The terrorist was there. Everything had worked as planned and he was finally there. He was being nudged and pushed around by people who had no time to look at what he was doing. He had worked so hard for this mission that turning back was not an option for him, not even for the girl whom he loved with all his life. He concentrated hard, and in the process, little drops of sweat like beads appeared on his forehead. He was at the intersection of a busy street, carefully envisaging the operation which would leave hundreds of casualties behind. Time was running away and he did not have the luxury of reminiscing, for as the minutes flew away, the intersection was beginning to get thinner by the second. It was not before long that almost everyone would happily reach their destinations and get to work.

But the terrorist could not let it happen; he was there on a mission and he had to get it done. He started walking towards a small shop, his left hand beneath his jacket, where a bomb was strapped tight to his bosom-a deathly hug. As he approached the shanty, he noticed a boy sitting inside the makeshift structure looking at him.

“Ek cigarette de jaldi… (Give me a cigarette quickly)” the terrorist ordered the boy or rather rebuked him.

The boy started making strange noises accompanied with wild gestures which bedazzled the terrorist to the point of almost killing him. Albeit the thought of killing the boy had already crossed his mind, he did not want to draw undue attention towards him. Contemplating whether to leave the shop or to put an end to the boy’s strife, the terrorist noticed a woman rushing towards him.

“Saahib ye mera beta hai, bechaara jaanam she totla hai, kuch bol nahi saakta! (Sir, this is my son; he is a stutterer and couldn’t even utter a single word since his birth!”

He had no time for melodrama and decided it would be better if he left; he had a mission to finish. This last mission was supposed to be his gateway to heaven, his golden ticket. It would be safe to say this mission was supposed to be the terrorist’s Mona Lisa/Last Supper, and he wanted a grand stage to display his talent.

Higgs Market was established with the onset of the British invasion of India and has been a permanent and pertinent landmark ever since. Every day, common people would buy their necessities from this market, which meant a tsunami of people and vendors shouting on top of their voices, marketing the product they have and coercing people to buy more.


As he walked by the silhouette of the dusky city, he remembered and recollected his training. He reminisced how he was an orphan destined to die in the streets of an unknown city until ‘Chacha’ recruited him. In fact, Chacha became his mentor and guide, telling him about his personal crusade against the world. He was fascinated by those stories since he was a little kid. He lived with Chacha as he was his favorite, and learned everything there is about bombs and IED’s.

The terrorist was given a solid four-week training during the course of which, he learned the importance of the missions allotted to him. From what he was told since time immemorial, these missions were his pathway to god (and heaven) and quite ironically, everyone wanted to go to heaven. His first mission involved killing three random people in the middle of a crowded place. He did it without blinking an eye.

Now here he was, with his last mission, which he was about to complete soon. He thought about the girl he loved; he had given his mission(s) more priority than her, but she never complained. Maybe she understood him too well to say anything. Maybe for her, all that mattered was the time they spent together. He had a hard time setting priorities straight and when he did set his priorities, he made sure she was second in importance when it came to his missions.

He decided to hear her mellifluous voice one last time…

‘Bigger the crowds, better the casualties, brazen the message’– the terrorist remembered his Chacha’s words.

Him: “Hello?”

Her: “Hello?”

Him: “This is me speaking…”

Her: “I know, say… What are you up to?”

Him: “Nothing, just remembered you in my thoughts; wanted to speak with you… Where are you now?”

 Her: “I am shopping in Higgs Market; want me to buy something for you?”

Her: “Hello?”

Line disconnects


The terrorist was palpitating and in trepidation. He did not plan to kill his beloved! How could she be in the same place as he was? He felt the suicide vest inside his shirt; the bombs were ticking fine, only he wasn’t…

Faced with the dilemma and confusion, he couldn’t take it anymore. If he failed this mission, Chacha would surely kill him, which would mean he would disembark straight to the depths of hell. On the other hand, he could not pray to god not to kill her in a blast of which he was the epicenter. However hard it may seem, he had to choose between his business and his beloved.

Just when these thoughts were crossing his mind, his phone cried out…

Her: “The line got disconnected, where are you?”

Him: “Listen, I need you to get out of the market right now! Hurry!”

Her (awed): “Why?”

Him: “Because I told you so…”

Her: “Huh! I am not moving an inch unless you tell me the exact reason…”

Him: “What is the color of the dress you’re wearing?”

Unable to persuade her into moving away from ground zero, the terrorist decided to meet her. Although he did not want her to see him this way, there was no other option left open.


It seemed as if every pair of eyes was glued onto him; he had to meet her as soon as possible and coerce her into leaving the bazaar, even if it meant telling the truth to his beloved! He clutched the small red button within his hands careful not to set the bomb on in between.

“I am wearing a green colored ghagra.” He remembered her saying.

The terrorist was walking rapidly, almost to the point of running, pushing people aside with swift and agile moves. As frenetic as he was, he almost tripped, twice. At last, the terrorist saw her.

“She is looking ethereal today.” The terrorist said to himself smiling within.

His pace increased, so did the collision with people. Suddenly, he realized he was floating in the air, the result of tripping on a small boy who was the sole reason for his fall. As he was just about to land on the ground, their eyes met for the last time as the button cradled in his hand was accidentally activated.

Next day the newspapers carried the headlines,

“About 100 people dead in a bomb explosion in Higgs Market. Numerous others sustained life-threatening injuries.”

© Biswadeep

Image courtesy-

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