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This is a short story keeping in mind the sacrifices and perils our armed forces and their families undergo, most of which go unnoticed in the civilian world.
Four year old Nyssa was playing with her bunny Troy, a white toy bunny with shades of brown. It was a gift by her father, the previous Christmas. It looked at her with its deep black eyes as she softly whispered in its ears, “Hush, hush, Troy! Papa is coming home!”
Sarah Jane stared blankly at the ceiling as her new born was sleeping peacefully next to her, oblivious to the effect the sudden twist of fate had had on him. She then called out to Nyssa and hugged her tight. The tears flowed. They won’t stop.
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Shirley Tomas placed the rosary beads back in the drawer. She had held them in her hand long enough since the dreaded phone call 9 hours ago. She prayed for a long time. Her heart failed to accept the truth even as her mind came to terms with the fact, that she could never relive the phone conversation with her son, about a day ago. And then, a tall man appeared next to her and said, “It is time.”
There was a big crowd that had gathered outside the villa of Retd Brig Benji Tomas. The old man stood at the entrance of his two storeyed villa. His face was expressionless, as always. His mustache was neat and trimmed. His rimmed spectacles made it hard to look into his jet black eyes. He stood tall, impeccably dressed in a white shirt, striped scarf, brown corduroys and well polished wellingtons. His wife, Shirley stood there alongside her husband, with glazed eyes as though they looked into another world. Matrix, their German Shepherd stood by as if on guard.
And then, the old couple looked up as a huge army truck came at their door step. The moment was overwhelming. The moment stilled the air. The moment was deafening as, Maj Neil Tomas, the hero of Ernakulam, the son of Retd Brig Benji Tomas had arrived home, for ever.
The lion-heart who had stood by his oath, fought his adversaries with all his might, and took the bullet on himself to protect his comrade, had come home to his family, in a mahogany coffin draped gracefully in the tricolor with a huge wreath resting on it.
Shirley Tomas staggered as the old man held her by her arm, lest she should fall. Her only child now lay there sleeping in that coffin, never to open his eyes again to feel his father’s hug, his mother’s kiss, his wife’s love, his daughter’s delightful squeals and his day old son’s sweet little nothings…”Lord, guide us in our hour of need!”
Maj Neil Tomas had arrived at his final resting place, a martyr. And then, the stars welcomed him…to their abode.
Author’s note: The above is an attempt at a short story from my side, as a testimonial dedicated to the brave hearts of our country like Maj Raghuram, Maj Mukund, Capt Deepak Sharma and many more…who have sacrificed their lives, guarding our motherland.
Image source: Indian armyman with rifle by Shutterstock.
A software engineer in the past, a content writer, an amateur blogger, an avid reader
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