On Sundays, instead of going for evening wogging ( walking + jogging ), I prefer late morning walk with my wife.

Being the only daughter of an Indian Air Force Officer, my wife’s parents doted on her, treated her like a princess.
Although her parents have died few years back, she still misses them profusely.

Last Sunday, my wife made an unusual request, “Sanjay, today I want to visit Air Force Officers Residential Complex. Let’s take a walk inside it.”

Astonished by her insistence, I took her inside the heavily guarded complex, with the help of an officer friend of mine.

After walking for some minutes, she stopped before quarter number 3126A.

“Sanjay, I have spent three years, from 1987-90, with my parents in this quarter, before we moved to Jorhat ( Assam ) – our new posting.
I want to see again the rooms of the quarter, backyard. Is this possible?” she asked.

The occupants, Squadron Leader Vijay Gurung and his wife were kind enough to let us in, accompanied us over a cuppa.

“Sanjay, this is the room where my mother celebrated my fourteenth birthday.
As my father was temporarily posted to Awantipora ( J&K ), she singlehandedly managed all the things. She made delicious cookies, snacks for me and my friends.” she said nostalgically, with moist eyes.

“Sir, can you show us your backyard?
My father had planted a Gulmohar sapling there.
Is it still there?” my wife asked with childlike inquisitiveness, from the officer.

“Yes ma’am, it is still there” answered the officer and took us to the backyard.

Standing adjacent to the tall, majestic Gulmohar tree, my wife became lost in thought. I could clearly sense tears welling up in her eyes.

After sometime, we took leave of the officer, thanked his wife for her hospitality and started our journey towards our home.

On the way, after remaining incommunicado for considerable time, she said, “Sanjay, I felt something strange when I stood before the Gulmohar tree. I felt as if my father was there, lovingly calling me by my nickname, trying to embrace me.”

Having said that, she released her pent up emotions, started weeping by resting her head on my chest.

In order to comfort her, I embraced her.

Well, sometimes husbands are destined to play a different role.
They have to double up as fathers!

~ Sanjay Gargish ~

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Sanjeev Gargish

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