Friday, September 22, 2006

The Fallen Solider

On the apron of the Delhi airport, there is a spot called Shraddhanjali Sthal, granite slabs that bore the weight of the soldiers killed during the Kargil war. I did not know its significance until the other day as I was walking past when I saw a a dozen odd soldiers standing in rapt attention and a bunch of marigold flowers lay on a table draped in white. Just about then a baggage train hauled by a tractor stopped right there and in the last compartment lay a wooden box.

The box was a coffin - that of Lt. Vijender Kumar ( I don't know if I got the name right). Four jawans, dressed in ceremonial finery marched up to the coffin and lifted in dutifully and laid it on the table. The bugles played 'the last post", while another bunch of soldiers dipped their rifles to pay homage to the fallen soldier.

All around me, I could hear the whine of turbofans as the jets revved up for the evening flight. But as the sun set over the airport, I was left standing thinking, who would be next. Which mother, which sister, which wife would lose their soldier next? When would this end? What would it take to bring peace?

It brought to my mind these lines from the song Jugni by Rabbi Shergill
"Ae jhagda kaiyon mukna, jadon Jhelum paani sukhna?"

(will this war end only when the Jhelum runs dry??)

5 comments:

chandni said...

I have no idea how you manage to write so well!!!

Sidhusaaheb said...

Nobody seems to know when the strife shall end. However, I sincerely hope that economics will help to achieve what politics has not been able to achieve over the past half-century or so.

nomad said...

Chandni: Thanks :)

Sidhusaheb: Amen to your words

Swaran said...

Peace is a divine attribute. It is a quality of the soul. It cannot remain with greedy persons. It fills the pure heart. It deserts the lustful. It runs away from selfish people... Well, saying is easy, to practice is important...
Only then Peace around the world will be restored!!!

laksh said...

i saw the same once while arriving at NDLS airport from HYD a soldier killed in kargil the previous day, it was a sight that still haunts me even now, it suddenly stilled all my thoughts on being face to face with something like that....