Sometimes we remember the moment, not the person

Life is made of moments. We go overboard in happiness and become tear-eyed in sad moments, especially the parting one. Without moments, life would be incomplete. What are these moments? I am not referring to your daily work schedule as moments. Moments are the happy events that you cherish for a lifetime. Everything is special in that moment – the first day to school, first friendship, first haircut, first pocket money, first bike ride, first college bunk and the first kiss of love. I still remember my twelfth birthday when all the guests had arrived to my home to wish me. I was no less than a celebrity at that time, throwing starry tantrums to get all the limelight on that birthday moment. I remember the moment, but not the people. Today when I was celebrating my 38th birthday I was missing the people who graced that moment and made my childhood birthday special. Sadly, half of them have either left the city and half of them are no longer in this world.

Sometimes we are so engrossed in our own world that we forget to thank the person who made the moment beautiful with his presence and gift. Ironically we remember the gift, but not the one who gifted it. When was the last time had you called your school teacher personally and showed your concern? Had you ever thought of thanking the lady peons who took care of you in your school time? Did you show a caring concern for a long lost friend who gave you money on credit when your pockets were empty? Today I regret those lost moments when I didn’t thank even a single person who made my moments special with his helpful presence.

Regardless of whether you have 3G or 4G speed on your mobile devices, it is worthless if you have forgotten the people who cared about you. We share our photographic moments on Instagram with our virtual friends, but don’t bother to invite our friends on happy occasions. If you are thankless to the world, world will be thankless to you. Human being is a social animal. He needs people around him. No matter how reserved I may be, but I need someone in whom I can confide my feelings. Nowadays, we earn money, but don’t earn affections. In today’s world, this article may sound out dated because people are more inclined towards money, not relationships. Money can fetch partnerships, alliances and business bonding, but cannot buy heart felt feelings. It cannot bring back the moments you shared with your loved ones. Though today I may be earning lakhs of rupees, but I cannot forget the money my friend gave to me during my difficult days.

I really connect with Ranbir Kapoor’s character from 2013 movie – Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani where Ranbir goes on a world tour leaving behind his family and friends.He gets so engrossed in his career and money that he doesn’t realize that he has lost his father and disconnected from his old friends. When Ranbir returns back, he realizes that he is all alone now. Today when I look back, I realize how alone I am. No matter how helpful I may be, I will be forgotten someday. I will be just a photographic memory for my closed ones.

Friends, let’s not forget the people who made your moment special with their cheerful presence. Life is too short to be little. I hope that after reading this article, you will make an attempt to call back the people who really cared for you.

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Why friendly bonding doesn’t work in corporate world?

The Corporate world is a jungle where beasts in garb of qualified people are ready to rip you apart. Our human world though may be civilized with intelligence of its own, but fact is that the brutal jungle laws are followed in day to day life. You cannot trust anyone. The moment you step out of college and enter the brutal world of corporate, you are pitted against cunning, manipulative and crafty people who claim to be your friend. If you think your friendly, approachable nature will work in corporate sector, then you are wrong. 99% of people in corporate world are mean, opportunists and gossip mongers. This article is based on my own personal experience that I had encountered during my early years.

The people working in office come from diverse backgrounds and different walks of life. Thus it becomes a challenge for a person to mingle among them. It is not easy to blend among them. When a team lead appoints a bunch of people for a particular project, egos of the team members are sure to clash. Every time, one or other clashes happen on project delivery, queries, miscommunication and ego. The blame game is full on in such situations. The clashes happen because there is no mutual understanding among the co-workers. The people working in a team don’t take responsibility for their follies and thrust their flaws on others. I have personally been witness to such instances where I had to take scolding for other persons’ folly. Then there are other types of species who pretend to be sweet, but are cunning in their motives. This is the category of the back-stabbing opportunists who will use your friendliness to their best and forget you in a second once their purpose is achieved.

In a fit of innocence, we try to help people but repent later on our foolishness of recognizing people. The bond that we form with our school & college friends doesn’t work in corporate firm. The reason is that you come together with bunch of people for a particular project or a specific time. Bond does form between you and people.

Unfortunately this bonding is short-lived. Once the project or work tenure is over, people move on. There is no place and time for emotional bonding. 99% of office colleagues never stay in touch. Every person in the industry wants to grow, excel and lead in corporate world and that’s the reason why there is no place for friendly emotions.

I personally feel that one should never confide his or her feelings to anyone in workplace. The people working in workplace are mostly gossip mongers and are always hungry to share someone’s feelings to the whole organization. In such instance, your feelings will be a subject of gossip or mockery among people.

