Monthly Archives: April 2015

T̶o̶o̶ ̶m̶u̶c̶h̶ Pain demands to be felt

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Arnab Goswami on Times Now- “The nation mourns the death of Lieutenant General Veer Rathore”

Rahul Kankwal on Headlines Today – “Lieutenant General Veer Rathore will be missed”

The nation is shaken by the death of Lieutenant General Veer Rathore, who died in a war against naxalists, fighting on the north eastern frontiers of India. Reports say that naxalists managed to get external foreign support and Indian government has put an investigation into the whole matter. An army of 56 personnel was sent to fight the naxalists, and Lieutenant General Veer Rathore was given the lead. Rathore was one of the 8 people who died. Funeral attended by top leaders and army personnel, speeches and facebook statuses, regular news updates and twitter trends – all were happening in the country. The nation wondered what would be the state of his grieving family now? His sister? His parents? His mother? His mother did not shed a tear. Distant relatives came to his home in Amritsar and shed tears on her shoulder. The whole house was clad in white, and drowned with tears but not one drop rolled out of her eyes. “She must not be showing her emotions? She must be crying at night. Kya beet rahi hogi saade Mamta pe?”, her relatives thought. But Mamta Rathore did not feel one bit, did not cry for a second, and moved on too fast, it seemed. If she had cried, the society had come to wipe her tears. When she wasn’t crying now, the society wondered why. One heartless relative finally asked her if she wasn’t sad.

“Veer joined the army 6 years back. 3rd April 2009, I still remember the date. I thought to myself how resistant I was to let Veer go to hostel each April during his schooling and graduation days and now when he is going on the warfront, how can I let him go? I cried back then but finally let him go. He promised me that he will call whenever possible. His call was my only lifeline. He called each day without fail till the month of June when one day he told me that he may not contact me for the next few days as we was going on a war on the border. I wished him good health with a heavy heart. The war had been won by India but people were killed. There was no news of those who died. I cried back then. I called and nobody picked up. I called for more than 20 times that day. The next day too. Until in the evening, I received a call. I picked up and I started crying. I cried back then shouting on him that how can he not contact me sooner. He told me that he had just returned to the military base. I kept crying. It was like losing Veer when he did not pick up. The next year, we heard that there has been some bombarding on the military base. His cell was unreachable. A mother will always be so fragile. I cried back then. The next morning I got a call asking if I was Veer’s mother speaking. I cried back then. Then the person told me that Veer was safe and that he is being sent to Amritsar for a month to recover from the shock of bombarding and that we need to pick him up from the airport that evening. I ran to the kitchen and starting rolling rotis. I sent Veer’s father to the grocery shop asking him to bring vegetables. Veer’s sister skipped school and helped us. Veer was coming back! We went to the airport to pick him up and we cried back then. I cried back then. I cried when he narrated his close calls at the war front, when we again had to bid him goodbye, when he reassured me that he will be safe. Veer came to Amritsar only 4 times after that and over these years I’ve cried with every news update. I’ve cried with his every homecoming and when he cried on call how he lost his friends. In these last two years, when he went on war and the news people said something, I did not get as much tensed. I had experienced losing him so many times now. I did not get as much tensed but I prayed for his well being. I did not get complacent that he’ll be alive always but just that I hoped he would be fine. And in all the 7 wars he went on in these two years, he returned fine till this 8th one. My six years have gone in crying and experiencing the feeling of losing my child. I have felt pain like no other mother. How much shall this mother cry? I couldn’t cry now but now when I remember all this…” she cut her own speech as the first droplet showed in her eyes.

And then she spoke, “And Bhabhiji, dont think this teardrop is because Veer has gone. Nobody can miss him as much I do. But its not because he has gone. Its because you questioned my motherhood. Do eat before leaving. Thank you for being here.” The crowd cleared but Veer’s sister and father stood still. They came close and they hugged each other. Pain is like a thorn. A thorn which pricks you and causes bleeding and hurts you and causes a discomfort that you cannot run away from. One thorn can do so much. But a bed of thorns? They don’t hurt as much. Pain is something similar. It demands to be felt. But too much of it makes the heart thaw. Mamta Rathore. She felt the pain of not being able to protect her son, something which all mothers understand as their responsibility and duty. She felt the pain of her son being in danger again and again. She felt the pain of losing her son until God showed grace each time. Her son could have been one among his friends to die earlier and knew that pain. How much more can she feel? The pain finally got numb.

Department of the Army Best Warrior Competition 2010

Mamta Rathore and Veer Rathore are fiction but it tells us so many things. The first of those, as I said, about how much pain can a person feel? It finally makes him rigid. The second is of how futile these wars are. Wars raise questions on the most beautiful thing happening in the world – birth. Wars are a complete opposite to birth. Births and wars are not effortless. Deaths are. Wars question the most beautiful people giving birth – mother. Each person fighting has or have had a mother. Why do they fight by completely forgetting about them? One side will win. Someone will die. One mother will get hurt. ichetan   And just when I was completing this blogpost, my mother sitting beside asks me, “Aaj Vishakha kyu nai aayi school se?” once it got 20 minutes late to what her normal time for coming home is.

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