My Hero, My Inspiration

It was raining heavily outside. Sudeen was gazing on the streets from the window. He could see a woman dressed in a traditional saree, holding her new born in her hands, protecting her from the mighty drops by wrapping him in the pallu(the loose end) of her saree but the drops always overpowered her constant efforts .Though Sudeen was constantly seeing her ; what can u think of a 12 year old boy to grasp from this incident… in general cases absolutely nothing . Still he was watching with interest how a mother wanted to protect her baby and this incident took a firm place in his memory forever …. Then suddenly a voice called out asking him to come at the dining table for dinner. He replied “I m coming dad, m coming“ That night was really scary for him as the constant thunder broke his sleep again and again. Then suddenly Sudeen woke up, his eyes terrified , sweat covering all over his fair face and he went in his dad’s room and asked him “ dad , when is this lightning gonna end? “ His dad replied “Looks like you are scared, my son” “Yes I am dad“ “Well then you can sleep here with me” “Ya sure I will but …. you ought to tell me a story now coz m not feeling sleepy” “Hhmm ok I will… just wait a minute “ Then his dad swung back in his memory lane to recollect any ironic story of World War II as he was a researcher in that field and had read lots of stuff regarding it. But ironically nothing struck him at that time…. And then his eyes fell on the calendar and he could see the date was 11th January 2006…. The date also brought him memories of an unsung World War II hero and then he began speaking “Son during the early 1940’s, the year of the second world war, Norway had been neutral and so the Nazi Germans began their invasion over them… For all Norwegians it was unexpected. But they had no option except to fight for their freedom and one man stood tall and offered the required resistance to the germans…” Suddenly the boy interrupted “Dad who was he? “ “Captain Gunnar Sønsteby and surprisingly today it is his 88th birthday son.He is a great man and he fought bravely in the war, he wasn’t afraid of the tyrant Nazis and saved many of his countrymen by risking his own precious life

Sønsteby crossed into Sweden again to obtain spare parts. The bright blue sky was layered in the humid air.He had taken the invasion personally resenting "the humiliation of seeing those green-uniformed creatures tramping our streets. bouncing off in ever direction like a beautiful crystal. smuggling them over the Swedish border. Sonsteby became a master of disguise. and the Germans did not learn his real name until near the end of the war. Operating in occupied territory. When his colleague's radio transmitter broke down.. And then he slept the whole night peacefully near his father and was not scared of the lightning anymore … Thus from there on every fortnight Sudeen’s father always revealed stories of great World War II heroes but in Sudeen’s memory the story on Sønsteby was etched like moss covered on bogwood…. They were never able to catch him. That day it was his result and to his surprise he wasn’t able to surpass his expectations. with no clouds to be seen. His many disguises enabled him to evade the Gestapo easily. He was heart-broken. So from there on five long years passed… It was the 25nd of May 2011 and it was all hot and humid in his hometown ahmedabad… The warm flowing water of the river Sabarmati glistened with the reflection of the bright sun shining on it. One of his accomplices in this escapade was arrested by the Gestapo. Thus he still remains one of Norway’s most decorated war heroes and always will be … You know son it is my dream to someday meet him face to face. in the far north. Sudeen was getting this lucid yet luscious view of the river from the window of his home. One of his first assignments was to gather information about the new U-boat and port facilities the Germans were building at Trondheim. But don’t know when it can happen” All the time Sudeen was just seeing his father’s face and his expressions as he told the story. He operated under 30 or 40 different names and identities. thinking where was he . To facilitate his travels within Norway he taught himself how to forge an array of German documents. and ranked high on the Gestapo list of wanted men. He was named “The Agent 24” after taking training from the SPECIAL OPERATIONS EXECUIVE. In summer 1942 he stole banknote-printing plates of the Norwegian state bank to help the SOE fund operations in Norway. prompting Sønsteby to lie low in Sweden." as he recalled in his memoirs.

just like his hero Gunnar Sønsteby. never lost their efforts and always stood tall offering the best possible resistance that they could. Then his father read it out loud “IN YOUR SHOES – an IndoNorwegian Writing Competition…. That same day he was reading the news paper and to his surprise he noticed an advertisement and he just ran into his father’s room.wrong. this failure won’t suppress me. certainly not…” “You know those were five dark years for Norway but they stood firm. And when a person firmly believes to attain anything then even god cannot snatch it away from him….” “But is it that easy dad??” “Actually it isn’t son but what do you say. was it that easy for Norway to overcome the Nazis???” “No. instead it would bring the best out of me” His dad then smiled and lovingly said “Now that’s my boy” and then hugged him firmly…. why his hard work had not paid off. then why cant you??” Then within a flash Sudeen stood up from his chair and called out loud “Dad I will fight. as well as scores of innocent Norwegians. His father then glanced towards him and Sudeen pointed towards the newspaper and fingers in the direction of the advertisement. Then Sudeen asked his dad “Why it always happens with me dad?? “ He replied “Oh come on son everyone has to accept failure and consider it as a stepping stone towards their future success. His father was naturally upset too but didn’t scold him coz he knew his son had worked hard but it just didn’t paid off…. But they never lost hope. Now Sudeen was obstinate that he had to prove himself and to show the world that he is a true fighter.” “Hhmm it would have been seriously tough!!” “So if they can fight under such circumstances. climbing two steps on the stairs at one go and his breath going out. also Sønsteby and his band did not have instant success and many of their fellow freedom fighters were killed.” He interrupted in between “Yes dad it’s a writing competition and you know I m gonna write about whom…” And then they both shouted together “Captain Gunnar Sønsteby” Now as there were around two months for the school to re open so Sudeen was determined to work hard regarding the story and everyday went into a nearby library to get all the details regarding his hero and he observed many .