There are also some instances where your friendliness and approachable nature will be mistaken for being opportunist, flirty or too much over-friendly. Friendly rejections and cold behavior of office people will turn you cynical, withdrawn, pessimistic and inferior.

We approach the world according to our emotions and expect the same response. This is where we fail. The safer side to surviving in corporate world is to stay focused to work goals and maintain a balanced communication only related to your work.

The points mentioned in this article are based on my experiences, views and thoughts while working in corporate sector. It may tend to differ from person to person. Hope someday the scenario of corporate world will definitely change with friendly giggles and encouraging exchange of ideas.

The unsung hero of 1962 war – Rifleman Jaswant Singh Rawat

In 1962 Indo-China war, when the troops of Garhwal Rifles were given the command to return back from Battle of Nuranang, a Braveheart from Uttarakhand refused to leave the battle ground. He held the post and gave a tough time to Chinese soldiers with his dare-devilry. It is said that the brave Indian soldier had slain 300 Chinese soldiers with his rifle. But when the Chinese army got the hint that it was not a massive army, but a lone soldier who was holding the post, they decided to retaliate with a vengeance. In the battle between the Chinese troops, Jaswant was outnumbered and realizing that his capture was imminent, he shot himself. The Chinese battalion was so furious of this Indian soldier that they chopped his head off and took it with them. Later a ceasefire took place between India and China. The Chinese army was so amazed by his courage that they returned the head of the soldier back to Indian army along with a brass bust in honour of this brave soldier.

Photo of Rifleman Jaswant Singh Rawat, 4 Garhwal Rifles

Photo of Rifleman Jaswant Singh Rawat, 4 Garhwal Rifles

Who was this soldier whose courage struck a terror in hearts of enemies? This soldier was Rifleman Jaswant Singh Rawat who was equal to a battalion and made his mark by resisting the attack of more than 300 Chinese soldiers. More than 40 years have passed, but people still believe that the spirit of Rifleman Jaswant Singh still guards the Indian posts. He is no less than a saintly figure for Indian soldiers and the residents of Uttarakhand. When I read the story of this dare devil, I couldn’t resist myself from narrating this story of Jaswant.

Statue of Rifleman Jaswant Singh Rawat

Statue of Rifleman Jaswant Singh Rawat

According to military records, Jaswant Singh Rawat along with Trilok Singh Negi and Gopal Singh Gusain was guarding the post. These 3 soldiers fell short to the massive army of Chinese. But still in this odd hour, these 3 soldiers gave a tough fight to the Chinese army in which 300 Chinese soldiers were killed. But this battle also claimed the lives of these 3 Indian soldiers. It is also said that Jaswant Singh was court martialled from the army for not following the orders of retreating back.

Pic of Jaswant garh, the war memorial of Jaswant Singh

Pic of Jaswant garh, the war memorial of Jaswant Singh

As per the local legend, Jaswant Singh Rawat refrained from leaving his post and decided to single handedly confront the gigantic Chinese army. He was helped by two local Monpa girls – Sela and Nura who set up weapons at different places, creating an illusion that Indian soldiers were massive in numbers. Jaswant Singh Rawat along with Sela and Nura used to run at different spots and fire at the enemies. The attack of Jaswant was proving fatal for Chinese. They were clueless about the size of Indian army. But a betrayal proved fatal for Jaswant. The person who was supplying rations to Jaswant was caught by Chinese and he revealed all the details of Jaswant Singh Rawat and his two comrades – Sela and Nura. Jaswant’s life was about to come to end. With a vengeance, the Chinese army retaliated in which Sela was killed in a grenade burst. Legends also says that Sela died by jumping off from the cliff to avoid getting captured by Chinese. Sela had an emotional corner for Jaswant and it was her love for Jaswant that she fought till her last breath. In this battle for nation, even Nura was killed by the Chinese. Jaswant fought with the Chinese army, but this time the luck was not in his favor. He was killed by the Chinese soldiers.

