The Love Story of a BULLET and a LOLLIPOP
Hi. My name is Mayera Khan.
It was a warm Sunday morning that day.
I was off to work. You know what I do?
I’m a teacher.
No! I don’t ‘educate’ children, I ’empower’ them. Dad always told me there is a thin line of difference between the former and the latter. While ‘education’ motivates you to DO something in life, ’empowerment’ inspires you to BE something in life, he said.
So yes, that’s what I do for a living. Teach children. It is a toothsome job, really. It satiates my conscience.
When I had signed up for it, people told me I was being stupid. They told me there was no scope for self improvement if I took up something so ‘trivial’. TRIVIAL! Yes, that’s what they called it. But words could not tell them that there was no better profession than this.
Kids are innocent, y’know. Naive. And the questions they ask you sometimes are so thought provoking, I cannot tell you enough.
While I continued to be lost in my spree of ‘introspection’, this one tiny girl walked up to me.
‘ HOW CUTE!’ was all I could think. Pink suited her.
“Ken I ate lollipup?”, she immaculately asked.
I smiled. I gave her one and asked her to share it with her friends.
Just then, I spun my head to check the time on the wall clock. And then, came it.
Faster than a jet.
Faster than I could react.
Faster than a life could be sucked away.
It is worse than a dementor. It doesn’t even give you the chance to fight back.
What happened from here is something I still cannot comprehend.
I lost consciousness.
It was black where I was. I could see nothing, sense nothing, feel nothing. I wished to be lost in the darkness perennially. Why live a life where I see no light, I figured?
But destiny wished otherwise for me, maybe.
When I woke up, there was commotion everywhere. A guy sprinkled water on my face. It was not BLACK anymore.
It was RED. Dark red spilled like venom all over.
I took a step forward.
As I walked down the aisle, there lay those tiny angels. Eyes sealed. Bodies wrapped in blood.
My ears craved for their incessant yells, my eyes craved for that ‘pink’ frock. I stepped onto something hard.
‘The’ lollipop it was.
It is crazy how much something as trifling as a bullet can do, isn’t it?
In a jiffy, the whole plecht of their dreams was shattered.
Lives were snatched away.
Families were betrayed.
“141 dead out of which 132 were your kids, ma’am”, said a face I didn’t recognize. He had an ID Card hung around his neck. “Waseem Shaik”, it blared at me. His lanyard was red. Not because of the blood, it was just red.
Why was I seeing red everywhere?
I didn’t like it any more.
I left the place where my soul dwelt.
I left it. For good.
I drove home then.
My husband and my 9-year old daughter were watching the television. “123 children shot to death”, the reporter said.
He was panicking, my husband. I checked my phone instantly. 73 missed calls!
I couldn’t utter a word. I just managed to say, ” H-o-n-e-y?”
He sprang to his feet and hugged me and kissed me.
I burst into tears. I broke down.
I couldn’t take it any longer.
The barrier of composure broke.
I was overwhelmed by emotions so strong and bitter, I knew not.
My daughter walked up to me.
“But Maa? Why are you crying?
Didn’t you tell me RED signified LOVE?
This is just God’s way of saying he loves them.
They will go to heaven, Maa. What is wrong with it?”
Remember I told you I don’t regret my decision of taking up this profession?
#Because many souls died a worse death than those kids.