Photo: (AP Photo/Channi Anand)
This article is a peek into a letter written by an army man’s wife to her husband.*
We don’t know much about the lives of the jawans who are putting their lives at risk for us, every moment at the borders of India. We know even lesser about what their families go through.
This article is to bring out what an army man’s wife goes through while her husband is not there with her:
I don’t want to ask how are you. You will be there missing us and you wouldn’t be fine. I don’t have the courage to read about your foot injury, so I am sorry I cannot ask how are you.
Gopi misses her father a lot. She has grown so much in the last year, I hope you do recognise her when you come home. Your mother is doing well, she often keeps staring at your father’s picture. I think she is afraid that you would meet the same fate as him on the border while serving in the army. I am afraid too but also I know that my love for you will protect you wherever you are.
Protection…I was out in the market with Gopi yesterday buying your favourite vegetables. When we were returning home, a group of three guys started following us. At first I didn’t notice them but later when Gopi pulled my sari and told me about the three ‘uncles’ following us, I was extremely scared. I had nothing on me that would protect me and my daughter from those creeps. Rajesh, I needed you then…you are out there protecting your country while your wife here is unprotected.
I am sorry I am complaining. Rajesh, I am just very scared. I took Sudhir chacha’s help yesterday and he escorted us home safely but what will I do if it happens again? Suguna says that I must start keeping chilli powder and a knife with me wherever I go. She told me to be brave because I am a army man’s wife. She said I should learn to protect myself. But my hands shiver even at the thought of danger – I just keep missing you all the time.
I am fighting a battle here, all on my own. A battle with my own thoughts. A battle with my own fears about you out there on the border with guns and fighting enemies. The fear of spending my life all alone. Sometimes I really wish you were not a soldier and like all others you would come home to me every night. But then will I ever walk with pride in the streets that I walk with now? While everyone is busy cribbing about the country, I am proud that my husband is out there doing something about the country. I know that it is because of you that so many women, children and their husbands can sleep sound today.
Rajesh, can you promise me one thing? Just one thing and on that promise I will fight all the battles alone. Please promise me that you will come back to me forever, one day. Promise me that I will not have to spend my old age alone. Please, Rajesh, please promise me that you will not die…
*This is a work of fiction loosely based on true events.