Five books you should read at-least once in your lifetime

I was not an avid reader in my teens. But I chanced upon ‘The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho. A friend recommended it to me. The book changed my life. I started feel so positive about everything I came across. I realized later that reading is a very good habit. It helps you de-stress. Stories in different forms ; fiction ; nonfiction ;fantasy; horror; comedy and many more that cannot be classified in the norms of genre send you into a trance and have the power of a tranquilizer to calm you down and see things from a better perspective.

 

Books are not limited to age-group. Every book irrespective of its subject  has abundance of knowledge and no knowledge can be harmful. These books entertain you and enhance your imaginations. While you read the writer’s imagination ; you create your own and enjoy it.

Every time you revisit a book it tells you something new. You decipher the book in a different way at different stages of your life.

 

I am an ordinary reader and a very passionate writer. I enjoy collecting words. Usually an ordinary reader gets irritated when he comes across a word or passage that has very difficult words that they need to seek in the dictionary to understand

I usually collect such lovely words. These words seem very difficult at first but once you have read the meaning ; they add up to your vocabulary. It is always awesome to have many words up your sleeve for the sheer fun of wordplay.

I purposely use some extremely difficult words while speaking to my daugher and I am glad she adds those words to her vocabulary.  Sometimes even in normal life and regular conversations you are short of words. You need a word that means happy but signifies a greater happiness.

 

I take the opportunity to introduce a few classics that every person should read.These are the books that can help you start your reading experience since they are very easy to understand and analyze. You just need to take out some time on a lazy sunday afternoon and sit by your window and read while you sip your coffee. It is an awesome feeling

 

Here’s my pick for Top 5 books that everyone needs to read at least once. If you have not read these books you are definitely missing something important.

 

This is just based on the books I have read so far in my life. I am sure many will not agree with this list. There are many books that may be far more inspiring . These are my recommendations and I promise to keep recommending more and more books as time goes by.

 

5)

 

Book  :  The 3 Mistakes of My Life

Author : Chetan Bhagat
3 Mistakes

Synopsis :

In late-2000, a young boy in Ahmedabad called Govind dreams of having a business. To accommodate his friends Ish and Omi’s passion, they open a cricket shop. Govind’s wants to make money and thinks big. Ish is all about nurturing Ali, the batsman with a rare gift. Omi knows his limited capabilities and just wants to be with his friends. However, nothing comes easy in a turbulent city. To realize their goals, they will have to face it all – religious politics, earthquakes, riots, unacceptable love and above all, their own mistakes. Will they make it? Can an individual’s dreams overcome the nightmares offered by real life? Can we succeed despite a few mistakes?

 

My Review :

This book is the most underrated gem of Chetan Bhagat. He has written more successful books like “Five Point Someone” and “One night at the call center”. He has also written critically panned books like”One Indian Girl” and “Half Girlfriend”. This book has chetan bhagat at his best.

The story is beautifully narrated and it has some awesome characters. The moments shared by the three best friends will make you nostalgic about your own neighbourhood and best friends.

The Gujarat riots form an essential part of the story and the backbone of the story is Cricket.

I am sure all indians would love reading this.

 

4)

Book :The Five People You Meet in Heaven

Author : Mitch Albom

5 ppl

Synopsis :

A novel that explores the unexpected connections of our lives, and the idea that heaven is more than a place; it’s an answer.

 

Eddie is a wounded war veteran, an old man who has lived, in his mind, an uninspired life. His job is fixing rides at a seaside amusement park. On his 83rd birthday, a tragic accident kills him as he tries to save a little girl from a falling cart. He awakes in the afterlife, where he learns that heaven is not a destination. It’s a place where your life is explained to you by five people, some of whom you knew, others who may have been strangers. One by one, from childhood to soldier to old age, Eddie’s five people revisit their connections to him on earth, illuminating the mysteries of his “meaningless” life, and revealing the haunting secret behind the eternal question: “Why was I here?

 

My Review :

This book makes you realize that you impact lives of many. Many people you do not even know get influenced or are impacted by your actions. It makes for a very pleasant read and brings a smile on your face.The Author spins the tale beautifully from childhood to adolescence ; adolescence to middle age and finally to old age. At every stage the protagonist had impacted someone’s life in a way he did not imagine.

 

3)

 

Book : The Picture of Dorian Gray

Author : Oscar Wilde

Dorian jpg

Synopsis :

Written in his distinctively dazzling manner, Oscar Wilde’s story of a fashionable young man who sells his soul for eternal youth and beauty is the author’s most popular work. The tale of Dorian Gray’s moral disintegration caused a scandal when it first appeared in 1890, but though Wilde was attacked for the novel’s corrupting influence, he responded that there is, in fact, “a terrible moral in Dorian Gray.”

