In my nearly 40 trips around the Sun, I’ve never felt comfortable answering a question, “Where do you come from?”

Expecting a Bengal/Punjab or one of the other 30 something options. The only one that comes naturally, is… I am a child of the Indian Defence Services. That was my family, that was the world I grew up in. That shall always be my religion and my state.

I am a child of the Indian Defence Services. That was my family, that was the world I grew up in.

Where babies sleep soundly under the din of fighter sorties…

Where a six-year-old…

freezes memories of the Mirage 2000 making jet trails…

recognised sirens for general recall during war exercises…

remembers blackouts during war exercises…

Those were my memories.. And so so many more.

I am a child of the armed forces, but I guess it’s natural for that pride to seep in. Genes, maybe.. or perhaps a function of all that I saw and felt growing up.

Today, all those memories come rushing back. I feel so much pride in the nation’s soldier. In the soldier that dons those blue overalls, and trains sortie after sortie to be there if and when the motherland needs him. In those that support him in every action, a well-oiled machinery, that ceaselessly, relentlessly work together to protect us. For a defence personnel doesn’t work only in times of war. Every waking moment goes towards being completely prepared for serving his country. It doesn’t matter if it is nature casting an evil eye on his country’s people, or another nation-state. The soldier is on call 24×7, and is happiest when he gets to serve his country.

I feel so much pride in the nation’s soldier. In the soldier that dons those blue overalls, and trains sortie after sortie to be there if and when the motherland needs him.

Yes, it’s a historic day. First time in the history of the republic, we have launched an offensive. I am not sure about the political implications, but yes, there was a need to preempt any further Pulwamas. Yes, we are strong, and we know it. But for every soldier, he must feel stronger and more “enabled” today.

I am not sure about the political implications, but yes, there was a need to preempt any further Pulwamas.

Today is a day when I wish I could personally congratulate each and every one of the village I was brought up in. I know that each one of them is glued to their television sets, pride in their hearts, charged and excited even if they have long since given up those olive greens (or their blue overalls).

The author is the daughter of an armed forces officer.

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