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Wednesday, Aug 21, 2019

A 40-year-old dream that took flight, quite literally

Ram had dreamt of travelling in a plane all his life but he had neither the opportunity nor the funds to plan a trip by air.

gurugram Updated: Aug 11, 2019 13:14 IST
Leena Dhankhar
Leena Dhankhar
Hindustan Times, Gurugram
Rammati was delighted because she could got a picture clicked with her husband. She said he was always shy and even avoided talking to her in front of the family.
Rammati was delighted because she could got a picture clicked with her husband. She said he was always shy and even avoided talking to her in front of the family.(Yogendra Kumar/HT Photo)
         

“I was worried that he might not take me along. But when he asked me to come along on the day, I was over the moon.” In the four decades of their marriage, Rammati Devi had never accompanied her husband, Kude Ram, on a holiday or even to the grocery store. Even when the fateful day arrived, that Ram had planned for months, her apprehensions stuck.

But on July 30, as she sat with him on a helicopter, flying over their village, she could not be more pleased with her husband’s choice of a retirement jaunt.

Ram had dreamt of travelling in a plane all his life but he had neither the opportunity nor the funds to plan a trip by air. So when he told his brother that he wanted to make his retirement day memorable, his brother, the village sarpanch, knew just the way to do it.

Together the brothers spent ₹3.25 lakh and four months to get the documentation done and hire a helicopter. Rammati was with Ram when he flew home that day from the government school where he worked as a peon for close to 40 years.

“From the chopper, we could see our house and the road that connects with our village. It was surreal,” she said when I visited the family two days after their dream had taken flight.

“When I got down from the chopper and we were walking to the house, I felt I was walking on a red carpet. Everyone in the village was talking about us. We were the centre of attraction that day and felt like celebrities,” she said.

Rammati told me that she was also delighted because she could got a picture clicked with her husband. She said he was always shy and even avoided talking to her in front of the family.

Ram’s retirement holds the promise of a second innings in life for his wife too. Not only does she a photograph with her husband and their kin with the fanciful helicopter, she is also looking forward to travelling across the country with him.

She said her husband, who has travelled to almost all tourist places across India in all these years, never took her along. Kude Ram is a travel enthusiast and used to save money every month for his travels.

“I could never understand why he would spend all his personal savings on tours, but he enjoyed them and used to tell me about the trips. I feel like I have seen all those places from his eyes. Though I have never travelled beyond Faridabad, he has told me about places in Goa, Dalhousie and Khajjiar,” she said, blushing.

Ram said that now that he was retired, he would ensure to take his wife to a nice place every year. He said he was no longer shy to walk with her. “I want her to continue to feel like a celebrity,” he said.

What was once only a flight of fancy for Rammati, has now taken off. And how.

(The writer covers crime, jails, court, wildlife, forest women and child development, and excise with Gurugram bureau.)

First Published: Aug 10, 2019 23:54 IST

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