The Patriotic Dilemma

The Unusual Meet

It is a dark night, the weather is cold and Major Abhimanyu is making rounds at the border. He can see similar rounds being made on the Pakistani side. Finally, after 2 hours of round, Abhimanyu pauses and stands by the fenced wood. He hears the sound “Namaskar!!!” He turns and looks at the Pakistani soldier. Abhimanyu feels a bit awkward but manages to say “Namaste”.

“You good name?”

“Abhimanyu…Abhimanyu Rai”

“I am Miraz Ali”

After a pause, Miraz asks “Everything fine?” Abhimanyu feels a little suspicious but says “yeah…all good…so far”

“If you don’t mind…can I ask you something?”

Abhimanyu seriously thought if he is dreaming, that a Pakistani is standing next to him, asking about him and even asking for a favour.

But, he still tried and asked “Tell me”

“Sahab…the Belgami sweets that the Indian Army shared with us on Diwali…I liked them too much…actually I even grabbed some extra share out from the packet…don’t tell this to anyone…but the main thing is can you arrange such sweets for me as they are not available here in Pakistan”.

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On Your Toes

“How’s the Josh…High Sir!!!”

General Rathore shouted while training the new unit. He further said “The intelligence reports are not good. Pakistan is planning an attack on our army base. So, you all increase your rounds and security at the border. Abhimanyu Rai…you will be leading the unit and taking special care during the night.”

Abhimanyu Rai was looking at the topographical map of the area. He was planning the strategy of the army  One of the other soldiers came from behind and asked “Hey man…you’re still strategising…so late till night”

“When you have got such awful neighbours…you ought to be on your toes man”

And the 100th bullet stuck right at the target.

The BOLD Face Off

The next day, again Abhimanyu felt someone was there on the opposite side. As he turned, he again found the same guy Miraz.

“Hi Abhimanyu”

Abhimanyu felt utmost irritated, but somehow responded with a fake smile…”Oh…Hi”

“And…what’s up”

“Fine so far…”

By the way, why are you looking so tense…always on your toes…the situation is calm as of now…”

“As of now…you just said…having your country as neighbours gives no guarantee of the durability of that ‘as of now’…”

My gosh…it seems you are too passionately attached to your duty…what made you join the army…?”

Abhimanyu turned his face completely towards him and said “Why did I join the army? My grandfather was a freedom fighter, he died fighting for the country. My father was a Param Vir Chakra awardee who died during the Kargil war because of you all…since then I had just one motive in my head and that was to serve my country and kill anyone who is standing in my country’s way…and most probably those people will be you and your partners…!!!!!”

Miraz looked serious for the first time to Abhimanyu. He glanced for a while and spoke in a heavier voice.

“Well talking about me…I have no family…My grandparents never really saw PAKISTAN as only their bodies reached here through the train…and my parents too were very eager to leave me, so they got perished in the floods, but somehow managed to send me to a safe place. There is a girl who loves me, named Zara, but I haven’t committed to her because I think I too might die very soon and she will be left distraught. I joined the army thinking if death is near, why not serve the country till I am alive. So…there it is…I am too in the dark here and for a fact, I won’t be killing you.”

Abhimanyu was literally touched by Miraz’s story and felt a little bad for being so rude. No word was spoken for quite a while.


The next day, Abhimanyu came to patrol and saw that Miraz was patrolling on that side. But, today just as usual he has not come for a chat. Abhimanyu felt that Miraz is angry regarding yesterday’s episode. He felt guilty and wanted to break the existing piece of silence and ask something, but something was stopping him. But, finally, he decided to break the shackles. He came near the area Miraz was standing in and asked him “So…what did you eat for dinner…Miraz?”

“Oh hello…I thought you were not on duty today…we had ‘chana dal aalu’ with rice…” and perhaps Abhimanyu was overthinking. Things were back to normal again.

Brotherly Bonding

The situation kept on going like this for a couple of days. Slowly, Abhimanyu too started feeling comfortable and started enjoying Miraz’s company. Throughout their 10-12 hours of patrolling, talking with each other became a daily affair. They would ask about each other’s tastes and cultures, besides how their day went.

They would tell each other, their backstories. The stories of pain and also those of happiness. Despite being in ‘opposite’ uniforms, they had developed a brotherly bonding.

“Whatever sad happened in your life, don’t feel sad now, I am with you,” Abhimanyu would console Miraz

“No need to stay so worried, it’ll take a mental toll on you, stay calm,” Miraz would advise Abhimanyu.

Slowly, as the chances of war started receding, some complacency started coming in the intensity of drills and patrolling. Slowly, Abhimanyu too started feeling that war is not on the cards as of now, or else how would Miraz be so casual. But there was coming the twist in the tale…..

Twist in the Tale

Abhimanyu was sleeping at his camp. There were some soldiers patrolling, but much lesser than what was about two days ago. Suddenly there was a huge blast sound, followed by an intense sirene in the camp. Abhimanyu woke up in a whisker and got hold of his AK-47 and ran out with full aggression.

He saw that a full-blown attack has been started from the Pakistani side. There was a ‘secret’ unit continuously hidden behind rocks and trees, which the Indian side had no idea to take into the calculation. Now, even though the Indian Army had reconciled itself at very short notice, it was getting very difficult for them to all of a sudden present a counterattack. As a result casualties and injuries were being reported in huge numbers.

