Someone somewhere is a series of write ups on brave hearts who made the supreme sacrifice but little is known about these men. It is a humble attempt to bring to fore the many unsung heroes of Indian Armed Forces.

My previous articles were homage to Sepoy Vikas Bhardwaj, who was killed in an ambush in Manipur in 2015 and to Capt Shailesh Rialch who made the supreme sacrifice in 1999.

However, this piece does not refer to any one brave heart or one family. This is something that I observed during one of my visits to a Veer Parivar.

A cold winter morning, just another day in the lives of the people. But a sad and solemn day for the family of a braveheart. It was on the fateful day that they lost their beloved son years ago.

When one thinks of it, this time that year they may not even have had the slightest inkling of what lay ahead.

The parents will be meeting their son; their son in flesh and blood has now turned into a statue. The one whom they can see and talk to, but can never hear him again. A few minutes spent in his company where other well-wishers too join in.

A solemn moment of remembrance and memories; with a lot of activity in the background, of vehicles, people chatting nonchalantly.  Where the parents who should have been preparing excitedly for the wedding of their son, who was just in his late 20s when he made the supreme sacrifice for our Nation, stand today in his remembrance placing a wreath and flowers at his feet. What can be more heart wrenching than this!

This is the cost of our freedom, which we seldom realise.

Few people turn up physically to offer their tributes, few vehicles just pass by the memorial even without sparing a moment for the brave heart.  It wouldn’t take a minute for these passers-by to stop and pay respects. Very few people pay their respects even on social media. With one incident, life changes forever for a family. Yet it is so hard for us to spare a few minutes in the remembrance of a braveheart.

A celebrity who is made larger than life for the roles he plays will get thousands of wishes on his birthday (most of which he may not even see). But there are not even hundred people who stand with the family of a soldier to remember him the day he made the supreme sacrifice.

Life will go on. There will still be incidents and there will continue to be sons / husbands/ fathers / brothers who pay the cost of our freedom. What can maybe change in all of this is that more among us can remember our bravehearts and stand with their families thereby making the mothers feel that their sons didn’t give their lives for an ungrateful Nation.

Someone somewhere guards our borders on icy heights, someone somewhere spends sleepless nights so that we sleep peacefully and someone somewhere came back wrapped in the Tricolour. Such is the cost of our freedom.

Let us remember those who never came back and keep them in our thoughts always.

Jai Hind!


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