I visited Arunachal Pradesh – land of the dawn lit mountains in April this year. Arunachal had a lot to offer and here I share one of my experiences of this trip.
One experience that stood out for me, and became an emotional connect was about the most selfless human beings working for the nation – Our Indian Army.
Born an army child, I have been blessed and privileged in many ways . I always admired and took pride in being an army kid, but my level of awareness about the life of these soldiers was limited to what I was shown.
Since dad was from Infantry, it meant I spent almost half my time without him being around us and it gave us a chance to visit him in non-family stations which broadened my horizon and understanding about their living conditions, routine, mindsets and life far away from our perceptions of proper civilization.
Arunachal brought back my childhood memories from visits to Jammu and Kashmir, Assam , to name a few. From my stay in the cantonment area, visiting a lot of the tourist areas which are actually maintained and protected by the Army. I saw another extreme of the lives of the soldiers who stay away from home in very basic conditions and lived by each other’s companionship.
I got a chance to see many war memorials and temples made in the honor of army officials who have lost their lives fighting and I was in complete awe of their spirit. They have left being an inspiration to many through these sacrifices.
I was deeply moved by the tales of Indo-Sino war of 1962, where the nation lost over 2400 soldiers due to circumstances created. They were made to fight the equipped and well prepared Chinese army. Our men were ordered to move in to areas without adequate clothing for snow and grossly insufficient ammunition and equipment. Our men have faced them in the ratio of 1:30 and had done a commendable job in this struggle.
The Army has made a beautiful documentary capturing the war and the spirit of our soldiers which not only left me with tears but goose bumps to see their heroism.
Even though this was supposed to be the summers, most areas and passes were still covered in snow, with routes being shut and frozen lakes that made amazing shots for me but at the same time, these were the camps for many army units. This is where they spent their time without proper logistics and connectivity.
The levels of acclimatisation and courage to brave up the cold and with limited amenities is not just overwhelming but made me wonder what all these men and women like my father are made off; to selflessly serve the country for the good of others.
The most amazing part, I haven’t met a single person who would complain or garner sympathy for any of their work- they are all selfless and humble. They are willing to help in any way possible- a cheerful smile and positive words is what I have always been greeted with.
This post is not about gaining sympathy or letting them know how amazing they are but is my tribute to each and every one who has ever served in the Indian Army to know that we respect you, salute you and know that you are out there watching on our behalf to make us feel safe.
You are my Superheroes today and tomorrow.
You have made me proud in a way no one else can. Thank you dad
I hope we are all a little more aware and sensitive to them and treat the defence forces with a little more dignity.