but most of us are unaware of their lives or some of the wildest and adventurous encounters they witness. So my second book brings some of the experiences of officers in front of society.
Can you brief us more about the premise of the upcoming book?
As I said, all the stories in my book are based on real-life incidences of the people in the armed forces. While some encounters are serious, some are quirky and funny as well. There are a few tragic stories as well. The main motive behind writing my second book is to make people aware of soldiers’ daily lives when they are in business.
How excited are you for the launch of the second book?
To be very honest, there is no sense of intense excitement. However, there is a sense of fulfillment of doing a noble job in narrating the soldiers’ stories and a sense of curiosity to know how the public reacts to the book.
What else do you do besides writing?
I stay happy all the time in my life, apart from writing. Laughs
After retirement, I have ventured into many voluntary services. I advise people on health and investments, run a resort as well. Since the advent of the pandemic, I have been actively involved in making N-95 Masks. Also, just for fun and relishing the good old days, I organize a get-together trip with my old colleagues and their family every year.
Any tips and advice to people to keep safe in this pandemic?
The most prominent fighter is the one who has great mental strength.
Therefore, I suggest that people be mentally healthy, boost their immunity with yoga and exercise, and have eight hours of sleep. Apart from that, use a good quality mask, and drink warm water regularly.
Recently, Gunjan Saxena released on OTT platforms, which received a lot of negative criticism of showcasing IAF in a degrading way. What’s your take on it?
Oh! It was absolutely ridiculous with a display of a weak disclaimer. Let me tell you the movie’s infinite problems apart from degrading the most respected field of IAF.
- Gunjan Saxena is not from the first course but the 4th course. She joined Helicopter training in 1994. She had four years of Helicopter flying experience in 1999 when the Kargil war broke out.
- HAL manufactured is not a combat Helicopter like MI 17 and Apache. Roles for HAL are Route transport, communication, mail service, and casualty evacuation. A maximum number of 3 passengers, 100 KG ext sling load, can be carried by the HAL. Moreover, HAL’s top speed is 121 KMPH max speed, with the climb rate 1 KM / 4 minutes. Therefore, it is mainly used for high altitude operations.
- No helicopter was shot down in Kargil. However, the movie showcased the crashing of two helicopters.
- One of the most significant factual errors!!! Gunjan was not the only woman pilot. Srividya Rajan served with her in the same unit. What’s more interesting is that Srividya was the first lady pilot to go to Kargil in the first batch, followed by Gunjan.
- Most importantly, Gunjan Saxena never received Sourya Chakra.
- Sorties are never cancelled without a valid reason.
- The movie showcases hostile attitudes and physical challenges by male colleagues. Utterly rubbish!!! Most male colleagues were curious, and some were sceptical. But Gunjan and other women candidates were given as much respect as delivered to the other officers.
- Another point showcased in the film is the lack of privacy. In training centre bathrooms, changing rooms are always present. In forwarding areas, men kept one bathroom for ladies and even offered their changing rooms. So there was no question that Gunjan might have faced issues with privacy.
- Officers behaved like professionals at par, and there was no chance of ill-treatment. Any behaviour not accepted by the books always results in a suspension or even stiff punishments.
- Directors and Producers have no idea how IAF works
- They focussed more on commercial success, which leads to exaggeration.
- Homework is never done correctly by these banners.
- The movie-makers did not pay heed to the IAF recommendations, thereby tarnishing IAF’s image.