Our parents, whom we addressed as ‘Pitaji’ and ‘Jhaiji’ were a study in contrast. Pitaji was a man in a hurry, forever chasing his self-assigned goals and objectives. He was an intense person: focused to the point of being ambitious. He was an achiever, in every sense of the term. Jhaiji, on the other hand was laid back, relaxed and content with her lot. She did her share of the domestic chores and having completed the task, she had time enough to prattle with her friends and neighbors. Pitaji was reserved to the extent of being a recluse. Jhaiji knew just about everyone in the neighborhood. Pitaji liked to dress well. For Jhaiji, clothes were a mere cover for the body. Pitaji kept an account of every penny spent, while Jhaiji took only as much money as was necessary for the daily needs. Pitaji wanted his sons to excel in studies, while Jhaiji kept snatching books from our hands and goaded us to go out and play. Pitaji was short tempered; forever on short fuse while Jhaiji had no temper at all. She was cool as a cucumber. Equanimity was the cornerstone of the edifice of her personality. Our parents were so different in so many ways, that they made an ideal set of parents, to bring up their brood of four sons. There was nothing special about the schools to which we went, but we all did well enough to make it to the prestigious Indian Institutes of Technology. The older two brothers went to IIT Kharagpur and the younger two to IIT Delhi. Jhaiji had received very little formal education. She could barely read and write Punjabi. But she was an excellent judge of people and she knew how a person would react. We learnt a lot from her.

Before reading this little story, it needs to be remembered that when this incident occurred, our mother was no more than 31 years old and had spent most of her childhood in a village near Sargodha. She had not seen much of life in cantonments and had never had the privilege of having a retinue of servants.


 A Trespass Forgiven

Jhaiji treated the servants very kindly. For her, they were more like ‘companions’ than menial workers. She worked with them in the kitchen, and rarely said a harsh word. Consequently, no one ever left us. There was, however, one exception; Partap, whom Pitaji called ‘Partappa’. This little narrative is about him.

It was the beginning of the first winter after our independence, which we called ‘partition’. We had shifted from Jhelum to Meerut Cantonment and a very kindly Sub Area Commander had temporarily allotted a large house to Pitaji, so that he could provide shelter to his refugee relatives. Partap had recently joined us. The kitchen was located at some distance from the main building, so that the smoke emanating from the coal fire did not trouble us. Therefore, it was customary to employ a bearer to serve the food, since the cook could not deliver the ‘chapatis’ which were cooked when the food was consumed. The servants’ quarters were located about fifty yards away from the kitchen. During those days, even a junior officer could afford a retinue of six or seven servants, which included a sweeper, a washer man, and a gardener. Since most officers kept a cow or a buffalos and some dogs, a man was needed to look after the animals.

On that fateful night in November 1947, when we assembled for dinner, Partap did not show up. Consequently, the cook was running between the kitchen and the dining room with food. When Jhaiji enquired about him, she was told that he had suddenly taken ill. She was palpably concerned and wanted to check up on his health at once. But Pitaji had other things to worry about and chided her for being unduly attached with domestic help.

The dinner over, we retired to our respective bed rooms. We later learnt that Jhaiji warmed some milk for Partap and armed with a hurricane lamp, she headed for his room, all by herself. When there was no response to her knock at his door, she beckoned other servants. Her fear was that Partap’s condition may have taken a serious turn. The door was forced open, only to discover that Partap had bolted from the window at the other end of the room.

When Pitaji learned of this, his first reaction was to look for his purse, which had indeed been stolen, along with his Identity card, his wrist watch, and a costly fountain pen. It seems that he had drawn money from the bank on that day and Partap knew about it.

An emergency meeting of all adults was summoned and they were dispatched in different directions to apprehend Partap. The ‘operation’ was successful. Partap was found wrapped up in a blanket at the railway station, and when he saw our uncle, he started running away. But he was caught and confessed to his crime, at once. He had thrown the identity card in the hedge near the gate, and the rest of the booty was recovered from his person. It was well past mid-night by the time this process ended.



