Saturday, July 28, 2007

The Paradise Story

Karim clutched the bag over his shoulder and headed for the door. An air of listlessness hung over him - a growing sense of palpable fear.

A tear suddenly screamed out from somewhere with him and he rushed inside to the dingy kitchen. Asma, his mother struggling with stoking the fire, suddenly felt a tug of arms around her with small squeals of cries.

Just as she turned round, the boy ran out.

"Whats wrong, Karim?"

But Karim was already out in the street. The tears had stopped rolling. A muezzin's prayer swamped his mind. He was more determined than ever.

He took a sharp left at an alley, where he had been just once before. It was a lonely path thinning down to a lone green door at the end. A soft knock later, he found himself in a dark room with three other boys like him. They smiled at him with total apprehension.

A beefy bearded middle-man greeted the four and led them to a corner where four heavy rucksacks lay.

"You four are the chosen ones. Very few in this world are handed a chance like this. So I hope you will not disappoint us."

The four looked at each other. Karim gave a forced nod to imply his earnestness. So did the others.

"Here in this bag lies your destiny."

They reached for their bags and felt it. Karim's mind forwarded to the moment he would press the button. Life would never be the same. Paradise.

"Take the bus to the Central Train Station. It will be very crowded. So just remember to press the button at the right place at the right time. May the power be with you"

The indoctrination was over. The man led them to the door, which was shut in no time.

An ephemeral silence enveloped the four as they made their way to the bus stop. Karim's mind digressed to what his mother and father would be doing at this time.

Father would be at his warehouse amidst all the junk scrap metal dealing with scruffy looking gentlemen. Mother would be nursing his 1 year old brother, who would have just woken up - with whatever food was available.

Should I have told them 'bout this?

As he mulled over the philosophy of life, he realised he was alighting the bus. He was already at the Central Train Station. It was bustling with people as expected. The four slowly made their way to the place where they would be doing the job. The security officers did not care to give a group of four kids a second glance. Perfect.

As they reached the designated location, Karim removed the strapping off the button stuck alongside the bag. And felt it in his hands. A glance at the time revealed it had to be done now. They peeked over at the people around hoping no one is watching them.

An instant later, they pressed the button together.

Suddenly a train steamed over to a stop from nowhere. It had the letters "HOGWARTS EXPRESS" imprinted in bold. A Hogwarts attendant found them, checked their bags and assisted them to their seats.

As the train chugged along, Karim's anxiety reached its peak. He was going to Paradise. The Hogwarts School of Magic.


Hahaha. This is in keeping with the current trend - a Potter movie and a book. Have just read the 1st book.

Been a bit laggard at blogging. An update soon.