aye mere vatan ke logo (O! the people of my country!)
zaraa aankh mein bhar lo paani (have some tears in your eyes)
jo shaheed hue hain unaki (those who have become martyrs)
zaraa yaad karo qurabani (remember their sacrifice)
Every time I listen to this beautiful song, tears roll out of my eyes and take me to that day which defined my life.
May 12, 1999
Army Quarters, Jammu
I could sense that he was desperate and passion to make love was running high. Any man would be that way when he meets his love after six long months of loneliness. I had a steamy shower and came out with lovely red dress to make his manhood run riot.
The clock stuck nine,
He sipped a pint of wine,
Then his lips pecked mine, and
I got what was mine.
He just pushed me to the bed and I could feel the warmth of his skin on mine. He conquered every inch of me with his moist lips and the terrain wasn’t too rough for the horse to gallop. We were on fire and the burning desire was just helping us travel higher and higher towards Venus. We reached the wild land of ecstasy, our lips met, our hearts spoke, and we cuddled there, breathing hard and before I could open my lips to ask for one more, phone rung frantically.
I felt cozy under the blanket and was listening to Abhi speaking
leaving immediately Sir,
Abhi came back slowly, sat by my side and before he could open his mouth, I asked him with great sense of sadness when he was supposed to leave and Abhi said “Abi Kargil jaana hai, Operation Vijay keliye(Need to leave to Kargil immediately for Operation Vijay)”.
The bags which he had brought that morning hadn’t been opened and he took those and left home at 11pm along with so many others in the quarters.
Once he had left, I was again forced to share my life with loneliness and the wait for a call from Abhi, was the only thing which was really worthy.
July 10, 1999
The news channels were wrecking my nerves about the intensity of the war and the casualties of the same. The absence of any news from Abhi was getting me tensed and pushing me into depression.
Finally, I got the call, the final call from Abhi
Abhi: Hey Pooja, situation is bad and couldn’t call
Pooja: Aap safe ho
Abhi: Yeah, I am fine and I have been assigned the capture of point 5140.
Pooja: Sambaalke (Careful). I am waiting for you
Abhi: Either I will come back after hoisting the Tricolour, or I will come back wrapped in it, but I will be back for sure dear. Love you.
July 24, 1999
The phone rang again for the final time in the army quarters at Jammu, to inform me that Lt.Abhimanyu had been wrapped and was being sent to our home at Delhi for the final rites. The news pulled the life out of me, shattered my heart and every time I tried to gather myself, I broke down. My crying got my neighbors to console me saying that it was a brave death and those ladies were bringing down the gods not to give them the same plight as mine.
I rushed to Delhi, bidding adieu to all those in the quarters who were by my side when Abhi was away.
I swam through all sorts of emotions when I travelled from Jammu to Delhi. I felt the great loss, the permanent void he had created, the deadly remorse, the pride that he had shouldered the nation and the love I would miss. We generally departed to meet and met to depart but this time, we departed to depart.
July 28, 1999
The fighting ceased on July 26, 1999 and India had succeeded in Operation Vijay. I was expecting Abhi would be brought in at any time and I had made up my mind not to break down when he was brought in with all honors and I did succeed in doing so till all the final rites were completed.
When I was left with the great memories, Captain Surya came near me, held my hands and told me “Your husband was a great son to this country. I went for his cover when he was severely wounded in his leg and told him thera biwi wait kartha hai(Your wife is waiting for you) and you need to leave the field. Abhi ne bola, sir, meri maa bhi (my mother India is waiting too). He fought like a warrior and when he was about to succeed the mission, his fate was decided the other way around. When he was sweating to death in his chaps and iron chest plate he said “Khush rahanaa desh ke pyaaro ab ham to safar karate hain” (Stay happy, beloved citizens of the country, now we start our journey)”.
I broke down with great pride of being the wife of Lt.Abhimanyu who laid down his life for India when I read the last page of his diary “Some goals are so worthy, it’s glorious even to fail”.
August 15, 1999
The pride I carried was acknowledged by the Indian government when Abhi was posthumously awarded the Param Vir Chakra (India’s highest gallantry award) and when I went to collect the award, it wasn’t me alone, I had Arjun in my womb, Abhi’s gift of love for me.
PS: The warriors had only one request, remember them.