It is true; you have to be extra ordinary to be a part of the elite Special Forces (read 1 Para). These are no ordinary men, they are simply the best. I speak from experience. I have seen them up close and personal. Watched them as they went about business as usual, seen them paint the town red when it’s time to groove and felt the weight of those they had lost in combat on their shoulders. For them, there is no time like today, no day like tomorrow, there is only the today and now. And no matter where they go, and what they do, whether they are miles apart or just next door – they are in effect always together. To be in their company or to have known even one of them is to realise in full measure, what a life well lived is all about.
So when it came to raising funds for the young girl whose father was martyred in Kashmir, they left no stone unturned. Officers sitting deep in the forbidden valleys, others in the city and even those who have now left these shores for faraway lands, everyone pitched in. Suddenly, the coffers have begun to replenish. It did not matter whether they knew him personally or not. All that was important was that he belonged to 1 Para and his family was their family. This bonhomie is hard to find, and even harder to stay with as people move, life changes, situations change. To me it seemed they were only an arm’s length away and all we did was reach out and hands came forward to hold us ashore. I cannot but write without feeling a well of emotion surge within. Perhaps we can never truly appreciate what they do for us. The many ways in which they make our lives different, safer. The many roles they assume when adversity comes calling. The sacrifices they make everyday as the call of duty takes them far. Sometimes, a goodbye becomes a literal word and there is no further to go. And as the flag flutters high in the blue sky, I will always remember those who gave their everything so I could dream.
Thank you. Forever. You shall always be in my prayers.