A book to leaf through rich legacy of Air House


New Delhi : Now a coffee table book encapsulates the rich legacy of the residence of Indian Air Force (IAF) chiefs, who shaped the contours of the force. And sure enough it was released at the Air House here.

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The eponymous book, “Air House — Down the Years”, was commissioned by Air Chief Marshal P.V. Naik and was launched by Marshal of the Air Force Arjan Singh Tuesday at 23, Akbar Road that has been the official residence of IAF chiefs here.

Also present was air chief-designate N.A.K. Browne.

With institutional history and heritage preservation in mind, the coffee table book was commissioned to record the rich history of the Air House in the form of two stories on the enduring vision of the architects and the saga of its occupants.

Arjan Singh recollected this as being the same house he first visited in January 1945 on returning as a war hero from the second Burma campaign during World War II.

He insisted that right from the time of inauguration of the capital city of New Delhi way back in February 1931, airmen have always lived at 23, Akbar Road, as part of the British South East Asia Command.

“The project is not just a book about a house, it is also about a home, and the people who have shaped the contours of the Indian Air Force, one of the finest air forces in the world. As such, it essentially revolves around fond memories and reminiscences of the Chiefs of Air Staff, former and incumbent, and their families,” the IAF spokesperson said.

Photographic memorabilia from the families that lived at Air House, archival repositories at the defence ministry, air headquarters (also known as Vayu Bhavan) and the National Archives are included in the book.

Another unique dimension was added by way of paintings of the Air House by students of air force schools.

Together with a bouquet of contemporary day and night photographs, the book is a rich kaleidoscope of the times and events from the early years post-independence to present times. In that sense, the literature veritably encompasses the rich heritage of Air House for posterity.