 

My Review

 

This novel explores the theme of immortality and being ageless. It also explores morality. If you had the power to stay young and beautiful forever ; what would you indulge in

The writer quotes “People die of common sense , Dorian One lost moment at a time Life is the moment There is no hereafter So make it burn always With the hardest flame The only way to get rid of temptation is to yield in it”

 

This books raises many questions and makes you think about your choices. It makes you feel grateful to your youth and the normal course of nature where we age gracefully.

 

2)

 

Book : Frankenstein

Author : Mary Shelley
Mary Shelley

Synopsis :

 

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is the world’s most famous Gothic novel about eccentric scientist Victor Frankenstein, who creates a grotesque creature in an unorthodox scientific experiment. Shelley’s work is considered to be the world’s first science fiction, with Frankenstein’s monster being a symbol of science gone awry.

 

My Review

 

This novel explores many themes. The horror lies in your imagination of Frankenstein’s monster. The book is extremely philosophical. We all have a monster within us. We all have diabolical masquerades. We hide our monster and pretend to be very clean and ethical. The monster resurfaces from time to time. We make futile attempts to kill that monster within us. In India it is called Ravana and it is celebrated every year during Dushera. We burn the Ravana and it is a metaphor for burning the evil within us. But Evil resurfaces and resurrects itself from time to time. The monster within us. Thank you Mary Shelley for this cult character and creating a Frankenstein so helpless that we identify with it

 

1)

 

Book : The Alchemist

Author : Paulo Coelho

The Alchemist

Synopsis :

 

Paulo Coelho’s enchanting novel has inspired a devoted following around the world. This story, dazzling in its powerful simplicity and inspiring wisdom, is about an Andalusian shepherd boy named Santiago who travels from his homeland in Spain to the Egyptian desert in search of a treasure buried in the Pyramids. Along the way he meets a Gypsy woman, a man who calls himself king, and an alchemist, all of whom point Santiago in the direction of his quest. No one knows what the treasure is, or if Santiago will be able to surmount the obstacles along the way. But what starts out as a journey to find worldly goods turns into a discovery of the treasure found within. Lush, evocative, and deeply humane, the story of Santiago is an eternal testament to the transforming power of our dreams and the importance of listening to our hearts.

 

My review:
He is my favorite author. I love to read all his books. He writes in very simple language and his soulful writing paves its way into your heart. He connects with you. He tells you about your dreams and waves a magical fable around your quest to achieve your dreams The famous line from this book is “And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.’ .It is so impactful that it makes you live your dream and believe that the entire universe will help you in realizing your dreams. The most important message in this book is to keep accord with your heart no matter where it takes you. Because the treasure is where there is heart..Our treasures are within us. God is within us.

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Safarnama- The Diary of a Journey

jitendrakotai

It was my first book launch and i had written the Autobiography of a very dear friend.

The Host of the event introduced

“This Book is based on the life and times of renowned novelist and philanthropist Mr Samarth Rao. The Author Karuna Mitra is an advocate and had been a very close friend and a huge admirer of his work. “ This book is the biography of and  a tribute to the great artist “

I had no options left in my life after he suddenly left from my life without any prior warning and all i could think of was him.Some people leave their imprints on your mind.Their overall existence is so impactful that all we can think about is them

i was like meera who was completely smitten by Lord Krishna. I had surrendered my entire being to him. I could never think about any other man…

View original post 2,162 more words

Kaal Sarp

Krish was an extremely handsome man. He usually made women turn around and look at him again. The Most alluring feature he had,was his eyes..

Those eyes had never looked into another girl’s eyes. He had been scared of women hitting on him. He always got attention that was uncalled for. But today was different

He had taken the last train today and he was slightly inebriated.

His eyes stared at a gorgeous looking girl. Some girls are extremely pretty . He used to catch a few glimpses of pretty looking girls sometimes. But this girl was stunning. She had beautifully crafted features. If someone looked at her, their eyes would just be stunned enough to stay at her for a few extra mins. She defined beauty. She defined love at first sight

He was shamelessly staring at her. His gaze took no time in turning into a lustful escapade through her body with his eyes.

However her eyes were quiet. They had nothing to read. Her expression was blank. She did not try to hide from his lustful gaze She did not try to cover up like other girls.

