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Soldier, where’s the fortune?

by Capt. Samarth Singh on November 25th, 2011

Ever felt you were born to do something? That everything else seems pale when compared to the one thing you’re best at. The setting was perfect the day I was commissioned at the Army officer’s training academy. Everything from the crease in my uniform to the weather that day to the post I was headed to, perfect! And all of this belittled by the raw adrenaline running through my veins. After all, what bigger honour exists than to be charged with the protection of your country?

The memory of my father haunted me right through my childhood. He fought in ’65 and then in ’71 and then one day like the blink of an eye, he was gone. Missing in action, MIA, the three letters that would pave the way to my future in the armed forces didn’t really feel very pleasant back then. A meager government settlement, a medal and a flag, that’s all we were left with. But still, by the time I was ready for college, I couldn’t see beyond the armed forces, I knew I had to finish the journey my father had set out for.

I came up the ranks pretty quick, much of it being attributed to my fauji upbringing. I have a wife and two beautiful kids who are more than worth coming home to in the evening. They live a nice, sheltered, stable life within the cantonment, a perfect place to bring kids up in today’s corporate infested, fast paced India.

Then one day, the inevitable clouds of war came our way. I made Station 7154 at Batalik a short-term life objective and set out, away from family. They were concerned alright, but sure enough that I’d be back soon. I didn’t hear from them weeks on end, mail takes it’s time to get to where I was.

Our regiment lost many men and a few were from my company as well. My company outperformed practically every other company in the theater and I fast became a topic of conversation at the officer’s mess. I wasn’t aware the other side was monitoring us closely. It didn’t take them long to put me on their bounty list, and the list was short.

Last night at 2000 hours, the enemy surrendered. But who was to call the bounty hunters off their chase? They followed me on my way back home, and riddled my car with bullets. I remember the last two things that went through my mind before I gave in to my injuries. That I felt regret for having lost my life, in peace time, to such an insignificant cause. And that even though I had done my country a favour, protected it when it most needed me, my wife and kids were left to fend for themselves. If only my protection went a little further.

-Written as a scenario for an Insurance firm

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