Imaginary Paradises and Real Hells
Aziz raised the machine gun and pumped a million bullets into the heart of his frustrations.
Firoz lay dead in a pool of warm blood which exuded a smell that strangely reminded Aziz of the chemistry lab in his college. Soon he would be lying in a similar pool of blood, his own blood, Aziz knew. He had killed one of the top leaders of the organisation and he would be a fool to hope that he could get away with it.
What would be the smell of my blood? He asked himself. Will it smell of the deodorant whose seductiveness is what first drew him to Miriam?
“Miriam will be a suicide bomber,” Firoz had decided.
Miriam was Maria. Maria Joseph of St Antony’s College whose humid corridors carried various odours one of which was the seductive fragrance that wafted whenever Maria Joseph of B.Sc. (Bio) came along. Aziz was a B.Sc. (Chem) student of the same batch.
When Firoz suggested to make a non-Muslim girl fall in love with him, it was the fragrance of Maria that rushed into his veins and made him blush.
But why? He wondered. “Why should I fall in love with a kafir?” He asked.
“Who’s asking you to love anybody?” He growled. “The girl should fall. In love. With you.”
Firoz explained. A new world, a totally different world, emerged in Aziz’s imagination as Firoz spoke. A paradise on earth. One god, one religion, one Caliphate. All infidels will be converted. Or else eliminated.
Miriam’s duty was to eliminate. She would be a suicide bomber. A martyr. Firdaws, nothing less, awaited her.
“But we thought we would be creating the paradise on the earth!” exclaimed Aziz.
“Yes. Paradise on earth requires martyrs and their work on the foundation. Miriam is fortunate to have been chosen to be a martyr.”
“But I love her,” Aziz protested in spite of all the training that they were given over months. They were taught to forget earthly attachments until the mission is accomplished. Once the mission is accomplished, their rewards would be manifold, so much more than they could ever have imagined.
“In the meanwhile you can get another girl to fall in love with you,” Firoz grinned.
It was then Aziz grabbed the machine gun. To hell with Firdaws and Paradise.
He flung the smoking gun and walked out.
He saw a drugged Miriam get into the driver’s seat of a car. Suicide bomber.
“Miriam!” He wanted to call. But his voice died in his throat as he became aware of the steel barrel of a pistol behind his head. “Allah! Mercy!”