—————————-Lunch in an Aircraft——————————————-
I comfortably settled in my seat in the aircraft. Journey to Delhi takes six hours.
Reading good books…having a good sleep… these are the only things I wanted to do in my journey.
Just before take off, around ten soldiers occupied the seats around my seat.
“May I know where are you going?” I asked one of the soldiers sitting beside me.
“Agra sir, there is training for two weeks there, then we will be sent to operations”
After one hour of the journey there was an announcement that lunch would be served within few minutes and those who want to have lunch should pay money for the lunch.
I took out the wallet from my pocket to order the lunch.
Just then I overheard the conversation going on between two soldiers.
“Shall we also have our lunch?” One soldier asked another.
“No, lunch in the aircraft is we costly. We can not afford it. We will have our lunch after getting down from the flight” said another soldier.
“Agreed” said the first one.
I went to the flight attendant and told her “please serve lunch for all those soldiers and me”
I handed over the money for lunch for all of us.
There were tears in her eyes.
“My younger brother is also working in the army. Now he is in Kargil. I am feeling as if you are feeding him too” saying this she joined her hands.
I felt shy. I came and sat in my seat. In half an hour lunch was served to everybody.
I finished my lunch and was walking towards washroom. One old person from the back seat came to me.
“I saw everything. Accept my congratulations. And please give me partnership in this good deed” saying this he handed over a five hundred rupee note to me.
“This is my share of happiness” he said smiling.
I went back to my seat. After half an hour, pilot of the aircraft came to me searching the seat numbers.
“I wanted to give a shake hand to you” he said.
I removed my seat belt and stood up.
“Previously I worked in armed air force. Then somebody like you has given me food in an aircraft. I can not forget that incidence. This indicates your compassion”. Saying this he shook my hand.
Passengers in the aircraft clapped their hands. I blushed.
I did not do it for acclamation, I did it because I wanted to satisfy my conscience.
End of the journey…
I was walking towards the exit.
A teenage boy got up from his seat and gave me shake hand and put a (currency)note in my shirt pocket.
I stood at the exit gate.
A person without uttering any words put a note in my shirt pocket.
Then another note… and then another…
I came out of the aircraft. There I saw all the soldiers standing in a group.
I went to them. Removed all the notes given by passengers from my shirt pocket and handed to them saying “You may need some money for your food by the time you reach your training place. Please have it. The money we are giving you is nothing compared to your protection you are giving us. We all thank you for the services you are giving for our country. May god bless all your families”
My eyes got moist while saying this.
Those ten soldiers were then carrying love of all the passengers with them!
While getting into my car I prayed to God “Please give a long life to those soldiers”
A soldier , who pays his entire life to the country is like a blank cheque.
(I received a message from , in which she shared a story written in Telugu, and requested to circulate it through social media. So I translated it into English and wrote this answer, because it touched my heart. OP’s name is Soumendra Bandopadhyaya).