A Muslim Terrorist - Thriller Story

The sun was about to set, and the western sky had turned blood red. Sirens, shrieks, and suspense clouded the atmosphere. Even with my eyes closed, as I was being held in the stretcher to put in the ambulance, I knew all the faces were set upon me; I could feel the greatness of veneration with which the media persons and other policemen were looking at me.

The rumbling of the van was nothing as compared to the pandemonium going in my head.

"Patil! Take a jeep too and escort him safely to the hospital!" I heard my superior's commanding voice.

"That won't be needed," I tried to object, but my meek protest went unheard in the chaos of the situation.

The ambulance doors closed shut and began to move, as few doctors inside started to fumble with my upper left arm that had been shot.

I knew that in no time, more and more media people will start pouring in. Some were already trying to flash their cameras incessantly on the van, in which I laid, while others were broadcasting live feed as newer facts were coming into light.

But, despite the fact that in a couple of hours I was going to be the star of the nation, the only fact that mattered to me was that I had killed a man. I had become a murderer and a sinner.

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An hour ago - Dharavi slums

"Stop!" I yelled for the tenth time, but as expected it was of no use and I continued chasing the man.

I realized for the first time how intricate the slums of Dharavi were. But, it was not the time to marvel at the labyrinth. I had been running since 20 minutes. My legs were tiring.

Half an hour ago, thanks to the relentless efforts of my trusted men, I had got a tip about the whereabouts of this man, who had been eluding Mumbai Crime Branch since a year. Immediately with a team of seven, I had rushed to the spot.

But, the sinuous lanes of the slums had proved treacherous to us, and the man had had a head-start in running away. Only I could keep up with the ensuing chase, owing to my IPS training.

But, the maze was getting excruciatingly puzzling. Left, right, right, left, right, left, we kept on moving and in no time, I lost the track of where we were going. My only focus was on apprehending that man, who kept on jumping, turning, and pushing anyone and anything out of the way.

Ah, there he was! Dead end, at last! I rushed forward with a spurge and he started to violently throw whatever things he could get hold of, as he saw me approaching with a gun in my hand.

"Finally, a cornered cat!" I smirked with triumph.

"You have no idea whom you're dealing with!" He grunted, panting heavily.

"Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't you Aslam Sheikh, a filthy fugitive who killed hundreds of people last year?" I regarded him unsympathetically.

"Oh! And you are some bold cop with a pretty loud tongue, aren't you?"

I kept my unflinching stare fixed upon him.

"What are you looking at, huh?"

"A son of a bitch, who's going to spend rest of his life in jail!"

"Look, officer, can't we sort things ourselves, huh?"

"I don't deal with spineless creatures, who kill for no reason!"

"No reason? We only kill sinners and those sinners died because they didn't surrender their will to Him."

"You are the one who kill, yet the ones who die are sinners?"

"Anyone who refuses to believe us or Him is a sinner, because we are doing God's work!"

"And for that, you terrorize people?"

"No stimulant is as good as fear. One day, the world will kneel before Him and we will make sure of it!

"Hmm... but, who are you to make sure of it? Which God gave you the right to kill?"

"It's ordained, you foolish person! What will a foul-mouthed and blasphemous person like you understand about God and the religion based upon His will?

"I do understand that the only essence of any religion, if any, is to have compassion for all and have a non-violent attitude. And anyone who kills is a sinner. So, now, I'm going to call for back up and turn you in!"

As I dialed for more forces to nab him up, everything happened in a jiffy: he took out a gun from in back pocket and pointed it at me.
"If you had been a Muslim, you would have understood!" He hissed.

"Then, I believe ignorant atheism is better than misguided theism. Now, keep that gun on the ground, and place your hands above your head, or else - NOOOOO!"

Two gunshots reverberated at the same time in that narrow lane. I screamed in agony. A bullet had soared past just above my heart and blood had started oozing out. But, my aim had been more unfortunate; Aslam lay on the ground. Unlike his bullet, mine had gone for a head shot. I had killed. I had become a sinner.

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An Hour Later - Minister's office

"Sir ji, did you see the news?" my secretary asked, as he stepped into my ministerial office.

"If I have to watch the news by myself, why have I kept you, Shinde?" I replied, with my head immersed in writing the reply to a show-cause notice I had received last week from the party's high command.

I still couldn't figure out why was there any need for such notice! A week ago, during the Hindu Mahasabha rally, I had said something very obvious.

"Muslims are terrorists!"

"Listen, the party can't afford to fall into any controversy at this point!" The high command had retorted back on the phone.

"But, even the public was cheering at the rally, sir!" I tried to explain.

"Look, the media has made an issue of it, and this is a very crucial juncture for the party, with elections coming next month."

"But, sir..."

"You better give a decent reason why the party mustn't take any action against you. Also, if you want a ticket this time, then better apologize publicly!" Yelling so, he had hung the phone down.

It was not that I hated Muslims; I just found them to be odious. A Muslim will always patronize with his fellow Muslims, even if they kill. A Muslim can never love this country or do any good for it.

"Oh sir ji! But, you can't miss this! Let me turn on the TV," my secretary urged eagerly.

"This better be good, Shinde!"

I always thought that all the news reporters are nincompoop, because for them every other petty things was a breaking news.

A lady was blabbering, "In an eventful evening today, the highly notorious criminal Aslam Sheikh, most wanted terrorist for the Mumbai bomb blasts last year, was allegedly encountered on the outskirts of the Dharavi slums. The police investigation is currently going on and..."

The world had gone silent for me.
Aslam Sheikh encountered? God! That's so amazing! A terrorist dead. Another Muslim dead. My statement had just been substantiated. Party high command will now understand. No need for apologies. This event will definitely be polarizing. My reelection is sorted. Hahaha.

The news continued, "... our sources have reported the officer who chased the terrorist is allegedly shot, and on way to the hospital..."

Brave person, I remarked. Mumbai police have always been brave. This man should definitely be rewarded. Let me recommend this officer's name for the Presidential felicitation. Oh wait, what's his name again?

I gulped. Guilt overwhelmed my aversion. Maybe to deliberately break my prejudice, the breaking news had flashed his name: Assistant Commissioner of Police, Sarfaraaz Khan.

© Story by Manas Madrecha
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When Someone Mocks You - Hindi Poem on Criticism

How to deal with criticism positively? What to do about the gossipmongers who spread rumors associated with you? We cannot stifle the levity of remarks hurled upon us, but we can always neglect the venomous talks, disregard the deriding mockery and turn a deaf ear to contemptuous ridicule, because fomenting hatred or falling in an abyss of depression is never a rational reaction.

