He sat still and silent. As still as one could be. Actually it hurt. It hurt to move his head. There was a sharp pain in his brain but never mind. He had to find his mother. Looking here and there ,he couldn’t find his mother among the myriad of people gathered there. And papa and Jiddo? Where were they? Tears brimmed up in his eyes but now it even hurt to cry. He somehow had to stop himself from crying. What would the people there think? Besides he felt weird from having to see with one eye. His vision was blur in one eye but why couldn’t he see with the other? How will he find his mama now? He shifted a bit in his seat but remained as motionless as ever. Only thoughts and questions raced in his mind in his otherwise stationary body.
Someone came up to him and said something. But he couldn’t really hear what the man was saying . He just looked at the man with his eyes more or less closed. The man after sometime smiled,gave up and left. Which was fine. At his present state he didn’t want to talk to anybody. Except his mama.
Little Omar, a Syrian native led a happy and peaceful existence. But no stories in reality are complete without tragedy . But the tragedy of his life was horrifying. Because the tragedy in his life is a documentary of how low humanity has stooped.
6 summers. Only six summers did Omar experienced. And all those 6 short but sweet years had been all sugar to him,thankfully. But isn’t that is what life is supposed to be for a six year old?
Omar’s family consisted of a hardworking professor for a dad whose handsome salary was more than enough for the family of four. His mother,a lady who was worshipped by Omar’s dad as a saint,for, as he humoured,bore the nonsense from not only her son but her husband who was always in a fit from huge workload. But they loved each other, loved their works and adored their only son. But Omar’s grandpa, lovingly nicknamed “Tund Jiddo” by his grandson, was Omar’s favourite and vice versa. His grandfather was a disciplinarian, a martinet ,though he had always relaxed his otherwise rigid rules for his adorable grandson. Omar like any other child would go to school,study,laugh and play,love his beloved ones…..do things that all kids of his age do and should do.
No,decided the ones watching from heaven. Life cannot be so fortuitous. They held meetings,discussed and debated over long hours and cups of ambrosia. And finally the demons ,who go by the name of ISIS,were created- a vast army of intelligent men,always with a strategy and an armoury of weapons stolen from god-knows-where. They had simply one aim-destruction.And destroy they did…without any reason. They ravaged and sacked and scourged the city of Syria.
And for some reasons the leaders of the world found themselves incapable of fending their people. They sat,pondered or it seemed so,wondering and only wondering what to do with these savages whose atrocities were becoming widespread and leading to the questions and doubts raised at the competency of these leaders. Their wondering and pondering did no one no good and the affectionate Syria was headed towards irreversible extinction from mother earth. Days passed,the number of AK-47,M62 grenades,HMMWV tanks increased. Many citizens fled …the fear for their life greater than their love for their homeland. Omar’s family remained along with many other.
His grandfather refused to bulge from the country where he had been given life.”Let them come, kill me if they want to. But this body will not move an inch from this country”, he bellowed when Omar’s father decided to migrate somewhere. But Omar would not leave without his “Jiddo”. The plans to escape from this mass butchery was dropped .
More than a year had passed. The unreasonable war continued. There seemed no end to it.”How long will we be stuck here?”Grumbled Omar’s father who could not leave his father behind whilst his family flee in search of sanctum.”We will be here as long as the one above wishes”said Omar’s grandpa. Omar did not bother with war. He did not understand it. He didn’t need to. All he understood that this war led to the closing of his school and that was good. He had more time to play with his friends-the ones whose family didn’t have the heart to leave their homeland.
His 6 year old mind was oblivious the decreasing supply of stock- be it food and medicine and clothes and water and all that was abundant before this “war”. It was strange that he also did not observe the scarcity of another essential abundant commodity-happiness. He did not complain. He was in fact “happy” with his lot. But according to a golden rule-happiness is short-lived. Even if it is already sparse.
On one fateful morning , Omar’s father and grandpa went to the market. The little boy waved them goodbye cheerfully. He did not realise that they would never return from the market, not in this life. After few hours, when he saw his mother crying inconsolably in the company of few men and women, he did not venture out to find out why. However his young mind could sense some misfortune and finally the next day when his mother tried ,as gently as possible, to break the bad news, Omar simply asked,”When wil papa and Jiddo come back? ”His mother could only stare into those compassionate eyes and reply in a small voice, ”Soon”.
A few days later his mother would leave this country with her son. Life should go on ,her son deserved better than this. The young creature already lost so much. She wouldn’t let him lose his childhood by confining him in this vicious country. They would flee,oh yes! She would take up any job to provide for her son and herself. There would be enough time to grieve. But not now. She made up her mind and packed up their bags accordingly. Curious,Omar inquired, ”Where are we going?”
”On a long trip, my love. We will be travelling. Where-i don’t know. But somewhere nice. I promise you that.”
”What about dad and grandpa?”
”We will meet them soon,precious. Now go and play while i do some work.” Omar became doleful. This place was nice enough. His school,his friends –he would miss them.
Two days later , they were ready. By early morning they were already at the bus stop from where they would embark on a journey. It seemed exciting for the little lad who was oblivious to his perturbed mother or the unsettling atmosphere. But the only thing that made him gloomy was that he lost his favourite toy on the way to the bus stop.”Mother,we must find my toy!”He shrieked . Nothing his mother did could stop him from howling.”I must go and find it”he cried. ”Ok wait ill come with you. The bus might come any minute. We must hurry.”
But before she could get up,Omar darted through the crowd in search of his toy. He must have run fast for after a few minutes he turned backed to see that he was separated from the awaiting passengers ,a long distance between them. His mother could not catch up with him. But Omar was resolved in finding it. He searched here and there and finally found it lying on the side of a road. He whooped in delight and ran forward to rescue his toy. Suddenly he felt something. The ground shaked below him and he fell. He lost his consciousness. When he woke up 2 days later,he found himself surrounded by an army of alien people,busily moving here and there. He realised for some reason he could not see in one of his eye, while the vision in the other was blur.
Even when he was in pursuit of his toy, the terrorist group decided to attack a place,best being the bus stop ,the place where people waited for their ride to freedom. A few kilos of TATP ingredients was adequate enough to blow away the 36 innocent people including Omar’s mother,whose only crime was probably trying to flee from a paradise of terrorism and bloodshed. The bomb managed to injure people in the near vicinity. This was the same bomb that managed to render Omar blind in one eye and causing vision disrepair in the other.
He was taken to a hospital. So two days later,when Omar woke up there,he tried to take in the activities going on there. But importantly ,he was frantically searching for his mother and his long gone father and grandfather among the ocean of people present their. His eyes hurt but he did his best to search with whatever was left of it. He thought god,please help me. I can’t find my mummy. But god neither heard nor responded to the pleas of a little child. Perhaps he was busy masterminding another assault or designing some new fiend who would do the dirty works for him. Perhaps he was contemplating his success in punishing mankind for their increasing inconstant chord with him. It doesn’t matter what he was or is doing. Because he is definitely not answering to the prayers of a partially blinded, little boy in a hospital in Syria.