CONNECTED BY AKSHAY: COMPREHENDING SUCCESS

WHAT REALLY DEFINES ‘A SUCCESSFUL LIFE’?

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Six months since Akshay. Time continues to be slotted into ‘with Akshay’ and ‘after Akshay’. Terrorism continues as well and even as we feel extreme sadness at losing more bravehearts after Akshay, there have been some major successes in eliminating terrorists like Burhan Wani’s successor. The really good news came when Major Gogoi decided to do what he did. He gave us all more reason to be proud of our brave and intelligent soldiers, and for once, the mood of our people is clear. The end justifies the means and  lives of innocent citizens were saved by his action.

The dates around the 29th of every month are particularly difficult for us – hearts weighed down by sorrow and minds dominated by thoughts of our very own ‘Star’. The day before yesterday, I was sitting on our bed, lost in thought, when Naina came and climbed into my lap. I smiled at her and she beamed back at me. When I asked her if Sangy was studying upstairs, she said ‘mumma is looking at her book…I think so she is reading….I think so she is missing papa…..’  I asked her ‘did you give mumma a huggie and a kissy?’ She nodded, her big cutie pie smile lighting up her face and eyes, even as she gazed intently at me. ‘Yes’, she said, and added ‘mumma also gave me a huggie and kissy. Now you can also give me a huggie’. I held her close and instantly felt comforted.

A month or so earlier, I was in casual conversation with two young working women on a flight. They were planning their career-growth paths. One of them wanted to shift to an international airline and the other wanted to do an MBA to ‘succeed in life’. As always, I was caught unawares when she suddenly asked me what my children were doing. I responded with the truth of Akshay’s martyrdom. Shocked, she said- ‘aapne use fauj mein jaane kyon diya? Aunty, jaane nahin dena chahiya tha (why did you let him join the Army? Aunty, you shouldn’t have let him)’. I had no answer other than ‘Akshay bachpan se hi jaana chahata tha (Akshay wanted to do so since childhood)’, and thankfully, the other young person rescued me by saying ‘the loss is tragic but you must be so proud of him.’ I came away, this time managing to stop the tears from spilling over, but wondering what ‘success in life’ really meant? In writing this piece today, I am seeking answers and also expressing my views.

People talk of ‘success’ with reference to ‘doing well’ in exams, landing a ‘good’ job amidst competition, finding the ‘right’ partner to marry and ‘settle down’, climbing the ‘career ladder’, staying healthy while ‘getting old’ and such other things, as a yardstick to measure a ‘successful life’. Without going into the dictionary definitions of success, here are my thoughts (for whatever they are worth), gathered out of experience and maturity.

Basically, answering three questions can define if one has led a successful life.

  • Have you followed your heart?

 

  • Have you made people around you feel good about themselves and others?

 

  • Have you achieved what you dreamt of?

 

That Akshay followed his heart (and even wore it on his sleeve!) is well known. All my posts on Akshay have been on how he always knew what he wanted and never wavered from the path he chose.  He wanted to wear the uniform for his country and he did. While doing what he wanted to, he never took his relationships for granted. He made a success of every close relationship by giving it the importance it deserves. For Girish, me and Neha, he was the perfect son and brother and in Sangeeta’s words, he was the best thing that ever happened to her.  All of you who have known him have given us so many insights into the remarkable way he related to people. That takes effort, but Akshay always made it look so effortless! So he definitely aced the first two questions.

Which brings me to the last and most difficult of all questions.

Did Akshay achieve what he dreamt of?

To be fair, only Akshay can answer this question.

First of all, not everyone has such specific dreams- I know I never did. No such big dream propelled me towards a goal. Wherever life took me, I tried to do my best.

Since destiny has decided Akshay cannot directly answer the question, will we know?

Strange as it may seem, insights seem to come from Akshay when we least expect them to. He is making me believe in little miracles.

