A Call…made from the battlefield

0400hrs Kargil

The reticent sergeant looked towards the horizon. The rays of the sun had just made their appearance. The setting was perfect, influential enough to turn the most stoic among us romantic. He kept gazing the tranquil scenery not willing to turn his eyes away from the sky. He had been awake all night guarding his post along with 70 others along the Line of Control and today was her birthday.

               The ceasefire had been broken for the umpteenth time from the Pakistani side and hence he could not afford sleep. Time was of essence. After constant firing for about 4 hours through the night had it stopped. “Don’t know how long would this eerie silence last” he thought. But, deep inside he knew that the silence was the one before a storm.

He longed for using the satellite phone to call her and wish her. It was over 3 days that he had talked to Avni, the love of his life. During moments of reflection, he would remember her smile, her innocent eyes…dazzling with surprise. He would cherish the moments, though few, they had spent together. He remembered her, holding her hand and take walks in the park, and today was her Birthday.

He had been transferred to this regiment some three months back…three months of separation from Avni felt like years. But, the call of duty made him keep going. He decided to call her once the conflict at hand was resolved.

His elite army training had turned him into a decorated soldier. Though young, he was looked up by many of his subordinates in his regiment. His sheer bravery and determination was the source of inspiration for many…but few knew that in his heart he longed for someone…someone he had surrendered his heart to.

He took a moment as he visualised Avni, a smile crossed his face. But he was brought back to reality as the sound of bullets resumed, breaking the silence into minuscule silence. With cat-like instincts, he shouted commands at the soldiers as he himself took his post. Through the scope of his Magnum rifle, he could see one of the Pakistani Rangers with his machine gun. He calmed his nerves and with expertise he fired and the next moment the Ranger was down “Good night”, he whispered to himself as he prepared himself for his next target.

But the next moment, he gave a loud cry. Something was wrong. Pain was unbearable. Yes, he had been shot in his ribs. Blood oozed out of his wounds. He thought of summoning others but then thought against it,” Mother India needs them more than I do” thought the Samaritan.

Unable to hold his rifle anymore he fell to the soft sand below. The whole world seem to dance around him. He decided to make a call “my last call, I need to make the most of it”. He took out the satellite phone and made the call. A cheerful voice filled with excitement picked the call and he at once recognised the voice.

               “Happy Birthday Avni,” he said and gathering the last iota of energy “daddy loves you my sweetie” and with these words his noble soul went for his heavenly abode.

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