Being an Army officer is a great matter of Pride. The army is the pride of the Nation. But there is no denying that life of an Army officer is difficult. When an army officer departs for his duty, there is always an uncertainty of when he will return. They leave their families behind to serve and protect the nation. Their parents, children, wife, brother and sisters are all left behind. Along with them, their families too sacrifice a lot. Sometimes, when their loved one dies they too make sacrifices. Such is a story of Late Captain Shafeeq Ghori’s wife Salma Shafeeq Ghori.
Salma was married at the age of just 19 but was widower at 29. She shared her heart-breaking story on a Facebook page called ‘Being You’. In the post, she says that though her marriage was short-lived, it was wonderful, as the couple would regularly exchange notes and letters. Ironically, she received his final letter the day she heard the news of his death. Widowed at an young age, she says that she was often told to move on, but she could never do so, as Major Shafeeq Ghori “was, is, and will always be my Forever”. At present, she works for the welfare of the army martyr families and women empowerment of the martyr widows in Karnataka. Her heart-wrenching story has struck a chord with people on social media. People are not only lauding her but many can also relate to her plight. The post has more than 28,000 shares at the time of writing. Her post is written below :“I was 19, when I got married to Captain Shafeeq Ghori in 1991. It was difficult in the beginning to accept the fact that he was constantly on the move and had to leave me alone for long periods, but he sat me down and explained what it was like to be an army wife. There were no mobile phones back then. I used to spend hours by the phone unsure when he would call. We used to write letters and my husband made sure I received one letter every day for the days he was away from me. I used to write small notes and hide small surprises in his luggage.
In the years that followed, he had many high-risk postings. Back then, Punjab and the East were all dangerous places to be. He has been to Tripura, Punjab, and Srinagar. He used to be gone for days but by then I had become strong and learnt to fend for myself and our children. I knew he loved the country the most and his kids and wife came a close second. In 1999, he had a field posting in Srinagar, since it was a high risk area families weren’t allowed, I moved to Bangalore. June 28th 2001, we spoke for the last time. He asked about our wellbeing, told that he was in the jungles for a military operation. He wanted to speak to the kids but they were running around with their cousins and there was a lot of chaos and noise. I told him to come back to his base and speak to them. I still regret that decision.
On July 1st, 2001. Around 6.30 pm, a group of army officers along with their wives came home. Suddenly, a lady made me sit down and told me. “Major Ghori is no more,” she said. I thought I heard it wrong. It had to be a mistake. She said they had been trying to reach me since morning but couldn’t as I was at my mother’s house and the phone lines were disconnected. Major Shafeeq Ghori was martyred in a heroic gun battle with militants during Operation Rakshak. Everything around me fell, crumbled. That day was the day I received my final letter from him. The next day, I went to the airport to receive him for the last time.This time in a box clad in Indian Flag. I broke down. He would always ask me to be strong. He reminded me even on that last day we spoke, but I never imagined a day when he wouldn’t be around. I got his uniform and civil clothes in a box. I did not wash them for eight years because I did not want to let that feeling go. His money is still in his wallet. The letters are still a part of my reading. I have played the role of a father and mother but there were times when I used to fight back a tear seeing other kids play with their parents. Today, I work for the welfare of the army martyr families and women empowerment of the martyr widows in Karnataka. I was 29 when Major Shafeeq Ghori was martyred. People told me to move on.. but He was, is, and will always be my Forever.”
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