Partap was locked up in a room within the house, so that he could be handed over to the police, the next morning. But fate willed otherwise. Before the sun rose the next morning, Partap was gone. Jhaiji had opened the door, given him some money and told to vanish from Meerut. Her argument was that Partap was a mere child, who had sinned. He had sought forgiveness in all earnestness. Pitaji had recovered his valuables and therefore no damage had been done. She feared that the police would beat him mercilessly, and this delinquent child would turn into a hardened criminal. Since there was nothing more which could be done beyond saying a few unkind words to Jhaiji, no more was heard of this episode. Partap passed into the pages of our family history. For the sake of record, I may add that Jhaiji was merely 31 years old, then.

Over the years, I have sinned; and I have also been found out sometimes. Whenever I have apologized and sought atonement, I have been pardoned. Jhaiji forgave the trespass of somebody else’s son. The world has, in turn, been kind to her sinful and errant son!



A portrait of Jhaiji




  1. Saravjit Singh says:

    saravjit singh
    9:58 AM (4 hours ago)
    to me

    Sat Siri Akaal!

    Thanks a million!
    My Brother in Law Col Surinder Singh is idolised by our whole family.

    Warm Regards,

  2. Brig VHM Prasad says:

    5:48 PM (2 hours ago)
    to me

    We indeed are dwindling – only about 40 of a total of 190 left now.

    All three U have met in Chandigarh are v good friends of mine too.

    Lochi Khurana sadly is now not doing well at all since almost a year ago .

    Warmly to U – a son of our GREAT instructor in the Mil Wg (IMA).


    • Surjit says:

      The above mail has come in from Brig Prasad, who is from the First JSW course—placed her just for the record. He is well above ninety, but he is as sharp as ever. I salute him and his vibrant spirit

  3. Neena Singh says:

    Dear Veerji,

    Loved to read this article and I remember having read it earlier too and enjoyed it as much!

    Your mother was a divine & lovable soul. You have inherited her virtues.

    Prakarsh will come home in July. Hope you both are keeping good health.

    Warm regards,

    • Surjit says:

      Neena ji,

      This piece was much longer when first written with the help of my brothers. I am glad to learn that you still remember it.

      When Prakarsh returns, do let us know.


  4. Lt Col Ranjan Bakshi says:

    this is truly a Beautiful Vintage story and shows the wisdom of your mother. Gone are those days and these days, leave aside valuables one has to protect one’s life. Thank you for sharing this post. Regards Ranjan Bakshi, Lt Col, from Dehradun.
    While we are struggling at 76 and 79, where are you in the journey of life?
    Pl update us on your health.


    • Surjit says:

      Thanks, Ranjan.
      Dehradun is the city in which we grew up, because our father was posted there twice in the IMA I have fond memories of the city.
      In age, we are about three years ahead of you…and yes, we are also struggling!

  5. S Kalra, Yamuna Nagar says:

    She was really great !


  6. Dr Harmeet Khurana says:

    Sat Sri Akal Uncle.
    Thank you for sharing. I remember Jhaiji just the way you have described her. Her magnanimity is worth emulating. I also believe that all good deeds come back to us so I am sure that you have benefited from her generosity.


    • Surjit says:

      In my view, you have several attributes of kindness and forgiveness.
      Surjit Uncle

  7. Col MS Jassal says:

    col manmohan singh Jassal

    to me

    May ALMIGHTY God Waheguru bless her soul a lasting peace—a really kind-hearted lady.

    Manmohan Singh Jassal

  8. P B Bhatt says:

    I was reminded of the story, “The Bishop’s Candlesticks” taught to us in High School.
    It touched my heart!

    PB Bhatt

    • Surjit says:

      Dear Prof Bhatt

      That story is a masterpiece. It is a classic.

      Thanks for reminding us about it.


  9. Dave Sood says:

    Through your blog, I have got to know all members of your family, so intimately! I can now relate to each one of them!

  10. Maj Rajinder Singh Bhatti says:

    Message received on phone

    Virji. I was touched by the piece and reminded of the noble whom we had the good fortune of knowing so closely. May the Lord grant peace to her soul.


  11. col s s malik says:

    Dear Gen Surjit,

    A very soul stirring account of motherly virtue. After reading this piece, one can only fold both hands and bow to the memory of ‘Jhaiji’. Somewhere at subconscious level she knew that God had blessed her with sons and she must have been thankful to Waheguru. Pita ji was the human medium to have given her so much happiness.

