Nawang's Dream
The world is a fine place and worth fighting for - Ernest Hemingway

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Nawang's Dream

- Sonam Kapadia

 Everyone has a dream.  There are dreams about the things we want to do and what we want to become. Most of us keep these dreams as our beacons and use them as our refuge at darkest times in our lives. Some of us are fortunate enough to live out those dreams. Nawang had a dream -- to serve the country, to be one with the ethos and fabric of India. This was his dream as a child, as a young student when he roamed the halls here at the Boys’ Academy.  He wanted , to serve in the Indian Army and to protect the India. He was fortunate to give life to his dream.

When I saw him during the Passing Out Parade  from Officer’s Training Academy, he had a satisfied air of a man, who had reached a milestone in life the way he had planned it. He was just commissioned in the 4th Battalion of the 3rd Gorkha Rifles. The Gorkha soldiers  are most elite fighting force in the world, with a long and glorious history of valour in the highest traditions of the Indian Army. When he wore the famous black stars and the Gorkha hat of the regiment for the first time, it was the proudest moment of his life and indeed a proud moment for all of us. The pursuit of the dream for him was not easy, it was a hard road that he had to walk, starting with deciding to  leave the cosy environment of Bombay. When he was applying for the army, he had to reduce weight, almost 12 kilos in six weeks, to qualify. Nawang, who used to love food had nearly starved himself, to lose that weight. And finally came  the tough training at the Officer’s Training Academy in Chennai to fulfil his dream The funny thing with dreams is that they are easy to conjure but difficult to attain. But in the end living a dream is as much worth the effort as in attaining it. Sitting at home, sleeping, playing, dreams comes to us, it talks to us and gets a life of its own. Attaining that dream is a challenge, it pushes the limits of what we can do, it makes us discover parts of ourselves that we did not know ever existed, it forces us to push to the limits of possible and to break our own barriers.

In living the dream --  his dream, Nawang discovered the best within him. When in Kashmir, where he was posted,  he found himself trained and compelled within  to rush to the rescue of an injured Jawan, in spite of heavy fire from the militants. It takes more courage than we can imagine to feel the pain of a soldier so much that you ignore your own safety and rush forward in face of bullets. He was living out his dream.

Like Lawrence of Arabia says in the book Seven Pillars of Wisdom

“ All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake up in the day to find that it was vanity: But the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes, to make it possible”

Nawang lives today with us as his dream. And while he lived this dream, he became bigger than all of us. A Hero.

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