The Unknown Soldier

My father’s a brigadier in the Indian Army and that , for obvious reasons , makes me a little (well, alot) more advocating towards the force , which in every sense is the reason why you are breathing fearlessly. I am not just talking to the selected few who’re priveledged to be a part an army household but to every Indian out there who feels for the nation . Being Indians one thing that each one of us is undeniably proud of is the defence force of our country , even those who can find a million and one faults in their motherland.
Being the daughter of an army officer invites an absolutely different life. Different , in the most overwhelming sense . But there’s much more to just the pleasure and perks . No ,to all those who think having an army background is only about toll booth exemptions or liquor at peanut prices . Seeing your father (or mother) adorn the combat uniform every mornig gives you jitters , every single time but it brings with it , inhibhitions, uncertainties and more than anything FEAR. Fear of no return.
It’s not just about raising your collar when your dad walks through the corridor of your school in the olive camouflage on PTMs but also about days when he’s out in troubled stations and you hear of yet another border disturbance. It’s not just about about being treated in the MHs for free but the grief that engulfs you when you hear of no vacant beds because fatally injured soldiers have been sheltered for treatment.
There are times when you see an entire batallion come together in unison to donate blood for a single person , the comraderie is exhilirating.
It isn’t just about attending the most elite ‘social evenings’ in town but also about times when your father is on the battlefield busy playing hero to the nation while your mother , to you. Its time then , for her to step into the shoes of a lioness.
There are days when soldiers don’t return alive from postings , days when you see a wailing wife or a devastated mother crying over the lost bread earner. Its in the army where on martyr’s day , you see more eyes crying tears of pride than of anguish . As my father once said , here , your nation comes first then your ‘paltan’ , then yourself or your family.

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