I am not sure how exciting or uninteresting it might be for the people out there, but I have always respected my papa for being a policeman. I used to think and still do that he is not a great father, as he was hardly there when my siblings and me needed him, but he was always on duty, adorning his khaki uniform. I have no memory of a holiday, spent with my papa, but I remember some days when I used to come back from school and papa would have cooked delicious lunch, this used to happen only when he would be working on the night shifts. He is one of those people who will not talk much when sober, but after few pegs he used to talk about anything and everything under the sun.
I never realized that the police job is so tough until that day. I was away for my higher studies, of-course on loan because I am the daughter of a policeman and I belong to the general category. One fine day I got a late night call from my mother saying that papa is hospitalized and he has lost his memory. For a brief moment, I was did not understand how to react and then I just could not control my tears until the next day, I reached home. I did not cry in front of my mother and my sister. My brother was on his way. It was wintertime and the hospital was colder and quieter. I was preparing myself to meet my papa, and I was not sure what to expect.
I had left, a 5 feet 11 inch tall, strong and good-looking man hiding his tears behind photo chromatic glasses, when I had left home for further studies. What I saw in the ICU room was a frail, thin man with half paralyzed body and no senses at all. I did not know who he was, all I knew that the job of a policeman had eaten him up.
Now let me tell you about my mother. Like many other middle class women of our country, my mother is my hero. She is a born warrior, because she has been fighting with circumstances since she was a kid. She fought with her parents for her right to be educated. She fought with her husband for the right to be on job (she is a school teacher), and right now she is fighting with the Education Department for her right to be transferred in her home district so that she can take care of her ailing husband.
Being a daughter of a policeman and a schoolteacher, I realized that both my parents are from the most hated and at the same time respected categories of the Indian Government Service. In a way they belong to the lower cadre of government jobs. I have seen my mother going door to door for pulse polio mission and sitting for entire day for voting duties. I mean, any kind of new policy that has to be launched by the government, can only be succeeded because primary school teachers are there to work on holidays and vacations.
And if it’s non-government work, then policemen have to be there. Any social occasion like festivals, or visits of some political leader or Sabha of some religious leader or road accident, murder, theft or even Bollywood celebrities visiting to temples, the policeman has to be alert.
Having said that I was happy for both my hardworking parents. They gave and still are giving their 100% to the government but I feel sad and sorry for them because when government has to pay back to their employees, it’s just bureaucracy and paper works and politics and bribery and god knows what all! So when a policeman who is trying to fight for his life, because he got paralyzed on duty, due to odd hours of work and immense pressure from everywhere, a government schoolteacher is fighting for her right to teach as well as take care of her ailing husband. And I as a daughter of these two government servants feel utterly helpless to be able to do anything for my maa and papa!