War & Peace

War and Peace

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The ear-piercing sound of the aircraft flying too low forced many to people close their ears.

The unlimited sorties refused to halt.

‘Are we at war,’ shouted a man looking up at yet another plane circling above his head.

Others looked at him as if he had gone crazy. 

‘Doesn’t he know, or he isn’t willing to accept,’ murmured someone while walking ahead?

‘Everyone go back to your homes.’

‘No one will step out till the next announcement,’ the loudspeaker roared as people scampered towards their houses.

 ‘I don’t have a house,’ shouted the man, unperturbed with heavily armed fatigued soldiers as they ran past him on an armoured vehicle.

‘Get back to your house,’ the loudspeaker thundered.

‘I don’t have one,’ he replied and remained still.

‘This is the last warning, go to your house, or we will have to shoot,’ the voice was getting tired of this unnecessary hassle of arguing with a civilian.

‘Can’t you hear dumb heads, I don’t have a house, I live here on the streets,’ he shouted back.

‘The armoured vehicle, although a few feet away, still couldn’t hear what the man spoke.

‘This was the last warning,’ the sound from the speaker was surprisingly lower this time.

‘We don’t have a choice,’ someone murmured inside as a long rifle now protruded out of the vehicle, aimed for the man.

He walked back to the footpath and sat there.  He suddenly turned calm and composed even with the gun aimed at him with no fear of death.

‘Stop, stop, stop, stop…..suddenly a young man intervened, pleading as he ran towards the man.

‘I will take him; he doesn’t remember his house,’ he shouted.

The gun remained pointed at the man; least he speaks anything again.

‘I am taking him,’ the youngster announced.

‘Who are you,’ the man asked, rolling his eyes on him, still trying to figure out who this boy was and why was he trying to help him out?

‘I am your son, father,’ he shouted, wanting the soldiers to hear too.

‘Come with me, please,’ he pleaded, as the soldiers waved with their hands to take him away.

Seeing he had moved a fair distance, enough to vanish from their sight, the soldiers continued forward, announcing a sudden curfew.

‘Who are you,’ the man asked again?

‘Human, he replied, as they stood in front of an old, dilapidated small house.

‘Let’s share it till this gets over,’ the youngster announced while moving his eyes and hands around.

The older man shook his head. 

He lost his entire family in a domestic dispute, and that’s when he decided to come to the town.

He never realized he would become a refugee in his own country.

‘Want to have soup,’ asked the youngster.

The older man nodded his head.

‘What’s your name,’ asked the old man.

‘Nubreu Elitasek’, he whispered.

‘What’

The older man’s eyes suddenly stretched large and wide, while his body froze for a moment.

‘He is my nephew,’ he suddenly realized.

Nubreu’s father killed the older man’s entire family, after which he did the same to his family, barring the little boy who offered him bread as he came out of the house with blood in his hands.

The bread spared him that day.

And he was saving his life today.

The old man stared at the ground, unable to decide if he should live or die.

‘Here’s the soup,’ Nubreu returned with the soup and a large slice of bread in his hands.

‘Let’s eat,’ he gestured as the old man’s eyes suddenly dried up.

‘I should have died that day,’ he thought while sipping the soup and taking the first bite of the dried bread, staring blankly at the rustic wall.

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