Friday, November 26, 2010

Short Story: Terrorist

Republishing this story to pay Homage to 26/11. This was written on the day of trial of Kasab. If you have not read it before, hope you enjoy it, if you have read it before, hope you understand it.

Foreword: I am writing a Short Story after a long time, it is based on the backdrop of 26/11 and the events that follow. Hope you like it.

His forehead was completely covered in sweat as he sat in the court clutching the collar of his cape. The cold metal of the gun touched his chest inside the cape, sending a spine chilling shiver in his body. The last three weeks where the most difficult in his life. No, getting the gun was not hard, he got one local, hand made gun illegally and cheap too. But the real task started after getting the gun. Learning to use it was harder than he had thought, his thumb pained of the mark the recoil of the gun had caused.

But the pain was nothing. God knows he had to do it, there was no other way. He could see it clearly now. 
He was following up the trial for the last 369 days watching the 296 witnesses retell the horror in front of the blind lady of justice. He studied the layout of the criminal court very well, so that he could execute the plan perfectly. 
Today was the last day of the trial, last day for him to complete the task of God. He closed his eyes and prayed one final time, after today he won't be able to pray again. This was Jihad, his final act.
The authorities would arrest him, he knew, he had no escape, he did not wish to escape. Why would he escape? for whom? Everything he owned, everyone he loved had left him, left him to feel the guilt everyday.
The History of Terrorism: From Antiquity to al QaedaThe judge ordered the court to silence and spoke to the open court about the 'act of war' and that the infiltrator cannot be 'spared.' Then the judge proceeded to read out the crimes under which the man was convicted on five counts of murder, conspiracy to murder, waging war against the country, abetting murder and committing terrorist activities under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act. 166 people were killed in the carnage. The man was also awarded life imprisonment on five other counts including attempt to murder, criminal conspiracy and under the Explosive Substances Act.
Slowly he closed the eyes in the court room. The judge had spoke, after a year of silence the dead could now rest in peace.
He walked out of the courtroom in silence, the moment he was waiting for was very near. The cold touch of the barrel on his chest demanded blood.
'Son, is the judgement done?' an old lady was sitting outside the court.
'Yes, he is to be hanged.' 
'Lord be praised,' the old lady spoke with tears in her eyes, 'He finally gets punished for his deeds.'
'Yes,' he replied silently, 'He deserves to die.'
'Who are we to say what he deserves or not,' the old lady said, 'All we can do is judge his deeds according to the laws of the society.'
Inside Terrorism'He didn't obey any law or any rule before killing the 166 innocent people, why should we do so? This compassion of ours is the result our weak system is failing,' he said.
The old lady simply smiled, 'The fact, that, despite him killing 166 innocent people, we give him a fair trial shows that our system still is in place and we do not follow the jungle law.'
'He killed my wife and my kid,' he said with bitter mouth.
'And so he did to my own son,' she said, 'But I do not want him dead as a revenge. I want him punished because it is the right thing to do. What he has done to your family is wrong, but that doesn't justify you doing the same to him. He killed them and he gave the reason of his own, you will kill him with the reason of your own, what is the difference between both of you?'
He simply stared at her, unable to speak.
'Son, you have a lot of time to live, don't live mourning over the dead, instead use your life building good stuff so people will remember them as they were. What is death but a mere moment, your wife is still with you in your memories, in your thought. Don't tarnish them with the deed you will repent forever. The man who did this deed should be punished by law.'
'But... look at this, it took one year for them to pronounce the law. Then he will appeal in the Supreme Court, according to our law, anyone can appeal for his pardon to the president. This process may take years, he will rot in prison till then.'
'Son, our system is made of people, not machines. I agree there are flaws and delays in the system, but eventually, the good thing gets done. The system does not forget nor forgives. People do escape the clutches of law many times, but trust me, eventually everyone pays his price in the system.'
'Why are you still here then? Did you come here for a year just to watch the trial?' he asked with bitter mouth.
'No, I came to tell the young boy, who is now guilty, that I forgive him. My son was the same age as he was, I just hope, he can forgive himself for what he has done. I have no regrets now, my son was the only means of support for me in my old-age but I am not going to mourn over his death and ruin my life. No. My son died a hero's death and for that I won't let anyone tarnish his memory. I will live for my boy and hope that he has attained heaven and is waiting for me soon,' she smiled.
She asked him to support her as she got up and she whispered close to him, 
'Don't go down the path the boy has gone, there is no return from there. Don't spoil your families memory by marking your soul with his blood. What is done is done, you won't find peace this way. Let go of all prejudice holding you together and start afresh in the loving memory of your wife. I hope you do not lose your way in between,' she smiled and limping walked away.
Epilogue: In a shocking twist of the convicted terrorist trial, the police found a local made revolver thrown in the trash just few meters away. 
He now leads a happy life and he did opened a old-age home for the elderly in the name of his wife. The house supports the old whose sons are far off in the army or lost in the natural disaster.
Across the road from his old age home, the old woman smiled and walked away in a limp. A few distance apart she vanished into thin air.

Authors Note: The above story reflects the sentiment of the victims family, the unnamed 'He' is the one man who vowed to end the terrorist with his own hand. If we look into history, new terrorist are born this way. Terrorist is a person who causes the act of terror, the reason behind the act is immaterial, the act matters. We all hold grudges against something and at some part of the time, over a period of time, this anger consumes us causing another terrorist. If you like this story, vow to kill the terrorist in you and tell others to follow, the soon we let go the prejudice, the sooner the world will be a better place.

Fact: The trial mentioned in the above story is exact as the trial of lone gunman of 26/11, Kasab, even the judgement given by the Special court judge  M L Tahaliyani is exact with some parts modified, but not tampered, for the fiction story.

The characters are entirely fictional.

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