It was the month of October, the weather in the hills was pleasant and chilly breezes in the evening froze the body for a few moments enabling him to sit relaxed and steal an hour to enjoy nature.
Today Manish was very happy. He had been granted leave by the senior officer. He would leave for his home in a couple of days. He suddenly remembered that last time he was home, his little son had demanded a few toys – a pistol, an earthern soldier, a clapping monkey, a drum and a cute doll.
I would certainly bring them during my next visit, he had said while stroking his cheeks and he left this family after gently putting a kiss on his cheek.
He couldn’t go empty handed after all the visits of a soldier are always few are far between. More over he wanted to catch every ray of happiness that would scan and rejuvenate his son’s face at the sight of father & the toys.
Manish had always dreamt of toys in his childhood but his poverished parents couldn’t provide any. Straw, clay, frogs, moon, stars only were there for his fancy and a secret yearning lurked somewhere. The day he got recruited in the Indian army, he was certain that his salary would certainly buy toys and he would relive his childhood with his offspring.
He took permission to visit the nearest market for an hour and bought toylings from a shop, packed them securely in his bag and reserved a seat on the military truck that would take them to base camp at Jammu from where he would board a train.
Lost in filial love, he sat with his comrades in the truck. Just when the truck was crossing a pass in the valley, a loud explosion was heard and the truck caught fire and the bodies of soldiers were torn apart. Some terrorists had hidden explosive under the clods when the CM was holding a rally in Jammu appealing the separatists to cooperate with the government machinery. This explosion in hills was meant to threaten the government.
A rescue team came there after three days as the road connecting the highways was blown off that day and among the torn, odorous, stinking pieces of human flesh lay the toys scattered.