I am time, I define the pace
I move fast for some, slow for others but stop for one particular class of people
Those are what you call.. POW, Prisoners of War
Army or Airforce doesn’t matter anymore, they are all… POWs.
People celebrate my progress…into every new day , month or year
For those heroes locked up in an alien land, I stop the moment the door of their cell is shut.
A forgotten identity in the eyes of his own country, his existence is denied by his captors.
They fought in wars for their country, now they fight to prove their existence and their walk back home.
Yearning for freedom, some pray for their release while others plan daring escapes.
Those are the luckiest lot who manage to escape, others remain confined and fade into oblivion.
Spending years and decades in confinement, their memory and names become faded, ready to be washed away forever.
The space on the cell walls is much smaller to keep track of the days and nights gone by.
They launched numerous rescue missions for their comrades in war, yet no rescue mission is planned for them.
Every soldier wishes to be buried in his homeland upon their death, yet here they die a nameless POW in an unknown grave.
The news of their death never being born and never travels to their loved ones back home.
I am time, time which seems darker to the families with each passing day.
The country says KIA, MIA yet they linger on the hope of him being alive.
The parents miss their son, yet they have a dream of seeing him alive , one last time before they die.
The wife goes through a dilemma of being called a soldier`s widow and yet carrying the hope that she is not.
The daughter , misses her support system the most for she longs for the strong hands which held her when she felt all broken.
The sister, keeps aside a rakhi every year , for she still prays for her brother`s safety , for all her lifetime.
They come in jails only to find their missing comrades alive , but buried in the sands of time.
Living together, they know the hope of them living together in freedom is a hope which would never materialize.
Red cross, Human rights, Geneva convention…all exist only on paper , for the rules of the prison govern the POWs.
Their presence is always veiled by a black cloth of “ Plausible Deniability ” .
This is me, the time of uncertainty.
The 3 tilted chairs at NDA await the return of the missing comrades, lest they know that those comrades would never return now.
This is me…the time… the time when these soldiers have ben forgotten forever..for no one knows whether they are dead or alive after an era of time has passed.
I am time, for I have seen these POWs die in foreign land and the hope of their release fading…fading with each passing moment.
The story behind this – “ There are still 54 Indian POWs of the 71 war in Pakistani Jails. They were last seen alive in 1988”. This hard hitting true line is the basis for this post about the POWs and its much closer to reality as no country ever acknowledges the presence of POWs on its land, Pakistan in this case. These heroes are forgotten after the war and there are only a select ones who are lucky enough to escape in the initial days or their capture brings media attention. With 1971 there is no media for them, or their release. With each passing day, their bodies give up on the hope of release or escape. They die nameless in captivity. Only the families know the pain.
We at Memories salute each and every Indian POW captured for the freedom we have got by their actions in the line of duty. The world might have forgotten these “lost heroes” but we would always be indebted to them.
* At NDA , at the mess there are 3 chairs which are kept tilted on 3 legs, in remembrance of the soldiers who did not come back and the hope that they would come back one day.
*KIA- Killed In Action, MIA- Missing In Action.
Another post written years back on the same lines (POW) can be read here:
Heroes:Lost in the sands of time Reviewed by Shwetabh Mathur on 10:05:00 PM Rating: