Treasure Island

Bashyam Narayanan


Awaiting the bullet


Awaiting the bullet

It all happened like that
I finished my graduation
Not able to convince any of the employers
On my employability
And was roaming the streets
Of my small town

Got introduced to a boy of my age
Who said opportunities were there
For the youth
Provided they prove committed to
What the employer wants them to do

I was sure of convincing any one of
My commitment to duty
Thought it would not be a loss
To give a try
And accompanied my new friend

Things were different in deed
With the new employer
It was not like an office or factory
But had the looks of a religious congregation
A lot inputs on faith
And on the sins associated with non-adherence to faith
It went to the extent of
How to make people forcefully-follow and take up our faith

It did not matter me much
I needed money to take care of the aged parents
Which they were regular in sending
I needed no money to run the show here
As everything and every bit of my living
Was taken care by the people here
No doubt they were really kind to us
But, yes, they were harsh and unkind to
Countries countering our faith
And branding us as fanatic

Days passed on
Religious scripts recited with fervor
And I saw in me a change
Am I turning a fanatic
I had faith but believed that
Real faith evolves and does not get imposed
Once imposed faith turns out not to be
No more such thinking
My requirement is money
And that comes out from what I am presently
Good enough
We were trained in all sorts
War practices
Use of guns, use of grenade and rocket launching
Physical exercises
And war-coded communication systems
I was a soldier at the end of the six months’ training
I am satisfied with my employer
As he was sending money regularly to my aged parents

I am satisfied with my own self
As some of the recruits
Could not stand the training
And had to leave in the middle

I came to know at the end of it all
That we will be deployed in spreading terror
In one of the important and commercially active cities
In the neighbouring country

We a group of four were sent off
By our employer
We reached the city
And were moving around merrily for two days
As we were guided by the communication
We were receiving from our employer over the handsets

The day for attack arrived
It all started in the evening
We were moving with warring facilities
And in a costume of a common man
No one could make out our intensions

We were told to start the attack
So far I have not hit any one fatally
The first shot of mine
Felled a police constable
From a moving train
Exciting it was as within seconds of my aiming at him
He was no more alive
It went on merrily some time
After hitting a boy probably in his teens
I became saddened
Are we doing anything wrong
A question of this sort ran through me
Any way before answering myself
I heard instructions that made me
Go ahead with the act of doing away with lives

Terror-some acts of ours continued
Killing innocent people of
All ages went on
And our sponsor encouraging us
Telling great many things about us
As we are proving warriors of a particular faith

We were running short of our
Warring facilities
And I saw one of our “warriors”
Falling dead to a bullet

Suddenly one after the other
Two other colleagues of mine
Also fall dead
With bullets piercing them
It pained me much
And I was able to feel the pain
Of those who would have lost
Their dear and near in our faith-driven war

Given a chance, I would have killed myself
But that never came
And I was caught alive
Presently kept in a cell
For interrogation

I kept changing my versions of the plot
Expecting help from my sponsor
Which seemed not coming
And I know I was disowned by own people
Leave alone my employer

I am counting days
And cursing myself
For all what all I have done in the name of faith
And I cannot show and demonstrate
The real feelings running in me
I keep posing brave
While mourning inside

I would like to be shot
And dead immediately
Awaiting the bullet

Submitted: Tuesday, December 08, 2009

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