[short] Story Sunday #7: Duty

a story by pushkar prabhat

Freezing cold winds were hitting his exposed face, inducing shiver down his spine every once in a while. But he could not quiver. Not that he was unable to move rather, he was in his prime health. He simply could not move. He was on duty. He had to voluntarily restrain himself. Laying in camouflage on the peak of the mountain, he had the whole earth in his field of vision. He had to be awake and alert, because there could be enemy anywhere, in a similar camouflage trying to fight that shiver. He would have only one opportunity to put out that evil soul’s efforts to reignite.

Although he had all the time in the world, he did not have a second to waste. Since this was not wartime, it was eminent that he remains most cautious. Of course, he did not have to remain static in the same position, day in and day out. There were shifts for practical reasons. But if the need be, he could stay there for months without any loss in efficiency. He was a soldier. He was a warrior for his country and nothing could come between his supreme duty for his mother.

Like any human being, his aware mind was penetrated by thoughts, and he had a lot of time to think. The current political scenario of the country had been troubling him for a while now. His sharp mind knew to never expect any better from the politicians but, this was different. This time the same people, whom he had sworn to protect were spilling venom about his country. Obviously there were people who opposed them but, what was beyond his understanding was the fact that more people were coming forward for their support. He understood that the narrative was being diverted towards the escape goat ‘freedom of expression’. But he failed to understand what was it that those educated people wanted freedom of expression for? What was so important that could be expressed only through expressing hatred towards his mother? He had no clue.

People, some people, in every country at any given period of time, always oppose the army. Soldiers always face some backlash. Their sacrifices are undermined. Their dedication, loyalty and bravery go underappreciated. This is wrong, but it’s not new. By now, soldiers might have made peace with it. He had. From him, his duty was everything.

He thought to himself, maybe he was not literate enough to understand, why people wanted the freedom to disrespect the national flag, the same flag which filled his every cell with pride, courage and responsibility. Maybe he was not experienced enough to understand why people wanted the freedom to disrespect the national anthem, the same anthem, that even a faint sound of which made the hairs on his body stand in respect. He still had no clue.

Suddenly, his eyes caught a slight movement down in the valley. That fraction of second had not escaped his busy mind. He had his aim locked on the spotless snow covered valley. Stillness was his proof. He thought, maybe it was like the people say, army minds are conditioned, even brain washed for their duty. And just before pulling the trigger, he smiled at the thought of being brainwashed to love his own mother for eternity. The sound of gunshot followed. The valley now had red stains. As he unloaded and loaded the next bullet, he felt relieved. At least, he was not the one, with enough brain damage, to throw profanities at his own mother. Though he still couldn’t understand those people, he was content that if the need be, he had had a long practice of finding invisible bugs on spotless sheets. And by now he had seen that, time and nature cover every stain with the peaceful, pure snow. He was still bothered but, like people say, conditioned to believe that nothing could stop him from his duty. And as long as he was alive, nobody can harm his mother. Bless the valiant soul.

But if someday he misses, would you need brainwashing? Or are you conditioned to believe in the good judgement of the enemy.

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This is my first post after reaching 500 followers. I thought what better way to celebrate, than to dedicate this to the brave soldiers. Salute to their courage and selflessness. Jai Hind!

Hope you enjoyed.

i will be back!

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