The WAR is on

Abhimanyu was leading his pack ferociously and every single bullet fired from his gun was reducing the enemy count by one. But, at the same time, he was feeling betrayed. He was pretty sure that Miraz was a trap who came near him just to give him a false impression of the situation. Now, Abhimanyu’s mind is overflowing with all the thoughts and memories of Miraz, their last few days together, and how they helped each other emotionally. But, at the same, his rageful eyes were determined that if he sees Miraz, he will not think twice before hitting the target.

As the fight continued, night boiled down under the rays of the sun. The Indian side too had come to its groove and the Pakistani side was feeling back the heat. Abhimanyu while leading the pack, made a plan to enter the Pakistani unit and dent them from a position, they won’t be expecting.

Within an hour, Abhimanyu was inside the Pakistani side from the opposite side, along with a small unit. He gave the signal to his unit, and soon a couple of grenades were fired on the Pakistani side from behind. As the unit tried to understand what had happened, the Indian unit also opened an attack from the gunfire.

Face Off 2.0

Just as the Indian unit was approaching ahead, Abhimanyu’s eyes fell on…Miraz…injured and reconciling. Abhimanyu had his target right in front and his gun was fully loaded…but…but…it wasn’t as easy as he seemed it would be. Abhimanyu was feeling his hands trembling for the first time in his life.

Just then, Miraz too spotted Abhimanyu. He signalled from his hands as if he wanted to say something. Abhimanyu really didn’t want to talk with him. But, then he saw another soldier from his unit taking a shot at Miraz. Abhimanyu looked around and saw that everybody is busy, he used the chance and jumped on the soldier taking a shot. As both fell down on opposite sides, he said on the mobile device, “There was a bomb at the spot, you go that side, I will come from the other”.

Here, Miraz is wondering what just happened, he had his death right in front of him, but he was saved from the man who himself wanted to kill him initially. Suddenly he felt as if someone has held his head and is pulling him. After two minutes, he was on a separate side. Abhimanyu was pointing his gun over his head

“Abhi…you are fine…the war broke out suddenly…I even thought of somehow cautioning you…but I was stuck and…”

“SHUT UP…JUST SHUP UP…one more crap and this bullet will go right through your mouth…

“What happened Abhi…”

“Hey…you think I am a fool…well actually I am a fool…I thought you are a friend, when in reality you were always the trap, somehow convincing me that the situation is calm…now when we got a little relaxed, you all came up with your real face…huh!!!!!”

“Abhi…I don’t know who told you this shit…but all I know is that I had no idea about any such plan…”

“Despite being on the Pakistani side…come on…I’m not buying this shit”

“But you will surely buy this bullet”, voice came from behind.

Abhimanyu turned back and saw that two Pakistani soldiers have come up pointing guns at his head

“No…no…Abhi…” shouted Miraz.

“What’s wrong with you…Miraz” growled the Pakistani soldier.

“I mean…we should not kill him…let’s capture and torture him, and bring out all the secrets”

“Wow…great idea…young man”

As the two soldiers caught hold of him, he was very sure that Miraz is a TRAITOR.

Suddenly…while his eyes were closed in disappointment, he hears two gunshots. He gets imbalanced as both the soldiers holding him fall down.

He turns and sees that Miraz has shot both the Pakistani soldiers.

Abhimanyu is left wondering what has just happened. He comes towards Miraz and the two look into each other. Not a word is spoken, but their eyes speak a thousand.

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It’s over 10 hours after the fighting started. Now, both sides are tired and in the mode of reconciliation and the war is at a halt.

Abhimanyu and Miraz are sitting at the top of a bunker, adjacent to the cliff.

“Why do our countries fight?” asked Abhimanyu.

“Why can’t we live at peace?” asked Miraz.

“Both the countries were a single entity before the bloody partition of 1947”

“No one literally gained anything after 1965, 1971 or 1999…all we were left were corpses, misery and further hate for each other,”

“Whether it’s the obsession with land, over-prioritisation of the military, or hate-filled politics, only a few people have reaped fruits over everything that a soldier goes through”

Suddenly Miraz stood, “It’s too much now…it’s time for making a statement”

Both of them looked at each other and nodded.

Suddenly, there was too much movement on both sides as something strange. They saw that in a bunker just near the cliff, two soldiers are standing holding the Indian tricolour and Pakistani flag joined together.

The major from the Pakistani side shouted “What is wrong with you Miraz…kill him…push him down the cliff”

“Are you a traitor Abhimanyu…kill that Pakistani”…shouted the Indian General.

But, the two had already made up their minds…they knew that a message needs to be given…so they looked towards each other, smiled and jumped off the cliff together holding each other’s hands.

Both the Indian as well as the Pakistani side came running towards the cliff, but nothing was to be found except the Indian and Pakistani flags attached together.

48 hours later

“The Indian and Pakistani Prime Ministers met each other, shook hands and made a joint declaration of not indulging in any war in future. India will be sending a huge amount of flood relief to Pakistan. On the other hand, Pakistan has said that no intrusion or debate will ever happen regarding Kashmir. The Indo-Pak border is renamed as ABHIMANYU-MIRAZ Border, on the name of two Bravehearts, who changed the fortunes of the two countries and etched their names in history. Now being a Pakistani or an Indian is not a crime, it’s just normal, it’s a thing to celebrate actually.”


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