They could be anyone and anywhere. vigilance begins at home Excuse me for sounding morbid, but Item No. 1 on my Things to Do list today is to write my last will and testament. No, it’s not my deepening wrinkles that have inspired this move, neither have I been diagnosed with a terminal illness, it’s just those nasty terrorists who are out to get us wherever and however they can. They’re always coming up with new ways to shatter our lives. These days they’re raiding their refrigerators for ingredients to make bombs, snatching refreshing drinks from the mouths of their own babes to blow up planes. Gosh, they make pretty lousy parents too. The authorities have warned us all to be vigilant, to go beyond just reporting unattended briefcases, shoes and baby feeding bottles in public places. And I’m going to do just that, keeping two things in mind: 1) Today, terrorists have new faces. 2) Clarity begins at home.It could be any of my seemingly affable neighbours, so at my building society’s next Annual General Meeting, I’m going to propose that we spend part of our funds on a trained sniffer dog instead of hiring Rakhi Sawant to do an item number at our New Year’s Eve bash. That’s money well spent, I think. Or it could well be my mild-mannered husband. Wives are always the last to know, remember? I’ve put myself on high alert. If I discover perfume, nail polish remover and kajal sticks in his laptop case, I will not naturally assume that my husband is having an affair. I will take it for granted that he’s making a bomb out of the cosmetics and drag him screaming and kicking to where he deserves to be: a padded cell in a lunatic asylum. There he can’t hurt anyone, not even himself. If I had a son, I’d keep a close watch on him when he hit his teens and would not dismiss his moodiness and locked bedroom door with an indulgent smile. The “Oh, he’s just going through a normal adolescent phase, didn’t we all go through that” days are over. If I’m fortunate, his secret could be as innocuous as surfing porn sites. If I’m unfortunate, it could be “How to make bombs” sites. No child is too old to be put across the knee and spanked soundly for making his innocent mother look like a terrorist breeder. Then, off to the padded cell with him too. No big deal if he writes a nasty book about me when he grows up. You can rest assured I’m doing my bit to foil terror plots while I’m alive. Sadly, going by how efficient our intelligence agencies are (and how reluctant Pakistan’s President Musharraf is to give us intelligence tip-offs like he recently did to the Brits) I have no doubt that terrorists will succeed in bumping me off someday. I have visions of my soul rising above those mass murderers as they slap each other on the back and gloat about “mission successful”. I promise this: if there are such things as ghosts, I will spill the beans on whatever I see from up there to all psychics, mediums and bored teens experimenting with Ouija Boards. There’s a good chance that they’ll act on the info faster than our Anti-Terrorist Squad. I am also prepared to be a poltergeist, just for the pleasure of hurling explosives made by terrorists at the terrorists themselves. So, back to my will. I mustn’t forget to add the compensation amount that politicians always jump up and promise after a terrorist attack in a, “There, there. Don’t cry, here take this money, go buy yourself something nice with it to feel better”. I think I’ll bequeath it to my three-year-old nephew. With a little bit of luck, he may just get the cash by the time he goes to college.