Reflections on War

 Oh, yes, dear friends, you have enjoyed the war movies very much.  You were choked with excitement when aeroplanes penetrated through the roof of the word feats while still high in the sky.  You could not but appreciate their accurate aim and you shouted and applauded when they hit the enemy hard.  Suddenly you were gripped with fear when they were chased by the enemy planes but had a sigh of relief when they escaped and destroyed those messengers of death!  You certainly were filled with awe and wonder when the submarines tore through the breast of ocean and went deep down.  You were thrilled by their spying on the enemy ships and admired their constant vigilance on enemy’s every single movement.  You have watched with an air of fancy, the aeroplanes taking off from the warships amidst the ocean.  You have, to put it in a nutshell, feasted upon the wonders of science and technology!

I also saw all this along with you.  For me also these miracles of science were precious.  I also thought with the pilot, where to hit first.  But dear friends, suddenly,  I was taken off the shoulders of my imagination and put face to face with reality, the hard, cruel, painful and bitter truth !  I could not control myself any more.  There, at that moment, remained my own personified self with a heart turned into battle- field filled with two strange forces.  There was a fire on own hand, which touched the skies and on the other a filled of tears, a flood which slowly became a sea and then an ocean!  Ultimately there remained only the ocean which had covered every thing even the whole earth! 

I discovered that I was acting like a child who “has innumerable small toys and becomes happy when they run, dance or fly.”  I was being taken in by the outer show of things and was completely ignoring the hard reality of things.  I was so enchanted by showmanship that I even did not take any notice of Man who is the supreme creation on earth!  So much so, man for me became a part of machine and his emotions had no value for me. 

How forceful this realisation was! I found a new vision- a vision which showed me the real position of man in this horrible drama.  I became conscious of the miserable condition of men who had no alternative but to die with the sinking ship, who can feel the sufferings of a man whose clothes had caught fire from a bomb blast and who was rolling from one side of the room to the other crying for help.  Who is going to help him when  all are running for their own lives ? What about a pilot who came to know that his plane had caught fire and that he had the only choice either to make the plane his grave or to jump from the burning plane and get his body smashed into pieces.  Another step further – what if I have my legs blasted and I drag myself- a Bundle of blood and dust to escape the enemy.  What about being caught by the enemy and made to eat your own organs. – Oh, no, it just cannot be possible! I shake myself well.  I want to dismiss all this as rubbish or as a dreadful nightmare. 

Still caught in this coma, I captured the face of a woman.  It was certainly a very gloomy face ; she slowly came near me and I knew her to be History.  She told me that what I had seen was true and were not just my vain imaginings.  “It was, of course, bitter,” she said and continued, “and truth is often stranger than fiction.  What you have seen is but a very small portion of huge truth.  Be brave and face ii.”  She disappeared with these words but the futility of war became manifest before me after this.  I calculated the energy, the money and the time which is uselessly spent on war.  I found myself faced with great destruction left after wars.  In it, there were the woes of widows and the cries of children who were hungry and homeless but no one was there who could meet their demands.  It was a colossal massacre of humanity. 

It was at that moment, the fire of prejudices in my heart was put off by the flood of tears.  There was no feeling of revenge.  The ingenuity of human thought came home to me.  How often, I realised we think ourselves to be right while we are in the wrong.  I determined to become a worshipper of reality.  I thought that I would stand against false prejudices, hatred and injustice which ultimately lead to war.  I resolved – as I think you must also have, to spare no efforts to created love and amity and unity amongst mankind and finally I decided to wage a war against war. 

“War is not a life : it is a situation,
One which may neither be ignored nor accepted,
A problem to be met with ambush and stratagem,
Enveloped or scattered….”
(T. S. Eliot)