June 21st, 2017 | Updated on January 28th, 2018
As we sit in the comfort of our homes praising the INDIAN ARMY for carrying out a surgical strike on Pakistan, little do we realise the extent of the rising tension at the line of control and what our soldiers are enduring for the country. But how many of us know, that each day some soldier is killed fighting and how bad is the situation in Kashmir or how bad is it to be surviving at Siachen Glacier?
How many of us really bother to remember their efforts and sacrifice in protecting our country, our lives? Not just our soldiers, but also their families equally deserve our respect for having their brave sons, husbands and fathers ditch the comfort of their homes and serve our country.
We live in an era, where a soldier dies and no one cares but when a celebrity or a politician dies, it becomes a breaking news. But the family of an army person knows the struggle, the fight, they put into surviving each day.
One cannot expect every Indian to forcefully respect the forces, but remember, an army personnel dying in the line of duty cannot be fodder for a casual conversation. He had a family like you, aspirations like you, unluckily life didn’t give him another chance to serve for our motherland.
Being a wife or mother of a soldier means you need to be ready for packing and unpacking innumerable times, usually once every two years. They ‘live out of a box’. And when their husband is attending a course, it becomes all the more hectic, with frequent movement from one place to another.
All that travelling without getting rest and then cleaning up the ‘quarter’ which was teaming with insects and other creepy-crawlies, makes the task much more difficult. NO help from a busy husband and no other help around gets nerve-racking. This tests a person’s physical and mental strength. But over the years, they learn to cope.
“Today is my son’s 30thbirthday, who is in Srinagar for his posting. Time flies so quickly, today he has a little angel who calls him Papa.” “SRINAGAR: Four youngsters and two Indian army soldiers were killed in a gun battle in a village in Indian-occupied Kashmir on Sunday, an army spokesperson said”
And then on a news channel, this news was updated, just think, how that mother would have felt in spite of knowing that there are more than thousands of soldiers posted in Srinagar and the news says two Indian army soldiers killed, yet she starts to pray, gets impatient, keeps on messaging his son till he replies, his daughter is making his birthday card and his wife is making all the dishes he likes to eat.
The next day, “My granddaughter came home and started crying, I asked her why was she crying? She said my friends asked me that why my father did not come when she was sick, I told her to tell her friends that my father has a mother who needed him more than we did”.
People think it’s the ‘Man’ who runs the house but we all know it’s always our women.
From waking up at 4 am before their husbands to making the ration list of the month, Army wives are superwomen in disguise. They know each canteen counter like the back of their hand.
They survive on lists- canteen list, ration list, what’s in which carton list and so on. She manages everything from finance to food in the fridge. While their husbands are away patrolling the borders, moms and wives keep on praying for their lives. “Hume bhi fauj mein hona chahiye tha, yaar (We should have also been in the army)” – one line which every Indian says when something happens in the Border Areas.
The thing which is more hurting for them is when people casually comment on the free ration, the pension and the so-called perks that army personnel get. Remember, most of them don’t live through their entire life to avail them and they are getting them because they deserve them.
Recently, a Soldier lost his life in Kashmir and his mother was shattered as anyone would expect her to be so she wrote down these emotional lines:
“India is a country where everyone has human rights. Rapists, murderers, child molesters, serial killers, terrorists, Maoists. Everyone. Except for soldiers! They are paid to fight, remember? It is their job to die unsung and unlamented, to have their eyes gauged out, to have their dead bodies returned to their families headless (written by a mother whose son died on border)”
We have learned to live in any kind of situation that life throws at us. For us, home is where the Army sends us. And behind every strong soldier, there is an even stronger braveheart — who is the mother and wife of the army personnel.
No amount of words can describe the sacrifice that soldiers and their families make for our country and we are forever indebted to them.