Friday, February 25, 2011

line of fire................

few days back, i come across an amazing true story about our beloved batra saab as below.............

Vivek Pradhan was not a happy man. Even the plush comfort of the air-conditioned compartment of the Shatabdi express could not cool his frayed nerves. He was the Project Manager and still not entitled to air travel. It was not the prestige he sought, he had tried to reason with the admin person, it was the savings in time. As PM, he had so many things to do!! He opened his case and took out the laptop, determined to put the time to some good use.
“Are you from the software industry sir,” the man beside him was staring appreciatively at the laptop. Vivek glanced briefly and mumbled in affirmation, handling the laptop now with exaggerated care and importance as if it were an expensive car.
“You people have brought so much advancement to the country, Sir. Today everything is getting computerized.
“Thanks,” smiled Vivek, turning around to give the man a look. He always found it difficult to resist appreciation.
The man was young and stockily built like a sportsman. He looked simple and strangely out of place in that little lap of luxury like a small town boy in a prep school. He probably was a railway sportsman making the most of his free traveling pass.
“You people always amaze me,” the man continued, “You sit in an office and write something on a computer and it does so many big things outside.”
Vivek smiled deprecatingly. Naiveness demanded reasoning not anger. “It is not as simple as that my friend. It is not just a question of writing a few lines. There is a lot of process that goes behind it.”
For a moment, he was tempted to explain the entire Software Development Life cycle but restrained himself to a single statement.
“It is complex, very complex.” “It has to be. No wonder you people are so highly paid!,” came the reply.
This was not turning out as Vivek had thought. A hint of belligerence crept into his so far affable, persuasive tone.
“Everyone just sees the money. No one sees the amount of hard work we have to put in. Indians have such a narrow concept of hard work. Just because we sit in an air-conditioned office, does not mean our brows do not sweat. You exercise the muscle; we exercise the mind and believe me that is no less taxing.” He could see, he had the man where he wanted, and it was time to drive home the point. “Let me give you an example. Take this train.The entire railway reservation system is computerized. You can book a train ticket between any two stations from any of the hundreds of computerized booking centres across the country. Thousands of transactions accessing a single database, at a time concurrently; data integrity, locking, data security. Do you understand the complexity in designing and coding such a system?”
The man was awestruck; quite like a child at a planetarium. This was something big and beyond his imagination. “You design and code such things.”
“I used to,” Vivek paused for effect, “but now I am the Project Manager.” “Oh!” sighed the man, as if the storm had passed over, “so your life is easy now.”
This was like the last straw for Vivek. He retorted, “Oh come on, does life ever get easy as you go up the ladder. Responsibility only brings more work. Design and coding! That is the easier part. Now I do not do it, but I am responsible for it and believe me, that is far more stressful! My job is to get the work done in time and with the highest quality. To tell you about the pressures, there is the customer at one end, always changing his requirements, the user at the other, wanting something else, and your boss, always expecting you to have finished it yesterday.”
Vivek paused in his diatribe, his belligerence fading with self-realisation.. What he had said, was not merely the outburst of a wronged man, it was the truth. And one need not get angry while defending the truth. “My friend,” he concluded triumphantly, “you don’t know what it is to be in the Line of Fire”.
The man sat back in his chair, his eyes closed as if in realization. When he spoke after sometime, it was with a calm certainty that surprised Vivek.
“I know sir,….. I know what it is to be in the Line of Fire…….” He was staring blankly, as if no passenger, no train existed, just a vast expanse of time.
“There were 30 of us when we were ordered to capture Point 4875 in the cover of the night. The enemy was firing from the top. There was no knowing where the next bullet was going to come from and for whom. In the morning when we finally hoisted the tricolour at the top only 4 of us were alive.”
“You are a…?”
“I am Subedar Sushant from the 13 J&K Rifles on duty at Peak 4875 in Kargil. They tell me I have completed my term and can opt for a soft assignment. But, tell me sir, can one give up duty just because it makes life easier. On the dawn of that capture, one of my colleagues lay injured in the snow, open to enemy fire while we were hiding behind a bunker. It was my job to go and fetch that soldier to safety. But my Captain Batra Sahib refused me permission and went ahead himself. “He said that the first pledge he had taken as a Gentleman Cadet was to put the safety and welfare of the nation foremost followed by the safety and welfare of the men he commanded…
….his own personal safety came last, always and every time. “He was killed as he shielded and brought that injured soldier into the bunker. Every morning thereafter, as we stood guard, I could see him taking all those bullets, which were actually meant for me . I know sir….I know, what it is to be in the Line of Fire.”
Vivek looked at him in disbelief not sure of how to respond. Abruptly, he switched off the laptop. It seemed trivial, even insulting to edit a Word document in the presence of a man for whom valour and duty was a daily part of life; valour and sense of duty which he had so far attributed only to epical heroes.
The train slowed down as it pulled into the station, and Subedar Sushant picked up his bags to alight.
“It was nice meeting you sir.” Vivek fumbled with the handshake. This hand… had climbed mountains, pressed the trigger, and hoisted the tricolour.
Suddenly, as if by impulse, he stood up at attention and his right hand went up in an impromptu salute.
It was the least he felt he could do for the country.

PS: The incident he narrated during the capture of Peak 4875 is a true-life incident during the Kargil war. Capt. Batra sacrificed his life while trying to save one of the men he commanded, as victory was within sight. For this and various other acts of bravery, he was awarded the Param Vir Chakra, the nation’s highest military award..

