I surprise people for a living, and it’s the most fun thing one can do!
We’ve helped people surprise their boyfriend, wife, parents, friends, bosses and a whole bunch of other important people in their lives. We’ve surprised our team members and even our pets.
However, we forget about a certain sect of folks who sacrifice their tomorrow for ours…folks who play with their lives so that our nation sleeps peacefully – members of the Indian Army!
So when my wife and I realised this, we wanted to get India to surprise them. We launched letterstotheindianarmy.com, a portal where any Indian can write letters to our soldiers.
Over a thousand people joined us to make this surprise possible by writing in their letters of appreciation for our army. Earlier this month, I got a chance to trek the Himalayas with India Hikes, to deliver these letters to army personnel posted in the mountains, close to the LoC in Kashmir.
Upon reaching the army camp, it was my turn to be surprised though. I had imagined army camps to be comfortable units with all sorts of entertainment and amenities. This was anything but that!
Basic mud huts to live in, each other’s companionship being the major form of entertainment, the nearest village being 20 kms on foot (and phone calls to family possible only on the monthly visits to the village) and the constant threat of militants. Tough conditions, to say the least!
In these conditions, we had a chance to spread some smiles with the surprise contributed by Indians from across the country (and the world). We spent quality time reading out the letters to our soldiers and letting them know that India loves them and cares for them.
Needless to say, they were thoroughly overwhelmed by this gesture. A simple sentence from the head of the camp summed up their feeling – ‘No one has ever told us such things before’.
It is, by far, the best surprise I’ve ever pulled off. There was something magical in surprising the men in uniform and thanking them for all that they do for us.