To our very dear Major Mukund Varadarajan, Ashok Chakra
It has been exactly 6 months today(26.10.2014) that you have attained supreme sacrifice. And it is time for me to write to you an open letter Major Mukund Varadarajan. An open letter as I know you are there in all of us, for whom you have laid down your life, protecting us, ensuring our safety and happiness, not thinking about your own and family interest. I know through those millions of people’s eyes, you will surely ready my letter and your reply will also reach me through them.
In our teenage, we used to have fantasy with cricketers and film actors. They were elder to us in age. Then we grew old and a time came when the cricketers and actors are younger to us. And here you are, our real hero, younger to me or may be of same age. It feels so strange.
There is a habit in me of thinking me young, not grown up. And here I see you, of my age or younger to me with so much of bravery, confidence, courage and such immense contribution to the nation. In the age when we think of personal comfort and luxury, what you did I just can’t imagine. You have become my real life hero, someone very special in my life!
You know Major Mukund, one of the main reasons behind my Chennai visit was visiting your home and meeting your family. When the very first time I called up your father, the way uncle talked to me, I felt I was talking to my own father! And when I reached your home, uncle was waiting on the road to receive us.
And the bonding happened before I entered your home! It was Kolkata bonding as you know the city is very close to uncle’s heart since he was posted there from 1977 to 1981! We talked so much about Kolkata, my place, my love, their people, market, vegetables, bus and so many things!
As soon as I entered your home, I saw your little Arsheya! I was waiting so eagerly to see her. As I owe all my happiness and life to her. My daughter can hold her father’s finger today as your daughter sacrificed her’s. And I will ever remain indebted to her! I knew me and my daughter was lucky when my daughter went inside your home holding your daughter’s hand. She is now often talking about her “Arsheya Didi”!
We heard from uncle how truthful you were from your childhood. You have never lied, even to please others. Sir, tears rolled down uncle’s cheeks while talking about you, though he tried hard to be strong. He whispered “My son was a very good human being”!
He also told that once you were absent from school due to illness. When uncle took you in his scooter to your friend’s house for collecting notes, you told uncle not to take out the helmet to hide uncle’s bald head ! Uncle was proudly telling us how you wanted him to be perfect, just like an Army personnel’s father. You took him to Bangalore Fab India and made him try 30 shirts before buying 3 for him! Uncle told after a long time he opened his heart out.
Do you know Major, there were twinkle in aunty’s eyes when she was telling about your leadership skills! How your friends used to come to her to ask for water and other stuffs for you. You never used to come but send friends as you knew if you came, your mother will lock you inside. She also enacted how dramatically you convinced her about Indhu!
And now, Major, the most painful story rather phase of uncle’s life that he shared with us. As you listen to this, be his strength, hold his hand and please help him deal with this. In bank, they asked for your life certificate from uncle. Uncle called you up on 21.04.2014 for this and immediately you mailed him the document.
But next day when uncle went to bank, they again asked for your photograph without which the life certificate is incomplete. On 26th, early morning around 1:30 pm Indhu’s father called up uncle and told he got to know from Facebook something happened to you. Uncle immediately searched in Facebook but couldn’t find anything in his own profile.
Then he checked your profile and saw condolence messages pouring in. Still uncle didn’t believe. Early morning at 6:30 am uncle went to buy newspaper and standing in front of the shop only, he read 4 pages and couldn’t any news about you. So he didn’t believe.
Then after returning home while having morning tea, he found your news in the 9th page of the newspaper and was shattered. After that whatever happened didn’t register him as his feeling and thoughts became numb! Still today he is not able to accept the truth.
But what is the truth Major? That you are not there? Are you really not there Major? You are so very much there in all of us whom you have saved. With every beating of our heart, your heart beats. With every brave step that we take in our life, your support and happiness is reflected. I found you in the tears of uncle, in the twinkle of Aunty’s eyes, in the playfulness of Arsheya and in the dignified silence and strength of Indhu.
And as I left your home to enter mine, I took back with me three sentences of uncle that he told us, which will be my greatest asset of life. “After a long time I have opened my heart”, “We are close now.” and “I am feeling my lighter now”. Thank you Major Mukund. Thank you for everything!
Yours Truly, Adrija Sen
This open letter is written by Adrija Sen paying her tribute to a brave Indian army soldier. The letter is based on her experiences when she met family. You must join her Facebook group, DESH.