The heat in this part of the world is unbearable, especially for someone who has been in the West all his life. The dry, arid weather is almost choking him. At one point of time, he had decided to pack his bags and leave. But Fatimah and her thoughts have been something, which he hasn’t been able to push aside from his mind. At least, not yet.
Fatimah has incredible powers over him. She could make him do things, which he would never have thought of. She made him travel from one end of the world to the other, leaving his home, his friends and his settled life. At 45, he has been following a woman, through cities, countries, and continents. In fact, he has been following a story.
Fatimah was an independent girl, born to a Muslim family in the Middle East. She had completed her college education and rebelled against her conservative family to pursue a career in journalism in the States. All through, she has been courageous enough to stand up against the age-old beliefs and customs to subdue women in her family. And then, one day, the world comes crashing down along with the twin towers, the fateful 9/11 happens. Fatimah loses her best friend Cathy and her parents, who had been like a family to her. She returns home to her own family, depressed, devastated and broken.
He had known Fatimah when she had been still a student, the girl with a twinkle in her eye, and a slight smile on her lips. Energetic, empathetic with a sense of humor, Fatimah had been a much younger friend to him. She wished to work with him as an intern. But that day changed everything.
It’s been seventeen years, and now, he is working on a documentary featuring the terror attacks of 9/11. After much persuasion, Fatimah agrees to meet him at a city library. He waits for an hour, and then, sees a plump woman in mid-thirties, wearing a burqa and carrying a small baby, walk towards him.
‘Hello, Michael’, Fatimah says, as she sits across the table, with a twinkle in her eye and a slight smile on her lips.