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Children of hell

Children of hell
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This year has seen an unprecedented number of my friends pop out babies. It’s a little unsettling, to be honest. I’m in absolute denial about my obviously advancing years, and continue to pretend like I’m still only a teen. While my friends are busy getting hitched, I’m still figuring out which shoes to wear with my dungarees! So, it is a little overwhelming to have a tiny human thrust into your arms- a human created by people you’ve grown up with!

It makes me squirm uncomfortably, and is a cause of extreme amusement for the parents who laugh uncontrollably at my clumsy attempts at warming up to said tiny human. That is not to say I’m not fond of tiny humans. Just that I feel a wee bit competitive around them.

I mean, a little drool rolling down their chin, a toothless grin, fat dimpled cheeks- and, the entire room collectively ‘aww-s’. While, I have to depend on my wit, charm, and humour to impress. Not fair!

I’m not in the mood to discuss politics or religion today. Both have led us to our ruin, and both are responsible for the dead children of Peshawar.

Today is about children and the horrific reality we are subjecting them to. Children can’t go to the park ‘cause we might bomb it. Children can’t play after sunset ‘cause we might rape them. Children can’t go to school ‘cause we might pump bullets into their skinny chests and watch them die.

Is this why we procreate? To have tiny humans fall into a death trap every day? I’m not a parent.
I’ve practically no maternal instinct. I’m as protective of a child as I am of my bottle of Elie Saab (which isn’t a bad measure at all, by the way).

But, I know what it feels like to lose a child. I saw my grandmother wither away after the passing of her eldest son. I’ve seen a friend’s mother turn into a lump after her pilot son didn’t return from a sortie. It cannot be too hard to imagine their pain.

Having a child is like having a little part of you living outside your body. And, this part of you is at the mercy of depraved monsters who could snuff out his life any minute. Is this how much it is worth? Do these unsuspecting, pure souls deserve a childhood that might end abruptly in smoke, blood, rubble? No, they don’t. They deserve better. Much better. And, till the time we are unable to guarantee a better, safer, saner, peaceful world, let’s just not bring these tiny humans into this world, please!
 Couple of days after the Peshawar incident, I read a report in the newspapers about a 4-year-old being raped in a Mumbai suburb. And, my belief was reinforced. That we have created a world that we ought to die with.

We have no right to inflict pain upon a new generation. They don’t deserve to pay for our mistakes and our ancestors’. Our parents were the generation of hopefuls, dreamers, the ones that believed in flower power, peace, and love for all. Cat Stevens dreamt about the world as one and sand about everybody riding on the Peace Train. John Lennon imagined there’re no countries and nothing to kill for. All fine thoughts, but look where all the dreams and hopes have brought us!

To my parents, don’t be surprised if you aren’t ‘blessed’ with grandkids. If only we’d listened to MJ and made this world a better place for you, me, and the entire human race. If only.

Malini Banerjee is a snotty single child, mountain junkie, playback singer, Austen addict, and
dreams of singing alongside Buddy Guy
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