Krish was extremely attracted. He wanted to speak to her. He felt like approaching her. But the only restraint was that he was slightly tipsy and he did not feel comfortable in speaking to her in this state. The Ultimate moment came. The MTR Stopped and she walked out. She left her jacket behind. .

Krish leaped out from the MTR and called out to her. With her jacket in tow he started following her. She did not respond. He kept calling out. She kept walking and reached to her destination

It was a haunted territory named Kaalsarp. Extremely close to a religious abode, there was a place considered haunted. There were many stories about this, Anyone frequenting this place at night either died or turned insane.

Initially skeptical to enter but determined to find the stunning girl, Krish stepped his foot into the Kaalsarp. The place literally meant” the Snake of death.”

It was pitch dark inside. No human being in sight. There was a deafening silence as he walked through the trees.He came up to a bridge. He had heard stories that Kaal snatches the souls of any good humans that walk on the bridge. Only people born in Rakshas Yoni could walk through the bridge. The Sinners and the people belonging to the Ghost side of the world.

He felt eerie and decided to walk away. As he turned around, he saw the girl standing atop a tree, She had tied her dupatta around her neck and was fixing the ends to the branches of the tree. He ran and shouted loudly.His voice echoed around the place. Before he could rescue her she had jumped to her death. Her dead body was swinging across the tree as he leaped to try and save her.

Sweating profusely in distress he dialed his friend’s number. An Unknown female voice spoke from the other end. He asked for his friend, but the lady seemed unaware of such person. He seemed to have dialed a wrong number. He asked for assistance nevertheless.The Lady sensed his problem and promised to send some help.

In distress he had walked some distance away from the tree. He was shocked to see that the dead body was no longer hanging on the tree.

Petrified at the events that had transpired. He decided to jump the fence and run away.

The Lady at the wrong number kept calling again and again.

 

The Morning newspaper carried a picture of the girl’s body that was recovered from a lake near the same location. His head was spinning. He was not able to understand the whole scenario. He wanted to investigate. This was indeed a strange occurrence. When he googled and read more and more, he came across the fact that many people had either committed suicide or gone missing from the same location.

Sometimes humans regret being in a situation. He was feeling the guilt for not being able to help a girl in need. He was feeling bad about lustfully looking at her while she was lost in her thoughts full of despair.

He read that she had belonged to a very affluent family.He had found her residence. With a simple intention of informing him about the gruesome death of his daughter, he had taken an appointment with her affluent father.

Sipping tea in a huge mansion with hordes of servants walking around, he realized that the girl had been raised like a princess. It intrigued him even more that why had she chosen for herself – a death like that.

Her father was wheelchair bound and he intended to speak to monosyllables. He was not interested in knowing any facts and his information met with a stare and a rude response

As he walked out of the mansion, a sweet familiar voice called out to him. He had heard this voice somewhere. A girl walked up to him and greeted him.

” I kept calling you so many times, you did not respond ” she said

“That night you had called me. I am Jyotsna , I am a Journalist ” She conveyed

Jyotsna ensured that Kaal Sarp stayed in news. Krish ensured that he kept finding more info about people who had died there.

6 Months passed by without much luck. Although media had covered the case very extensively. Public memory is short and they lose interest if the case doesn’t show some quick revelations.

Krish and Jyotsna had not given up. They walked around in that area quite often to find something. They were on the verge of giving up when a surprising and previously unknown fact came up in reckoning

The deaths at Kaal Sarp had been very common. Everyone that had died here had died under mysterious circumstances.

That night Krish ,while browsing through old reports came across a teenage boy named Chetan who had been the only survivor. A few night travelers had saved him but he had lost his mental balance.

They were not allowed to meet him in the mental asylum. A very strong authority was stopping any investigation that was progressing.

With no hope of fair chance. They decided to break in into the asylum and rescue the boy from there. Disguised as a doctor and nurse they had broken through and eloped with the boy.

In the car they spoke to the boy and inquired about the deaths at Kaal Sarp

He smiled. There was something he knew. He asked their names and then informed them they will die very soon.

For a few days the boy did not give any information. But one morning he woke up and spoke something strange. It was about men wearing cloaks holding an axe, those dangerous men that snatch souls from bodies.

That night the three of them crossed the bridge and kept walking. Krish had aimlessly walked umpteen number of times with no result.The Boy was willing to take them further. He knew the way, his steps were confident and he did not look mentally unstable.

But this time they saw an underground tunnel which lead to another place.

They started walking slowly being careful of anyone watching them

It was leading to no where, extremely dark and stinky. The path was full of filth and stale water.

