The war ravaged landscape was filled with remnants of empty shells, demolished houses, spread against a grey sky. It was unclear, what time it was; but it was, the latter half of the day. And it was in this backdrop, that two children in tattered clothes and disheveled hair stood quarrelling as to who could have carried the butter and bread loaf, mother had placed on the table, before they went out to see a robin on the edge of their garden well. That was the last time they had seen their house standing…
The sudden flight of fighter aircrafts above their heads, made them stop for a second. Then, both covering their ears, began running to the thicket near where they stood. A broad trunked tree seemed to take them in her closure as the two huddled together, clasping each other, and ducking their heads.
Six year old Dilly began to whimper and Taba, tried to console her. “Don’t cry Dilly! I am still there. Remember what Mother said? It is never too late, to find God’s grace. Let us pray for help.”
Taba, Dilly’s elder brother was eleven. The mother and grandmother had been victims of shelling. Their father was away, having joined the resistance against trained and logistically equipped invading troops. As they felt thirsty, tired and hungry, their eyes began to scathe the patch of greenery before them. The shelling in the distance seemed to resound in the air.
Dilly pointed to what seemed to be a shiny piece of metal, protruding from the soil.
With the pause in shelling in the twilight, the two children advanced cautiously towards the object. Closing in, they saw an edge of a trunk, rest of which had been shoved into the recently dug soil.
“What can be inside this ? IT COULD BE A BOMB! “
Both of them stepped back a few paces.
“Well! Well! What are you doing here?” The familiar voice seemed to stop their heart for a second!
The broad shouldered , beaming man with open arms advanced towards them. His smile hid the deep pain that he sought to veil from his children. With him stood uncle Joshua. Joshua worked at the make shift canteen of the army, and helped to reach important confidential pieces of news to the resistance group.
“ Now, that I have found you, there is less worry!”
“Look papa! We have found this”, said Dilly. Joshua signaled ; “Sshh! Donot speak! The area is well surrounded. The trunk was left behind by one of my men. It contains some food, clothes and drink, which may come of help to us.
Joshua and their father, pulled up the trunk and made a beeline to the tree….
The next dawn, four figures stood near the army camp to have their papers checked. Joshua was explaining how his aged father had to be carried across to the hospital on the other side. A pouch was handed which made their passage easy.
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