Following is a Hindi poem on Criticism by Manas Madrecha that suggests that the best course of action is to relish the knowledge of how those shallow tattlers or backbiters are making you popular and to imbibe any underlying constructiveness of the criticism, with a benevolent heart.
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Prayer for Forgiveness - Jain Paryushan Samvatsari Special

The adherents of Jainism religion celebrates the eight or ten day long festival of Paryushan during the month of August/September every year. Jainism, whose followers (Jains) are particularly known for their non-violence, strict vegetarianism, fasting, and substantial dominance in political and economic spheres of India, is a minority religion with less than a 5 million followers in the country, yet being the most literate religion of India (as per 2011 Census).

Founded by Bhagwan Rishabh in pre-historic period, the most-recent and last Tirthankar (one who establishes fourfold religious order of householders and monks, both male and female) of this era was Bhagwan Mahavira (599BC-527BC), whose contemporary was Lord Buddha. Jainism preaches five principles of non-violence, chastity, truth, non-stealing and non-possessiveness, which are to be achieved through the three jewels of right knowledge, right perception and right conduct.

As per Jain philosophy, the importance of forgiveness can never be overemphasized, and unsurprisingly Paryushan, the holiest period in Jainism, is a festival of repentance, soul-searching, atonement and most importantly, forgiveness. Other external rites during the festival includes undertaking fasting, quitting even root vegetables (stricter Jains follow these habits throughout the year and lifetime), reading and analyzing scriptures, and daily doing Pratikraman , an act of seeking forgiveness for the sins committed and reflecting upon one's actions for self-correction.

Jain canonical texts are usually written in Arghmaghadi Prakrit, a language prevalent in ancient Indian subcontinent. Herein, I have brought forth three basic sutras, with their translations in Hindi and English languages with word-to-word meaning. These sutras convey cardinal message of forgiveness and compassion, seeking peace and absolution through accepting our fault and vowing not to repeat them. And the best thing is these sutra are neither bound by any religion nor do they profess fundamentalism by praying to some exclusive deity. These sutras are universal in nature and can and should be read, recited and pondered upon by everyone advocating for non-violence and love.

  • Khamaasaman Sutra (खमासमण सूत्र)
  • Icchakaren OR Iriyavahiyam OR Aalochna sutra (इच्छाकारेण / इरियावाहियं / आलोचना सूत्र)
  • Micchami Dukkaddam Sutra (मिच्छामि दुक्कडम् सूत्र)

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Khamaasaman Sutra (खमासमण सूत्र)

Khamaasaman sutra is one of the principal mantra in Jainism. Seeking forgiveness is a great thing to do. This sutra is the seeker's talking to compassionate preceptor, who can be anyone whom he considers to be his preceptor - teacher, monk, liberated one, Tirthankar, etc. This sutra seeks atonement directly, with no intermediaries, from your preceptor.

Original Sutra in Prakrit:
इच्छामि खमासमणो! वंदिउं जावणिज्जाए निसीहिआए मत्थएण वंदामि।

Original Sutra in English:
Icchaami khamaasamano! Vandiyum jaavnijjaaye nisihiyaahe matthayen vandami

इच्छामि - I want to
खमासमणो - Prakrit form of क्षमा-श्रमण - O Kshama-Shraman (Forgiving Preceptor)
वंदिउं - to pay obeisance; to offer salutation
जावणिज्जाए - as per all my strength
निसीहिआए - having averted from all activities; having surrendered all the sins
मत्थएण - with head
वंदामि - I pay obeisance; I bow down

Meaning in Hindi Translation:
हे क्षमाशील तपस्विन् श्रमण गुरु! अपनी शक्ति के अनुसार अन्य सब कार्यों का निषेध करके, सब पाप-कार्यों से निवृत्त होकर तथा अविनय अशातना की क्षमा मांगकर, वन्दन करना चाहता हूँ; और तदनुसार मस्तक झुका कर, मैं वन्दन करता हूँ।

Meaning in English Translation:
O Compassionate Preceptor! As per my commensurate strength, having surrendered all wrongful acts (having cast away my sins), I wish to bow down; and thus accordingly, I bow down to you with my head.

Icchakaren OR Iriyavahiyam OR Aalochna sutra (इच्छाकारेण / इरियावाहियं / आलोचना सूत्र)

This sutra is extremely practical and vital in day-to-day life of a person. It doesn't ask for any wordily gain or materialistic prosperity. It simply seeks to absolve the soul of the impurities attached to it by the sins committed knowingly or unknowingly throughout the day. Its grandeur lies in the fact that it seeks forgiveness from each and every living being, regardless of its size, shape, specie, color, race, gender or any discriminatory trait. It makes us realize how in the end, we all should respect each and every being and hurt no single living entity.

Original Sutra in Prakrit:
इच्छाकारेणं संदिसह भगवन्!
इरियावहियं पडिक्कमामि? इच्छं।
इच्छामि पडिक्कमिउं इरियावहियाए विराहणाए।
गमणागमणे पाणक्कमणे बीयक्कमणे हरियक्कमणे ओसा-उत्तिंग-पणग-दग-मट्टी-मकड़ा-संताणा-संकमणे।
जे मे जीवा विराहिया एगिंदिया, बेइंदिया, तेइंदिया, चउरिंदिया, पंचिंदिया, अभिहया, वत्तिया, लेसिया, संघाइया, संघट्टिया, परियाविया, किलामिया, उद्दविया, ठाणाओ ठाणं संकामिया, जीवियाओ ववरोविया, तस्स मिच्छामि दुक्कडम्।।

Original Sutra in English:
Ichhakaren sandisaha Bhagwan!
Iriyavahim padikkamami? Iccham!
Icchami padikkamium iriyavahiyae viraahnaaye.
Gamanagamane paanakkamane beeyakkamane hariyakkamane osaa utting panag gad matti makdaa santana-sankamane.
Je mai jeeva viraahiya egindiya, beyindiya, teyindiya, chaurindiya, panchindiya, abhihaya vattiya, lesiya, sanghaiya, sanghttiya, pariyaviya, kilaamiya, uddaviya, thanao thanam sankamiya, jeeviyao vavroviya, tassa michchhami dukkadam

