respect to accuracy or completeness of the contents of this book and shall not be liable for any errors, omission or damages arising out of use of this information. Dispute if any related to this publication is subject to Bhopal Jurisdiction.
Dedicated to The patriotic Indian Soldier who demands next to nothing when he can ask for the Moon.
Author s note Why I Burn Like an Oak was conceived as a short story twenty years ago. It grew into a novel over the next ten years. It has been read presumably by almost every publisher s editorial team in the country and of course shown the exit door. The reason as I was told by a lot of enthusiastic readers was simple, this one is from the heart and for those who have one . I have always believed that there is something unusual about Why I burn like an Oak . Even more than me my wife Alka and daughter Pranjala believe in its uniqueness. Their unwavering faith in the beauty of the story is the cause of this book to be published. Pankaj Kumar
Acknowledgements My sincere thanks to Manish Gupta for undertaking a first time novel. Pramod Singh and his creative team at Indra Publishing house for putting in all the hard work for me. Vinita Pandit Pooja Kaur Gill for keeping me updated and informed. Shachi Kaul for the beautiful cover design. Anupam Kaul for the final word on the manuscript. Abhishek Gupta and my son Parv Pranjal for their support and enthusiasm.
Why I Burn Like An Oak
ameer alighted from his car, straightened his Service Dress and opened the gate to 43, Burton Road. Even after the long drive he looked as fresh as ever, but missing was the child like grin from an otherwise ever smiling face. In its place, there was an undefined measure of pain and a lot of apprehension. Once inside, he closed the gate behind him, stood for a while and studied the layout. The huge compound added to the silence of the damp afternoon. All was silent, except for the creaking of a rusted iron swing. He marched up the path on the beats of the rhythmic creek. Tiny saplings of freshly planted salvia and daisy lined the pathway. White wild rose plants, as tall as a mulberry tree filled one end of the compound. The old gardener worked silently at the rose bed. He looked up at