Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Pratap Talkies -- Adolescent Fatiques (Part I)

Claimer: This is the dream I had last week, and I was able to remember a lot of details. This story is what I call "dreamy fiction": untouched from my dream. I did not doctor any of characters, they all came with their own package.

I am a very young soldier in the Sri Lankan army recently transfered to one of the front line outposts. My commander introduces himself and shows me the weapons depot. The building resembles my grandparent's house in Madras and that immediately makes me eerily comfortable. I think that the army must have moved into an abandoned house! The weapons depot is not too big because the weapons here are only light armaments, and no heavy artillery. There are some impressive M16s and that is surprising because the American M16 is quite expensive and I was not aware that the Sri Lankan army would have enough money to buy those. Maybe I need to send orders to bring more firepower in here. While I am not too keen to meet and socialize with the other soldiers who were quite busy themselves, the number of soldiers themselves were too small to defend a front line position.

I was not issued a personal rifle before getting transferred, and getting used to my rifle is quite important. I take my time to select my rifle. I see the rack and the famous M16 attracts my attention and I pick one to examine its age. Just then a jeep screeches to a halt, in front of the single story building, and I could see that it is the Tigers are here! Already! An ambush! Fuck man! I was trained to use M16 rifles but right then, it seems to slip away. There are two other soldiers who are holding their rifles and they become alert. After about 5 mins, since I do not hear any shots being fired, we gingerly head out, and the Tiger jeep was taking a wide turn leaving the compound. "Get ready for battle tomorrow, we have to hold this fort!", says my commander, who had received this information from the Tigers who had come. Why would the Tigers come and tell us about it? Wouldn't it be better for them to ambush this post?

While I was thinking about all this unnecessarily, I realized that I am still in military fatigue but completely unarmed - A perfect sitting duck for tomorrow. I rush back and decided to get ready. I chose an M16. For a forward post, the place was low on ammo. I could get my hands on only one magazine. But, there were many grenades. I took 2 and dropped them into my pants. I really felt the need for a pistol. The problem is, the post is in the middle of a forest and since the number of soldiers are low, we would require a lot of fire power to keep the enemy at bay. But since I had only one M16 magazine with 40 NATO rounds, there really be some close combat. I missed my colt.45. The M16 rifle is cumbersome to fight with in close combat and the grenades are completely useless in close combat unless I had decided to kill myself. I was not planning to die.

The next day, and the munitions were empty, I guess all the other soldiers must have loaded themselves. I decided to stay in the same building. And the tigers came. In swarms. I could not see the numbers because I was not in the exits of the building, and I could only hear the sounds of the tigers coming in the jeeps. I was now in the rifle room, along with 2 other soldiers. I could hear single shots being fired, but no automatic fire. The are footsteps nearing my room and the three of us are holed up with our rifles. Was the building already taken? Crap! I curse the lack of a pistol, and decide to spray the entrance of the room with bullets, and empty my magazine. There was no need to aim, just hold at waist and squeeze the trigger and sweep. Did not have any idea how to proceed after that. I decided to switch from semi-automatic to automatic fire. I change the lever, and the stock comes off. At the sight of my rifle dismantling, I start shivering, because I could hear steady footsteps of a about 3-4 heavy boots coming towards our room.

Just as I was thinking what to do, I see a hand lob a grenade into the room. With no time to think I just pick that heavy thing and lob it back. I was already, holding my head to prevent my ear drum from tearing, which I was not sure because there is a live grenade in to building, just outside the room which was going to explode in the next couple of seconds. While I was bracing myself for the explosion something even worse happened. There were three more hand grenades thrown into the room! There was no way I can throw them all back, and since the first one that I threw back did not explode, I had no option but to get out of the room! I thought about the other two soldiers staring at each other trying to think of something to do, when I throw myself outside the room and roll to a corner! When about to hope for the mercy of the Tamil Tigers, there were 3 soldiers in the tiger fatigues laughing at me, in the corner waiting for a something to happen. It so happens all the 4 grenades were fakes, and would not explode. I felt as though I wanted to throw my own grenades at them, but did not really know if that was needed.

We three were taken prisoners. There were no casualties. It was a walk in the park for them. We had given them no opposition. Shamefully, I was happy that none of us were hurt.

To be continued...

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2 Comments:

Blogger The Visitor said...

My, my that was fantastic kid. LOL.
Waiting for the next instalment.

PS:I came here to see if you'd done the arty's tag. How about it?

Tuesday, April 17, 2007 at 6:45:00 AM CDT  
Blogger iamvisheshur said...

hands up!!!!!!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007 at 10:14:00 AM CDT  

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