The rifle of Jaswant Singh Rawat is stored safely in his war memorial

The rifle of Jaswant Singh Rawat is stored safely in his war memorial

The post where Jaswant fought his last battle is now named as Jaswant Garh. Rifleman Jaswant is known as Baba Jaswant Singh Rawat. His personal belongings are still kept safe even today at Jaswant Garh. Five soldiers are specially assigned to take care of Jaswant Singh’s room. Though the room is empty, soldiers place the morning bed tea at 4.30 AM, prepare breakfast at 9 am and dinner at 7 pm. According to army sources, it is discovered that bed sheets of his room are found crumpled and his clothes lay scattered in the room. The people of army still believe that Rifleman Jaswant Singh Rawat still guards the post as a spirit and is been guiding Indian soldiers in dreams. He is the only soldier who is promoted to post of Major general after his death. His salary is credited every month and most strange of all, he is even granted official leaves.

A group photo of soldiers of Garhwal Rifles (Jaswant Singh Rawat can be seen second from left)

A group photo of soldiers of Garhwal Rifles (Jaswant Singh Rawat can be seen second from left)

His popularity has rose to such enormity that countless people come to Jaswant Garh to pay their respects to this Braveheart who had single handedly taken on massive Chinese army. There are several versions connected to story of Jaswant Singh Rawat. Whatever may be versions of his story, one cannot doubt his courage and sacrifice he made for India and still continues to safeguard Indian post even as a spirit.

A board at Jaswant Garh reflecting the emotions of our Indian soldiers

A board at Jaswant Garh reflecting the emotions of our Indian soldiers

His story will be a subject of a movie which is being produced by Rakesh Omprakash Mehra. The biopic on Rifleman Jaswant Singh Rawat is in scripting stage and the shooting is soon expected to start.

The saddest part is that Jaswant Singh Rawat was not awarded ‘Paramvir Chakra’ for his valor and his story is slowly fading from the memories of Indians. I hope someday that I will travel to Nuranang in Tawang district of Arunachal Pradesh where lies the war memorial – Jaswant Garh which is built to remind us of a forgotten hero named Jaswant. Through this story, I also want to pay my respect to Sela and Nura who fought along with Jaswant and made their supreme sacrifice.

Sela Pass is dedicated in memory of Sela who helped Jaswant Singh while fighting with Chinese

Sela Pass is dedicated in memory of Sela who helped Jaswant Singh while fighting with Chinese

Today business tycoons, politicians and celebrities spend lakhs of money lavishly on their children’s wedding where on the other side a war widow stills wait for the pension of 3000 Rs from the government. Irony is that today’s young mass is ready to sell its kidney for I Phone costing around lacs but is not even ready to drop a 100 Rs note in national defence fund. There are countless Indian soldiers who are rotting as prisoners of war but still there is no attempt made by government to free the soldiers. People cheer up and whistle for cricketers and movie stars but never shed a tear for the forgotten war heroes like Jaswant Singh Rawat.

As long as courageous stories are told by grandmothers to kids, the story of Jaswant Singh Rawat will be told with pride.

The Brave (Paramvir Chakra Stories) – A book on the forgotten war heroes

‘Lest we forget’

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Ladakh is not just a location on world map for travelers to visit, but a shrine which has witnessed the sacrifices of countless war heroes who died defending the battle posts during 1948, 1962, 1965, 1971 and 1999. No one knows about Major Shaitan Singh and his troops who were pitted against 1000’s of Chinese soldiers at Rezang la in 1962. Has anyone heard of Famagusta tank which was used by 2nd Lieutenant Arun Khetarpal in 1971 war? Very few know of Yogendra Singh Yadav’s dare devilry in Kargil war of 1999 where he battled the invaders and survived despite getting hit with 14 bullets.

The Brave (Paramvir Chakra stories) penned by Author Rachna Bisht Rawat is a tribute to the war heroes who were bestowed with the highest honour – Paramvir Chakra, a honor every soldier aspires for. I really appreciate the efforts of Rachna Bisht Rawat for coming up with this book on Indian army and the unconditional sacrifices the soldiers made while defending for our borders. The author has recorded every event of wars starting from 1948, 1962 to 1971 and the 1999 Kargil war. Every single story of soldier is inspiring. Whether it is story of Jadunath Singh who battled against 100’s of soldiers in Indo-Pak war of 1948 or the courage of Flying officer Nirmaljit Singh Sekhon who destroyed the enemy’s war planes in 1971, every soldier is a legend in his own.

Through this book, the author has highlighted the emotions of soldiers during the war front. Far from home, these home-sick soldiers battle every adversity – chilling cold, scorching heat, hunger and melancholy. When we watch cricket matches, we cheer for our players, showing our patriotism and excitement. But for these heroes, there is no one to cheer up. On the contrary, soldiers are labeled as killing machines by politicians and media. No one knows the inside story of soldiers stationed at war posts. Here movie heroes earn crores of rupees while on other side, the war heroes even don’t get sweaters and food rations during peak times. During Kargil war, Captain Manoj Pandey was more concerned about ammunitions than food rations.He was ready to face hunger but couldn’t see any soldier dying due to lack of ammunition. Such was the fervor of Captain Manoj Pandey.

