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Articles - Courage

A Privileged Feeling

To be the wife of a living war hero is a privilege few service wives experience. Today I can proudly say without mincing my words that my husband actually fought for the nation. In reel life we all see screen glorified heroes with their super-natural talents single-handedly abolish the mere existence of villains and their coterie with toy like ammunition. But reality is miles away from fiction. In real life, common man cannot imagine how the officers and soldiers at the frontiers of India, endanger their lives to save their country men's. Some return with laurels and medals to their jubilant families while other less fortunate are return in coffins with full military honors to their dear ones who receive them with heavy hearts. I am one of the lucky ones who shall soon receive my husband who shall return from the valley with another feather in his army cap!!

Here I share with you both my traumatic and ecstatic moments that I felt on hearing of my husband's injury and his safety. It was just another ordinary cold day---the 15th of December 2001. I was busy with the daily household chores while the maid was noisily clattering the washed utensils. The milkman arrived with his stereotypical smile and greasy pot belly. My daughter left for school after her usual tantrums while my dog yawned lazily after a satisfied meal! The phone rang constantly and I felt relieved for a moment to take a break and indulge in a friendly chat. I mumbled a hello and was cordially wished in a typical formal army style, by the voice on the other end. It was a call from my husband's colleague at Srinagar. I was informed with tremendous softness in the officer's voice that my husband had been hit in an encounter but was safe. My face turned ashen and I dropped the laundry I was carrying. The line went dead with me gaping at the mouthpiece.

Instinctively tears flowed from my eyes indicating I am so brave a person. I managed to reach the prayer room and offered a million thanks to the almighty for saving my husband's life. Phone calls kept pouring in from senior officials (as was protocol) who kept reassuring me and clearing my various worries. I was told that my husband was recovering from surgery in the military hospital at Srinagar. I remain grateful to those officers who reached out at this moment of crisis and continuouly boosted my morale.

Yet so many queries came to mind---was he in pain? Was he feeling cold in the peak of winter? How did it feel to have been hit by a bullet? But I received no answer. I felt an irresistible urge to take the next flight to Srinagar but the unstable ground conditions there made it impossible. So I just folded my hands and prayed to my Gods. And behold! A miracle occurred as though the Gods were all ears for me!! The phone rang once again and it was my husband. I broke down on hearing his soothing and warm voice that has bowled me over since 9 years now. He said he was out of surgery and surrounded by drips and pretty nurses---then I knew he was fine and now so was I.

All I could say that I loved him immensely. Sometimes I wonder about the crucial moment that my husband underwent when he faced near-death. They were three heavily armed terrorists while he was alone. Even a single second delay in the decision my husband took would have handed the enemies the victory. But here is where the alertness and credibility of our Army outshines the enemy's. My husband proved it by putting an end to all three terrorists and getting bullet injuries in the bargain. His scars are but a mark of pride for me as it is such an honor to be the wife of a hero.

I was a mere Army housewife till yesterdaty but today i am a war heroes wife and a proud one at that. It is a privilege that you shall see in my eyes, my smile and my gait when i recieve him at the airport. What more could an Army wife ask for? Wouldn't you agree?

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