    Forgiveness and setting Pratap free only reflects her strong character and humane emotional side.

    • Surjit says:

      You are blessed twice over. God has been bountiful in giving you a liberal dose of fine arts. I always begin to hum, ‘Samander ki haseen lehron ke….’ whenever there is a mention of your name!

  12. Col Ranjit Maini says:

    Ranjit Maini
    Mon, May 1, 12:52 PM (2 days ago)
    to me

    Thank you so much sir for sharing this interesting story.


    Sent from RediffmailNG on Android

  13. Lt Gen RK Gaur says:

    R K Gaur
    Mon, May 1, 9:42 PM (2 days ago)
    to me

    There is another interpretation. Bhabhi is also called Bhaujai in Hindi, and using Punjabi Prah for brother can become Prajhai as feminine.

    • Surjit says:

      Dear Bhai Sahib,
      I was told that since our uncles called her “bharjaee ji” the sons shortened it to “Jhaiji”


  14. Brig TS Pental says:

    Tue, May 2, 8:05 PM (21 hours ago)
    to me

    Very sentimental remembrance of your mother …..and good reading Rgds

    Sent from my iPhone

  15. Brig Raj Manchanda says:

    Raj Manchanda
    Tue, May 2, 7:58 PM (22 hours ago)
    to me

    Dear Sir,
    Very interesting story.
    Must say your mother was very compassionate with a big heart and rather brave to do such a thing.
    Enjoyed reading it
    Best regards

  16. Rashmi Oberoi says:

    Rashmi Oberoi
    Tue, May 2, 5:08 PM (1 day ago)
    to me

    Beautiful tribute dearest Uncle…
    And valuable lessons of life.

    Best Wishes,


  17. Maj Gen Surendra Rishi says:

    Surendra Rishi
    Tue, May 2, 12:29 PM (1 day ago)
    to me

    Dear Surjit,

    It’s a pleasure browsing through your blogs.
    I seem to have earlier missed this beautiful piece about Jhaiji’s benevolence and have enjoyed reading it. She was indeed a great lady and I am sure your kind nature and love for fellow beings owe much to the way she brought up all four of you.
    Thanks for sharing this beautiful piece.

  18. Tulsi Bhandari says:

    Tulsi Bhandari
    Tue, May 2, 11:05 AM (1 day ago)
    to me

    So good to remember her
    Best wishes

    Sent from my iPhone

    • Surjit says:


      …..and it is so good to hear from you. I remember the time when Gen Gaur introduced you to me, about ten years ago!


  19. N Bilimoria says:

    Niloufer Bilimoria
    Mon, May 1, 9:17 PM (2 days ago)
    to me

    What a beautiful piece. And an amazing lesson for all of us. Like the story of Les Miserables. She transformed Partap’s life for sure.
    Thanks so much for sending it.

    • Surjit says:


      I agree with you. It must have changed the life of Pratap forever!


      • N Bilimoria says:

        Niloufer Bilimoria
        3:49 PM (2 hours ago)
        to me

        I have to thank you for the inspiration from your gorgeous mother!


  20. Lt Gen RK Gaur says:

    R K Gaur
    Mon, May 1, 8:27 PM (2 days ago)
    to me

    In my own family, my father and my bhua, called their father (my grandfather) as Bhaisab. In my sasural, my wife and her brothers called their father Bhaisab.

  21. Lt Gen RK Gaur says:

    R K Gaur
    Mon, May 1, 7:06 PM (2 days ago)
    to me

    Thank you dear Surjit for sharing this superb note on your mother on her 26th death anniversary. She was an extraordinary lady who did an exceptional service to her family and everyone connected to it. My humble salute to her.
    You once wrote that you did not know why your mother was called Jhaiji. You may have discovered the reason by now, but here is my version. At that time families were large and when the eldest son brought a bride home, she was addressed as Parjhaiji by the younger siblings. The word means ‘One born in another family’. When that bride bore children, they copied their uncles and aunts and called her Pajhaiji. Jhaiji is short for Parjhaiji. In Hindi-speaking families the term used was Bhabhiji. For the same reason, in many families, children called their father Bhaisab.

