The memory flashback takes me to the year 1986, when on completion of my two year training in November, I received my posting orders as Tehsildar Pooh, District Kinnaur. I was at Ghumarwin at that time. Much against the well meaning advice of my seniors to approach some Minister for adjustment at some other place, I decided to join. I spent the joining time at Shimla with my parents at Shimla. As the days for my departure for the new place were drawing near, my father-in-law Sh. P.N.Sharma who we lost just three days back , sensing the difficulty that we might face on the way as also on arrival volunteered to accompany us. And difficult it was with even minimal household goods loaded on bus top and a seven month old baby in the lap. I had not gone beyond Rampur Bushehr before and Pooh was at a further distance of 149 Km from Rampur
We boarded the Shimla–Kaza night service bus on 26th of November which started at 8PM. The journey went on smoothly till Tapri, which was also the Regional HQ of HRTC at the time. To our utter dismay, we were told that due to blockade of road the bus would not proceed further. To add to woes were the house hold effects loaded on bus-top. My father- in-law, unlike me of an open friendly nature struck conversation with the bus conductor who as it turned out was from the Arki area , which also is the native place of my in-laws. The good Samaritan helped us offload the household items and arranged to keep them in HRTC shed to be transported by us later.I may add that the said conductor after some days met with a fatal accident with many other passengers on board at Kingal , leaving us all sad. With some clothes and other important paraphernalia, later in the day we boarded another bus which dropped us at Powari, where we had a forced stay of two nights amid snow in a Federation guest house. There also a kind GREF employee invited us for breakfast. At last we made it to Pooh on 29th November, where we had to stay put in PWD rest house for days together as the accommodation was not vacated by my predecessor after the board examination of his son was over. Father in Law returned to Shimla after two days. This is just one instance.
He also kept visiting my parents when they fell sick by turns keeping me posted with the developments through letters as there was no other way of communication available. He was quick enough to accompany me and my wife to hospital when I had severe jaundice attack in 2007 and also kept visiting as I was recovering.
A gentleman always immaculately dressed in neatly ironed suit and a tie , always sporting shining shoes, he was a regular on the Mall and at the Indian Coffee House accompanied by two-three friends.
A sociable , friendly and generous soul, he had no dearth of friends. Honest to a pie, I never saw him haggling over price with any shopkeeper . The carpenter, electrician , plumber whom he engaged from time to time for work always went satisfied as he would always pay them over and above the amount initially agreed upon.
Now only memories remain !!