At home, Sangeeta and I have our chats as we continue to bond over Akshay. Sometime in April, she spoke about wanting to hold on to all that Akshay and she had put together with so much love. The thought led to her decision to rent an apartment close-by, so as to accommodate all their belongings. This way, she also planned to re-create the loving home they had shared with Naina and Bingo. Their belongings had been packed way back in September 2016, for the move from Kolkata to Nagrota. When Nagrota was attacked, they were still staying in a guest room because they hadn’t been allotted a house. Except for clothing and some of Naina’s toys, most of their stuff remained un-opened in Nagrota, and until now, in Bengaluru as well.

While unpacking after 8 long months, Sangeeta found a book. In his neat handwriting, Akshay’s precious thoughts sprang at us in poetry form. It seems as if Akshay has chosen to answer the last question himself. This is what he has penned.

 

POWER OF WITHIN

Shadows of Midnight

Woke This Lad Up From His Slumber

For He Knew What He Had To Do

His Life Had Suddenly Turned Meaningful Too

Discussions with the Almighty

Contemplation with the Priest

Support of His Kith And Kin

Finally, His Determination Within

He Fought For What Is Right

He Fought With All His Might

Shifting From Stern to Bow

Towards The End He Dreamt So

He Changed the Norms

Jumped Across Unsurpassed Falls

Climbed Unsurpassed Heights

He Knew He Had To Last the Fight

He Raced Ahead Steadily, Surely

Took A Chance When All Else Failed

He Hadn’t Learned ‘Looking Back’

And He Knew Not How to Stop

When the Climb Got Toughest

The Weather Roughest

He Saw the End He Had Dreamt Of

From This Battle He Learnt

That The Toughest Battle Was Within

The Biggest Challenge Was Following His Dream

He Conquered When the World Never Saw…

He Needn’t Be Seen…

For He Had Achieved

The Screaming Pride of His Heart Within….

 

Yes, Akshay, you achieved your dream…and made us all so very proud too.  Yours was a very very successful life. While the sorrow of loss continues to bring tears, there is also wonder….. and I am truly astonished at how Akshay overcame every obstacle in life, converted failure into success, faced death with courage, saved lives and became immortal. He also experienced deep love and married young, became a father and showered Naina with love she will never forget. And all this before he had turned 31.

My friend Sucheta, who has experienced great personal loss has her own thoughts on early death. She says those who go away in their prime are blessed. They experience the best in their lifetime and called away after making their mark, they are spared from experiencing grief over loss, infirmity of age or the painful wait for release from severe illness.  The thought that my raja beta is blessed is comforting. We all know Akshay continues to be part of us and that is how it will always be. Until we are.

And like her papa, Naina is already winning hearts. Making friends with everyone around….. and charming even the oldies comes naturally to her as well -age and gender no bar! The little ones know how to be joyful and we have so much to learn from them. No matter what the difficulties and tragedies, they instinctively know how to bounce back and embrace life the very next moment.

Even as we try to teach her things, Naina is teaching us much more. We are benefiting from her most important lessons on how to love, be loved in return, to wipe tears quickly and smile more often. Akshay for sure is beaming with pride at his little bundle of joy.

Thank you once again for staying with us on our journey after Akshay. I do hope you will help us learn more about the mysteries of life by posting your thoughts and comments on this post.

Take care. God bless

Meghna.

P.S. Apart from delving into my world of thoughts, I also searched for answers in trying to be objective about what a successful life really means. Staying clear of the mundane definitions of ‘education, career and money’, here are some tips that may resonate with many of you as well.

  • Have the courage to draw your own road map for life.
  • Understand that life is precious and tomorrow isn’t guaranteed. Continuously remind yourself who and what you’re grateful for, and show them your appreciation often.
  • Be generous with your soul. Be compassionate and empathetic towards your fellow human beings.
  • Have a collection of memories. Some that make you laugh, some that make you smirk, some that make you cringe, and some that make you cry.
  • Love…. Love deeply. Love fully. Don’t ever let fear prevent you from experiencing the greatest feeling in this life. Love your family, love your friends, love your partners, love children, love strangers, love yourself. Immerse yourself in love — it’s worth it.

(Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alexa-cortese/third-metric_b_5113931.html)

 

57 thoughts on “CONNECTED BY AKSHAY: COMPREHENDING SUCCESS

  1. I was thinking of you yesterday Meghna Ma’am & your family. I hope you are finding the strength to move ahead a little each day. I will comment later…sorry I keep promising to do that so often but life has been maddening! But I will do that soon.

    Sending you many many hugs, love & prayers!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Looking forward to reading your comments …soon! Whenever you are free actually. Take care. And thank you so much for keeping us in your thoughts. Love and God bless

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  2. As you said Meghna, the date 29 brings in memories of Akshay. Also this time we were remembering him and Sangita 7 years ago on their engagement. Now that we have started working on our audio-visual room, Akshay is always in our conversation. He was so excited about it and had done a lot of research for us. Wish he was here to see it take shape! Do we sometimes ask too many questions and look for answers where there are non? Or are there so many answers that we do not know what to believe or understand? I presume this is what makes us humans. The power to think and analyse. It is so easy to say just accept it and move on…..it does not happen. The need to go deeper is natural to us. But let it not take over our lives. Life goes on and let us live it to the fullest…..along with Akshay.

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    • So true Sarit- you have been part of our entire journey and continue to be right beside us even today. Will try and remember your words of advice. Life will go on. Lots of love

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    • This made a wonderful reading. I seldom cry or shade tears but this one made me take out my hankie.
      Very courageous parents. A loving wife and a doting daughter. He left them all behind to remember him And above all gave courage to his mother to pen it all and share with us.
      Hats off to Akshay Family .
      Bhambhani Manu

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  3. Thank u for writing Aunty , indeed a successful life your raja beta has had , a life which inspires so many , a life which has taught so many to love little moments and things in life , a life which reminds that each day is owed to bravehearts like him . Thank u for writing this piece Aunty as it will be an inspiration for many to understand the true meaning of success As it defines success with a new meaning and not what the generation today understands it as.
    Lots of love and regards

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    • Appreciate your reading and responding Navneet- thank you. Glad you liked the thought process- wish you a blessed and successful life. Lots of love and take care.

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  4. You lasted the fight….winning all there was to win,
    winning hearts,… lives and a million smiles..
    you did what God had chosen you to do..
    to fight the good fight.. and dispel the darkness of our times
    Oh, thank you dear friend, we see the sunrise because of you
    Thank you again..because men of your valor are far between and few..

    Liked by 2 people

    • Love the words you have written Abhishek- can picture Akshay smiling with shy pride at your tribute. God bless you. Take care

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  5. Very deep and profound thoughts.. yes.. we all have our definition of success.. our own success parameters and out own anxieties and fears related to the path we have chosen.. your son has weaved all these emotions so beautifully in the poem. The poem reflects a lot about his thought threads and the fact that he was happy and content at the time his call came should give his loved ones peace and strength. Be rest assured that he is watching over all of you and sending cues to connect with you periodically.
    Love the family photo with Maj Akshay’s pictures on the wall.. makes it complete .. also love the idea of a separate apartment with everything that is precious.. hope to visit it someday.
    Naina is a superstar! Lots of love to her
    Love and best wishes
    Ruchi

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you for reading and responding Ruchi. Glad you liked the line of thought and the pictures on our wall. Yes, we all have our definitions of success and I wish you a very successful life. Lots of love and stay blessed

