Tuesday, 16 December 2014

The Tough Soldier – Lima one



“Bravo one down, Bravo one down”. Bravo one was hit by a bullet coming from an unknown location. The screen becomes reddish and the game gets over to try once again. I am watching my kids play a video game lying on the bed. The crackly sound form the radio – a motorola walkie talkie – “Bravo one down……..” takes me into the story narrated to me by my close friend and a course mate who got injured during operations.

Leading men from the front, into the unknown disposal of the enemy with extreme care, the battle had begun as the shelling had made the people hiding in the jungles aware that an attack is coming. There was pandemonium breaking loose with the sound of gunfire and sound of bomb blasts. The orders cannot be heard. The only reason that they are sticking together was due to their rigorous training and training makes the body follow certain useful actions without command from the brain. They kept pushing forward towards the target.

A burst from the automatic came from nearby; they could hear the swishing noise of the bullets just grazing over their head and as if to warn them of the oncoming counter attack they could see tracer rounds with red lights hissing by. Firing back at the illusive firer they pushed on emptying magazine after magazine.

Lima one could not move from the crawling position that they were already in. he could see a blood oozing from the radio operator on the right and another one on the left injured badly both of them were not moving and neither could Lima one move waist down. He felt like he was held down with a crowbar through the belt from behind. There was lull in the battle during which the nursing assistant and the medics came to attend him.

Lima one instructed the medics to look after the one who is not moving, but the medic replied that they were no more. Hearing which the anger and remorse walled up inside him making him stand up with the adrenalin rush to attack but only to fall back on ground with a thud. Medics and NA requested him not to move and passed in the radio, “A man down and Lima One hit, Lima one Hit…..”  

Lima one was lucky to be operating on the flat ground where a vehicle could ply. He was taken away in an ambulance towards the base camp. And later air lifted to bigger hospital in India.

While he was being flown in the chopper he thought that he was so lucky to be alive and thought that he may not see most of his course mates and other colleagues if he recovers and comes back. The slide show of the life he had with his family and friends began and he was surprised of the immaculate selections of the slides that were displayed to him in slow motion yet fast. The noise of the chopper did little to disturb the replay of the life he had and the options he missed.

He was badly injured missing the kidney and the spinal cord. The doctors could not ascertain the damage until the time he comes back to his senses again. The fighter came back to his senses with an urge to pee. He was surprised to see that there were so many pipes and needles hanging on his skin. He wanted to stand up and go to toilet but he could not move his limbs. So he told the attendant there that he want to pee. He jumped with joy and all the the others present there celebrated including the doctors. Later he learnt that his urge to pee signified the functionality of his kidney and the success of their handiworks in fixing the intricate tubes and nerves inside his body.

Together with the doctors there, he won the operations there also and came back fit and fine with just some scars that is inevitable. When he was about to be discharged from there he was not comfortable with a lump on the thigh, a tight hard lump equal to the size of a bean. The X ray showed that it was a bullet of an AK47. After minor surgery it was removed leaving no scars this time.

(As narrated to me by Lima one – the recipient of the Drakpai Khorlo, my course mate and a friend still serves in one of the corners of the country, fit and fine and going strong. Never think that I m not paying attention to you when you are talking to me okay charlies.)

After finished telling me the story I joked that the wounds on the back means that he was running away, which strained our relation a bit. I did not mean to demean his effort. In today’s scenario a bullet can come from anywhere and one can get injured anywhere.

To make up for the crude joke, I write this for you mate.