Family

DON’T BREATHE, If that’s what it takes to Respect!

Decades later,

I am sitting listening to this new song from “Raazi”

“Ae Watan, Merey Watan Aabaad Rahey Tu……shad rahey tu”

(My beloved country, may you always prosper and be happy forever)

After ages, like literally ages….my eyes moistened!

Every time I hear a song like this, something really strange starts to happen in me! I am always left overwhelmed and my heart plays all sorts of tricks with me and I can feel a physical shift in the location of my heart!

And there’s a FLASHBACK

Year-1992

Place: Tinsukia (a small district in Assam/North-east India)!

My father had gone to “office.” My sister and I waited for our father to return home! He didn’t return home that evening! Not the evening after and not after that!

Several days later (how many days it was, I frankly don’t remember), door bell rang and we little girls ran to the door and it was him!

There he was standing! He was home! Papa was back home!

But, a BROKEN HAND!

He said he fell down! He was in “office” for days and had returned with a broken hand!

Made no sense to us and we didn’t really ponder over it! We were happy papa was with us!

Back on my birthday!

7 years later,

Year- 1999

Place- Army Public School, Dhaula Kuan

A special assembly had been called in our school! We all were asked to maintain a two minute silence! We were mourning the death of my classmate and her brother!

They had lost their life in a bus accident in J&K (Jammu and Kashmir)

That’s what was told to us!

Back home, my father was preparing to leave for field (read-difficult “offices” where no human would go, he goes, like many of my friends fathers did!)

My father left us sisters behind alone with our mother for you all! Yes you!

You were responsible for our father not staying with us!

We lost out on our childhood with our father because you needed to be protected when the politicians of Indian Sub-continent chose caste and creed as their mode of entertainment!

Our sexy olive green buses and 3-tonnes were taken away from us (they use to be our fancy school rides!)

While the whole world travelled in Normal buses we had these sexy OG Motors!

Year- 2001

Place- Home, Arjan Vihar, New Delhi Cantt

It was my birthday and papa had promised to be home for my birthday!

But here I hadn’t even gotten a call from him the whole day! It must be around 11ish in the night when my father called!

It was a call where I could hear nothing! It was a call I knew but that’s all that it was! He was in regions where a phone won’t work!

I waited for the call and it never came again!

A couple of days later, papa called telling me he got really busy with work and due to bad weather he couldn’t get through!

All these years, I was always left thinking why he is not there ever! I knew by now that he was an Infantry man and he needed to choose your safety over us!

Strangers Over his own family!

In 1992, he was hurt while countering insurgency

In 1999, my friends had not lost their lives in a bus accident! Their bus was blown by an IED (Improvised Explosive Device) set by the militants during Kargil War!

In 2001, my father was battling the remnants of the war and the infiltrations in Kashmir! There was no inclement weather! There was Ill will!

All through out, one thing that stayed constant in our lives, lives of an Indian Army kid was the National Anthem!

Each time the Anthem played, the blood coursed twice as fast and we would literally stop breathing until the anthem was sung to completion because YOU ARE NOT SUPPOSE TO MOVE when the National Anthem plays!

And IF WE BREATHE-

We Disrespect The National Anthem!

Don’t breathe if that’s what it takes to respect!

But RESPECT YOU MUST!

PS: That’s what we’re taught!

I am PROUD to be an Army kid! I don’t just take pride in it! I think I am arrogant about it!

And why not! I let you all take my childhood with my father for NOTHING!

You made nothing out of the independence and safety that my papa and many of my friend’s dads got you!

wondering why am blaming you?

Insensitivity, disrespectfulness, safety issues, forcefulness, disloyal mannerism and ethnicity over humanity, are what we can bluster about and we all should plead guilty!

I do! I am deeply apologetic and ashamed!

RAAZI (agree) ????