Characters

  1. Hanif Uddin: The main character of the narration, is a young martyred soldier of twenty-five years old.
  2. Hema Aziz: Hanif Uddin’s mother is a vocal artist.
  3. Nafisuddin: Hanif Uddin’s elder brother.

Introduction

The story is about a young martyr Hanif a young man with varied talents and interests. Hailing from a musical family, he was good at drums. He dabbled in art, sketched very well, and made beautiful cards from waste material. He was also an avid reader.

Summary

Haneef’s life before joining the army

The narrative is about a young martyred named Haneef Uddin. As one enters his house, he would find a picture of Haneef Uddin with a warm smile. He was twenty-five years old when he became a martyr lieutenant. In recognition of his heroism, the Turtuk sector in Kargil is named after him. His friends called him ‘Khalifa’ as they knew he would once become a great deal to the nation and that explains even though he belonged to a family of musicians he chose to join the army. Haneef Uddin knew that his life would be short and thus kept a flashcard in which was written “We change lives” that was found amongst his other belongings.

His life has been full of hardships since the tender age of eight when he lost his father who was an artist in the National School of Drama. Haneef’s mother Hema Aziz would often have to leave her three young boys alone as she had to travel to be a vocal artist. His elder brother was training to become a school teacher in Delhi at the time of the tragedy and his younger brother became a musician as well. Haneef would often team up with his brothers on the drums.

Joining the army chanced Haneef’s life completely

Haneef was an introvert and started making friends by the age of fourteen, he would often go out of his way to help others as it would give him immense joy and that is the quality that his seniors recounted with his mother when they came to meet her after his death. Haneef didn’t know much about the army yet he joined it just after his graduation from Shivaji College, New Delhi. With six months of training in the Indian Military Academy he became a completely changed man, he would often write to his mother about the tough training and “Mussoorie bath” at midnight. He then joined the 11 Rajputana Rifles and was posted at Jaipur and then at Siachen before the Kargil War in 1999.

Haneef’s other places of interest

Haneef has always been carefree in his life, he could sketch very well, make beautiful cards out of waste materials, and loved playing drums. Thus, the officers at 11 Rajputana Rifles made him get all his instruments from Delhi and formed a music group named “Haneef”. While he didn’t have enough time to achieve the rank he dreamed of but another of his dream came true when the sub-sector was named after him, when he was a young officer he had once mentioned to her mother how the Nanasing Post had been named after a brave soldier.

His braver still lives in the air of the cold mountains and even a scholarship has been named after him. His family even started a school in Kullu under the Haneef Foundation. As a fitting tribute to his helping and selfless nature, his mother refused to accept a petrol bunk the government offered her as compensation saying there were other poorer soldiers who might need it more.

Conclusion

Hanif was a fine young man whose patriotism can be emulated. The fact that he was from a musical family, yet chose to join the military service shows that the desire to serve his nation was strong in him. He was a multi-faceted personality also. But the most appealing feature of him was his helping nature.