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  6. We both left home at 18,
    You cleared JEE,
    I got recommended.
    You got IIT,
    I got NDA.
    You persuaded you degree,
    I had the toughest training.
    Your day started at 7 and ended at 5,
    Mine started at 4 till 9 and
    Some nights also included.
    You had your convocation ceremony,
    I had my POP.
    Best company took you and
    Best package was awarded,
    I was ordered to join my paltan
    With 2 stars piped on my shoulders.
    You got a job,
    I got a way of life.
    Every eve you got to see your family,
    I just wished i got to see my parents soon.
    You celebrated festivals with lights and music,
    I celebrated with my comrade in bunkers.
    We both married,
    Your wife got to see you everyday,
    My wife just wished i was Alive.
    You were sent to business trips,
    I was sent on line of control.
    We both returned,
    Both wives couldn’t control their tears, but
    You wiped her but,
    I couldn’t…
    You hugged her but,
    I couldn’t.
    Because I was lying in the coffin,
    With medals on my chest and,
    Coffin wrapped with tricolour.
    My way of life ended…
    Your continued.

    We both left home at 18 🇮🇳

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  7. Dear Aunty… What a brilliant piece of writing… You told us the essence of life so beautifully… I guess I will give this credit to Akshay. Though his life…. “his successfully led life” he has made us all realize that it’s not how long you live.. But how well you live which really matters. His loss definitely scared me to the hilt…. Shook my faith in God…instilled the fear of loosing people we love…. Jolted my belief that whatever happens, happens for good….made me question our habit of planning for tomorrows when we don’t have control over our future.. over loss of loved ones… over God’s will…But…..at the same time made me realize how important it is to live life king-size,like he did… to create memories, to find happiness in small things we do, to do what we really love (painting was my passion n now my profession so I love my work), to make others smile (though very few ppl like Akshay can do that) so that they smile thinking of you and not cry after you are gone….. In short live life. I am busy living my life…. Creating n cherishing memories for who knows “Kal ho na ho” . 29th….a strange number…. On 29th December many years back kartik lost his mom when he was 7, and on 29th December 2003 he proposed me and we both got each other. I see the similarity when on 29th Akshay n Sangeeta got engaged n on 29th the separation…. Makes me think…. God n his ways…. How to find answers… Maybe one day we will. But yes Naina is God’s child.. True reflection of her charming father… She will definitely rise n shine like him. One request before I control my running thoughts… You don’t you compile all your writings on Akshay and everyone’s thoughts about him in the form of a book.. His biography…. and gift naina when shez old enough to value it. Just a thought. Thanks for such inspirational writeup straight from the heart… Touching our hearts and lives. Lots of regards and respect dear Aunty.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You have expressed your feelings so beautifully Anubha. Yes, what happened has shaken us to our core as well. Even as we realise that life and destiny are not in our control, we can take inspiration from Akshay and his ilk and live our lives with real, awareness, love and gratitude – however difficult it may seem. Glad you are doing so. I wish you a very ‘successful life’ and you and Kartik are in my thoughts and prayers. Do agree on the dates- maybe pain is reduced through happy memories of the same date? To many mysteries in life. Let us keep faith and stay cheerful. Lots of love and take care.

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  8. Life is beautiful in fact, as beautiful as we make it. You have indeed succeeded. As life is compassion and love more unconditional in nature.
    People come in our life to teach us some lessons for this life. I have read your posts and feel so so connected with you. Your loving son came in this world to teach love and compassion. He did and moved on.
    He is a very happy and evolved soul and so are you Meghana.
    Keep spreading your love and light friend.
    Warm regards Deepali

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    • Your words are so comforting Deepali- thank you for reading and reaching out. Akshay is continuing to teach us love, compassion and duty. Yes, I have also started realising how evolved a soul he is. Love and take care. Thank you again.

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  9. Respected Aunty,
    Every time someone shares ur blog link i firmly decide not to read it … But i end up reading it !! I ll tell u why .
    That morning when all this happened I was praying for my best friend , who was present in the cantt then, and for all the other families as well.
    That night was terrible….. I could not sleep the whole night thinking bout Sangeeta , Naina , Maj Akshay & bout the ‘Mother of the Soldier’.
    Every time i read ur blog post … c the pictures, I feel terrible. But i still read them bec after reading them I feel immense pride. I want each and every Indian to read this….
    Regards

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    • Am glad you are reading and reaching out to us even if you have been reluctant to do so Maithili. I understand your feelings. Sangeeta and Naina are coping with Akshay’s loss with courage and pride and yes, so are we parents and sister and grandparents as well. Destiny cannot be questioned and so we will go on with inspiration from Akshay and others like him. They dared to do the right thing for all our people. Jai Hind. Love and God bless you all.

