Not very tall, thick set, Tamilian boy, if my memory serves me right, with piercing dark eyes, was an absolute bundle of energy. I don’t know how we bumped into each other, it was during the POP (Passing Out Parade) practice period, one, Outpass day (generous permission to visit the town & eat enormous amounts of food) we happened to be on the last bus back to the academy. It was about 2230h which is about 10:30pm in common folks language.
He and I were busy chatting about aviation and flying and the works (A Flight Cadets life is limited to two basic topics flying and food).
If I remember correctly he was talking more, though I was answering some sharp questions. His questions were long and probing and involved a lot of gesticulating (Much to the irritation of fellow passengers). His prompt apologies would follow as soon his arm would strike someone. Often followed by a wink at me.
As we were slowing down in front of the AFA Officers’ Mess, an irritated Nigerian officer finally interrupted Muhilan and my conversation and asked Muhilan ‘what was wrong?’ in a thickly accented English. Muhilan very matter of factly answered ‘Everything is perfectly ok’.
The Senior Officer obviously recognised us as cadets from our turnout (Means what we were wearing), stepped closer, and directly Asked Muhilan ‘Why are you behaving badly?’ By then the bus had stopped Muhilan replied ’I am behaving absolutely Officer Like’ with a huge grin on his face. The Nigerian officer raised his voice and said ‘Now I will complain about you. What is your name?’
All this was in the front half of the bus. The driver & most of the passengers were now engrossed in the fracas. Muhilan calmly looked at the officer & asked ‘You don’t know me, so how will you complain about me?’ Saying this with his twinkling eyes, he jumped from the stationary bus in a flash and ran into the thick bushes and vanished. I on cue quickly melted into the back of the bus.
I could hear the Nigerian Officer shouting at the driver to chase the cadet and some obviously Nigerian obscenities. All us cadets at the back were chuckling. One guy at the back asked ‘kaun tha woh?’ I said ‘Legend’
Flt Lt S Muhilan VM (Posthumous) is along with every other crew member truly a legend. Tremendous Respect ✊🏼 and Salute to the entire crew.