  22. George Poonen says:

    May 1, 2023, 7:00 PM (2 days ago)
    to me

    Dear Surjit:

    Thank you for your letter, That was beautiful, as was your mother.

    May God bless you,

    • Surjit says:


      It is always great to hear from you. You left India long years ago, but I think you left your heart behind!


  23. Col Randhir Singh says:

    Mon, May 1, 4:19 PM (2 days ago)
    to me

    reminds me of my parents that generation was unique blessthem excllent memries thanks for sharing

    Colonel Randhir Singh Dhillon Marg Patiala

  24. Col ABS Sidhu says:

    Dear Surjit,
    Thanks for sharing mail regarding your
    respected Mother. You were lucky to have
    such a pious and kind-hearted lady.
    We pray for the peace of her soul.
    With warm regards and best wishes.
    ABS Sidhu

  25. Brig SS Jaswal says:

    Brig S S Jaswal
    Mon, May 1, 2:19 PM (2 days ago)
    to me

    Enjoyable reading Sir – thanks a lot !!!

  26. Saravjit Singh says:

    saravjit singh
    May 1, 2023, 12:06 PM (2 days ago)
    to me

    Our Dear Surjit Bhai Ji,

    Sat Siri Akaal!

    I was greatly moved to read the wonderful account of your Pitaji and the Divine Jhaiji. May their souls ever shine brightly in the realm of Universal Consciousness of Akaal Purukh!

    Your Brother Brig Surinder Singh knew my late Col Surinder Singh, of EME. He was the most honest person I ever met – got transferred every six months practically. Like your mother, he was kind and respectful to everyone. His main trait was that he was always before time for any meeting, even the most casual ones.

    With warm regards,

  27. Zal Kabraji says:

    Zal Kabraji
    Mon, May 1, 12:01 PM (2 days ago)
    to me

    My dear General,
    Your great mother was indeed a noble lady & like all mothers she performed her duties without the slightest hesitation—may the good Lord always bless her soul.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Warm regards & respects,

    • Surjit says:



      You never joined the army and never wore a uniform. Yet, you relate with us more than anyone else whom I know!


  28. V Malik says:

    Vijay Malik
    May 1, 2023, 10:47 AM (2 days ago)
    to me

    Very Nice Learning
    Thank you
    Vijay Malik

    Vijay Malik

    D-21,HAUZ KHAS
    NEW DELHI 110016

    TEL. +91 11 2686 5042
    MOBILE+91 9811040315

    email vijay.vijaymalik@gmail.com

  29. Vijay Malik says:

    Vijay Malik
    May 1, 2023, 10:47 AM (2 days ago)
    to me

    Very Nice Learning
    Thank you
    Vijay Malik

  30. Col NN Bhatia says:

    Narindra Nath Bhatia
    Mon, May 1, 10:37 AM (2 days ago)
    to me

    Dear General,
    While reading about your parents, I felt I was reading the story of my parents with many commonalities & many differences in the family. While my parents too belonged to Sargodha- my mother was from Bhera & father from Khushab across the Jhelum River. Also, while you are 4 brothers, we were 4 sisters & 3 brothers!
    I posted my comments but I got the message,’ Duplicate comment detected; it looks as though you’ve already said that!’ Hence this mail. As I think I read the earlier version of the article & perhaps posted my comments then too, I got the said message.
    Incidentally, I think you are an EME Officer. I am from the Kumaon Regiment but my late brother-in-law (sister’s husband) Col Daya Nand Chawla was an EME offr & so is my friend, class fellow & course mate Maj Gen VK Verma (Retd).
    Col Bhatia (Retd)

    • Surjit says:


      By coincidence, our surname (which we do not use) is Chawla. So, we are country cousins! And we belong to the same part of the undivided Punjab.

      Do keep in touch. VK Verma is a close friend.


  31. Brig VHM Prasad says:

    Mon, May 1, 10:33 AM (2 days ago)
    to me

    Dear Surjit,

    Enjoyed reading memories of your mom and family too of yester years.

    Did’nt know that your three brothers too were in the Army!

