Among all the segeants, there was a group of six who had become leaders of them all owing to their personalities.
Bakhtiar, a young man in his early twenties, square-faced and stout hailed from Garsola, a small town near Boshir. His glazed ginger hair in a crew cut adorned his skull. Being the youngest in the family of four, he always dreamt of serving the nation. So much so that in spite of facing vehement opposition from his parents who were wary of their son becoming a soldier, he triumphed through tribulations and secured a place in the Boshir army. His demeanour belied that of a calm and composed person as he came across as a brash, rustic person whose nature bordered on being aggressive at the slightest provocation.
Suleman, a tall man in his twenties, possessed an armoured,chiselled physique which screamed of his being a fitness freak and of course, he adhered to a strict fitness regime. He sported a bald look as he was averse to having even the slightest speck of dandruff, if at all he had hair.Hailing from Harnigunj, he belonged to a family of army men and women; his father was a retired commander-in-chief while her mother a retired army doctor. His demeanour was that of a jovial person who made his fellow colleagues laugh at his jests which he would crack during extreme duress.
Girish, a tall, well-built man,in his mid twenties, hailed from Matribhu, had eyes which were deep — an entire eternity could be seen in them. When they gleamed, the ladies in the regiment would miss a heart beat. He was quite popular amongst the ladies, however, he was oblivious of the sheer effect his smashing personality would have on the girls. His demeanor was that of a sagacious and serious person who would measure all options and then keep his stance forward.
Dully, was a short and lanky, twenty year old fellow from Hoshirabad. Garrulous as he was, he revelled in animated discussions about politics and how it bore an effect on the military operations. He was the go-to-guy when anybody among the sergeants wanted to vent out their pent up feelings. Being amiable to a fault, he always made the hapless sergeant, suffering from bouts of despondency, feel better.
Laali, all of nineteen, was the little kid who was pampered by all. Hailing from Boshir itself, he was the local guy who knew every nook and cranny of the place. Here, in the camp, he was having a tough time dealing with the assiduous training and the stringent rules that working in army entails. As he possessed a short and burly disposition, sweating it out in training that necessitated tremendous resilience was proving difficult for him. Suleman had devised a tailored dietary chart that would not only enable him to reduce his weight but also would develop endurance in him.
Somya, the feisty, strong girl in her early twenties, hailed from Jabbar. During her childhood, she would line up all her toys as soldiers and holler commands to them to go to war. Brandishing a toy gun, she would not eat dinner unless she exterminated all her toy adversaries. Her parents knew that their daughter would be a soldier some day and fight for the country’s honour. Their prophecy became a reality when Somya stepped onto the soil of Boshir to realize her childhood dream.
Rabia, a twenty year old girl looked dainty and sultry. However, if anybody would try to challenge her, she would, in a flick of a second, decimate them either by volleying out expletives or by wrestling them to the ground. Her candidness was appreciated by all sergeants who sought her opinions if they were stuck in middle of something.
While at the dawn that day, the sun smirked at the rising moon, as it swayed among the clouds, setting below the horizon, the orange hue in the sky revealing myriad secrets of the tiff between the mighty sun and the icy moon. The sergeants were idling around in their camps as they knew that the next day will bring with it, new nerve wrecking challenges.
Bakhtiar sprinted in the boys’ camp and schreeched.” Cmon boys, it’s time for our Micha, Zorto, Kuchhu, Gashim, Fashun, Lopez, Diraam to perform. Everyone of the soldiers bounced in joy, hurling their vests in the air and cavorting ; after all these shenanigans were a bulwark against the torment of training that they had to undergo day after day.
The lids of the empty oil tanks were corked off. Soon, seven , stealthily marching, diabolic, scorpions waltzed off the cans. They were–to be engaged in a mortal combat–wheezing or scoffing at each other’s sight.
Micha-the terminator, was Bakhtiar’s scorpion who was swifter than the others.On several occasions, it had decimated others to be the winner in the race. Zorto- the Greek winged goddess,Suleman’s scorpion, always displaced energy in bursts.
However, it was moody; sometimes it would gallop to win the race in seconds for Suleman, and sometimes it would not budge from its starting spot. Kuchhu- the formidable female backed by Somya, who had dancing pincers, knew the effect she would have on the males. The prying eyes of the other male scorpions who tried to win her attention would be on her. Her theatrics were something that confounded the other males.
Many a time, she would jiggle as if calling out for mating which would distract the other males; scampering with all her might she would then finish the race with aplomb and be a winner. Gashim- the floppy head, was all squashy and squishy. No matter how much Laali would egg it, it would be like an ascetic involved in penance.
It had no avarice, possessed no wish to compete with others. In fact, it wouldn’t even look at the drop dead gorgeous, Kucchu, let alone winning a race. Fashun- the stinger, bore an infuriated look always and would swish its venom-injecting barb at the slightest pretext. Dully had gained expertise in handling the stinger. In the races, it had a propensity to meander from its track to sting the others.
