I (Vineeth) was in no mood to get back to my military base when Anjali is due to deliver a baby, but when we are serving for the nation, we have no place for emotions or centiments, so I have to bid adieu to Anjali today evening. I spent most of the day with her, but I somehow could not tell her the news that I have to leave tonight. Anjali was very happy that I am at her bedside, and she was asking me every now and then "You are not returning to your camp, right ?". I just replied her with my usual smile and got one back from her...
I was constantly getting wireless messages from my Lt. General and confirming my joining date. I too know the seriousness of the situation, and I was equally keen to join my battalion. I got an urgent message from my commander that my best frined "Naipaul" was killed in a gun fire between the millitants, it landed as a rude shock on my head, and i could not control my emotions. There was this emotional battle in my mind saying, "If I were there, I would have saved my friend". This news added fuel to my fire and I was determined to go to the camp and demolish that militant base.
It was 5:00 in the evening and Anjali was resting in her bed, I stood beside her with my army uniform intact, that conveyed the message to Anjali and she helped herself to get out of her bed, head towards the pooja room and came back with a plate of "aarathi" and "kunkum", she pinched a gram of kunkum and applied on my forehead and fell on my knees to seek my blessings, i too applied the sindhoor on her forehead and kissed her, she nodded her head in the sign of acceptance for me to go back to the Army camp, thats my wife Anjali, she understands me very well, and i really dont want to speak to let her know what I am thinking.
I told her the bad news that "Naipaul" was shot dead, and that brought a tear ball to pop out of her eyes, yes Naipaul is more than a brother to Anjali. She told me that she will pass on the news to me once she delivers a baby and will wait for my return. I padded up my weapons and got ready to go back to the army base, I had my vechile coming at my door step to pick me up. My mom, who is inturn a wife of an army man, did not show her emotions out, and needless to say about my dad who is a retired army officer. I seeked their blessings and told them to take care of Anjali. I could still remember the sight of Anjali standing at my house and waving her hand at me, till my jeep turned into a small dot for her vision.
It was a very tough battle at the war field, i was posted at SECTOR-18, which is the most vulnerable zone for militants to infiltrate, I have to be in vigil for many days, I should admit the fact that I almost forgot Anjali and did not realize that I am expecting a good news from my family. It has been 13 days since I was put on safe guarding the border, and one fine morning, my commander came to my camp and asked me get back to the base and take a day off. I was very tired and hence I was thankful to my general who granted me this day off. I was greeted by all my fellow army men and, one of my friend inserted a big ladoo in my mouth and said that, I have become a proud father of a cute baby boy. I just could not express my happiness in words that day, and i thanked all the GOD for blessing me like this.
That happiness did not last for long, as I was asked to go and meet our chief commander. I initially thought that he has called me to wish and congratulate for the birth of my son, little I know that he is going to spell the words of doom, yes he had a telegram in his hand, which carried the good news of my son's birth and also the bad news of my dear Anjali's death. She could not survive the delivery, and hence she died due to some complications. The entire world crashed on me, and I just did not know how to react. I controlled my tears in front of him, gave him an army salute, and waited for his next order. He asked me if I need to go back to my village to meet my son, at that point in time, I just had the vision of saving my nation from the millitants, and hence i refused to take up the offer.
I wanted to forget this trauma, and hence i went back to the camp the next day, all my fellow army men who came to know the news, tried to make me feel comfortable. I once again got into my business and fought hard to kill most of the millitants and save my motherland. After a hard fought battle for nearly a month, the war came to an end, and we stuck up the tri-color flying high in the montains of himalayas and came back triumphant to the base. Days rolled on, Months rolled on, Years rolled on, I did not get my chance to go on a long leave, for some reason or other, my request for leave has been postponed. That is army life and you have to accept it, as you represent your country. He told himself "I wanted to meet my son, I wanted to see how he looks like, I need to make him an ARMY officer, I am sure i will meet him one day".
Tears rolled out of Naipaul's eyes, after reading the dairy of his unseen dad, the only article which was returned by army after Vineeth died in a grenade attack. Well, Naipaul heard the horn sound at his door-step, yes, this Lt. Kernel Naipaul has to go back to the army base, leaving his wife Mamta, who is expecting a child.
THIS STORY IS A TRIBUTE TO ALL MY FELLOW BROTHERS WHO ARE SAFE GUARDING MY COUNTRY, BY MISSING THEIR LOVED ONES AND FAMILY, JUST BECAUSE, I HAVE TO LEAD A HAPPY LIFE WITH MY LOVED ONES AND FAMILY.
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