We had been through tough training, lasting well over a month and were on way back to Ambala. En route, my friend, captain Inder, and self decided to peel off from the military convey and spend the evening and the next morning fishing in the Yamuna river. My friend told captain Dogra, another officer from our brigade headquarters, who because of his short height and body structure was better known as “Khogga”, to inform his wife that he would be back the next morning after the fishing.
We reached the Tajewala head works on the Yamuna well in time for an evening round of fishing. My friend landed a goodsize mahseer and since we did not have a landing net, it slipped out of my hands as I tried to unhook it from the spoon. Anyway, we did manage to catch some more fish that evening and the following morning.
We drove back to Ambala and my friend, after dropping me in the officers’ mess, carried on to his residence in Model Town. Since I was the only dining member in the officers’ mess, I told my friend to take all the fish and, in turn, he invited me to dinner with him that evening, as his wife was good at cooking fish. Come evening, I put on a formal dress and drove off to my friend’s place. As I approached the main gate of the house, I found it closed. I got down to open the door, only to find it locked from inside; and in the light of my car’s headlamps, I could see a broken fishing rod, other angling gear, and a number of dead fish scattered in the driveway. It was rather unusual, and I smelled something fishy.
Being the one who has opted on the side of discretion rather than valour normally, I drove back to the mess to find the kitchen shut. I decided to call it off and go to sleep, dreaming of an elusive well-prepared dinner of freshly caught river fish.
Later, I came to know that “Khogga” had forgotten to inform my friend’s wife about his staying back and coming home the next day after the fishing trip. In the meantime, my friend’s luggage was delivered to his wife with no word of his whereabouts. Her imagination had run wild and she thought worst for her husband, and had spent the night crying. So when my friend got home finally, a royal welcome awaited him. He ended up with a black eye, and the broken fishing rod and other items littering the driveway said it all. It was a wise decision to have walked away from that fishy dinner.