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At the Range

Updated: Sep 7, 2023

By Sahana Sundar

Founder - Spark Igniting Minds

I looked out of the window, the sky was pitch black and large clouds were moving towards me. I heard a tapping on the window, which soon turned into a pitter patter as the rain started to fall. Whether rain or shine, my conscience reminded me that I needed to be punctual and be at the firing range by 8 a.m. I was filled with excitement and energy as it would be my first time firing since being recruited. My spirits were high and I quickly finished my morning chores as the rain continued to fall. I grabbed a chapati prepared by my maid, put on a raincoat over my uniform, and hopped on my scooter to head towards the RC college range.

"Meet me at the firing range tomorrow," my CO had told me the previous day. These words echoed in my mind throughout the journey. I was afraid that my CO would scold me if I arrived late. I kept checking my watch, watching the hands move faster and faster. Despite my efforts to arrive early, I could only get there by 8:20 a.m. By the time I arrived, the sun was shining and the rain had stopped. I felt awkward and worried. To my dismay, I found out that my CO had already left after a brief visit to the range in the morning. Astonishingly, my subedar major said, "It's okay, madam. You can do your firing in the next session."

The firing exercise was primarily aimed at using up the rounds that had been sitting in the storage for a long time. So that day, there were no cadets involved, only us staff members who were asked to finish all the rounds. Being fairly new to my colleagues and the only woman on the staff, I was looked at with concern and affection by my male counterparts. I always felt accepted in my workplace.

I was given a 22 deluxe weapon made in Czechoslovakia, along with one hundred rounds. I decided to take a lying position, thinking it would be the most comfortable for firing. Little did I know that I would become tired after firing twenty rounds. I had to leave the weapon and stand up, breaking the rules. I couldn't help it—I was exhausted. I expressed my tiredness to the staff overseeing the firing exercises.

One of the staff members suggested that I try firing in a sitting position. So I sat down, stretching my legs, and proceeded to fire another ten rounds. After each shot, I lowered the rifle to load the next round. Loading required pushing the bolt forward.

However, this time when I pushed the bolt forward with force, the round was unexpectedly fired, even though I hadn't pressed the trigger. It pierced through my left foot, causing blood to appear. I flinched in fear for a moment, then promptly fainted. I don't recall whether I was fully conscious or semi-conscious, but when I regained consciousness, I found myself in a hospital bed at Bowring.

The doctor entered the room. By that time, I was conscious. He appeared rather surprised to see a girl with a gunshot wound. He asked me how it had all happened. After listening to my story, he said with humour, "Why did you aim for your feet? You could have aimed at your heart!” At this, everyone around my bed burst out laughing.

About the Author

Captain Sahana is the founder of Spark Publication and Spark Igniting Minds.

Her remarkable literary skills combined with an illumined vision has made Spark the most cherished and charismatic community among the authors of various genres.

Publishing a book with spark will turn your goals into the vision and your zeal into a mission.
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