Live humbly, there are great people around us, let us learn!!!!

Friday, November 12, 2010

a young mother of india sharing his feelings...

I was a young mother during the Kargil war, mostly housebound and alone and addicted to TV. I remember opening it one day and seeing this bearded grinning face saying that immortal line “Dil mange more”! Capt. Vikram Batra became like a family member…I would say a prayer for him and our soldiers and I was convinced he would return safely. Something about him was so dynamic! Then my brother called up to say that he had become a “shaheed” and there were two of us sobbing on the phone, greiving for someone we had never met, never seen! It has been few years since and on Vijay Diwas,I and my son say our prayers and thank these soldiers who defended us so magnificently. We read articles and discuss our heroes and we will never forget!To us, courage has a face and it is that sunburnt, laughing one!We all need heroes in our lives…..I have faith in our future as long as we have such men! And whenever I feel that my son, Sangram, needs some inspiration, I tell him how our Indian Army braved such odds and how valiently they fought and defined bravery anew.These lion-hearted men can never die for they live in our hearts and continue to inspire us from beyound the grave!JAI HIND.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Shri girdhari lal batra about his son

"My son! You have made me known in every nook and corner of great India as father of Capt Vikram Batra. I feel proud to have a son, who has honoured the military dictum : "your country comes first; then the men you command and the last yourself.’’
"I did have some expectations as an ordinary father, but you have surpassed them all by giving me a surprise for which I was never ready. Tears do well up my eyes every time I think of you.
"In Kargil, you were the Shershah for the Pakistani soldiers. You fought like a lion, captured peaks 5140 and 4875, and got martyrdom.
"I heard that you told your friends before leaving for Kargil that you would either hoist the flag of victory or you would come back wrapped in the Tricolour. Greatness lies in you doing both and ensuring a complete victory. Well done, my son! You have lived up to the greatest expectations of your motherland as well as our family. I salute you!"

even Sachin & SRK would stand in salute

"One day, we got a letter from a very senior official at Pepsi Co, congratulating us for the achievements of our son. The company wanted to make Vikram its brand ambassador, and was waiting for his return," beamed Vikram's father GL Batra. Even the SACHIN & SRK would stand in salute.

immortal bravery & sacrifice

On 01 June 1999, his unit proceeded to the Kargil Sector on the eruption of a war-like situation in Kargil, Drass and Batalik sub-sectors from where he was sent along with his company on the first strategic and daring operation to recapture the first peak of utmost importance - Point 5140, which was at an altitude of 17,000 feet. Upon reaching Point 5140, leading a company of troops, he encountered the commander of the Pakistani-backed terrorists on radio. The enemy commander challenged him by saying, "Why have you come Shershah (his nick name), you will not go back." Captain Batra, being the last person to back away from a fight, replied, "We shall see within one hour, who remains on the top." In a short while Captain Batra and his company of troops killed eight enemy soldiers and more importantly captured a heavy anti-aircraft machine gun, neutralising the advantageous peak. Re-capture of Point 5140 paved the way to the return of the rest of peaks and cleared the Srinagar-Leh highway which sat in motion of successes like capturing Point 5100, 4700 Junction, Three Pimples and the ultimate prize - Tiger Hill.Soon after capturing Point 5140, he radioed his commanding officer and said jubilantly, "Yeh Dil Mange More!" On the successful capture of the vital peak he was congratulated and graced by the Chief of Army Staff, General Ved Prakash Malik on telephone. After taking rest for 4-5 days he proceeded towards Point 4750, where he was challenged again by the enemy who said, "Shershah, no body shall be left to lift your dead bodies," to which Captain Batra curtly replied, "Don't worry about us, Pray for your safety."He captured Point 4750 and hoisted the national flag. He also played a commendable role in the capture of Tiger Hill. He had dedicated himself and was determined for total victory.
He volunteered himself for a third crucial operation of Point 4875 at an altitude of 17,000 feet, with a gradient of 80ยบ. He attacked the peak along with his company and another led by Captain Anuj Nayyar, MVC. They gave the enemy a tough time, killed a number of enemy troops and re-captured the peak on 05 July 1999. The enemy counter-attacked the peak on 07 July 1999, but Captain Batra retaliated the counter-attack with vigour. In the heat of the battle, one of his junior officers (Lieutenant Naveen) was seriously injured and Captain Batra immediately went to his rescue. Destiny however had something else in store for Captain Batra and he was hit by a bullet in the chest, during the rescue. With the words Jai Mata Di on his lips, the brave Captain fell down and was hit again in the waist by an artillery splinter. Before succumbing to his grievous injuries, this brave son of the motherland and a true lion of Bharat Mata killed another five enemy soldiers.
The intrepid Commander of the Delta Company led the capture of Point 5140 in Dras through an audacious climb along a rock face on June 20. Leading from the front, Batra in extreme show of gallantry involved enemy in close fire fight. Mortally wounded, the brave officer refused to be evacuated and regrouped his company till the enemy defence was totally destroyed

captain vikram batra quotes

"Ya toh Tiranga lehrake awunga, ya fir Tirange mein lipta huwa awunga, lekin awunga" (Either I will come back after hoisting the Tricolour (Indian flag), or I will come back wrapped in it, but i will be back for sure). - captain vikram batra

ye dil maange more... (i want to capture more peaks for my country) -captain vikram batra