A real story: A deadly kiss (Part-II)(Continued from Part-I)
In the cool summer night, a deadly predator found in this desart, which is a master of desert camouflage and uses sidewinding locomotion to move smoothly across the sand, reached near the tree where Ram Kumar hanged his mashak. This is locally known as 'Bandi' and is one among the big four of India's most venomous snakes, the SOCHUREK'S SAW-SCALED VIPER. It is infamous amidst the desert people for its angry, irritable and extremely aggressive nature and its deadly poison. It felt the humidity of the dripping mashak (which was open) and slipped inside.
The serpent got trapped inside the cold wet mashak. On the other hand, Ram Kumar was in sound sleep for almost two hours. Suddenly he felt his mouth drying up and he had a rushing urge to have some water. Half asleep with partially closed eyes, he took the mashak and raised its opening at 45 degrees, pointing it to his mouth, to have some cold water.
Instead of water, a very angry viper flung out from the opening of the mashak, biting Ram Kumar's tongue with its poisonous fangs and it emptied all the venom at one go. As soon as the viper bit, Ram was in a sudden state of shock and fell backwards in the sand. Within seconds, the poison spread in his nervous system and the feeling of deadly pain as his whole body started to quiver, his tongue started bleeding profusely. His gums started to bleed. There was a rapid drop in his blood pressure and he vomited blood several times before taking his last breath. He couldn't even shout for help.
Sadly, for Ram Kumar, it was the 'Deadly Kiss'. Early in the morning, a fellow soldier saw him lying unconscious in his own pool of blood. He was immediately taken to the nearest Military Hospital, where the attending doctor declared him 'brought dead'.
That season in the year 1999 alone saw thrity-three snake bites among soldiers deployed in far-flung areas. The Army doctors were able to save thirty-two of them. The unfortunate soldier Ram Kumar was the only one who could not be saved.
He died very near to the International Border (IB) but was not KIA (Killed In Action).