Monday, November 15, 2010

No Peace, Only War

"Saab, ye post clear hai... "
Ah, finally... He thought he was dying.. He would beat the kaafirs, for one last time.. He would not get caught... The blissful darkness enveloping him...

There was a mass of iron weighing heavy on his head. On his head, or in it? The effort to deduce this was too much, and he passed off again...

He did not want light. It blinded him, it made him want to tear his own eyes off... But the kaafirs, they made him look directly into the glare of sunshine magnified by the snow capped mountains and valleys. He was surprised, though... They were treating him well.. Actually, well treating was a relative term.. Getting two square meals a day, fifteen thousand feet above the sea level on a glacier was as good as he could hope to get..

The  destruction at their camp had been total. Even in the pitch dark of the night, the enemy fighters had decimated their posts to rubble. He had overheard that there had been only four prisoners captured alive, rest all were dead. And today, the doc was supposed to check him and report on his progress to the kaafirs...

"He is fit enough to be interrogated. But if you want him alive, do not push him too hard.. You would not want a repeat of the other case, I guess... You were a bit too brutal with him, I thought" The doc was telling the young captain. Bastard, he thought. A 25 odd year old guy, holding absolute power over him.

"What is your name, rank and unit?"
"Company Havildar Major Rahim Khan, 7Infantry Division."

"Ali saab, ye bhi 7 Div ka hi hai. Is ko custody mein bhej do."

One of his own working with the kaafirs? Was it a Godsent signal to try and escape? He could see the hills of his homeland in the not too distant landscape!!

"Ali saheb, aap mujhe qaid mein daalne ja rahe hain."
"Shh.. Dheere bolo."

He was being directed away from the camp. The ravine over there, it would be ideal for his escape. He could not believe his luck!!

Now they were at the edge of the ravine.. He could feel the shackles being removed from his hands behind his back...


He needed no second invite.. He was off into the ravine before the word reached his ears..

"Rahim Khan!"

He turned back startled. Ali had his AK 47 lined up. He did not hear the sound, he felt the pain first... A pain, and a queer warmth spreading over his chest...

"Ali saab, wo naye PoW ko bhi usi ravine mein hi daala hai?"

"Haan sirji"

"Theek hai. After all, no point carrying extra baggage. The bugger even when unconscious was mumbling about Geneva!!"

PS: I know this is a poor effort for the second half of the story, but am just not able to express the thoughts.. All apologies..

Friday, November 12, 2010

War and Peace

War, in the words of General William T Sherman, is hell. He knew that. In fact, he knew that even training for war is hell. But what hell is, what war really is, was beyond his worst imagination.

All of a sudden, a smile came onto his lips. A wry smile, emanating from the conflict of thoughts as to whether or not he will have plenty of time to think it over and philosophise about war. For he knew he was about to be taken as a prisoner of war. His post had been destroyed in the enemy shelling and he was one of the only two men left alive. Two out of a merry company of twenty eight young men!! The Lieutenant was not the best of leaders, but he was still an ok chap... May his soul rest in peace... The only other person alive was the signaller, and he would have been better dead. A radio antenna is not likely to be much comfort to a signaller if the antenna tip is securely lodged in the operator's abdomen, or so he felt... Not that there was anything of the radio left...

And he could see the kaafirs advancing now.. They were treading cautiously, not knowing the extent of damage inflicted on his post. Cowards!! But how would they treat him? A royal welcome was unlikely, he thought and smiled again. He had heard stories of torture and abuse of prisoners of war. Hell, he had himself tortured a pilot who had had to eject from his MiG 21 and had landed in their area. At that time it had seemed fun...

The thought of torture was starting to take root in his mind. Initially he tried to think brave. Let them do whatever, I will not say a word. The only things I will tell is my name, rank and unit. If they try to torture me, I will take the name of Geneva Convention. Hell, how many times did we honour it??

One of the enemy was nearing him now. He thought of committing suicide, but he would require the use of his hands for that... And he did not have those, at least not what he could use...

(to be continued...)

Saturday, November 6, 2010

La Belle et la BĂȘte

A Halloween night was not the best of times to give up the familiar confines of Hard Rock Cafe and end up venturing to some upstart lounge bar called Enter The Dragon in Koregaon Park, he decided over a sip of Jack Daniels. Of course, the fact that Celine Deon was trying to be haunting while singing 'Beauty and the Beast' might have had something to do with it. But in his heart he knew he would have enjoyed it, had he been with Pragya.
He kept thinking of their times together. Those knotted fingers, not ready to leave each others' comfort even when an upright septuagenarian of the society would clear his throat loudly every time he passed by on his evening walk. Those stolen kisses, that seemed to start for a moment and lingered on forever.. It was kind of funny thinking of those times in this environment- the romantic images providing a stark contrast in his mind to the visual inputs he was receiving at the moment, surrounded by devils, vampires, death eaters and what not!!
"Pragya!" He called out as a silken touch on the back of his neck brought him out of his trance like state.
"Oops! I am so sorry" This was a woman in a black, off shoulder gown who was dressed up as a vampire.
"It's ok" He muttered as she floated away towards the bar.
This girl was interesting, he thought. She was not really a mirror cracking beauty, though she had an exquisiteness in features few others could have hoped to match. Her cheekbones were the defining feature of her face, or were they? The blue of her eyes stood out in contrast to her fair to a fault complexion. But there was something that struck a jarring note. Her face seemed pale, almost chalk white. But what was the point thinking about her, and he returned to his drink.
"Would you mind terribly if I shared the table with you?" Again the same girl. "There is no table which is vacant, and since you seem to be alone....." She trailed off.
"It would be a pleasure" He somehow stammered.
Now that he had an opportunity to study her, he tried to take her details in without ending up ogling at her. His attention was drawn to the ring on the middle finger of her left hand. The ring was made of silver, perhaps. But it was not the material which fascinated him. He was hooked up by the design on the ring. It was small, yet intricately carved. It could not have been a demonic beast, could it??
"Umm... I am Bella" She was saying.
"Oh! Hi, I am Rehan."
"So you are not really deaf. I have told you my name four times in the last ten minutes..."
How did I end up in this place, he was thinking. As he lay between the sheets after a night of passion, their bodies pressing together, he could really not recollect what led to what and they ended up at her place. What he did recollect, though, was an array of figurines of beasts of all kinds of ferocity in the hall, in the living room and here in the bedroom too..
Now, she was asleep, and he could study her at length. But still, he was fascinated by the beauty of the ring... He took her palm in his hands. It seemed so delicate, so... fragile. He looked at the ring, and the beast in the ring seemed to be looking back at him... It gave him an awkward feeling. Pragya's face flashed in his mind. But he willed those thoughts away.
The ring seemed to glide down her finger as he tried to take it off. She seemed to be waking up. On an impulse, he decided to put it on, knowing it would never fit him. Why, his little finger would be larger than Bella's thumb! But the ring fit, snug!
Bella turned towards him, and gave him a kiss on the forehead. Strangely, the kiss seemed to leave a cold sensation. He tried to speak, but could not.
"Rehan. That is your name, right? I think you would fit well on my R shelf. As such, there are only three of them there."
He could not move, he could not say anything. He seemed to be losing all his senses.
"Thanks a lot for one more year of youth, sweetheart. And you were not too bad in the bed, either!"

Friday, November 5, 2010


Start writing about something. Stop inbetween. Give it up...

Story of last one week!!