The rains hush the busyness of a little town preparing for the new school term. But there’s no masking the hurried steps and focused intent of parents rushing to get Last Minute School Things. The world around is forgotten in favour of books, stationery, and bags.
Here and there, lilting voices of children bubble up in the soft rain. Children at play, lost in gay abandon. No care for race, color or creed. Muslim Christian Buddhist Hindu are tags that have no bearing on them and their fun in the rain.
Paris and its bloodstains are very far away from this town.
When they grow up, I wonder if they will recall their time in the rain – not just the play or the fun, but that once before, they played with friends of various races and religions. I wonder if they will recall the splash of water and playful shoving of friends who looked different and who prayed differently. I wonder, if years from now, they will remember a time when race and religion meant nothing because under the falling rain, they were brothers and sisters united in their love of playing in the rain.
I wonder, if it came to a choice between love and guns, what would their choice be, these children in the throes of wild joy under the weeping skies? Would they choose to love their friends who might have hurt them, or would they reach for guns to make a point?
They who used bullets to end the 12 lives so far, they were once children too. Once upon a time, thirty odd years ago, they too skipped and shimmied in the rain with friends from different walks of lives. The differences between them, they didn’t matter then.