My college starts from tomorrow and to be honest, I’m petrified. It’s a new place, with completely new people and a whole new culture. I hope I adjust accordingly and have a great time..! This is making me so nostalgic about all the fun things I’ve done with my awesome friends at school..! I can’t express how much I will be missing them all.. Tanya, Nina, Amy, Ryan.. The whole freaking gang..! It’s a pain to think I won’t have my teachers from school around. I’m going to miss Sam sir and everyone else so much..!
Time to get on with the post before I get too emotional..
It was D-Day. There was no turning back. All those strenuous hours of efforts would pay-off. Or wouldn’t they? These thoughts ran through Riaz’s head as he lay on the bare ground, a rifle poised in his hand. The enemies were drawing nearer with every passing second. Tensions between India and Pakistan were reaching new heights. People blamed eachother for everything. Cease-fire orders were broken every single day. People died at the border everyday, people survived the border everyday. Riaz wondered which category he would join. He’d know by midnight. He waited patiently, ready to strike. He hated the hatred between the countries. There was nothing much he could do.
The silence was unbearable to Riaz. He attempted to have a normal conversation with Syed, his fellow soldier on the border. That was hard to do, judging by the fact that Syed had fanatical views on war and was just a tad bit sadistic. Riaz was appalled at the hatred Syed showed towards the Indians. The sole reason Syed had joined the army was to kill Indians. Riaz winced at the thought of it. He himself had never borne any grudge against unsuspecting, innocent Indians. He had joined the army so that he could protect his motherland, not for murderous revenge. He abandoned all hope of talking with Syed.
The morning was uneventful, except for the futile-conversation-effort. Riaz was getting restless. Somehow, being on the lines made him crave for some action. Afternoon. He decided to walk up the border, just to have some movement. It was clear Syed wouldn’t join him. Riaz informed Syed of his plans and received a curt nod in reply. He set off. He walked for sometime, not letting his guard down for one moment. It was so much better without Syed around. That man gave Riaz the creeps. He knew Syed wouldn’t miss him much and so, decided to walk on and station himself farther up the border. He walked and walked, resting occasionally, until it was evening.
He found a good spot to camouflage himself and settled down. It was getting dark. So far, on his first day on the front lines, nothing remotely exciting had happened. He was sort of glad he hadn’t slaughtered anyone. But somewhere in his heart, he had wanted to be heroic. He just lay there, staring up at the sky as it changed colours. Miles away, perhaps Indian soldiers are doing the same, he thought. He had never been one of those people whose purpose in life was to fight and incite war. He wished to live to see the day when a Pakistani could welcome a Indian into his country and show him what beauty lies within Pakistan. He wished to see the day when an Indian could take him to visit India and show him around. Just then, he heard voices. Riaz was attentive as a tiger approaching prey. He hid behind some bushes. He could hear a female voice, screaming. She seemed to be in great pain. It was dark. Yet, he could see the woman approaching. From the other side, came an Indian soldier, rifle ready. Riaz sprung up. The natural thing to do would be to shoot the Indian. Yet, he couldn’t. The cries of agony were distracting. The Indian didn’t seem like he was planning to shoot.
The Indian called out in Hindi “Ladki kaun hai?”
Who is the girl?
Riaz replied “Pata nahin. Lekin bahut dard main hai”
Don’t know. But she’s in great pain.
After few exchanges of nervous statements, they decided to help the lady. But they were still wary. They approached the woman and found that she was in labour and had lost her way to the hospital. The woman seemed to be from Kashmir, India. The Indian knew the nearest hospital. With Riaz’s help, he managed to take the woman to the hospital in time. Riaz could feel the eyes boring into him in the hospital. People would suspect you if you did a good deed and wouldn’t be surprised if you blew up the hospital. He sat with the Indian soldier, now that all doubts of enmity had been cleared. His name was Harish and he had been in the army for five years. They kept talking. It was like a dream to both of them. After the baby was successfully delivered, the two soldiers proudly marched up to the lady. The lady was overwhelmed. She couldn’t thank Riaz enough for not killing her and the baby. Harish decided to stay with the lady till her family arrived. Riaz said his goodbyes and left.
Riaz trudged back home. He felt so good, he wanted to scream out. He had made an Indian friend and helped a lady. This was the best first front-line day anyone could have ever hoped for. This day made him realize that enemies cannot exist on the battlefield. Of course, people like Syed would beg to differ. This day had been surreal and just perfect. Pakistani or Indian, everyone was flesh and blood, with humanity rooted deep within us. He felt exalted after uniting with the enemy. What could happen if the two countries stood strong in unity..!? His mind was a confused muddle of good thoughts. It was midnight. He belonged to the category of the peaceful survivors…
Hope you liked it..! I don’t know why, but I’m all for this soldier emotional experiences..!
Deek 🙂 😀