The Invite To The Convocation
The Invite To The Convocation
Meera’s eyes filled with tears as she walked towards her room. Her vision blurred as she pulled out the letter from the envelope for the umpteenth time and went through the printed words. It was an invitation to the convocation ceremony to be held the next week in Pune. Naren had got through his exams and was now going to be a full fledged army doctor. He was going to fulfill his father’s dream.
Scenes from the turbulent past floated across her mind. She remembered how as a dreamy bride she had entered her husband’s home around twenty five years back. Karan had been a handsome army officer. It was love at first sight for both of them. In spite of facing a lot of opposition from his parents, they had gone ahead and got married. Within a few months she had conceived and when Naren was born, Karan’s parents accepted them into their family. He had been a loving husband and a doting father to her son. Of course army life was unpredictable and duty was his first priority. He had been posted elsewhere off and on, but Meera had chosen to stay on in Pune to take care of his aged parents and her little son. Even after his parents passed away, she continued to stay for the sake of her son’s education.
Karan would always joke about his son following his footsteps in the army, maybe as a doctor, so that he could tend to the wounded soldiers of war. They were so happy together but it seemed fate had other plans. Karan was called up for duty to Kashmir as tensions in the border had started escalating. He would call her up every night to keep his promise of reporting that he was safe.
On that fateful night, however she got a call from the Army Chief. Her world came crumbling down on hearing that Karan was no more, and she flopped down holding the phone in her hand. Apparently, Karan had been called to lead his team to battle it out with some militants who were holed up in a deserted house. A fierce battle had ensued and Karan and two of his fellow army comrades had been martyred, but not before they had shot and killed at least three of the four militants. There had been a state funeral for the three army brave army officers. Though she had been brave and controlled during the funeral, her mind was in turmoil. It was the thought of her young son going through the painful loss of his father at a young age that had made her collect herself and draw on her reserves of inner strength to face life without her beloved husband.
She alone knew how she went through her years of struggle as a single parent. Though the army had been quite supportive, she found it extremely difficult to maintain her home as well as finance her son’s education. But somehow she had managed to balance her work and home, while seeing to it that Naren lacked for nothing. Naren had been a good student. He topped his school in the tenth and proceeded to take up science in college. Being an army martyr’s son, he got admission in the Armed Forces Medical College. And now he had achieved his goal of becoming a doctor.
Meera gazed at her husband’s garlanded photograph.
“Are you happy now, my dear?” she asked, as she gently touched his face in the photograph. “Naren is a doctor, a full fledged Army Doctor, just as you always wanted.”
She wiped her moist eyes and proceeded to dress up in her simple yet elegant attire to attend the convocation ceremony.