Remember the night when the stars were enough to light up your face? When after that tiring hike I’d made you come along for, you’d dug into my chest panting? I felt like a pillar then. I still do-for I am always there for you. That night was special. The stars were all glittering in different colours and the night sky was God’s Canvas, painted in more shades than a rainbow has. Your face shimmered in dark like you were divine.
The breeze was whistling as it kissed the sea and you brushed against me, dancing to that music as the hilltop became our dance floor. You generally get tired but you were a supercharged girl that night leaving me breathing heavily, better still, breathless. I remember your touch, your scent, your breath taking charge of me. And how we wrapped ourselves into a single entity inside the tent that we had pitched ourselves on top of that hill.
“Parrot to Panther, Parrot to Panther”, the radio crackled, “we need backup now, sir. Infiltrators have been sighted.”
“How many? Report on the weapons!”, Capt. Arman K Yadav replied.
“Sir, around ten. All of them equipped heavily.”
“Stay silent. Panther with cubs on way.”
A.K.47 put his pen down, well AK-47 was the name his course mates had given him bashis initials and his personal number and also for his sniper skills.
It was a fortnight before his proposed posting orders back to Delhi that the Kashmir violence rose and his duty there was extended by a month. The camp where he lived had no network and he had always preferred pen over phone. As was his habit, he was penning down his daily missive to his beloved.
Wadi, the youth whose death had been the reason behind so many more deaths seemed so futile. The Hurriyat leaders who poisoned the youth of Kashmir in the name of Azadi and told them to die for the cause ironically had their daughters and sons studying outside India. All well-funded by terror organisations, they lived a lavish life at the cost of many youngsters’ blood. Wadi’s death had also increased the number of infiltration attempts that month.
On reaching the site of infiltration AK ordered his fifteen cubs to secure the perimeter. In a fierce battle that followed, three infiltrators were killed and seven fled with only injured jawans on AK’s side. AK himself received a bullet on his right arm.
The scuffle terminated with his CO ordering him to be deported to Srinagar for medical treatment. That evening he thought he should complete his letter…
Love, today was a very hectic day. I wish we, Indians and Pakistanis, concentrated more on the power of love and not the Love for Power. The Paradise on Earth is stained red today for reasons that would seem almost ludicrous, if power and money were not involved.
I will wrap you in my arms in another month’s time, sweetheart. Although I am a little pissed off with you. Your seven year old promise of giving me a lap dance one day after our marriage is still pending. :p I wish to hold you close and make food for you. We will dance and sing all night. Okay, Okay, I will let you sleep for a while too but only if you give me what you promised me back then.
Thank you for being so brave and strong throughout.
The chopper roared as its blades rotated. The jawan on his side who was also being airlifted for his battle injuries looked at him and turned his head to talk, “Sir”
“If I die,please see to it that my family gets the martyr’s status and tell my parents I died a strong man.”
He had been maimed because he happened to be in the blast zone of a grenade but AK was sure he’d recover.
“You will soon be running back, Rishabh.”
“Sir, if I don’t. Please”
Strange how a soldier never thinks twice before diving in front of a bullet or a bomb to protect the nation but it takes the family he leaves behind nearly a decade to struggle for martyr’s status in our country. Nevertheless the motivation behind this supreme sacrifice is never welfare, or it wouldn’t have happened in the first place; it is sheer Service before self at field that fuels the action.
The chopper was air-borne now and it hadn’t been a minute in flight when suddenly it was jolted as if a strong wave had lashed against rocks. The fire from a blast consumed the area around the chopper. In a split second the realization of a grenade hitting their chopper hit home and with it, the crew with injured men gulped down their fate smiling.
The letter from the grave reached her with promises that would never get a chance to materialize.