Thursday, January 29, 2009

10 years together

Meenu and I completed ten years of marriage on 27 Jan.

A picture from the early years

A recent sketch taken at Timber Trail
In love, nothing exists between heart and heart.
Speech is born out of longing,
True description from the real taste.
The one who tastes,knows;
The one who explains,lies.
How can you describe the true form of Something
In whose presence you are blotted out?
And in whose being you still exist?
And who lives as a sign for your journey?
- Rabia Al Basri

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Fauji dairy - Remembering Atul Ghildiyal

Atul Ghildiyal had a child like innocence, sage like maturity and an iron like will. He was my immediate senior in the battalion. There was a very strong bond between us. At some level I felt as if we were like brothers from different mothers. The fond memories of serving together at Jalandhar are still fresh in my mind. He had an enthuthiasm which was contagious and a spirit of adventure which broke all parameters of sanity; it was only Atul who could keep a variety of pets from pigeons, hens, cockerels to aquarium fish, and it was only he who could dare to drive all night on his mobike from Jalandhar to Dehradun!
He was passionate about everything that he did, whether it was professional army competetions, weight training or playing squash. Comradierie was never bettter personified; we invariably bought identical things,had similar opinions,likes/dislikes, had almost the same attitude.
After the tenure at Jalandhar Atul was posted to 20 RR in November 2000.( RR tenure is a counter insurgency operations). His wife Urmila was carrying their son Anirudh and Atul was saving his leave to be with her at the required time. No one could have imagined that he will not be able to reach his wife and son. While chasing insurgents in a operation, he was hit by enemy bullets.

From right- 2/Lt Atul Ghildiyal, Major Parladh Singh and 2/Lt Ashwani Saini (self) at MFFR (Rajasthan)
The young brigade of the Mighty Third during Centenary Celebrations(from left)Lt Kailash Bisht,Lt Arun Chaubey,Capt A Bannerjee (RMO),Capt Ashwani Saini (self),Capt Atul Ghildiyal and Lt Vinay.

Major Atul Ghildiyal laid down his life fighting insurgents on 18 January 2003. He was awarded 'Sena Medal' for Gallantary (posthomously).Homage can be paid to Major Atul Ghildiyal by clicking here.

Sony Big Bond Prize

Yesterday I was invited at Sony World, Thiruvananthapuram where I was presented the certificate of having won the Sony Big Bond Lucky Contest. The certificate was presented to me by Shri Gautam, Managing Director of Sony World.

Friday, January 2, 2009

ਖਾਲਸਾ ਮੇਰੀ ਜਾਨ ਕੀ ਜਾਨ...

This post is an outcome of a suggestion by my blogger friend, Mampi to introduce my friends in the video clip of the preceeding post.I was posted at Kanpur from Jan 2003 to June 2008. Our stay at Kanpur was truly memorable in more than one way - firstly, my job in the Bank preceeded a spell of being out of job for a few months( reminding me that tough times don't last tough people do!), secondly, we were blissed with our son Aryaman on the Valentine Day of 2004 and most important of all, our meeting with bhaaji's family.It would rather be an understatement to say that I am yet to meet someone as spiritually and mentally as evolved as our bhaaji. Unconciously at some level,I often try to analyse as to why we feel proximity to a person without having the probability of any common ground between us.

Our Bank's Kanpur office is an old and huge establishment by infrastructure and employee strength.During the first World War, the Controller of Currency chose to have his Headqurters here. I could not have met bhaaji at the office had the Flat alottment officer not been on leave on the particular day. My initial solace on meeting a turbaned sikh was that I can excercise my vocal chords in Panjabi with him. My memory fails me in recalling the early incidents or their responses, common excursions (for there were far too many) on birthdays, anniversaries or just like that. I don't remember if I had food anywhere else when my wife had to go to Panjab for work or visit which was often, bhaabiji and my wife Meenu were regular companions for a daily walk upto Chowk gurudwara. When our son was born and my mother could not make it as she was abroad, bhaabiji voluntarily looked after him; infact he was always their favourite.

Bhaaji and bhaabiji assumed various roles all these years,-friend,father,brother,guide,spiritual teacher,marriage counseller and much more. The second half of the Kanpur tenure was rather stressful at the office and tackling it would not have been easy without their support. At times I have felt that they have been sent by God to protect us.The parting with them was rather painful and hard to bear.It is an emotional chord which still binds us.

Their children, Inderdeep and Sarabjeet, who were in school at our first meeting have also established themselves in their fields. I remember one incident when bhaaji was undecided on sending his daughter for a particular competetive exam and when she finally gave that exam, she secured an all india first postion. For Sarabjeet I would say that he has topped so many times in last few years that I have become used to seeing his pictures in the newspapers and Bank magazine.

We wish the family all the happiness in the coming years.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

..a year that was...

This clip was prepared by Inderdeep ( who also features in it) and presented to us on our transfer from Kanpur to Thiruvananthapuram in June 2008. My thanks to her for this beautiful gesture to piece together in one place the memories of the five years spent together.