I remember Family late night tales we had back in the day.
We would all bug our Uncle to tell his stories of survival through the years, because Baba bechaaray was always tired after driving such long routes. But we were ever fresh, always ready for family fun nights, ever ready to stay up till 6am.
We would all gather around the heater, dim out the lights, or if there was no electricity (loadshedding), put up the candles. Wrap ourselves in blankets & sit around in a circle. Bring in tons of 'moong-phallia' (peanuts), 'badaam' (almond) and other dry-fruits. And eagerly wait for the narration that was to come.
From the hot, dusty days of near-Rajasthan region to cold freezing night in the same location. We loved to hear about all the places he was deployed at. Siachen, was a main part of his life. The stories and experiences of those areas used to give us the chills. Horrifying yet enchanting. We were always ready for one.
This one particular story that I can't get out of my head, after Siachen incident is as follows:
Uncle and his platoon, was out and about moving on the Siachen glacier, covering ground and moving up the country, to protect Pakistan from any possible attack.
There was this particular slope they had to climb, with all of them obviously geared up, started climbing up the slope, fixing their tools and moving their feet. It obviously isn't as easy as it sounds. One of them fixed their tool into such an angle, that the ice cracked and something fell down, and a strap peeked out of the inside it too.
What fell down I can't properly remember, but they starting digging for they were curious, like any human would be. They uncovered bodies. Frozen bodies. Bodies of Men in Green. They were stunned. (so were we!) As strong as Army personnel show to be, my Uncle's voice became a bit shaky, but he didn't show a single tear. They surely are trained to buckle up their emotions and stay strong.
While moving those bodies, a wrong angle, and a body cracked. The shoulder-area tore apart from the rest of the body, as it was frozen for years.
This part moved me, and I snuggled closer to my cousins.
Fresh Blood started oozing out. They were all shocked and bewildered, for how could a frozen body still have fresh blood!? The answer was 'Shaheed kabhi martay nahi, Zinda o Javaid rehtay hai!'
They might've been martyred in an avalanche in those monstrous icy conditions, but they were Shaheeds. Martyrs who laid their life trying to protect our motherland.
All our eyes filled with tears.
Uncle told us, we had to be more proud of them, than to feel sorry, because they were brave enough to embrace Shahadah open-heartedly!
Phir eik sakoot sa cha gaya
Asman ko bhi rona a gaya
Phir eik larzte hoee awaz aye
Mera beta tu hayat-e-jawadani pa gaya
At that time, finally, Uncle's eyes started to fill with tears too. He said, 'Dua karna kay tumhaara Chaacha bhi aisay hi jaam-e-shahaadat nosh farmaaye' (pray, that you can say my uncle's a Shaheed too).
This wasn't a story. It was a life incident.
The sense of pride, sorrow and love you feel for these soldiers is extensive and deep. It can't be replicated, and is definitely innate. Not All have the power to stay as strong as these soldiers and face worse for our better!
May Allah accept all the shaheeds, their urge and desire to embrace martyrdom, May Allah give their families Sabr-e-jameel, and may all of us be able to acknowledge their sacrifices and do something positive for Pakistan. Ameen.