Duty before Diwali- an account from a Jawan’s heart.
Another one bites the dust !
In the recent light of events that played out yesterday on the LOC, we saw yet another act of the Indian Army's vigilance and valor! All this while we began our celebrations for Diwali while it was just another day for them.
Does this ever make you think about how a soldier at the border would then perceive Diwali amidst such a collusive environment? well here's our take on that. Have a look at this account we tried recreating by abstracting a soldier's emotion on duty during Diwali -
“Sun gazing at us a little brighter from the fence today, not surprising though, it’s the day of lights and Diya’s after all. With the usual AKM: 7.62x39mm assault rifle on my shoulder I smile at my fellow commander who is laughing his heart out listening to his daughter on the other line, his attempt I believe, to cheer her up by promising that he would be there for her birthday very soon. The scene at border today however is a bit different, in spite of the tension present at the border there still seems to be a tad bit of gleeful vibe present than any other ordinary day. With phone calls coming in for everyone I cant wait to talk to my parent’s and wish them !
This Diwali is however different yet very special for me. Its only my first year and the very first time, that I am away from my parents on Diwali but on duty for them and others like them. This has got me thinking about the situation at any Indian house today, about those urban chaps waking up to their family members, wishing each other and then continuing the day with each other. Same day, same festival but the stark difference in how we spend it never fails to amuse me.
In fact only yesterday were me and my fellow patrolling guard having a conversation about how he celebrated his first Diwali at the border. He smiled and said - ‘Sir, Not everyone willingly looks out for the enemy on the same day as the day the Hindu scriptures define as the triumph of good over evil, nor will everyone willingly sweep the nautical boundaries of our 7,000-km coastline eying for threats or be operating aircrafts to be pitted against the approaching winter to stock battlefields like Siachen. and not to forget the thousands of ‘shadow’ warriors of the intelligence agencies working with them day and night.
Not everyone willingly stays away from their home on the very day when even lord Ram returned to his home. So truth be told I feel so honored doing what I do even on Diwali and my Diwali hasn’t been more better than it was after I started celebrating it here with the Jawan’s :)’ These words struck a chord in my heart, reminding me of who I am, why I chose to be here, and of the motto that was very well embedded into our mind and soul during the training-जीवन पर्यन्त कर्तव्य.
Moreover the stories about the Jawan’s of the Central Reserve Police Forces who spend their Diwali picketed in various troubled spots across the country guarding vital installations like nuclear reactors, railway stations and airports, to watch over the safety of millions of families seem to connect a lot more to me today. The ‘hit teams’ of the special forces that I heard a lot about during my training days, would still be patrolling just like me, combing the Valley's and jungles of the of the Northeast on ‘seek and destroy’ missions.
I realize that all this while, I was always the listener in awe, looking up to all these brave men but today with them I am a part of that story. A story not many people speak about and not many who listen, but its for their blissful ignorance to celebrate, that me and thousand’s like me are willing to and are proud to be the unheard heroes of this story, every year. I smile to myself and look forward to celebrating my very first Diwali on the border”
This Diwali while we light diyas in our houses lets not forget about the houses where these diyas wont be lit. While we celebrate amidst the noise of crackers, lets not forget the silence that would prevail in the houses mourning a loss of a loved one. While we laugh and smile with our family, lets not forget about the ones doing so without them, serving at the borders.
Lets all reflect on what it takes for us to celebrate not just Diwali, but also our freedom, rights and liberty. We owe it to the men and women in uniform and their families. Hence a heartfelt gratitude to each one of them. Lets pray for this Diwali to bring them all the happiness and respect they deserve.
Before you leave! here's a quick 3 minute glimpse of the Diwali celebration at the Rajasthan border you may want to check out! we promise it will bring a smile to your face :)
Firstly a very happy and prosperous Diwali to each one of you reading this. This was a mere attempt on understanding and putting forward a soldier’s perspective on Diwali while he serves the nation away from his home and family to all you wonderful readers. We hope to have done justice to the same : ) please do let us know if you could connect and empathize with the jawan on this matter in the comment section below !
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