It was the day he came to my home to have a look at me and my family. Honestly, I was so shy that I did not even look at him. He greeted, “Namaste and thank you (as I offered him a glass of water)“. His voice was very passionate. It was an army man’s word. His voice made me say ‘Yes’ to him, though I stalked him later on Facebook. Everyone was happy as this sweet relationship was going to blossom in to a marriage. It was the day of the engagement — we talked, and for the first time, I looked into his eyes. I fell in love with his selfless heart and those brave eyes. Soon after, we spent hours over the phone, building memories.
He had appeared for the National Defence Academy exam for recruitment in the Army, and was awaiting his medical test’s result. A few days later, he received the good news that he would soon going to be a part of the brave Indian Army. We were happy. Since he’d already received his joining date, we preponed the marriage. I was soon a proud wife and daughter-in-law of an army family. Our journey together had already started. It was the day when he was going to the border for a mission — being a lover, I was going to miss him a lot, but as the wife of an Army officer, I proudly bid him goodbye.
I used to miss him a lot. He was mostly busy in training and we didn’t have much time to talk and share our sufferings. Months passed by, days felt heavier, every letter, each mail, rang, as if I was going to hug him. The day he was supposed to come back home, my mother-in-law was busy making his favourite aloo parantha and sweets. My father-in-law was busy buying new outfits for him and I was searching for his favourite colour saree to welcome him.
Suddenly, a piece of news appeared on the television. It said, “You won’t see those loving eyes ever, you won’t be able to hear that passionate voice from now on, you won’t receive any call from his number.” Everything and everyone fell silent. Our world came to a halt. But I was still “a proud widow” of an Army officer.
I used to wonder: why do Army officers marry if they don’t even get the time to be with their loving family? It is not their right to ruin and snatch someone’s life. But I was wrong. They know they have given themselves to the country. They think about the whole country, but in a little corner of their heart, they are a little bit partial too. They, too, love their families. That’s why they choose a brave wife who would also be his family’s pillar when he is taking his last breath at the border. They choose a wife who would fill his space for his child and make their child a proud citizen.
I miss him a lot. Sometimes, at night, I search for his chest to sleep peacefully on and his shoulder to cry on. Sometimes, I want to go shopping with him. Sometimes, I want to have our baby. Sometimes, I want him to protect me. But I survive, I live, I move on, because I feel him around me.
An army man can never die. They leave their breath for our peace. But can’t leave their presence when someone needs them.