My father brushed it off. But I was worried.
He was outspoken and involved in so many groups and committees that he often wouldn't come home till midnight.
He started to sleep at one of his friend's houses to protect us in case the Taliban came for him.
He couldn't bear the thought of being killed in front of us.
I could not sleep until he returned and I could lock the gate.
When he was at home my mother would place a ladder in the back yard up to the outside wall so he could get down to the street below if he was in sudden danger.
He laughed at the idea. 'Maybe Atal the squirrel could make it but not me!'
My mother was always trying to think up plans for what she would do if the Taliban came.
She thought of sleeping with a knife under her pillow.
I said I could sneak into the toilet and call the police.
My brothers and I thought of digging a tunnel.
Once again I prayed for a magic wand to make the Taliban disappear.
One day I saw my little brother Atal digging furiously in the garden.
'What are you doing?' I asked him.'Making a grave,' he said.
Our news bulletins were full of killings and death so it was natural for Atal to think of coffins and graves.
Instead of hide and seek and cops and robbers, children were now playing Army vs Taliban.
They made rockets from branches and used sticks for Kalashnikovs; these were their sports of terror.