“I will die, but not run away”— this is what a young Neerja told her mother when they had discussed the sensitive situation of a hypothetical hijack. Her brother Aneesh Bhanot recalls how one day her mother had picked this topic and told Neerja that she must save herself in case a hijack ever took place on a Pan Am flight — the airlines that Neerja was working for. To this, Neerja had asked her mother to never think this way again, for she was determined to not be a coward in such a situation; and she lived up to her word.
The spirit of Neerja is conveyed through these lines. Neerja and her mother once had a conversation about a flight hijacking. Aneesh Bhanot, her brother, explained the incident that took place some time ago. Neerja's mother advised her to avoid the dangerous situation if the hijacking occurs. Neerja, on the other hand, was never appreciative of her mother's opinion. Instead, she advised her mother not to think that way, stating that she would rather die than escape the dangerous situation. Neerja was full of confidence, determination and courage. 'She lived up to her word,' says Neerja's brother, remembering her words. Neerja kept her word. She did not compromise on her principles.
Conversation between Neerja and her mother
Meaning of difficult words:
Imagined or suggested situation and not true
A situation needed to be dealt with care
Someone who is not brave enough to face danger
State Council of Educational Research and Training (2019). Term-3 English Standard-7. A Story of Self Sacrifice and Bravery (pp. 105-111). Published by the Tamil Nadu Textbook and Educational Services Corporation.