“I stole 400 Rs from my father’s box while he was sleeping and ran off to India to join the Indian army. I was 17 and smart. To get the key to the box was the most difficult thing I have done in my life. Back then, we had one room and everyone slept in the same room. Father hung the key in a rope he wore around his neck. Before retiring for the day sometime he would take it off and put it under the pillow and sometimes he would wear it to sleep.
So I waited patiently while I carried on helping him with the chores of the house and the fields. I had to leave the village, like he had, to be an army man. It was on the fourth night father took off his key rope and in the early hours of the morning, while sunlight was still away, I opened the box and took out that 400. I and another boy of the same age left the next morning, unbeknownst to anyone. We reached Pokhara in two days and met a man who gathered boys to take to India to join the army in Gorakhpur. Once we reached, we had to undergo various tests and exercises. On the 9th day, they assembled us and started calling out names.
Those who called out would shout “Yes, Sir!” and move aside to the corner. When the count was done, my name was not called out. I had tears in my eyes. It was almost like my dreams just got destroyed by my fate. Then before I lost control, the captain said, “I congratulate those of you whose names were not called out. You are in the Indian army. Those of you whose names were called out, return to your homes, wherever it is.” It was a relief, a burden was lifted off my chest and I was to walk in the footsteps of my father and many men like him. After a few days, they took us to Dehradun where our training was to begin. 16 months of intense training on how to kill your enemy and how to protect your body. You see, that is the sole goal of an army. I also learnt how to draft a letter, for I had to ask for my father’s forgiveness, and with proper fullstops and commas and respectful salutations, I wrote a letter and posted it with a messenger.
After 4 months, I received a letter from home. It read “Dear Son, Well done! Do not worry about the money. We are happy to know that you are in the army. Obey every orders from the seniors. Bow down your head and do not retaliate to your superiors. It is a place to learn discipline for life.” After that day, I obeyed my father’s advice. I spent 24 years serving the Indian Army and I retired at 42 after my pension was secure. Today I am back to my village in Nepal and I two run water mills in my village. It keeps me occupied and I make some money. But I can tell you now, what a life it has been – a life sunrise and sunset, warmth and cold, laughter and tears, blood and sweat, anger and regrets. And I am proud that I have walked in the footsteps of my father and many men like him.”
– Dil Bahadur Gurung, Bhujung, Lamjung
"I stole 400 Rs from my father's box while he was sleeping and ran off to India to join the Indian army. I was 17 and…
Story By – Stories of Nepal
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