Fit­ting Trib­ute


WKND - - P O I N T S O F V I E W -

Amer­i­can Civil War vet­eran Robert Green Inger­soll had once said, “When the will de­fies fear, when duty throws the gaunt­let down to fate, when hon­our scorns to com­pro­mise with death — that is hero­ism.” And it aptly de­scribes Neerja Bhanot’s heroic deed on Pan Am flight 73 on Septem­ber 5, 1986 (... And Neerja lives on, Apr 22). Bol­ly­wood, which churns out pot­boil­ers by the dozens, has for once brought as ad­mirable nar­ra­tive to the big screen. Neerja’s brother’s re­cently launched book, The Neerja I Knew, is an at­tempt by him to per­son­ify her true char­ac­ter to the world and hope­fully im­mor­talise her in the process. One hopes that the book will in­spire young men and women to strive and em­u­late her, es­pe­cially when, in the course of their duty, peo­ple’s lives are at stake.

Gopal Nair, by email

Aneesh Bhanot’s trib­ute to his sis­ter Neerja, a flight purser who showed ex­em­plary courage and nerve in the face of ad­ver­sity, struck a chord (… And Neerja Lives On, Apr 22). Putting on a brave front, young Neerja com­forted the pas­sen­gers and showed that true brav­ery ought to emerge in the face of fear. She saved the lives of 359 pas­sen­gers and though she had the chance to escape first, she chose duty over life. Her hero­ism and ster­ling qual­i­ties are an in­spi­ra­tion to ev­ery­one. And thus she lives on in the hearts of her fam­ily, friends, col­leagues and mil­lions of oth­ers. I salute the brave­heart.

Jayashree Kulka­rni, Abu Dhabi

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