“I know you’re with me Daddy,” to the silence I called out.
Today me and mom went down and hoisted our National Flag celebrating 72 years of our Independence. Even today, I still get Goosebumps during the Anthem. And when my head is held high, saluting the flag there is a wave of pride inside me. Even Today, our neighbours look at us with respect and pride.
India hasn’t changed much after you. Yes, there are flaws but I still love my country.
Everyday Dad, every day I think about you.
When you returned from the border you told me the stories about India, the sacrifices our freedom fighters made, about how our country is varied with different cultures yet united about what makes me patriotic.
Remember when I was admiring the badges on your uniform and you came up to me and said me the story of every badge. The story of every challenge you faced but never let the country down.
That day, when you allowed me to wear your uniform. That was the day I realized something.
I realized the worth of the uniform. The reason and the duty that comes with it. That our country comes first.
I realized that when the country wakes up every day without a sense of fear it is because of the men at the border. Every time you left I was scared.
Dad, when you allowed me to wear your uniform and had your badges on my shoulder was the day I had made the best decision of my life.
I am proud of you dad.
And there is another day that I will never forget. The day when you never returned. We kept telling ourselves that maybe, just maybe you were late or it was one of your pranks or surprises. But, when they told us what actually had happened I lost it. You are a martyr dad. You have won my heart, you are my superhero and you are still here. Still here among us, still there at the border because of which our country and it’s flag is standing high, tall and proud.
I cried and cried, waited until you came through the door picked me up kissed mom on her forehead and started with your stupid jokes. When you, mom and me used to go out and every time someone saw you in your uniform they stopped and saluted you. When we used to go to that park and see our flag with children of different religion playing around. When you told me your stories and about your dreams. But today, your sacrifices for the country have made me not only your daughter but the country’s daughter. I will never let you down.
Because when I got my first badge of bravery it was for you. For your bravery and love for the country.
Come home, Dad.
I love you.
Lieutenant general, Indian Army