Friday, November 12, 2010
He lay there quietly. He was still alive as his skin still tingled with pain and his heart out of wanting. The blood seeping through his skin mingled with the blood of his friends. The pains searing through his whole body may kill him any moment, but he wanted to live. He wanted to live to complete the unfinished. The fence of his small house was broken, the well was unclean, and he yet had to tie the swing to the backyard tree. The last two lines of his favorite poem, the only poem he remembered from school by Robert frost came to him. “But miles to go before I sleep, but miles to go before I sleep”. He wondered if he really could cover those miles before he slept. He did feel woozy and wanted to close his eyes and just let it go. But hope tugged around and just the thought of her soft hands wanted him to live some more, wish some more.
He slithered towards the phone, shouting with pain, crying out loud the name of god asking him to help him. His right leg was limp and had lost every sensation. That leg was lost he wondered. But life is more important than the leg. He picked up the receiver with no voice on the other end. The phone was no good. Everything and everyone was dead just like the death surrounding him.
He just lay there thinking about his mother and how she used to pour water over his head at night, bathe his forehead and then sing to him. “O sweet child of mine, o love of my life and so on. The sweet memory still comforted him. The pain ceased for a while but was back to its hilt again reminding him of the reality.
From his pocket he took out the letter his wife had last sent him. She was pregnant she had written, she was expecting his baby. She had sent the letter 3 months back and was already 2 month pregnant then. She must be five months into pregnancy now, he calculated. How he wanted to feel her stomach, touch the bump, feel his seed kicking inside her womb. A good female she was. Not very beautiful but very understanding. Nor once did she cry nor force him to stay back whenever he turned his back to leave. He remembered how longingly she wanted that ring. How she had stared at it but not asked for it. He would buy it for her when he returned. Yes that’s what he would do. He will adorn her swollen fingers with that ting. She deserved it. He knew he loved her, he had never told her that, but deep down she was the one for him.
A loud wail left his mouth as the bullet inside his chest embedded deep. The blood gushed out and all he could do was hold himself tight. The corpse of his fellow soldier lay next to him. Good man that Pratap Singh was. He wondered what his family would do, as the sole provider was dead. The flowing blood now was replaced with water from his eyes crying in pain of the wounds and the pain of losing his best friends.
His throat was constricting. The air seemed to be leaving his lungs. He took the half filled water bottle next to him and drank, then just like his mother used to, he bathe his forehead. The pain unbearable he closed his eyes. Someone far away was singing” o sweet child of mine, oh love of my life.”