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The Letter

Posted by Shreyans Jain Monday, 1 April 2013 0 comments
“I simply want to live, to cause no evil to anyone but myself.”  
                                                   - Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace

Unarguably, a war has no actual winner. All that a war brings with it is colossus death and destruction. 

This is a fictitious letter from a soldier to his wife that brings out his agony and emotions who struggles between life and death in the battlefield.

Dear Braveheart

A fight is on across the border, a hated deadly fight. It feels as if a threatening, slow-moving monster is gradually approaching towards our territory and frightening everyone in its way. A miasma of fear has suffused the battlefield and there is plundering and marauding on both sides. Even our Commander feels short of breath and his encouraging appeals sound completely out of place. This is perhaps my last letter to you. My tank has been hit by a torpedo and I have been injured badly. There are faeces and corpses all around me. But I must thwart the attack on the dignity of my mother, my nation. I wish I could!

It is unbearably hot and my throat has been parched to dryness. I feel emaciated in this scorching heat and am lying in a pool of sweat and blood, languishing among the corpses that look like large motionless lizards. I am writhing in excruciating pain, begging for a few drops to water to quench my thirst. I wish I had something to eat, but it is just impossible. The bullets that have pierced into my flesh have disabled me to run for my life. I find it difficult to even crawl and meander a way through the debris to a ‘safe’ place. How destructive a war can be!

As I straddle life and death, I feel compelled to ruminate over the worth of triumph in such a war that has caused colossus damage to both the sides, the massive bloodshed and widespread killing of innocent people and the destruction that has been caused to the infrastructure. Is there an actual winner in this war, I wonder!

Indeed, this war has left an indelible impression in my mind, ripped my heart apart and left me scarred. There is nobody to mourn the death of those who have sacrificed their lives for their land. There is no priest to chant divine words for the peace of the departed souls. Instead, salvos are being fired upon us and our misery has become a reason for celebration for the hostile enemy forces.

Your portrait is lying on my chest and I am peeping into your golden eyes. Pardon me for leaving you bereaved. I shall carry the burden of this guilt like the chains of a prisoner. May the force be with you to and give you the strength to face this challenge. I'm afraid you won’t probably get a chance to lament at my grave.

Will I have a grave?

*The soldier succumbed to his injuries a day after he wrote this letter.


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