Being an army official is one of the biggest honor anyone can ever have because you are writing down your life to protect your country. It’s a sacrifice of the purest form and not just by one person, but his entire family. It takes a brave heart to join the armed forces but it also takes a brave heart to let your son, husband, or father walk away knowing that he belongs to the country first and then to his family. Words become futile when we have to describe people like Garima Abrol, the wife of Squadron Leader Samir Abrol who lost his life during an aircraft test flight in Bangalore. Garima is all set to join the Indian Air force after she lost her husband, because she wants to lead the rest of her life in her husband’s shoes, and hold his pride high.
We’ve often seen children of army men join the force when they grow up. But we hardly ever see the wife of a deceased army personnel joining the force after his death. Garima Abrol’s husband, Squadron Leader Samir Abrol achieved martyrdom while testing Mirage 2000 trainer aircraft at Hindustan Aeronautics Limited Airport earlier this year in February. Even before her tears are dry, Garima is paying tribute to her deceased husband by carrying his legacy forward.
Garima Abrol got through the Service Selection Board (SSB) interview which was held at the Air Force Selection Board (AFSB) located in Varanasi. She is all set to join the Air Force Academy situated at Dundigal, Telangana in 2020. If she completes her training at the Academy successfully, she’ll be officially joining the Indian Air Force. In her latest Instagram post, Garima says,“It still hasn’t sunk in that you are gone. No one has the answer to my questions. Why YOU? My husband was a proud Indian and I loved sending him off to serve the nation with a morning cup of tea and a head held high.”
“Every soldier’s wife’s biggest fear in life is when her husband would be called to the front line and serve in an active war. I too had this fear. Many a times I woke up crying after having one such bad dream…But Samir would hold me, console me and tell me…that is the ultimate purpose of his job…to be able to serve our nation when the call comes…He wanted me to be brave, as that’s what he was, a brave soldier, patriot to the core,” she added. In her post, she used the hashtag #lostpilots and raised her voice against the system that lets the death of pilots be forgotten in just days.
She said that nobody cries when a soldier dies other than his family and even if the media covers it, they drop it just the way they did in the untimely death of many other pilots in the past. Her urge to get an answer about the disparities in the system is clear in her message. She said that she doesn’t want any other sister of the Armed Force family to suffer the pain that she is going through. She concluded her post by saying “I need answers… Whilst its just another story and incident for some, i will keep fighting for the cause that took you away from me.”
Garima, who is a physiotherapist, Zumba trainer and Prowl instructor will now join the Air Force and serve the country, just the way her late husband did. In an interview with author Swapnil Pandey, Garima said that she wants to look at life from her husband’s shoes and that wearing the same uniform will give her the motivation to sustain. The conversation left Swapnil speechless and she said “There is a special metal Armed Forces wives are made off. While it takes years to make a soldier and create a whole legion of warriors for the nation. It takes extremely special women to be in relationship with these men bound by the uniform first,” in her Facebook post.
Swapnil told her followers that she hopes people to find inspiration in women like Garima who rise above all the odds and holds their head high rather than fake celebrities. “Many of us lose zeal to live if we lose an opportunity and here is this woman, the wife of a fighter pilot who did not chose to perish rather worked hard, wiped her tears and moved on to fill the shoes her husband has left behind,” she wrote about Garima.
Women like Garima are indeed an inspiration to the whole world. Her determination and strength prove those who say that women aren’t as strong as men utterly wrong. The whole that he husband’s demise left can never be filled. But we hope that Garima finds a fulfilling direction in her life after joining the Indian Air Force.