Monday, September 21, 2015

Death of Innocence: Remembering Aylan Kurdi

It all started with an image that made it to the front page of every newspaper which carried the disclaimer that some might find the image/images deeply disturbing. All that remains of Aylan are those disturbing images of his lifeless body and even more haunting images of the kid as a happy toddler during days when the family was better off. His smile and innocence instantly melts your heart. Suddenly, Aylan's death was every mother's worst nightmare and a subject of everyone's personal grief. Aylan, the three year old Syrian child was suddenly everybody's child! Amidst the twitter wars and Instagram frenzy, it was the poignant image of a neatly dressed baby boy lying face down on the shores of a beach in northeast Turkey that seized everybody's attention. He or rather his death has become symbolic of the Syrian crisis. With that red T-shirt and those cute little shoes on those tiny little feet, he looked as if he is blissfully sleeping on a warm cozy bed laid out by his mother. But the truth can't be further away.

It has been many days since we lost Aylan Kurdi and here as we wait helplessly, more and more lifeless bodies are yet to wash ashore in far away lands, in far away beaches. Ever since I witnessed the image of the lifeless Aylan face down on the wet shore, my heart has plunged into this whirlpool of unfathomable grief and it tears me apart each time I look at it. I, a mother to a two year old boy- keep thinking of Aylan every time I wake up to see my son sleeping on his stomach.With the deteriorating situation in Syria, hundreds of families are fleeing their hometowns in search of safer, greener pastures. Aylan was one of the 23 people that set towards the Greek island of Kos with their final destination as Canada, along with his parents and elder brother. Only seven survived the fatal accident including the boy's father.

 Aylan's death is not an isolated incident. Infact, Aylan's family is only one among the hundreds and thousands of refugees who go to unimaginable lengths hoping to seek refuge in neighboring countries. However, the various rescue and rehabilitation efforts are simply not enough to revive our faith in humanity.  Well, that again is an entirely different subject! But for now, let us remember the child who was a victim of an insidious event the rest of the world is grappling to come to terms with. But how do we move on after bearing witness to something this horrific? The answer is, we simply cannot! For Aylan was our child- the child we lost! His loss will continue to haunt our collective memories forever.