When an anxious young Army Major reached a hospital, the on-duty Nurse took him hurriedly to the bedside of an ailing old man and told him softly,
“Your son is here.”
The patient heavily sedated because of the heart attack, saw the young man and reached out his hand. The Major took a chair beside the bed and clasped the old man’s fingers. All through the night, he kept holding the old man’s hand and offering him words of love and encouragement.
The dying man could say nothing, he only held tightly to his son all through the night. At dawn, the old man died, and the Major released the now lifeless hand he had been holding throughout the night.
When the Major went to tell the Nurse, she started offering words of sympathy, but the Major asked her,
“Who was that old man?”
The Nurse was startled. “What do you mean! He was your father,” she answered.
“No, he was not. I never saw him before in my life”, the Major replied.
When the nurse asked him why he had not said anything when she took him to the old man, the Major replied,
“I knew there had been a mistake, but I also knew he needed his son and his son just was not here. I realised that he was too sick to tell whether or not I was his son. As he needed me, I stayed.”
“Then what was the purpose of your visit, at the hospital, Sir?” the Nurse queried.
“I came here tonight to find Mr. Vikram Salaria, whose son was killed in J&K last night and I was sent to inform him.”
“But the man whose hand you kept holding whole night was Mr. Vikram Salaria,” the Nurse said.
I read this touching story yesterday evening. Some of you may also have read it earlier. I don’t know whether it’s a true story, but it shook me from within and I couldn’t restrain myself from sharing this.
This story reminded me of my elder brother, who got injured during Indo-Pak war. He was a Captain in Army at that time. The whole family was worried. The war ended after 16 days, but he kept convalescing in the military hospital for the next fifteen to twenty days. When he arrived at home, there was another Diwali for us.
This also reminds me of a story of a soldier, who didn’t come on Diwali and his little kids kept asking the family members why their father didn’t come to home this year, but they got no answer, as all were crying. When the coffin reached home, they also joined others in the family and started crying.
When a soldier dies, the country loses just one soldier, but at home, parents lose their son, kids lose their father and wife loses her husband.
War is the worst man-made disaster. When thinking fails, war erupts. It’s delightful for those who have not experienced it personally.
But one should always remember that war doesn’t determine who is right, only who is left.
Try to be an angel, not devil.