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  10. Lovely write-up…I have known you through the posts which you share and.i feel so fortunate to be associated now with you…Your son was a true hero and will remain.so always..a true soldier and a human being..
    You have defined success so beautifully and I wonder how people fool themselves by giving it meaning of money and career…Your son actually lived a successful life.
    And most important of all,you have been so strong throughout that we all need.to learn from your wisdom ànd maturity…My husband is in the army and thanks to people like you who keep this candle of light alive…
    Love and respects..

    Poonam Fotedar

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you for your appreciation of Akshay and also my write up Poonam. Glad it resonates with you. As a proud army wife, you are also standing behind a soldier who puts service before self. We are fortunate to be part of their lives. Yes, Akshay lived a very successful life and we will cope with his loss with pride in him. take care. Love and God bless your family.

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  11. Dear Aunty
    i m absolutely in awe &
    stunned at the poem akshay wrote.
    very deep n profound…he knew all.the answers within…my belief that everything is connected and has a meaning becomes more.stronger today..lots of love and strength to you always:)

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    • Thank you Swati- so touched that you read it to your children. Akshay has made us all very proud even as we grieve losing him. Love to you. God bless your kids.

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  12. Was looking forward to ur write up on Akshay. Those beautiful pics on ur wall made my day. Though haven’t met anyone of u, not a day goes by without thinking of u, Akshay, Sangeeta n Naina.
    I consider myself fortunate to hv known u thru ur blogs n it’s only because of dear Akshay. I envy ur strength Meghna, though I know its very difficult for u, u r truly making Akshay proud by staying so.
    Tight hugs dear n best wishes to Sangeeta for her exams.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Glad you liked the write up..and the pics on our wall Bhavya. Thank you so much for keeping all of us in your thoughts- am touched. Akshay is our Star and definitely my inspiration to keep going. Rest, life and destiny decide. Love and God bless your family.

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  13. He’s definitely A Star, a Guardian Angel who will continue to surprise you thru gestures in his own way. I’ve fallen in love with this baccha of urs, in fact ours. Tc

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  14. Aunty it is such an inspirational blog. Whenever I feel sad, I come back to your blog to gain motivation. You have touched so many hearts with Maj Akshay’s stories. We are all connected as one big family.

    “Success isn’t about how much money you make; it’s about the difference you make in people’s lives.” — Michelle Obama. Every word written by you is true and touches the heart. Maj Akshay’s poem is very inspiring and mesmerizing. Loved the below powerful lines from his poem,

    “From This Battle He Learnt
    That The Toughest Battle Was Within
    The Biggest Challenge Was Following His Dream”

    I read this poem to my 7 year old daughter as her bed time story. I am not sure how much she could comprehend but she told me – “Mama, I will follow my dream like Maj. Akshay. She kept on telling that he is a “SuperHero”. Aunty I request you to publish all your blog in form of a book. Every blog gives courage, motivation and ray of hope to love life, dream and spent each moment of life beautifully!

    Maj Akshay had lived a king size life, he lived his life to the fullest! Load of love and blessing to Naina, our little angel. A big tight hug to you and the family. Take care. Jai Hind!!

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    • I am so touched by your response Baishaki…that you read the poem to your 7 year old makes me deeply emotional. Bless the little one- may she be able to follow her dreams and have a very successful life. Yes, Akshay did live life and embraced every moment as a hero does. Thank you for your suggestion on publishing the blog- maybe given time, will think about it. Lots of love to you. Take care.

