Tried to reason with the admin guy, it was the savings in time. He opened his case and took out the laptop, determined to put the time to some good use. "Are you from the software industry sir," the man beside him was staring appreciatively at the laptop.
Vivek glanced briefly and mumbled in affirmation, handling the laptop now with exaggerated care and importance as if it was an expensive car. "You people have brought so much advancement to the
Country sir. Today everything is getting computerized. "
'Thanks," smiled Vivek, turning around to give the man a detailed look. He always found it difficult to resist appreciation. "You people always amaze me," the man continued,"You sit in an office and write
Something on a computer and it does so many big things outside."
Vivek smiled deprecatingly. "It is not as simple as that my friend. It is not just a question of writing a few lines. There is a lot of process that goes behind it. It is complex, very complex."
"It has to be. No wonder you people are so highly paid," came the reply. This was not turning out as Vivek had thought. A
Hint of belligerence came into his so far affable,persuasive tone.
"Everyone just sees the money. No one sees the amount of hard work we have to put in." "Hard work!" "Indians have such a narrow concept of hard work. Just because we sit in an air-conditioned office
Doesn't mean our brows don't sweat. You exercise the muscle; we exercise the mind and believe me that is no less taxing."
"My friend," he concluded triumphantly, "you don't know what it is to be in the line of fire."
The man sat back in his chair, his eyes closed as if in realization. When he spoke after sometime, it was with a calm certainty that surprised Vivek.
"I know sir, I know what it is to be in the line of fire," He was staring blankly as if no passenger, no train existed, just a vast expanse of time.
"There were 30 of us when we were ordered to capture Point 4875 in the cover of the night. The enemy was firing from the top. There was no knowing where the next bullet was going to come from and for whom. In the morning when we finally hoisted the tricolor at the top only 4 of us were alive."
"You are a..."
"I am Subedar Sushant from the 13 J&K Rifles on duty at Peak 4875 in . They tell me I have completed my term and can opt for a land assignment. But tell me sir, can one give up duty just because
It makes life easier. On the dawn of that capture one of my colleagues lay injured in the snow, open to enemy fire while we were hiding behind a bunker. It was my job to go and fetch that soldier to
Safety. But my captain refused me permission and went ahead himself. He said that the first pledge he had taken as a Gentleman Cadet was to put the safety and welfare of the nation foremost followed by
The safety and welfare of the men he commanded. His own personal safety came last, always and every time. He was killed as he shielded that soldier into the bunker. Every morning now as I stand guard I can see him taking all those bullets, which were actually meant for me. I know sir, I know what it is to be in the line of fire."
Vivek looked at him in disbelief not sure of his reply. Abruptly he switched off the laptop. It seemed trivial, even insulting to edit a
Word document in the presence of a man for whom valor and duty was a daily part of life. The train slowed down as it pulled into the station and Subedar Sushant picked up his bags to alight.
"It was nice meeting you sir."
Vivek fumbled with the handshake. This was the hand that had climbed mountains, pressed the trigger and hoisted the tricolor. Suddenly as if by impulse he stood at attention, and his right hand went up in an
Impromptu salute. It was the least he felt he could do for the country.
PS: The incident he narrates during the capture of Peak 4875 is a true life incident during the Kargil war. Major Batra sacrificed his life while trying to save one of the men he commanded, as victory was within sight. For this and his various other acts of bravery he was awarded the Param Vir Chakra - the nation's highest military award.
Lets Live humbly,
there are great people around Us!