- Army leaving for an unknown destination.
- Landing on African shores.
- First taste of actual war.
- Attack and retreat of the enemy.
- Taking the enemy’s city by storm.
- Night-watch and daily routine.
We were a party of two thousands soldiers when we left the shores of West Pakistan. It was a jolly party. We ate, drank and made merry, little thinking of the horrors that we were destined to face. At night we sang songs of love and happiness. When we landed on the shores of Africa. We experienced the first shock of war. My heart began to throb, my blood began to creep and a shivering passed through all the limbs of my body like lightning. But it was for a moment. Soon we marched to the camp and behaved like brave soldiers.
After some time we were on the field of great activity. The sea was not far from us. The very first night in the camp proved a trying one. We heard sounds of some distant gunshots. Then we were ordered to be up in arms, and had to wake up for the whole night. One night it was my turn to keep watch as a sentry. It was a dark and dreadful night. I heard some droning sound which came nearer and nearer and was on the point of giving warning with my whistle, but I soon found that it was an aeroplane belonging to the Allies.
After a few days we were on the battlefield. In the early hours of the morning we fought a battle with the enemy. It was for the first time that I witnessed such a horrible fight. Aeroplanes, tanks; guns and other weapons of war were în full action. The roise was deafening, the shrieks were heart-rending, and the scene was maddening Bodies of some soldiers were blown up like splinters. Others were struck by bullets and they fell half dead on the ground. And do you know what were my feelings? I had no feelings. My heart became blunt, my mind became blank and my eyes became stark blind. My hands and feet moved mechanically only by force of habit. I can now imagine what it was. It was an atmosphere of tearing noises and echoes. Thanks to the velour of the departed souls that the enemy recreated.
We marched on. Our troops were just behind a tank. We heard a terrible crash and the tank fell into a pit deliberately ting by the enemies. The occupants of the tank were at once killed. But we marched on leaving the task of rescue to a few of us. And the day of storming the city Our aeroplanes hovered over the city and struck terror in the minds of the inhabitants. At last the enemy showed the white flag, suing for peace. We entered the city shouting and singing. All the soldiers of the enemy were rounded up and were sent to the camp.
At night while we were merry-kaing, we heard the sound of a sudden explosion near our quarters. Before we could know what it was, we experienced another explosion and the wall of my room crumbled down. I along with others was wounded and fell down senseless on the ground. We were soon taken to the emergency hospital and treated. From there we were transferred to a safer zone, as healing of wounds was to take some time.
In my zeal to describe the tales of the battlefield, I have forgotten to tell you of our routine life. While on active service we have to reduce our needs to the minimum. Sometimes we have to remain half-awake in the trenches, waiting for some counter-attack. In the midst of fighting, we have no time to take food. Sometimes we take only tea and biscuits. Otherwise our food is substantial though not tasty. Sometimes we do not get a bath or a shave for days together and on being relieved, when we look into the mirror we look like ditty goats.
The life on the battlefield is quite different from ordinary life. You would, perhaps, think that after this experience I would not like to go on the front again. But it is not so. On the contrary I am very eager to join my friends on the field. To us there is no fear of death. We feel there is nothing like fighting. To us fighting is the honey of life. If we rest, we rust.