It is 10am on a balmy Tuesday morning. The scene is almost perfect. The sun, the sand, the beach. The location: the exotic Nicobar Island of Kamorta. Lieutenant Navjot Kaur, a 27-year-old Navy officer, is hard at work. As the logistics officer at INS Kardip, she is overseeing the unloading of supplies brought in by INS Saryu, a patrol ship.
There is ration for the troops, fuel for ships and helicopters, and an online delivery of bulbs she had ordered for herself from Amazon. It takes an overnight journey via ship from Port Blair to reach the forward operating base where Lt Kaur is deployed. Here, nothing except the sun, the sand and the beach is available. And, of course, there are coconuts.
Lt Kaur is the first woman to be posted at this southern outpost in the middle of the Indian Ocean in 47 years. Once she is done with logistics, Lt Kaur will have to attend the monthly firing practice, at sea. She says she is living her dream.
“My father was in the Indian Army. He retired after 30 years of service. So I grew up listening to his stories…In 2008, as a part of a school visit, I visited the de-commissioned INS Vikrant, the aircraft carrier (when it was a museum ship in Mumbai)