MIDWAY : Shocked and awed

Shubhechha Subedi:

Time and tide wait for none, so swiftly do they move. Years ago I was in some preparatory class where I met lots of people like me; people of my age, people with the same dream that I had. And those dreams were either their own dreams, or dreams they were forced to see.

Amongst those little heads was a very strongly built and good looking, but a shy guy; a guy who didn’t talk much to people in class, but us. He looked sturdy, but inside he was more of a humanitarian. Strangers to friends as we soon became, we were left with memories and each other’s contact address list in the end. And from that list too, a few numbers never got dialled, few addresses never received any mails, and still few remain in touch as always.

Life moved as we chose different fields. And those faces I could see almost everyday were now nowhere to be seen. Months earlier when I was composing emails, my messenger window blinked. Someone with an outlandish nickname that read something like, “Go home tell your mother, for your tomorrow we are giving our today” was trying to reach out to me. It was him, our so called Mr Kind hearted devil! Earlier I heard that he was taking some kind of training for second lieutenant, and that day he told me he was already one! I congratulated him. And we talked about our lives, our progress and achievements. “So where are you now?” I asked him. He said, “I’m in Ramechhap.”

I thought he’d be sitting inside some well-furnished room and chatting. But, I was way off the mark. No sophisticated life, but a life in the middle of some forest, working on his computer and preparing himself for a fight; he was living one of those kinds! A fight? Oh good God, he knows how to shoot, he’s taken people’s lives! That guy who sat next to me, who hardly spoke harsh words or hurt people, is now a fighter, a person who can decide the life of his opponent with a gun!

I went numb. I didn’t know whether to feel good about whatever thing he was doing to make our life a better place to live in, or to feel pity on whatever he had to do. A trained robot, a programmed brain and captured thoughts, but a living being; he had changed. Before I could comment, he asked me to step on his shoes and see things. My vision went blurry; my hands were trembling, I was shivering as I went cold, I could feel the tears in my eyes, the tears of killing the son of my own mother. He was doing exactly that. I asked myself, “Could I?”