It was an unusual morning though it appeared to be quite normal with its usualmorning rituals. People in the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi got up withoutthe slightest idea of the tragedy that was awaiting them.I still remember there was a feeling of listlessness and unease engulfing me. Igot out of bed late because my school was closed for Spring break. My two younger brothers and a sister were also home with me. I was fourteen and was quite happy withmyself because I had recently won a Federal Board Scholarship by securing 8
positionin the scholarship examination conducted by the Federal Board. But that particular morning had sadness about it, which I felt very badly. We ate a late breakfast and my brothers got out for cycling. My mother had already gone to her job before we got up.Since I had nothing else to do I went outside in our lawn to play with the newchicks that had been recently hatched by one of my mother’s red hens. I carefully took out the chicks because their mother was not happy with my interference. I gave her some food and water so I can play with the chicks undisturbed. I still remember their soft feathers and tiny beaks with which they were picking the grain from my palm. Theymade me happy and I was lost playing with them when all of a sudden there was a big bang!!! It was so strong that it shook the ground under my feet and I stumbled. Thechicks were scared and they became silent. I got up from the ground, still holding thechick in my hand without realising that my grip had tightened on the little creature andit was going to die, if I did not release it soon. The bang jolted the big windows of our flat, which opened in the lawn and shattered their glass; I rushed out of the lawn so thatI could avoid the shattered glass. The frightened chicks came to life and ran after me.