Dec 27, 2009

The right path

Two.. Three.. Four... There were just 11 more steps.
I can do it’ he thought , ‘ unless I stumble down’. He drudged further in the pitch darkness. He counted again. There was a right turn after 5 more steps. The clock chimed and he counted. Two rings. So it was two o clock in the night. He had to reach the top within 15 more minutes. This was his last opportunity. He raised his left hand a few inches and tried feeling the wall. He couldn’t reach it. This meant that he was too much in the end. Only a one-side wall supported the staircase. The other side opened to thin air even without a hand bar. A few more centimeters to the right, he would topple down the six floors that he had climbed with so much risk. The risk factor was not just because of the darkness or because of the dangerous steps but there was the enemy to be counted too.

Praying to the Lord for strength and success , step by step he shifted to the left such that his arm rubbed to the hard stone wall. The rough wall was bruising his elbow, which had started to bleed, but he couldn’t shift rightward. The steps were just wide enough to accommodate one thin person. He took a right turn after 3 more steps. More carefully he went further and finally reached the terrace. Heaving a sigh of relief , he crouched down hoping none of his housemates would see him. Crawling stealthily on his knees he reached the other end of the terrace.

He stood up and felt the height of the wall. It came up to his waist. Carefully he climbed on to it. He could felt the cold air hitting him and shivered. He felt around the sleeves of his left hand making sure that there was a circular button. ‘ Ammi how do I know which is the red shirt?’, he had once asked his mother. ‘ Amir beta, Your red shirt has circular buttons on the collar, white shirt has such a button on the edge of the sleeve, the green striped one..’ she had replied making sure that he memorised it all. His mother had not just taught him to be independent; she had also inculcated him with values. ‘Beta, Allah has not given you eyesight but he has given you a heart to choose. Always choose the right path and his grace will be with you’ she had told him again and again.

Now he realized his Ammi was way too idealistic. Helped by his Abba and other uncles the nijahud-ins fighting for their religion had taken refuge in their house unknown to the Indian military. He had heard his cousins go away to their camp once they were of age to do the right thing for their Allah and their religion. Ever since they had taken shelter things were not the same anymore in his house. He remembered the happier days when there was love and laughter. But now there was a gloom that had descended. It all started when Abba’s old friend Mustaan -ji had appeared at their doorstep one night. Two days their guest had watched them silently. One evening when all the elderly had gathered around, Mustaan-ji had addressed them all. His raspy voice had given the little Amir an unknown fear. He was too young to understand what the aggressive speaker had meant but till this day he could remember the final words.
For Allah to love us we should write the lord’s name in blood, the blood of the people of this country who have wronged us.’ were the cold words that had sent chills through Amir’s body. Later that night, away from everybody when he was being tucked into bed he asked his mother ‘ Ammi doesn’t Allah love us all equally for what we are as long as we love him ?’ . Before she could reply ,He heard his father ordering him to sleep and not to question elders.

The next morning when he woke up everything was changed. There was gloom and an unknown urgency in the voice of his family members. Till this day it had ever remained so. Ammi was very sick and bedridden but Abba wouldn’t let a doctor visit their house nor would he take her to one. With each day, Amir listened to the increased coughs from his dear Ammi. Her voice was always in pain and this pained him. He decided that Allah dint love him enough and it was his turn to do something so that he would get all the blessings to save Ammi.

Standing on the rooftop he checked his pajama pockets and felt the circular shaped item in one pocket. He could hear the distant sound of marching. So it was just a few minutes before when the country’s soldiers would march by their street for their nightly parole. he took out the item from his pocket. He recalled how some person had instructed others to use the bomb when necessary. They were planning to attack the various cities and were preparing crude bombs in his house. Nobody had ever doubted them because of their clean backgrounds. Also his Abba was a renowned lecturer in a good college. The nijahud-ins were to leave the house at daybreak and travel to various places and time their attacks.

Amir heard the nearing footsteps. He had to throw the bomb in his pocket at the direction of the soldiers’ footsteps. He had never before missed his aim when he threw stones at the dogs when they barked at him. He prayed feverently that he wouldn’t miss it this time too.He had worn the white shirt so that they could spot him easily. His plan was simple. He would attack them and they in turn would come in large numbers to his house and seize everything. This way he could save the hundreds of innocent people, which was the right thing to do. He waited. Took the Lord’s name and proceeded.

And then there was an explosion.

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The soldiers took aim and shot at the boy and watched him fall down. Lieutenant Sandesh saw the horror as the Deputy told out loud and clear ‘ Look at the bastard. Not even grown a beard and he threatens our country. God alone knows from where these filthy people come. Come lets go in and finish off the older bastards who have given birth to such vermin.

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There was babble of voices. Nothing was clear. There was a blinding light that he had never before felt. A smooth voice that called out ‘ Amir beta, are you awake?’ . Surely it must be Allah taking care of him thought Amir.. Would he be still blind or would he be able to see the Almighty, he thought.
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Lieutenant Sandesh saw the anticipating look on the boy’s face and said, ‘You are very safe, beta. Lie down and take rest
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That morning of the fight when there was flashlights shone on the boy’s face, Lieutenant Sandesh clearly recognized the face. He had wandered around the house several times wearing a fake beard and seen this blind boy sitting alone. Once he had found the boy fallen asleep in the hay bale. The boy was murmuring in his sleep that he had to do right and save the innocents from the devils in his house. He reported it to the higher officials and they had asked him to befriend the boy to find out more. As he watched, his interest and affection towards the boy had grown. He had decided to take a step further and start talking to him but that was when this incident occurred. Seeing the boy being shot at, he felt an urge to save the boy and immediately informed the higher authority. He personally went and picked up the boy from the terrace floor and rushed him to the hospital.

There had been an exchange of fire and explosion between the housemates and the commandos. The house was completely destroyed and none of the inmates had survived. But he wouldn’t let the boy be an orphan. He would've have a home, be cared for.

3 tunes:

  1. Awesome story... loved the little twist at the end!!!!
    Lets make a motion picture on this one!!!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. @ axt : :D :D .. sure.. m all game for it.. we could add more details and indeed make it better than the text..!!!

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  3. gripping story!!!

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