Sitting on my seat pretty bored and excited at the same time.train stopped at calicut junction. Was looking at the empty seats in my cabin when a passenger came and tried to adjust his luggage below the seat.and after putting his luggage while taking out the hand his fingers got crushed in between and started bleeding a little and he thought the nail came off. I saw that and told him to apply pressure so that bleeding will stop since his nail appeared fine.but he did not bother to listen, which somehow hurt my ego. After sometime a guy sitting next to me asked me 'what are u doing?' I replied little loudly and with little pride that ' I am a doctor ' and made sure the guy sitting next to me would have listened.
A few minutes later he asked me 'so are u a doctor?' I said 'yes' he asked 'which specialization' I said 'I am going to become a pediatrician now'.then I asked him' where he is heading to' . 'new delhi' he replied.on asking does he work there he replied he has to catch another flight from there.where to I asked.'SIACHEN' he replied.'SIACHEN! 'I asked him with total surprise.'yes its near leh. Have u heard of it?he asked.' Ya of course, 'I said very mildly since I heard the name only in movies.by that time I came to know that he is in army which really made me curious to know more and which followed a conversation which I will remember for a long time.
Then I asked for' how many months have u been there' for which he replied that he was in post for last 3 months and now he will be in base. Then I asked him how far is base from the post he said its around 8 km but they have to climb and go since thr is no mode of transport.I asked him it must be very cold there how do they manage. 'all the time it is below zero but we've got Russian made jackets and boots and German made tents.'he replied casually. Then I asked what do they do for food and water. For which he replied' everyday they get all the eatables thru helicopter.and for water they go out and break the ice which is frozen for a long time and boil it to drink.he told they get a box of sugar-dipped pineapples and they keep the box after finishing it so that they can drink water in it since it is the only source of instant oxygen.for which I asked don't they feel breathless when they go thr for the first time.he said' we are asked to stay few km below the post for 7 days and only after all medical checkup we are allowed to go to the post and thr also after reaching we are asked to do nothing but sleep for 2 days so that we get acclimatized'.I saw his phone and asked do they get network for which he replied' ya sometimes I can use Whatsapp at the base but at post only satellite phones work.which charges u 5 rs per minute for a call. Then he said I call home for one hour everyday.'on asking when is his flight from delhi he said its there only twice a week to ladakh which brings one batch and takes another back.from ladakh they have to go by road to the base camp.on asking do they see any pakistani army in the border. He said there are two borders adjoining one is Tibetan other is Pakistani which are separated by around 400 mts from Indian border. Some times they see pakistani army waving hands and some times we wave. then finally I asked do u like that place for which he replied' its okay have u seen ice age the place is exactly like that.'
Best part of this conversation was not for a single minute I felt that he was doing the job since he was forced to but he was doing it since he was determined to and I really felt proud of our army who work so selflessly at places like this so that we can feel safe.Which reminded me of the phrase as i closed my eyes feeling safe"when going gets tough,Tough gets going,Sleep peacefully at your homes Indian army is guarding frontiers".