Watching my dad put on the olive green uniform for work every morning and come back from exercises smelling of the desert sands and with a liberal sprinkling of the same, have been some of my favourite memories as a kid.
So for an army brat, to read about deaths of those in the defence and security services is not only painful, but it also forces me to think if their lives are wasted as are their deaths and sacrifices. To think of all those mothers, young wives and children who have to live the fact that they are not coming back and the only after effects are a couple of moronic losers who are more interested in saving their asses and skins, rather than joining hands and making sure that those who deserve to be punished SHOULD be punished.
I think back to movies like Rang de Basanti, Lakshya and Heroes. Or something older like maybe Prahaar… and I wonder why would a man want to train and learn to one day be put up as a sacrificial shield between the enemy bullets and a nation full of cynics, critics and politicians (yes, they deserve a separate category…). A man who is not old enough to legally drink, but is old enough to die in the far reaches of the Himalayas. A man who isn’t old enough to be called a man, yet very nearly one….
What drives them away from things that we not only take for granted, but expect from our surroundings…love, comfort, good food and clothes? Why do they do it? Is it loyalty or is it patriotism? Or is it the addiction to the TriColour? I guess we will never know.
But I believe that the least we can do is respect and appreciate these brave people. Rather than squabbling over who did what.
So when my friend (who is in the Indian Army) asks on facebook “DO INDIAN SECURITY FORCES HAVE TO LAY THEIR LIFE FOR THE THANKLESS N UNSUPPORTIVE CITIZENS OF THIS GR8 NATION N THESE CORRUPT N ROGUE POLITICIANS !! ? ? ? ? ?”
I cannot help myself but answer “you have no idea how much your sacrifices mean to people like me…the olive green, the tanks, the tatras and so much more have defined my life in ways even i cannot fathom…nothing you and your friends do will ever go waste…for staying away from your families in sometimes inhuman conditions, for standing between the bullets and us, for protecting and taking care of us with your life and blood, tum logon ko jannat milegi fauji…”