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  15. Namastey Meghna Ma’am,
    I hope you all are doing well… We all are lucky enough that we know him.
    Sitting on chair and climbing corporate ladder or routine 9-5 was literally not a way of life for Warriors and Maj Akshay was a born Warrior….
    The life of Akshay is dream of many…
    Akshay made you all proud and served nation at his best… Lots of thought in mind to answer those girl’s question whom you met in flight… But I know may be for civilians Armed forces is just another job…
    Ma’am glad to see you once again on this page… Please do take care of yourself, Girish Sir, Sangeeta Ma’am and Daddy’s Lil girl Naina… Tons of blessings for her
    Do let me know if I can be of any service.
    Jai Hind

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    • Yes Amit, Akshay has made us very proud in the way he has lived and embraced death for his nation and our people. Do drop in to meet us when you are in Bengaluru. Take care and stay happy. God bless

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  16. Meghna…your words tug the heart with the pain you feel. But they also reflect your inner strength….thats why you were the chosen one…to be the mother of Akshay…this is where he got his strength from…..the power within….matured words beyond his age….He dreamt. He achieved and He went….courageous…May his cherished memories and Nainas hugs continue bringing you moments of comfort ..

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  17. Dear aunty, very happy to read your next article. Everytime you move forward with writing, a new dimension according to the need for the people of this century is given (maybe thats how the angels work). This is certainly an inspiring article defining the meaning and value of a successful life. As usual i read over and over again reflecting on it. Be it be Maj. Akshay and my another inspiring personality, Col. DPK Pillay, all they did were constantly giving all they have got at their levels without any expectation in return. This total
    giving of oneself driven by passion, dedication and utmost sincerity is what has made them real heroes. Good stories are not made very easily. Takes a lot of pain and effort over time. This is the take home message i am taking and will follow in my life aunty. It is definitely an encouraging and motivating to a person like me to continue to do my best in the upright way and not to give up specially during challenging times. It is also nice to hear about little naina and sangeetha becoming strong women like Maj. Akshay. Lots of love and prayers to you and to all at home aunty.

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    • Touched by your response Amritha. We are mere mortals trying to do what we feel is right…and accepting where ever life takes us. Very very blessed and happy to have had Akshay in our lives. Col DPK Pillay was Akshay’s hero too. Wishing you a very successful life too- may you be able to follow your dreams. Love and God bless

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  18. Beautiful piece aunty
    Tells us so much more if our brave immortal soldier, If this is not a miracle then what is…as if he has planned everything or has the universe …whether it be the rediscovery of his glasses with a minor scratch or this beautiful yet instinctively deep poem, a perfect answer to your question…Even i agree with you aunty he has surely achieved his dream and he knew that all that he required was that one realization of an individuals true battle, which is ‘within’,as he quotes it.
    There are no doubts aunty that this journey of life for all of you must be difficult without his physical presence, but i have indellible faith that he is with you ..with each one of you at every moment of your life…proud of you all
    The state in Kashmir is horrifying.. yet quite true at least the people are getting a clear perspective.. personally i too feel the need that inorder to make kashmir a more like any state in India is ti rebuild its cultural diversity where that land purchase law is relinquished and all are allowed to have their own home in the little heaven of ours then these seperatists hv to cater to a large diverse gathering.. in the same manner as the ministers..or the elite politicians have to rebuild there new votebank…somehow i feel that jst might work..
    Proud of your effort…Naina will always win hearts and grow and rise..and succeed.
    Best wishes to all of you ..
    P.S
    Aunty thank you for your advice on how to achieve success..a great reminder..lots of love always

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    • So true Shivangi- Akshay seems to be with us all the time – although miss the ‘real’ presence very very much. And agree that hard decisions need to be taken if Kashmir has to be saved along with the rest of our country- cant afford a cascading effect. I wish you a very successful life – with lots of love and God bless.