    Always enjoy writing all that you write in such superlative English.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Warm regards


    (Brig V HM Prasad )


    Tele : 040 – 27113077

  32. Lt Gen DB Singh PVSM AVSM says:

    Dharambir singh
    Mon, May 1, 9:46 AM (2 days ago)
    to me

    Always a pleasure going down memory lane and remembering the divine personalities like Jhaiji who were loaded with love and compassion
    Such were the MOTHERS

  33. Maj Gen Purshotam Vig AVSM VSM says:

    Dear General,

    I read your post with some interest and found many commonalities between the style of parenthood of their times and could connect with this in my own life. If you read a chapter, ‘It seems like yesterday’, in my first book, ‘Seasons of Life…’, you will find the congruity, although I wrote that for my father.

    Your write-up is indeed a very well-written eulogy, an ode to your revered mother, who was thrift on herself but opened the largesse of her affections on her wards and even on the servant. Her compassion for a human being surpasses a common being. She was above the material needs and was content. Her needs were minimal. And what did she achieve! A flourishing family, who learnt the ethics and values of life. Who excelled in life and have imbibed the values in a true spirit.

    My compliments for this touching piece of work and my respects for the departed soul who cultivated such good offspring and left a wonderful legacy.


    Maj Gen Purshotam Vig,AVSM,VSM (Retd) 12, GH-37, Sector-20 Panchkula, (Haryana) India 134116 +91 172 2551126, 2551021 +91 9815124804

    • Surjit says:

      Thanks. Your writings touch my heart.
      We invite you to write for our blog. I am sanguine that our readers will love to read them.

  34. Lt Col Anand Nair says:

    Anand Nair
    Mon, May 1, 9:33 AM (2 days ago)
    to me

    Very touching episode sir, from your childhood…


    Lt Col Anand S Nair (Retd)
    Mobile: 98463 26247

  35. Col R Saluja says:

    ranjeev Saluja
    Mon, May 1, 9:04 AM (2 days ago)
    to me

    Dear Sir,

    A very heartwarming post. I think you and Brig Surinder inherited the core values of each of your parents. Hard work, integrity and professionalism from your father and kindness, goodness and a sense of humour from your mother.

    All Punjabi families have been blessed with selfless and loving Jhaijis.

    Hope you are keeping well and fully engrossed in your hobbies.

    Profound Regards


    • Surjit says:

      Thanks Saluja. My son remembers the time when you were his LG in Bangalore. God bless.

      • Col Ranjeev Saluja says:

        ranjeev Saluja
        10:22 AM (3 hours ago)
        to me

        Sir thanks. During my stint in FEL, I regularly used the definition of EC – - – CM.
        I Hope Divjyot is doing well and carrying forward the family legacy. I am sure he will.
        Profound Regards

  36. Wg Cdr Unni Kartha says:

    May 1, 2023, 8:31 AM (2 days ago)
    to ugkartha, me

    Respected Surjit Sir,

    “Jhaiji’ is a most emotional and soul stirring story.

    The story of your father and mother reminded me of my own parents, now long dead.

    My father died young, at 62 in 1970. My mother lived to be 95 and passed away a decade ago.

    They too were refugees from Karachi, who made a home in a tiny village farm in Kerala in 1947. My father was a self-made man, Oxford educated British civil servant before partition. My mother was convent educated, but a simple housewife who ran the farm, mothering all like a protective hen, while my stern father pursued a career after independence, initially with the Travancore Maharaja and after1949 with the Kerala state govt. I was many things like him, stupid paratrooper of sorts, who laboriously climbed to 30,000 feet and jumped without a parachute, many times !! He was an exemplary honest and god fearing man, with 20/20 vision and foresight, a strict disciplinarian who brooked no nonsense from me, and used a Malacca cane frequently to instil the difference between what is right and wrong !!

    I was born as the 4th of 5 children in 1949, in the village ‘Ambalapuzha’ (Ambala di canal), sent to Rimc, NDA (37/Fox) and joined the IAF as a pilot. After an exciting military career in war and peace, I PMR’s in 94, but carried on working in the corporate world, in India and abroad, as an engineer, till I was 69,. Now I am 73 and live at address below, chewing cud, shaking like a tuning fork (Parkinson), once in a while writing sense and nonsense as ‘time pass’. In retrospect, Rimc / NDA / AF, I guess was an escape, to continue doing mischief !! I guess I was born a mischievous joker, perhaps a paladin, loved by all except the Air Mshls, who used Malacca cane frequently, like my father !!!

