Saturday, November 29, 2008

Its the 28 th of November, 2008. A quarter hour remains before the new day begins. I lie awake at night crying. Sleep eludes me. I remember the face of a crying child, just 2 years old, who has lost his parents to terrorism. Terrorists who stormed the Nariman House in Bombay killed a Rabbi and his wife who were held hostage. Their child "rescued' yesterday is now an orphan.
I imagine him weeping because he is away from his parents. He doesn't understand why they are not with him. He is comforted by strangers. He is looking over their shoulder to spot his parents who will now never come to hold him again. He must have cried himself to sleep and will wake up to an uncertain life without his parents. Who will take care of him? He will cry for days inconsolable until one day he learns that his parents have gone for ever. While he is at the whims of strangers. And even in the best of foster care, can they ever match the love and care that he would have received from his parents? What destiny lies ahead for this unfortunate child for whom the nightmare has just begun? His innocence died with the bullet that killed his parents. Forever.
I too am a mother. I underwent the pangs of labor and delivered my baby girl who is now six months old. I have held her whenever she cried and comforted her. There are times when she only wants me and is not comforted by anyone else. She will cry till she comes into my arms. She needs me to put her to sleep, to feed her, to make her feel okay when she is afraid. And to think that poor little kid will never have these moments again just breaks my heart. There is something only a mother can do for her child. You have to be a mother to understand the pain of separation. I now know. I understand what the hapless mother felt at the moment just before the bullet ripped through her body. She was dead even before the bullet could kill her. She died in that fraction when she realised her child would be an orphan. To lose a parent is bad enough. To lose both in a moment of madness at an age when you cannot comprehend the reason or understand why it happened, is crushing. Did the mother beg her killers to spare her for her child? Did she plead to them to kill her but at least let her husband go so her baby would not get orphaned? Can there be anything more hopeless than losing your parents?
So many children get abandoned for various reasons. How much more tragic is it to lose your parents to senseless violence. Nothing, nothing can justify this act. No matter how persecuted you are or how wronged, the sin of killing this child's parents is unpardonable.How many such babies have been orphaned all over the world in wars and because of terrorism? No matter which part of the world you live, which language you speak or which religion you follow (or were born into) the pains of labor that a mother undergoes is the same. The cries of a child pleading to be comforted by her mother is the same. The affection a father feels is the same. There cannot be a martyrdom after such a heinous crime. No God will forgive this. There will be no peace for the perpetrators in this world or the next. This hatred garbed in supposed vengeance will never be forgiven. The curse of every weeping mother and every crying child will forever be on them.
Death comes to all. But its what you did while you lived that counts. You can kill innocent people. And you can live on. But the blood is in your hands and you can never wash it off.I wish we could go back in time and prevent this crime. I wish the child did not have to cry. I wish no child had to cry. WE can take pride in being humans when there are no more tears in innocent eyes.

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