With Open Arms By Akhil Gupta

 

He peeped out of that small hole. There was a halting silence in the air for the last three hours. It was indeed an achievement of its own. Three hours, without a bullet being sacrificed in the war-hit city of Amman was indeed an achievement, but sadly not many were present to celebrate this petty feat.

 

 

Mohsin was all drenched in sweat. He was quivering, much similar to the moment when he entered that broken steel casket, much similar to the fate of the residents of Amman. However, unlike those who were forced to abandon their lives as the ultimate offering to the Almighty,Mohsin somehow was left alive. Who would care to harm a 7 year old child? But then, who would not love to offer more to the Greatest King?

 

 

Mohsin, trembling inside the “would-be” resting place of many, mustered the courage to open the casket and to walk out in the death-fest. He rather wanted to stay inside the casket, but then there has to be some way to ultimately land in that casket instead of succumbing yourself in it. It would be heartbreaking to see a 7 year old boy, all drenched in sweat, and his kurta stained with the “holy and pious blood of the sacrifices” of his parents. The irony of the fate was however more spine chilling. There was not even a soul alive to help him out. Iraqis had brought the ultimate gift of death for the people of Jordan from Baghdad.

 

Wandering in search to quench his thirst and hunger, he was all drained out. It seemed as if he would have been on his deathbed, and one fall and he would never make out back to his feet again. Just then, he found something that made him forget all his pains. Across the shelled road, was a toy that resembled something similar. Mohsin limped towards the toy with all his might, and as he approached the toy a slight smile flashed on his face. It was the same action
figure his father gifted him on his 7th birthday, the same fateful night the carnage began. He picked up the figure with great zeal and hugged it. The scorching heat of the sun could not outshine the happiness on his face. The once trembling soul had a moment of happiness in the midst of hell. He collapsed down, clenching the figure next to him, the shell crater serving as his to-be death bed.

 

Lt. General Liaqat Hossein, man in charge of Iraqi troops in Jordan, was in his convoy passing through the streets of Amman, when his wife spotted the entire fiasco. When Mohsin collapsed, she pleaded to her husband to take him with them. Reluctant, he had to agree to her and ordered to bring the child. She took Mohsin and tried her heart out, and was finally victorious in
bringing him to life. As the convoy was crossing the outskirts of Amman, she asked a question that rocked the world out of the Lt. General. “Will Allah give prosperity if more innocent people like this child will be slaughtered?”

 

Within a week, the troops were pulled out. Noone knew what transpired, but all people could assume was that a dying child saved an entire nation from being wiped out.

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