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January 1, 2018

Amar Jawan Jyoti

Friends, today I would like to share something about the first day of this New Year. On December 31st last year, we decided to retire early and in the morning get up early at 5 to watch the Tirupati TV channel for different spiritual programs. But, we could not hit the sack on the 31st, early.

The next day, Dad got up at 6.30 AM and woke up Mom. Thus, she decided to watch news channels. The moment she surfed the channels and stopped at the news channel that she likes; she got the news that 3 army captains and 5 jawans were martyred, after being tricked by Pakistani intruders, in an Indian army training center, Kashmir.

Mom was shocked. She asked herself, “Can people be so cruel?” But then, she remembered about our own building. People here are worse than terrorists. They have to perform cruelty and cheating on us. Otherwise, the food they have does not get digested.

The martyred soldiers were covered with our national flag. Mom was not able to look at the face of one of their seniors, who came to offer wreaths to them. He had to perform his duty, bravely. But, his face had a different story to tell. Mom felt bad about the martyrs. Whose children were they? Whose brothers were they? Whose grandchildren were they? Whose fathers were they? She wondered their families’ condition on that day. Mom felt that the martyred soldiers were her own grandchildren.

Mom felt that Mother Nature was displaying Her anger, with all the natural disturbances that we are encountering. We are all Her children. She is unable to tolerate unnatural deaths like these. Mom remembered the wars we had with Pakistan particularly Kargil War and the terrorist attacks, globally. She thought, “Why should we make sweets at home, today? What would be happening in the homes of the soldiers? If these soldiers would not have been present at their lookout posts, would we be able to celebrate all our festivals peacefully?”

Mom decided not to celebrate this New Year. At night, she lighted Amar Jawan Jyoti in front of our home. My grandfather brought her up in a patriotic environment. My big maternal grandfather Major Dr. A K Vasudeva Rao taught Mom everything that happens in a military camp. She was taught a very basic paramedical course, for nursing during wartime, as well by him.

Bharat Mata

Coming back to the present, we had hung a Bharat Mata photo on our side of the wall outside our door. Mischief mongers scratched it with a blade and we were compelled to remove it. Bharat Mata belongs to everybody, who is an Indian. We wonder why people like these, object to Her presence. Thus, when Mom placed the lighted oil lamp with sesame seeds, for the soldiers’ martyrhood and sadgati; it was without the Bharat Mata photo. These people have left pan spit in the place where we perform pooja in front of our house. I am sharing a picture of the same here.

The reason, I am sharing this incident here, is that there is a small Devi temple near the border, which saved the life of the jawans in one of the battles that they had with the intruders. The bombs never exploded. They have displayed these bombs, after diffusing them. This shows what divine power is. Similarly, the 3 of us are still alive due to the divine grace of Lord Venkateshwara.

Also, Mom is one of the people performing mass prayers for the good of the world. She requests good people to take 5 minutes at 10 AM every day to pray for the lives of the soldiers, with the feeling that they belong to us and they are our security.

About Gayatri T Rao

A double post-graduate (MSc. - Botany and MA - English Literature) Gayatri T Rao is a Senior Freelance Journalist with vast experience in writing on varied topics.

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