“I would do anything to protect you.”
These words speak plenty and measure pounds, yet there are only a few souls worthy enough of its recitation, ready to take a bullet in their chest and embrace death if need be. In the moment of ultimate chaos and quagmire, when time ceases to exist, these men find a chance to showcase the valour they so modestly wear on their sleeves.
So here I am interviewing an army brat Ashutosh Rout, son of Hon. Lt. Pitamber Rout about how time transmutes when his father is home and how it stretches on when he is not.
Time and its shackles evade all human laws, marking its omnipotence in every era of life, and these men of honor are not immune to it.
But for them, the pace of time fluctuates in different parts of their life. He tells me that a disciplined, round the clock way is how the family operates, covering all the tits bits of waking up early, exercising and eating on time.
It is pretty normal for the family to find him unavailable even when he is posted in the same station.
"His world lies outside the hackneyed comforts of life," he mentions. There are countless occasions, some not so important, some meaningful enough, and situations of emergency when his father is unavailable. I ask him if that hurts a little, he takes it in his stride.
The fact that he manages to abide by their family duties is phenomenal when he constantly puts the country first.
Nevertheless, there is no measure of the time these people get to spend with their family, for they can be called back from their “chutti” at any given time.
Time takes the slow track whenever his father gets posted in insurgency areas like Ladakh, Kargil etc. And then there is the situation of war when time and the hold on time are lost.
The family resonates with constant fear, myriad thoughts supplementing the to and fro movement of their eyes searching the newspaper and a mentality of negativity settles in by default.
I look at him with sympathy and his reply is instant, even though there is the thought of “what if he never comes back”, every army family is prepared to handle the worst fear of the end.
Smiling, he signs off with, “Our threshold of breaking down is very high.”
Their exemplary courage cannot be shadowed, it only enhances in times of danger, praying for their loved ones in distress and increasing their chances of victory. They are prone to the distortion and illusions of time and yet survive the tides.
Well, they are nothing short of real heroes, right!