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  19. Dear Chinni,

    I am traveling on work and reading your blog sitting at the airport. The work place I visited was founded by a veteran and it serves Army employees with many of their needs. It was a huge facility and everywhere in the hallway I saw something about soldiers, their bravery, sacrifice, accomplishments, and I kept seeing Akshay in every picture. Not a single day goes by without thinking about him in some context or the other. A successful life is one where you leave a legacy and stay in people’s hearts and minds. Sooner or later we will all go join him. Living the way he lived is truly an inspiration. I keep telling my kids about how we never heard anything concerning about Akshay in terms of reaching milestones. He probably checked them all in a hurry and with perfection.

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    • You are right Nanda- he has left a legacy….and multitudes of hearts have been touched by him. Wish he hadnt checked the milestones in such a hurry…or one of us could have traded our lives for his. Its all wishful thinking- I know! Lots of love to you- glad you visited a veteran facility. Lots of love and take care.

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  20. I missed reading this!
    What a beautifully written poem :))) life and it’s mysteries, I’m amused with every story
    A successful life is indeed, the many lives one has touched ! People who show up, keep you in their heart and minds after you are long gone- they are your success.

    But I wonder if it is possible to live with so much love anymore, when there is so much negativity all over !! Your love and compassion however reaches far and wide even through your writing Ma’am.

    Lots of love and Regards
    Hoping everyone has a successful life 🙂

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    • Important to believe Ankita- life is mysterious and love is the most important part of ‘living’. Without positivity and hope, what can keep people going? Thank you for reading and responding. I wish you a successful life. May all you wish for be yours. Love and God bless

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  21. Read all your write ups.i remember your family in my prayers. May god bless u all and my friend beena .luv to nainu

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  22. What to say but ‘deepest respect’.
    Keep writing, Meghna. They say everything happens for a reason. But sometimes you cannot never fathom the reason behind such grave trajedies.
    He was such a fine gentleman and a young, thinking officer. Wish I had the good fortune of meeting him once before he passed on. Cruel irony that we connected after his martyrdom.

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  23. Hello Meghna aunty! My name is the same as yours and we have a lot more in common than just that! I’m from Kumarans school, and graduated from 12th grade this year. It was a painful and touching moment when we heard of Major Akshay’s martyrdom in the morning assembly on the following day… tears ran down our cheeks and shocked voices were heard across the crowd. As quickly as the tears came, the pride rushed in too. That one of us, a Kumaranite, someone who’s been part of the same institution, someone who’s loved the same surroundings, someone who’s been nurtured by the same kind of people, has given his life for the country.. now that’s not something we hear everyday. I was shaken. I don’t know why, I just felt connected. So many others too. We Kumaranites have always been a family, haven’t we?
    Meghna aunty, I thank you from the very bottom , for having spun your magic fingers to write this blog. For having put the unbearable loss into words that are inspiring us. For having this IMMENSE strength to look back at memories that we all can’t go to, unfortunately. I thank God that I came across this treasure. Truly a treasure for me, because I gathered all the courage and inspiration I needed, during my anxious times, from this. I’ve been so motivated from the day I began reading this blog..From Major Akshay’s life, his childhood dreams and how he achieved them, how he looked at people, how he looked at life, how he loved, his courage, his words, his poetry, the love he had for the whole family, everything. It goes without saying that he’s like my brother too now(may I?) And I’m part of your family.
    What moves me the most, is your love for him. I have an elder brother too, so I know what a mother’s love for her son is like. Your words and paragraphs took my awe for a mother’s love to a whole new level.
    Your role as a mother-in-law and as a grandmother.. I have no words for it aunty. You are so so inspiring, yourself, aunty. You’ve created something so precious for little Nainu with your words, and I can but imagine how much more you’ll share with her about her father, in your day-to-day life.
    As for her mum, their love story is so beautiful! Lots of hugs to her and Naina!
    I may not be directly connected with you all ,Meghna aunty, but you indeed have made a difference to my life. We’re all out here, running a rat race for “success” and never stop to realise how important even the smallest of gestures are. You’ve all made me realise how important it is to respect my people around, how important small goodbyes are, how important it is to express things just the right way.. there’s so much more that I want to save for the next comment aunty, there’s so much more.
    I’m sure he, from up there, will be proud of himself, and you, too. Of All of you. He is truly blessed, in your own words, and a lot more than successful. He definitely has made a mark, and we are all so so so proud of him. He’s achieved not just his own dreams, but also the affection and gratitude, of millions of people. A lot more than that.
    Nothing that I say, or what the readers of the blog say, will make up for your loss. But just know, you now have a much bigger family.
    If and when I do have the lucky chance of meeting you one day, I’ll give you my strongest hug possible, Meghna aunty.
    Thanking you from the bottom of my heart,
    Meghana.

