E Mullah الیکٹرونک مُلا: Inside the mind of a Dad .comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Inside the mind of a Dad


Time Special Issue July 4, 2005 is in my hand with a picture of young Abe Lincoln never seen before. The cover story is Uncovering the Real Abe Lincoln while hidden inside is the real chill factor: Inside the mind of an Iraqi Suicide Bomber. In fact this is the very first article in this issue. I guess they have toned down the enormity of the article by not putting it on the front cover just because of the Independence Day. Otherwise, it could have been the cover story. I have just started reading the article. In the back of my mind I am thinking

  1. Is it a real interview or they have just come up with a name and a story to sell?(Usual skepticism off course that it may turn out to be like Quran desecration story).
  2. Would they be willing to disclose the source of their information (the case of two journalist Matthew Cooper of Time magazine and Judith Miller of The New York Times is in my mind) .
  3. What is good ethics? Presenting reality show type interviews or helping law enforcement to later on catch those muzzle heads, who are planning to destroy few more lives in next few hours?

My 3.5 and 2 year old sons have barged into my study room without any warning. I failed to notice their presence because I am already numb, devastated and probably thinking about virtues of becoming apathetic.

Papa! “Ye kis ka ghar too-ta hai” (Papa! Whose home is destroyed?) Omar has inquired in his plain innocent language (He has not learned English yet).

My train of thoughts is derailed … I looked at him. He is anxiously looking at picture on page 25 (the picture reads: June 19-12 Dead US soldiers walk through bombing debris at a café frequented by policemen in Baghdad. Two US soldiers and two Iraqi policemen are walking over blood and debris left after the blast, shattered water coolers and torn thatched roof shingles can also be seen in the backdrop).

Oh my God! . . . What he is looking at? . . Impossible for me to answer or hide the picture. I fear if I try to abruptly detract him his innocent mind would be confused . . . why his dad is acting like that. I have always encouraged questions from him as I believed that there is answer for every question. Even for those questions which my parents failed to answer; I don’t want to do that same thing to him.

Papa whose home is destroyed . . . (Silence)

My silence is deafening. Silence --- that lurks between life and death.

Papa!. . .

Umm! …. (Silence)

Papa whose home is destroyed. . .

Umm! … Son! …. Arr! …. Omar!

Yes Papa!….


Papa whose home is this? (pointing to picture)

What should I tell him?

OMAR!!! …. Ummm! (I closed the magazine and rolled it. I am holding it like a golf club. . .)

Omar! Why did you come in here? . . . You were supposed to have your noon nap.

(Gosh! . . . I have no answer)


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