Saturday, August 15, 2009

I-day memories

I'll pick up from where I left in the previous post.

The program was good. it makes me very nostalgic. It reminds me of all those dances I was a part of in my school life, especially in the Independence and Republic days. I think the best of all was the one I did in 2nd standard-Aye Vatan, aye Vatan. It was my first dance performance of school life and easily the vividest of all others that followed every year since then.

There were some speeches that stirred us with patriotism and some that gave us a lot of time for idle talk :D
The flag was hoisted at 7:00 AM sharp, which meant that we were to be present latest by 6:30 AM. We had to wear our P.T(white) uniforms, and not the regular navy blue and white on that day. Prayer, pledge, a very inspirational thought, news and then the ceremony would begin. Flag-hoisting, rashtra gaan, a few more patriotic songs,house-wise parade, P.T, a few dance performances, speeches, history of freedom struggle, a few deshbhakti poems. And we sat on the dry ground under the scorching sun, playing with the sand and wishing desperately for the torture to get over. We groaned and sighed when the speech we thought was the closing speech turned out to be yet another intermediate speech. And then..the yellow pendaas :)
Such was a typical I-day at school, which I wished to believe then I would never miss. But that wish has not been fulfilled. I miss it.

Had just been watching those special programs on T.V where they take celebs to the border to meet the jawans. In one channel they took Abhishek Bachchan to the Tiger Hill, where the batttle of Kargil was fought and in other they took Sachin Tendulkar and Harbhajan Singh to meet the NSG commandos. I watched both the shows. Listened to the gut-wrenching tale that journalist Barkha Dutt told about a major who was the first one she ever interviewed and the also first one whose obituary she ever reported. The way some of the families of the martyrs had pulled themselves together, the way some still cried foul at the slightest mention of their names even a decade after they got slain.
Defence people- the personnel as well as their families are a different race altogether. A very very brave race.

In one channel they brought back a lot of messages to the border from the jawans' families and it was indeed an emotional moment. Even their family members seem to be made up of a different fibre. Fibre of sheer grit, valor exuding from every word that they spoke. And even after watching their families after months, even though tears wetted their eyes, when they spoke they were quite stable and firmly repeated that-"lekin desh zyaadaa zaroori hain". And one of them when asked-"Kya aapko yahaan border par apne parivaar ki yaad nahin aati?" answered with a smile-"Mujhe desh ki zyaadaa yaad aati hain".

Then in the other channel they showed some of the drills of the NSG commandos. And I have no words for expressing my awe. I'd read somewhere that the rejection rate in NSG is more than 95%. No wonder the ones who are there are so fit! Then some of them shared a few incidents from the very recent operation Black Tornado. The spirit of friendship that and responsibility that led one major to engulf the bullets that were meant for his subordinate. The way they forgot everything about food and water let alone their personal lives during the operation that went on for two days. I remember a clip where after receiving adulation from the crowds after successfully completing the operation one of the commandos remarked-"This is the real reason why we chose to become a commando".

I have utmost respect for defence people. I know everybody has. Everybody should actually. And the more I learn about their gallantry the more I hero-worship them. It's not just about the physical fitness. It's mostly about the fervor with which they serve the motherland. One would think that patriotic dialouges are delivered just in movies. But the truth is that even the actors in movies cannot emulate this super human passion and commitment. Imagine being away from your family for a major part of your life, putting the nation before your loved ones, living in a sub-zero climate with modest facilities, braving the bullets, doing every possible thing and sometimes even the seemingly impossible ones by jeopardizing your own life so that your countrymen can sleep peacefully. If this is not the epitome of selflessness and bravery then what is?

They had a very good reason to coin the phrase 'Jai Jawan'.


Pallavi S said...

Jhimli yaar,school memories galore!!
I'm totally reliving that experience through my sis,who,of course,complains nonstop about the rigmarole.Vijay vishwa tiranga pyara..oh god.None of us can ever forget the deshbhakti songs which music sir taught us.