The book ” Kargil Girl” is the autobiography of (now) retired Indian Air Force officer ‘Gunjan Saxena’. She was one of the first women to join the Indian Air Force(IAF) who entered the war zone of Kargil by flying a ‘Cheetah’ helicopter in 1999. The book also turned into a Bollywood film released on Netflix Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl. Here Gunjan Saxena is portrayed by Janhvi Kapoor. While the movie focuses more on the life and struggles of a girl who wishes to fly into the skies, but who must fight society, her disapproving brother, her mother and her superiors first. But the book is a lot more different. After watching the movie first and reading the book later, here is my book review of The Kargil Girl Gunjan Saxena.
This autobiography book details her early life as well as her career. It gave a glimpse of her childhood days and talked about her adventurous journey during her exam time. Also shares details on how she appeared for the biggest exams, and how she received a call letter from SBB. Then the book has details on her interview, her training days, and the way she was inspired by her father. She kept inspiring herself to achieve her dreams. Her parents also motivated and helped her throughout her journey.
After reading this Book review of The Kargil Girl Gunjan Saxena once could easily feel inspired by all the ups and downs of her personal and professional life. This book explains more about other aspects of her life.
About the Book: The Kargil Girl
An autobiography of Flight Lieutenant Gunjan Saxena (Retd.)
In 1994, twenty-year-old Gunjan Saxena boards a train to Mysore to appear for the selection process of the fourth Short Service Commission (for women) pilot course. Seventy-four weeks of back-breaking training later, she passes out of the Air Force Academy in Dundigal as Pilot Officer Gunjan Saxena.
On 3 May 1999, local shepherds reported a Pakistani intrusion in Kargil. By mid-May, thousands of Indian troops were engaged in fierce mountain warfare with the aim of flushing out the intruders. The Indian Air Force launched Operation Safed Sagar, with all its pilots at its disposal. While female pilots are yet to be employed in a war zone, they are called in for medical evacuation, dropping off supplies and reconnaissance.
This is the time for Saxena to prove her mettle. From airdropping vital supplies to Indian troops in the Dras and Batalik regions and casualty evacuation from the midst of the ongoing battle, to meticulously informing her seniors of enemy positions and even narrowly escaping a Pakistani rocket missile during one of her sorties, Saxena fearlessly discharges her duties, earning herself the moniker ‘The Kargil Girl’. This is her inspiring story, in her words.
About the Author of the book “The Kargil Girl”
- Flight Lieutenant Gunjan Saxena (retd) is the first female Indian Air Force (IAF) officer to serve in the war zone. Long before the first female fighter pilots were commissioned into the IAF, she made history by flying a Cheetah helicopter in the Kargil War and rescuing several soldiers. When the Kargil War broke out in 1999, she helped turn things in India’s favour, becoming one of the first women on the front line.
- Kiran Nirvan is the pseudonym used by authors Kirandeep Singh and Nirvan Singh. Kirandeep Singh is the former head of the Department of Management Studies, Global Institutes. He began exploring his passion for writing in his teenage years and has authored more than a hundred poems, short stories, novels, song lyrics and couplets in both English and Punjabi. Nirvan Singh is a serving officer in the Indian Army, while also being an avid artist, writer and adventurer. It is his endeavour to write the stories of grit and determination, wisdom and valour, of men and women from the Indian armed forces, and other exemplary individuals of this nation.
The book review of The Kargil Girl Gunjan Saxena
There has been some controversy in the movie about Gunjan Saxena and that was just one of the reasons that I wanted to read the book. This book is the story of Gunjan Saxena and a major part of the book covers her early life, a bit of her schooling, and how she dreamed of joining the Air Force like her father who was an army officer. The book covers in detail the SSB exams, her interview details, her qualifications and her training part.
I liked the way the details of SSB exams and her training part are covered in the book, so many facts and interesting anecdotes. It also mentions her days at the Udhampur base and her role in the Kargil war when she flew into the combat zone. The book has absolutely nothing against the Air Force or any defence organization of India, it throws light on how efficiently and effectively the system works.
The book is written by Gunjan Saxena along with the author duo Kiran-Nirvan and I must say that authors have done justice to the topic. Life of Gunjan Saxena is an inspirational story which shows that a Girl whose dreams are supported by her family, can excel in any field. After reading the book I feel that the real hero of her story is her father, who supported her in anything and everything. I just wish every girl in this country could get the support which Gunjan Saxena got from her family.
Overall Thoughts on the Book:
The book shows details about the life of cadets. It gives an insight into how trainee life is. It was about her courage, hard work, and strength. The writing style is simple and easy to comprehend. I liked the amazing narration and analysis of Gunjan Saxena’s life. The book is good though some parts seem a bit fabricated. It is an inspiring story and a delight to read. I wouldn’t call it a must-read, but it is worth a try.
If you are someone interested in the Air Force or any service exams like reading books by women or just want to feel inspired do give this one a read.
Book review of The Kargil Girl Gunjan Saxena- My Rating 3/5 Stars for
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