I am writing this with a very heavy heart. Today I attended funeral of a dear friend of mine. He was about 10 years younger to me.
I first met him in 1989 when we shifted to house next to his in Delhi. He was in Army. We developed healthy relationship. My wife got along with his wife as if they were childhood friends. He had two daughters. Our children too bonded well. In 1991 he was allotted house in Army complex. Though they shifted, we kept in close touch. He was doing very well and had won a lot of awards. He was transferred to forward area in 1993. His family continued staying in Delhi. He availed premature retirement from Army in 1995 as his wife was not keeping too well. They settled down in Delhi for her treatment and education of their daughters. We used to meet as often as we could but kept in touch otherwise. Though he was getting pension, he took up job to add on to his income to meet all commitments. Subsequently his daughters were married. He had spent his entire saving and more for that. He continued working to pay off his loans and to run house. He used to share his worries with me but never accepted any financial help as he was confident of taking care.
About 4 months ago he confided that he was in little tight squeeze but was hopeful that with arrears from 01 Jan 2006 of his revised pension as per Supreme Court orders for the same i r o retired defence officers he would come out of this. He expected these to be given soon. He was looking under a lot of stress when I met him two weeks ago. He told me that bureaucrats have been delaying grant of pending lawful arrears on some pretext or the other and filing appeals in Supreme Court to that effect. I offered to help him out but he having confidence in justice told that he would wait for his arrears. I was not very happy with his worried looks.
I learnt from his wife that for the last couple of days he was under a lot of tension. This seems to have caused brain haemorrhage leading to his death.
This makes me ask who do we blame for his untimely death? Why do bureaucrats delay grant of rightful dues? I am sure that if any benefit is due to them, they will have it approved in a jiffy.