EDITIONS
Inspiration

Saluting a braveheart- Major Mukund Vardarajan

Tanvi Dubey
26th Jan 2015
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Technology has brought the world closer; closer to our laptops and handheld devices. While many things have changed, our nation’s borders still remain. Those guarding the integrity of our borders though exceptional in their dedication to the country are people just like us. They celebrate success, fight with friends, cry when they are hurt and miss their family when they are away from them. What separates them from us civilians is that they don’t complain about fighting extreme weather conditions for days to keep us all safe; they don’t hesitate to risk their lives just so we can live a better life, they stay away from their families without contact because the nation’s security is priority. They are not different they just do things differently.

While the nation pays homage to our brave heroes, every year I sit and watch the parade serenading the crowds gathered at Rajpath. Each year, I am suffused with pride looking at the parade which is symbolic of the courage of our armed forces, and the strength of the nation. But to me this Republic Day will be like none other. Let me tell you why. Many of you may have heard or read the following lines-

Achamillai Achamillai (Fearless)

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Gun salute for Major Mukund Vardarajan

I’m not afraid, not afraid am I. I have no such thing as fear.

Though the entire world stands united against me,

I’m not afraid, not afraid am I. I have no such thing as fear.

Though I’m belittled and vilified,

I’m not afraid, not afraid am I. I have no such thing as fear.

Even if the sky falls on my head,

I’m not afraid, not afraid am I. I have no such thing as fear.

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With Major Mukund Vardarajan

The first time I heard this song in Tamil was when a fearless man, a father was teaching it to his two- and-half-year-old daughter. The video of the two of them singing is nothing short of inspirational. Though the words were unknown to me but the passion and heroism resonating in the father’s voice touched me at many levels.

Looking at the video I thought to myself that one day I would learn the song and teach it to the child so she could sing it to her father when he came home from guarding the borders and surprise him. I did not know I had little time. I did not push myself enough to learn it and in turn teach it to the child; a strong reminder that time and tide wait for none.

It is a regret I will have to live with. On 25th April 2014, Maj Mukund Vardarajan became a martyr. A few days post his 31st birthday, while leading an anti-terrorist search operation where he and his team came under heavy fire. While injured himself, during the assault he eliminated three terrorists in the Shupiyan district of Kashmir.

Today on 26th January, our 66th Republic Day, his wife, Indhu, will be receiving the Ashok Chakra on his behalf.

I remember these lines today-

If I die in a combat zone,

box me up and ship me home.

Pin my medals upon my chest.

Tell my mamma I did my best.

As a man who always wanted to go out while serving the country, Mukund we are so proud of you.

This day as the nation honors you, it is my turn to salute. I salute you for the man you were, for your bravery, for the choices you made and for the life you lived.

Jai Hind.


yourstory_MukundVaradarajan


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