Monday, November 07, 2005

A Short Story

Jaswant Singh stepped out of the shining new Air Force Gypsy, almost as soon as it came to a halt in front of the Station Commander’s Office. The Station Commander walked up smartly and saluted to Jaswant Singh He could not help but admire the tall, erect 6’ feet frame little betraying its seventy five years of age.

Their eyes met as Jaswant Singh shook his hand. The Commander looked away quickly. The entire situation was overwhelming. His mind strayed back to the big tragedy that had happened just a week ago. The air crash and the loss of a young pilot was bad enough. The prospect of facing an old father who had lost his son in such a tragic manner was worse.

Jaswant Singh was a man of few words. He conveyed the purpose of his visit to the Commander in a cryptic manner. He wanted to visit the base to have one last look at his son’s place of posting and his staying quarters in the Mess to get a feel of the world of the Indian Air Force his son loved so much. And to take back his sons’ belongings.

When they reached Sqdn. Leader Amardeep Singh’s room, the Commander stayed outside to allow Jaswant Singh some privacy.

Jaswant Singh entered, and looked around as if trying to feel the presence of his departed son. The room had been left untouched since, just the way Amardeep Singh had left it when he last went out for his early morning sortie. On the table in the corner was a music system. Jaswant Singh’s memory raced back to his son’s visit home while on annual leave, and the leg pulling he was subject to by the family because of his passion for singing but his horrendous out of tune voice.

His purpose fulfilled, Jaswant Singh’s visit was quickly over. The Station Commander walked with Jaswant Singh to the vehicle this time accompanied by his adjutant, a young pilot and a close buddy of Amardeep.

Jaswant Singh reached up to the jeep and turned around. His face wore a deadpan expression. But the Commander and his adjutant could clearly see immense physical toughness and mental strength, of a seasoned Subedar Major who had himself devoted his life to the armed forces. He shook hands with the Commander and said a simple but sincere “Thank you”

As the jeep drove out of the Station Commander’s Office driveway, the adjutant noticed the expression on his boss’s face. Clearly this one had been a tough situation to handle, he thought. He could not help speaking up “Sir, He must be one real brave man – being able to face up to such a big personal tragedy!” The Commander turned to his adjutant and said, “ Let me tell you something few others know. Jaswant Singh’s elder son, a Major in the Army, was killed in a counter insurgency operation six months ago”


Saturday, November 05, 2005

This is me !


This is me in my Office

(mine is a 'thinking' job !)

Friday, November 04, 2005

Do you care for your parents?


Recently, a friend related to me a true story about a man and his wife. These two devised a plan by which they conned their old parents into transferring their rights on practically all their assets - their house, bank balance et all, to the only son. The reasoning was that it was no longer worth living in India, but to go and settle overseas, all available financial suport was needed from the parents.
The son and daughter in law shared with the parents a plan for all of them to travel to a foreign Country together, and rent a house there and start life afresh. On the assigned date of the journey, all four reached the airport. The aged father was on a wheechair. Both parents were made to sit and wait in the waiting area, while the son and his wife left to complete check - in formalities.
They disappeared, never to be seen again. Took the flight out of the Country never to return and leaving the old parents were left behind in the wating hall of the airport, penniless and homeless.

The children did not plan to take the parents with them, to begin with.

Sounds completely unbelievable? It sure did to me. I mean - how can you possibly do this to your own father and mother? The very people because of whom you exist, and are what you are? Together they fought through thick and thin to feed you, educate you, and help you become a respected member of society.
A fast progressing society - aren't we? We've moved so fast that somewhere on the way, we lost track of the direction, turned right around, and reached the jungle.

Some of us are like animals.

My message to all of you who have read this. Sit back and think. Do you care for your parents? Do you make sure you do everything in your power, to make the twilight of their lives comfortable? Are they happy, not because of the material comforts you provide them but because they get a feeling that they are loved and wanted? Do you spend ten minutes of quality time with them everyday, even if its a telephone talk?

If you don't - act now. Or you might regret it when its too late. Care for your parents, so that your children see and learn to care about you.

Cheers !