From the eternal sky, through the windows of her room, the bright sun spreads the sunlight over her face. She wakes up. She turns her face right, and just like the day before, and before, there was no one. All she saw was the other half of the bed, empty. People say that seeing the face of your loved ones in the morning makes your day better, but Riddhi had no one. Being a wife of a soldier, she had to go through this loneliness for a great part of the year. All she could do was wait for his husband to get leave from work, which was seldom, of course. Her husband, Kritarth was appointed in Kashmir, as am army officer and spent 8 months outside home. They were allowed to contact their family once every week in those 8 months and the duration for the call could only be 5 minutes. For Riddhi, that one phone call was the best part of the week. Because, those 300 seconds kept her alive. Those 300 seconds gave her strength to face another tiring week, they gave her hope. Those 3000 seconds were her satisfaction that her husband was alive. People often go on complaining about very little things, get angry with each other o small issues, be it the teenagers, or a mature married couple. They don’t tend to realize each other’s importance in their life, but they should, because some people, who don’t have a person to ask “How was your day?” at the end of every day have serious problems. Riddhi was going though the same. She was running her own parlor, to keep her busy during the week, she was also very determined and focused on her work. Riddhi and Kritarth did not have any kids which added to Riddhi’s loneliness. But despite of all the loneliness, the wait and excitement of the phone ring, which always rang on Sunday nights at 8:00 pm, gave her the desire to pass weeks. And yet, she never complained. Life of the women who are the wives of army men are terrible due to the fact that they have to live with the fear of losing someone who is the most important to them, and they don’t complain because they know that their husbands are serving the county, which is of course, something to be proud of. One Sunday, with all the excitement in the world, Riddhi finished off her day’s work and was eager to receive the phone call. She sat by the phone at 7:45 pm and waited, it was routine for her to sit beisde the phone 15 minutes earlier just to be on the safe side of not missing the phone call. But this time, something was different, the phone did not ring. She became worried and why won’t she? It never happened before, Kritarth never let a Sunday pass without calling Riddhi. Riddhi was tensed, an hour passed and there was no phone call. She called up all her relatives and informed them. But all of them asked her to stay calm, giving the reason that he might have been busy with work. But Riddhi had an intuition that something was wrong. With a temporary masked satisfaction, she somehow slept and passed the night. Next day, as per the routine, she went out to collect the newspaper. Suddenly, she was baffed, her face became red, she stood still as if she was frozen. The paper fell off from her hand and she sat down right in front of the door, and started crying excruciatingly. Everyone outside noticed, and ran toward her to see what happened. But terrified Riddhi couldn’t speak a word. The headline was “Kritarth dead while serving the nation.” And that is why there was no call on the previous day. This news hurt her to another level, it stabbed her. It finished her purpose to live, it seemed like a tasteless life was bitter now. Days passed, and Riddhi was still surviving. Yes, surviving. Not because she cought some illness or something, but she lost a purpose, which was even worse. The recent days after the death of Kritarth, she used to spend most of the day looking at his picture, thinking about him. Despite of the pain she was going through, she was proud of her husband. And again, why shouldn’t she be? He died a dignified death, which she knew, would have satisfied him, because he died serving the nation. This is just what happens with all soldiers. Death for them is not a punishment as long as it comes while fighting for the nation. In fact, it is an honor. And we, the normal citizens should respect that. Yet, we seem to concentrate on other issues which, in reality, are less important. This may have been a simple story, but focusing more on the essence of things like this seems more important to me. We really need to think of changing our way of life because we seem to care less for the nation. The families that have lost their loved ones who were soldiers know the pain. The excruciating pain that lasts a lifetime. They realize what it means to lose someone who fought to let them sleep in piece and happiness. They know the importance of a soldier.


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