Months ago, a post by Sangeetha Akshay Girish, the wife of Major Akshay Girish who was martyred in Nagrota on November 29, 2016, touched the hearts of many on the Internet. Shared on Being You, a Facebook page, Sangeetha’s account of what families of soldiers’ go through when they have to live with the reality of their loved ones’ death sent shivers down people’s spines. “On November 29th, we suddenly woke up at 5:30 am to the sound of gunshots. We thought it was training but there had not been any intimation. Soon even grenades went off. At around 5:45am, a junior came in to tell him that militants had taken the artillery regiment as hostage and he’d have to change to combat clothing. The last thing he said to me was ‘you must write about this,” read her post. Now, as it turns an year of Major Akshay’s sacrifice, the page shared another post by Sangeetha along with a picture that shows her, Akshay’s daughter and his parents smiling.
As told by Sangeetha, the post is about how they refused to let it get to them and to celebrate his life from then on. “Seven days after he attained martyrdom, we decided to come together on his birthday to speak about how he changed our lives in some way or the other. Akshay means immortal and he lived up to his name,” read the post. She recounts how they are slightly more emotionally stable that they were before, despite of the difficult days they have to go through too.
Read the full text of Sangeetha’s post here.
“‘If you feel alone, think of me. I don’t promise I will be in front of you, but when you close your eyes, you will see me.’ We never realised how true these words would be when Akshay wrote them out.
His father was broken and was finding it difficult to do the last rites and immerse his ashes. We decided it would all be about celebrating his life from now on. We never had a 13th day ceremony for him. Seven days after he attained martyrdom, we decided to come together on his birthday to speak about how he changed our lives in some way or the other. Akshay means immortal and he lived up to his name.
Today we are a little more emotionally stable because we feel like he is with us. We wonder how he would have reacted to Naina’s chatter, to Bingo’s appetite for chicken rice, to his father’s love of golf, his mother’s love for blogging about his life, his wife’s strength…I know wherever he is, he looks at us and is proud of how we are doing. We are just as he would have wanted us to be – missing him yet finding the strength to smile.
Not all days are easy though. Almost eleven months since he sacrificed his life saving others, all the Whatsapp groups he was in suddenly displayed ‘Akshay left’. We could not understand why this had to happen the morning of his daughter’s birthday. Did we really need the reminder of how he is never coming back?
Yet it is in Naina that Akshay is most alive. Every time she passes men in uniform, her hand quickly salutes and the minute the final notes of the national anthem play, she is quick to shout ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’. Her initial demands for ‘mere papa’ made way for a deeper understanding. Today, she says ‘my papa fought with bad uncles and he got hurt, so he is in the sky now.’
Twelve months and we have lived without a single ‘real’ channel of communication with Akshay. We may learn to live without him, to heal and to rebuild, to laugh and to smile, but we will never truly be the same again. He is alive and kicking in our memories – all 30 years, 11 months and 21 days of them.
Major Akshay did not hesitate once to leave his bubble of safety to do what he could for his countrymen and we will always be proud of him. His legacy shall always be kept alive.
Meghana,Naina,Girish and Sangeetha
(Major Akshay Girish was martyred fighting terrorists in Nagrota on November 29th 2016)
PC: Velu Vishwanath
Being You © 2017″