Dealing with the pensioners of martyred soldiers in the Army or BSF is a daily but not a mundane task at the bank. One has to strike the right balance between sensitivity and professionalism, empathy and formalities.
While the common sentiment expressed is that how the country is forever indebted to, and grateful for the martyred; there are things that run deeper than the tokenism of patriotism. The harsh realities of the desert villages who produce generations of soldiers. Even after the husband is gone, the woman or family finds courage to send sons to the battlefields.
Love for country?
A mother of a martyred 24 year old-
“We have no other choice than to have a heart of steel, madam. Who doesn’t love their country, everyone does, but all that comes after the stomachs are fed. Our children can’t work in the field, our children can’t get a good job. They are stuck in the middle. So all of them run to the one place that pays them for being able to run and lift with dignity. It’s a risk, but we all are dying anyway one day. My only regret is that he died just after his marriage. I wish he had died a bachelor. The daughter in law refuses to leave me and re-marry, now. I wish death had come to me, he had just begun his life..I wish he was illiterate and never sent to school. He would plough the fields and come home everyday. We would have managed with whatever the rains blessed us.”