"INDIA'S HEROES" (Anonymous)
''India's Heroes'' deals with a student's natural response to life and sacrifice of those brave_hearts, who contributed their due, during the 2008 terrorist attacks on Mumbai.
The teacher, Mrs. Reeta Baruah, entered the classroom of 40 students. As the students settled down, there was an air of excitement. The teacher had given these eight standard students to write an assignment on what they would like to be when they grew up.
All the students were eager to read their assignments. Ajit Basu, the first speaker, spoke of how he wanted to be the best cricketer in the world and cited the example of Sachin Tendulkar. The next speaker Chhabra said that she wanted to be a social worker like her mother. Another student, Sanjay Damle, said that he wanted to be a pilot and experience the thrill of flying. Similarly, several children spoke about what they wanted to be like movie stars, sportsmen and politicians.
Next, it was Kabeer's turn. He was rather a simple, shy boy who was not accustomed to speaking out aloud before the entire class. Initially, he was hesitant, for his assignment was a little different from that of the other students. It was not about famous personalities, nor did it focus on a particular profession.
The boy had been inspired by people from different walks of life, whose extraordinary strength, wisdom and courage stirred his heart. Kabeer spoke about the unsung heroes of November 2008 terrorist attacks on Mumbai. The first of his idols was Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan, the 31-year-old NSG commando, who was among the soldiers deployed to clear Hotel Taj of the terrorists. In a fierce encounter with the terrorists, the brave Major Unnikrishnan lost his life.
Kabeer's next hero was Vishnu Dattaram Zende, who had been working as an announcer with the Mumbai railways for ten years. On November 26, when he heard a loud explosion at one end of the railway platform, he guessed that something was wrong . However, he didn't run for his life, as a lesser man would have done in such a situation. Instead, he began to make announcements telling people to move out from a different exit.
Kabeer also wanted to be like Karambir Singh Kang, when he grew up. Mr. Kang, the General Manager of the Taj Hotel, played a major role in evacuating the guests safely from the hotel. His own wife and children, died of suffocation, being trapped in a room on fire.
Kabeer's next hero was the Anti-Terrorism Squad Chief, Hemant Karkare who, chasing the terrorists in a jeep, was gunned down by them, along with his comrades DIG Ashok Kamte and Vijay Salaskar.