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An Innocent Victim

Updated: Dec 28, 2023

A bunch of soldiers are sent on a covert operation to save a couple of hostages. The soldiers put down a few cowards before facing a peculiar situation after losing one of their own in their mission.

“An Innocent Victim” by Gayatri Sharma narrates a typical situation a few soldiers face that gets them labelled and dismissed rather than be understood.​



This contribution is edited by Edlyn Dsouza, & Sreekar Ayyagari & photographed by Pankaj Tottada.



This short story is available in paperback & ebook.

Cover Photo by Pankaj Tottada

“My brother to my left, my brother to my right. Together we stand, together we fight” read a poster as I walked to the courtroom. It transported me back to the old days when this saying was our impetus chant. We were introduced as the brothers who were destined to defend our motherland and only death could send us back to her abode. In service, we were unaware when we bonded nor were we aware when we parted, but all that we knew was to defend each other until the end.

When I look back, five years ago, the day I arrived at the Officers Training Academy I sat quietly at a bench waiting for my document verification. Although it had only been a few hours since my parents left, I was already feeling homesick. Suddenly I felt a hand on my shoulder and when I looked back, a guy with a lean figure smiled at me and asked me to make space for him. Little did I know that it wasn’t just the space on the bench but a large space in my life as well that Shyam would occupy. Since then, there wasn’t a day that passed by without talking to him.

In the beginning, our family of thirty cadets fought as if there was no tomorrow. We competed in everything and held ranks of hate against each other. In time, with the cross country runs, the morning drills, the afternoon shooting practices, the evening basketball matches along with creative and unforgettable punishments, our trainers turned us into men and we turned from strangers to brothers.

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