This morning the electricity went off at about 4.30 am, and within seconds I was awake as the heat rose. Shortly after, the loudspeaker at the mosque crackled to life, and even in my semi comatose state, I could hear what was being said: the imam was reading a list of the names of people killed in the bomb at the Indian Embassy yesterday. The shaheed: those who died and are now witnesses to the Glory of God.

I have heard this before, back in the older days here, when the Taliban were in town. The imam reads the name of the killed person, and his or her family. It takes a long time to go through a list. Death permeating into life, a public remembering of those who have died.

I lay and listened in the heat.


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