The repercussions of war and violence are horrific- be it on the people who have fought it, on the families of the martyred officers, or on the conscience of the nation. The intangible damage is irreparable.

This Humans Of Bombay post by Gurmehar Kaur- activist and author- sheds light on the magnitude of the impact of war.

Source: Ted.com

Gurmehar's father, Captain Mandeep Singh, was martyred in an attack by terrorists in Jammu & Kashmir, on 6 August 1999.

Emphasising on the need to maintain peace at all costs, she says,

I’ve led a life affected by war & so have thousands of others. We’ve suffered losses that can’t be compensated. But, do we take revenge or do we make this world a place where nobody else suffers the loss we did? The decision is ours to make.
Source: Representative image | NewYorker

After all these years, Gurmehar remembers her father through letters that him and her mother exchanged. She has used them to forge an image of him in her mind. As, that is all she has left of him...

When he was in Kashmir he would see that people were terrified of the Indian Army... even little kids! That didn’t go down well with him, so he distributed sweets! That was my dad–loyal to his nation but a compassionate human first!

She has channeled this connect with her dad to strive for peace. Instead of using weapons of mass destruction, she uses a pen, a pen to write and make people think about the alternatives to war-

I feel my dad near me making me strong & fearless...pushing me to strive for peace. So, with my writing I aim to make people think about alternatives to war; to know the importance of peace & I’ll give my life for it–just like my dad did.
Source: Representative image | Global News

War is never the answer.

Read the entire post here.

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“Everytime my dad came back home, his cargo jacket was filled with sweets. I always wondered why he’d carry so many! Little did I know that, that bout of curiosity would define my dad to me, forever. My dad, Captain Mandeep Singh, one of the seven Indian army personnel martyred in a terrorist attack on 6th August, 1999. You know, my mom’s favourite thing is to repeat stories of how my dad became an army officer. It starts with how she met my dad in college, how their relationship bloomed & how she randomly told him that she wants to marry an officer! But, my dad knew that this was the woman he was going to marry & being an officer was an added privilege! So he went ahead, cleared his exams & became an officer! When out on the warzone, dad had no means of communication. Calls were costly & work timings were erratic, so my mom would often write letters to him with stamps inside. She didn’t want him to struggle for stamps! His letters also had photos of Kashmiri kids & jackets full of sweets! When he was in Kashmir he would see that people were terrified of the Indian Army... even little kids! That didn’t go down well with him, so he distributed sweets! That was my dad–loyal to his nation but a compassionate human first! I’ve read those letters over the years, repeatedly. I’ve used them to create a fragment of him in my mind; to create a place for him in my heart. I’ve used them as a daughter, trying to know her dad. Because that’s all I have left of him...letters. I’ve led a life affected by war & so have thousands of others. We’ve suffered losses that can’t be compensated. But, do we take revenge or do we make this world a place where nobody else suffers the loss we did? The decision is ours to make. Today, when I go to India Gate & see a balloon wala, a child playing on the road or my dad’s name inscribed on the walls, I feel a part of something essential–I feel like a part of a nation. I feel my dad near me making me strong & fearless...pushing me to strive for peace. So, with my writing I aim to make people think about alternatives to war; to know the importance of peace & I’ll give my life for it–just like my dad did.”

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