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Move Over Celebrities, Wing Cmdr Abhinandan Has Won Our Hearts, For Now!

Posted: March 1, 2019
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Wing Commander Abhinandan has returned to India in glory, and the millions who were rooting for his safe return are jubilant!

If I were a starry teenager, the wallpaper on my gadgets, my display and profile pictures on social media and the posters in my room would have changed from the Khans, the Kapoors and the Kaushals to the man of the moment – Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman. Alas, I have gotten past that age of such open display of adulation yet that doesn’t stop me from expressing my admiration for him, like all others.

For over a month now, I have been stumbling upon various articles and write-ups related to Armed Forces. Every time I read them, my awe just increased and I also used to jokingly comment that these people are fed something else at the academies that they train.

While looking up the site of NDA, I read the NDA Prayer that the cadets apparently recite every morning in chorus. The more I read the prayer, the more I understood the value and the message of it.  An excerpt from the prayer is given below:

O God, help us to keep ourselves physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight, that in doing our duty to Thee and our country we may keep the honour of the Services untarnished.
Strengthen us to guard our country from external aggression and internal disorders. Awaken our admiration for honest dealing and clean thinking, and guide us to choose the harder right instead of the easier wrong.

Wing Commander Abhinandan’s display of grit is a reflection of such small and all those tough things as well that are a part of their training which makes them a soldier. It truly takes something else to be so calm and composed, smiling at the captors and not revealing details (which the social media willingly and blatantly did).

Just a prolonged illness in the family or the threat of a job loss is enough to make some people choose the easy way out or bow to pressure. But for this man, a threat to his life in an unfriendly and hostile zone couldn’t even distract and disturb him from the duty towards the nation, for these brave hearts pray to make a choice of the hard and not the easy.

Like there are two sides to a coin, there will always be good and bad apples in the basket. Probably the same thing may or may not apply to those in The Services. But for now, I have encountered only the good ones and I am hoping that they surpass the number of bad apples, if any and always stand tall in the fraternity and the society.

With regards to Wing Commander Abhinandan we can only see what has been shown to us (hoping that there is nothing more than what meets the eye). If there is something more, then there will be more sympathy and outrage, but the fearless display of grit and composure of a man in uniform should never be forgotten.

So for now this is for you, Wing Commander.

Dear Abhinandan – I do not know how many stars and stripes or awards will be added to your name but for now, you have won our hearts. More power for the likes of you to serve and inspire (never be caught in such a situation though)

Welcome Back. For a change we have the privilege of celebrating the return of a soldier alive, and not grieving for the martyrs.

Wish the youth of the country get inspired more by the likes of you and not just the celebrities of the country.

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A homemaker, a freelance writer who loves to travel and has a passion for reading.

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