On India’s twenty-ninth Republic Day, in 1979, a reticent Major from the Indian Army, a recent graduate of the Defence Services Staff College in Wellington, tossed the last cigarette he ever smoked out the window, as he drove down Delhi’s Tughlaq Road in his third-hand, steel grey Fiat Premier Padmini.
At a salon in the city, a slight-of-stature, nearly twenty-four-year old in her practical, lightweight lehenga snapped impatiently at the hairdresser’s tardiness. The Major, in a rare display of punctuality, arrived at 12 Tughlaq Road at 6 pm sharp, making a mental note to remind his soon-to-be-wife of her twenty-minute delay as often as possible in the years to come.
Thirty-five years later, the Fiat’s gone and the Major is a retired General, his restrained demeanour a shadow of its former glory. The non-blushing bride continues to be uber practical, and dismissive of any talk regarding her ‘presumed’ departure from punctuality some decades ago.
Happy Anniversary Mama and Papa, thanks for showing us how it’s done.
© Ayesha Sindhu 2014