Colour of violence

He held the black & white photograph in his hand. Ammi and Abu were smiling as usual. The glint in their eyes filled the dark room with hope. Whenever the tables were turned against him, he used to glance at the photograph for strength. It reminded him of his happier days.

Ammi running behind him to put him to bed at night.
Abu giving him Eidi to buy whatever he wanted.
Both feeling proud when he easily distinguished between colours in childhood.

Happier days. That was what he wanted to concentrate on. But the mind is an untameable beast. It wanders off to places you don’t like.

Shouts of Har Har Mahadev filling the bylanes.
Men brandishing swords, with vermillion heavy forehead, and kicking open the front door.

The tensed and worried look on Abu’s face when he said ‘You will be safe’.

Screaming, he looked away from the photograph. It had turned into red. The colour of blood.
He rechecked the pins on the grenade and the safety lock on the Kalashnikov. The colour of revenge.

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