Monday, August 26, 2013

Who's afraid of the dark?

Warning: Do not let the topic deceive or misguide you in anyway.

As children we used to poop in our pants, vomit our milk, cried till our parents got sick of us and were scared as hell to be left alone in the dark. Now we have grown up (meh.) attained some intelligence but still the dark succeeds in scaring the crap out of us.

Setting aside the cardboard bravado,all of us are afraid of the dark, afraid of the future, afraid of what lies beyond.

Senior journalist Mandana Ismail Abeywickrema of the Sunday Leader was attacked by a group of masked men last Friday (24th) morning. Had the thought ever occured to her that she might be putting the lives of her loved ones as well as her owns in the potential danger in becoming a journalist, would she have gone down that path?
(Fun fact: According to the Reporters without Borders index, Sri Lanka ranks 165th among 173 countries in Press Freedom.)
What must have gone through her mind when a knife bedazzled on her neck, threatening to cut her jugular?
Did she pause to re-think the decisions she had made in life?

Romesh Abeywickrema came home that unfortunate evening tired and desperately in need of his cup of tea. (or whatever he drinks in the evening, probably NOT tea.) His weariness vanished like a magician pulling his famous vanishing act when he saw the front window of his house lay shattered in pieces. He tried calling home, tried his wife's phone all in vain. The rush of panic through his nerves must have been tremendous. What could he have felt when he wasn't with his family at a time they needed him the most? What might become of his daughter?
Did he pause to re-think the decisions he had made in life?

The Colpetty Police 119 acted at their own speed when they got the distress call from Romesh Abeywickrema. But the masked assailants did not act so. As soon as they heard the wailing sirens they panicked. They collected the loot in a hurry and made their way to escape. Not everything was planned that day it seems. The arriving police officers saw the attempted getaway and started shooting. The gang reciprocated. A shoot out was in effect.
Four assailants were injured and one was lying dead on the garden of the Abeywickrema residences, his blood spilling in gushes onto the sandy path to the house. Four policemen were also injured.
Had the assailants thought about their contract payment as their last one they'd be getting as they were gunned down? Had the police officers regretted their choice in careers?
Did they pause to re-think the decisions they had made in life?

Who knows? We are but spectators. Spectators who are afraid of the dark, afraid of the future. Don't we all want to make the right decisions and later on not regret them? We may not lead the lives of these unfortunate characters, but we do make decisions that affect our future and the future of our loved ones.
Even though we may come to regret it later on, we just had to do it nevertheless.
We had done it because nobody else would.