If two hearts are meant to be together, they will find a way. This is what we say when we look at couples whose stories have inspired us. It is amazing to see someone who feels your demonstrative love and gives it back as deeply as you do. Our stories have a purpose to serve and this one will make your heart ache but will inspire you to be brave in love. This is a story of two air warriors – Deepika Dadlani and Ronald Kevin Serrao – who fell in love and experienced the heartbreak in its most painful form.
In January 2002, Deepika had joined Air Force Academy for her second term of training and Ronald was the senior most cadet in the same academy. They met each other, and it all began over a game of charades after which there was no second thought. They talked about their life goals, dreams, family, work, and what not! The love was deflagrating between them and they were mesmerized with that unique feeling. She was a woman with passion who strongly believed in her dreams, and he loved it the most. He was a perfect gentleman for ladies, a disciplined officer, amazing buddy to hang out with, and a brave warrior. They were complimenting each other in many ways, and were filling up the lacuna in each other’s lives.
Soon the training was over, and they had to move to different places, but the string of love was still holding them firmly. Visiting each other on weekends was more like an untold custom than a necessity, which was followed by both of them. They never got posted to the same place, but the smiles prevailed despite the miles. Finally, they got engaged in December 2004 and tied the knot in April 2006. It was a beautiful journey of staying miles away from each other that never seemed like a long distance. There was something unutterable about their love which kept them together like an effortless intake of breath.
Even after their marriage, they never got a privilege to stay together in same base. On 10th January 2007, Deepika flew all the way to Air Force Station Nal in order to have an early birthday celebration for Ron. As they would be busy with work on his birthday, they decided to not miss the party. But unfortunately, you don’t get to choose the things you want permanently in your life; it’s decided by your fate.
On 17th January, Ron’s 26th birthday, they talked to their hearts content as if they knew it was going to be the last conversation between them. The next day was Deepika’s day off, and she was trying to call him but was unable to get connected. She grabbed a rosary and began her prayer, but at one point the rosary broke. And, despite of not being very superstitious, this incident made her lose her calm. Soon after that, she saw her commanding officer coming towards her house with his wife. And then they broke the news about the air crash of the Jaguar combat jet that Ron was flying. It had blown up mid-air, near Jaisalmer. It crashed down the whole purpose of the life that she had imagined to spend with him, and she could see no ray of hope that could undo this awful incident. It was a dreadful moment when she had to march briskly towards the mortal remains of her late husband without showing a sign of trance. The final rituals were performed; she was given a new identity card of war widow. Everything was difficult to handle but she lived for his family and his dreams that he had for her.
Ofcourse, the life was not same for her after that. She could not gather the courage to step into the cockpit again and fly, as her wing-man was gone. After a year of medication and consistent battle with herself, she took voluntary retirement from Air Force and completed her MBA. The passion for flying had gone away with Ron. She was more exhausted and less alive after his demise. She still reminisces her time with Ron and believes in working hard. He had told her that there is more to life than holding on to grudges and complaining about the unfulfilled. She carried all the memories with Ron and all the lessons she had learnt from him, and lived a simple and peaceful life after that.