Sunday, September 2, 2012

In their honor

This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 31; the thirty-first edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton. The theme for the month is 'Strangers in the Night'
Image source: Wikipedia
Pavan stood watching the proceedings, mesmerized. The 'Ritual dance between bitter brothers', as the Sydney Morning Herald had called it, had everyone in awe. Hordes of men, women and children thronged to watch the ceremony. A cool breeze refreshed the otherwise parched streets of the village. He stood to one side, watching the members of the ceremony as well as observing the crowd that had gathered around to watch. Cameras and handy-cams were out in full view. As he spotted a teenage boy watching the proceedings through the camera's viewfinder, busy filming, more enthusiastic about getting it on camera than living the experience, he wondered what would be the fun in that. It wasn't everyday that one got to see an event like this, feel its impact on our conscience. He shrugged, thinking maybe the boy was too young, he wouldn't have gotten it anyway. All around him, there was an excited murmur, people enchanted by the event, a feeling of togetherness and brotherhood inadvertently seeping its way into the mob. Instrumental music played along, in perfect symphony, the patriotic kinds that would be played during national events.

Beside Pavan, a father hoisted his baby daughter, who was clearly in an excited mood, onto his shoulders so she could get a clearer view. A few geriatric men stood at attention, in silence. The attitude seemed to be percolate through to him, or maybe it was the purpose which had brought him here, but he stood erect too, at attention, focused on the events unfolding in front of him. His friends had not wanted to join him, they did not think it warranted the time and money he was spending on this trip. But Pavan had always known he was different, he had wanted a higher purpose in life, like he was born to do more just save some money for foreign clients or earn big bucks for himself. While his friends had been landing hot jobs in campus interviews, he had been scouring local newspapers and the internet for the career of his dreams. Now he was here to reaffirm his calling, to make sure that this was what he really wanted. He did not want to ever regret this one decision in his life.

Image source: Wikipedia
In the distance, the sunset cast deep red hues across the sky giving a magical look to the entire show, as if nature too chose to honor them. His chest swelled with pride as he recollected that he was standing at a place that had witnessed history. This was the village through which the controversial Radcliffe line, the boundary demarcation line dividing India and Pakistan upon the partition of India was drawn. The village that had been divided by independence in 1947. He watched as the parade drew to a close and the crowd erupted in a thunderous applause. On their respective sides of the border, Indian and Pakistani flags were lowered in a perfectly coordinated effort and soldiers from both sides shook hands.

Dusk was settling in, soon it would be pitch dark save for the light from the moon and the stars and the few lamp posts distributed far apart. As the retreat ended and the crowds started to disperse, his eyes sought out infantrymen on both sides of the border. What did they have to gain by their noble attempt, he wondered. Who were these men and women willing to make such huge sacrifices for billions of complete strangers? Standing alone, taking in the entire view of the Wagah border, the answer came to him from deep within the recesses of his mind. Standing guard, these strangers in the night would stay awake and alert so that the rest of their countrymen could sleep in peace.

He turned and walked back towards his destination, his hand on his shirt pocket, making sure his entry form to the Indian Armed Forces signed and ready to be posted was still there. Along with a smile on his lips, there was a spring in his step and a marked determination in his eyes. There was no doubt in his mind that coming to Wagah had been the best decision of his life.
The fellow Blog-a-Tonics who took part in this Blog-a-Ton and links to their respective posts can be checked here. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton. Introduced By: Gayathri Kannan, Participation Count: 02
I would love to hear your views!

56 comments:

  1. Good to see a colourful image of wagah border. I have been there and the parade and foot stamping of the soldiers is to be seen to be believed. We often forget and take our independence for granted. If the armed forces would have also got engaged in facebook "when on job" like every other corporate fellow, then imagine what will happen.

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    1. I'll have to admit I have never been there. This is just based on the pictures and excitement conveyed by friends who have been there. But I do wish to witness it one day. Truly, what our defense personnel is beyond simply appreciation! Its a noble profession that doesn't receive the appreciation and encouragement and benefits it warrants.

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  2. Strong narrative bringing sights to life.

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    1. Thanks TF. Its exactly that - an attempt at bringing a sight to life, considering I do not have live experience, though one day I surely wish to!

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  3. That's a strong narration Deepa. I'm glad you to see the colorful photographs to add to the story. :) Superb! Also, thanks for highlighting Strangers in the Night too! Good Luck to you..!

    I wanted to inform you that I removed your comment as it is not permitted under Rules and Reminder post. Comment: "I have started reading the posts and started maintaining an internal rating too :) Too much work to read everyone's in the end and it just isn't fair if I end up skipping some due to time constraints! Keep 'em coming people!"

    Thanks! Keep participating and reading!

    Someone is Special

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    1. Thanks SIS! No worries about the comment deletion :) I'll simply add it to the FB post :)

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  4. I never imagined that the phrase 'strangers in the night' could be associated to the brave and courageous army men who guard our country day and night. One of the best entries in BAT. All the Best :)

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    1. Thanks Prasanna for your appreciation :) I do wish the brave and courageous get what they truly deserve! Wish you the same too!

