Monday, December 22, 2008

A must read

Some time back around last year I came across a book based on a true story.The title of the book read "The Sinking of the INS Khukri".It was written by a former Indian army major - Ian Cardoza(if I'm not wrong). This book is based on the 1971 Indo-Pak war which resulted in the birth of Bangladesh.I went through the back cover of the book and I just had to buy it as it was based on the true story of a few brave Navy Officers who lost their lives when an Indian war ship was sunk by the Pakistan Navy.
The captain of the ship was Mahendra Nath Mulla,a charismatic officer who led from the front.This is one of the best war stories I have ever read.It teaches us a lot about team work,leadership qualities,humanity and most importantly our duty towards the nation.Mr. Mahendra Nath Mulla was literally the last man standing on the ship as Naval traditions expect the captain of the ship not to leave it alone when it is sinking even if all the others on board have been saved.Mr. Mulla left behind his wife and two young daughters when he died.The book is a very poignant description of the lives of almost all the naval officers who lost their lives on board the vessel.It also speaks about the families that these officers left behind in the hope that they would be cared for by the insitutions they had served throught their lifetime and the country for which they sacrificed their lives.Not much has been written about these officers since their death.Towards the end of the book, General Cardoza does mention that Captain Mulla's daughters are now married and have children who are in their late teens and 20's.After I finished reading the book I actually felt like meeting them just to pay homage to this great soldier and his fellow officers who lost their lives in that war.I am sure others too will feel the same after reading the book.