इच्छाकारेणं - by my desire
संदिसह - give me the permission
भगवन् - O Lord!
इरियावहियं - Prakrit form of ईर्यापथिकी - act of Irya-pathiki (walking, traveling, moving, etc.)
पडिक्कमामि - Prakrit form of प्रतिक्रमण in first person singular - I am to do Pratikraman (act of repentance/forgiveness)
इच्छं - I want to!
इच्छामि - I wish
पडिक्कमिउं - to do Pratikraman
इरियावहियाए - caused by acts of moving on path/road
विराहणाए - Prakrit form of विराधना - for doing Viradhna (acting evil, causing suffering or distress, etc.)
गमणागमणे - in the act of coming and going
पाणक्कमणे - in the act of crushing living beings
बीयक्कमणे - in the act of crushing (animate) seeds
हरियक्कमणे - in the act of crushing plants
ओसा-उत्तिंग-पणग-दग-मट्टी-मकड़ा-संताणा-संकमणे - in the act of squashing dew, anthills, five-colored moss, water, mud, spiders and spiderwebs
जे मे जीवा - Whichever beings by me
विराहिया - have been anguished
एगिंदिया - beings with one sense
बेइंदिया - beings with two senses
तेइंदिया - beings with three senses
चउरिंदिया - beings with four senses
पंचिंदिया - beings with five senses
अभिहया - have been beaten or struck
वत्तिया - have been covered or mixed with dust
लेसिया - have been smashed
संघाइया - have been collided with one another
संघट्टिया - have been touched or tilted
परियाविया - have been caused suffering
किलामिया - have been fatigued or harassed
उद्दविया - have been intimidated or terrified
ठाणाओ ठाणं संकामिया - have been shifted from one place to another
जीवियाओ ववरोविया - have been separated from life; made lifeless; killed
तस्स - of that (all the aforementioned sins)
मिच्छामि दुक्कडम् - may my wrongful act be nullified or absolved; forgive me

Meaning in Hindi Translation:

हे भगवन्! अपनी इच्छा से ईर्यापथिकी क्रिया का प्रतिक्रमण करने की मुझे आज्ञा दें। (गुरु इसके प्रत्युत्तर में "पडिक्कमेह" [प्रतिक्रमण करो] ऐसा कहें, तब शिष्य कहें) मैं चाहता हूँ; आप की आज्ञा स्वीकृत करता हूँ।

अब मैं मार्ग में चलते समय हुई जीव विराधना का प्रतिक्रमण अन्तःकरण की भावनापूर्वक इच्छा करता हूँ।

आने-जाने में किसी प्राणी को दबाकर, बीज को दबाकर, वनस्पति को दबाकर, ओंस की बूँदों को, चींटियों के बिलों को, पाँच रंग की काई (नील-फूल) को, कच्चे पानी को, कीचड़ को, तथा मकड़ी व जाले आदि को खूँदकर या कुचलकर -
आते जाते मैंने जो कोई एकेन्द्रिय, दो इन्द्रिय, तीन इन्द्रिय, चार इन्द्रिय, अथवा पाँच इन्द्रिय वाले जीवों को पीड़ित किया हो, चोंट पहुँचाई हो, धुल आदि से ढाँका हो, आपस में अथवा ज़मीन पर मसला हो, इकट्ठे किये हो अथवा परस्पर शरीर द्वारा टकराये हों, छुआ हो, कष्ट पहुँचाया हो, थकाया हो, भयभीत किया हो, एक स्थान से दुसरे स्थान पर रखा हो, उनको प्राणों से रहित किया हो (जान से मारा हो), उन सभी अतिचारों का पाप, मेरे लिए निष्फल हो। अर्थात, जाने-अनजाने विराधना आदि से कषाय द्वारा मैंने जो पाप-कर्म बाँधा, उसके लिए मैं ह्रदय से पछताता हूँ, जिससे कि कोमल परिणाम द्वारा पाप-कर्म नीरस हो जावें और मुझे उसका फल भोगना न पड़ें।

Meaning in English Translation:
O Lord!
Give me the permission to repent or seek forgiveness with my desire for the sins committed while walking/moving on the road. (In response, a preceptor will say "May you repent or seek forgiveness", to which the person seeking forgiveness will say) that's what I want; I accept your permission.
Now I desire for repenting or seeking forgiveness for causing suffering or distress while walking/moving on the road.

While coming and going, crushing living beings, animate seeds, plants, or squashing dew, anthills, five-colored moss, water, mud, spiders and spiderwebs,
By me, whichever beings have been tormented - may they have one sense or two senses or three senses or four senses or five senses - beaten, covered in dust, smashed, collided with one another, touched, tilted, caused suffering, fatigued, harassed, intimidated, terrified, shifted from one place to another, killed,
My sin of all that be absolved off (I seek forgiveness for the sins committed)

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Micchami Dukkaddam Sutra (मिच्छामि दुक्कडम् सूत्र)

Every word of this sutra is what mankind needs today. It not only seeks forgiveness from all, but also asserts that first, I forgive you all. This is very important because only when one's own heart is not burdened with anger, hatred, avarice, jealousy and enmity, one can expect others to forgive him/her. This sutra is truly a universal one, and treats not only each human being as his friend, but each and every existent being in the universe, with no hostility towards any one. Let us cherish this sutra and imbibe it in the deepest corners of our hearts.

Original Sutra in Prakrit:
खामेमि सव्व जीवे, सव्वे जीवा खमन्तु मे ॥
मित्ति मे सव्व भूएसू, वेरं मज्झ न केणई ॥

Original Sutra in English:
Khamemi savve jeeva, savve jeeva khamantu me
Mitti me savva bhuyesu, veram majjh na kanei

तस्स - Of that (sin)
खामेमि - I forgive
सव्व - all
जीवे - living being
सव्वे - all
जीवा living beings
खमन्तु - may forgive
मे - me
मित्ति - friendship
मे - my
सव्व भूएसू - in all the living entities
वेरं - enmity or animosity
मज्झ - my
न केणई - with no one

Meaning in Hindi Translation:
मैं सभी जीवों को क्षमा करता हूँ। मैं सभी जीवो द्वारा माफ़ किया जाऊँ। मेरी सभी भूतों (जीवों) से मैत्री हैं। मेरी किसी से कोई दुश्मनी (वैर) नहीं हैं।

Meaning in English Translation:
I forgive all the living beings. May I be forgiven by all the living beings. I have friendship with all living entities. I have animosity with no one.

