Monday, 11 September 2017

Minefields


What we see at the surface level differs from what we see going in depth. Israel is a beautiful country, developed many folds comparing to my own country. The directly opposite traffic rules like that if USA always gave me a jolt whenever I daydream while traveling in a car. The population seemed lesser compared to Indian town and cities. Perhaps, people stayed indoors owing to the soaring mercury, touching or crossing 40 degrees everyday. 

There are lots of minefields marked beside the roads, traveling to the no so remote parts. A formidable obstacle system but with no expiry dates. It shows the lack of man power coupled with the fear for the enemy and the urge to hold the ground making defense stronger. But in retrospect, the piece of ground is as good as lost for it cannot be used. The idea must have germinated from crude animal feeling within us - if not mine it won't be yours. 


Large pieces of 'dunam ' and 'dunams' of land lay barren within the markings of minefields.  (Dunam is 'langdo' ) I am having the eerie feelings of connections between two society a world apart, when I came to know about the land being measured in terms of an area that can be plaughed by a pair of bulls in one day - which is 'langdo' in Bhutan and in similar ways it is 'dunam' in israel. It is still a preferred unit of measurement here. 

The mine field are that of mixed kind. Both anti tank and anti personal mine were said to be found. There were many stories of man getting injured straying into minefields. Anti tank mine cannot be actuated by the weight of a man, therefore, it is not a threat to a man on foot, and if it is actuated he will not live to tell the tale. 

Now, I understand the work of lady Diana for the mine affected regions. The anti personal mines can easily blow off the leg of a man and if you are (un)lucky you will survive the rest of the life on one leg or on prosthetics. 

The guys who placed the mines were no more as they were probably dead. And the country responsible for placing the mines in the area control the area no more. It is the nuisance left behind after the bloodshed and wars were long over and forgotten. 

The bush fires, here, sometimes said to have detonated some mines but not all. Comparing to the fires in Bhutan bush fire is nothing but so much of caution is advised, perhaps due to the likely explosion of the mines. 

The olden days mines are crude and durable and remains unchanged. Even when the attitude and the mindset of the people change, when the situations change, when the diplomatic relations change, the mines remain there unchanged 'as constant as northern star' ready to explode and do what it is supposed to do - explode if actuated! Without any discrimination, whether a friend or foe, making the area not only useless but also dangerous, long after the dust of battle settled and people starts to settle down. 

The little barbed wire fence with a red triangles (international sign of mine field) sign is enough to stop and caution people wandering into the minefields. The initial fear subsides after seeing the minefields regularly. It is just a matter of time and impuissance that makes us embrace the odds be it as risky. 

The minefield runs along the highways, the signs and little triangles reminds one to drive cautiously and be in the black topped part only. It would be a tricky situation if, by chance one met with an accident and drive into or fall in the minefield. Getting out of there without stepping in the mine will be like taking a leap of faith. Using prodder a primitive method to move in the mine field would be useless as the ground seems really hard. 

The life goes on with orchards just adjacent to the munefields and settlements right next to the minefield. The children must have been educated early in life about the mines and the danger it poses. 


As for me, I heard about mines pretty late in late in life i.e. When I joined the military academy and only in my second term I was introduced to mines. That's why our country is unique perhaps one country among few which does not have land mines problems. If at all we required to lay mines it should be laid with a kind which self destructs after certain time. Bhutan a Lha gi yul indeed. I am already counting DLTGH (days left to go home) to enjoy the peace, to enjoy fresh air, to see the greeneries, to see the rivers, the mountains and to feel the time running in slow motion. To hear the birds chirping, to hear the stray dog's barks, to play archery and to never have a fear of mines and fear of, from where a next missile or an artillery shell would fall.