The scars on his body and mind may heal with time,but they have made 22-year-old Ahmad Fawad determined to do something for his country. Fawad who comes from Ningrahar province in Afghanistan was critically injured in the bomb blast outside the Indian Embassy in Kabul last July.
The blast killed his best friend Bashir Ahmad,who had dreamt of studying in the Delhi University and had gone to the Embassy to complete some visa formalities.
Fawad survived,and is now a student at the PGDAV College in Delhi,pursuing a B Com degree,and a correspondence BBA from the Sikkim Manipal University. He now wants to return to Afghanistan and take up a job with the government.
Recalling the last moments spent with his friend,his voice falters. I was standing at the photocopying shop near the Embassy with Bashir when I felt a severe tremour. Initially,I thought it was an electric shock,but then I saw blood and people lying on the road. I couldnt breathe and could barely drag myself away from the road, he says.
A cousin and his wife,studying at the Hyderabad University at present,escaped the blast by ten minutes.
After Bashirs death,he says,life for his siblings back home in Kabul has been restricted: After the blast,my father does not let my brothers go out very often. Bashir and I used to drive and walk around Kabul all the time.
There have been no restrictions,however,on attending school. All of Fawads five sisters and four brothers in Kabul go school. He wants his eldest sister,who is engaged to be married and will soon finish Class XII,to study at the Kabul University.
The Quran says it is the farz (duty) of every man and woman to gain ilm (knowledge). I cant understand why the Taliban,who claim to uphold Islam,stop girls from getting educated, he says.
Many Afghan students and refugees in India,Fawad says,want to return and rebuild Afghanistan. His roommate Maseh,who studies in his class,wants to join politics after an MBA in India.
Another childhood friend Masood,who is doing BA from the Delhi University,wants to work in the villages of Afghanistan. I want to work in the tribal areas of my country,maybe join the civil service, Masood says.
I was indifferent to things earlier but now I know life is precious. Its up to us to do something worthwhile with it, his sight wanders off into the horizon.