The faded memory of that floating body rushed to my mind when I saw the blood-filled face of that little boy, shivering with the pain of wounds, on the television screen as an aftermath of the heavy retaliation from the opposite side. It floated for many hours on the water-filled pond, with many curious people staring at that half-naked pale body wrapped in a magenta-coloured lungi with blue flowers, moving with the wind from one side to the other, with tiny fish all around, till the policemen pulled it to the shore. The cold-faced constables, the defaced corpse, curious faces, silence and the foul-smelling thick air had frightened me, and even now, that incident often regurgitates at the top of my thoughts from nowhere, with the same intensity, shock and fear. Though the curious circuit of people in a low-paced voice had adjudged the same as a murder, the police eventually concluded it as a suicide and no one, including his family members, seemed to be bothered about that death. That was my first encounter with death, and I was too young to recollect my age. Though the years passed and life encountered many more deaths and mishaps en route, that pale face, the cadaver, magenta-coloured lungi, spooky pond, tiny fish, curious people, and the policemen are still live in my thoughts, and the same will be there till the end of my time.
He was no one for me, and his death had not affected me, except for the deep scar and never-ending fear inflicted in my mind. If so, when the firebombs turned his beloved ones into a heap of flesh and bones, how can he survive for the rest of his life without bleeding wounds on his heart and soul? How can we blame him if he chooses to take revenge on the enemies by enjoying the taste of the fiery bombs?
The colour of the blood, the pain of the wound, the agony of the despair and the grief of the separation are the same in everyone. The taste of the tears, grief of the heart, shades of death, the feeling of hunger, the loneliness of isolation, the guilt of despair, the chill of sorrow, the silence of sadness, and the insecurity of fear are the same in everyone. The pain of Palestinians is not less than the pain of Israelis. The death of a Palestinian is not worse than the death of an Israeli. Kids of Palestinians are as beautiful as kids of Israelis. But still, they love to kill each other; maybe that is the beauty of life.
But the colour of the flags, the tones of the skins, the shades of the religions, the boundaries of the regions, the politics of the people, clashes of the civilisation, sharpness of ideologies, the level of ignorance and the depth of knowledge are different, distinct and varied in everyone. So let the blood be shed, the kids be dead, ladies be raped, blasts the bombs, destroy the nations, kill the people, divide the minds and doom the earth, till we find the ultimate happiness. Let us suffer by licking the wounds of each other, enjoy the pain of others and then shamelessly call it a life!!
This was the law of Neanderthals, the law of Homo sapiens. And finally, this is the law of the world. Accept it, but one thing is sure: the scars will bleed for long, and that blood is not enough to cease the fire of the souls.
Bijoy P PULIPRA
A Neanderthal turned Homo sapien