“Hello maa!! Can you hear me?”, Rudra spoke as the signal strength just gave up on him, again.

Hundreds of miles away his mom still tried to listen to his breaking voice on the phone. She was still trying to understand why every time her son called there was some or the other thing going wrong. She finally kept the phone down after 2 minutes of absolute silence. She knew that she has to wait for at least a week more to hear his voice again.

It’s really something no one can understand as to why a child will always be a baby for a mother. Maybe it’s just how god created mothers or maybe it’s just love at its purest form.

She sat down on her chair thinking about her only son. She remembered the day he was born. A long 4 hours of labor that was excruciatingly near death experience for her yet the moment she heard his cry for the first time, all her tears and the agonizing pain faded away. She relived the moment she first held him against her. How delicate and precious he was to her. The miracle of birth, where a woman intentionally let her body been torn and pushed to the limits only because she love the baby with all her being, is a miracle as at that moment two new lives start. One for the kid and the other for that woman as a mother.

She was still in her thoughts when she heard the doorbell. She went to the door and received a letter. It was strange as in the time of emails someone actually took the time out to send her a letter. The letter was from her son. She was surprised as he wasn’t the letter writing type. She know her son well enough to understand that there is something important that he wants to tell her. She took the letter and sat on her chair. She wore her glasses and finally started reading the letter,

“To my dearest Maa,
I’m doing good here and I hope the same for you. The reception in my area is terrible and is getting worse with the changing weather. I would soon be moving to the forward post so I won’t be able to speak to you for a long time.”

She was sadden as he has already moved to the forward post. She realized that the letter was written atleast a week ago. She continued reading.

“I don’t know why I’m writing this as I never wrote a letter in my life. I guess finally I realize the seriousness of my duty and the danger accompanying it. They have asked us to write a last letter to our family and give it to them. I haven’t yet written mine as I still have few more days to move but still I felt like I should write one for you.”

She kept on reading as a lot of her emotions started to dwell inside her. She was happy sad, at the same time. Happy as she was reading his letter, and sad as he was now at the forward post. She continued reading,

“This is a dangerous place to be as every other day we come face to face with terrorists or cross border firing. Most of these incidents don’t even see the light of the day on any news platform but we don’t complain. I know all these things are scary and I won’t lie to you as I am scared too. I am not scared of death…… ”

She paused as she read the word death. Her whole world seemed to stop for a brief moment. All the memories from his childhood to his adulthood came flashing as they made her eyes a little moist. She was taken over by an unknown fear as now she was afraid of reading any further as she knew her son. He is a true soldier, just like his late father. She knew that if there is a situation where he could save his life or life of someone else, then he won’t think twice before saving the other person. She somehow manage to read more as she wiped her tears and adjusted her glasses.

“I am not scared of death but I’m scared for you. I know in my moment I would do everything possible to do my duty and if anything happens to me you would be left with anything but two tricolor and two bravery awards on the walls of our house.”

She paused again as she realized how much her son’s words resembles that of his father, a war hero who made the ultimate sacrifice before thinking twice. Back then she had her son to live for but if anything happens to him then she won’t have much to look forward to. Her mind was going blank and her body was numb to even think about this unbearable scenario.

“I want to tell you that I will do my duty as expected from me yet I will make sure I return to you. I promise this with my hand on my heart and you in my heart. I know you must be crying by now and just thinking about that is making me a bit emotional too.”

She wiped her tears as if trying to hide it from his letter.

“You are my father and my mother. You’re the person who taught me from right and wrong to good from bad. You’re my greatest teacher and my greatest strength. I know I have my training to support me here but you are there with no training as such and still you have the strength to let me realize my destiny. You are the person that allows me to be a soldier.”

She no longer could control her tears as they made their freefall from her eyes. Each and every word of his letter were making him more and more emotional. Time flew by in a blink as her baby boy was now a mature young man.

“Maa, I am proud of you. I LOVE YOU. I want you to remember this no matter what happens in the future. I want you to be my strength. I want you to be brave. And I want you to hold back your tears because they are my weakness. ”

The last line gave her invisible power to hold her tears back. It’s funny how a woman can tear her feelings out yet when it comes to resisting it for her loved one’s sake, she won’t think twice. The letter was almost over as she finally read the last four lines.

“I would be your son till eternity and that’s my promise. You take care of yourself for me as I will return to you before you could even say my name twice.
Love you.

She smiled.

Rudra”, she called his name once.

Rudra”, She called his name twice as her gaze went towards the door but there was no sign of him as of now.

***THE END****

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