The flag does not fly because of the wind....

The flag does not fly because of the wind....

There was a boy called Ayush Yadav. He was a field Captain in the Indian Army. You can tell a service officer, that they are different from others when they stand in a group of boys of the same age. It is not the hair cut that stands out. It is the honour that the uniform brings that makes them stand out. When most boys of their age are refining their resumes for a job, these boys chose a life that embeds honour as a way of life.
* Honour in uniform.
* Honour in society.
* Honour to stand guard for the motherland.
* Honour in being a soldier.
Uniform portrays purpose, duty & makes you responsible to the trust that the 125 crore people bestow in you. That trust is a very big purpose to bear.
This boy, “An Officer & a Gentleman”, stood ground & as a true soldier lived & died guarding that trust. The slow march of six officers of the same rank in ceremonial uniform as pall bearers carried the coffin that contained the mortal remains of Ayush. Saturation coverage in television stired the nations conscience. There was not a tear from anyone. Each one had pride in their being while they honoured the coffins with flowers.
A boy from Kanpur, Ayush did all that any brat of his age would do. But this boy had a spark, he joined the service about eighteen months ago. The column of four officers split into two, each in slow march, crossed the final door of Chetwood Hall at the Indian Military Academy. When Ayush started the split, there were a set of four MiG-29 aircraft that roared over the academy giving their final ceremonial salute to the academy colours. Ayush looked up the door sill, the sparkling brass alphabets shone with the words, “Through these portals have walked the finest soldiers of the Indian Army”. His name was called out as he walked past. His mother who was sitting in the audience, had a tear in the eye. The parents were called to the assembly area to pip their respective children. Tradition goes that the parents wear the first rank on their wards shoulder. His father to the right & mother in the left, each with a star in their hand unbuttoned the shoulder flap. It is one scene for anyone to experience; parents cry with tears of joy. Ayush was standing in attention as he was pipped. Once done, he gave his first salute to his parents. That salute was duty & tradition, then comes the family love. Instinctively the family closes in & a warm embrace happens. It is a scene that melts hardened hearts.
His first posting at Kupwara, with his entire life ahead, Ayush reached his field location & was on duty standing at a post with his men. It was at 04:40 AM that the strike happened. It was over in 35 minutes. Three terrorists struck the camp, two of them were dead. At the end of it, Capt Ayush lay dead due to injuries sustained. Along with him, two more soldiers were also martyred - JCO, Bhoop Singh & Hav Venkat. A boy from Kanpur, a JCO from Rajasthan & a Hav from Vizag, all lay martyred. A grenade blast took them out towards the end of the operation.
At the military hospital, the formalities done, the Commanding Officer called the home of Ayush & informed his Dad. There was silence from the other end. "Sir…..excuse me……Sir…….aap sun rahe hain", the CO asked. A reply came from his Dad, "In our area, in a fight, we prefer to die with injuries on our chest. Could you arrange to send him to us, please". The CO could feel the choke in the father’s voice, but pride in his tone. "Yes Sir", he said.
A Dornier aircraft was launched from Srinagar to Chakkeri airport. Ayush was boxed in a coffin with the national flag draping it. News of his death was all over the media. There was an overwhelming crowd from the airport to the cremation area. The Army & Air Force paid their honours; Chief Minister’s office sent its envoy to pay their respects; people from all walks of life paid homage. Traffic stopped in the otherwise indisciplined city. Kanpur mourned, UP mourned & above all, India mourned, as the ceremonial gunfire happened & the pyre was lit as the military band played the last post.
The mother’s first tear came when she saw her son consumed to one of the elements.
Heart rending is a small word.
Rest in peace, son. You gave your today, to preserve the freedom that we all enjoy. As a soldier, my salute to you. Lucky are the few who get to be dorned by the national flag on death. Rest...are all lesser mortals.
The Indian flag does not fly due to the winds; it flies with the breath of each soldier who died protecting it.
RIP....dear son...
:(

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