8 hours ago
Love Story: 4
"Thand kisi ki sagi toh hoti nahi (The cold does not care for anybody)," he said to me, with a smile as warm and sweet as a freshly made laddoo (Indian confection). And yet we were there watching a glorious sunrise on the White Rann, enjoying the cold weather in Kutch. While he, and many others like him, did their duty and kept the land safe for us, whether or not the cold was kind to them.
A few years before this, in Ladakh, my family and I waited for some men of the armed forces and their trucks to pass. Something in their gait and bearing stayed with me more than how tall the mountains stood over there.
Most people think it's the uniform, but it isn't. It's the grace they have to earn it, to accept all that comes with it. It's the willingness they have to sign their lives over to the viciously exacting responsibility of protecting their country at every cost. I mean, what is the depth and immensity of a love like that? And how would anybody not be humbled by it? They live and die for the country, whether or not the weather, the conditions or the people of the country support them - Desh ke sage (people who care for the country)! It's probably why the news of the Pulwama terror attack has broken hearts all over the country and left people angry, rightfully craving vengeance. It's good. We should take it personally. Let's take not just their death but their lives personally too. Let's unite and get angry for more than vengeance. Any day that we aren't good, responsible citizens doing what we can to make the country a better place for them to return to? We should be angry. When we don't ask what we can do for the country? We should be angry. Anger is important. Let's also have some of the love these Desh Ke Sage have for the country. And let's put it to good use. After all, we can't afford to be indifferent like the cold; not anymore.
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