I hope after reading these magnificent lines, some people might have come crossed your mind. Let us promise ourselves to forgive them and also, seek forgiveness from them for keeping ill thoughts towards anyone. As Manas Madrecha quotes,
In a world replete with hatred, if you hope for love, you are a fool. And if you stop hoping, you are a bigger fool.
Bhala Ho (Stay Blessed)
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Words are Whiffs of the Wind - Hindi Poem

An interesting gossip always pricks up our ears. And when the gossip’s about us, the fascination to absorb each word of the talk knows no bounds. Nevertheless, there are no rosy talks about us each and every time and the bleak rasping words tend to dishearten or infuriate us. Following is a poem by Manas Madrecha that advocates anger management and advises on how to keep calm by keeping our futile rage aside and focusing on being happy indifferently.
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Wake up, Young Man - Hindi Poem on Morning

No part of the day is as beautiful as the daybreak when the sun creeps languidly over the horizon with its luscious crimson rays and begins to embellish the world asleep in morbid darkness. Following is a poem on morning by Manas Madrecha that portrays the ubiquitous contrast between today’s hectic man and the wholesome nature with respect to priorities and preferences of life.
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How to become powerful? - Game of Thrones Riddle

The journey to become powerful begins with knowing what power is about. ~ Manas Madrecha
No single man in his sanity would not want to become powerful in this world. Before we contemplate about pursuit of power and seek the approach to acquire it, we should first know what exactly is it that we are looking for. It's simple to define POWER, but not to understand it. Likewise, it is simple to yearn for it, but not to learn about/from it. So, what is power? Google says, "it is the capacity or ability to direct or influence the behavior of others or the course of events."

Bruce Lee quoted Knowledge will give you power, but character respect.  
Booker T. Washington remarked Character is power.
Do you see the contradiction?

Knowledge gives you power. Then why is history is abound with foolish kings?
Character gives you power. Then how come oppressive rulers reigned for so many centuries?
Strength gives you power. Then how was a feeble Gandhi powerful enough to influence millions through non-violence?
Wealth gives you power. Then how are rich tycoons slain by the anti-social elements of society?

The answer to the many of our questions can often be found in unexpected places. Coming across books that not only become the greatest works of humankind, but also personally influence you, is seldom. Yet, with such discovery ensues self-analysis process.

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A Song of Ice and Fire is one great piece of literature, replete with politics, diplomacy, enigma, emotions and thrill. It is a series of novels, authored by George R. R. Martin and popularized by the TV serial named Game of Thrones.

(If you aren't aware about it, you may first click on the following button to first get an idea about the characters and basic plot, so that you may understand the riddle in a better way).

Few Characters

  • King Joffrey Baratheon: Young King. Son of late King Robert Baratheon. Cruel. Wilful. He is not the true son of Robert and Cersei, rather a product of incest between Cersei and her brother Jamie.
  • Cersei Lannister: Mother of Joffrey. Queen Regent who wants to rule, until Joffrey comes of the age. Too ambitious, and loves her son very much.
  • Eddard Stark: The Hand - one who is second only to the King in authority & responsibility. Most trusted friend of Joffrey's father, late King Robert. Falsely accused of treason for not acknowledging Joffrey as the new King.
  • Sansa Stark: Daughter of Eddard Stark. Betrothed to Joffrey. Bimbo. Young.
  • Petyr: Master of Coins. Member of the Royal Council. Selfish. Claims to be friend of Eddard Starks but later betrays him.
  • Varys: Master of whisperers. Member of the Royal Council. Eunuch. Feared by many, for his apparent omniscience, due to his spies spread everywhere. Never openly opposes ruling family. Admires Eddard Stark for his honor, but does nothing to help him when he's accused of treason.
  • Tyrion Lannister: Youngest brother of Cersei and Jamie Lannister. Dwarf. Known for drinking, whoring, shrewdness, wit and an embarrassment to the family. Appointed as Hand on behalf of his father who's busy with war. Varys and Tyrion comes in good terms with each other. 

Summarized plot to know, before you read the riddle:

In the 1st book (A Game of Thrones), King Robert Baratheon returns to the capital, after hunting, severely wounded by a wild boar due to his heavy-drinking. Since Robert has never loved queen Cersei, and trusts his friend and his Hand Eddard Stark more, he tells him on his deathbed to write his will, stating Eddard is to become the Regent.

Eddard knows that after Robert's death, the Queen would claim the throne, and she has many men on her side. As a precaution, he asks Petyr to bribe the City Watch (police) to support him when the time comes. After Robert dies, Eddard goes to the royal court to disclose the will, but Cersei has already declared her son Joffrey as the King, herself as the Queen Regent, and her father Tywin as the Hand.

Eddard shows everyone Robert's will, which Cersei bluntly tears away and demands him to swear fealty to Joffrey. But, Eddard knows Joffrey is not the true heir, as he is a son of Cersei and her brother Jamie, and thus doesn't acknowledges Joffrey as the new king. Cersei orders her men to arrest Eddard on account of treason. Eddard orders the City Watch to capture Cersei. But, Eddard finds that Petyr has betrayed him and City Watch sides with Cersei. Thus, Eddard gets arrested.

Sansa, daughter of Eddard Stark, pleads with Cersei to grant her father pardon, for she'll ask her father to accept Joffrey as the king and confess his treason. In return, the Royal Council and Cersei agrees to send Eddard far away and not kill him. In prison, when Varys secretly tells Eddard about the offer, Eddard accepts it, after initial reluctance, fearing fate of his family without him.

Everyone, including Joffrey, Cersei, Sansa, Varys, the soldiers, and the common folk gathers at the city's Sept to witness Eddard's confession of treason. When he confesses, the High Septon (Sept's priest) says treason is punishable offense, but sometimes one must be merciful. So, as per the deal, Cersei should now pardon him. But, all the common folk demand the traitor's head. Surprisingly, to everyone's horror, Joffrey disobeys his mother Cersei and the Council and orders Ser Ilyne Payne (headsman) to execute Eddard, who swiftly beheads him.


"A Clash of Kings" - 2nd book of the series A Song of Ice and Fire, succeed the 1st book with numerous twists and turns. Tyrion Lannister has come to the capital as Hand, on behalf of his father Tywin. Current scene: In Tyrion's absence, Varys is talking to Tyrion's whore at an inn. Tyrion arrives, astonished at Varys' alleged omniscience of knowing everyone's whereabouts. After a short talk, following takes place:

The eunuch (Varys) rubbed his powdered hands together. "May I leave you with a bit of a riddle, Lord Tyrion?" He did not wait for an answer.

