The owl glasses have spoken.
I am going full time into the terrorism business.
All things considered, I think it's the safest bet in these unsteady times of recession and bankruptcy.
I have tried this journalism business for some time now and the only thing I have to show for it is a holier-than-thou attitude and hardcore cynicism that my mother thinks lends me the distinguished air of a jack ass.
A friend across the border called in really early this morning to say there is a buzz on the share market circuit there that Lashkar-e-Taiba shares have hit rock bottom since constant raids by government soldiers and missile strikes by U.S. drones.
If this is the state of a perfectly dependable organisation based on solid old world Jihadi economy, then how will the smaller fringe groups survive in these hard times?
"So listen," my friend says, "there is word that the government will liquidate the outfit. There were some talks of a bailout plan but they got squashed by meddling non-state actors from India and U.S."
I of course sent him a five rupee note to stick on the entrance to the cave in the wild wilderness where the front office of the outfit operates from.
I checked out the risks involved in going into the terror business with a moll who often worked with trainee operatives in finishing school.
Dressed as a virgin, her role was to train these 20 something gawky youngsters in etiquette required of them in jannat.
"We cannot of course have them pawing virgins and behaving like a kid in Disney Land," she says.
I still had my doubts on the return on my investment.
"Look, I won't lie to you. There are chances are that your brains will be blown out and your bones spooned up from sidewalks. But lets be realistic here. That happens only in Sri Lanka and that too if you are dumb enough to wear a bomb on yourself."
"Things have changed now. We have outsourced and the guys that apply from some of these Middleeast and even some western countries are simply the best in the business. We have expanded into hostage taking now."
I was still worried. I have never taken a hostage in my entire life.
Unless you count out the time I locked my sister in a bathroom in fourth grade for 40 minutes and ate all her candies.
"You just have to open fire till you get a crowd rounded up inside a prominent building. Then on, you will not have to worry about a thing."
How will I know whats going on if I'm locked up myself inside a building with a bunch of people?
"Just turn on any TV set and you will know what's happening, including pictures of commando action," she says.
I brighten up visibly. But as always I drive a hard bargain.
Look my job might not make me a millionaire but at least it keeps my family going. I'm leaving all this to join groups whose fourth quarter profit looks grim. It's easy to prance around a training room in a "Like a Virgin" costume surrounded by Versace clad men. But it's my ass on the firing range here.
"We have thought all about that. Here are season tickets to the best virgin shows in jannat for you and this neat package paid in instalments for your family after you are gone."
What do you mean 'gone'? You said it was a cakewalk and even if I get caught It wouldn't be so bad in jail.
"It wouldn't. Have you heard what Kasab eats in jail? Four meals a day running into four courses. We have lined up some human rights groups who will go on a chain hunger strike as soon as you are arrested to ensure that you are not tortured. We have links in the UN who will keep enquiring about you from time to time."
What if they trace me back to you guys?
"Are you kidding me? They are still shuffling papers trying to trace the last eight attacks, and we are here getting stronger. Aren't we? And anyway, your dressing will confuse them, I am quite sure."
Hey! I never cross-dress when I'm on a serious job. How did this get around anyway?
"(laughs) I didn't mean cross dressing you big oaf. You will have a saffron waist band, Gucci shoes, a red bandanna, and a Halloween mask."
The saffron, Gucci and Red I understand. What's the Halloween mask for?
"Er, have you seen the last lot we sent to CST and Taj? Our new world motto is to combine beauty with terror. Would you really care to bare your ugly face on national TV?