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A Graveyard Silence
No one was able to know what was going on. How this all happened. How it had been a nightmare. Everyone had thought that this could happen only in the movies. The line of the furious men was moving towards Ranipokhari. Everyone was showing body movements that completely showed that they were not happy. A body was being carried away from the Bir hospital. Police officers with long, thick sticks stood there watching as they couldn’t do anything to stop the crowd. As I stood there without knowledge about what had gone wrong that had made the city crazy.
“Where is the secu……?” I heard only the fragments of what people were saying. The song in my mobile said- ‘Coz I’m TNT I’m Dynamite’ I could hear only the small parts of what was going on, only when the loud music slowed for a few seconds. I was not interested as this kind of situation had been there so many times. I had just come out of a DVD store at Jamal. I had bought the film “The Hurt Locker” from a store I knew and saw the raging mass in front of me. I usually carried the umbrella since the sky poured in unexpectedly any time of the day. I felt like the sky was mourning the deaths of the passengers of the plane the day before. I started feeling little weary as I saw lots and lots of Muslim people pouring in into the street. I could know perfectly that they were Muslims as their dresses revealed it. They were not caring about the rain.
I was there standing numbly without a sensible clue of what was going on. My black umbrella was being hit by other umbrellas as people rushed from all over the place. One woman of about my mother’s age (i.e. 40) was talking to this other woman. I knew that they were scared. Even if it was not an expression as if someone had pointed a gun at their face but I could see that they were scared for themselves. They were scared for their family. They looked as if they had just seen a ghost and were talking about it.
With much confusion than knowledge, I went near them to eavesdrop. The first lady in her sari said-
“What the hell were the police looking at?”
“Yeah! Totally.” The other replied.
“Someone gets killed in broad day light and the police just stand there watching?”
“ Yes! But I think the police is not to blame totally for this.”
“Why not? They were just meters away from the crime scene and the killers walked away.. Yeah… can you believe it? They just walked away. Didn’t even run.”
“Yes. They have become very confident. Now the Muslims will be furious at us.”
“What do you mean by furious at us? It may not be the Hindus who did it. How can you even conclude that,?”
“I mean they will probably think it was us. Won’t they?’
“Well maybe. But let’s not lose the point here. Now how can we and our family be safe when people are being killed in one of the most secure place in the city..i mean as they say it to be.”
“Yeah that also in broad day light.”
I was distracted from hearing them as I heard a little girl crying just behind me. She was saying to her mother-
“Mama, will they kill us also?” I was totally shocked by that question.
“No honey. They won’t the police will catch the bad guys.” I didn’t think that she totally believed that herself. The girl was still crying as her mom took her away from where the crowd was going. I returned to hearing the conversation between the two women.
“Now who the hell told that poor little girl that there has been a murder?”
“Who has to say nowadays? Every kid in the neighborhood knows that the city is not safe anymore.” The serious humor was not logical but had its meaning.
“I would just love to get away from this place and go to someplace else.”
“I would just want to get home and have a decent meal and a sound sleep that’s all.” I was surprised by how fast the people had digested the death and planned to go home. I too was worried about how to get home as soon as possible as the sound got smaller. The city was again being quieter. But it was not a fine silent I felt. It was the silence that one feels at a graveyard. A grave-yard silence, I decided and made my way to Jamal to wait for the micro bus to arrive and take me home.