History is witness that every soldier has taken bullet on his heart to save his comrades and one such soldier was Captain Vikram Batra. Risking his own life, he entered crossfire to rescue one of the young soldiers from his team. Captain Vikram took bullet on his chest for sake of friendship and humanity. Very few have the guts to do that.

The survivors of Rezang la war in 1962 are the witness to the horrifying aftermath which left the Indian soldiers dead on the battlefield. Even in death, the soldiers lay motionless holding weapon in their hands. These fallen heroes are forgotten. No one cares to know about the families of soldiers.

I am hopeful that at least one person will take a time out to read this article on a soldier who is posted on a battle front, guarding the Indian post without blinking an eye.

After writing this article, I will definitely travel to the freezing landscapes of Ladakh and pay respects to the forgotten war heroes. In the mountains of Kargil, I want to hear the echo of Captain Vikram Batra’s victory signal – ‘Yeh Dil Maange More’.

Irony is that our soldiers will be forgotten and so will be my story on these war heroes.

The tragic story of Tad Lincoln

Some stories are praised by historians while some stories are lost in dusty pages of history. History is witness that only the stories of winners are appreciated while the story of weak ones is hardly paid any heed. One such story is of Thomas Lincoln, the fourth son of President Abraham Lincoln whose life was tragically cut short by tuberculosis. Like his father, Thomas fondly called as Tad wasn’t successful to carry forward the legacy of President Lincoln. His childhood had little happy times and the rest of his short life went in tragic loneliness. When I read about Tad Lincoln, I felt that his story deserved to be told.

Photo of Tad Lincoln

Photo of Tad Lincoln

Born on April 4th 1853, Thomas Lincoln was the fourth child of President Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd Lincoln. The birth of Thomas was a happy gift for Lincolns’ as they had lost their second child Eddie due to tuberculosis. Since Thomas used to crawl like a tadpole in his infant days, he was fondly nicknamed as Tad by President Lincoln. Lincoln’s kids – William and Tad both were mischievous and used to play around white house. They used to perform various mischievous acts like disturbing important meetings, ringing the White house bell and pulling off the books from the shelves. Many White house members complained to Lincoln about his children’s mischievous actions, but Lincoln was never strict towards his kids. He always wanted to give them a happy and lovely childhood time. Though Lincoln was lenient towards his kids, Mary was bit strict and concerned about her kids’ mischievous nature. The happy days of Lincoln kids were soon to be numbered.

Tad with his father Lincoln

Tad with his father Lincoln

February 1862 marked the beginning of tragedy in Lincoln Family. Both the kids William and Tad became sick due to typhoid fever. Of the two kids, only Tad recovered from tuberculosis. William succumbed to the sickness and breathed his last. This was a second tragic blow for President Lincoln and Mary. After this tragic event, Mary became more aloof and spent her times in memories of William. Tad had not only lost a brother but also a playmate in William. Even the children of one of White house staff were banished from home. Seeing his loneliness, President Lincoln decided to spend more time with Tad. Even in this tragic time, Lincoln was equally paying attention to White house as well as his family. Though Mary had gone into shock, Lincoln couldn’t forget his duties as a president of United States. He played with Tad and filled his lonely moments with affection and happiness. Now Tad had found a new friend in his father. But Tad’s misfortunes hadn’t ended. President Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth in Ford’s theatre.

A rare photo of grown up Tad Lincoln

A rare photo of grown up Tad Lincoln

Tad had lost his fatherly figure. The whole nation was mourning on Lincoln’s death. Nation had lost a leader. Now Tad was really alone in true sense. He was no more a President’s kid. He won’t get the special attention as he received during his father’s time in white house. Tad had spent the best times with his family at White house.
Though he had a mother and an elder brother to care for him, he couldn’t share that bond that he shared with William and his father.

Statue of President Lincoln and his son Tad

Statue of President Lincoln and his son Tad

Tad was not so intelligent in his studies and was very hard to be tutored. Mary Lincoln was very concerned about her son’s education. With the passing times, Tad grew. Robert, the elder son of President Lincoln was paying special attention to bond with Tad. But the tragic, melancholic and uneventful life of Tad came to an end with his untimely death due to tuberculosis on July 15th 1871. Tad was just 18. Among the Lincolns’ only Robert Lincoln survived till the last. Mary Todd was too shocked to attend the burial ground where her Little Tad now rested in peace in a true sense.

