Welcome my dear readers!
I sincerely hope you guys are enjoying this journey with Aftab who is out attempting a World Record in respect of our saviors, the people who watch our backs and guard our yards, ‘A Soldier’.
This series is dedicated to his cause and spirit and it’s my way of showing solidarity and support by featuring him in my blog and also bringing forth the message to be spread far and wide.
Thank you so much to the ones who have been connected with us since the start, and for those who have missed the wagon, it’s never too late to catch up 😛 .
And the wheels keep rolling…
“It has been two weeks since I started and I can already feel what a mother goes through when she cradles that baby in her womb for those 9 months. Things are easier said than done when they are envisioned but given the degree of stubbornness I bear… the ride continues 😛 .
Leaving the lush green plains of the states of Haryana and Punjab in India, I have started my ascent to the beautiful Kashmir Valley, and every kilometer from here on is going to be bitter-sweet.
The hills in front, green in my eyes, sweet smell of the soil and obvious strange stares are going to keep me company for a while. But nonetheless, I have my weapons locked and loaded (a big wide smile and open arms) to counter any resistance or ambush I might be walking into 😛 .
Jokes apart, I embarked on the next phase which I would like to call the “Kill Me Myself” part of the ride so far. Given the terrain and elevation difference, I have come to realize the side effects of being complacent at times… lol!
The valley as we all know is the nature’s cradle, blissful and inviting. And the same resonates through the gestures of the locals. But lest you get fooled, do expect suspicious and hostile stares up until your intentions get vocal and people start warming up to your presence.
For the first time ever since the start, I got to meet and speak to the men in action (active duty). The daredevils who adorn the uniform with their blood, sweat and tears. The people who are the same flesh and bones as we are, but their souls are a class apart. Masked, straight faces, as scared within as you and me, but still as strong as the walls of a fortress, ready to thwart any attempt of breach.
Talking to them and sharing my idea of appreciating their service to the nation and society, brought about a gleam in their eyes. Words and stories poured in with every sip of tea we had and emotions found an escape. I sat paralyzed at every narration and time seemed to be a luxury in that company.
Life is simple breaths and the moments in between, yet every land has a new dimension attached to it. The people I have come across so far have given me love, offered their table and cared for me like their own, not even knowing my name or where I came from, and yet I have been refrained from stepping foot on the grass due to apprehensions about my name and religion.
I am tender in age, raw in energy and complacent in my actions but this journey is shaping my heart. Rising above all religions and castes, I am an Indian first and always, just like the SOLDIER who serves not a lord or God but a colored ribbon on the mast.
My bag of memories is overflowing and I am scared to lose even a single moment. There is so much to tell and feel, but I have realized not everything can be justified in words as some stories are better etched where they are safe and warm… in our hearts.”