REFLECTIONS ON THE MIRROR  

© Farid Asey 11 December 2001

 

War unregenerately is lingering without any end in sight and still reveling with the old age habits not considering the effects it has had and it will continue to have on the little precious humble existences called "the children".

In my attempts to explain this problem, I encountered great difficulties. Firstly, because like any other Afghan working hard for a livelihood, I get less time to express what I feel about the kind of future that awaits us through the words which are foreign to me. And secondly because, I am afraid. Afraid because what I write would perhaps be not so optimistic and in one way or other reflections of human sufferings. Afraid because Afghanistan itself is an old story and many people do not want to listen to it. And finally afraid because such stories might meet the future of Afghanistan itself.

It is an understood fact that children are not directly involved in most of the warfares and that they are the adults who fight. However, they do not remain unaffected of the aftermath of violence of all forms; whether attacking WTC, or defending it.

I appreciate the time you have taken to read this story which is the experiences of an Afghan child after the events of 11th of September in New York and the developments on the ground in Afghanistan following that tragedy.

 

----- REFLECTIONS ON THE MIRROR -----

After years of successive fighting's, it was only in the last days of this summer that I got permission from parents to go out and play with other friends of my age. We got together in the playground of our previously destroyed school. The school which was located in a desert like open area with no boundary walls and a bit far from our houses. It was the only place we could really enjoy ourselves because it still had some trees, green area, and a Russian built old basketball stand.

I enjoyed and loved being there and seeing old friends of school even if it was for a short time.

We were playing Ghorsai (an Afghan children’s game) in that evening and I, being a little older than the others, was doing good. We were all laughing and making fun of the one who was obviously losing. Suddenly a torrible (combination of terrible and horrible) noise tore my thoughts and badly frightened me. So frightened that I went down on the ground. Luckily, I was still conscious and alive. "It went safe with God's grace" I said to myself, got up and started to run inadvertently.

While running, I noticed that it was not only me forgiven by the compassionate blast and running out of that place but also my other friends. We were screaming with tears on our dusty faces and some kids had even wetted their dusty torn out pants.

After a long run to a ruined roofless house nearby that we sheltered in, we finally came to a stop holding our kidneys and throats. It was as frightening as hell. Oh God! We had completely forgotten such noises after some short days of peace in our country. It refreshed the traumatic memories of the past. I doubted what my teacher once taught us "the history is irreversible". It in fact had so many times reversed back on us repeating the same atrocities.

We were so scared that we were shivering and so downhearted that we could not talk or say anything for some time. The evening mild wind bringing a cold respite started blowing and it was getting cold with the blue sky getting dark and darker. Long moment of silence was broken with one daring to ask what exactly happened. Whispering then started amongst us. "If there was an explosion, a bomb from an American bomber, so why are we not hurt?" one asked in his own innocent childish way of it. Another followed with a second question, and third and … all on the same subject.

Talks were continuing and so were we, getting more and more relaxed to find our ways back home. We had never been away from our mothers for so long. While fearing and hesitating for some reasons to leave that place, we finally heard our mothers screaming, calling our names sibilantly. We came out of that place. I saw my mother weeping after me who when she first saw me slapped and then hugged me. "I told you not to go out playing. If something had happened to you, what would I have done?" said the mother.

While we were walking our ways back home, a military vehicle with a big loudspeaker on the top appeared and started talking "Dear compatriots! The security is completely under our control and no problems. The explosion that frightened and caused your little ones to run was no more than the noise of an empty fuel barrel that had fallen down from a horse-cart because of the bumpy road. It was neither a cruise missile nor a bomb from the infidels’ planes, my courageous fellow-mates and future-builders of the country!" said the speaker loudly and continued "The carter is caught and will be soon punished for his negligence." It stopped and the military car disappeared.

I very calmly so that my mother would not notice said "Long live Afghans! Long live our boasted morale! And long live the loudspeaker!".


 
 

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