Place : Refugee Camp,
Time : 17:00 hrs
Adanma runs to her mother with a big grin. It seemed as if she got a treasure trove. She clutched onto the rag doll and displayed it with great pride. Her mother, Hassana, was busy cleaning up their corner. They were just able to pack a small bag while fleeing away from their home. The mats were rolled out for the night.
Adanma was all of 5 yrs old with beautiful brown eyes. She went to Hassana and asked her to give a small piece of cloth. She wanted to dress up the doll. Hassana replied “We will get the doll a new cloth when Baaba returns back”. Adanma’s eyes lit up hearing about Baaba. She jumped with joy and asked “When will Baaba come back?”. Hassana responded he will be back before you know it my dear.
Dayo had been missing for a week. There was no news about his whereabouts. He had gone to the other camp nearby to check on other members of the family.
Hassana cleaned up Adanma and fed her dinner. Adanma asked her mother, “when can we go back home Yumma?”. Hassana replied that we will be home very soon. Hassana held her in lap and put her to sleep. Adanma kissed her mother goodnight and slept off.
The silence of the night was overwhelming. Hassana was worried about Dayo. Did the inevitable happen? Dayo had asked her not to leave the camp even if he was not back.
There was a loud explosion. There was fire everywhere. Cries and screams is all that she could hear. She held Adanma and kissed her goodbye. There were fleeting images of Dayo and family.
The next morning, Dayo was scrambling through the ashes. He found a mother and a child interlocked in the mounds of bodies that lay in the camp. He just froze in pain and horror.
Place: BeirutTime : 17:30 Hrs
Aban was walking towards the bakery. He had to pick up a cake for his son’s birthday. The family was going to be home for dinner. He was meeting his brothers and sisters after a month. It was Aldan’s 10th birthday.
Aban had a long day at work and wanted to get home fast to spend time with his son. He stepped into the bakery. The cake was a car shaped colorful rainbow one. He had a smile when he saw the cake. He picked up the cake and stepped into the crowded street.
The street was alive with people bustling all over. It was evening and people were returning from work. A little girl held her father’s hand as they crossed the street. The kebab shop seemed to be back in business. The parcels were being packed. In the humdrum, there was a large explosion. Everybody scrambled in the narrow street. Terror had struck yet again. The cake blew into pieces. Aban lay in a pool of blood with many others in the street.
The happiness in the air turned into an eerie silence. Wails of women and children echoed the streets. The evil hands of terror struck again.
Place: ParisTime: 20:00 Hrs
Eva was excited and called her mother. She called and told her “ I will home late after the concert. I can’t wait to hear them play”. Her mother replied in French “Jouir s’amuser bien chéri”.
Eva was there at the concert with her friends. They all went in to the hall. The band just got onto the stage. The whole crowd was shouting and dancing. The air was filled with excitement and music. The hall was filled with people drowned in music. The couple held hands and sang along. Eva was dancing away to the music.
There were some shots that were so loud. Eva held her stomach and fell flat. Her last words were “maman, help me”.
The couple fell to the ground and he whispered into her ears not to move. They lay motionless in the hall. There was blood and cries everywhere.
Thomas was waiting for Mia in the café. He was scrolling through the phone and checking the photos. Mia and Thomas met every Friday for dinner at this café. Mia was normally never late. Their offices were nearby. They wanted to go to Eiffel Tower for a walk. There was a loud noise. It sounded like fire crackers. Thomas just stood up and saw people running. He saw Mia from a distance. She just fell down. He could not comprehend what just happened. There were shots being fired. He ran a few steps and was pulled back by an old man into the café. He pleaded to let him go. The stranger said that he won’t be able to help her if he also got shot. The gun shots went on for few minutes and then stopped. He ran like a mad man to Mia. She lay there dead. Thomas cried and wailed like a baby. There were howls and cries of people. It seemed like the Wailing Wall was now in Paris.
A sea of roses now lies outside the hall and café.
Dayo , Thomas , Eva and Aban’s family shed tears of sorrow and pain. They all were one in pain. The feeling of losing a loved one was just as same and transcended all boundaries.
I am sure that all of us have read about the inhumane and dreadful incidents that happened across the globe. While we as bystanders can voice out our opinions on the inequality of coverage on news, the reality is that the pain that these families are going through is just the same. There are no boundaries of country, creed, religion and race when it comes to losing one’s family. The pain and void that is inflicted on these innocent families is heart breaking. All the victims of such bombings are people who were just going about their daily lives. The lives lost will never come back but I hope that humanity and justice will rise from the dead one day.
My humble dedication to all the souls that we have lost in times of war and strife.