Story of Captain Sana Nasri, Pak Army
One fine morning, a young lady officer in khaki uniform, with plans to start off with her ‘wedding leave’ found out that the contingent of lady officers for the first time in Pakistan Army’s history will march past for the National Day Parade. Her former Commanding Officer told her, ‘As soon as I saw the orders, I imagined you to lead.’ She took a quick walk down the memory lane remembering her maternal grandfather and an uncle leading the 23rd March parade in her childhood; the journey back to present was filled with perplexity. The more she discussed it with people, the more disheartened she felt. A week had gone by but the disarray laid steady. ‘The Parade is happening after seven years, but you get your wedding day once in a lifetime too. The Parade is where you can proceed to maintain the family tradition of leading it, the wedding is when you will start a new family’, the rapid fire question-answer session in her mind kept going until she decided to call the one woman she brought all of her motivation to do the best from, her inspiration, her devotion, her beloved mom. Her mother reminded her who she was; enthusiastic Captain Sana Nasri; first female officer in EME Aviation, passing out as Course Senior Under Officer, one of the best debators, and was part of the first batch of female paratroopers of Pakistan Army, quite clearly someone who aptly fits in the category of a steeled, sturdy and robust lady.
The reassurance did the trick. The girl had found her silver lining; who gets the parade and the wedding together? Managing both seemed almost impossible. Never did anyone that she had known of till date, had done it, but that’s what Sana bagged was always what seldom did. By the time she reached the parade ground for rehearsals after a week of bewildered thoughts, preparations were on the full swing and files had already been set. With a sinking heart, she got herself placed at the very last. Having always spent her time being on the lead, knowing she did the finest drill, the pill of staying at the back being the best was hard to swallow. Sana recalls it as a divine intervention that the eyes of the officer, who was monitoring the parade, caught her. He recognized her dedication for call of duty observing that hers was the uniform adorned with a number of laurels in the contingent thereby placing her forward as one of the guides. She performed the drill after seven years of her service. Her heart was now at peace, partially, for somewhere she was still uncertain whether she would be able to get the chant of wedding bells and melodies of parade ground, composed in a rhythm or an objectionable beginning of her wedding life awaited her. The former happened.
She flew all the way to Karachi on the night of 12th March for her very own wedding that was scheduled for March 14, 2015. Soon as it ended, she boarded the first plane with her husband back to Islamabad to join the rehearsals of Pakistan Day Parade, leaving her parents, siblings, nieces and nephews behind and joined the tough schedule again. Full dress rehearsal was scheduled on 21st March, which was not an ordinary day. It was the one when everyone expected her to be absent, for in the evening of the very same day was the last function of the wedding; the Valima. But how would it be Sana Nasri, if the suite that she is going to follow, is the one that is anticipated. She had reached the parade ground by 5 a.m. with mehndi on her hands, leaving everyone well astonished. She stood under the sun for hours just like her fellow, baffling over the commitment she had.
She did the march past just as superbly as a female soldier would. Upon getting enquired what she was doing in the parade ground while she should be getting ready for the Valima, her response was simple, ‘No wonder Valima is important, but duty is a duty, much more important in fact, and putting service before herself has always been her way.’ By evening, this young lady was all set to walk the aisle with her husband. She was contented; she had done it all; gracefully enough, maintaining the tradition of being 3rd generation joining the 23rd parade and raising her mother’s head high.
This incident leaves a question mark for those who believe that weddings cannot be conducted without creating the frenzy; from the time shopping sprees begin to the event day. Have we, by ourselves set up a fence around us? Does wedding really mean everything else has to stop or is it just another one of our own whims, latter certainly. As fortunate it is to have a history, 1400 years old manifesting the beauty in sobriety, we are just equally or perhaps more inclined to not only being extravagant but also losing sight of rather vital matters associated with the event. The emphasis to prepare for the wedding is more than it is on the marriage while what has to last for the years to come once the knot is tied is not the event day. Not only does the society need to set its priorities right, but also young individuals who plan to marry, have to realize that they must not let their conscience be moulded by trivial standards. Moderation will lead to triumph, here and in the hereafter.
Lastly, Capt Sana leaves a message for all the girls, ‘Balance what you have at hand, keeping your faith in Almighty, believe in yourselves. He helps those who have their intentions right. You must follow your passion rightly and religiously, pay no heed to what deters your morale but only to take it as a challenge. Know it, sky is not the limit.’ "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." and keep winning...
If there is a way, i shall find one...
If there is none, i shall make one...