What It Feels Like Falling In Love With A Soldier And Marrying Him

neha kashyap neha kashyap in Life Is Tough on 9 February, 2017

From a small city in Jharkhand to Pune, the journey was beautiful. We first met when I was studying law at Symbiosis and he was a cadet in the Defence Academy. My friend and hostel mate, Aparna was his neighbour in one the stations that their parents were posted in. All that Aparna and I were looking for at every given time, was food and mind you – cheap food! And that’s when it occurred to her, that the cheapest and best food is available in the academy. So we would take an 11 Rupee bus ride every weekend to the Academy only to gorge on the food in their canteen.

Aparna asked me on the way – what do you think a guy with a name like that would look like (he has a pretty heavy sounding name) and I said he must be tall, well-built etc. He was this thin lanky 18-year-old fellow walking out looking oblivious to everything normal. That’s how we became friends. We continued to stuff our tummies with the food and our hearts with the most “different” stories these boys shared at NDA. Soon he moved on to Dehradun for further training and then got posted to different places across the country.

Believe it or not, the only way we kept in touch was through letters. We would write to each other about our days, about our lives. They were all innocent letters, but they were amazing because it gave me an insight into how simple a person he was.
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6 years went by like this, and finally he sent me an SMS saying — ‘I like you and I would like to be with you’ — and at that point it all just fit in. There was no over-the-top proposal or exorbitant gesture and neither of us our overly romantic but there was love and stability.

Friendship transpired into love and we sealed the deal with marriage. I moved with him to a small town, where I was working from home. The five years that we were together were so special but being a professional I knew that I couldn’t move around every 2 years with him and some of the places he was posted in, the only job available to me was that of a teacher, and that’s not what I became a lawyer for.

Together, we took the decision that I would continue to pursue my career in Bombay and he would continue his postings. It’s tough, it’s really tough but it puts so many other things in perspective. For one - our long letters have become long WhatsApp conversations!

We see each other maybe once in every 4 months, but those 15 days of being with him mean everything to me; to us — we have a 3 year old daughter.

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I feel like there are no words to explain or describe one’s passion towards their country. Here we complain about bonus and leaves and traffic and weather but in the forces you’re at the same rank, with the same pay for a decade before moving up the ladder. You are battling severe weather conditions with the bare minimum necessities at your disposal.

What really motivates them?

A country where the maximum population isn’t even fully aware of the hardships faced by the men in uniform (I would include every single military, para military and even police force).

That’s the thing, we only celebrate our Officers and Jawans once they’ve lost their lives, but we need to celebrate them every single day. It’s one thing to have an opinion and another to be living their lives.

We have lost so many friends and acquaintances to war or technical failures, but do we ever think of the families left behind? The lives of those left behind, who are amongst you and me. Ever spared a thought about that Nano second – where he knew he was dying at 28 or 32 and what must have crossed his mind – his parents, his beloved, and his young children.

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Days go by without any communication, any fresh food or even enough water but I don’t think there’s been a day where he’s complained.

Everyday he wakes up with a smile on his face and gets on with his life and job – because after all – like some of our learned friends say – he signed up for it. He sure did, he had the heart to!
Editor's Note:

Please share this story because we should really celebrate them everyday and not just when they've lost their lives for us.