"In a room sit three great men, a king, a priest, and a rich man with his gold. Between them stands a sellsword, a little man of common birth and no great mind. Each of the great ones bids him slay the other two. 'Do it' says the king, ‘for I am your lawful ruler.’ ‘Do it’ says the priest, 'for I command you in the names of the gods.’ ‘Do it' says the rich man, ‘and all this gold shall be yours.’ So tell me - who lives and who dies?"

Bowing deeply, the eunuch hurried from the common room on soft slippered feet.


During the course of the book, through further developments, gradually Tyrion and Varys begin to know each other. Current scene: As Tyrion's behest, Varys has replaced City Watch's commander. After a short talk, following takes place:

Tyrion did not trust Varys, though there was no denying his value. He knew things, beyond a doubt. "Why are you so helpful, my lord Varys?" he asked, studying the man’s soft hands, the bald powdered face, the slimy little smile.

"You are the Hand. I serve the realm, the king, and you."

"As you served Jon Arryn (previous Hand) and Eddard Stark?"

"I served Lord Arryn and Lord Stark as best I could. I was saddened and horrified by their most untimely deaths."

"Think how I feel. I’m like to be next."

"Oh, I think not,” Varys said, swirling the wine in his cup. "Power is a curious thing, my lord. Perchance you have considered the riddle I posed you that day in the inn?"

"It has crossed my mind a time or two," Tyrion admitted. "The king, the priest, the rich man - who lives and who dies? Who will the swordsman obey? It’s a riddle without an answer, or rather, too many answers. All depends on the man with the sword."

"And yet he is no one," Varys said. "He has neither crown nor gold nor favor of the gods, only a piece of pointed steel."

"That piece of steel is the power of life and death."

"Just so... yet if it is the swordsmen who rule us in truth, why do we pretend our kings hold the power? Why should a strong man with a sword ever obey a child king like Joffrey, or a wine-sodden oaf like his father?"

"Because these child kings and drunken oafs can call other strong men, with other swords."

"Then these other swordsmen have the true power. Or do they? Whence came their swords? Why do they obey?" Varys smiled. "Some say knowledge is power. Some tell us that all power comes from the gods. Others say it derives from law. Yet that day on the steps of Baelor’s Sept, our godly High Septon and the lawful Queen Regent and your ever-so-knowledgeable servant (Varys himself) were as powerless as any cobbler or cooper in the crowd. Who truly killed Eddard Stark do you think? Joffrey, who gave the command? Ser Ilyn Payne (headsman), who swung the sword? Or... another?"

Tyrion cocked his head sideways. "Did you mean to answer your damned riddle, or only to make my head ache worse?"

Varys smiled. "Here, then. Power resides where men believe it resides. No more and no less."

"So power is a mummer’s trick?"

"A shadow on the wall," Varys murmured, "yet shadows can kill. And ofttimes a very small man can cast a very large shadow."

Tyrion smiled. "Lord Varys, I am growing strangely fond of you. I may kill you yet, but I think I'd feel sad about it."

"I will take that as high praise."


So, next time, you find someone to be powerful, remember that the person is powerful only because you look at him in that way. Because, power resides where men believe it resides. Thus, a very important factor for a person to be powerful isn't limited to only him being knowledgeable or virtuous or strong or wealthy, but the belief that people have towards him, as adjured by his aura.

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So, how to become powerful? By being powerful. As simple as that. According to me: Power relates to what people perceive about you. So, do influence that perception. Knowledge, character, physical strength or wealth won't give you power. But, they might help in creating an impact for the perception. And that perception will give you power.

~ © Manas Madrecha
With excerpts from A Song of Ice and Fire, authored by George R R Martin.
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7 Life lessons learnt from Reading books

The best thing ever happened to mankind is the development of a competency to transmute his latent thoughts into inwrought words. - Manas Madrecha.
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The efficacy of an individual's elocution to influence millions is ineluctable; the invention of printing press further augmented it. Books are the wellspring of knowledge, plenitude of entertainment and copiousness of companionship. In the course of journey, not only do they make us more informed, but also unveils untried domains to explore new vistas of self-discovery.

In childhood, my first love for literature was ignited by Harry Potter novels, that was continued by enlightening spiritual books in Sanskrit, Prakrit and Hindi (few of them being Rajyog by Vivekanand, Mahavir Vani, Samaraditya Charitra, etc.) and also, thrillers of Dan Brown or George R R Martin.

To learn is to live; to live is to learn. Not only does a book makes us more knowledgeable by its inked contents, but also opens, in mind, our closed windows to explore new vistas of self-discovery.

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Herein I have enumerated 7 practical things that I have learned from reading, not some particular book, but in general by imbibing the wonderful reading habit:

Lesson 1:

Do not judge a book by its cover

It is rightly said that appearances can be deceptive. How can I know what kind of person someone is just by glancing at him or her! It would be detrimental to my own cause, if, by my lousy judgmental nature, I lose a prospective friend or admirer or lover. So, avoid developing prejudices. The cover of book can be attractive but can you say the same thing for the book? Similarly, even the faces of people can be a mask to their inner personality, whether bad or good, that is unfathomable by mere sight.

Lesson 2:

Do not have a preconceived notion

When we set to read a book, we may have an idea as to where this story will conclude, maybe because already told you about it. But as you turn the pages, you happily realize how wrong you were. Similarly, when you begin to know someone new, don't have preconceived notions about him or her. As days pass, what a person will reveal in due course of your acquaintance is highly unexpected. He may turn out to be a mere reference, or might even become your favorite book. Surprises are what makes a relationship exciting.

Lesson 3:

If you think you know, you don't know

What do you know when you begin with some totally new book? Can you summarize the entire story by merely seeing the cover, or for that matter, by reading just a few chapters? Even in case of people you don't know, don't have an already judged opinion based on rumors. You can't claim to know how a person is by looking at the countenance or even by being acquainted with him or her for a few days.

You don't want to be one of those seven blind men who set to decipher what an elephant looks like, and ended up with incorrect ignorance. How do you know what lies in store, when you begin the new chapter? What do you know how unconventional and how many sequels are going to come? Even if you have read the entire book and have stayed with it for long, how do you know what kind of prequel the book has already been through?

