Ajay' closest to my heart and yet most distant in the real sense. What a paradox when I toy with the word 'Ajay', a kaleidoscope of memories come splurging in. He is a chapter of my life that will never close, for wherever I am, whatever I am doing, he is a constant thought. No longer with me in the physical sense, he is like a fantasy, a hope, a wish, a shield, a star, a beacon of light, lighting our pathways on life's journey. My journey with him began in the prime of life when we were fresh into the National Police Academy, Hyderabad as I.P.S. Probationers. Being steeled together, we found our glory in each other's companionship. He was from Bihar and I from Uttar Pradesh with not the faintest of prior acquaintance. But as destiny would have it, we became members of the same squad (SQUADMATES) for training. He was intelligent and had tremendous confidence and zest for life and that little soft corner for me right from the start, that marked him off from the rest of the batch ! I was shy and reserved, yet enjoyed his company. I think we were made for each other and as destiny designed it, friendship bloomed into sweet love and love into matrimony. It was as if happiness knew no bounds and life chartered a blissful path. Right from the inception of his career, Ajay was a hardcore professional, extra-ordinarily devoted to his work and duty. But at the same time a family man, very supporting and dutiful husband and father. As an undertrainee, he was posted to Muzaffarpur as Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP-Probationer). The Superintendent of Police was Dr. Man Mohan Singh who treated his ASP with a large heart and placed utmost faith in him. Everyday, he would set an agenda for Ajay in the most crime-infested of belts to carry out raids against criminal gangs. Ajay never failed the target set for him and soon Muzaffarpur was talking of a very effective police officer-in-making who could crystallize his exclusive vision of a crime-free district. The stature and fame earned in Muzaffarpur, landed him into the toughest SDPO (Sub-Divisional Police) charge of the then erstwhile Bihar, that is, LATEHAR. Not only the biggest sub-division, but most notorious too, because of the heightened naxal problem, it was a threatful challenge for Ajay. Undeterred, Ajay rose further in stature for acts of bravery and effective policing in crime and law and order control there too. A product of 'NETARHAT' school where his HEART truly belonged (like of all Hatians!) he often felt proud and overwhelmed to return to his own land, this time not as a student but as a sentinel, guarding the well-being of his school, a sort of gurudakshina for what he achieved from there. (Netarhat was located in Latehar sub-division). In those days of the year 1998, I was posted as ASP-Gaya. I would visit him at Latehar and he would drive me down to Netarhat, fondly showing me around the milestones of childhood/boyhood memories! On promotion as Superintendent of Police, his first charge was SRP (SP-Railways) Katihar, where he displayed great prowess in liquidating the rail poisoning gangs and because of his dynamic persona, could extract a huge co-operation from railway authorities in this mission. Ajay never looked behind. His professional competence reached a new height as Commandent BMP 18, Bodhgaya, with a multitude of welfare works undertaken by him. Netarhat and NPA had taught him to value 'dignity of labour'. Through shramdaan, he along with the battalion erected a small-arms firing butt for maintaining professional standards. As S.P. Hajipur, Ajay shot into fame and ensured a record time incident-free, free, fair and peaceful election of the State-Legislature. Soon the word went round in the town, Oozing with confidence, sharp-witted and no-nosense, this S.P. whom normally public expected to look senior in age and prosperous in weight, was lean, agile and extremely boyish and charming, yet rock-like resolute. Once again for his success and taking the bull by the horns attitude, he was picked up by the Government for handling the toughest district charge of the State for crime control, that is Lohardaga, again a place close to Netarhat. For some months, he held dual charge of districts Gumla and Lohardaga (now in Jharkhand) and started again his fight against the armed outlaws. None could place impediments to stall his combat against evil. With limited resources he relentlessly carried out his mission and greatly succeeded. So unswerving was his dedication to this mission, that he even chose the path of martyrdom, in fulfilling it, leaving behind a wailing widow and a son. THIS TIME AGAIN, NOT FAR FROM NETARHAT, he laid to rest permanently. In precisely 4 years and 9 months of my knowing Ajay, I came across a MAN OR RATHER A PHENOMENON with a wider range of qualities. His wizardry over the computer was a typical IITian trait (Ajay did Electrical Engineering from IIT Kharagpur). He fidgeted with it trying to frame a software for man-management for Bihar Police. A keen ear for music of all kind, his most valuable of possessions were loads of music cassettes ranging from filmi, ghazals, quawwalis, pop, western, Indian classical to western to instrumental, and a music system bought as a student of IIT which he handed over to me to take care of. I have the system and cassettes preserved with me. He had a burning passion for reading books and a great fantasy for fishing. His fishing rod is still preserved with me. Infact, I remember as ASP Latehar he had net his first fish from a near-by pond, brought it home bursting with excitement, and later cooked it himself for us! Cooking, reminds me, that Ajay had great culinary skills. His hot favorites were barbeques and some non-negatarian dishes, learnt as a student of IIT, which he would teach me with great pride!! Though tough as a professional, Ajay was extremely doting and caring a husband and father. No airs about him, he shared every responsibility at home and respected my being a professional as well. Such was the love of this man for us and our adoration for this Paragon of Virtue. But he was assigned to relieve the world from the scourge of evil. The whole State and the Nation were in the grip of grief and even the group regretted his loss when they learnt that he was an honest officer and belonged to humble beginnings with a brilliant student career althrough. He was put to the funeral pyre with full State Honours. A crusader and a martyr, his act of bravery was recognised by the country through the award of the President's Police Medal for Gallantry on this 26th of January 2004. An angel now, who lived on this earth, I am happy to have had the honour of being his wife. Having widowed and wailed and seen my child orphaned so young, life has been harsh upon us. But through the prism in the tears of my eyes, I see the brilliance of the strength in Ajay, which is what keeps me going on! God bless his soul. Salutations to Ajay and all martyrs on this Commemoration day.
- Mrs Anupma Saxena Singh , IPS