Autumn of 1992


As far as I could remember, I always had two sides to my personality. One fun-loving, nonchalant and happy-go-lucky type and the other entirely at contrast- thinker, serious and constantly striving type. It was like encasing two distinct souls in one body. With onset of puberty, along with physical changes hormonal flow also alters the direction of thoughts and perception towards opposite gender, unless there are early signs of being gay or lesbianism. This turbulent phase had deep impact on my thinker side, thereby heavily subduing the fun-loving part of me. Girls which I couldn’t stand earlier started looking charming. Infatuation with many mesmerizing girls became topic of relentless discussions in friend’s circle. Among them was a pretty girl from adjoining section whom I admired and for many years was touted with her reply of “saade aath-08:30”, when I daringly asked time from her. Such was the level of innocence or foolishness, if I may say. There were many ‘saade aaths’ in due course but none could be imagined in the role of life partner- not until 10th standard. It was in 1992 when the thinker in me started mulling over this serious issue. The potent fire in belly turned me into a potential achiever who dreamt of settling down early in life. The plans were simple but well thought of- Air Force Pilot, which I contemplated since 4th class; a beautiful wife, which I started searching for from 10th class; and a big house, whose architecture I decided in 6th class. With 2 things presumably within reach of my hardworking self- I began my quest for a lovely wife. The thoughts were still at a nascent stage when a personal tragedy struck at family front. A childhood friend, referred as my future bride in jest, passed away. It was a shock- not of losing a prospective wife but because she was a dear friend. The news spread in my immediate friend circle- Puneet being inseparable part of it. Boys sympathized and so did one girl. One brilliant, beautiful, sincere girl.


Long before I stepped in to the Indian Military Academy, I had my first love and first heartbreak, followed by 2 more- with increasing intensity.


This madness consumed my academic performance. Marks dropped faster than Arnab’s reputation. Expectedly for me and unexpectedly for my parents, I scored poor 69.2% in 10th Board Exams. The result shook me up and I resolved to gather myself again in order to pursue my two other dreams- Fighter Pilot and Bungalow, with third one put on back-burner for a while.



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