ANYONE who can see beyond the obvious would be able to scan the invisible manufacturer’s seal embossed on the chassis of the lorry that killed too many in Nice on a day they were celebrating a great milestone in the history of human freedom. Looking closely, one could decode the chassis’ cryptic claim of pedigree: built by Saudi Crown Prince Fahd in 1981, under licence from the Thatcher-Reagan duo, at the failed Arab League summit in Fez, based on a model smuggled out of Iran.
Everyone knows that Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, the mass murderer of Bastille Day, was born in Tunisia in 1985. Few will remember that the spiteful ideas, which drove the derelict drug addict to the unspeakable crime, were put on a plaque and screwed on to a convoy of killer lorries on the fateful day. That was four years before Bouhlel was born in a Tunisian hamlet. To unravel this Kafkaesque riddle you may try a Lebanese grocery shop I visited in Africa recently.
The member of Lebanon’s controversial Nasrallah family you may get to meet here is the owner of the provision store, a close cousin of the Hezbollah chief himself. Apart from selling Indian and Pakistani kitchen stuff like garam masala, dal, pickles and rice he is a gym-goer who sports a large tattoo on his muscular arm. It says ‘Om’ in the Sanskrit script, the popular religious Hindu mantra, written, I was pleasantly surprised know, at a friend’s behest.