The ticker scrolled out the news. It moved in an endless loop accommodating the criptic mention of the Army Jawan Killed among the many more other news, in its limited loop cycle. The news anchor smartly read out the essential details in keeping with the constraint of time of the bulletin. The names, the incident, the politics summarised the news with stark principle of brevity.
His shining shoes were worn ankle length. The laces were neatly pulled over the loops and the knot tied at the top. His attention was preoccupied, to notice the political slug fight on the news channel. He was careful to be immaculately turned out. He wore the camouflage jacket and adjusted his medals proudly as they gleamed on his chest. He wore the cap, adjusted the badge and was ready to go. He was going to lift the heaviest load today. He was to carry his martyred buddy. The pictures on the TV screen barely identified the person. The visuals were blurred to avoid discomfort to the viewers.
There was no slouch as he joined the parade. He alligned himself with other five, designated to be the pall bearers of the mortal remains. He like the rest, was there by choice. He had lost a part of him, as did rest the boys of the unit.
As the wooden coffin was lifted and placed on the shoulder, the edges pressed excruciating on the skin. The hurt was far more graver in his heart. He was the closest to the brave martyr, therefore possiblly he felt the load of his friend’s mortal remains, heavier.
He alligned his steps with the rest of the pall bearers in the soldierly conduct. The face stern and expressionless. The trickle of the tear which managed to escape his stony eyes, merged inconspicuously with beads of sweat. The buggle sounded the last post and the gathering raised their hand to salute the brave heart. As the mortal remains moved on, on its last journey, the gathering erupted with the resounding cry of JAI HIND.
The sacrifice of the brave soldier was not in vain. His passion and love for the country had multiplied in the ignited passion, in the hearts of his brothers in arms. The coffin had turned lighter. It seemed as if, the slain martyr lived on, in the heart and spirit of every gathered soldier.
The gathering dispersed. They went on to do their job. Not what they are paid for, but what they are meant for…To shed their last drop of blood for the country.