Chapter - 1 India’s Heroes
Main Characters - Kabeer
Mrs Reeta Baruah
Mrs Reeta Baruah gives an assignment to class VIII A to write a speech on what they want to be when they grow up? It need not to be a profession, they could also speak about someone whom they might idolise or would like to be - a role model or mentor!
All the children had prepared and all of them were excited to share their writeup with the class.
Who all spoke before Kabeer (proper sequence)?
First - Ajit Basu - spoke about being a cricketer like ‘Sachin Tendulkar’
Second - Gayatri Chabbra - wanted to be a social worker like her mother.
Third - Sanjay Damle - wanted to be a pilot.
What was Kabeer’s condition when he got up to speak?
When Kabeer got up to speak - his hands shook,
beads of perspiration could be seen on his forehead.
He was not accustomed to facing the entire class as speaking loud.
Did not had a flair for speeches.
But had worked very hard on his assignment.
How his speech was different?
He did not talk about one person or one profession rather it was a combination of traits and people from different walks of life, who inspired and stirred Kabeer’s heart.
List of people who inspired Kabeer (proper sequence):-
- Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan - 31 year old National Security Guard (NSG) Commando, laid his life in November 2008.
- wanted to join Army when he was 3 years old.
- served 2 tenures with his battalion in counter - in urgency and counter - terrorism operations before becoming the part of
NSG in January 2007.
Contribution - engaged the Terrorists in gun fight and one of his commando was hit
- he arranged for his evacuation
- chased the terrorists and was hit by their bullets.
- Vishnu Datta ram Zende - an announcer with Mumbai Railways
Contribution - heard a loud explosion at one end of CST platform.
- saw some people with blood stains on the clothes.
- realised something was wronged used public announcement system to guide people to use the other exit.
- could have easily saved his life but instead he kept doing his duty and was fired by the terrorists but it missed him.
- Karambir Singh Kang - General Manager of Taj Hotel.
Contribution - instead of worrying for his own safety or his family he kept helping his guests.
- his wife and children were trapped in a room engulfed by fire and died of suffocation.
- he did not abandon his duties and responsibilities and continued to fight for his guest’s safety.
- he is a loyal manager and is still working for Taj helping to restore the heritage structure.
When Kabeer looked up - Swati’s eyes were moist.
- Hemant Karkare - Anti Terrorism Squad Chief, served in Austria for seven years in Research and Analysis wing of India as Intelligence officer.
Contribution - pursued the terrorists in a jeep.
- was gunned down by the terrorists near Came Hospital.
His Comrades - DIG Ashok Kamte & Vijay Salaskar
He spent his life fighting terror to make our tomorrow terror - free.
- Mohammed Taufeeq Sheikh - also known as Chotu Chaiwala, young boy who ran a tea stall outside CST station.
Contribution - helped to transport the injured to St. George Hospital.
- Sandra Samuel - Indian nanny who saved the life of 2 year old Moshe Holtzberg.
- saved Moshe when Nariman House was attacked by the terrorists.
- both of Moshe’s parents were killed in the attack.
- Caretakers of Kabristan in Mumbai - refused to allow the dead terrorists to be buried there.
- they proved by their resolve that “Terrorism has no religion nd the only religion in the world is love and respect for all
When Kabeer ended - class room as one applauding and cheering
Mrs. Baruah - dabbed a handkerchief to her eyes, to avoid showing her tears to the class.
She could feel and see :-
“Children who would become pillars that would uphold the virtues of peace, tolerance and selflessness in an India that would one day be terror free and lead the world”
Sequence at a glance:-
- Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan
- Vishnu Dattaram Zende
- Karambir Singh Kang
- Hemant Karkare
- DIG Ashok Kamte
- DIG Vijay Salaskar
- Mohammed Taufeeq Sheikh
- Sandra Samuel
- Caretakers of the Kabristan