Alka Yagnik was on Osama bin Laden’s Secret Playlist


Alka Yagnik was on Osama bin Laden’s Secret Playlist

Illustration: Akshita Monga

Last night, the Central Intelligence Agency released a trove of documents that were recovered from Pakistan’s Abbottabad compound, where al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden was gunned down by the United States Navy SEALs in May 2011. While the files have helped the Americans gather insight into the minds of one of the world’s most prolific terrorists and the al-Qaeda group, which has been accused of masterminding the 9/11 attack, it has also revealed other juicy details – such as the fact that bin Laden was secretly a 15-year-old young adult with a lot of free time on his hands.

This is made most evident by Osama bin Laden’s favourite video collection, which much like any teenager with a 2007 version of Limewire, includes the famous “Charlie bit my finger” clip, old Tom and Jerry gags, and the one-off video clip called “Animal monkey never give up” or some such. He also found time to groove to Bollywood hits sung by Alka Yagnik, Udit Narayan, and Kumar Sanu. Songs like “Ajnabee Mujhko Itna Bata”, “Tu Chaand Hai Poonam Ka”, and “Dil Tera Aashiq” were discovered in his collection. As if to indicate that his spare time knew no limits, Osama was also a fan of crochet patterns. His video list included a couple of DIY crochet videos from YouTube – you know the ones made by stay-at-home moms who boast about how they’ve made millions on the internet in between cooking for their children.

When Osama bin Laden wanted to unwind from an evening of extreme crochet and planning death to America, the files have revealed, he would probably sit back and watch one of his favourite Hollywood classics, such as Antz, or every adult’s nightmare, Chicken Little.  He also found spare time to fuel several conspiracy theories, including one about the pyramids, and another that shockingly claimed that 9/11 was an inside job. He probably enjoyed that one a little more than the rest.

Before this, if I had to venture a guess into what Osama bin Laden did in his free time, I would not have said that he was shuffling it between patchwork and kids cartoons. But apparently we have no idea what religious extremists find entertaining these days. For all we know, one of Osama bin Laden’s greatest regrets is that he didn’t get to scroll through all the cute Halloween costumes of the year.