The Black Letter Day

The Black Letter Day


Sixteenth Day of December 2014 was supposed to be one of those pre-Christmas day weeks when most of us brace up for the arrival of Santa and his ilk. I spent the morning spring-cleaning. Tidied up my 6 year olds cupboard, and while fixing one of the lofts found two huge teddy bears tucked away in a cloth bag. A big, big teddy bear that was the 6 year olds wish list from Santa. My worries of getting her a big teddy bear and lack of space to keep it were brushed off now. She hadn’t seen these teddies. So they would double up as Santa’s gift. Aarshia was ecstatic to find two huge teddies propped on her bed when she arrived from school. Squealing in delight she scooped them in her arms and named them Daisy and Poppy. “Mumma, how did Santa arrive earlier at our home?” she quipped. “You’ve been a good girl, sweetheart, that’s why.” I responded with smile of amusement.

The evening was spent at Vivaan, Aarshia’s good friend’s birthday party, bowling and having fun, in the cold, misty Gurgaon weather. Little did we know that we would return home, post a joyous day to be thrown off by the most horrifying news ever! Taliban militants had massacred 134 school children in Pakistan along with 11 other school staff. All the festive cheer came tumbling down like a pack of cards. I felt as though someone had slashed a knife into my heart. This gory murder of innocent children, just one day after the Sydney siege, where a gunman had taken people hostage in a café and killed two. What was the world coming to?
Suddenly 16th December 2014 had transformed into a dark, gloomy apparition of a black letter day in the history of mankind.
This night I hugged my girls tighter than I ever have, I guess.

I woke up next morning and proceeded to go about the day. After I had packed the girls to school, I was engulfed with a searing sense of sadness. Just as the thick blanket of morning fog hovered over our township, I felt a blanket of gloom cloaking my being. I am unable to come to terms with that fact that how could human’s slaughter innocent young children? Well, those aren’t humans I guess; they are monsters in the garb of humans. I can’t even begin to fathom what the parents and families of these children(mostly 12-16 years of age) must be going through. Young lives lopped off in the bud, just when they were beginning to take flight and chart their dreams.  And I happened to see a Calvin and Hobbes cartoon on social media. Hobbes the tiger is telling Calvin, “You know there are times when it’s a source of personal pride, to not be human.” So rightly articulated. An animal would never resort to such dastardly act of terrorism, as did these Talibans at Peshawar yesterday.

My question is what can we do to change these heinous crimes plaguing the length and breadth of earth. We are progressing in leaps and bounds, whether be it science and technology and what-have-yous. But are we progressing as a race of compassionate human beings? No, we aren’t! We are only regressing. We are at a space that we have never ever been in the past. Such gruesome murder of innocent lives was unheard of. I guess its time to focus on the progress of the inner self and work on the compassion quotient of human beings in general. Kids in school need to be not just taught science, social studies and math, but lessons in humanity, caring and compassion. Wonder why they did away with Moral Science, a subject we grew up learning as kids.
It is time to rein terrorism and exterminate it from the face of earth. That can happen now if all the global forces come together to exterminate these barbarians and in the long run if we inculcate amongst our kids, little lessons in humanity.


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