23rd June 2012 – 0000 Hrs – Her mobile started buzzing and the name that flashed surprised Geetha. It was Gautam, her batchmate from NDA who was calling. They had seen each other many a times at the Academy mess and common areas but had not interacted much. It had been a year since they graduated from NDA. Gautam went on to don the olive green and Geetha flew high on her MIG.

After the usual round of enquires, Gautam wished her a happy birthday. “Geetha, I need to tell you something. I have been thinking about this since our final year at the Academy. I want to marry you. Will you marry me?” Geetha was taken aback by surprise. A proposal, that too on her birthday from a person whom she too liked. Well, she could not say no. Her love life began when the clock struck 12.

Their marriage seemed a breeze. Both the families had a defence background and hence they were happy with the choices their children had made. They both were posted at Delhi post wedding.

Two years later, Gautam and Geetha were posted at their respective locations. Gautam was posted at the border with his Madras Regiment, while Geetha was at the Palam AFS in Delhi. Frequent video calls apprised them about each other’s well-being.

23rd June 2014 – 0000 Hrs –The clock struck 12. Geetha was sure that Gautam would not miss calling her that day. This time, unlike 2012, she had a surprise for him. She happily waited near the phone clutching the pregnancy test kit. Her phone rang but it was Major Amit from the Madras Regiment. “Geetha, there has been an attack at our base here. We lost many of our brave warriors and unfortunately Gautam is one among them.” Geetha’s heart sank and she fainted on to a pool of blood. Her life came to a stand still when the clock struck 12.

22nd December 2014 – 1900 Hrs – The armed forces had planned a joint operation on the enemy base to avenge the June 2014 cowardly attack. Army and Airforce joined hands to defeat the cowards. The patrolling helicopters signalled a thumbs up for the aerial strike.

22nd December 2014 – 2030 Hrs – Five MIG aircrafts laden with missiles were ready to strike at the enemy base. The aircrafts were led by Squadron Leaders Vijay, Hamid, Rishi, Andrew and Geetha. They wished each other luck and proceeded towards their respective aircrafts.

23rd December 2014 – 0000 Hrs – Geetha was ready to fire at the enemy base. “Happy Birthday dear Gautam” she cried as the missiles released from her MIG destroyed the enemies completely. The images of her loving husband Gautam, the pregnancy kit flashed across her mind. She flew back to her base unharmed to a resounding applause from her team. Her heart beamed with pride and contentment when the clock struck 12.

NDA – National Defence Academy

Photo by Cibi Chakravarthi on Unsplash

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