A real story: A deadly kiss (Part-I)In the blistering heat of May 1999, while a bitter war was being fought in the rugged hills of Kargil, Lance Dafedar Ram Kumar (name changed) of Indian Army's Armoured Corps was deployed in a forward location somewhere in the mighty Thar Desert of Rajasthan. Ram Kumar's sentry duty was till Twelve midnight.
In those days, every soldier in the desert used to carry a desi water-bottle made of thick cotton cloth, which, in local parlance, is known as 'mashak'. It kept the water cool.
As the Sun set, the desert began to cool, Ram Kumar and other soldiers of the unit were joking and chit-chatting almost till midnight. Ram's water-bottle (mashak) was hanging on the branch of a Khajri tree.
During the chit-chat, Ram felt thirsty. He took the mashak and had a few sips of water. Then he hung it back on the tree branch, forgetting to cover its mouth up with the cap ('dhakkan').
That was the costliest mistake of life of Lance Dafedar Ram Kumar.