Swapnil Pandey new novel Love Story of a Commando is a story of NSG Commando Captain Virat and millennial Riya. Together they weave a story full of passion and patriotism that will eventually make you realize why their is a thing as an Extraordinary Romance.
Here is an excerpt with permission, titled Pain gives you purpose
He made the supreme sacrifice and was given the supreme honour by the state too. A wreath laying ceremony was held on open grounds where a huge crowd gathered to pay the last homage to the son of the soil. His Commanding officer, brothers in arms, his paltan and his buddies gave shoulders to his coffin. The eyes of Rashtriya Rifles soldiers were bloodshot and the eerie around, was indication of an upcoming storm.
The guards performed ‘Shok Shastra’ and even the sky cried that day.
Such young souls never die. They martyr and are registered carefully in the pages of history to be presented as ‘symbol of hopes’ for generations to come. The death was mourned deeply among the locals. It was taken as the death of one more Kashmiri dream. The same dream which lingers onto the heart of thousands of Kashmiri youth.
There are two sides of Kashmir. One side has a rich tradition of joining Indian Armed forces where many battalions like of Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry or Jammu and Kashmir Rifles comprise of Jammu and Kashmiri youth, ready to protect the borders always. The young Kashmiri men and women join Armed forces, police to adorn uniforms as righteously as any other Indian to serve mother nation. These people believe in the dream seen by their forefathers called sovereign India. They know the pride and privilege that it takes to be an Indian citizen.
Whereas the other side believe in an ideology of Azad Kashmir. They don’t believe in any government and despise people believing in Indian sovereignty. They might be right about their ideology but killing their own people for their beliefs? How is that justified when you claim to fight for your beliefs?
They waste their generations over false claims and promises by governments, countries, separatists and leaders who themselves never chose the same path for their own families. Kashmir shed tears everyday over the tragedy of losing the locals, the forces, the young, the olds and the loved ones. This heaven on earth has not been able to cherish its beauty and dwell in its full glory since long. This bride has lived the life of a widow since long. Only because of greed of some people it has lost its sons, daughters and well-wishers.
This kind of planned propaganda deters people from claiming their righteous dominance. It is a vicious circle of karma which never ends. Deaths are mourned, emotions are replaced by rage. Revenge replaces the aspirations. Young lives are turned towards violence. The dreams no more look forward for green pastures and fairy lands but fire and death. Who wins? Who loses? Who is right? Who is wrong? Who gains what? They make a list of trivial questions what matters eventually is that ‘families are destroyed’ and no single side is spared of hatred and loss.
My heart had grown fonder over the time I spent here in Kashmir. Kashmir was truly mesmerizing, if you look at only one side and chose to ignore the other side which is dark, brutal and shocking. The classes were suspended and gates were closed all the time during the riots. All of us were instructed not to step out of the shelter home and we did not. The TV and cable connection was still there with very limited channels and Radio proved to be a better companion in those regions of seclusion.
We could make out that severe clashes of forces and locals are going on. People were pelting stones on forces and forces were retaliating in return with pellet guns. That was heartbreaking. Forces were equipped with weapons of mass destruction and they were free to use it. It was not wise to engage with them…………………..
To find out what happens next, grab a copy of LOVE STORY OF A COMMANDO