The True Victory
The True Victory
It was time. Anticipation and anxiousness filled the air. They were checking their weaponry and watching the bridgehead. Suddenly, the army's commander-in-chief ran up to them and handed over to each one of them a horn, while saying, "Blow this when you are about to die, that way we'll know how well our side is doing." "Yes, sir!" The men saluted, with pride in serving their nation etched upon their faces.
In the little group, one member would have seemed out of place but had blended in so well with time that only one thing could distinguish him from the rest: The fact that he was an Indian.
The Indian too, like the others, had evident pride on his face. But unlike the others, he had a past of memories; memories when he was a child living in his Mother Land, India, having the aspirations of serving his nation, yelling, "Mera Bharat Mahan!” wielding his invisible sword high in the air, with his shield defending him from unknown attackers. But the Indian had suppressed all his memories of his Mother Land by secluding himself from her by journeying to a new country having nothing to remind him of his old one.
Strapping the horn to his belt, silently hoping not to be in need of it, he took his position in the British army, along with his fellow fair-skinned soldiers. "Enemy in check if it should be “in” or “at” sight!" A soldier warned, "They are shouting something Sir, but I can't make it out clearly..." "It doesn't matter!" The agitated Commander bellowed. The Indian army was marching closer. The Indian, being curious, listened to what they were saying.
In the distance, fog and mist clouding the sky, the distant cries could be heard. "Bharat Mata ki..." The Indian commander yelled powerfully. "Jai!" The soldiers responded with determination brightening their countenances. It seemed to the Indian as if that single line had united them as one force, Bharat Mata. Nostalgia overcame his stubbornness and he found himself being engulfed in his memories of India - the rich culture and heritage, the fluent Hindi-speaking people...his mind drifted to one of his childhood dreams.
Realizing what he was doing, he focused on the reality - a war between several countries, India being only one of them. He was angry with himself because of the effect of the thought of India had on him. "Charge!" The British Commander ordered. The battle had begun.
After just minutes of sword swishing and blood shedding, the war reached a point where one could tell which side would be dejected and which victorious. The Indian was still fighting. "Ah..." Groaned a soldier nearby and he turned in a flash. The soldier was wounded and was struggling to get up and move to safer ground. From his clothes and weaponry, the Indian's first registration of him was that of an enemy. But the shouts of "Bharat Mata Ki Jai" rang in his ears and finally realization dawned upon him that the greater victory is not in winning, but saving a life.
He held out a hand of compassion to the man. After staring at it for a few moments, the soldier accepted. Seeing the smile of gratitude on the soldier's face before leaving brought a smile to his own. They both saw each other not as enemies of a different race, but as humans bonded by humanity. That smile stirred the Indian's heart and he did not continue fighting. By now, he must have killed half a dozen people like him; people who had genuineness inside them, taken away by a selfish Indian. 'Enough,' he thought, 'enough of these wars.'
He decided that he was going to change for the better. But then, he heard the sound of gun firing through the blowing of horns and he knew at once that the bullet was meant for him. His hand found the horn strapped securely to his belt, and becoming ready to blow it, he let himself get immersed in his memories of India before once again drawing to a stop at one of them: his childhood dream.
'No,' he thought, 'it is never too late to do what is right.' He let his horn and sword leave his grasp. As his surroundings started to blur into hues of red and green, the Indian fell. Landing on the soft earth, he said, echoing the shouts of the Indian army, "Bharat Mata Ki Jai!" By this, he did not mean the victory in war, he meant the victory in dying for his Mother Land. That was his childhood dream, and the true victory.