This whole write up itself is very unexpected.. and this happened just because Instagram didn’t allow me to write the whole thing as a post. Can’t think of a title yet..
Peeped into the range for a quick minute today and all kinda feels.. didn’t even wait there to take a better picture.. I finally collected that post-training completion certificate which was due since October 2018..
I remember my coach/range officer asking me.. “So madam, we will get to see you after a month next?” .. He was sarcastic obviously.. I would miss the training often because of my travels.. there was this one last session that was pending and I hadn’t been there in a while.. So, it was my last day there.. late and rushing, thinking how to apologize to him for missing many classes.. should take a picture with him and thank him.. with all these thoughts, was running towards the gate and saw something on the gate and it was like everything around stopped and paused for a moment and froze.. how do you even explain this.. not possible.. I mean.. why.. how.. not possible.. There was an obituary message on the gate.. a big poster with his picture and him smiling.. damn.. and that happened a week ago of which I had no clue.. I remember standing there looking at that poster for a while not knowing what to do and whom to talk to.. phew.. walked in and enquired.. it was a cardiac arrest.. after a tournament.. bloody hell.. he was of my dad’s age..
There was another range officer in charge that day.. he introduced himself to me and said we’ll start in a bit.. I remember picking up that pistol and my hands gone all cold.. didn’t think I could pull that trigger that day.. I mean.. why…
Last time I was there, about a month ago, I had forgotten to put my phone on silent mode and my phone rang out aloud.. I had a rifle in my hand, left it unattended by the railing for less than a minute, with the safety flag on though.. (still the stupidest thing to do…) it accidentally slid and slammed on the ground.. I heard that sound and in my head.. “@$#*! dead.. you are so dead now Meghana.. don’t even turn around..” Sir had already started scolding.. and then he asks whose rifle was it.. my hand goes up in almost slow motion and eyes closed.. I open my eyes and he is standing right in front of me.. and there he goes…. nobody had scolded me that way in a really really long time.. It so reminded me of those NCC days.. but you know what.. I deserved it.. and I’m so freakin glad that the rifle was not loaded.. otherwise.. can you imagine.. It could have costed a life and more for all you know.. and I would never be able to forgive myself..
Coming back to the new range officer.. I was meeting him for the first time.. he looked at my records and asked me to gear up.. He saw the pistol in my hand and asked me to pick up another pistol because women generally are not allowed to use that pistol. I hadn’t said a word.. just smiled and kept it back and picked up another one.. Well, I had fired it last time.. Sir had let me fire it..
Every bullet that was triggered that day was for him.. dedicated to him.. Can’t even tell you the kind of patience that he had to speak to everyone and teach everyone with so much ease, precision and a warm smile. I know it’s his job and he was doing just that.. But still..
Apart from the days when you are doing things any which way.. regardless of any opinions or judgements.. Can’t deny the fact that at times it makes so much of a difference that someone believes in you that you can do what you want to do.. I have a lot of respect for people who take a moment of their time and tell you that you are doing something wrong or something right without expecting anything in return.. which could make you a better person possibly.. We surely need more people.. more men like him.. heroes without a cape if I may say so.. You really don’t need that cape and a mask to be a hero.. or you don’t even need that tag of a hero maybe.. As much as encouraging anyone in doing something that they are passionate about is a really nice gesture, it is a terrible thing to break someone’s confidence by discouraging them or saying something mean.. It leaves an impact and takes a lot of time for them to get back on their feet. But the day they get back on their feet, there is no stopping them for sure.
This man I’m talking about.. I barely knew him but will hold a lot of respect for the person that he was.. In fact, I know nothing about him except that his daughter is a pilot.
I didn’t have the nerve to go collect the certificate even after so many months.. Even today, I couldn’t go there alone.. had asked my dad n mum to take me there.. yeah.. that’s ‘also me..’ ..
But today I smile and I’m thankful for having met someone like him, a mentor like him and for the opportunity to learn something from him that he was so passionate about.. although for a really short span of time..
Sometimes, we meet people only a couple of times or maybe even once and the kind of impact they could leave on you takes me by surprise but no denying the fact either..
Although I couldn’t take a picture with you and thank you for all that you’ve taught me, you will always be remembered and I’ll always stay thankful, Sir. And yes, will never leave a gun unattended.. Ever.
Much love and respect,