That Dark Night

Written By

Simranpreet Kaur

That Dark Night Enlightened the Soul Loading

There is something within us, that mysterious thing; the heart, which keeps our love and warmth and memories for those dear to us alive.  Whenever I asked him, “how are you?”, his favourite reply was “zinda hain”. I want to tell you of my beloved friend, Tushki, whom the world now knows as Martyr Captain Tushar Mahajan, a ‘son of the soil’, who sacrificed his life safeguarding us from that menace that seeks to devour us all in a single gulp.

Dreams I always relegated as fantasies that have no connection with the real world. I never realized that my dream would turn out to be a premonition. I now feel that yes, premonitions can turn out to be true. It happened just the night before the day I met him. I dreamt! Perturbed by what I saw, I woke up with a start and puzzled over the sequence of events in the dream. Both of us were travelling in that fantasy world, crossing a beautiful lane, driving his car. In the midst of our journey, I heard a bang. Unable to make sense of the sound, I ignored it and decided to continue enjoying the trip. Just then, he made a U-turn. Right in the middle of the road, standing in front of the car, were two dangerous-looking men. They gesticulated to us to stop the car. The moment he stopped the car, they forcibly pushed him out of it. Peeping to check who else was inside; their eyes stopped at me and stared at me for a while. And that erotic male gaze, those drooling mouths… they were distracted from their chief purpose. While they focused on something else, my friend who was standing right behind them managed to take out his gun and shoot them. In a jiffy, he showed them the way to hell. Awestruck by his swift response, I was not only overwhelmed by a sense of relief but also gratitude that he had the strength and wits to retaliate in such a stressful situation.

Next day, when I met him in reality, I narrated the whole dream to him. He laughed at first but then, with a sense of pride, responded that he will surely defend and retaliate against those who bring chaos and disturb the peace in the homeland. I never thought my dream would be a harbinger of the danger that would befall him. Today, when the entire nation salutes his bravery, my heart still sinks in that sea whose sorrowful depth can never be measured. It’s hard to digest his departure, we say, but I think it’s much harder to accept the truth that he will never return. Never will I receive his call or text and never shall we meet again. Fighting against this unexpected truth, I still hope that once, just for once, we converse again and relish those memories which we had made together.

I salute you for the bravery you exhibited at the Pampore attack, with my head held high, though the body still shivers at the thought of the pain that the bullet inflicted on you…and me. My heart regrets the loss of a true, admirable friend who was always there to support me during my triumphs as well as my failures. I just wanted to say, through this piece, that I had a friend for life and will continue to cherish his friendship as nothing changes even if true friends are miles apart. Deep inside, I still acknowledge those beautiful memories that can never be replaced and the charming, extraordinary personality that has now vanished from sight after that fateful day.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Simranpreet Kaur is a Research Scholar in Department of Languages & Literature at Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University, Katra (J&K). Her research is related to the portrayal of women in Indian Cinema with specific reference to contemporary movies. She has done her schooling from Army Public School, Udhampur and Graduation from Govt. College for Women, Udhampur. She also holds a Master of Arts in English from Shri Mata Vaishno Devi University. She has been writing articles for school and college magazines. Besides this, she has also worked as an active volunteer for various NGOs like Vikalp, My Blood, Helpage India, etc.

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