I was watching the news when the first image of one of the terrorists was put up for the first time. It was the picture of a young man, who didn’t look older than 20, in a black T-shirt saying Versace, with a blue backpack. And an AK47. He had what appeared to be a line of blood on his face. And he was smiling. Not even in an evil sinister way. He was just smiling.
It scared me. It scared me because I was just thinking how he could have been my neighbor, or the boy who sat in the row behind me at college. He could have been my best friend’s boy friend. He could have been anybody. Of all the pictures of the terrorists that we have seen, it is surprising that not one of them had the trademark beard and traditional clothes.
The man/boy with the Versace T-shirt featured in nearly every photo taken. He was obviously not the most careful of the lot. I want to know what became of him.
None of them wore masks. Maybe they had no plans of escaping anyway? Maybe they had either planned to die in battle, or were aware and prepared to spend life in jail if they were caught alive. Why else would they not wear masks?
But what sort of indoctrination and brain washing prepares you for death or a life in jail?
I immediately thought of the parents of these young men. Do they know what their sons have done? Its usually a big deal for parents to be called to school even, when their sons have done something stupid like bunk class or get into a fight. But what about when their sons grow up to be terrorists?
Was it them as parents who failed? Or do they believe the same things as their sons? Was it religion who failed them? Was it us, who showed them too little love, for them to think there was any good in the world?
When I saw images of the guns being used, they looked familiar. Then of course I learnt that they were AK47’s. I don’t know anything about defense and arms, but I do know that model number. The news also mentioned that Bazookas were being used by the terrorists.
I was reminded of how I first learnt the word Bazooka. It was more than 5 years ago when we bought our first computer. I had asked some of my neighbors in the building, to give me some computer games. I didn’t care for them, but I thought that’s what everybody did when they had computers- they played computer games on them.
They installed 2 games for me that day (which I never played finally). One was an NBA Basketball game. And the other was this cops and robbers kind of game, where the bad guys had fancy cars and fancy guns. The boy who gave me the game played a few rounds to show me how it worked. And I remember him getting excited when the ‘bazookas’ were used.
That’s the story of how I learnt of bazookas.
I also remember an argument I had with a friend of mine a few months back, about video games. I swore that when I had kids, they were not going to be given those toy guns with the springs inside, that made annoying shooting noises when one pulled the trigger. They were also not going to be allowed to play boy-games that involved shooting and killing. And finally, there would be no watching of wrestling on TV.
My friend disagreed with my point of view. He insisted that there was nothing wrong with these things; he didn’t turn out wrong after all.
That’s not the point. If I had a choice, I would remove the word ‘hate’ and ‘kill’ from the dictionary. That would sadly not solve anything. Hate is in all of us. So is love. We are born with it. We are born into it. But I want for every child in the world, to not know of these evils.
That’s like asking for a dog’s tail to be straight. Its like that story about the man who raised a leopard cub, on vegetarian food all its life, but one day when the cub licked blood off a child’s wound, it knew what it was made for.