The End Of War: In The Words Of The Last Hostage

Friday, August 6, 2010

Exclusive First Person Report
By Samuel Manning
August 6, 2060 8:38 p.m. EDT

By now all of you must have been bombarded to death with the news of the end of the war in Afghanistan. I hope there is some life left in you to hear my version of the story. It hurts when people refer to me as “the hostage who brought an end to the war.” Let me make it very clear that even if someone else had been in my place, the events would have taken the same course.

While the Iraq war came to an end 50 years ago after the US withdrew its troops by August 31, 2010, the truth behind the end of Afghan war still remains cloaked in mystery.

Before my posting in Afghanistan, I was a regular reporter filing news reports about road accidents, bed intruders, and all sorts of mishaps that require a 911 emergency call, but my personal life was going through hell. My girlfriend Leah had left me for a jerk—absolutely good-for-nothing jerk—whose only goal in life was to inveigle girls by flattery and deception.

To avoid further heartache, I applied for an overseas job in Afghanistan. The war was going on in full swing. Common Afghans were enjoying the exhilarating, amputating, annihilating joyride, while the Taliban and the allied forces were playing kill-kill-maim-maim. People from all over the world wanted the superpowers to bring the game to their countries too. But who knew that soon enough it was going to end in the land of a thousand splendid suns as well?

Meanwhile, I was covering almost the same routine incidents, such as bomb attacks, gunfight, killing etc. etc. day in and day out. In the course of time, I struck a friendship with an Indian reporter, Dev Singh, who started his day by mumbling prayers to his thumb-sized idol of a Hindu God, which made me flinch because I considered religions a resort of the feeble-minded.

One evening, we were returning from our routine round up when two bearded men in turbans and flowing Afghani clothes stopped our car. They let Dev Singh go, but decided to make me their special guest. Until then, I had believed that such ghastly things happened only to others. I became a full-time prisoner, and very soon I lost all hope for survival as I feared being beheaded any moment.

I wished for a quick death.

My only consolation was the thought that the news of my demise would make Leah regret leaving me. I was sure she would never be able to find anyone who genuinely cared for her as much as I did. I had never believed in any sky God, thus I spent my days and nights thinking about Leah. My captors moved me from one place to another. Sometimes it would be a bare thatched room and sometimes garishly painted, decorated room.

One night I was lost, reminiscing Leah—her beautiful eyes with the false lashes, her pumped up bust as though she were on a silicon diet, her big lion-like brown mane—when I was overcome with a sweet, fruity scent. It felt like Leah had spread her tresses, freshly doused with Herbal Essences mousse, on my face. My second thought was that I was killed and was in heaven.

I felt liberated and happy as if some Godly figure like Jesus or Allah had taken me under his care. I was a hamster nestled in one of His palms, being petted and caressed by His other hand.

I did not know how much time passed in that blissful trance. When I was able to discern my surroundings, I realized that I was still a captive, though strangely devoid of any type of fear, apprehension, or anxiety. And yes, the room was still filled with that sweet fragrance. After some time, my caretakers or captors arrived. They treated me like a future son-in-law—with utter love and respect. They brought delicious food in their best crockery, and apologized profusely.

I asked them about the scent. They said they were also confused. The five men decided to drop me back to my base. On our way back, their leader spoke highly of the whole journalistic tribe, while I remained in awe of his graciousness.

We reached the base. Now in retrospect, everyone’s behavior seems odd, but at that time it was perfectly normal. The Taliban fighters hugged the army commanders, saying, “Love you people. You are good. You come here, leaving the comforts of your home to help us. We thank you from our heart. Your country very good. Be our rulers and make our cities as shiny as yours.”

An allied commander said, “We apologize for pissing you guys off…. Sorry for undermining your civilization…. You have a history, man. I hope you forgive us for all the death and destruction we’ve caused.”

The Taliban leader replied, “No no, really, it was our fault. Our people were following the wrong idea of jihad. Religions are good only when fresh, like fresh kabobs. Stale kabobs stink, and when the mullahs overeat and start vomiting, it is even worse. We are very sorry for the attack on your country.”

“You are being humble,” the commander replied. “It was our fault. We were following the wrong policies. Our leaders sound like they have good intentions, but you know what, they are highly influenced by the lobbyists of greedy corporations. Now, a little bit of greed is beneficial like a small fire, which is needed for heating and cooking, but when it goes out of control, it becomes a forest fire.”

The atmosphere was festive, as if we were celebrating our win in the World Cup. I was being patted on my back and hugged by officers who didn’t know me before. They thanked me for bringing such a change in Taliban fighters. I heard the bearded men and the army officers complimenting each other.

“Your religion is excellent, ours sucks.”

“No, yours is better than ours.”

My Hindu friend Dev Singh came to greet me. I asked for his tiny idol as I wanted to kiss it, but he said, “I no longer keep it with me. We need to love our fellow human beings instead of the obscure, imaginary deities.”

The bonhomie was simply astonishing. And later we learned that there was a ceasefire in Afghanistan. Everyone was perplexed. The allied forces started to pack and leave for their respective countries.

There are so many end-of-the-war speculations floating around, but I believe in what Dev Singh told me. According to him the Indian government was responsible for the ceasefire. For the past few years, Bharat Swabhiman Party, founded by late Baba Ramdev, has been in power. Baba Ramdev’s Ayurveda and Yoga center, Patanjali Yogpeeth, has made many breakthroughs in medical science. Dev Singh was sure that Indian drones had sprayed empathy-generating potion over Afghanistan, and also over Pakistan, and other neighboring countries, ending the long-standing antipathy in the subcontinent.

(Picture courtesy


  1. I'm the first one to comment! I liked it. Do you mean say the US and the others are deliberately perpetuating the Afghan war? I liked the sarcasm that I could get :) Couldn't Ramdev come up with his potion earlier? :D

  2. Thanks Ajay!! Check this link- Windfalls of Wars:
    Let me know if you can make head or tail of it.

  3. Ah! It is about the baba in the end :P I hope this scenario unfolds though. Those drones should also spray some over our own country to cure a variety of regional problems.

  4. Debby, I guess they might have sprayed it on their own country before going over the neighboring countries.


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