My father was Sgt. in the army till 2009 until he finally decided to get back home after serving for 24 long years. My mom is a housewife and she never complained about not living with my dad at his postings just for the sake of my education and the wonderful convent school I was studying at.
I am the only son and I never felt the need to have a sibling because I lived in a joint family and had 4 cousin brothers and 2 sisters who I grew up with. We were pretty close to each other.
When I was in my Secondary high school, I saw my grades getting affected and it only got worse. I had zero interest in studies and I just wanted to complete my high school so that my dad's money didn’t go to waste.
This was the time I was going to regret. I wish I had known better.
I had completed my high school with 46% which was too low to get through any colleges so I didn’t even try. I had already wasted a year just fooling around and it was pretty clear to me that I was also going to get enlisted like my dad in the army. Even though, at first he and other family members forced me to join a college but I knew that won’t happen.
Dad never forced me to join the army, it was my decision and I don't regret it even today. I get 852 bucks a day and all the perks, who will give that to me in a private job with my qualifications?
But I feel I let down my mom and dad. They wished for their son to become an army officer, just like my other cousins. Even I will never forgive myself for the carelessness I showed towards my education. The platform that was provided to me by my family, the support, the sacrifices and every little thing they did, I ruined it.
It was only after I joined the army that I was treated like an adult at the age of only 18. No second chances, no mistakes; our mistakes come back home in boxes with national flags wrapped around them. That's what I was taught the very first day.
I was introduced to my new friends; discipline, punctuality and responsibility. Army has taught me a lot of lessons in life already at this age and it's an endless road up ahead of me.
The rude tone I used for the arguments with my parents has now changed to a tone of love and appreciation. All my ego and aggression is gone and I have learnt to channel it to something positive. I am not a foot soldier even though I also went through a tough training. But whenever I look at my colleagues, I still feel I am lagging.
As for now I just have one goal - to rise from ground to glory and fulfill my parents' dreams. I am currently in pursuit of Army Cadet College; I want to become an officer.
It’s been 2 years of service for me and I am currently serving in Jalandhar, Punjab and will hopefully soon be posted to Kupwara, J&K. That's where the real story will start.