Few words in remembrance of a good friend,pen-friend….
Today is 5th May, the date I remembered every year as birthdate of acquaintance & pen-friend (after all we share the same birthday month!), who later became a good friend. Yes, I’m talking about –Military Pilot Anil Kumar, also lovingly known as ‘M.P’ among his friends. Even if he is not amongst us now, I still remember this date every year.
I first got to know of him during my school days in a lesson ‘Airborne to chairborne’ in my English textbook in Class Xth. A military pilot’s journey from flying aircrafts like MIG-21 to becoming confined to the wheel chair for lifetime due to condition called ‘quadriplegia’ that he suffered because of a road accident. I was highly inspired by him and wanted to meet him in person sometime. I also wrote him a letter and sent him on the address mentioning just the name of that place (other details I didn’t knew!). In that hustle I forgot to mention my address. I never expected a reply, but I got one from him! How? That’s very interesting story, will narrate sometime later.
From that day we became penfriends through letters and friends later on. His reply would be in a form of typed letter which he used to type on specialized computer whose keyboard he operated holding pen in the mouth (later, when technology advanced, we used e-mails for convenience of communication). His letters would always be inspiring. He had a good command over English language(so much that I had to search for some words in dictionary!). I had expressed my desire to meet him at the paraplegic home where he stayed. I got the chance when he happily agreed for the meet, Me and my dad visited him on one fine morning (after a long search of address). He, was one of the nicest persons I ever met! So full of optimism. I told him about my dream of becoming a ‘Doctor’. He was very happy for that. One of his letters said this which I will remember for life time- “Have courage in the face of adversity, patience in the face of frustration and faith in the face of grief ” Today, when I am summoned for the duty as doctor in times of this crisis pandemic, I have this M.P’s advice with me, which gives me hope and strength to fight all odds.
M.P, I know you are not among us now, but you are always remembered. Your advice on courage, determination and optimism has been there & will be with me throughout my journey in medical profession and as a human being in this in life.
[Note- I have shared more about him (as his pen-friend), in the book named ‘Born to fly’, which has been written by M.P’s friend Nitin Sathe(published by Vistasta publications). Do read it to know more about his journey.]