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A Telephone In The Bunker

A Telephone In The Bunker

7 mins 482 7 mins 482

The great blue herons were flying high in the sky, squawking loud. That was the only sound Harpreet could hear besides the constant rounds of gun-shots. When he looked down, he could see everything, soaked in red, even his boots. And, that was reminding him of those roses, he had sent to Haryana, his home, three days before. 

There was a deep ditch in the right. And in the left, the bunker was still a hundred meters away. 

The time had come ...and he closed his eyes, a beautiful face appeared out of the darkness. A bright face, looking at him fixedly, anxiously calling him. Waiting for him to come home. Yes, he should have been there, in between her arms, and it was their day. He had never missed this day. Never missed hugging her from behind and kissing her neck. and whispering that he loves her more than anything else. 

This day had always been their day. 

But today it was an entirely different day.

All he had were two bullets left and more than ten militants in the downslope. They were not amateur militants of the valley, he knew. They had been trained and came from the other side of the border.

Hiding behind a giant rock, Harpreet turned to left. The bunker was covered with flapping dark green cloth loaded with brown round rocks. There was also a telephone in the bunker and the bunker was still a hundred meters away. 

"Bastards! Firing like I have an entire army ?" He taunted. 

He took a deep breath as he Reloaded the gun.

Two bullets and ten terrorists!

He kicked a pebble. A terrorist rose abruptly, and as he fired in the air, Harpreet leaned left and shot him right in the chest. He fell down the slope, Rolling, screaming. And then there was silence. They wouldn't strike back as this was their method of fighting. Sometimes they keep firing and yelling like pigs. Sometimes they stay silent for minutes. 

Most of the times, they were unpredictable.

There was another rock before the bunker and it was nearly Sixty meters away. He peeped at the green slope. Still no movement. The great blue herons were loud again up there and crows were also singing the wild agony with them. 

Though the blood was dripping down from his right shoulder and right thigh, It was time to move. 

Dragging his right leg, he tried to run. Pebbles lying in the way made such a small distance, a mile-long journey. 

The hill with hundreds of spikes had become a great hurdle, but these stones were also protecting him too. The bullets of the terrorists were blowing the same stones in the air and forming a cloud of dust.        

Ten metres left now and he hurried, he tried to grab the rock. Now, they started again. Fuck man!

In a moment, a bullet hit his left knee. And he slipped. Fuck! He wanted to yell but he punched the ground hard. However, he kept dragging himself with hands, leaving the traces of red palms behind. 

He grabbed, pulled and managed to rest his back against the rock and then he pulled his legs. He stared at his dusty pant, dust blended with blood. 

Before coming here, Harpreet went to Javed. He was the only friend he ever had in the last five years of his service. They both were in the Srinagar at five February' blast when he, Javed lost both of legs. Harpreet hugged him, bowing down as he was sitting in a wheelchair now. Javed told him. "The only thing I am going to regret my whole life that why the fuck I am still alive..!" 

Harpreet always dreamt of dying in the lap of the motherland. All the way, Javed's words were ringing. And now, when he was looking at his legs, he could feel them too. He shouldn't have been rescued like this. He'd better die here. His dream came true.

But, it was their day. His day and wife's day and he should be in her arms. He looked left. There was a telephone in the bunker and bunker was still forty meters away.

No matter what he does, He would die anyway. 

Against the rock, he stood, Staggering, loaded the rifle...and closed the eyes.

He could see her face under a red veil, smiling, but her laughter suddenly turned into despair. Tears started rolling down her cheeks. What have I done with her? Just two days after wedding, he had left her alone crying in the doorway. He had ruined her life by marrying her, it'd have been better if he had never loved her. Never met her. Never proposed her. And yes it was the day he had confessed his love. From then, this had always been a special day for them. He should have been in her arms now. He should have been home now. He kissed the barrel of the rifle.

He opened his eyes, grabbed the rifle upright. Turned and finally fired his last shot. Without wasting a single moment, he ran. He ran as fast as he could. He screamed. He roared. He ran.

He dived, threw himself into the small doorway of the bunker and skidded in, rasping his back on the ground.

He was gasping for air. Grabbed his injured shoulder in an attempt to stop it from bleeding badly. The scent of blood now suffocating him. His legs were almost numb now as if they no longer belonged to him.

He searched all the pockets of his ragged jacket and took out a blood-stained photo. Wiped it and glared at it. As he kissed her, a tear fell down onto the photo. 

When his eyes fell upon the telephone, he smiled. That small bunker had been his team's control room before they all were killed one by one. They had every gadget they needed, they could call in army office or even at any number, anyone for help. And that's why he came here in the bunker. He wanted to call before he dies. Although, they were not allowed to use any of the gadgets for their personal use while duty. But duty? He had done everything that he was born for. He lived for that. Now, he was dying and he had to call her.

Harpreet smiled and put the photo aside.

But first, He crawled where the weapons were kept. He opened the box and picked up two grenades and placed them in the jacket. He went to the phone. Holding the phone placed on the table above, he pulled the wire down.

He dialled the number. Only after two rings she picked it up and said, "I have been waiting for your call for five days ... watching all this on TV, I was worried. I thought you were there too. Thank god you are fine. where are you now? Baramulla or still in Sri Nagar ?"

"I.. Right now, I am... sitting at the top of the hill and looking at the blue sky.. and white clouds."

"Hill ? .. and ... and what happened to your voice?"

"Nothing. I've sent roses. You got them ?"

"Tell me, Where are you Preet ?"

"Hey. First Answer my question. You got them ?"

"Yes, In the morning but, are you alright ?"

Then again, they began firing... many rounds at once, so loud that even his wife could hear. "What is that noise? What's happening there? Are the same place....they are talking about ?" She panicked.

"You know.. why I sent those roses ?" He could hear his wife was now sobbing. "You remember six years ago on this .. you were looking beautiful in the red.."

"I remember everything. Please tell me, you are not there." She sobbed.

"You must take care of those flowers .. You must take care of yours. Happy valentine's day my life. Happy valentine's day. I you."

The curtain of the bunker was removed and the long shiny muzzle of the gun slid inside, slowly.

"I love you too." She cried.

The phone slipped from Harjeet's hand. He could hear their footsteps and he could hear his wife was screaming his name Preet. Preet ..preet.. and his name was echoing.. everywhere..all around the world. He could even hear his heartbeats.

They were ready to shoot him and he was all prepared to die. As four of them stepped in. 


The rocky peak looked like a great burning torch in the sky.

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