Wartime

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Heroes of war, Human nature,

Submitted: December 22, 2016

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Submitted: December 22, 2016

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Vikram was shivering as cold rain poured over the Indian army camp about 6 kilometers from the Kargil warzone. He walked back to his tent and placed his unloaded AK-47 on the floor. As he removed his helmet and was undoing his shoelace, tears flowed down his cheek. He had been controlling them for a long time now.

It was his first day in the war site, was urgently recruited along with a group of men and already lost two friends, one was mortally wounded and died on the war site, but, another friend named Anthony was captured alive. Nothing needs to be said anymore. The enemy will try all levels of torture on Anthony to get information on war tactics employed by the Indian Army. Sitting in the tent and feeling helpless was too consuming for Vikram and he chose to take a walk outside. He walked in the rain to hear a wide range of noises, some talking, some screaming in agony, doctors rushing here and there.

He could not take it anymore, He was scared, he ran passing through numerous tents and further into the trees. He made sure nobody was there and fell to his knees and cried. I am a coward, he thought. Memories of Anthony and Rana were coming back to haunt him. Their happy times, their childhood days, Anthony’s marriage to Jessie, Rana getting a kick on the face from his two hear old son Warun, his father’s proud face when he wore the army uniform and appeared at his house. Was it worth it, he thought? As he sat there on his knees, he heard footsteps approaching. He looked up and saw a medium sized man walking down the hill amidst the trees. The man came closer and looked at him. A few members were behind. “You guys go on ahead”, he yelled, and he came closer to Vikram.

“What are you doing here”, he asked in a gentle and deep voice. Vikram looked up the icy wind could not freeze his flowing tears fast enough, but he did not try to hold back. The man seemed to understand and said “I see, you are the new guy here, I saw you today in the war site. You are really fast”. Vikram could not speak. Why doesn’t he leave me alone he thought. .? “Did you lose any friends today”, the man asked again. Anger surged through Vikram, he got up “YES, he yelled, What do you want, Can't you see that I need some time alone”. The man looked at Vikram with a smiling face.

“I cannot say that I understand your feelings, as it is impossible for an outsider to feel a person’s pain and loss. But the point here is, help is needed at the camp and we need everybody to cooperate. More doctors are on the way, but they needed to halt due to a sudden snowstorm. If our general notices a person missing at the camp, you are in trouble. “. Vikram looked at the man and calmed a bit. The man was amazingly calm for a situation as tense as now.  But both men started walking towards the camp.

“So, who was your friend, ” asked the man casually, he might have asked what’s for dinner. “Rana and Anthony” replied Vikram. “oh, damn Rana was terrific today, great fighter, did you see when he shot the hidden enemy at the cliff at- “STOP IT” interrupted Vikram. What was this guy thinking, he thought? He was acting very casual about the entire thing and walked fast.

“There’s no time. Tears can wait” said the man. Vikram turned back and saw the man’s smiling face darken. “Condition is critical, though we had a winning day we lost comrades and three men were captured. We are changing the plan for tomorrow just in case information is leaked. The pain that the three men will go through will be hellish. They were my comrades, everyone is. you, Rana, Anthony, everyone, we all are men at war. Staying alert is the only way to stay alive. The anger, the sorrow is to be controlled and manifested and in the war, we can see a spectacular show of the hidden monster we all have tamed at times like this. There is one emotion that drives each of us and that emotion is and must be the country. A nation is sleeping because we are shielding it. You may feel that it is not worth it right now and is not rewarding enough, but, if you are such a thinker, you would not be standing here ready to face an enemy that might attack from anywhere. The man walked to Vikram and put a hand on his shoulder. “You know what is the greatest thing about being in the army?” …. “I don’t know” … The man smiled and said “Self-Respect at its greatest form . . . we will win this war, take back our land and then go comfort our families and friends for the losses ... But now we must fight” and walked towards the camp leaving Vikram behind.

“What is your name, “asked Vikram.

“It is Vikram Batra, come on let’s go, we have lots of work to do.”

Little did Vikram know that in five weeks of time Vikram Batra along with his men would capture peak 5140 from the enemy’s clutches and go on to become one of India’s greatest military fighters.

 

 

 

 

 


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