Army Brat Shares Emotional Experience of Watching His Father Going to War

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Fathers are our heroes. Young Ankit was asked why he wants to join the army while attending SSB. He starts from sharing his experience. We are sure that whatever he said will give you goosebumps.

Let me tell you about my background, I hail from Army Background and my father was a JCO in Corps of Signals. As a soldier, he was posted after every 3 year tenure from a particular unit. Due to this, we’ve seen the Living conditions in both Peace area and Field area. So, I know very well that why a country needs Army.

I was born in New Delhi and after that I spent my life staying at Siliguri(West Bengal), Clement Town Dehradun, Kota ( Rajasthan), Srinagar (J&K), Mathura ( Uttar Pradesh) and lastly we made our last stay at Dimapur(Nagaland)…So, now you know, I’ve seen every aspect and face of Army. My life is full of experiences which a civilian can’t even dream of seeing. (Yes, we army kids are so proud of this fact).

Although, out of hundreds of memories, I narrated a particular incident when I was asked “Why do I want to join Indian Army”..

Believe me, you might end up getting slight goosebumps…

Here’s what I said-

“Sir, my life has been spent in Army Cantonments, I’ve lived a life which is mostly occupied by Army Experiences out if which I want this particular incident to be shared with you..

Sir, I was in class 1st when Parliament Attacks happened. My father was posted in Clement Town, Dehradun, Uttrakhand(that time it was called Uttranchal). As you know, after the Attacks when investigation was concluded with the Mastermind of the attacks being Pakistani, still pakistan denied this and moreover denied any sort of action on terrorist camps, this later tensed the relation between these two nations and it came a point where Army was called in to give a thrashing reply to pakistan. Since, there were some movement seen on the border from the pakistan side, Indian Army was too ordered too move to the front. It was a “any moment anything can happen situation”.

He interrupted in between and said “How can a boy of class 1st was so educated about the things going on then?”

Me – “Sir, I gathered information about this once I was grown up”

Officer – “Okay, you may proceed further”

Me – Sir, I still remember that afternoon when my papa returned from office and told me that he is leaving for exercise(In Army, exercise refers to a kind of drill where different units are gathered together and they undergo in war like situation at a far isolated place like Desert) . I wasn’t surprised as my papa used to go for such exercises and used to be back home by next 9 to 10 days. Me being a 6 year old kid, wasn’t aware of the intensity of the situation. I remember my father packing his typical army luggage RuckSack, Bed Holder and his combat shoes. I sensed this is not usual. I ran to my maa and asked her…She stayed silent, in fact since evening I was noticing a sudden change in her mood, which I later got to know that Papa told her“he might not return this time”, I got to know about this two days later.

Next Day, my papa went to office quite early. Previously he used to first drop me at school and then he used to leave for office, but that morning, he left house around 4 a.m. I asked maa “Papa kab gye mummy, kab ayenge?”.. Mummy was mute again.

I was going to school in my school bus as that day my papa didn’t drop me at the school.

As I was living in Clement Town Army Cantonment, (readers from Dehradun will know this place for sure) I used to see everything happening around. There was a big ground near my school..it still exists.. named as “Kala Ground” in clement town. It is so big that it can accomodate 7 football fields with still some space left. So, what I saw that the whole Kala Ground was covered with Army Vehicles, T-72 Tanks and some Artillery, they were all getting covered up with camouflage nets. That was something, which I saw for the first time in my life..

Okay, school got over and I went back to home and I saw my maa weeping, As if she really wanted to cry aloud and there was my papa standing beside her, he wasn’t uttering a single word. Finally, when papa lifted his luggage to depart from house, my maa bursted with tears and this scene was making me cry. My papa hugged me but being a fauji, he didn’t cry and told me behave well with maa and upon asking him when he will return, he said I’ll return very soon and will bring gifts for you. But that wasn’t enough for me to convince as my maa was still crying.

My papa left and he didn’t turned his face around to see us. This time, I asked my maa “Maa, now you’ve to tell me what happened, did anyone said anything to you?” She finally told me this “Papa is going for a war and he might never return”. ….. Believe me, I went blank, one cannot expect a 6 year old kid to act normally in such situation. But soon after, I thought “Papa has said he will come, I don’t have to worry” and I went out to play with my friends.

We used to live in an Army Family Accommodation Area where Army families used to live, and this area was fenced, and this area was parallel to the main road of Cantonment which used to connect Clement Town with Dehradun city. We could easily see any movement on that road.

So, when we were playing, I saw around 100 ladies standing around that fence and most of them were crying, some of them, including my maa, were weeping. I saw my best friend’s mother fainting as she wasn’t able to accept this fact that her husband might never return. After few moments, we saw those Army Vehicles which I saw earlier that morning, loaded with Soldiers, Tanks, Ammunition, Ration marching through that road. They were leaving for war. Yes, they were and my father, my friend’s father, every single soldier of Clement Town was leaving for war. Then I realised that my papa lied to me about his returning. I started crying and begged mummy to call papa back but all she was doing was consoling me and herself.

Days passed and we were praying badly for some miracle and yes it happened. War didn’t break out and troops were called back to their units after 50 days. Though, there were some actions which happened which were never shown in Media. Few soldiers were martyred during this 50 days period.

It was like every next day, there used to be situations like war is going to break anytime.

Fortunately, when my father returned. We were so happy to be back again.

This incident made us mentally stronger. The moment when my papa was leaving us, he didn’t turn around to look at us even though he knew that he might be seeing us for the last time, this thing gave me a sense of idea that for a fauji, his country lies first,no matter what…no matter!!! and the most interesting part is that this particular thought came into a mind of 6 year old kid who was just about lose his father. It made me matured to a next level. I was aware that why my papa is different from other fathers.But, sometimes I used to get furious that why only my father has to face enemy, why not Anubhav’s father, why not Arun’s father.?(childish thoughts)

Sir, after all this what I think personally,

‘We are in a consistent debt of these soldiers who don’t even think about their family even for once at the time of call of duty,so that other morons can bitch about Railways being not clean, Salman Khan getting not married, Afzal hum sharminda hai..tere qatil zinda hai, etc..etc… and this debt is something which will keep on increasing and we can never ever repay a single penny of this debt.’

Sir, my father started this and I want to continue as my first meal was a military ration, my first breath was taken in a Military Hospital. My schooling has been done in Army Schools and Kendriya Vidyalas, and this incident keeps on realising me that why Army is the only place for me”

Officer – Okay, at least you’re done with this. I liked your honest Reason. Best of Luck.

Later, I got conferenced out but during conference session, the Officer discussed about this incident once again with the other officers of the panel.

Jai Hind!

The following incident was written by Ankit Anand on Quora.