The next station in my journey was “Mission Accomplished (Over and Out).” Sounds like Forces’ language, right? Right, it is.
My knowledge of the Armed forces and their operations was/is rudimentary, derived from books and movies. I was, am, and will always be in awe of the Forces and their selfless sacrifices to the cause of preserving and protecting our nation. I wanted to express this sentiment and my gratitude to them through this short story.
The story itself was a simple one. A Captain is assigned an important task of blowing away an army fuel and ammunition storage yard of the enemy (guess who). How he and his two junior officers of the team achieve it forms the story.
You are right. What is great about this story? We have read innumerable books and watched innumerable movies on the subject, maybe better ones. My purpose behind this narrative was different from the ostensible one of army action. I have realised long ago that I eat, sleep, and live under the protective blanket of safety provided by our armed forces. Period. As a common man, I do not get a chance to acknowledge this fact and say, “Thanks,” every day and hence, this story. In fact, I made my point directly by the statement of the Defence Minister, which goes thus: “…It is because of your vigil at our borders that we citizens are able to sleep fearlessly and peacefully in our homes across this great nation…We are beholden to you…”
My purpose achieved, I went on to add a twist, a huge twist, to the story. This is based on the key phrase - “…in our homes across this great nation…” - of the Defence Minister’s speech. I brought this out through a name, Alka. I admit to you that this became inscrutable and caused immense confusion even at the draft stage. Even my near and dear could not understand my point. I thought, ‘This is disastrous,” and went on to amend it by adding two place names. Even the amended version was confusing but spoon-feeding was anathema to me; it still is and will always be. The reader is intelligent and smart. She/he must understand it on her/his own.
The story received a modest readership (Reads: 248 and no likes and comments till date). Follow the link I furnished at the beginning of the post to read the story. I hope you enjoy it.
I am a student of Late Alistair MacLean. He is a great influence on me through, what I call his “descriptive prose” and his deliberately paced action sequences. This story relies less on the spoken word and more on imagery and descriptive prose. I sincerely hope that you like it.
Oops…I almost forgot to mention something important (to me, at least).
In this series, I am posting my short stories in the chronological order. I request you to follow the series carefully. It will give an insight on how the writer in me evolved (if at all) over a period of time. Who knows? One of my readers may even find it useful! Unreasonably hopeful, eh?
See you again with my next post. Until then stay safe, folks.