12 December, 1917

Joncourt, France 

Dear diary

I had to suffer terrible disfigurement having lost my legs and an arm in the World War I. I was utterly helpless, lonely and confined to a wheelchair in a park. My forced immobility of life was the consequence of the war. When I recall my happy past, my miserable present put me in a sea of distress. In my sedentary life, I listened to the voices of chirpy and cheerful children in the park which sounded sad to me. Before I became disabled, I was a young soldier. I enjoyed the company of slender women and their soft touches. Now they hated to touch me because of my physical abnormality.  I think half of my life had gone with the wound. The difference is obvious.  A year ago I was handsome. An artist wanted to draw my attractive figure. Now I have become pale and I cannot even support myself. After winning a football match I had been drinking and I thought of signing up for war. I did not give any thought to the dire consequences of the war that might befall me. Additionally, I was too young to think of it. With the influence of my girl friend Meg, to be more manlike to ladies and to look dashing in military uniform, I joined the war. By time the scenario changed a lot.  My departure for war was cheered with a lot of people but on my return there were fewer people to greet me. None but a senior citizen was by my side to appreciate me. Once I was a dream boy to women has now become object of pity to them. I was sitting in the park noticing the women passing by me. Their eyes simply passed over me and glanced at me piteously. I could understand the stern reality of life then. I wondered in the end helplessly that no one would come to see me to put me to bed. I had nothing to do to protect and warm myself. I was now in the hope that someone would remember me and take care of me. In conclusion, I think war was not the place where I could prove my manhood; it is where I lost it.

Md. Bazlul Karim

(Senior teacher, International Turkish Hope School)

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