” Is this Mr Murti speaking ?”
“Yes. May I know who is this ?”
” Sir, I’m Major Guarav from Madras Regiment, Indian Army.”
Mr Murti’s heartbeats increased. His worst fear came true in another 10 seconds. He had lost his son. And a country had lost another brave soldier.
Mr and Mrs Murti were very happy today. And so were another 300 parents present in the ground of Indian Military Academy. It was the day of passing out parade. Young gentlemen cadets walked elegantly in a synchronised way. Their faces reflected their love for their motherland. The thundering sound of military boots scared away the birds and made everyone’s heart fill with pride and passion.
After the end of parade and being officially inducted into Indian Army at the rank of Leiutenant, the cadets started celebrating with their families and fellow officers. Every cadet’s parents was happy. But they had a sense of fear in their heart too. They knew that their son was now going to do a service which can prove fatal any moment.
Rian, Mr and Mrs Murti’s son was given his first posting in the area surrounding Line of Control ( LOC ). The task of protecting the country’s border was a tough one. With regular attempts of infiltration by militants, the soldiers needed to be highly active and efficient all the time. A little mistake was enough to make the things worst.
It was a Saturday night. A small group of soldiers, headed by Rian was patrolling along the LOC. Suddenly they heard the sounds of bullets being fired. It came from the far end of their base camp which was situated at the foot of a hill. The area behind the base camp was a forest. The patrolling part made a run for the base camp. On the way, they heard distress call on their wireless. A group of 20 militants had attacked the base camp from its back side. They had put the trees on fire. There was heavy gunfire from both the sides.
This unprecedented attack at this time of the night had caught the soldiers of the camp by surprise but they soon took their positions and started the operation to neutralise the militants. They also called for help from their neighbouring base.
In the meantime, Rian was caught in the midst of heavy fire from two sides. He made an attempt to go to a higher point in the base to get a better vantage but his attempts to do so were in vain. The militants were advancing towards the base.
Suddenly, a loud sound came from a distance. The sound of a mortar. The mortar directly landed around 20 meters way from Rian, killing one of his juniors. The mortar also injured Rian a bit. But he got up quickly and went to his junior to help him. Out of nowhere a second mortar came whizzing and landed beside Rian, taking away his life.
Unaware of the fate of their fellow soldiers, the other army men continued fighting the militants. In half an hour, the help from the neighbouring base arrived. The fire fight continued till the dawn. In the end all the militants were killed. Two soldiers including Rian lost their lives protecting their country.
Mr. Murti kept the cell phone down. His world came crashing down after what he heard from Major Gaurav. His only son was no more in this world. His support for his old life was gone. Gone for ever.
Rian’s remains arrived two days after the incident. He was cremated with full State honors. He got the highest gallantry award which was presented to this parents on Republic Day parade.
A lot of soldiers of various countries lose their lives protecting their motherland. And most of the times, we fail to do what we should do to help the people left behind them . It is our duty that we help the people who were dependent on our brave soldier so that they could live a comfortable life.
© Rishabh Priyadarshi