I got married on February 27. Right after our wedding, we went to Punjab for a couple of days, visiting his relatives from paternal side, along with his parents, and his elder brother who was visiting from LA, USA. From Punjab, we went to Patna, his home where he grew up. We got a wedding reception there from his parent’s, and met his mother’s family, her colleagues, and friends. With only a few days left of vacations after these two visits, we opted out the honeymoon and decided to visit his station of posting.
Lucky for us, most of the officers were away on a mission, leaving us enough together time. The location was fabulous, with a backdrop of mountains, and the receding wintery cold, a perfect setting for a honeymoon. Most evenings were spent attending dinner invites. A welcome party was also given in our honour at the officer’s mess. I escaped the traditional welcome, where the husband is ‘kidnapped’ and the wife is left at the mercy of the station bachelors and young eager wives, posing as ‘terrorists or bandits’, scaring the life out of the new gullible wife. I was also fortunate to miss the reception on a crane lifting me through the city from the railway station to the air force station.
Soon, vacations were over and it was time for me to go back to Lucknow to continue with my masters in Zoology. It was still March and within a week, I was planning to give him a surprise. April was round the corner and so was my birthday, first birthday after marriage. I booked my tickets, packed bags, packed a bag of books, a huge mistake, as that bag was never opened. There I was in the train, alone. Reaching Jammu station, I was still far from my destination. I managed to reach Air Force station at Jammu, hoping to find his coursemate, who would assist me with my further journey. Found his door locked, and started looking for another coursemate’s house. Lucky as ever, there she was, coursemate’s wife, taking an evening stroll with friends. She took me home and called her husband. He was shocked to see me there, unannounced. A call went to my destination station, to him. The response was to put me in the army transit bus that was about to leave. On reaching the end of this bus ride, I got down to find two motorcycles approaching the transit camp. There he was on one mo-bike for me, with two officers on the other to carry my luggage. This was one of the many adventures of my life.
He was planning a similar surprise for me, and was planning to leave the very night to visit me in Lucknow on my birthday. I pre-empted that and was saved from a surprise of my own, of missing him by a few hours. Fate was kind to me. We had a nice birthday celebration with some friends. We threw a party and I cooked my first party spread as a wife.
He told me a joke of a friend who would dust off his hands by clapping them, a gesture for showing good riddance, every time his wife went away for a few days. So here I was, on a leaving train, standing at the gate, reluctant to leave his sight. As the train was pulling away, we both kept looking sadly at each other and I was almost in tears, when he dusts his hands off from a distance, leaving me smiling throughout my journey back to the college hostel.
I had heard of his lonely, depression bouts before we were married, and I was glad to know that those changed to lovelorn, happy bouts of waiting after we were married. Life was one big dream for me, and that dream started becoming a reality the day I married him.
||Sarvam Sri Krishna Arpanamastu||