The flag soared on so gracefully, it had a rhythm to it, like it was swaying to some music that I couldn’t hear. The Kargil War Memorial, overlooking the steep valleys our brave hearts fought for, has a hauntingly beautiful charm to it. The silence speaks of so many stories, of lives that could have been, of promises that would have been fulfilled, of dreams that never saw the light. I could feel immense pain, lingering in those ice cold winds, of every mother who would never again get a chance to spoil her son, every father who regretted not giving his little boy some more time, the sister who would never get to fight with her brother over chocolates, the wife,now a war widow, who would never feel her beloved husband’s warm embrace again, the son who’s super hero wouldn’t play with him ever again and the daughter who wouldn’t be daddy’s little girl anymore. I didn’t know any of them personally, but the loss I was familiar with.
I walked up to what they call ‘Veer Bhoomi’, looking at the tombstones, with little flags fluttering by each of those brave names, without even realizing it, I was crying. I cried for each one of them, I prayed for their souls to rest in eternal peace and I cried some more. I prayed for all those who were left behind and are now broken beyond repair. I prayed for the Martyr Families, who’s lives will never be complete again. I prayed for my own little family and I cried more, I prayed to the Almighty for strength, peace and light.
I lost my father, Major SMK Ghori, in a fierce encounter with Terrorists in Kupwara, J&K. Today would’ve been his 55th birthday, but he departed 15 years ago. I was 8, but I’m blessed with a very vivid memory and I hold on to those few childhood recollections, very dearly. I remember Amma would buy us a small cake, and let us blow the candles, celebrating his birthday even when he’s not around. So, today I’m going to eat cake, pray for his soul and take pride in being his little girl.