Ashok

Ashok wants to safeguard his nation, like his father did

When we arrived by train in the Boran’s town the summer sun was at its peak, and our throats were parched from the dryness that is particular to Rajasthan’s climate. It didn’t take us long to locate the Boran household. The community never forgets a martyr’s house. We were warmly welcomed by the family, offered ice-cold sherbets, and made to sit in a living room that was adorned with pictures of the martyred soldier – father of Ashok, who was a part of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).

“How are you feeling?”, we asked Ashok’s mother, half anxious that she will break down. “More proud than ever”, pat came the reply, her eyes reflecting the truth in her response. “Yes, we are sad beyond words, but find strength in knowing that he lived the way he wanted and died the way he wanted. Not everyone has the honour of being wrapped with the national flag”, she said.

Shortly after we went to meet Ashok, her 16-year old son, who studies in 12th standard after which he wants to join the National Defence Academy to continue his father’s legacy.

“My father is my role model and I am very proud to say that he gave up his today for the country’s tomorrow. I want to do the same,” he puts in with pride, his young face beaming.
His favourite subject is Maths and scored above 85% in the last exam. Apart from academics, his interests are in weight lifting, basketball and volleyball. He has participated in several school level activities, and proudly showed us his wall of achievements adored with certificates and medals. Ashok is a young man with a purpose.

“I miss him a lot; he used to tell me stories from his post and was very happy with my achievements at school”, he said with a shy smile. Deployments are tough for kids; they never know if they will see their parent again. This makes the time they spend together very precious. “Just last Holi he was with us and we enjoyed a lot, that was the last time we were together as a family and I will cherish that”, he said as he headed for his tuition class. Young men look to their fathers for guidance and support, but Ashok will miss this as he steps into the next phase of his life as a college boy. As we saw Ashok walk with his friends to his tuition class we wonder if he knows that his father will always be by his side, showing him the way to achieving his dreams.