    I am aware that you are ex NDA too, very senior. I have read most of your blogs with keen interest and love your stories because they are well told nuggets of history. I look forward to more such articles.

    Thank you for reaching out to me. I am most honoured.
    I wish you a long, happy and healthy life.

    Fond Regards,

    Unni Kartha

    Wg Cdr Rtd

    F/305, Patel’s Green Park,

    YAPRAL, Secunderabad 50 00 87

    Mob: 98102 52959

  37. Rakesh Sachdeva says:

    Rakesh Sachdeva
    Mon, May 1, 7:46 AM (2 days ago)
    to me

    Jai Hind Sir!
    A very nice piece of writing Sir.
    As always, I must add.
    With fond regards,
    Col Rakesh Sachdeva (Retd)
    ex Corps of Signals
    ( Served in IA from 1970 to 2001)

  38. Rajendra Prakash says:

    Rajendra Prakash
    Mon, May 1, 7:41 AM (2 days ago)
    to me

    Dear General,
    My thanks for sharing your touching recollections of your dear mother, told so well !
    With kind regards,
    Rajendra Prakash

  39. Ranjit Chacko says:

    Ranjit lina
    Mon, May 1, 6:26 AM (2 days ago)
    to me

    Good morning, Sir.
    What a beautiful account.
    Thank you so much for sharing.
    God bless the Souls of all kindhearted folks. The world is a better place because of them.
    Warm regards and best wishes always
    Ranjit Chacko H/76

  40. Lt Gen Paramjit Singh says:

    Paramjit Singh
    May 1, 2023, 4:40 AM (2 days ago)
    to me

    Dear Sir,
    After reading your ‘snap-shot’, it took me a while to conclude as to why I liked what you wrote about your parents. What probably shows through is the tremendous love and respect that you have for your parents – even years after they went away.
    Warm regards

  41. Lt Gen Anil Kapoor says:

    Dear Sir
    Brilliant piece-very well articulated!
    Respected Jhaiji was a very practical lady. God bless her soul!
    Best regards
    Anil Kapoor
    Sent from my iPhone

  42. Mirza Yawar Baig, Hyderabad says:

    Mirza Yawar Baig
    Mon, May 1, 12:11 AM (2 days ago)
    to me

    Having read the story and commented on it, I realize that this is the first time that I have read it. Thank you very much for posting this.

    Yawar Baig

  43. Mirza Yawar Baig, Hyderabad says:

    General Sahib

    It has been a very long time since I heard from you. Good to know that I am still in your list of friends. I enjoy your posts and missed them. I remember reading this post when you first posted it (I think). Beautiful memories.

    I trust you are keeping well Sir.

    With all good wishes,

    Mirza Yawar Baig

    President, Yawar Baig & Associates

    • Surjit says:

      Mirza ji,
      You left an indelible mark on everyone whom you met in the MDC. Your communication skills are worthy of praise and admiration. And I also have your books, including the one which I have not been able to read fully…because of its length!

  44. Manu Puri says:

    Most lovely story

    - Manu Puri

  45. Lt Col N Thinakaran says:

    Karan Natarajan

    to me

    Thank you very much Sir for sharing your sacred and precious memory.

    Warm regards

    Lt Col N Thinakaran (Retd) CA 92604 USA +1 949 439 8255

  46. Col Gurkirpal Virk says:

    Gurkirpal Virk

    to me

    Many thanks, sir
    I will revert back after reading.
    Thanks for sharing this pers info with me.
    God speed!
    Col Virk

  47. Lt Gen Raj Kadyan says:

    Dear General,
    An appropriate ode to the memory of her kindness.
    With best regards,

    Lt Gen Raj Kadyan
    262, Sector-17A
    Gurgaon – 122 001

    • Surjit says:

      I read your well-researched post each morning. I admire your capacity to find just the right information for your readers.
      I invite you to do a piece for our blog.

