As Danisha Raheja would parade through the corridors of Asser Army camp, a pandemonium would ensue amongst the newly promoted sergeants. Danisha, a major sergeant , known to be a tough task master, was the iron lady who would make the sergeant trainees sweat in the camp.
Her 5 ft 8 inches body was a temple of indomitable spirit and alluring looks. Yes, Danisha, a Valkyrie of sorts had curves at the right places; she exuded panache as the juniors didn’t know whether to salivate at her beauty or to succumb to the tough training that they had to undergo under her.
Vikram Singhania, one of the newly promoted sergeants, found it really hard to brush off the attraction that he felt towards the major. To no avail because as he tried any overture, it would be crushed by the warrior princess. This month, the sergeants had to accomplish some scary feats to get the red bands which will make them combat specialists.
As the sergeants stood firm in a line, Danisha marched along them with her stern face and piercing eyes.
” You boy… You are a hero.. Ugh.. Come here. Hold this gun.And you, Hamish sprint to the target that you see 25 metres away. Yeah the chikni chameli cutout target. Stay put beside it. “she said, lugging Vikram’s hand and plonking the pistol in his palm.
” Now.. boy”
” I’ve got a name, ma’am “
“Oh! So the casanova talks too. Mind you. You are my junior. Bite your tongue and shut up. Aim at the target and shoot the chikni chameli, but beware, if you unleash the shot with your shaky hands, your friend Hamish’s skull will blow to pieces. ” she said giving a curt glance at Vikram.
” Oh.. No. Ma’am. I don’t want to be killed. I’m getting engaged next month. Ma’am.” Hamish hollered as he moved like a fidget spinner near the target.
” You all will be combat specialists in the future, to be deployed in critical ambush situations. You have to be ready for any exigency. Am I here to fool around with you stupid minions who are so faint-hearted. Vikram. Aim. Hit the target.” she screeched as the other boys looked in horror.
“Yes..s.. s..I will “
“Straight. Firm hands “
“I can’t see.. the target.. ma’am.. No chikni chameli.. ma’am “
“Cmon.. Chikni chameli is a traitor. Kill her. “
“Ma’am.. I can not..no see chikni… I.. I see Hamish”
” Okay.. then.. Kill Hamish”
“Oye.. No ma’am.. My engagement.. “Hamish screeched, pissing in his pants.
Vikram’s hands shook like a man stricken with Parkinson’s disease. Yet, he shot. Danisha foresaw that the bullet would end up hitting Hamish’s skull so she bounded up to Vikram,lifted his arm up to evade the shot hitting Hamish and Bang.. The bullet sprang out like a demented soul in the air with an ear splitting sound. The impact was such that Vikram fell on the ground while the boys cowered down in fear. Hamish who stood near the target was blabbering chants imploring the gods and goddesses to save him.
” You all scaredy-cats. Shame on you. During ambush situations, your position will be seriously compromised if you all don’t pull up your socks and train harder. Sweat it out now, or bleed in war sergeants. ” Danisha’s resolute voice resonated in the Asser valley. She motioned her team of trainers to set the course for the second aspect of the training which was the endurance run. It would be a route march where each sergeant had to bear weights of 60 kgs and run for 80 kms. It is one of the toughest training where sergeants are exposed to humiliation, sleep deprivation, exhaustion ,mental and physical torture.
The boys were handed over truck tyres weighing 60 kgs and were asked to run up to Jingli village which was 80 kms away from Boshir where they were now.
” The amazonion is going to suck our blood. Who’ll say by looking at her that she is so diabolic.” Shorrey said as he tugged his tyres over his body.
” The vixen will surely burn in hell. Her looks only deceive. She is here to make sure that we die. How can she assign such precarious training to us? ” Jackie muttered.
” Don’t say a word for the woman. You all know, I’m smitten with her.”Vikram said with a drawl. ” She is the Greek goddess Aphrodite. Have you seen her million dollar smile? “Vikram avered.
” Yeah.. And she’ll give you million dollar lashes with her whip on your buttocks. ” Jackie chuckled as he adjusted his tyre. Laughter rang in the air and the tensed situation diffused a bit but the happy spell did not last long.
” Boys.. The next twenty hours, all you have to do is to lug these tyres and reach to Jingli village and let me pronounce a caveat – you’ll not sit, you’ll get sparse water, you are not supposed to speak except hail the war cry and you’ll not get sleep. I hope I’m clear.” Danisha bellowed . She motioned the sergeants to march forward.
“These tyres are humongous. I can’t move an inch let alone walk all along 80kms. ” Hamish blabbered.
” I’m already having excruciating pain in my knee, how to lug along these Thanos knees ” Jackie said stroking the tyres.
” Cmon let’s try “, Karim one of the sergeants said” I.. I don’t know why they are taking this route?.. They want to kill us or what?” he uttered.
“What are you talking about ?” Vikram nudged him while losing his balance and plonking on the muddy terrain.
” NO SITTING ALLOWED. BE FAST ALL OF YOU LAZY BUMS. AND REPEAT AFTER ME THIS WAR CRY – WE ARE FIERCE, WE ARE FEARLESS, WE’LL RIP YOU APART IF YOU CREATE A MESS” Danisha hollered.
” I.. I tripped ma’am. I’ll be careful .” Vikram said in an ingritiating tone while getting up and trudging forward.
All sergeants parroted the war cry and clomped on the uneven terrain.
” What.. What were you saying Karim? Tell.. Tell us. What’s wrong with this route? ” Jackie questioned as he huffed and puffed.
” What.. can be wrong with the route. Right now, our fate.. fate has wronged us. ” Hamish struggled to speak as his throat was sore.
” Haven’t you heard of Bugga Reech, the dreaded terrorist and his clan? He envisions to see that his milkiyat (supremacy) is established not only in Boshir but also in our country.He has frequently carried out many dastardly attacks in this region, killing sergeants and civilians. Jingli village and the adjoining areas are always susceptible to his attacks. You’ll get to see many maimed people who have survived his atrocities. ” Karim said in a frightened voice.
” Cmon. At least he’s not coming today. I guess braving the onslaughts of his attack would be easier than to carry this elephant foot. ” Vikram said in a complaining tone, lugging forward with all his might.
The sergeants were plodding forward while adjusting the colossal tyres; Danisha adjusted herself on her steed’s saddle and spurred it forward as her troupe followed her on their horses. The clicking of many hoofbeats could be heard from a distance as they maintained a slow pace along the sergeants.
” Buck up. Sergeants, this tortoise pace is not going to work. ” Danisha hollered.
At that time, all of a sudden, ………………..
To be continued…