Dully, however was adept in controlling it and in some instances, it had won some races. Lopez- the calm and composed one, Rabia’s protege, was very focussed. It had won some races in the past, only when Kucchu was not in the track beside its. Diraam- the hiccup one, Girish’s pet, never had won a race.
He would sprint and then stall- just like a hiccup does- again sprint and stall in his racing trajectory. Alas! His halts would be always longer than its sprinting, so the outcome was that it always lost the race.
So, all the scorpions, after feasting on scrumptious beetles, were ready in their tracks. All the men and women soldiers gathered in the open yard, adjacent to their mess area. Having eaten their dinner, they decided to have some adrenaline-induced-scorpions-competition. Like always, Lali entrusted the sacrosanct duty of motivating his Gashim to Daniel, one of the sergeants, as his expletives-laden commentary during the race was the icing of the cake and enjoyed by the spectators–other sergeants.
” Somya, my dear, allow her highness – Queen Kucchu to show her moves. Let the motherfuckers males salivate for her.” Lalli screamed.
” You cuntsucker, Don’t holler instructions just carry on with your crass commentary, you ****” Bakhtiar screeched bracing for the race.
“Bakhtiar, my bro, throwing expletives during the race is my prerogative ****” Lali guffawed. ” And the arsesucker race starts NOW.
Micha, Zorto, Kuchhu, Gashim, Fashun, Lopez, Diraam stay put at the starting point. At that moment, each owner nudged his/her protege with sticks.
” Kucchu has started seducing the bastard Lopez and sonofabitch Micha” Lali swiveled his head towards his Gashim
” Daniel, poke the arsehead Gashim.”
” He doesn’t budge.” Daniel quipped.
” And the horseshit Gashim sits on his butt.”
In the meantime, Fashun, leaving his track, scampered on another mission- a mission to sting others.
” Dully, keep your shitass Fashun in control. It’s trying to sting my beauty, Kucchu.” Somya puckered her lips.
” Zorto replicates our twat Suleman. It is busy searching for the abominable dandruff in his pincers, so he’s lost the steam. It has given up already” Lali remarked.
All the sergeants were cheering for Lopez, Micha and Kucchu while Diraam, the hiccup one, was hiccupping and saving itself from Fashun.
” God knows, why Diraam behaves like an inebirated goon. Only hiccups are its dharma, I guess. Believes in nothing else.” Girish shook his head in displeasure.
” But look at mine. It’s racing like a bolt of lightning. Oh, my Lopez.” Rabia squawked.
No sooner had Lopez, Micha begun to win than Kucchu jiggled her princers. Lopez and Micha stopped in their tracks, mesmerized by the beauty. Kucchu, looking that the admirers are dumbfounded by her antics, scampered and won the race.
” The beauty wins. The beasts lose. Motherfuckers Lopez and Micha have proven that males are bastards.” Lali pranced around throwing his arms in the air. All the sergeants lifted their mugs overflowing with soft drinks. Clanking the mugs, they broke into a celebratory dance.
” What the ****? My Micha was winning.” Bakhtiar was shouting like a demented soul.
” Bakhtiar, my Kucchu never fails me.” Somya sputtered while she danced.
” Lopez is a pain in the arse. I should eliminate it.” Rabia fumed.
“My Zorto, sits on its fat ass. I literally feed it with the fattest beetles. No beetles for you now.” Suleman bellowed.
“Yes, my Diraam will also be deprived from his beetles. I’m sick of it.” Girish said , clutching it and shutting it in the empty oil tank.
While everyone of the sergeants was engrossed in the animated discussion, Major Arya had come for his routine round. But, today there was a change. Someone else accompanied him too.
” What’s this going on?” Major Arya thundered.
All head swivelled in his direction. The sergeants saw Major sergeant Arya and Danisha, fuming.
” It’s 9:30 pm already. You all need to be ready for the training sessions scheduled at 2 am.” Danisha hollered walking with firm steps in front of the sergeants who were now, in a line.
Some scorpions were still ambling around oblivious of what was transpiring around. Danisha’s eyes fell on them.” Good Lord. You all play with scorpions. Do you know that if they bite you, you could be court martialled. Now, the owners, move your asses and take hold of your scorpions. Keep them back where they belonged.
Bakhtiar and the others sprinted, gingerly picking up their proteges, dropped them in the empty oil drums.
” So, you all revel in playing with dangers. That’s great. Tomorrow, I will like to see how you all flirt with dangers.” Danisha said in a firm voice. “By the way, I’m Major Danisha. I’ll be responsible for your training, here on. I have shifted my base to the camp. I’ll be staying with you all, in the cottage that you see in the right.” Danisha said, pointing her finger to a modest cottage among the many, snugly ensconced on stilts in a corner in the camp.
“See you all tomorrow. Girls off to your tents now and the boys, have I to invite you to sprint to your tents?” Major sergeant Arya grunted.
All the sergeants scurried from the scene to their tents.