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|by Rajesh Talwar|
The Sentimental Terrorist - 20
Amala, Iftar guesthouse, 4 a.m.
One of these days we’ll read the news that Sohrab has been killed by the Taliban. Allah, I hope not. He has a large family to take care of back in Sylhet. How I hate these extremists.
After Sohrab was kidnapped at headquarters, DRAC were thinking about shutting down operations in Afghanistan. Rather than do so immediately, though, they decided it would be better to enhance the security presence and make sure that all staff comply strictly with the rules.
Security was tightened in our guesthouse, with the number of guards increased from two to three. And it was decided to accept K-Jim’s offer to move in with us. Not that Jonathan and he would be able to do much with their pistols if AK-47-armed Taliban entered . . . but something is better than nothing.
Underneath what appears to be coarseness, K-Jim is a lonely, needy person. He’s proposed to me twice in the week he’s been here at my guesthouse, and I know he’s sincere. I haven’t mentioned this to James, because he himself has proposed and I’ve told him I’m thinking about it – and it would simply add to his anxiety.
K-Jim is good-looking and funny; but he can’t seem to control his spittle when he gets talking; and that’s not amusing. There is also an immature side to him. Why create a greater risk for yourself and those who work with you unnecessarily by wearing inappropriate clothing? People doing perfectly good work have been kidnapped for no reason at all. Why draw attention to yourself?
It’s four in the morning. I haven’t slept at all, but I’ve now come to a conclusion about James.
I’ve decided that I cannot marry him. When I meet him next time, I’ll tell him this. I don’t want to keep him hanging on. It’s not fair on him.
It’s a working day tomorrow. I have so many things to do.
What can I do, James? I’m sorry.
Now I’ve made a decision, finally sleep seems to be coming my way. Ah, that’s good. If I can grab two solid hours of sleep it’ll take me through the day.
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