You can never know any person in totality of their existence. Accept everyone, with their indelible past, for who they are. And you will be able to design an amiable future.

Lesson 4:

Not everyone will agree with you

In your life, you must have definitely come across some content that might not agree to what you already have in your mind. You will be repugnant to anything that opposes you and will feel like an urge to shut the book. In case of intense loathing, you may even backbite (or even slander) the book's reputation by recommending others not to read it. But, you won't be able to change the contents that are already printed.

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Such books will give you new perspectives to see the same things that you used to see differently. Maybe thereafter you will like it or dislike it, but you will come to know that something can be looked in such particular way. That will eliminate your rigidity, imbibe flexibility in you, make you much understanding than you were before you knew the book. You realize that - We all have difference of opinions, and that makes us similar to each other.

Lesson 5:

Every person is a lesson

Sometimes, we have, for instance, the misfortune of coming across Chetan Bhagat novels. (With no offense being intended, they were truly pathetic.) Similarly, in life, we do come across certain pessimistic or sadistic or unnecessary people, that we later hope shouldn't have happened. But, we can and must learn from any situation that arises. Maybe, such people gives us a lesson to avoid negativity in future life and to have only inspirational company.

And, by good fortune, if we do find fellowship of books that exhilarates you, then too the lesson of seeking only the company that plays a vital role in your progress, is reminded. Bad experiences teaches us a lot; instead of whining for the time lost or wasted, we must try to find a silver lining in every thundering weather and emulate whatever good we can.

Lesson 6:

No two persons are the same

All books, though made of similar material, are different with respect to content, story, moral, or ornamental language. Similarly, no person is the exact replica of one another. Every man has his own preferences, persona, and practical approach.
Absence of parity in humanity make things more beautiful, thereby giving us more opportunities to know more and more different people. And acceptance of the fact that every individual is exclusive makes us more loving towards mankind, unconditionally.
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Lesson 7:

There is a bigger world outside one person

Often we get engrossed so much by one book, that we tend to forget that the world is not confined to a few hundred pages of the book. There exists a world outside it too, that is yet to be unraveled. Similarly when we get too attached to some singular person, we lose our conscience to acknowledge the existence and beauty of others.
Love, that is constrained to one or a few, is an illusion. If you restrain your love, the purpose of love is lost. It is highly imperative for all of us to realize that love is meant for all of us to love all of us.
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Reading is a sublime exercise, whether you apply it on books or people or even your own self. So, let us descry the subtleties of peeps, analyze, interpret and experiment the lessons with and on self, to make our life better, in any possible manner.
Because, in the end, what are we? Living autobiographies, yet to finish our story and get ready for another sequel.
Bhala Ho (Stay Blessed)

© by Manas Madrecha
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Bhagwan Mahavira Quotes - Mahavira Jayanti Special

Born in 599 BC in Vaishali that lies in the modern Indian state of Bihar, the 24th Tirthankar of Jainism of present era, Lord Mahavira's principles of nonviolence, truthfulness, celibacy, non possessiveness & non absolutism still continue to elevate our lifestyles. He, who conquered no battle nor slayed any enemy, is yet known as an 'Arihant' (one who killed enemies) or 'Jin' (Conqueror) for he exterminated foes of anger, lust, attachments, aversion, ignorance and fallacy.

Manas Madrecha offers his obeisance to one of the greatest souls of eternity, Lord Mahavira (or Vardhaman)... 😇 and wishes you a conscience and will to emulate his fundamentals for the greater good. 😘

These are some of the chosen quotes of Bhagwan Mahavira from the book Mahavira Vani - Part 1 by Rajneesh Osho. The original quotes were in Prakrit language, the erstwhile language of the masses of northern Indian subcontinent, and a literary translation have been attempted by me. If any context is repugnant to the original intent, Micchami Dukkadam (forgive me!)

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आशुप्रज्ञ पंडित पुरुष को मोह-निद्रा में सोये हुए संसारी मनुष्यों के बीच रहकर भी सब तरह से जागरूक रहना चाहिए और किसी का विश्वास नहीं करना चाहिए। काल निर्दयी है और शरीर दुर्बल, यह जानकार भारुंड पक्षी की तरह अप्रमत्त-भाव से विचरना चाहिए।
An extemporary wise person must remain awaken even while residing among the worldly men asleep in the illusory sleep, and he must not trust anyone. Time is merciless and body is weak - knowing this, one must move like Bharund bird with no negligence.

जैसे कमल शरद-काल के निर्मल जल को नहीं छूता और अलिप्त रहता है, वैसे ही संसार से अपनी समस्त आसक्तियां मिटाकर सब प्रकार के स्नेहबंधनों से रहित हो जाओ। अतः गौतम, क्षणमात्र भी प्रमाद मत करो। तुम इस प्रपंचमय विशाल संसार-समुद्र को तैर चुके हो। भला किनारे पहुँचकर क्यों अटक रहे हो? उस पार पहुँचने के लिए शीघ्रता करो। हे गौतम, क्षणमात्र भी प्रमाद मत करो।
Like the lotus that doesn't touch the cool water of winter season and stays with no indulgence, in that manner, removing all your attachments from the world, become detached from all kinds of affectionate bondages.
O Gautam, do not be negligent even for a moment.
You have swam this deceitful and huge sea of the world. Then, why do you withhold yourself, having reached the shore? Make haste to reach the other side.
O Gautam, do not be negligent even for a moment.

प्रमाद को कर्म कहा है और अप्रमाद को अकर्म, अर्थात् जो प्रवृत्तियां प्रमादयुक्त है, वे कर्म बाँधने वाली है और जो प्रवृत्तियां प्रमादरहित है, वे कर्म नहीं बाँधती। प्रमाद के होने और न होने से मनुष्य क्रमशः बाल-बुद्धि (मूर्ख) और पंडित कहलाता है। जिसे मोह नहीं, उसे दुःख नहीं। जिसे तृष्णा नहीं, उसे मोह नहीं। जिसे लोभ नहीं, उसे तृष्णा नहीं। जो ममत्व से अपने पास कुछ भी नहीं रखता, उसका लोभ नष्ट हो जाता है।
Negligence (inadvertence) is said to be 'karma' and absence of negligence is non-karma. In other words, propensities that are endowed with inadvertence, binds karma and those devoid of inadvertence, do not bind karma. Based on the existence or non-existence of inadvertence, a person is called a fool or wise, respectively. One who has no attachment, has no sorrow. One who has no craving, has no attachment. One who has no greed, has no craving. One who keeps nothing with oneself on account of fondness, his greed gets destroyed.

