Thursday, November 19, 2015


Pic.: Pradeep Nanda

“An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.” Yes, Gandhi lived by this principle, and died for it, too. Inspired by Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr. too, led his fellowmen by the same principle. He, too, died for it. Much before him, Abraham Lincoln breathed through a nation, threatened to be torn by hatred, yes, the same principle… He, too, was killed for it. And, long, long before that, hanging there on the cross, stripped and brutally tortured, Jesus Christ prayed to His Father in Heaven, “My Father, please forgive them, for, they do not know what they are doing.” That was seconds before he died on the cross!

Can hatred go from this world?
No sir, it can’t.
Can it go from my life?
Yes, sir, it can.

A while ago, my friend, Ashish, shared with me this open letter by Antoine Leiris, a young man in his early thirties, written to the terrorists. Leiris had just lost his wife in the terrorists’ attack in Paris. I found this letter so moving and so spiritual that I wish to share it, here, in my blog:

On Friday night, you stole the life of an exceptional being, the love of my life, the mother of my son... but, you won't have my hatred.
I don't know who you are and I don't want to know - you are dead souls. If this God, for which you kill indiscriminately, made us in his own image, every bullet in the body of my wife will have been a wound in his heart.
So no, I don't give you the gift of hating you. You are asking for it; but, responding to hatred with anger would be giving in to the same ignorance that made you what you are. 
You want me to be afraid, to view my fellow countrymen with mistrust, to sacrifice my freedom for security. You have lost.
I saw her this morning. Finally, after many nights and days of waiting. She was just as beautiful as when she left on Friday night, just as beautiful as when I fell hopelessly in love, over 12 years ago. 
Of course I'm devastated with grief… I admit this small victory; but, it will be short-lived. I know she will accompany us, every day, and that we will find ourselves in this paradise of free souls to which you'll never have access.
We are two, my son and I; but, we are stronger than all the armies of the world. 
I don't have any more time to devote to you… I have to join Melvil who is waking up from his nap. He is barely 17-months-old. He will eat his meals as usual, and then we are going to play as usual… and, for his whole life, this little boy will threaten you by being happy and free. Because, no, you will not have his hatred either. 

Let me not ruin the divine grace of Leiris' words by saying even a word more!