The light sunlight falling on his face woke him up. Groggily he opened his eyes wondering who had switched on the light when he was sleeping.
9.00! His eyes screamed out in despair when they saw the hands of his lazy alarm clock that hadn’t woken him on a Monday morning. He would miss his Hindi test. The mere thought of the flogging he would receive did he turn up late to school scared him and that is how little Rasool decided not to go to school that day. He must remember to get a leave letter from Abba, he thought to himself as he set out looking for his Abba. The whole household was still, almost a death like silence pervaded the air. Hesitatingly he knocked the door of the room where his parents slept. Was Ammi not well? Why did she not wake him up in the morning? His Ammi knew more than anyone else in the family how important his school was for him, still she had made no attempt to prevent him from missing his classes.
Most kids hated Mondays, especially the ones that came after a second Saturday. Mondays seemed to kill the spirit that the long weekend brought in the kids. Rasool and his friends quite looked forward to Mondays because that was the only day in the week they had art classes. Rasool was especially fond of the oriental paintings, especially the ones that depicted a market scene. He longed for the day he could paint on his own. Every Sunday, before he retired for the day, he would ensure that all his art supplies were in the bag so that he would not be unprepared for art classes the next day in school. But, he had missed it today.
‘I must paint something and see. Maybe I can create something interesting’ thought Rasool as his mother opened the door of their bedroom.
“ṣabāḥul kẖayr Ammi” Rasool chirped as she came out and glanced at the hands of the giant clock that hung in the hall. “I am not going to the school today. I woke up late, but I will miss my test. Will Abba beat me?” The innocence in his eyes melted his mother’s eyes and she planted a wet kiss on his cheeks and consoled him saying his Abba too was tired from Chacha’s wedding last night and that Abba would understand.
She sent him to do his reading while she rushed to the kitchen to get the day started.
Licking of the last bits of the yummy biryani from his fingers, Rasool was startled when he heard wailing noises and quick raps on the door. His Abba washed and got up to answer the door while Rasool quietly washed and went inside. Abba always said that good boys never came in front of the guests until they were called for.
“Ahmed! Our children!”
The man at the door was inconsolable. His words refused to be identified, so mixed were they with his sobs.
I don’t know how to write the rest. Even if it is fiction. I cannot even imagine. I fail to understand what kind of creatures would unleash such violence on children. Poor little children who did no wrong, who possible don’t even know that there are such pitiable creatures like you walking the face of this Earth. Shame on you. I wish and pray that justice is done soon enough, but what will lessen the grief of the family of those children? How do I even begin to tell you how wrong this is…
Prayers & Love to all.
(This post was inspired by this news item and the unfortunate #PeshawarAttack. )