January 1, 2010 Off By Mani Padma

My daughter… my sweet little daughter.
How I love this photograph. It is going to be probably my last memory of yours.
Your innocent smile, eyes tightly shut, shutting away the caterpillar ,willing it to go away from your world…
How I wish it was easy to shut things away from this precious world of ours- unpleasant unwanted things…
There is a war going on here. Tomorrow I will be sent to the front to fight. Am I afraid? Yes! I am. Afraid of losing you all. Afraid of what I might have to do there. Afraid of what might be done to me. There we are robbed of our souls and stripped of our humanity
I wish I could shut the war away by closing my eyes. But it is not easy my love.
That day I killed a militant. He was just 16 years old.
I wish I could shut away the memory of his mother crying over his dead body.
I am torn between my love and duty for my country and my own principles.
I wish I could shut away those doubts and insecurities by closing my eyes ….

And I wish most that, the next time I met you I could meet you with my eyes open and not shut.

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