सारे जहाँ से अच्छा हिन्दोसिताँ हमारा
हम बुलबुलें हैं इसकी यह गुलसिताँ हमारा
Better than the entire world, is our Hindostan!
We are its nightingales, and it (is) our garden abode!
परबत वह सबसे ऊँचा, हम्साया आसमाँ का
वह संतरी हमारा, वह पासबाँ हमारा
That tallest mountain, that shade-sharer of the sky,
It (is) our sentry, it (is) our watchman!
(So sang the great poet Iqbal, in his immortal poem – “saarey jahan se accha…”)
Welcome to the Himalaya!
Here are some pictures, shared by a friend of mine… It is of one of the most difficult frontiers of our country…. The region of Siachen… This is in the Karakoram range of the Himalaya….Where there is a Military presence, at heights of over 6000 metres (20,000 feet)… What can we say about the soldiers who are stationed there, guarding our borders, ‘woh santree hamara, woh pasbaan hamara!”….
At the lower reaches of this region…. A narrow pass….
This is the region… The beautiful land of snow… The Himalaya….
Click on the pictures to get a larger view…
A make-and-shift landing area…
Brave soldiers guard stand as sentinels. My friend says that, at least now, the soldiers have been equipped with better attire to face the cold…
I was reading about this attire a few days ago, in a news item on the Net (Click here to read the whole article)… Quote from that – “Army has provided latest Swiss winter gear including trousers, jackets and gloves to jawans deployed in places such as Siachen Glacier to enable them brave temperatures that even go below minus 50 degree Celcius.”
Boy, oh Boy! Minus 50 *&^%$ degress (*&^% celcius… Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!
A local source of water….
So hostile is the environment that any number of soldiers have died because of the harsh cold…. And then there is combat, of course…
Want to see a few pictures of daily drills?
Here is one…
And here, friends, is another… Hold your breath…
And we folks sit in our zones of great comfort… How can we ever thank these men in uniform!
यूनान-व-मिस्र-व-रूमा सब मिट गए जहाँ से
अब तक मगर है बाक़ी नाम-व-निशाँ हमारा
कुछ बात है कि हस्ती मिटती नहीं हमारी
सदियों रहा है दुश्मन दौर-ए-ज़माँ हमारा
इक़्बाल! कोई महरम अपना नहीं जहाँ में
मालूम क्या किसी को दर्द-ए-निहाँ हमारा!
In a world in which ancient Greece, Egypt, and Rome have all vanished without trace
Our own attributes (name and sign) live on today.
Such is our existence that it cannot be erased
Even though, for centuries, the cycle of time has been our enemy.
Iqbal! We have no confidence in this world
What does any one know of our hidden pain?
Signing off this post, with this photo…
The “grave of the unknown soldier”.
Bharat Mata Ki Jai!