At the Asser Army Camp
Danisha entered the vast Asser camp, fortified by uniform-clad, armed soldiers who looked stone faced as if they would annihilate an adversary with their mere touch.The camp had high walls like the rising waves, crowned with electric barbed wire fencing all along the periphery. The main iron gate, a mighty and magnificient structure, with cast iron poles, lined up intricately and knitted closely, bearing a bright, luminious board, with Asser Army camp embossed on it, flanked with two embossed humongous elephants. As it opened, like a sea sending high tides towards the moon, it made a majestic creaking sound, of triumph,of glory.
As she entered, she noticed the camp had changed from the time she had last visited. A couple of three-storeyed red brick buildings exerted their dominion, huge garages and stables, facing the parade ground, all manned by army guards atop them. One could also see vast fields where temporary and semi temporary tents were pegged.
At the far end where she was, she saw a couple of helicopters perched on the ground for maintenance. Dinesh was maneuvering the maintenance when he looked at Danisha in a haze.
He sprinted toward her.” Hey..fighter you’re back. It’s so good to see you.”
He caught her in a warm embrace.
” I had to. That’s what papa..sorry commander Abhimanyu Raheja wants and that’s what Vikram wanted.” she remarked.
They ambled toward the ‘ Comandments Room’ which was a cabin used by the lieutenants and majors to devise strategies for recoinnaicance or for warfare.
Jackie and Shorrey who had recently been promoted as Majors were also called for.
Danisha felt strange, her tummy felt gippy. She had many questions clambering for her attention. Will she be able to prove herself? Fear sloshed over her, each wave colder than the last. She wanted to contribute for the well-being of Asser and Boshir. Is she the same old Danisha? But, as her gaze settled on a board which showcased information about Bugga Reech’s probable hide outs, her blood scalded.
“So, I can see, you guys have found ways to eliminate our biggest adversary-Bugga Reech.”she thundered.
” No..Danisha. We get information about him but every time, he elopes.” Dinesh grunted.
” Hey ma’am..good to see you.” Jackie chuckled.
” Ma’am..We have missed you.” Shorrey added.
” You both are the same rank as I now. Please address me by my name. Jackie, Shorrey, how’s it going?” she questioned after they had firm handshakes.
” The latest news is that new recruits have come in. But..but, time has changed now, it seems. We don’t find the jingoism which they should possess for the country. We’ve been dealing with them, but there’s no spark as such.” Shorrey complained.
An army boy barged into the room with cups of tea. Silence gripped them as he, gingerly, placed the cups in front of the group.
“Jingoism is bad. All we need is patriotism. Nowadays, the youth is not ambivalent in their thought process. They need proper guidance to course through life in the right direction.” Danisha said, sipping tea, as it slipped sweetly down her irritable throat.
” The new batch creates a lot of brouhaha; taming them has become quite a task. Pronouncing caveats, on a daily basis by us, has become the order of the day, yet, they fear no retribution, thick-skinned as they are.” Jackie shook his head in displeasure.
” I understand, as you all are aware that I need to shoulder the responsibility of imparting training to them, it will be highly appreciated, if you could, if only you find it appropriate, share with me their background and other details that deem essential.” Danisha pursed her lips in anticipation.
” We have already, as dawn broke, received orders from Commander Abhimanyu Raheja and Right Wing Director Girish Subramanyam, to collate all details about our sergeants and hand them over to you.” Shorrey added.
” If , I’m not mistaken, you both had already initiated the training of the newly recruited sergeants.” Dinesh enquired as he took a sip of the invigorating tea.
” We have been assigned to oversee the rescue operations that are being undertaken by the army in the Naatharu region. We need to be on our toes to ensure that the resurrection is underway.” Jackie remarked.
” Moreover, who better than Danisha to train the new sergeants. After all she trained all of us. No one is as adept as her to show them their rightful places and to create awareness among them for their mission. Until now, they all have been behaving like untamed hooligans.” Shorrey added rummaging papers from his bag.
“Here, take these. These have details deftly annotated, about all our sergeants. Tomorrow, after you would have gone through the papers, we would introduce you to them.” Shorrey handed over the papers to Danisha.
” Okay guys, I, with my team, need to go on a reconnaissance drive in the valley. My iron bird is waiting for me.” Dinesh muttered.
All of them headed towards the helicopters stationed in the runway.
” Is the maintenance over?” Danisha was inquisitive.
” Yeah. When you came, it was almost done.” Dinesh said, wearing his Signature Bayonet, Randolph sunglasses and then sliding his headgear onto his head.
He set in motion the flying horse which was propelled in the air by the flinging wings, generating a massive downdraft of air. The insignia on Dinesh’s arm twinkled as he rose like a Phoenix among the clouds, as Shorrey, Jackie and Danisha saw him in reverence.