An open letter to Alka Rai, yes the girl who raised a war cry at her father’s funeral
Today as we remember Colonel Rai on his martyrdom day, the movie “Uri” has led everyone in tears when they portrayed your story. You were little, just 11 years old but you sent shivers down the spine of entire country with your war cry before your father’s body lying motionless. You were talked about every where, you brought tears in the eyes of many people. Replaying the video on web ,I just wondered who taught you this. Not once in our lifetime we imagine , not for a fraction of second, we ever think of death of our parents. I still shriek out in the middle of night if I have a nightmare distantly resembling what you went through.
You must have made birthday cards sketching a mom, dad and your siblings. You must have demanded dolls and teddies from your mother. Did you? You must have waited for his leaves, attended the regimental parties and played with other army kids. You must have heard the Gurkha war cry while your father was commanding the unit or else the Brave Col. M.N. Rai must have told you about his unit. You must have watched those cartoons while growing up, you must have craved for the chocolate ice cream on Sundays.I as a grown up lady can only imagine you doing everything what children of your age do (would like to talk to you some day about it ) but then there you were amid Chief of Army Staff, your mother weeping uncontrollably, your grandparents in shock, hundreds of men in uniform and yes you did something that made all of us realize what a man of steel, your father was because though Col Rai attained martyrdom never ever to come back, he has left behind a brave heart, strong, proud and a truly patriotic junior Rai behind who definitely deserves a salute.Dear Alka, you will grow up to be in armed forces, I have no second thoughts on that .You will grow up and realize that this country forgets its true heroes. You will grow up and realize that we know more about Bollywood and cricketers than our martyrs. You will grow up and realize that you will have to remind some about your brave father. You will grow up and realize that we remember our true heroes only during war, crisis or tragedy. But you little girl ,You have a long life ahead, a life where the movie “Uri” will fade in public memory but you live on as a reminder of an act that only a soldier’s daughter can exhibit, a life without dad at your graduation, your POP, when you find a man for yourself . It would be tough but never ever leave the spirit with which you held your head high on your father’s last journey, never ever let the indifference of people effect you for terrorist may have killed your dad’s body but his soul was right there when you shouted the war cry. Yes a little promise at the end ,I will have a daughter some day and when she reaches an age she starts making heroes, I will tell her about you, the brave little 11 year old Alka.Respect to you Love A Daddy’s Daughter