Tad’s best times were spent in White house with his father and brother William. Historians wrote about Lincoln family and that is the only part where Tad’s story can be read. President Lincoln was not only an efficient political personality, but he was also a caring father who never imposed his parental stress on his kids. Tad Lincoln though had a short & happy childhood; he lived to the fullest in the care of his parents.

The role of Tad was played by Gulliver Mcgrath in 2012 movie - Lincoln

The role of Tad was played by Gulliver Mcgrath in 2012 movie – Lincoln

Tad Lincoln’s story was made into a Hollywood TV movie – Tad which was based on Tad Lincoln’s childhood times in White house.

I felt an urge to pen down the tragic story of Tad Lincoln which was though uneventful, but never went unnoticed. I hope that I have succeeded a little to tell this story of a great president’s son who yearned for affection.

Lincoln – The inspiring mentor for discouraged souls

Even 151 years after his death, Lincoln still lives on through his speeches, actions, leadership and books that continues to inspire, motivate and encourage the discouraged souls. I am one among the discouraged souls. When adversities crowd in our lives, it surrounds us from four corners, leaving us shaken, demotivated and drained. I was trapped in such juncture in 2011. A personal trauma had hit me on emotional front. I couldn’t emerge from it. The traumatic incident not only affected me personally, but also affected my professional life. In such instances, I seek solace in company of book stores. While shuffling through a pile of books, I came across the biography of Abraham Lincoln. I instantly purchased the book and started reading the inspiring life of Lincoln.

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Born in a log cabin (a one room hut), Lincoln grew to become one of the most loved iconic leaders of the world. From his journey as a small worker in grocery stores to his rise as lawyer, Lincoln had done several odd jobs like cutting woods, delivering posts etc. He never shied from doing small jobs. It was this greatness that made him a favorite among masses. But his journey to White house as president wasn’t a bed of roses. He lost his mother during his childhood. He was encouraged by his step mother to take on reading. During his young years, he faced the tragic blow of his sister’s unexpected demise. This emotional loss was too hard to bear. Even in these hard circumstances, Lincoln studied law very hard to become a lawyer. He succeeded in becoming a lawyer. But he was again hit by destiny on personal front. Lincoln’s first love – Ann Rutledge died due to typhoid. Only an iron willed people like Lincoln can survive such storms.

A picture of Lincoln during his young days

A picture of Lincoln during his young days

While contesting for presidential elections, he was strongly opposed by southern people of America who were against his ideologies of abolishing slavery. Despite all these odds, Lincoln became the 16th president of America. But his road to glory was filled with pothole of difficulties. The civil war had erupted between Northern and Southern America. Even at this height of stress, Lincoln formed a team of able administrators. He even invited his rivals to be a part of his constitution. It was his large heartedness that even won the admiration of his rivals. He appointed the best people to end the civil war and unite a broken nation. In this midst, he had to face the untimely death of his little son William due to sickness. Lincoln’s wife Mary was totally devastated by this tragic blow. Even in this disheartening hour, Lincoln worked day and night to end the civil war. He spent most of his time in office, discussing with his cabinet to improvise the situation of America. His efforts were finally paid off. The slavery was abolished from America and the civil war ended. Despite facing personal losses, Lincoln built a new America, free of slavery.

Lincoln with his son Tad

Lincoln with his son Tad

His life was tragically cut short by the bullet of John Wilkes Booth. Lincoln died only to live forever to inspire people through his actions, leadership and courage. When I finished reading the biography of Lincoln, I compared my sufferings to Lincoln’s tragic losses. What a courageous towering personality Lincoln was!! Every nowadays we read news of suicide cases in newspapers. Some commit suicide due to emotional breakups and failures. Is life so cheap to end? Those who are disheartened by life’s tragedies are requested to read the story of Lincoln. History is witness that people from poor background have rose to become prominent figures. In an interview, Hollywood director Steven Spielberg mentioned about Lincoln as his mentor, an inspiring figure.

Books for Reference – Campfire Comics has recently published a graphic novel on Lincoln, covering his entire life in pictures. Though they are countless books to refer, you can pick the book that matches your reading interest.

Though I may be jolted down by adverse circumstances, but the inspiring shadow of Lincoln is always on my side, guiding me to rise up for action with a new determination.