I , my husband and Maj Pandey were just talking like any other day, but that day changed my perception about him totally . He is a good friend of ours and post dinner chatting on any random stuff has became a tradition now. I was not much aware about his life till then. When he shared his life experiences with us, we really felt good and proud of him.
He belongs to a consanguineal family of a distant small village. The family was penurious before his birth . His father could not study ‘coz his grandfather could afford education of only one child. In the ties of kinship promises were made that his uncle would study and if he would procure a good job he would take responsibilities of educating his younger brother’s kids too. Time passed down and after the birth of Maj Pandey, his grandmother insisted his uncle to took the responsibility of Maj Pandey as per the assurance made some decades ago. So his uncle and Aunt took him along in a desultory fashion as his aunt was not happy with the idea. His childhood was way more tough than other kids of his age as he was an unwanted material in their house. He always got lukewarm reception from his uncle and aunt . Although he was a bright student, had cleared entrance exams of many good schools but he was not allowed to take admission as they could not bear the expenses. So he kept on studying in gov’t school near their house . He had to do household chores also, if not done be was entitled to have bad treatment or sometimes manhandling also. But as a tough boy he bore everything. After completing his 12 th class board he determined to go out of that house. He was clueless about his further studies,but was sure that he could provide himself a better life than living in bitter ambiance of his uncle’s house. He went back to his village, started giving tution to lower classes students there. Enrolled himself in distant learning, his father was still a poor farmer and was not able to provide him education. For reaching to his tution centre he had to cross a river by swimming and then had to walk miles. He had also worked as salesman for a washing powder company just to earn bread and butter for his life.
One fine day he got selected in army not as officer but an OR. Life began to come on track . He met a beautiful girl Prerna and they fell in love. Then he came to know about ACC entry of army. He worked hard along with the hardest jobs of army and cleared written test . When he was called for SSB at that time he was posted in Kashmir. He started his journey from Kashmir to Allahabad, but as he reached at Jammu railway station he lost his bag containg all his documents. At that time he broke up thinking this is the end. But as they say “where there is a will there is a way” he somehow managed to get photocopies of his documents, he went to his centre as his I card was with him. He cleared one of the toughest selection procedure of Indian Army. But now as he was deprived of his original document this could act as a biggest stone in the path of becoming a prestigious officer. He requested for some time and this time luck was in his favour. He got his documents and was ready to go to IMA. Meanwhile Prerena was suffering with slip disc problem and it was getting worsen day by day. She got that operated but of no use. She was suffering from immense pain. She asked Maj Pandey to leave her as Dr has already told her that it is a life long problem. But Maj Pandey was as devoted to her as towards his work. He told her straightaway that I ‘ll not leave you in any situation. His parents would never be agreed to this alliance if they would have came to know about Prerna’s situation. He asked Prerena and her parents to keep it as a secret , again one bold step for his love. They got married and after few months she gave birth to a healthy boy Jay. Then he confronted his parents that Prerena is having backache due to cesarian birth of the child, They got convinced. She still have problem in travelling and doing some household chores but their love ‘ll overcome every problem with time I’m sure. Besides all this he still spend alot on his uncle and family, took their responsibility too along with his own parents.
Nowadays we are stationed in a remote area where roads are not good. He can’t keep Prerna along with him due to lack of medical facilities. He is such an inspirational soul , very jolly creature who keep on making other smile. But I know in deep down of his heart he misses Prerna, Jay and their company alot. May their love keep on growing and their bond become more and more stronger!!
Men in uniform are anomalous. They are the men with integrity!
I cut short the story here but when he recited it slithering beads of tears sluiced down my cheeks.
Thanks for reading:)