The moving finger writes..

unnamedBRIGADIER (RETD) ARUN HAROLIKAR, MAHAVIR CHAKRA)

The moving finger writes; and, having writ,

Moves on; nor all your piety nor wit

Shall lure it back to cancel half a line

Nor all your tears washout a word of it.

                                              (Rubaiyat)

The period from 19 Nov to 17 Dec.’71 has ever stood still in my memory. Unfailingly, every year since then, during that period, I am mentally and emotionally transported to the battlefields of Atgram, Gazipur and Sylhet in Bangladesh; there to suffer the pain and agony once again, that I suffered in losing some of my beloved officers, JCOs and men in those three intense battles we fought. To this day I vividly recall the 21st of Nov, ’71, when, after successfully capturing Atgram, in total surrender of myself, I fell at the feet of Durgamata, oblivious of the universe around me and tears flowing freely and unabashedly, breaking through an emotional dam in homage to Capt, Johri, Lt Hawa Singh, Subedar Bhobilal Pun and three Jawans who had made the supreme sacrifice. XXXXX before, those gallant comrades of mine were a bunch of young men barely out of their teens, with youthful vigor, exuberance and a mind full of aspirations, hopes and dreams. In that state of emotions, as I fell at the feet of Durgamata, I experienced dissolution of consciousness and when I emerged out of that trance like experience a few seconds later, I was a changed person forever.

This is a narration of my personal experiences of the three battles XXX of the 4/5 GR, fought together. The narration has been divided into following three parts

Part I – Blood Bath for Gorkha Khukris1 – Assault on Atgram

Part II – Into the Jaws of Death, Khukri Assault on Gazipur

Part III – Chakravyuh2, the Heliborne Operation