Or rather I think, I think. I have to be right on this one. I am bringing a second one out here, in a few months.
I have a couple of friends who have chosen not to have children. Ever. They are both borderline cynical, but one actually loves kids. They managed to convince their respective partners to not procreate, because they think the world can do without another innocent soul being corrupted.
I am not really Ms Sunshine, but I am an optimist; I have a lot to be grateful for. And I still see the world as a wonderful place. Not a perfect one (but then if it is, how will people sell their religion as the path to heaven?), but a beautiful one.
But somewhere deep inside, my Jiminy Cricket asks me if I am sure. Absolutely sure? And I am not.
I think by hugging my child(ren) everyday, dozens of times a day; by listening to them; by teaching them right from wrong; by loving them unconditionally; by educating them; by giving them a good social environment, I am ensuring that they will grow up as good human beings. Who may sometimes falter, who may have flaws, but who will always try to be better.
I feel by doing all this, I justify bringing a child into this world. I am assuming every parent wants to do this too…
So, did the parents of 21-year-old Mohammed Ajmal Mohammed Ameer Kasam really mess up?
Or are hugs and love and education not good enough? Where is his mother? Or for that matter, the families of the other nine youngsters who we know as ‘terrorists’.
What will happen to 2-year-old Moshe? He will never be allowed to forget how his father and ‘heve’ (6 months pregnant at that) died. Eighteen years from now how will he be moulded? How different will he be from the pitiful child crying out for his mother at the funeral service.
Everyday, every moment, there are human achievements and nature’s miracles that makes me grateful for being here.
It may be a spider weaving its web, the process of birth, the process of making the baby, a kiss, a lioness chiding its cub with a heavy paw on the head because it’s going astray, pollination, a baby’s laugh, breast feeding, a Bollywood entertainer, a fantastic cricket match, the Mars rover, Chandrayaan, Usain Bolt’s victory dance… and so I think it’s a world worth bringing another child into.
Sadly, everyday there is death and terror.
But like all of us I want to believe it won’t happen to me and mine.
For how long can I continue to believe this?
When will my beliefs be dismantled brutally?
When I board the flight to India?
When I next switch on the TV to watch FRIENDS and stumbled upon a news channel showing a blast somewhere?
When I go shopping for a new bag or underwear?
When I decide to go for an anniversary dinner?
When I am attending a friend’s wedding?
I dread the rude awakening. I hope it never happens.
I want my life to be boring and uneventful.
I want my hugs and kisses to be protection enough for O, Plus and R.
I want to believe that Mohammed Ajmal Mohammed Ameer Kasam has never been soothed by his mother, and didn’t have a normal childhood.
I want Moshe to have someone step in and be his mother and hug him, without crippling him with sympathy and hate.
I want to believe that’s all that the world needs. More hugs.
ETA: A colleague pointed out this video on reading the post. Free hugs. What a wonderful idea indeed.