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  5. Interesting story. Nice twist as well.

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  6. intresting and awesomely narrated

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    1. Thank you Vinisha. Glad you liked it! Do keep coming by!

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  7. Very well put words to deep thoughts. A unique motivating pendown. Truly inspirational turns given to the story. Bravo.

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    1. Thank you Pramod! I would love to visit Wagah once to soak in the experience for myself. Best wishes to you for BAT!

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  8. You have put your amazing ability to paint a picture with words to good use to laud the unsung heroes of the Indian army. Great!

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    1. Thanks Suresh. Have you been there? I hope to once!

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  9. Deepa, the best thing about this post is that its just the right size - not too long but just enough for us to feel the magic...Very good post...Good luck :) Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan!

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    1. Glad you liked it Jaish! Good luck to you too! Only read the first 15 so far - should be getting to the others soon!

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  10. Amazing, I remember those thoughts and the will in the heart .. When you are at the border there is a different kind of emotion in the heart , Brought some good sad memories this post .. if only life had turned out to be different ..

    loved the post.

    Bikram's

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    1. I can't wait to visit now. I cannot understand yet, but I can try to imagine! I am not sure what to say without sounding too pompous except that do not let the 'if onlys' tie you down, there are other ways we can do our bit! :)

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  11. the vibrancy of the words brigs things alive :)

    all the best for BAT :)

    Strangers in the night

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    1. Thanks Richa, best wishes to you too! Do keep coming by!

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  12. That is a fine piece of work. The end is uplifting.

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    1. Thanks Umashankar. Glad you liked it!

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  13. you are always good with the flow. a good read. Cheers

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    1. Thanks Muthu! Do keep coming by - your latest post for BAT was amazing!

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  14. That 'fight between bitter brothers' had me glued to the end ,wondering what sort of an event this could be.

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    1. :) Honestly, Its a fiction based on a lot of information from Wiki and Google put together considering I haven't been there! Have you?

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  15. it indeed is the right answer...its because of our brave soldiers that we sleep peacefully in the warmth of our homes...nyc write
    ATB for BAT :)
    i could not participate...but u can see my post here
    Karan - Strangers in the Night

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    1. Thanks Karan for your comments and for stopping by even though you couldn't participate. I'll definitely view your post and comment there!

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    2. hey the above link is broken
      u can see my post here
      Karan - Strangers in the Night

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  16. Moving...passionate...engrossing read :))I have been to Wagah border, so it was so easy to feel the emotions..! Kudos...very powerful narration. Loved this!!
    All the best!!

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    1. Thank you for the encouraging words Panchali! I'll post one more when I really do visit!

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  17. I have read many posts about this border of India but this was different. I have not been there, but enjoyed reading it. Truly inspiring.

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    1. I have been wanting to for a while. Folks who have been there have been totally mesmerized. Its a whole different world, feeling, emotion out there I guess.

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    2. words taken. I await the days when I get a chance to visit this side of our country.

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  18. Astonished to know that you haven't been to the Wagah border, I had assumed you had written about a real life incident. Is there anything better I could say for this post? I almost felt the bugles trumpeting in my ears at the end there haha.

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    1. That totally makes my day! :) Thanks!

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  19. Brilliant wordplay. I really liked the way in which Wagah Border was described. :)
    ATB for BAT.

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    1. Thanks Harshal! Do keep stopping by!

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  20. Nice. I also have some memories on my Wagah border visit. All the best for BAT

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  21. your post reminded me of my visit to wagah border, Which I took about 5 years ago. Your description was lovely despite the fact that you have never been there (which I came to know after reading a few comments)!!!!
    great work !!
    all the best :)

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    1. Thanks Ashzzes :) Well, it's just a compilation of fictional emotions/tracks based on what I see in pictures at the Wagah border. But Yes, I would love to visit! Welcome to my blog and do keep coming back!

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  22. I seriously wanna witness the Wagah Border 'contest' someday. Nice narrative.

    All the best for BAT 31

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    1. Me too! Thanks CRD - Do keep stopping by!

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  23. Terrific! You have fit this character so-so-perfectly in the entire story. And the idea of going to Wagah before posting to Indian army is amazing. I can almost relate to what's going on in his mind.

    And then you also shed light on the strangers who keep alert at night so that we can sleep in peace. Wow! So many different facets of your post. Really enjoyed the post. Very well thought of.

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    1. Thank you so much Kshitij! A little late in responding, we're almost at the next BAT! My apologies!

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  24. I went to Wagah and came back without watching the ceramony. There was no place to sit and the crowd was overwhelming and the oldies who went with me were tired. So back we went.
    Loved your narration though. Beautifully written.

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    1. Oh man, I need to visit it sometime, will go much much early going by your experience! Thank you for the kind words!

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  25. Beautiful narration. A very strong piece

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  26. That is such a crisp story. I have been to Wagah and I think I can relate a lot of it with the same.

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    1. Thanks Richi, I hope to attend someday too!

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