The Soldier

The title of this should be “The Broken Soldier”, which is pretty much an oxymoron.
How can a soldier be broken ? Right ? He is supposed to be strong. He is supposed to be the protector. He is supposed to be able to stand in the middle of the battlefield and not flinch when a bullet comes his way. He is able to see his men and friends succumb to injuries and still move on because it is what he has to do.
And in his solitude, he would mourn all that he has lost. He will be woken up by nightmares.

And this is the life he has chosen. He knows he can be called anytime and he has to go. He knows he may not return. He knows that the glimpse of his parents crinkled eyes, filled with tears upon his leaving may be the last glimpse. His girlfriends arms wrapping him in a tight hug, may be his last memory of her.

And yet he has chosen this life.

These men, are the strongest I have seen. Their strength comes from the ones they love. Their home, family, lover and friends.
A soldier will never talk about how he feels with many. Only a couple of people will be privileged enough to know what he writes in the pages of that leather bound diary. Only the chosen one would get to read what the warrior’s ink says.

I have been fortunate to meet a few of this fine breed of men. They are undoubtedly a class apart.
A soldier’s love story, will be nothing short of the fairytale romance. Sometimes it is a gruesome nightmare. With the days that pass more and more conversations make me believe that these men deserve all the love in the world and yet so many of them are shattered from within. They deserve to be loved just as much as anyone else. How can you discriminate on the basis of profession ? Aren’t they human beings ? Don’t they have dreams ? So what if the uniform comes before the lady ? Isn’t that what sets them a class apart ?
And this is what breaks my heart. There is nothing more upsetting to see someone who has stopped believing in love. Who is a stranger to gestures like someone being genuinely interested in how their day was and what they did just because the girl he loved wasn’t.
Someone who is amazed when the other person would wake up at an odd hour to wish them luck for an exercise or a camp or just to make sure they are awake in time for the flight they need to catch, just because the girl he loved did not do the same.

She said she loves you and she couldn’t wait for you to call .
She says she will wait, but one month of the long distance made her change her ways.
She said she will adjust, but the odd hours and hectic schedule made her take a u-turn.
She said she will do what it takes, she couldn’t go on.

He becomes someone who trusts with difficulty, because his princess left. And for what ?
The reasons are a million and each of them a lie.
‘Long distance never works’
‘You aren’t there for me’
‘This is hard’
‘We hardly get to see eachother’
‘Why can’t you come for longer’
‘Why don’t you get leave’
‘I can’t live this life’
‘Its too tough’
‘I’m sorry , I can’t go on like this’
Sounds familiar? That’s what she said.

Don’t stop believing in love and miracles. Sounds idiotic ? Let it ! What is life if you haven’t given yourself a chance to take chances ?

You will find the one who make your world round. Who will love with all she has and will let you go gracefully not because she knows its your job but because she understands that it is already so hard for you and she is the one who will keep you strong.
The one who will stay up at all hours for that call which will last 20 seconds maximum because she knows how precious those three words are and she knows that its as important for you to hear them as it is for her.
The one who trusts. The one who is your rock. The one who will only break down when you are by her side and can be her rock. The one who will wait for you to return. The one who will love unconditionally and mean it when she says that she loves you. The one who is proud of you and will never hold your duty against you. The one who is fit enough to be called an ‘ Army/ Navy/ Air Force  Girlfriend/Wife’

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Madrid – Day 3 – Toledo

Toledo is located 70 kms from Madrid city and is known for the influence of the cultures of the Muslims , the Jews and the Christians.

We visited the quaint old part of the twin with its cobbled streets and beautiful views. We also visited a museum which was home to a beautiful painting by ElGreco.

A picture speaks more than a thousand words, so today I shall let the pictures do the talking 🙂

The Streets

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The Views

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The Monastery of St Juan

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The Jewish Synagogue

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The City Hall Square

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And this amigos, was Toledo 🙂

Madrid – Day 2 – El Escorial & The Valley of the Fallen

Day 2 ! We headed out for Monte El Escorial and the Valley of The Fallen .

The El Escorial is basically like a Royal Palace and has a cathedral as well as a monastery and a university library as a part of the main structure.

The route was absolutely beautiful with snow capped mountains and green fields.

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It is situated in the north west region and it is really cold up there ,about 3 degrees !

We were taken on a guided tour by one of the staff and they showed us the rooms of the King and Queen, starting from Charles the First in Spain ( who was Charles the Fifth in Germany) to Alphonse the Third. We saw the various rooms of the palace, the walking room ( as they called it since the King who has gout, used to walk there) , the offices etc.

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The cathedral was beautiful. AHigh glass domes with a transparent behind the altar ( which is a hole in the wall through which light falls in from the room behind) .

We did not get a chance to spend a lot of time there though, and rushed off to see the Valley of the Fallen which is made as a tribute to all those who lost their lives in the civil war. It is created inside a mountain and is a work of architecture ! The whole mountain was hollowed out and there is a huge cross in top. Almost 200 kilos !

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The views were gorgeous and I would have loved to spend more time in both the places. Due to the fact that we were on a guided tour and that it was verrrryyy cold we got back to Madrid by the afternoon.

The rest of the day was spent walking down the streets of Madrid. Spending time in Isabelle Square and the Mayor Square.

The squares are really lively and have people dressed up in various costumes where you could go and get pictures clicked. They have a lot of cafes where one can just hang out and chill 🙂
There are also loads of shops to buy souvenirs from.
There is this bakery at Isabelle, called LA Mallorquina which had amazing sweet treats !

This is all for day 2 !

Madrid Day 1

Hola ! 

The Madrid experience has been amazing so far.

We took a train from Sevilla to Madrid and arrived in the afternoon. After checking in to Hotel Paseo Del Arte, we took off for a Segaway tour.
The tour guide, Carlos, taught us how to use the segaway, which is very simple. It is based on the principle of balance. You need to find your point of balance and lean forward to move forward and backwards to reverse. To stop you go back into the equibrium point.
After familiarising ourselves with it, we started off with the tour where he showed us the royal palace, the square of Spain, an Egyptian temple which was the gift of the Egyptians to Spain.

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The Egyptian Temple

We rode our segaways through many beautiful gardens and picture points from where we could see the city of Madrid.

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Segaway Practice !

Madrid of course is cold in comparison to both Barcelona and Sevilla. We froze on the Segaways and couldn’t feel our hands after the ride since we didn’t have gloves !

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The Royal Palace

The segaway tour has been one of the best tours so far and was enjoyed thoroughly by everyone. It was exhilarating and it is a MUST do for everyone in my opinion 🙂

Post that we went to Cafe&Tapas in Mayor Square and had hot chocolate and ate dinner at a pizzeria just opposite to that.
It had decent vegetarian options as well 🙂

And that was our first day in Madrid !
Stay tuned for more !