Thursday, January 21, 2010

Life goes on

This month last year,

We were planning our anniversary party.
My sweet baby boy was in my womb.

This day last year,

My husband went to work ,flew an aircraft ,landed a little later and came home.

And at a dear friend's house,

A wife and child were kissed goodbye in the morning.
He went to work, took off in a similar aircraft about the same time as my husband did.

The next day, his only child took her first steps.

I was among those who saw her take them, and my heart broke because her father never would.

This past year could not have been easy on D's dad and R, but being the strong people that they are, they've chosen to remember him with love and happiness. After that fateful day last year, till the time D's family left this base, we spent our evenings at their house, sharing a few drinks, his favourite biryani and all the good memories of a life well lived.These are my memories of how I came to know D.

Once you marry someone in the armed forces, you have to live at very close quarters,literally and figuratively with your husband's colleagues and friends, so maintaining (at the very least) a civil relationship with the said friends and their wives is the done thing. After I got married to my husband (who is a fighter pilot),I met and liked most of  his close friends and colleagues. However,breaking the ice with one of his best friends, who I shall call D, was not so easy . He was a very honest  and exceptionally intelligent  man, with a very good sense of humour, and a penchant for correcting errors in language and diction.Naturally, I felt I had to be very careful before I said anything to him ,because he had the reputation of either going silent or being very caustic when faced with inane remarks about the weather. So,the first few times that we met, I played it very safe and somehow managed to get by without any foot in the mouth moments.

A few years down the line, my husband got selected to  fly  in the IAF's prestigious nine aircraft aerobatic display team. Since D was also posted to the same team, and there was an accomodation shortage in the team's home base,we stayed at D's house for about a month.  During that month,  D  went  back to his hometown to collect his wife and newborn baby.Even though he was away for most of the time,I still managed to get a dose of D's famous caustic honesty,which according to my husband was a small price to pay, because apparently that was a sign of the begining of his acceptance of his  friend's wife as a friend.

At the end of the month, we shifted to a temporary accomodation,away from the main officers enclave, and D came back with his wife R, their tiny baby daughter ,his very easy going dad and two humongously cute beagles. One evening ,about two months after we had shifted to our remodelled temporary shack house,when the husband was out on tour with the rest of the team,the electricity did a disappearing act, it rained and the roof in our pre independance era temporary accomodation behaved like a sieve .I was all alone in a spooky house,with a torch for company. That's when R arrived and took me home, where I lived for the rest of the husband's tour. I had a grand time, formed a very close friendship with R, and the rest of the household, and of course raided their considerable collection of books.

Over the course of the next year, D spoke little to me but I could make out that he was begining to slowly thaw towards me.I think he realised that if his wife,kid,dad and dogs like me, and that if I loved books and comics(MAD mags in particular), and his friend seemed particularly happy even after spending half a decade with me, I couldn't be all that bad. On my side,I slowly learned to see the joke through the  poker faced remarks and began to be more comfortable airing a few opinions in front of  him. We had a lot of good times at their house,and I only wish we could have become better friends much earlier.

I know that if he is still somewhere ,reading this, he's wincing at the grammar.


shail said...

This is a beautifully written post. I am sure if your friend were reading it he would notice the feelings and forget the grammar for the moment, not that anything is wrong with it of course!

shail said...

Thanks for stopping by my place and leaving a comment. Keep visiting. :)

J P Joshi said...

Yes, life does go on..... this is one of the tragic parts of any Air Force... it is sad for the people left behind... God gives them the strength to go on, I believe.

MRC said...

Thanks for your kind words, and I hope he is.

@J P Joshi
Welcome to my blog and thank you for your comment. Yes, you're right and obviously you, of all people would know .


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