The only regret was that it lasted just a day. Was wonderful to meet so many familiar faces and a torrent of memories came flooding back from the past.
To all those who couldn’t make it, rest assured you were missed, while some were remembered in little incidents that many recalled. To me, personally, it was best described by Ravi in his welcome address, “It is about coming from the heart”. It truly was. It was not just the Marut, even though it was that too, but it was also a host of personal memories that surfaced.
When I got the intimation I happened to discuss it with Sadhna. I mentioned to her that I vividly remembered Ravi & Eddie and was in touch with Su but couldn’t quite place Shanta. I wondered which course he was from?! When she told me who Shanta was, the first thing that crossed my mind was not Suree or her but her parents’ home in Jodhpur. We used to play cards together and my memory of her was as a girl with a huge nose ring! More than that though, was the genuine pleasure of remembering her parents – her mother patting her husband on the back playfully calling her “My motoo!” and he with his ever present broad beaming smile that lit up the room. Also while I wasd speaking to Sadhna aboutreunion and even though I meet her and Tony often, the memory that came flooding back was not about Jodhpur or the Marut but of much earlier. I reported to my first operational squadron in Baghdogra in Oct ’65 and was greeted by Plt Offr Garg who gave me a welcome hug saying “I’ve been waiting for you. Now I’m the second junior most officer in the squadron.”
I’m sure it was the same for everyone else there. That was what was so special about the whole thing. It was not so much about what the Marut was like, it was about all of us and the wonderful people we met and a way of life that is simply unmatched, even today. We have all found a new niche and levels for ourselves in our professions and individual lives, but no matter what, it was the Marut which made these old affinities, friendships, and long forgotten incidents come alive for that one evening.
What can one say about the wonderful hosts. Ravi graciously and unreservedly placed all his facilities at the complete disposal of Shanta, Su and Eddie. They in turn made a wonderful team that worked like eager beavers to make a simple get together into something memorable and precious, for all those who were fortunate to make it there. To all of you our very very special thanks and gratitude.
Because their interest and hard work, the Pavanika event has set a high standard for Jodhpur to live up to. I for one am already impatient to be there. We can look forward to meeting many more who would hopefully find Jodhpur an easier and more convenient venue to reach.
Till then, lets stay in touch here.