Of the Red Roses and Blood...

Had scribbled this one for one of the story writing competitions conducted by the Infosys - HRD. The story speaks about the mind and emotions of a soldier.

I woke up early on Christmas morning and couldn’t believe my eyes. There were no soldiers on the road, no tanks and guns, no sound of bombings. After 5 long years would I have a real Christmas… I wondered. Yes it was 5 years ago that it all started, when my world came crumbling around me. My life had changed entirely since I had joined the Army. I rubbed my eyes and tried to find my way out. A wave of cool breeze splashed on my face as I moved out of the tent. I could see the traces of snow still decorating the small tree outside my tent.

“Aman Singh!”, I shouted after I learnt his absence in my tent.

I tired to recollect the memory of the last night but there was nothing I could remember. I looked at my watch which showed quarter to six. It was still dawn and not even the early rays of light were visible in the snowy sky.

I looked around as I walked out of the tent. I could see a couple of tents out there calm and quiet. I moved towards one of the tent trying to explore the situation and peeped into it. I could see Major Shishupal sleeping peacefully like a small kid. I didn’t dare to wake him up and returned back towards my tent.

“Merry Christmas Raman!”, I heard a voice from behind.

Surprisingly I turned back and saw Aman Singh walking towards me with two strangers. He had a sparkling smile on his face which resembled a smile of an angel.

“So finally you are awake?”, Aman asked.

“Yes!”, I replied in astonishment. I looked at the two strangers. They didn’t seem to belong to the area within the line of control. And before I could think more or react to the situation, Aman started introducing them.

“Look today we have two very special guests among us”, Aman said.

I could notice the enthusiasm in his eyes while he spoke. I stared at them from head to toe. They were dressed in typical Arabic outfits with a black turban and a long kurta which extended below their knees. One of them had a small bag hanging on his shoulders that looked quite worn out but the way in which he held it made it seem to have a very special significance for him.

“They have come here for us from across the border. But don’t worry! It’s not what you are thinking Raman. They are our friends”, Aman continued.

I looked at Aman unable to speak a word. He stood there smiling. His serene face tempted me to believe his words. I turned my eyes towards one of the strangers who was now smiling at me.

“Hello Raman! I am Wasim and this is Javed, my friend” the stranger said.

I looked at the second stranger who was now nodding at me with respect. He was searching for something in his bag and took out a small bouquet of red roses and a sweet box.

“We are here to greet you this Christmas and pass on our goodwill to you all”, he said as he offered me the small bunch of roses and the sweet box. I looked at Aman trying to seek an explanation for this gesture.

“Yes, accept it Raman. It’s just a gift with some good intentions”, Aman said trying to convince me.

“Merry Christmas to you too”, I said as I smiled back at them and accepted the gift.

We placed a wooden cot just out of the tent and asked our guest to have a seat. The cool breeze was enchanting our minds and the atmosphere seemed to be filled with the warmth of friendship.

All this was still unbelievable for me – probably I was never accustomed to receive roses from strangers or at least from those to whom we call enemies. But Wasim and Javed were our guests - the only reason why they were special was that they belonged to the land beyond the LOC.

But this was not the matter of concern now. We kept on talking – on various topics, our cultures, our countries, about the mountains, the valleys and the winter. Soon to realize that they weren’t our guests anymore – they were old friends. We laughed and shared jokes which made us forget the past and the future. Aman baked some beans on the fire for all of us as we kept enjoying them while we talked.

It was late dawn by now and we could see the sun brightening in the east – melting down the snow of fear and anguish which was gathered over the darkness of the night.

“Raman!”, I heard a scream as I opened my eyes.

It was Major Shishupal waking me up. I stood awake gaining my senses back to the reality. I looked outside – the enemy had started the bombarding from the other side of the LOC and the atmosphere was filled with the cries, the bullets and the roaring tanks. I must be dreaming, I thought.

“How can you sleep this way and evade the revenge for the sacrifice of Major Aman Singh last night?’, Shishupal shouted.

That brought me back to my senses. There were no roses around but their colour was spilled around everywhere in the form of fresh blood. I thought of my dream which was still green in my mind – this reminded me of those guests to whom to kill I was appointed here.


  1. surreal in every way... a work of art.. as always...

  2. it's gud as a work of art, but real life doesn't allow people to be so easily accesible or shd i say to be fooled by none other that the ppl from the other side..