Story of my father
In my book ‘Spy from Unaula’, I tried to take a large part of history between India and Pakistan as a backdrop. For most of the older people who have lived through those times it would certainly be a reminder of what they saw and faced in their time, but for most of the younger population who was born much later and have little understanding of the situation of partition and the three wars between the two nations that were once one.
‘Spy From Unaula’ attempts to bring interesting historical facts alive through the main character Ramchandra, who was my father. My thought was to give a balanced view of the true history between the two nations that most of the young generation may not know. However one question always troubled me; Did my father actually killed while discharging his duty for the country?
I tried asking my father several times that did he really kill someone in the line of duty? He always avoided and never gave straight answers, but did not even say no. I knew that he used to get very disturbed several times for unknown reasons. It was clear that there were more secrets hidden in him than I could ever know.
When in good mood and if we could ever get time to discuss, he would touch upon the incidents I described in the book, but as I had few details. He spoke vividly about Bangladesh, the interrogation of the war prisoners and the smart Pakistani pilot and his radio intercepts that amused him a lot. In some cases, drunk Pakistani officers would unleash torrent of abuses on their men on slightest provocation and in other, they would talk fairy tales of their success to their superiors when in war with India. All these things amused him a lot and he enjoyed telling these stories.
He avoided the details to avoid probing questions. Few things were evident though. He did very risky work for a job when he was young and most of the work he did lay buried deep inside him that never came out. When he was nearing his last, his started getting paranoid about the fact that someone will come with intent to kill him and we should lock the door properly. We asked him several times as to why anyone will harm him if he never harmed anyone. His answer was always one ‘You don’t know my past and what my duties made me do’. I only saw my father in peaceful time and had no idea whatsoever about nature of his job, but when I completed the book, I could rope in a fair amount of truth that probably was hidden inside him. I am sure, if I would have known all, it would have been very interesting to put it all on paper. I however feel that it is better to bury off few things forever and I will live with whatever understanding I could gather about my father and believe that to be true. My father is no more. He was a very ordinary and insignificant person in a big system, but he too had a story. Spy from Unalua is the story of my father and that will remain his story forever.