Look at the photos first
Confusing? Let me explain. This is a set of six photographs showing what happened when the man convicted of murder was lead out to be hanged and the noose out around his neck. All in public. And then the mother of the victim, ironically the two men were friends, slapped he murderer and he was pardoned.
The bottom middle photo shows the mother walking away, clutching her bio around her face. No tears. I'm guessing she is all cried out. While the murderer's family is celebrating.
What was she thinking? I cannot imagine. But that was such a ginormous act of courage and charity. I would have killed the murderer myself. Sod charity. But this act of redemption is spectacular. I just stood in front of the photograph and was stunned. Nothing spectacular. Just a poor old woman who lost her son. And then she forgave her son's murderer.
What a decision. What a heart. Respect. That's all. Utter respect.
I kept walking and came across another set of photographs.
These are photographs of mothers. Who lost their sons during the Iraq Iran war. And they have no idea if their sons are alive or dead. The only thing they know is hat they have hope. And fading remanents of their existence. Photographs. Letters. No tears. Again they have been cried out. But they hold hope.
I was driving up to oxford to collect Kannu and I heard this radio play on bbc radio 4. About the town called as Hama. Which was brutally obliterated by Assad senior. And the play talked about this mother whose son was locked up by the regime and nobody knew if he was dead or alive. And how she slowly pined away. And then died of a broken heart. Clutching faded letters and photographs. Of her son.
And all I could do was to just hug Kannu when I saw him. It's true. When your child is born, you know your heart is walking around outside your body.
I find myself in a dual situation. I can see the longing I have for my son whose now a man and is busy making his own way in life. Away from us. I'm right now flying over India. Going to meet my aged father.
Who pines away for his children. And I'm much further away.
Ah the joys and pains of being a father and son.