his dream of going to Norway and meeting his hero. I never knew that” though he knew everything and then smiled …… Finally many days passed. When the allies invaded Normandy in June 1944. Every night he would share those with his dad.000 ration books. was it worth all the sacrifices done by his hero or . Still he was caught in a dilemma that what was the real Norway!! Was it the one he read in books. Police report said that at least 84 people were killed in Friday's shooting on the island of Utoya.facts regarding Norway and about Sønsteby. But somehow he completed his work and mailed it to the authorities of the competition. Once he said “Dad you know Sønsteby organised the destruction of 75. one of the worst mass shootings in recent history. a man disguised as a policeman opened fire on young people taking part in a summer camp organized by the youth wing of the ruling center-left Labor Party. then how all this??” His father justified “I know son but these people are insane and do not think twice before doing such a harsh deed. No one would ever forgive such ill minded creatures” Everyday from 22nd July 2011 brought some news which hampered Sudeen. Just hours earlier. authorities in the Scandinavian country are searching for answers. however. seven people had been killed in a bomb attack on Oslo's government quarter. which frustrated a German plan to reduce the already meager official ration. On the television screen all he could see was the journalist speaking “Today after the twin attack that shocked Norway and appalled the world. really bad….“ He then exclaimed “Dad what is this happening there?? Norway is not a place which promotes violence.. Sudeen was busy regarding his story and seldom did he waste time watching the television. But the 22nd of July was different and he knew that this was gonna be bad. preventing the Wehrmacht from sending reinforcements southwards. the Norwegian resistance sabotaged the railways. Police have charged a 32-year-old Norwegian man identified as over the two attacks. The suspect's motives are still unclear.” His father replied “Oh really. Authorities think that……. hampered his views regarding the Norwegians. which left at least 91 people dead. There.

. became even more elated as he was selected by the judges of the competition as the winner who would be given a 13 day trip to Norway as the prize. In the dream he saw his hero Sønsteby and also he was talking to him. 28th of April. Norwegian Folk Museum. He took his father’s blessing told him goodbye and then he was on his way to Norway. boy” with a faint smile. He came to the conclusion that whatsoever the circumstances be he would go to Norway just to know what the real Norway is. He was just not able to jump out of it… The day 19th of January 2012 which was Sudeen’s birthday. a square in Oslo. He was very happy to win the competition but was still suffering from the dilemma and wanted an answer from himself as soon as possible… Just a week after he won the competition he had a dream. As soon as he could move he heard a shaking voice “Oh. The day he was gonna fly to Norway.was it the one he was seeing in the news from the past few weeks. And he was looking at the statue of Gunnar Sønsteby. He was a bit nervous but he knew he would be absolutely fine and would certainly meet his hero sooner or later…. Akershus Fortress. He had read a lot about it that the statue was sculpted by Per Ung and portrays a 25-year-old Sønsteby standing next to his bicycle and it was unveiled by King Harald of Norway. He was happy to visit a place he always cherished as a kid. Karl Johans gate and various other beautiful places but he just wasn’t able to forget 4th of May coz it just changed his perception of the world. Vigeland National Park. He was not able to guess their conversation but he came to the conclusion that he had figured out a way to end his dilemma…. he would meet Sønsteby and get answer from him about the dilemma he was facing and he hoped that Sønsteby would end it …… Finally the day came. His eyes became big and with an even bigger smile on his face he exclaimed with joy “Captain Gunnar Sønsteby!!” He replied “Yes indeed I am. On that day in the morning Sudeen was in Solli plass. But on the contrary he was scared too about how the people would behave with him and would he be able to cope up. But his hero remained as an inspiration to him… In Norway he visited Edvard Munch Museum. how young I used to be in those days!!” Sudeen just could not believe his eyes. And then suddenly he felt a hand at his back. the capital of Norway.

we shall shine our lights to help those who are floating aimlessly in their gloom. to the Light We all shall return.” A Tribute To…. still the mighty drops always over powered her constant efforts. Captain Gunnar Sønsteby By MASOOM VYAS . the dilemma he faced thereafter and to it Sønsteby Justified” The Norway I always fought for is still the same and I wish it remains but the way of looking at any situation needs to be changed. From the Light We came.Then Sudeen expressed all he had filled in his heart and also about the tragedy of Norway. Even in the darkest times. Then Sudeen just smiled and wrote in his diary “Believe in the Light and you will never be in the dark.." Sønsteby’s point was proved when that night Sudeen was gazing out of the window as it was raining and all he could see was a woman who was getting drenched in the rain but was protecting her new born.

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