This is not the tale of a Superhero or Vin Diesel. This is the story of a beautiful woman who had the heart to sacrifice her life for the lives of those who she did not know. This is the story of Neerja Bhanot!
She was just 23 years of age when she turned around to shield three children from a rain of bullets thrown by heartless terrorists who refused to give in to her pleas of mercy for the children.
It was the Pan Am Flight 73, that was Neerja Bhanot’s last trip ever. She saw 4 heavily armed men boarding the plane and before she could dash to the cockpit to inform about the terror that she has just witnesses, a lurching Grab of her Pony tail, made her shriek. She managed to alert the cockpit by screaming the Hijack secret warning code. The cockpit crew was able to vacate the plane leaving 400 Passengers and 13 crew members onboard with guns to their heads and death for a slight movement!
Neeraj was fearless and ambitious and took charge and even was brave enough to hide the passports of the American Passengers who would have been on the target list. She Saved them!
After 17 hours of the death defying struggle, she threw open the Emergency exit and instead of saving her youth and escaping the chute, she shielded three children and took all bullets in her fragile and beautiful heart.
She has been awarded the highest bravery Award and stands as India’s Youngest achiever for a Ashok Chakra Award.
When we look back, we realise that it was not just a life lost, but there could have been more. All passengers could have been killed, the plane could have been exploded intentionally or even worse, all would have been kidnapped and held against ransom.
You know what could have been worst? Not having Neerja Bhanot on the plane!
So who would you blame?
The crew? the Cockpit Crew? Or the Government of India? Or how about asking questions to the security at the airports that were negligent in passage of such ammunition through the security. She would have been 52 now ! Did such heavy ammunition just fly through the skies or was it sneaked in? And if it was? Who helped them sneak it in? Questions that have been left unanswered have been the destiny of this woman, who shines in the skies above.