Across the Burma Bridge: A Story by Lalita Vaitheeswaran

93 old survivor of World War II Nicholas Dan was publishing his memoir. The Book launch was being arranged by his son-in-law Nikoto who was a Japanese and the son of Col. Syoko from the Japanese army.


Young Nicholas who was part of the British army, was bidding adieu to his beautiful wife Sandra and daughter Carol, as he had been called to fight in the Burma campaign where the allied forces were facing the giant Japanese troops. Col. Syoko was second in command of the regiment under Maj.Gen.Myoto and was spearheading the battle, with loss of lives on both sides. Nicholas, along with his troop was captured and made POW (Prisoner of war) in the difficult terrains of Burma.
A surge of POWs was seen entering Burma as tough Japanese forces were compelling handcuffed and shackled men to build a bridge across the river Kwai. They were being pushed, kicked, and made to work.
Nicholas suddenly felt weak and nauseous. He was vomiting and fell unconscious. Major General Myoto kicked him on the abdomen,
“You good for nothing”
 and threw him in the dark jungles to perish.
Col. Syoko was watching this from a distance. As soon as his senior vanished from view, Syoko ran into the jungle. He made Nicholas sit up and took out medicines from his pocket. He gave him water to drink and ensured that Nicholas felt better.
Nicholas was a true army man. He recoiled back into action and walked towards the construction site to help to make the bridge. His eyes melted as he thanked Profusely Col. Syoko and the Lord.
Cases of such torture of POWs became a regular sight. The Japanese were ferociously cruel, never hesitating to kick on the person of any prisoner who was unwell, had ulcers or had diarrhea. Nicholas was privy to these torments and had developed a hatred for the Japanese.
When Maj.Gen. Myoto would leave after much abusing, a soft Col.Syoko would go around checking on the prisoners on the sly, giving them water or medicines and praying for them. He even told Nicholas once that had he not been part of the duty-bound Japanese army, he would never have been a party to this cruel, ghastly work. Nicholas has tears rolling down his cheeks as he reversed his general opinion about the Japanese.


Back home, Sandra and Carol received a mail from the British Army about Nicholas’s capture. They were asked to help their respective troops in whichever way they could while at the same time not befriending anyone from the enemy as Loose lips might sink ships.

A year had passed with no news of Nicholas’s well-being when suddenly they were startled to see him arriving home. He narrated how Col.Syoko helped him survive those tough days of torture and how he helped him escape unhurt.


Ten years later.
 Father Xavier is reading out the marriage vows, 
Both Carol and Nikoto say
I do!