I once wanted to become a suicide bomber. It was 1990 A.D. and I was in class eight….I think Ms Geeta Kumari was my class teacher.
Suicide bombing hadn`t yet become a career option – the middle classes still wanted their children to become an Engineer, a Doctor or a Collector. I decided to become a Collector, because I didn`t like what the only Engineer & Doctor I knew did for a living – the former was always flirting with the brick carrying lady while the latter preferred the nurse. I know, I was only 14 years old then…but you got to agree that we Rajans have that special something to spot a flirt.
In order to become a suicide bomber, I started practicing. By early February, 1990 I could hide under my shirt my school bag and my cricket bat. My guru in this exercise was Zafar Iqbal, a class 10 student who told me that he was a retired suicide bomber. I followed his advice, and spent at least 20 hours a day, trying to hide all kinds of things under my shirt.
Zafar said his family was full of suicide bombers. He even swore that his 80 year old grand pa was a suicide bomber – I know, it defies logic…but back then I didn`t have the courage to question him.
When I asked him why he had become a suicide bomber at such a young age, he narrated the story of his father`s bravery.
Like the rest of their family, his father Yakub Khan had also enrolled to be a suicide bomber when he was all of 24. After the training was over – in which Yakub couldn`t ask his suicide bombing teacher at Suicide Bombing Institute of India (SBII) for a second demonstration – he was sent to suicide attack an Indian Army camp in Dehradun.
I could see pride in Zafar Iqbal`s eyes as he was in a world of his own while narrating the story of his father`s bravado. He continued….
And then, my father strapped four kilograms of TNT around his stomach and put of a winter jacket over it. Since it was November…nobody suspected him. He walked right up to the middle of the cantonment and called up his bosses in SBII.. My father told his bosses that he was in the center of the cantonment, and wanted permission to commit suicide. Like true professionals, the bosses gave the green signal immediately….but as luck would have it…my father`s bomb refused to go off. He pressed the red button again….then again…then again…but the bomb just didn`t go off.
I looked in awe as I listened to Zafar`s passionate narration.
My father looked around him…there was nobody…..he could have given up and just walked out of the cantonment alive. But that wasn`t my father….he was a brave man. He pulled out his knife…and as promised to his bosses…slashed his wrists and committed suicide.
Zafar was my suicide bombing guru for a long time. And by the time I realized that suicide bombers didn`t retire, as Zafar had claimed, but died and spent time in heaven with 72 virgins, it was too late.
Around December, 1990, I decided to branch out on my own. I named my group Al Alphonsa Al Bimar Al Camchor and even made my own visiting cards.
With just a visiting card and burning ambition, I decided to tie up with other terrorist outfits. Zafar had told me that terrorists exchanged messages on porn sites….so I started visiting porn sites by the dozen.
You are probably thinking how a 14 year old, middle class boy, growing up in Kolkata (and that too in 1990 A.D.) will have internet access at home. Just to remind you…..you are reading my blog. So continue….
I started visiting porn sites. In the six months I spent searching for messages from terrorists hidden in porn sites…I came pretty close only once.
The message, which I saw just below a lady`s picture, said: “She packs solid ones under her jackets. She be mean, and can kill you with her looks.”
There were links next to this message called ‘View Her Images` ‘View Her Free Videos`…….I did view them but it turned out to be a dead end. There were no clues so I couldn`t proceed any further.
After wanting to become a suicide bomber for a little more than a year…I dropped my plan on 21 May, 1991 – the day Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated by a suicide bomber.
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Now I have the license to kill, literally
I have never sat on an airplane
Conversation: Osama vs Batman
Delhi Blasts: When paranoia sets in…