15 May 2009

Suicide bomber

Silence always conveys warning...a warning of disaster. Few recognize it and few don’t. The usually busy town was unusually calm. People were lost in their lives, unaware of the danger awaiting them. I bought a ticket to the last stop of the most crowded train. I neither knew the end point nor the route that the train would take.

The guy at the counter smiled, as he handed me the ticket and the change. He said, “have a nice day, ma’am”. I had never traveled by train, so I did not know whether these guys were usually so friendly or he was being nice particularly to me for some reasons that only he knew. I wondered how he would have treated me, if he had known why I was on this train. For sure, he wouldn’t have smiled at me. Of course, no one liked death, except me. I had my good reasons...quite convincing reasons.

The train was already in the platform. I occupied an empty seat next to a girl, who did not even glance at me. She was on phone, whispering to someone. Even though, I was sitting next to her, I couldn’t pick up a word she was saying. I wondered whether the person at the receiving end was able to hear her. She was a beautiful young lady, who seemed to be in her early twenties. She blushed often, as she chatted on phone and even chuckled few times. Anyone who was noticing her would tell that she was talking her beau.

The memory of the evening, when Rajesh had come home along with his parents seeking my hands for marriage, was still fresh in my mind. I remember that I was in tears when I had walked him to the balcony. He had wanted to talk to me, alone. I had stood there, in front of him, not bothering to reply to any of his questions. I had not wanted to marry so early. I was still in college and wanted to complete my course. I knew my parents would never reject this irresistible wedding proposal. He was a rich doctor and quite handsome too. I had hated him for that. He had ruined my plans for future. We had got engaged in a week, though I hadn’t accepted his proposal. My parents had managed everything. They had made him believe that I was happy with the engagement.

The girl was glancing at her hand often, as if she was holding something very precious and making sure it hadn’t evaporated into the air. I peeped to see what it is and a sapphire blinked at me. She caught me looking at her ring. A smile lighted her face and she said, “That’s my engagement ring. I am getting married next week”. I managed a, “Congrats” and tried to return her smile. My smile didn’t reach my eyes. I wasn’t sure whether I really wanted to crush her dreams before she got a chance to live them.

A lady in the next seat was soothing her crying daughter. The girl was not older than two. She was pretty just like my daughter Sumi was. She had the same dimples. She did not stop crying even after her mother promised her a chocolate. I did not know whether I could stand killing the little girl. I doubted whether I could watch her die, as I had watched Sumi die. This girl was not even as old as Sumi was, when she had died. I didn’t know whether I had enough brutality in me to repeat the monstrous act that had turned my life upside down.

Another girl sat next to them, staring outside the window. She sat so still, absorbed in something that for a moment I doubted if she was breathing. Then, her eyes gleamed and tears traced her cheeks. I wondered why she was crying. I wished I knew what had brought tears in her eyes. She was beautiful and had such innocence on her face that no one would even consider hurting her. But, I was about to kill her. I did not know what I had become.

Everyone in this world, grieved. Maybe, they had lost more than I had. I did not know whether I was fighting back fairly. I wasn’t sure of the choices I had made. All I was aware of, at the moment was that these people did not deserve to die. I had chosen the wrong crowd to avenge my loss. They hadn’t killed either my husband or my daughter. Though they didn’t know me, they were being nice to me.

The old lady sitting in front of me was chanting something. I could hear her after concentrating for a while. She was saying, “Bless them all…forgive them all”. I was surprised to hear her pray for everyone. She wasn’t taking name of any religion. She was asking God to keep everyone happy and here, I had come to kill her. These people had done nothing to me. They just belonged to same community to which Rajesh and Sumi’s murderer belonged.

The man sitting behind me could be somebody’s father or somebody’s son. If I killed him today, his wife or any of his relative might try to avenge his death. I wondered whether anyone would find out the real reason for the blast that would kill everyone in this train. I supposed they would assume something else and that would lead to more disasters.

None of the religions asked anyone to kill people who did not follow it, neither had it asked to convert them against their will. God is a powerful strength, not constrained by name and structure. If Hindus were happy seeing him, as Lord Shiva and Christians happy seeing him, as Jesus, they should let each other live the way they want.

If they had let me live, probably I wouldn’t have considered committing such a vicious act. I would have been waiting for Sumi, to return from school, sitting in the veranda, while Rajesh worked in hospital. He always cared for the poor. He had never asked his patients their religion. If, he was watching me, I knew he would be so ashamed of me. Even, I was ashamed of myself. I would have killed hundreds of innocents for no fault of theirs, if I had not realized at the right time that I had made a wrong choice. I did not want to be a murderer. I did not want to be a suicide bomber.

I went to the washroom and deactivated the bomb that I had carried with me. For a while, I considered jumping out of the train, but knew neither that would make Rajesh proud of me nor was it the right thing to do at the moment. When, I came back to my seat, the baby girl was peacefully sleeping on her mothers lap. I reached for her cheeks and brushed my hands against it. It reminded me, my days with Sumi.

I got down in the next stop. After I returned home, I called police and told them I was ready to answer all their questions. I had decided to avenge the death of my beloved ones by fighting against the violence that had consumed their life, not by taking the same path. I had always lied to police about the culprits, who had burned my colony. Now, I would hand them over to the law and make sure they get what they deserve.


  1. Very very well written! Keep it going!

  2. Your story is nice but do post the next part, breifing what happened to your complaint.

  3. I, for a moment, thought the narrator would actually kill everyone! Was a relief knowing she retreated.. :) Should be a lesson for everyone who think of such horrendous acts..

  4. Wow Wow...that was amazing..very gripping...

  5. hey it is very nice... Ur insight into different characters is done well.. keep up ur good work and keep writing more :)

  6. it was so gripping like bob woodward's writing and the insight into various characters was so brilliant. keep writing more..

  7. Really nice one!
    Sometimes you never know who notices you, some small act of kindness or goodness might be touching for some.

  8. Nethra Good one.........keep writing more:-)

  9. oh my god. a really lovely and very very well written post. very grippin... my heart missed a beat

  10. As u know dear.u r too good .its really nice to read ur work.keep up the good work dear.

  11. Reallllly goooooood.................You writes really well..

    KEEP doing this...............

  12. hey nethra lovely writing skill...

    really a nice post

  13. Only some have the magic of turning reader to their side, and you are the one :)

  14. awesome as usual.. seriously u showed us the emotional side of a suicide bomber... great piece of work... at least from this post I can make out that u have a great emotional side in u.. how can u manage to write so well.. simple and awesome.. .

  15. never thought of such kinda views....otiose i sum it up..good wrk n carry on this otionera as long as possbl