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    • I am so touched by your post Meghana- and yes, we have so much in common in addition to our names….Do you know how Akshay, Neha and their cousins were admitted to Kumarans? My brother Hari and I started our schooling (KG!) with Kumarans in Tata Silk Farm. What however separates you and me….. must be almost 4 decades in years?!

      Thank you for your wonderful tribute to Akshay. Deepa maam got in touch and Akshay’s heroism was part of the school magazine. Yes, he has made us very very very proud- a wonderful child, adolescent and young person – better than the best. And now, a martyr protecting our motherland. I know we were blessed to be the chosen parents and yet…the loss is so tragic. For everyone who knew him or were touched by his actions. Sangeeta, Naina and his twin Neha…..Pradish…they will miss out the most on the joy that Akshay always brought. I have written so much and it is helping me come to terms with losing Akshay..as you must have figured out.

      I hope you will come home to meet us and give me that hug. Bring your family- ours is an open home. Now that you have graduated from Kumaran’s whats next? Do keep in touch. We wish you a very ‘successful life’. May you and your friends and all Kumaranites stay blessed and spread cheer. Lots of love and take care.

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      • Hello again Meghna aunty!
        This is the other Meghana again 🙂 🙂
        I’m so so glad aunty, that your writing is helping you a lot in coming to terms with this.
        Yes aunty , I did read from your previous posts about how Neha akka and all the cousins were all in Kumarans! How nice it would have been for the whole bunch to go to the same school and come back!
        In fact , my brother too is a Kumaranite 🙂
        I’m a very proud Kumaranite today, this has been a home to people from various walks of life, and truly, a man who has sacrificed a lot for the greater good..
        Oh aunty, the loss and coping breaks me as an admirer and onlooker and a thankful citizen .. I can understand the enormity of it that you all must be going through. No words can suffice this but truly ,truly, he is living through your storehouse of memories and his loving presence will always be there, whether you look up into the sky, or right down into your heart. We all can only believe this. He’s right here 🙂 God probably takes away the most special ones, right?

        I’d love to keep in touch aunty, I’m so honored :’) How shall I?
        I’m going the engineering way aunty, so college admissions happening this month and next month..quite some time until everything is settled down..
        Thank you so so much for your wishes for my future, Meghna aunty, I’m so so touched you took some time off to read and reply . You are all inspiring me to achieve big in so many aspects 🙂
        In my eyes you’re one of a kind and there’s so much to learn from you..
        Haha, surely I’d love to come and hug you ! Do take care aunty.. I can’t wait to read more of your writing :’)
        Lots more love to you,
        Meghana.

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      • Look forward to that hug soon little girl! I have sent you my phone number- got it? Lots of love and God bless.

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  24. Hlo meghna mam we don’t know each other but i read all your blogs and i really want to salute major akshay. He is a real hero of our country.And i am very much inspired from the life of major akshay.He will always be remembered by the people of our country. Your blogs have touched our hearts and give motivation to all of us

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    • Hello Shevata, so nice of you to read and reach out with your salute for Akshay and your comforting words. Thank you for your support. Happy Akshay has connected us and yes, he has inspired many with the wonderful way he led his life. Best wishes to you for a succesful life. God bless

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