Memories are what we create when we travel to new places , meet new people, eat different food, know new cultures and experience various life situations. And this is what Airforce has blessed us with. Dad had served his complete tenor with Airforce and got retired and led a graceful and independent life even after.
I remember the tag line of LIC which says “zindagi ke sath bhi aur zindagi ke baad bhi.” I don’t think dad ever took such policies but his loyalty towards his job and the integrity he lived his complete life with, has given him everything, rather more than one can think of. Along with his pension, he did have other benefits but the most important was the medical facilities for the retired that ECHS provides , which sure had taken a huge financial burden off his shoulders.
The highest honour came, When we were in deep shock by his sudden demise, Airforce association came forward informing us about the ritual. The protocol was to be followed, which we were unaware of.
When we were sadly preparing for his last rites, a bunch of Airforce personal arrived at our home in a big vehicle, carrying bouquets of flowers, a huge table, white bedsheet. These were Airmen and Officers, dressed in their ever graceful, impeccable service uniforms. They arranged the stage and Carefully placed Dad on it. The team decorated Dad with the most honourable tricoloured National Flag and offered flowers. Each of them saluted him.
We were dumbstruck, tears rolling uncontrollably. Mixed feelings, mixed emotions. In The most saddest moment we experienced utmost pride. Pride for the honour, for the respect they exhibited. The flag was Folded neatly and then handed over to Mom, along with a condolence letter signed by the highest authority and an envelop carrying some cash to cover expenses of the last rites. Unknowingly Mom saluted them and they saluted her back.
It was a grand farewell, a royal ending for the wars he participated in, for his loyalty.
Am sure DAD would have sure watched from the higher ups and would have felt extremely proud. Our respect for the Uniform Increased many folds that day.