((Ali Masjed)) Private Harpreet is cleaning muskets, as an extra duty punishment. After a couple of hours, the Corporal was back. Sorry, said Harpreet,Oct 10, 2010 1 of 1View Source
Private Harpreet is cleaning muskets, as an extra duty punishment.
After a couple of hours, the Corporal was back. "Sorry," said Harpreet, "All I have ready for inspection is the five there. They took longer than I expected."
Corporal Iskandar looked over the ones that were clean. "Very good. Keep at it; I will be back in an hour."
Harpreet looked at the remaining muskets he would never get them clean in an hour. Harpreet, in his haste to get the muskets clean had not realized one unclean musket had been dumped into the clean pile.
The Corporal was back all too soon. To Harpreet's dismay, the heavy musket was thrown back at him.
"At least I thought I had done all the ones in that pile!" He cleaned it under the Corporal's stern gaze and handed it back
"Now what?" he asked
((A week later))
A few days after the general's visit, they were in the Company office, a large commotion was heard.
"I best go see what it is, Jack."
Patrick went outside to find his mother had arrived with the dispatches. "Hello, mother," he said.
"Oh, the name," he said. "I am being punished for a prank. Now, come meet your son in law to be."
They both went in. "No need to call out the guard, Jack. Say hello to your mother in law to be."
Jack smiled. "Welcome to our remote corner of the world, ma'am. It was so good of you to come all the way out here. I know Emily will be thrilled." At least, I hope Emily will be thrilled, he thought to himself.
"Patrick just what have you been up to this time? You're not too big for a spanking you know." She winked in Jack's direction.
Jack asked for someone to go and get Emily. A Private volunteered.
Soon, Emily came up. She and her mother hugged each other and said how happy they were to see each other.
Jack noted that Emily looked much like her mother.
"By the way, Jack, mother wants to know why I am a rocket man. Do you want to tell her? And," he said with a smile, "when is the punishment over so I can smash that dratted rocket?"
"I think you have about another week to go." He turned to Mrs. Tindall. "Ma'am, why don't you go on to our bungalow with Emily, and settle in. I'm sure our daughters would be thrilled to meet one of their grandmothers. We can talk about Patrick's name tag this evening."
"Yes," she said, sternly. "That bad son of mine- the letters that got sent home from boarding school complaining about him! It always resulted in his pocket money being docked or stopped for a time."
"Mummy, right this way." Emily got some soldiers to put her mother's bags and trunk in a cart, and they drove over to the bungalow. Miriam and Saya, with Lhasa, were waiting at the front gate.
"Mummy, these are our daughters, Miriam and Sayankala."
They both looked at the new lady and said, "You are our new grandma?"
"Yes, children; there will be presents later when I have unpacked. I hope you will be good till then."
"And, that lady is Lhasa, who lives with us and is a nanny for the children."
Lhasa nodded, smiled and said, "It is a pleasure to meet you, ma'am."
"Thank you," replied Mrs. Tindall.
Emily glanced over at the next door bungalow and saw Lakshmi, holding the twins (how did she do that so easily?) and with Indra in tow, looking at them. “Oh, mother, you must meet your daughter-in-law and your other grandchildren.”
"I will be happy to." The mother was just glad her children had met and married partners that they loved. She could see that in both.
“Very well.” Emily went to the fence separating the two yards and gestured for Lakshmi to come over, with her brood. “Lakshmi,” she said, nodding to Mrs. Tindall, “that lady is your mother-in-law.”
“Oh, how nice.” Lakshmi hoped she would be introduced but didn’t know if Pahtreck’s mother had racial prejudices against Indians. Emily sensed this and turned to her mother. “Mother, come here and meet them.” Mrs. Tindall, smiling, came over.
"I have heard all about you, and it's all good, dear," she said as she took Lakshmi's hand in welcome.
Lakshmi smiled, relieved that her mother-in-law didn’t seem to have racial prejudices. “It is a pleasure to meet you, ma’am, at last. Pahtreck is the most wonderful husband. I am a very lucky woman.” Lakshmi was thankful that she had practiced speaking English. She had an accent, of course, but her grammar was near perfect. She gestured to Indra. “This little girl is our daughter, Indra. Indra, say hello to your grandmother. This is Dahdee’s mother.”
Indra smiled, stepped forward and said, “Hello, grandmother. I hope we will be friends and that you can stay with us for a little while.”
"Yes; after the wedding, if your dahdee and mummy have room for me."
Lakshmi smiled, very proud of her daughter’s correct English. “Ma’am, these two twins are Ranjit William and Victoria Sita. Would you like to hold one?”
"Yes, Lakshmi, please give me one of my grandchildren. There will be presents later when I unpack. I brought over a few things for each grandchild."
"Mother, that’s very kind."
“Veree good.” She handed Vicky over to the grandmother. Vicky looked up at Mrs. Tindall with some curiosity. She cooed and waved her arms.
Mother took her granddaughter in her arms. She noticed the look on Indra's face and thought 'she needs to learn to share.' Mother sat down in a chair with Vicky.
But then Indra spoke up. “Ma’am, the other day, I helped mummy cook muffins for Dahdee, and I served him muffins and lemonade, mostly all by myself!” She smiled; she was proud of that.
The grandmother smiled back at her grand daughter. "That's a good girl for mummy."
Emily smiled. “Why don’t we all go in and sit down and have tea? Indra, you can go play with Miriam and Saya.”
“Oh, veree good!” Indra ran off to play with Miriam and Saya.
Lakshmi excused herself to go clean up a bit, then came over and joined Emily and Mrs. Tindall in their sitting room. Emily served the tea. “So, mother, how was your trip?”
"We had no problems on the way here. Everyone was very helpful. Now, can you tell ne what Patrick has been up to?"
Emily grimaced. "I suppose you saw the name tag, mother?"
"Yes, I did."
"He pulled one of his pranks; he let off some rockets and nearly frightened half the village in the process. Jack was furious."
"The bad boy, as usual, Emily," mother said, shaking her head.
"Jack and the Colonel decided to punish him with a name tag that says 'Rocket Man' and wooden rocket. It comes off just before the wedding day. I warned him- any more trouble and he stays in camp. He will not want to be left out of the wedding party. The punishment is more of an embarrassing nature for Patrick. The other option was jail time, as he did steal the rockets, and the paying of a rather large fine.
"You're right on that, dear. Now, tell me about your plans, Emily."
"Lakshmi can help me. She's my matron of honour."
CPT James "Jack" de Montfort, CO
B Company, 1st Battalion
5th Khyber Rifles
Fiancée, Ali Masjed
Miriam & Saya de Montfort
Family members, Ali Masjed
wife, Ali Masjed
family member, Ali Masjed
Family member, Ali Masjed
Mother of Emily and Patrick