Campaigning has ended. The election will begin tomorrow. Little vans with posters of one or another candidate siren all. Everyone knows how many days it is to the elections. There are comical dramas on television explaining the process and purpose of the elections. Even then, some Afghans ask me ‘Who will you vote for, Natasha-jan?’ Cars pullover at certain junctions grabbing from their windows free booklets detailing the manifesto of all candidates. Every other hour a patriotic song is played. Even I know the lyrics to some of these songs. There is a scene of Afghans of all colours and features rushing to hold up a staggering Afghan flag. Poets sing songs of love and endearment to this country. Afghanistan seems to be a deceased lover in all of them.
I am far away now from the chaos and dust of Sharenaw and Wazir Akbar Khan. The morning a suicide bomber exploded himself near the American Embassy, we woke up in a lot of shock, the girls rushing to draw the curtains. Outside, even from my window I saw a white bomb cloud engulf into itself, then slowly dispersing away. Modar was really terrified, with tears in her eyes. She told me last years’ Indian embassy blast was so strong that all the windows blasted into the house. She said she ran out crying towards Lycee Malalai School to find Sunbol. I cannot imagine the panic, how distraught she must have been looking for her daughter. She cursed the Taliban, calling them infidels and then repeating a long list of names connected to massacres, rape and the destruction of the country; names of warlords now holding the honourable title of Member of Parliament.
Why men decide war? Everyone stares blankly after watching hourly news about what happened, where, how many died, how many injured, who, why..why..why. We all get so angry sometimes. So upset. The men who have decided to wage war on each other, wage war on others instead. It doesn’t matter whose side you are on. It doesn’t matter if you claim to fight for freedom, or fight for Allah. There can never be a justification for this. When mothers are forced to identify their children among the dead, what justification is there? You can cite a scripture and I won’t believe in any of it. Men who decide war are too weak to find peace. All these foreign soldiers, insurgents, terrorists – there is no place in Heaven for any of them.
Don’t say its collateral damage, or that this is part of war; people die, women raped. families broken. If you cannot kill the enemy, then kill no one. War is all about pride and victory; nothing is for the people.
Kais, Sunbol’s brother fled Afghanistan last year and entered illegally into Germany with a false passport. He has no work, no money. I asked Modar when she will see him again. She said she doesn’t know but this is best for him. When she said it, she said it with so much of sadness, so much of resignation but acceptance.
All Ngos have been advised to take off. We are unsure of what will happen after the elections. Karzai is expected to win but he has some exceptional rivals. I don’t know if much will change even with a different government. Where there is power, there is not much faith.
I am very safe where I am. I will spend the next few days typing out my minutes, watching Hindi movies, blog many many stories and read Brida. Here I can cook my own food. I like control over what I eat – healthwise, due to Ismail Chacha’s influence. Last night I slept very well.