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दूध, दही, घी, मक्खन, शक्कर, गुड़, खांड, तेल, मधु, मद्य, मांस आदि रसवाले पदार्थों का अधिक मात्रा में सेवन नहीं करना चाहिए, क्योकि वे मादकता पैदा करते हैं और मत्त व्यक्ति के पास वासनाएँ वैसी ही दौड़ी आती हैं, जैसे स्वादिष्ट फलवाले वृक्ष की ओर पक्षी। काम-भोग अपने आप न किसी मनुष्य में समभाव पैदा करते हैं और न किसी में राग-द्वेष रूप विकृति पैदा करते है; परंतु मनुष्य स्वयं ही उनके प्रति राग-द्वेष के नाना संकल्प बनाकर मोह से विकारग्रस्त हो जाता है।
One must not consume those materials which has more ras (juicy savour) in excess, for example, milk, curd, sugar, jaggery, custard, oil, honey, alcohol, flesh, etc. because they produce intoxication; and the desires run towards an intoxicated person just like the birds (fly) towards a tree with delicious fruits. Carnal pleasure, in itself, do not create equanimity in some person and neither does it create any deformity of attachment/aversion; but, by making varied resolutions of attachment/aversion towards them, a person himself gets afflicted by degenerative illusion.

अनुग्रहित क्रोध और मान तथा बढ़ते हुए माया और लोभ, ये चारों काले कुत्सित कषाय पुनर्जन्मरूपी संसार-वृक्ष की जड़ो को सींचते रहते हैं। चावल और जौ आदि धान्यों तथा सुवर्ण और पशुओं से परिपूर्ण यह समस्त पृथ्वी भी, लोभी मनुष्य को तृप्त कर सकने में असमर्थ है, यह जानकर संयम का ही आचरण करना चाहिए।
Occupied anger & pride, and increasing illusion and greed - these four dark and sickening astringents keep watering the roots of the reincarnating worldly tree. Even this entire earth, teeming with rice & barley and other grains, and gold & animals, is incapable to satiate a greedy man - knowing this, one has to observe self-restraint (control).

संसार में जितने भी प्राणी हैं, सब अपने कृतकर्मो के कारण ही दुखी होते हैं। अच्छा या बुरा जैसा भी कर्म हो, उसका फल भोगे बिना छुटकारा नहीं हो सकता। पापी जीव के दुःख को न जातिवाले बंटा सकते हैं, न मित्र वर्ग, न पुत्र, और न भाई-बन्धु। जब दुःख आ पड़ता है, तब वह अकेला ही उसे भोगता है। क्योंकि कर्म अपने कर्ता के ही पीछे लगते है, अन्य किसी के नहीं।
All the creatures of the world are unhappy because of their self-performed karma. One cannot escape from a karma, howsoever good or bad it may be, without facing its result. The sorrows of a sinful being can be appropriated neither by the beings of same community nor by friends or relatives. When sorrow arrives, one alone has to bear it. That is because karma follows only its doer (agent), and no one else.

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जो मनुष्य सुंदर और प्रिय भोगों को पाकर भी पीठ फेर लेता है, सब प्रकार से स्वाधीन भोगों का परित्याग करता हैं, वही सच्चा त्यागी कहलाता हैं। जो मनुष्य किसी परतंत्रता के कारण वस्त्र, गंध, अलंकार, स्त्री और शयन का उपभोग नहीं कर पाता, वह सच्चा त्यागी नहीं कहलाता हैं। सद्गुरु तथा अनुभवी वृद्धों की सेवा करना, मूर्खों के संसर्ग से दूर रहना, एकाग्र चित्त से सत् शास्त्रों का अभ्यास करना और उनके गंभीर अर्थ का चिंतन करना, और चित्त में धृतिरूप शांति प्राप्त करना, यह निःश्रेयस मार्ग हैं।
Even on getting voluptuary and lovely pleasures, one who averts himself from them and the one who, from all aspects, willingly abandons the pleasures that are under his authority, is known to be the true renunciant. One who is unable to consume clothe, scent, ornament, woman and sleep because of some dependency, is not known to be the true renunciant. To serve good preceptors & experienced elders, to stay away from the company of fools, to study good literature with focused mind and to contemplate its deep meaning, and to obtain the established peace in mind, is the path of Emancipation.

आत्मा ही अपने सुख और दुःख का कर्ता है तथा आत्मा ही अपने सुख और दुःख का नाशक है। अच्छे मार्ग पर चलनेवाला आत्मा मित्र है और बुरे मार्ग पर चलनेवाला आत्मा शत्रु। पाँच इन्द्रियां, क्रोध, मान, माया, और लोभ तथा सबसे अधिक दुर्जेय आत्मा को जीतना चाहिए। एक आत्मा को जीत लेने पर सब कुछ जीत लिया जाता है।
A soul itself is the doer (agent) of happiness and sorrow, and a soul itself is the destroyer of happiness and sorrow. A soul treading on the right path is a friend and the one treading on the wrong path is a foe. One must master the five senses, anger, pride, illusion, greed and the formidable soul. On winning one's soul, everything is won.

~ Manas Madrecha
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It’s All About Love - Beautiful Love Story

“I have been waiting to talk to you for a while. It is about him and I am concerned.”

“Why? Did he do anything stupid? He is such a good kid. I make sure he is at his best behavior.”

“No! He is the sweetest kid in my class, but he hasn’t been the same for a few days. I mean, everybody in the school knows that he loves his potato skins and won’t share them with anyone. But for almost a week now, he has been sharing them with me. He even brought me a pen and a rose yesterday. Isn’t that a bit odd?”

The broken and the kids; the most complicated of all.

“Was it a red Montblanc with a golden tip in a black box?”

“Yes, precisely.”

“It is his favorite pen. His father gave it to him a week before he died of cancer. I remember his father giving it to him and asking him to take care of his mother.”

“But, why me? None of the other teachers have had any similar experiences with him. Did you tell him to do this?”

When they ask you to look into your heart to find an answer, do it. There will be one.

“I didn’t.”

“Then, does he need a psychiatrist?”

“Are you too naive to see it?”

“See what?”

Yes, she was naive. Yes, she was confused. Yes, she was beautiful.