  48. Anil Bwana says:


    What a lovely tribute to your Mom. Jhaiji was a saint sent to dispatch kindness and love.

    We are all destined to mingle with the dust of the earth. I often wonder why we humans cannot take that journey together in peace, not necessarily hand in hand, but acknowledging that one hand does not NEED to strike the other.

    Thank you for sharing your story and the memory of your saintly mother.

    Warm regards,

    Anil (Bwana)

  49. Col IP Singh says:



  50. Nuri, USA says:

    Very heart touching
    Jhaiji remains in our hearts
    We remember her with so much love and respect
    She was very affectionate
    I was very fond of her
    I remember her very often
    I learned a lot from her
    Papa always told me that I was very similar to her in my temperament
    We were very lucky to have spent so much of our childhood with them
    And have very pleasant memories of Yamuna Nagar and Bahadurpur
    We are very blessed to be born into this family

  51. Gp Capt CKK Menon (Retd) says:

    Thanks for sharing this heartwarming memory of your kindly mother.

  52. Rashmi Oberoi says:

    A beautiful tribute dearest Uncle… And lessons of life – truly precious and valuable.

    • Surjit says:

      Dearest Rash,

      By using the word ‘dearest’ you have enhanced your brief comment! You are brilliant with words!

      Thanks, dearest niece!


  53. Dhiraj Mullick says:

    A beautiful tribute to a great lady and a loving mother… so warm and tender.

    You have brought out all the details so vividly sir. It speaks volumes about your grey cells!

  54. Maj Gen KP Deswal says:

    A wonderful way to remember our parents. What we are today is thanks to their upbringing and sacrifice

  55. HS Bedi says:

    What a noble lady and what a wonderful lesson she left for posterity.


  56. Col Jasdeep says:

    We were barely young kids of the family, and being cousins, our interaction with Pitaji and Jhaiji were extremely less. Yet during the precious times we spent at your family home in Yamunanagar, the qualities you so aptly described were oh-so-apparent! As kids we were lucky to be pampered by such loving grandparents.

    It was indeed a sense of a great personal loss to each of us when the unassuming Jhaiji, and the omnipresent Pitaji, left for their heavenly abode. May Waheguru always be with them.

  57. Raj Mehta says:

    A beautiful way of paying obeisance to a loving, caring, exceptional and forgiving mother..

    • Surjit says:

      Thanks for the kind words, Raj.

      What can one give back to the mother, except a homage on the remembrance day?


  58. Lt Gen Kapil Aggarwal (Retd) says:

    “Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.”
    Mothers are better disposed towards forgiveness and love.
    A sweet tribute by a son.

    • Surjit says:


      I have learnt another phrase! There is always something to gain and garner from you!


  59. Daljit Madan says:

    All mothers are forgiving and patient with their children . They are a shield to protect.
    You have paid a deserving tribute to Chaiji. God bless her noble soul.

    • Surjit says:


      Thanks. Whenever I hear from you, my mind’s eye goes back to the mini-tent wich we shared in 1962, in Camp Greenhorn.

  60. GANGADHARAN says:

    Dear Sir,

    A beautiful way of paying obeisance to a loving and forgiving mother. All mothers have something unique.

    • Surjit says:


      You are a source of inspiration for many like me. You have courage and fortitude…and a very supporting wife.


  61. Honestly, I felt I was really reading the story of my parents with so many commonalities & many differences. Our parents were similar except that instead of the author’s 4 brothers & father’s military background, contrarily we were 7 brothers & sisters. We also belonged to Sargodha. My mother was from Bhera while my father was across the Jhelum River from Khushab!

    • Surjit says:

      Thanks, NN

      These names, Khushab, Bhera, Shahpur and Sargodha mean a lot to us. We heard so much about them in our childhood!

      “Jaane kahaan gaye who din…”


  62. J Thomas says:

    Thanks Surjit for reminding us on International Labour Day of the blessings we receive.

    • Surjit says:


      I am blessed. The Lord sent us to the same sqn…and I have gained so…….much from you!!!!!


  63. What a beautiful story and what a beautiful lesson. Your mother had the greatest of all qualities – kindness.

  64. Harmeet says:

    Amazing story. Yes I remember her just the way she has been described.

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