by Idle Muser
This piece is in context with the 'Uri attack'.
This story was originally written in October of 2016.
It was a stormy night, unlike many nights. Confined was the degree of stars that came to visit that darkness and moon in its childlike spirit was playing hide and seek with clouds. Wind was upset, upset enough to evoke the same emotion in anything and everything coming in its way.
Such a fascinating night, everybody, moon and stars and wind under the same sky, yet diverse, similar to humans who are similar to each other in their dissimilarities.
"When will I get an off from my duty!", I wondered, staring at a picture in my hand.
As I stepped out of my tent with a picture loosely held between my middle and ring finger, it seemed nature was singing a lullaby for me,
I know you'd go thousands of miles
if given a chance
to protect what you ought to,
I know you want to cry
for it's been a long time
that you did not see those gladsome rays,
I know it's been hard for you
serving your duty
leaving your loved ones far behind this journey of yours,
I know you are desperate
to see, to touch, to hug that picture
if only it could turn into real.
I gave a glance to that picture again. Noticed the twinkling in those eyes, slight curves on those lips. Mesmerized I got by that only picture. Sun also wanted to have a look at those precious jewels of mine. It came above moon and brought its friends, few rays, only to make my eyes realize another pride of my life, Indian flag hoisted behind my troop.
It was then that I realized Sun was less interested in my picture, and more in reminding me of who I actually am.
My eyes moistened.
"Why does it become so difficult to keep my eyes off this picture sometimes. Why this flag seizes my attention whenever I am with them, virtually", a question that boggles me up every time this happens.
"Cause you are the protecting shield of your mother, your brother and your wife in that picture. Protector of their friends, their neighbors, their relatives. You are the protector of your nation, your India. You cannot let any weakness overcome the courageous and selfless part of you", said the soldier within me.
This realization reminds me of my crying wife and mother whose faces I have not seen in last two years, a period which seemed like a decade, but also of the oath that I took on the very first day of my job, to not let anything weaken me.
Do they, my fellow countrymen realize the sacrifices I make for them? Am I celebrated by them? Is my existence even known to them?
I came inside.
It was just a matter of few minutes when these questions lead me to a state of slumber, then an explosion made me hop of my bunk. That only picture flew off my fingers and made its way out of the tent.
The moment I got out of my tent to grasp it, I got hit by some seven or eight or more bullets and then another explosion in front of my eyes sent me to that unwanted, longest slumber of my life from where I could never return.
My only longing was to see them, my family, for the last time but I couldn't. Maybe to make it easier for them to let go off me in a slightly painless way.
But what piques me up even after my demise - Was my existence even known to millions of them for whom I sacrificed my only life?
“They fought the enemy, we fight fat living and self-pity.
Shine, o shine, unfalsifying sun, on this sick scene."