“The little kid is in love with you. Holy Christ, my five year old son is in love. I should’ve known.”

“What do you mean?”

“I ask him about the cute girls in his class to tease him. I have been trying to open him up, but all he talks about is you. Ms. Sakshi was wearing a red saree today. She gave me a kiss on the cheek and took me to the pool today. She smells like roses and when it rains, she takes me outside and we dance.”

“I don’t know what to say.”

Nobody does.

“Rose is his favorite flower. In fact, it was the first word he spoke. He has a nice little plantation in the backyard. His father used to spend hours with him in that garden and tell him stories.”

“But why give away his favorite things to me?”

“Have you ever been in love, Sakshi?”

“Yes. I think so.”

“Then you should know better.”

She sat there confused while he played with his friends. Every once in a while, he would turn and stare at her and she would smile. His little heart had a beautiful mistress.

“His father and I are high school sweethearts. He has seen his father do things for me and he merely copies him. One day, I came home and there was he along with his father wearing party hats. It was my birthday and he had baked me a cake. He could barely walk, but he did. I remember him asking his father about why won’t he just rest? Do you know what his father told him?”


“It is all about love.”

It always is, for what are we without love; for without love, we might just stop breathing.

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“Don’t break his heart, Sakshi. The boy just lost his father. If he loses you, he might never love somebody again. Just accept what he brings for you and eat those potato skins even if you don’t like them.”

She could see why he didn’t let any other kid sit next to her in the school bus. She could see why he drew her face in the art class.

“I love them and I love him. But I am leaving in a few weeks. I am getting married.”

“Oh! I wish the boy had an ounce of luck. The last thing I want for him is to see him driven away from the one thing he inherited from his father, the heart to love and sacrifice. Not many men are born that way. They cannot sacrifice, they cannot love.”

She looked at him and there he was, with a ball in his hand, a smile on his face constantly staring at her, worship in his eyes and love in his heart. She called out his name and he ran to her like a broken man trying to chase his own shadow.

“Why do you give your favorite things to me? The potato skins, the pen your father gave you, the rose?”

She held his face and kissed his cheek. He looked at her for a moment or two, waiting for her to smile again.

“Because I like them and I thought that you might like them. They make me happy and I want you to be happy too. You always smile when I share my potato skins with you.”

“You know, I am not going to be around for a long time. I am getting married and I will be leaving soon. You may never see me again.”



That sunny day, a mother witnessed his son being broken into pieces and a woman desperately hoped not to break him; there would’ve been tears, but then he smiled!

“Okay! Well, I don’t have any potato skins now. Will you be around on Monday? I want to give you my favorite Pokémon toy. It is a Pikachu and he is really cool and sometimes when he is angry, he can burn you with his electric powers.”

“Only if you let me see your roses.”

“Okay, ma’am. You’ll love them. They smell like you.”

If only he was twenty years older; if only she was twenty years younger!

“But aren’t you pissed at me? Aren’t you mad that I will leave you and we will never dance again when it rains?”



“Because, it is all about love.”

And he ran away before she could see him crying. He was a man enough to not let his tears ruin the red lipstick mark on his cheek.

~ © Story by Kanav Sharma, via The Anonymous Writer Facebook page
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The Judge - Short Story on Hypocrisy

Double standards are not uncommon in modern world wherein exists variety of clamorous people asserting their right to freedom with perceptible self-determination. But these torch-bearers of freedom of expression, belief and life, are the first ones to scowl when someone does exercise this right. It's okay for these people to put forth their demands but these same people conjecture judgements when someone else does the same, owing to their narrow mindset and personality's hypocrisy.

Hypocrisy is the duplicity of one's character. On one hand, we may make rules, set principles and sermonize about morals, which is not at all fallacious; but it is when we ourselves don't abide by those rules, contravene the principles and flout those morals, that hypocrisy transpires. ~ Manas Madrecha
A person may be noted by the standards he flaunt ostentatiously, but is known by the double standards that unveils his true disposition subconsciously.

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Here's a short story that I came across, that narrates how the society vehemently endorses equality, but meekly conforms with conventional hypocrisy, when the perspective is the other way round.


Their families had initiated the conversation. The boy and the girl then met at a coffee shop for the first time.
And their conversation eventually moved from one subject to another.

"And I really want you to keep an open mind about everything. I am not a girl who would be confined to the kitchen. I have an outgoing personality and I live my life to the fullest. Also, I believe that women are everything that men can be, and more. I have a successful career and I will continue to work after marriage as well."

The guy merely nodded.

"Are you judging me?" she asked in a stern tone.

"Not at all," he replied.

"You don't want to talk about yourself?" she asked him.

The guy cleared his throat and began.
"I like staying indoors. I have always been someone who valued spending time at home. I am a great cook, and I was once planning to become a chef. I also enjoy cleaning the house. Actually, my mother used to be unwell, and I had to do the tidying up. I guess it just caught on. I would love to be home and get everything sorted before you arrive from work. A hot cup of tea would be waiting for you every single evening. I just don't want to become part of the daily corporate grind, though. I work now and earn well, but I don't want to do this forever. It's boring and tiring. After marriage, I want to sit at home. That's it. I want to sit at home and enjoy the finer things in life," he said.

The girl stared at him.

"Are you judging me?" he asked her.


"I am so happy that I finally found someone who would be willing to earn for the house as I go about looking after it. Trust me, I will be the best homemaker ever," he said.

Later that evening, the girl called her parents.
"No mom. This guy is a weirdo. Talks the most impractical things. Wants me to feed him all my life. Why should I slog out? I can't marry that guy, please."

© Story by Abhijit Chakraborty, via The Anonymous Writer Facebook page
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Darkness of Night - English Poem

As we lie on our beds at night, as an escape from the tedious monotony of the entire day, unintentionally our minds indulge into retrospection of the events of our day. Not only do we ponder over past, but even, at times, question the very purpose of living for the sake of existing. Yet, not unlike any other night, we fall asleep and rise in the morning, with hopes of finding new hopes.

Here is "Darkness of Night" - a poem by Manas Madrecha composed in August 2015, that delineates how a human being, whose undecided mind is occupied with the thoughts of life at night, and, slowly but steadily, marches towards the Truth of Self, by asking the right questions. It also remarks the intricacy of such Truths, that can't be comprehended in just one night's span, owing to which the person has to defer his contemplation and wake up, like everyone else. Relish the poem.
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