This is my first blog post and I would like to tell you all a story. I am a Border Security Force soldier and I am writing this blog post from one of the most violent places on Earth. I shouldn’t have made it, but I did. We soldiers are invincible until we get shot in the face. These events happened to me when I was posted at Poonch where the insurgency movement was on the rise. Few days ago, we detected movements of people who were supposedly spying on us for the insurgents. They were supplying information about the BSF and Indian army positions. We were supposed to take the spy alive. My team and I got near to the town they were hiding in. We asked the shopkeepers to shut shop for a few minutes and asked the people to vacate the streets. We were moving slowly towards their position when two armed insurgents who were protecting the spy fired at us. After a brief firefight we neutralized them.
I went after the spy who ran through the town. I entered a house in which I saw him run into. The house was dusty and I could not see clearly. As soon as I walked in he swung his knife at my neck with a loud shriek. I wasn’t ready for the knife. I saw the swing and I felt my neck tighten. I waited for him to strike at me. But he missed my neck by an inch. The knife struck the wall behind me and fell off his hands. Before I could react he drew out his handgun and shot at my head. He missed me this time too. I took his arm and drove it to the edge of the door, and then drove my knee into his arm breaking it. He dropped his handgun and the knife after which I arrested him and sent him in to the nearest army establishment for treatment and questioning. My men and I were awarded medals for taking the spy alive, and the operation was declared a success. But like I mentioned in the beginning I wasn’t supposed to make it. I had felt the heat of the nozzle when he pulled his handgun at my forehead. But he shot away from my head at the ceiling like I wasn’t his immediate danger. I was twice lucky that day. I feel protected now. That’s all I can say about it.
I was born in Coorg. So were my friends Krishna Appacha and Ashwini Muthamma. We were schoolmates. Krishna liked Ashwini since childhood and she like him too. He was obsessed with joining the Border Security Force ever since I can remember. His attitude rubbed off on me too. During school, we took part in sports, the NCC camps, and went on weekend trips to Mangalore beaches. We did everything together. Our weekend would end with dinner at Ashwini’s house. After his studies, Krishna went into the BSF for his training. I had to wait because I had issues at home. After his training, Krishna got married to Ashwini.
‘If Krishna is your brother, I am you sister-in-law’, Ashwini had told me one day.
‘I know, we were always family’, I had replied.
However his honeymoon was cut short and he had to leave soon for his posting at Odisha. One day he left for a mission and he never came back. I don’t know the details of how he died. Maybe I didn’t want to know and so I did not find out. All I know from the papers was that he set out on a mission to rescue some foreign tourists who were kidnapped by the naxals. The tourists were rescued unharmed, but, he died in the battle. He was hailed as a hero here in Coorg. I was told that our school named an award after him for being good in sports. I was saddened by his death but I did not lose sight of my own goal of getting into the BSF. ‘Keep yourself together, no matter what happens. We are soldiers’, Krishna had told me before he went to his posting.
To my surprise, Ashwini held herself together. I guess even she had embraced her fate. She had a heart defect since her childhood which got worse after Krishna’s death. I kept my personal problems aside and went in for my BSF training. After the basic training I was trained in countering insurgency, after which I was posted at Andhra Pradesh. When I got there I even found a room near the borders of Ananthapur and Kurnool district. It was very difficult to get a room to stay but I got one. The room was previously occupied by a BSF officer who had finished his deployment here and had gone home. He had left all his belongings in the drawer. All of them were labeled Bhijarnia. After I finished my deployment at Andhra Pradesh, I went home for a while. I was disappointed that I had not seen action, unlike my friend. I was not in a hurry though. I know my friend fought bravely before he died. After my brief vacation I was deployed at a town at Poonch district in Kashmir. When I got there I was sent word that Ashwini had passed away. I had nothing to look back to after Ashwini passed away. When I was traveling to Poonch my paperwork said that I was put in a temporary unit belonged to Subedar Major Bhijarnia, who did not travel with us. Was it the same Bhijarnia? If it was the same person then it was a coincidence. But what became of him? Did he make it out of Andhra Pradesh? I didn’t know the answers.
Well, when I got to Poonch, the travel party was split up and I was sent to a sector where my unit was placed. I was named the new unit commander of the team as I was the highest ranked. There were eight people with me.
‘Give me Rani’, I heard a fellow soldier tell the driver of the truck when I reached there. I asked him what he was talking about.
‘It is a custom around here that we name our guns, Sahib. The possibility of getting lost is high. At least I can talk to Rani when I am alone’, said the soldier. ‘Sahib, I’ll tell you how we name guns. A name is written on a piece of paper and put in a box of cartridges before this truck leaves the ammunition storage and gets it here. When you open your cartridge you will find a name in there. The first name you find on the piece of paper will be the name of your weapon.’
I liked the idea. After the truck unloaded the arms, ammunition, and the groceries the soldier showed me around the camp and explained the hardships of living in this area and also about the possible movements of the insurgents. After the briefing he handed me my weapon, my sidearm, and the cartridge boxes. I asked the names of the weapon everybody had. Weapons were named Aishu, Bharath, Priya, Vrij, and other different names. After freshening up I went into my tent. I opened the cartridge box for my sidearm. The piece of paper read ‘Ashwini’, which was pretty shocking on the heels of my sister-in-law’s death. I kept it on the table and pulled out the piece of paper from inside the cartridge box of my rifle. I read the piece of paper and went wide eyed. The paper read ‘Krishna’. Was this a coincidence too? Both Krishna and Ashwini had a strong belief in the afterlife. However I never believed in it. Perhaps this was their way of telling me that their spirit was still around to protect me. Whenever I go in for a mission I know I am safe. And yes, I talk to them everyday.
The dream of every writer is to be read. And to be read and appreciated by as many people as possible. BWW makes that dream a reality.
BWW Star is a writer who has worked with us at BWW and whose work amused, moved, inspired, and/or made a difference in our lives. We are sure you will enjoy and be encouraging too.
Our Kishor, from the Wolves batch, can write like a mad man. Pages and pages. His plots are full of action intrigue, mystery, and sometimes a dash of romance. His pulp fiction is a genre of its own. You can bet you will see him at the next BWW event, he rarely misses a chance or event to support the BWW community.
About Kishor V R
Kishor works as a technical writer in an IT organization in Bangalore. He loves reading suspense and thrillers, and browsing on the internet. He wishes he had all the time to travel, see the world, meet people, and learn languages. Cooking up stories is what he thinks he can do best and he aims to be a successful novelist. Kishor was born in Bangalore and raised in Mangalore. He loves fish.
Encourage our BWW Star
Read and post a comment. Share and tell the author what you liked about his story!