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Rediff.com  » News » Osama's lesson for the rest of us: How to keep 3 wives and 13 kids happy under one roof

Osama's lesson for the rest of us: How to keep 3 wives and 13 kids happy under one roof

May 06, 2011 13:34 IST
One critical secret perished with Osama bin Laden, it seems: How to keep a large family happy under one roof even while hiding from the world's best spy agencies

There is a lighter side to Osama bin Laden's death, too.

A senior security expert in Islamabad told rediff.com that the police officers who interrogated Osama's 12-year-old daughter and his three wives are marvelling at Osama's ability to manage such a large family so harmoniously under one roof even while hiding from the world and its best spy agencies.

Although there is no official confirmation, the Pakistan police believes that there were four families living in that mansion in Abbottabad. The police has found four sets of gas connections and four sets of electricity meters.

His Yemeni wife, Amal Ahmed Abdel Fatteh, says that bin Laden rarely came out of his private corner inside his bedroom during the day, and was almost obsessive about it.

Visitors rarely came calling and whenever they did they -- always -- came to see him at night.

Osama was also reading all the time. The police has found many books, including by well-known American authors.

His life inside the three-storeyed mansion was simple. In fact, the house of Osama was not even a mansion, says the police, it was done up simply.

It is also emerging that his three wives were living under one roof without the world knowing about it.

The Pakistan police says, "One wonders how he maintained them without any domestic quarrels?"

A senior journalist says Pakistani families are not talking about Osama's death but they sure are talking about life inside 'that house' in Abbottabad.

The Pakistan police has found four sets of kitchen and cutlery under one roof.

Osama's Yemeni wife says their life in the mansion was very simple and structured.

All the three wives of Osama were involved in teaching 11 boys and two girls at different times. Osama would also take a class every day to give the final sermon.

They ate simple food. The children would be taken out to the cutlery store opposite their house to buy a few sweets.

Osama's Yemeni wife says that inside the house, in the daytime, a classroom-type of atmosphere prevailed because so many children were studying all the time. The children speak various languages. Some speak Pushtu, some Arabic, and Osama's 12-year-old girl is fluent in English.

A Correspondent in New Delhi