A day out in London

Another short story for new readers and followers, this time from 2016. All of you who regularly followed my blog before that date will have seen this.

beetleypete

This is a work of fiction, a short story just less than 1700 words. It is my first one of 2016.

Naveen rose early that morning. She showered carefully, then spent some time on her hair. Even though nobody outside the house would see it, she wanted it to look nice under her hijab. She chose a formal outfit to wear. Attending a private exhibition called for darker colours than usual, in her opinion.

Over breakfast, her mum beamed at her attractive daughter. She so loved her girl, and the fact that she was studying to become a pharmacist was a constant source of pride to her. Something to talk about to the other ladies at the community club, or when gathered outside of the mosque. “Tell me again, where is it you are going?”, she asked Naveen. Although she had told her many times before, she smiled as she…

View original post 1,568 more words

17 thoughts on “A day out in London

  1. The radicalization of home grown terrorists is challenging to understand. Here she seems disenchanted more with the Pakistani life than the English one, but she takes out both with her bomb. I am not sure that I am convinced.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As I said to some other readers, Elizabeth. When such people carry out these attacks, their families always say that they have no idea why they did them. They usually claim that their children were ‘happy’, ‘studious’, or ‘not radicalised’. I was just trying to give a snapshot of reasons why this young woman might have behaved like this, without any suspicion by her family and friends.
      We have had so many examples of similar suicide attacks over here, and the story of those left behind is almost always the same.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I have to say, Pete, I don’t think the ending is consistent with the type of person Naveen is, or with her problem. I expected her to just take off somewhere and escape the family situation, try to make a life for herself. Nowhere is there any indication she’s been radicalized by a group or individual. She has no grudge against the other commuters. Her problem is with her family. I could even see her killing herself by jumping in front of a train or something. And where would she have gotten the explosives? This is an engaging story, but the dots didn’t connect for me at the end. It certainly has shock value, though!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sorry it didn’t work for you, Audrey.
      There is no mention of any radicalisation of course, as that would give away the ending. But there is a subtle reference to her change of attitude.
      ‘For the next few months, she continued her studies and life at university much as normal. There were more groups to join, different circles of friends to be made, and she threw herself into her studies like never before…’
      Over here, we have seen numerous attacks by suicide bombers or knife attackers who are born and brought up in the UK. Almost always, they are described as ‘studious’, good children’, ‘normal’, and so on. When they carry out the attacks, it is generally a surprise to everyone who knew them well, including their families.
      So this was my way of looking at how someone might come to do this, without anyone around them being aware that they had been radicalised, or having a clue what they are about to do.
      Thanks as always, for reading and leaving a comment. 🙂
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Actually, I was afraid there would be a terrorist attack while she was in transit, but not that she would be the terrorist. Some disaffected young man instead, perhaps one she recognized. Thanks for your reply, Pere, and for posting the story.

        Liked by 1 person

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