The Army Life Struggle
The Army Life Struggle5 mins 160 5 mins 160
“Today was a long day at work”, said Ma. Hearing this uncle Krishna: the servant laid the table. Arundhati hurried downstairs -she was looking for Ma (her mother put her arms around her skinny waist. Ma love said, “Aru now come on let’s eat”, pointing at the long wooden rectangular dining table placed in the main hall of the 3 storeyed bungalow which belonged to her grandfather: Ramakant Aamarlal Sethi.
Arhundhati’s favorite place to sit in between her beloved mother and her highly respected father who worked for the British army and often was nowhere in Arundhati’s sight as he was often fighting wars. The table was packed with delicacies prepared by uncle Krishna. Arundhati was waiting on the table for her grandpa to come and start dinner. She swayed her legs back and forth underneath the table while her mouth watered staring at the lip-smacking pakoras with mint, date, chili chutney.
She saw her father from the door stepping in; in a millisecond she jumped off the cushioned chair. To her he seemed very unkempt, however, she gave him a tight hug. The loving man went on his knees and hugged his daughter back. “Papa!” she exclaimed staring his light brown eyes hugging him even tighter. They together enjoyed their dinner and slept peacefully in their room.
The next day, a man who was dressed in a similar army uniform like Papa entered their house through the main door and handed over to her an envelope that read her father’s name and requested her to hand it over to him as soon as possible.
She hurried up the stairway into the room and saw Papa on the bed reading the Newspaper in white Kurta- Pyjama: Indian men’s comfort clothing. She carefully gave him the envelope in his hands.
From within, she was filling her bags with hope for it not being the message for war. She stood with her back rested on the pillar and gazing at Papa. Soon he was done and said, “Aru” he sighed and continued, “I was thinking to take you on a vacation to Kashmir but turns out that at this time I must go somewhere else at war I don’t know if I would come back alive or dead like always but I know this wouldn’t decrease my love for you and yours towards me, right?” Arundhati said yes in a soft voice with a tear flowing out of her blue eyes she walked towards her father and sat beside him on the bed.
Her father wiped her tears off her face and said “Aru, don’t forget the good news unlike always I will be leaving a week later obviously I cannot take you to Kashmir but Delhi isn’t a bad place to be and have fun so every day after school you and me….can very well go to the chaat vendor or wherever you wish to take me we can go”, saying this he went exited the room to inform the others. Arundhati stayed in and got out of her rough notebook and planned the week with Papa.
She was happy about the fact that her father could spend some more time with him. She slept for a while as it was a Sunday-a day she could be slightly lazy in bed, however her favorite pastime on such days was to play with her toys.
For the next week, Arundhati and her father spent a while together hanging around here and there exploring new things. Through the week they visited the Taj Mahal, ate appetizing foods and went shopping- they bought new clothing for each other and ornaments for Ma.
Soon, it was time to wave the goodbyes to her father who had gone to Singapore to fight a war. Arundhati had tears rolling out; like a tap would roll out water when open. She hugged him tightly and stood on the porch leaning against a pillar until his figure disappeared. The next week she focussed on studying everything taught in school and often had friends over for fun.
On a Sunday a week after Papa left she thought: Always after a week of Papa going the letter arrived of how much time it could take him to come or if he was injured or no, but this time it wasn’t the case.
Arundhati started playing on the porch so that if the letter arrived it mustn’t go unattended. Another week passed without any news about Papa she started to worry more and more; by the third week she finally received a letter but after Ma had arrived from her busy day at work.
Holding it Arundhati felt blessed and smiled. She hoped it wasn’t something to worry about, as she tore the envelope apart into bits and pieces on the porch’s marble tiled flooring. She carefully opened the letter hearing her pounding heart.
The letter said that her father was badly injured and the doctors on the field are trying to heal him. The moment the postman turned back and gave her another letter which read that he is no more.
Arundhati lost her balance and fell onto the floor, her mother zoomed to her to get her up she put her to bed and read the letter. She instantly understood the reason she tried to stop her tears and dialed the doctor. He said that she had, had a lot of stress in the past days. This minimized the amount of water she drank, thus she is suffering through dehydration.
Her mother grabbed some courage and understood the medication she sent the servant to bring the medicines. Arhundhati’s eyes opened and she saw her mother on the bed starring. She hugged her and they cried together and uncle Krishna got some pills.
After this incident, Ma came early and took her out like Papa did when he was around slow and steady heir bond filled her father’s gaps as well. As she became younger she became wiser without him also she developed a lot of emotional courage. Still remembered him in her memories.