Amongst the bullets

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As a 39mm of AK-47 grazed the air around his ear with a muzzle velocity of 715 m/s, time stopped and he drove into the past, the time where today’s dreams seemed reality. He started hearing the laughter and feeling the rigorous beati11741862_1096131333750207_1809956107_nng of his heart while running away from his sibling. Running, oh he was always good at running, he was the 200m champion at his school and a sprint racer whom people would remember for ages. The firing had now gone fiercer, in contradiction to their anticipation the enemy was more in number and equipped with the most stupendous weapons. He immediately radioed to call for the reinforcements and gave his coordinates, but the cobras would still take half an hour to arrive. Give up and fall back his mind reverberated, “you are the leader and responsible for all the lives here”, but giving up was never an option for him. If he went back now the enemy would get time to run away and he would not again get a chance to neutralize this important leader, he decided to keep them engaged.
It was an unforgiving cold of November when his dream came true and he finally 11715985_1096131397083534_1882229548_nentered the prestigious Quaid gate. Away from his family and dear ones he was to spend two years here. Never had he realized that the upcoming two years would test him to the bones and alter the density of his marrow.

He could not ask of his men what he deemed worthy, he gave all of them a choice. A choice to fight for death and live for eternity or follow logic and fall back to safety. But how could they abandon their leader in such a dire time of yielding. They would stand by him for life or for death. Leading from the front he decided to make his promises true, promises that he had made to the crying mothers, helpless fathers, angry brothers and shattered sisters.

And so, he marched towards the enemy hideouts giving instructions to his men about their positions and to go for the kill. Within few minutes as the firing started he was amongst the bullets as a petal is among the thorns.11128743_1096131387083535_1598936685_n With his flaw proof planning and his men’s resoluteness he managed to clear the first line of terrorists and went deep inside the enemy, now aiming for the head of their leader. But the enemy was too shrewd, they knew if they had him it would dismantle the entire team and make them fall back. And so he started taking fire from all the directions, a bullet passed through his right leg shattering his tibia and piercing through his gastrocnemius and soleus muscles. In an agonizing pain he fell to the ground. But it would not lessen his spirit and urge to exterminate his enemies as he was trained to endure everything and anything during the seven day excruciating exercise of Yarmuuk. In the scorching sunlight and scarce food, carrying 50kg big pack on his back, an LMG and its stand on his arms, he walked and ran for almost 250 km. His muscles ached, his heart pounded but an extra mile would not defeat him.

Regaining his strength and fortitude he returned to the field sending more than 10 foes to hell within 10 minutes. But soon he lost his right arm too as the sniper giving him cover received a head shot. He was now vulnerable, as vulnerable as an injured lion is among the voracious hyenas. He moved to the side of wall t11756541_1096131430416864_690656029_no take cover but the
shooting just would not weaken. His men had now started falling one by one as he remained glued to his position with the ammunition almost empty. Bursts of his SMG and Beretta had all gone dry but the grenades. So behind that wall, drowned in his all blood he waited for the enemy to approach, he could now hear their footsteps as well as the noise of cobras’ rotors. He waited in silence, thinking they would mutilate his body and give him a slow and painful death the enemy approached but he couldn’t let them, as soon as they approached him, he fired the flame in the air to give signal to the approaching helicopters and with a smile on his face and kalma e shahadat in his heart he took out pins from all four grenades and annihilated more than 10 beasts, embracing martyrdom.

They say that in the last few moments of your life, your entire life passes by you as if it was a movie, you can see all the people you loved and all the decisions you took, the times you laughed and when you cried, but what did he see? Were it the smiles on his kid’s face when he would play football with him, was it the promise he made to his wife of taking her to the beach when he comes back, was it the thought of thankless people who haven’t even seen the outside of a battle ground commenting about him, army and all the budget it eats or was it the thought, the calmness that he had succeeded and that when his mother would be presented with the “sabz hilal e parchum ‘ with the tears in her eyes, kissing it she would say, ‘Alhamdulillah, I am proud of you my son’.


Ahmed Ali

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