Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Vande Matharam!!! A journey to remember!

Dear Sakshi,
   It's amazing how life's cycle takes u with it, spins u around and puts u back right where u started from...Is it always this hard I wonder...:-) I still remember vividly my earliest memories of my childhood...gosh! I never realized how valuable being a child was, until maybe now. But then a midst all the run of the mill stuff in ur life, u realize that life is not just about,good clothes,food,grades.job,family,luxuries....its also about the life around u..and that kinda choked my thought process. Suddenly u learn to be more appreciative about the blessings u have in life and begin to approach life with a fresh new perspective, completely energized ready for any challenge. :-) It is not a simple feat to exist in this world...u begin ur journey as a foetus and then its a whole new process of adaptation to the undulating river of life...Its not that I'm in a philosophical mood, its just that when  u sit down and take a deep breath to relax urself, u come across such thoughts and that happens mostly when u take on new responsibilities in life...:-) Another Aug 15th has passed...For us Indians, the essence of independence means a lot in varied aspects and each one of us are influenced by the flavour of patriotism in a different way..For me. it was a train journey that instilled in me a strong sense of respect to those brave men who guard us with their life at stake...our soldiers...I was barely 5 years old..but that memory of my life is still so fresh in my heart...My mom was down with jaundice and I was travelling to my grandparent's home with my aunt, it was a 5 or 6 hour journey by train...I have always loved train journeys...so much of variety and u get to meet people of different shades, the beauty of God's own country and a loot more...I am not telling that the regular trains in India are perfect, but we still accept them...I was attracted to those four "uncles" initially itself coz' they stood apart from the others in our compartment,mainly coz they were in army fatigues, of course I wasn't aware of that then,,,Me being the chatterbox that I was, within some minutes into the trip I ended up talking and was happily playing with them...There were others too in the compartment and unlike the social scenario now, people didn't have to be scared of each other and everyone had atleast a smile for everyone...now its no longer safe...and that's sad too...Four selfless men who were on their way to visit their loved ones...I was just 5 years old, but I could sense their passion for their country, the way they animatedly told me about their camp and battles fought, friends lost, tears shed, pride felt, and the feeling of patriotism for their country...I am sure I didn't understand a lot, but this much I did feel...It was like as if a river of positive energy was flowing from them...In that 6 hr journey, they made me realize the life of a jawan. an Indian soldier...I remember they talked so much about their kids whom they hadn't seen since birth, and how they collected small gifts and toys for them, some of them would have outgrown them as well... I remember my aunt pointing out to one of them that the bangles he had bought for his daughter who would be almost 7 years old would actually be small for her now...I don't know why but I loved them then and there all four of them...their faces are a blur to me now...but the sense of respect I felt for them was immense, a 5 year old's awe and wonder probably...Not once did they say they regretted all such emotional losses, because for them being able to serve their country was and would be more important to them than anything else...but u could see afather, a brother, a son and a busband in the four of them...I remember them showing me their kids' fotos and tears welling up in the eyes of such staunch brave men, who for once wouldn't have flinched in the face of an enemy's barrel...Have any of us actually thought about how much they sacrifice so that we can sleep peacefully in our homes...God are we selfish or what!!!  By the time the train rolled into the final station, we were bonded for life I knew...all four of them gave me the gifts they had kept aside for their sons and daughters...I couldn't take them, how could I? It was the wealth of a soldier's ahrd earned money for their loved ones...but they insisted and told me that they could always buy new ones for their kids and right now I was no less than their daughter and so they were giving it to me....I cried then and hugged them...they are not related to me, in my heart they would always be the four soldier uncles as I remember them...When I said goodbye, In my heart I saluted each and every Indian soldier who were risking their lives for our lives...Yes! I was just a kid then, but through them I realized the value of what I was enjoying, what they couldn't enjoy and I was proud to be an Indian,I am and always will be proud to be an Indian...All of us have that golden heart in us, but in the fast paced life of today we forget to grasp the goodness within us...God bless them all!!!