That used to be (and still is) the example used while printing a statement for the first time in any programming language. But today, I write this down because I literally want the whole world to know. Firstly, you folks must know this man who has the intrepidity to address the whole world at once, right? This is a soldier standing at the brink of death, who has turned around to wave goodbye and tell his story for the last time. I am stuck in an active shooter situation. It’s some crazy assassin from Pakistan, probably, who just lost his mind again because he wants Kashmir to be a part of his ‘Watan‘, his country. Even if he has a name, it would never reach the news dailies. He’ll always remain “an assassin suspected to be from an Islamic terrorist group”. I do not know if I will still be breathing till the end of this letter. What if a bomb is dropped (it would be the fourth one for the day) on my tent? This letter won’t survive just the way I wouldn’t. What if that bloodthirsty man walks in and decides to shoot the last of the Indian soldiers? Well, this letter would have a blood spray on it (which will probably come from my head) and it will look like the kind of letter you would want to exhibit in a museum, putting on display the final words of an Indian soldier to the world.
I do not know if this seemingly endless war would ever come to a halt. Maybe, a decade from now, and my children would be writing how they lost their father to the Indo-Pak wars. Once, my ten-year-old kid came to me and said, “Papa, why does Pakistan want Kashmir?” I replied by saying that two-third of their population was Muslim. My daughter gave me the best reaction. “Don’t they have enough?! Can’t they leave some for India?” We had a good laugh over it. Later, I thought, we never made Muslims feel “out of the party”, except for the time of independence. But wasn’t that the fault of one man who refused to share his prized and honorable Prime Minister seat with a Muslim? Why make all the future generations to come to suffer?
It’s not my job to give an opinion. My job is to “shoot at sight”. Sometimes, I can’t believe I actually get paid to defend my own country, my home. That’s fine, though. It keeps my family happy, at least. Do you think my wife would be crying her eyes out? Pah! She’s the strongest woman I have ever known. I hope she stays the same, even when I’m not there.
I’m not confident that this would be my last letter to anyone. If I get through this, I’ll just save it for another battle, when I actually die. If it is, dear world, my last battle, know that I still believe in acts of goodness; and coffee.
An Indian Soldier
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