Today, while working on a Rajasthan Itinerary, I happened to flash back on a place I had visited 2 years ago… And my god it brought out such powerful sentiments and memories !
It was quite a surprise for us..visiting Longewala and Tanot Mata Mandir and – yes we ALSO managed to visit the BSF post – International Border Pillar, BP 609 !
I and two of my colleagues at my previous company, Infinite Journeys we were visiting Rajasthan for 10 odd days for recce purpose. The lady who had hosted us at Jaisalmer was so kind enough to arrange a visit to Longewalla, Tanot Mata Mandir and saved the last one as a surprise. I must admit she was a little silly, but she called up some contacts and we are grateful because hey, we got to see the BSF post FROM inside, meet the commanding officer for a whole hour, with him patiently explaining us about the post, what exactly their job entitles and a general talk on other stuff.
Tanot Mata Mandir is roughly 120 kms away from Jaisalmer..no words to articulate the stunning long barren roads that lead away from Jaisalmer to the outskirts, towards the border. Border is everyone’s favourite movie,and they say as the Tanot Mata is the deity who protected Indian Army during the 1965 and 1971 war with Pakistan. The story has it that it was a miracle which saved us from the annihilation, none of the bombs dropped were exploded. Like some mystification, all of them went silent. You can see some of them at display inside the museum at Tanot Mata Madir.
There is altogether a different feeling, a stillness in the air, and filled with past memories which haunt the premises. The same can be said at Longewala post, which is one of the greatest battles fought in Indian History. I was too mesmerized to remember anything.
At such places, where history is intertwined with wars and bloodshed, you can only feel the stillness in the air. Now silence prevails in these once war raged places. if you sit still,you can feel a tremendous surge of emotions, a feeling which cannot be described in words.
We had a BSF Soldier with us for company, to show us around the temple, at Longewala and at the BSF post. He was from Kolkatta. During the transit from once place to another, we chatted and got to know about the life and hardships of these Jawans. We cannot even imagine standing and manning the post in the scorching sun which touched 50 degrees while we sit in Air Conditioned cars. He was away from his home for the 8 months now… And Jaisalmer is just a big damn desert. For miles and miles…nothing is there…just a vast expanse of sand as far as your eye can see..
A quote at Longewala…
I am a sucker for experiences rather than details. So I apologize if there is nothing informative here about the war, dates and events. In time, I shall read up on them too.
But for now, this post is a flashback, a remembrance to the historical spots visited which speak volumes about the valor, courage of our soldiers and the sacrifices they made to instill the peace the we….