New Delhi, January 25, 2016: As I sit down to type this, the TV is switched on but only to half its potential. That just means that while I can see the video, I have muted the TV. There are no scantily clad women rolling on the sand, there are no over-enthusiastic chefs doling out party time recipes, not even a bunch of men in blue, letting the world know that Cricket will remain our religion. It’s a News channel, where some khaki men are shoving three terrorists into a van and the ticker isays ‘In a huge victory, three more terrorists are under custody.’
There’s nothing new in what I see. Why three – even if they arrested fifty today, a hundred more will be ready to come after our lives. I’m pretty positive about that. The khaki men know. The news reporter (who is now behaving like she had a role to play in this arrest with all the animation) knows too. But I can’t ignore this anymore. There have been times when I was batshit scared in buses, crowded markets and even movie halls because I feared a bomb would go off and sniff out my life in a second. I was scared of things like – ‘I haven’t even got married yet and I’m going to die!’
Today however, is different. The sheer mindlessness of these acts coupled with two pieces of my heart roaming around in public places, is making me paranoid.
If you’re thinking on the lines of an aortic valve that I’ve donated, Nah. These two ‘pieces’ are my sons who now go to school, play in the park with friends, go to a club for their tennis, visit public places as part of school visits, play in malls on their friends’ birthday parties. It is because they are leading a normal life, that I am worried. I know – it sounds silly but this is the truth.
Children are children because they are the ones growing up day by day to experience this world. The rest of us are merely growing up to grow old, and die. But not children. They are learning, studying, creating and observing because they are the ones who are supposed to use what we build today. And what are we really building? A world where I cannot promise them that their parents (or themselves) would be back home safely in the evening. I try my best to keep them away from the gory details of massacres in the name of terrorism, but to my utter surprise, they are growing up fast. I’ve taught them to read the newspapers and now they know something isn’t quite right with the word ‘Terrorism’. When I hug them for ten more seconds as they return from school, they sense my fear. They try to smile and reassure me. But I know that this world isn’t fine for them at all.
If I could get hold of that guy who sits somewhere in those deserts or mountains or valleys- for whatever I care- I want to tell him one thing:
Creating situations in the world where your point will only be proven if mothers are suffering? If you think that is working for you, getting you all the ‘hoors (read: 72 virgins)’ that you’ve been apparently promised in afterlife, let me tell you one thing here- me, along with every mother who is raising their children to be the exact opposites of what you are- curse you. We pray that if there are indeed some ‘hoors’ waiting for you, they will whack you on all our behalf. We also pray, however, that some message will reach your ears from heavens up above, letting you know that you aren’t instilling fear with your acts. You are instilling hatred. And mothers never teach their children to hate. We even explain to them how you were not loved enough by your parents and that is why you do what you do and that they should pray for your sanity.
The TV now shows a man who is in the business for all his shouting and not letting anyone match his decibels, even after inviting them for his show. It is time for my children to turn around and say,
“We are more scared of him Ma. Please change the channel”