So what my one hand is gone but I have thousands of others to give me theirs to move on in life and the reason, we are the family of the great and majestic Indian tricolor!
-‘Liberty, once tasted, is an incurable addiction. 75th year and that addiction still dazzles every Indian because freedom is the color of red. It is saturated with the blood of those who fought to attain it, and it will continue to be colored by the blood of those who fight to protect it. Every Indian has this addiction and is thus is prepared to go to any length to safeguard it’
-‘Even if I would have lost both my hands, I would have been as gleeful and joyous as ever because I know that thousands of others would have risen to help me travel the distance in life. I’m lucky that I was born in Lam (Naushera) District Rajouri in the company of the fighters and diehards who guard us from the devils across the line that matters and keep the Indian national flag flying. No matter what, it was a blast that ripped apart my arm, I have recovered and am alive but my heart aches for those who could not, may be they were not that fortunate as me but they have left a legacy behind…’anything for the nation, life is not that precious for me because it’s the Nation that has the right to take a first call on it. This I have learnt from the soldiers who we see standing like stubborn rocks to thwart any of the enemy designs. This probably was what Yaseer might be saying or should have been saying to himself as he hoisted the Indian tricolor at Lam in exquisite surroundings, with breeze blowing in a calm and serene way on an over clouded morning of 15th of August 2021, a moment that this young kid will never forget throughout his life’!
-‘Most of us have read Alfred Tennyson especially so those who have studied English literature, the eternal romantic poet who wrote the classic, ‘The Charge Of The Light Brigade’ once penned these lines, ‘praise to our Indian brothers, and the dark face have his due! Thanks to the kindly dark faces who fought with us, faithful and few, fought with the bravest among us, and drove them, and smote them, and slew the enemy away’. But those very dark and grim faces went on to do wonders when they drove the Brits out and uprooted their banners and suddenly on all rooftops the Indian tricolor flew. Today it was flying all over as the sea of humanity all over India gathered underneath the tricolor to salute it. Amongst the vastness of humans there was a small contingent from Lam too but it was made heavier by the soldiers. It was an awesomely mesmerizing scene!’
‘ The entire area is known as the Lam valley and the village is nestled in it. Lam is village in Tehsil Nowshera in district Rajouri, just a few km from Line of Control. Economy depends mainly on Agriculture (Corns, Wheat – Main products). The village is in the line of fire and was known for all the wrong reasons. Back in the nineties of the 20th century it was one of the infiltration routes and subsequently till February 2021 it was the Pakistan initiated border shelling. But now things have simplified a bit but the vigil is as it was, perhaps many notches up. The people love the troops since the Indian Army has always extended the arm of help and assistance. The 75th Independence Day was a testimony to the fact that the chords and bonds are far too strong between the people and the men in olive greens (more famously now known as Awaam and Jawaan relationship)’!
Today’s mega celebrations had a bit of an emotional flavor to it because there was something unique and out of the world as 17yrs old Yaseer who lost his arm in a mine blast in 2011 hoisted the tricolor. The gesture on the part of the Indian Army was great. Hoisting the flag was important but the idea behind it was greater. It was a message for those who have lost their some or the other limb on the LOC due to mine blasts or shelling that you are all part of the one big Indian family. So what a limb is lost, the same can be repaired and till that time consider your limbs intact because the Indian Army will be there to help you out! They have been doing that for years now!
Mines did some serious damage to the people in the years that have gone by but they have been laid for some reason but still on the slopes they do tend to move around and that is why the accidents used to happen. It is not so the case now because everything has been streamlined as far as safety aspects go. That day 2011 Yaseer perhaps had no idea as to what was in store for him and accidentally he got entrapped in the bang from underneath the earth. He was indeed evacuated but the damage had been done for which his arm had to be amputated. It was a distraught, sickening and distressing feeling but nothing could be done about it. The young man was courageous and strong and with army men giving him a rock solid support he recovered well and was back as confident young man walking and doing the robust talking and that was clearly visible as he unfurled the Indian National flag with utmost pride as all around stood the soldiers, young boys and girls from the village Lam on the LOC in the saluting posture. It was an occasion to remember and a matter of pride and honor for each and every one of us!
The kids in the picture with the story have been seeing the soldiers ever since they were born as did their elders. So the bond is absolutely fascinating and so is the cohesion. It’s not easy to stay in unpredictable places but these kids have seen it all happening right in front of their eyes, I mean the good the bad and the ugly but today they were all swollen with pride as the Indian tricolor fluttered in the beautiful eye pleasing expanse of Lam. The lady, Jane Austen the author of the immortal literary classic, Pride and Prejudice wrote, ‘vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often used synonymously. A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates more to our opinion of ourselves, vanity to what we would have others think of us.’! Well the people here know by their hearts as to what the Indian army is, ’soft at heart yet determined, immaculate in the deliverance of duty, ruthless for the enemy in case it does the needle pricking and loveable as the people of Lam adore them! The love affair continues!