Sunday, June 17, 2012

Daddy's E-mails- Part 2

This part deals with his teenage and early adulthood years. You can sense his subtle humor in his writings. I like it so much that he writes as if he is talking to me. 

In 1946, Bauji was transferred to Srinagar. I had done my matric exam and managed to pass also. In Srinagar I joined S P College in FMC medical. Raj also joined with me although she had already done 1st year non-medical but she decided to do medical. So we were in the same class. She was a very bright student. In our class test in Physics she secured 81/100 and I managed 18/100. She had the highest and I lowest. Our professor who used to live in the next door announced in the class that between the two of them they are holding the whole class- one from top the other from the bottom. I felt very bad and at this stage and started giving more attention to studies.

Baoji was posted as inspector post offices Leh division. He would go on tour to Leh once a year. It would take him 3 months to finish the circuit as he had to inspect all the post offices on route. He would return by an air force plane.  

End of 46, one morning we got up it was snowing heavily. We had never seen such a wonderful sight earlier. We ran out and played in the snow like mad. Our Grandmother was alive. She was a very fine lady. Every morning she would do Puja and sing bhajans. You perhaps don’t know that she lost her husband when Baoji was 6 months old. Grandmother was looked after by her brother who used to work in a rice mill perhaps as a laborer. Somehow Baoji was able to do his Matric exam and got a job in post office as a clerk. This was a big achievement for a poor boy (Note by Puja: mom tells a story about what Bauji wrote in his application. I will dig that out and add here). Soon he was married and transferred to Kishtwar in J&K. Bhapaji was born there.

Baoji had two sisters: the elder one was Boota Ram Suri's mother and the younger one was Indervati's mother. When Baoji moved to Kishtwar, he took Boota Ram with him. En-route Boota Ram fell in a khadd and was saved by Bhabiji who jumped after him in water. This reminds me that once Boota Ram's son RAVI fell in Dal Lake and I jumped after him to save him.

Pakistan was created in Aug 47. Baoji was transferred to Rewari. We stayed back in Srinagar to complete our studies. In Oct 47, Pakistan invaded Kashmir. (Note from daddy: I think it is enough for one sitting more tomorrow). 

The raiders very quickly reached outskirts of Srinagar. Maharaja had fled to Jammu there was no army or police. All of us were at the mercy of raiders who were killing all non-Muslims. It was a very horrifying time for all of us- poison was arranged for ladies. To cap it all our grandmother was diagnosed to be having cancer of liver and was very sick.
The Indian army flew into Srinagar when Kashmir acceded to India. Gradually, the Indian army took control of the situation and the raiders were pushed back. We were evacuated by Air Force planes to Delhi as refugees and lived in front of Birla Mandir. Local people would bring cooked food for us everyday. We were there for 5 to 6 days till we arranged for a taxi to go to Rewari. When we reached Rewari, Baoji had left for Srinagar to bring us back. Ultimately he came back and joined us. Grandmother died after a few weeks.
For completing our studies we got admitted to Govt. College Ludhiana. Baoji was again transferred to Srinagar and we joined him waiting for our result. We did rather well. I got admission in Amritsar and Raj at Lady Hardinge, New Delhi. Bhappaji joined a bank at Srinagar. As baoji had to educate both of us, he started touring the whole month to make extra money. Mohan got selected for army and joined military academy, Dehradun. So this time Raj and Mohan and myself were all in professional colleges. With time, we came out as doctors and an army officer.

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