Saturday, July 30, 2005

The fading faces

I half seriously toyed with the idea of closing shop for a couple of days. Birthday events are getting progressively more irksome. So, I'll be 42 and with each passing year, there are even more absent figures to think about.

My one wish?

To see the day—with as little bloodshed as possible—when the callous miscreants responsible for decimating our noblest and most gallant are made to answer for their deeds.

And I have a special treat for you tonight. But you must promise to read carefully.

Scratch the unfamiliar surface and abstract away the particularities and you'll have here in the following the all-too-familiar universal soldier's story of a happy homecoming that never was.

It seems as if there almost never is one, is there?

Such stories must be told and remembered--especially these days, when we expect from some of the most promising young men and women in our midst the ultimate sacrifice at a time when most of us are unwilling or unable even to alter some very elementary aspects of our life styles, like the cars we drive or the back bags we carry.

In this particular version, Penelope loses patience and packs up the kids and goes to her parents. And our unsung hero dies—in a state of heroin induced stupor, with a body ravaged by AIDS and hepatitis-- a lonely death.

Though neither un-mourned, nor in prolonged obscurity:

In death Ebby has found a status he never enjoyed in life. For many of the men who fought in this war, the only honourable outcome was death and martyrdom. For those who survived, it meant reintegrating into a society that every year cared less for their war. For the likes of Ebby, that was not an option. Despite support from family, a loving wife and children, Ebby’s love for the drug that helped him forget was stronger than anything and to it he sacrificed his family, his home and, in the end, his life. While still alive, reeling through the streets of Abadan, he was a disgrace to his family, an embarrassment to his country and a shameful testimony to the war that shaped him. In death, Ebby has become once again a beloved son, a missed brother and a father and husband. Another martyr to the war that continues to haunt its survivors.

Read Kamin Mohammadi's poignant tale, The hero and the heroin.

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