‘God places the heaviest burden on those who can carry its weight’ Reggie White
Today on the occasion of India’s 64th Independence Day I greet all friends and readers and write a few words to honor a brave soldier. This unassuming young man’s inspiring story can easily be described as the epitome of courage and fortitude and the finest example of what makes a country great.
Major Rajesh Mehta was commissioned as an officer from the Indian Military Academy Dehradun in 2000 and joined the 10th Battalion THE DOGRA REGIMENT (a Battalion known for its valor and bravery) in active counter insurgency operations on the border. Thereafter he participated in several challenging operational assignments. He completed all the mandatory professional courses with distinction and in the tough Commando Course he earned the coveted Instructor grading. He is the recipient of many awards for his courage and dedication to duty.
My first meeting with Rajesh was in his office. Sitting erect and smart he greets everyone with a pleasant smile and continues to work with a quiet efficiency. It was only after several days I came to know from some friends that Rajesh has gone through some of the most exacting moments of his life. The Newspaper report below describes the ordeal he went through. Reading it one feels humbled when we realize that beneath the humble and soft exterior of this young man are nerves made of steel.
In July 2004 the battalion got deployed in the icy heights of the Northern Glacier with Capt. Rajesh took command of one of the toughest posts. The Siachen Glacier is considered to be the world’s highest and toughest battlefield at heights of 21000 ft where temperatures may swoon to lower than minus 45 degree Celsius. Read more on the world’s largest non-polar glacier http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siachen_Glacier
After reading the above narration I asked Rajesh of his feelings towards life in general and whether he holds any grudge. His reply brings out the true essence of a leader who is courageous and inspirational – a leader whose men willingly will go way beyond the line of duty to overcome any challenge.
In a calm but firm voice Major Rajesh said “I am thankful to God for presenting me a new life and keeping my master hand and brain fibers intact. I am thankful to the wonderful organization I joined – The Indian Army and my regiment which has taken care of me and my family till date. I always remember the quote I was taught in Commando –
“MUSHKIL WAQT, COMMANDO SAKHT i.e., “When the Going Gets Tough the Tough Get Going”! – JAI HIND
I end this post by wishing Major Rajesh and his family good health, fortitude and happiness in the days ahead. And do listen to a beautiful version of Jaya Hey http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JltFQS9kFXA&sns=em
And so I quote Mark Twain‘Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear – not absence of fear’