As they neared the end of the tunnel, the boy started to run back. He was petrified. He had remembered the ordeal. He was not going any further. He was running back to save his life.

They tried to coerce him many times but he refused to give out any detail for the fear of death.

Kaal Sarp was back in news. A Couple had committed suicide at the same location. Under strange circumstances they had been found wearing orange garbs. Usually Orange garbs are worn for religious functions. Jyotsna noticed that they had typical way of putting a tikka on the forehead. There was a religious group that had an international company financing its operations, they had their temples at various locations across the city.

 

Jyotsna was the only journalist that had spoken about the strange fact that couple was dressed in a religious garb and wearing a religious tikka on their forehead while dying at an haunted location.

The God-men running this foundation came up to meet Jyotsna, She touched their feet and offered them some food. Many known figures and famous celebrities were a part of this organization. Their goal was to establish One god that every human can relate to. They had come to request her to not malign the name of their sacred institution. They had not liked the fact that they had been dragged into this controversy.

Krish, Jyotsna and chetan decided to set off during the day. Holding hands they were rushing through the tunnel. It was a never ending path that was leading to no where. Surprisingly Chetan stopped again. They had to drag him somehow till the end of the tunnel. The tunnel lead to a big house that had been protected by electric fencing .Krish tried to find a way to get inside. Chetan started crying inconsolably. Worried about him he decided to step down and walked towards him.

Suddenly a bullet pierced through chetan’s head .He fell and started gasping for breath. Within minutes he passed away.

Jyotsana and Krish were arrested and taken inside the house. All the doors and windows were covered with black curtains. The House was full of people. They were wearing cloaks to cover their faces exactly as mentioned by chetan.

 

Jyotsna and Krish were tied to chairs. A man walked up to them . He had covered his entire face. Only his eyes were visible. Krish challenged him “ Show me your face. I know I am going to die. I want to see your face before I die” The Man laughed loudly.

He touched Jyotsna Inappropriately all over her body and then slapped her

“ I had told you to stop the investigation, but you did not listen to me “ He said.

She immediately recognized his voice. Her hands were tied and the filthy man was making her feel bilious by his constant fondling.

“Well we give two choices “ He said “ Join us or die”

“You Humans do not know how to live” He preached

“ Life is not about restriction, Life is about satiating all your desires “ He said

 

 

He Unleashed Jyotsna from the chair and she laughed. He took her in his arms and they started kissing each other. “ Let the party begin” He announced.

The Cloaks came off. They were all known faces. Some very famous. It was sickening to see them as they exchanged partners and crossed all limits of normalcy and shame.

 

Krish had been a spectator to this entire fiasco now. The Religious Organization had spread rumors about the place being haunted. The entire set up was made so that people do not frequent that place and these diabolical supposedly decent people who were god fearing worshipers inside a place of worship, could come out and explore their animal instincts in an undisclosed secret place.

The religious group propagated celibacy, Vegetarian food , freedom from material desires and worshiping god all day as their way of life during the day. But the natural urge to experience these pleasures lead them to create a secret haven for their escapades.

 

Krish only had a moment to decide. Jyotsna was sitting on his lap now with a gun pointing to his head. He had to make a decision to join them or die. He could have chosen to die. He could have chosen to live with a dark secret..People were killed . Lots of them. He saw guilt free faces. He saw people lost in their worlds of lust and pleasure. He wanted to stop them. He was teary eyed. That was a mob of inhuman species that had enacted and fooled humanity so beautifully.

 

He wanted to shout to the world. He wanted to tell people to not believe in them. But it was too late. The Moment was over. Jyotsna loaded the gun to fire the shot

He gave up. He decided to join them and keep his mouth shut.

The next day she rubbished all claims of this organization having any links with the deaths in Kaal Sarp. Krish had survived but he continued to live with tremendous guilt.

The Human in him wanted to speak out against them. But now he had started to enjoy the guilt pleasure. He had realized that when he wore that cloak, he changed into a different person.

That man had no essence of Krish. The man in that cloak was only looking for a prey to hunt. That man was a predator who had given up against all evil. He had become the part of evil because he had feared death. God was just his defense mechanism. God was just another cloak that he wore in broad daylight to cover those treacherous eyes that were full of deceit.

There will be point where he will not be able to hide anymore, he thinks as he distributes the prasad and he looks lustfully at Jyotsna who looks equally seductive in an Orange garb as she smiles at him.

 

Does humanity place too many artificial restraints on itself for purity like Celibacy, Food Type and Philosophy ? Had we been better humans , if we were not living a pretence to show society how pure and pious we are ?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tassavur- The Image in Memories

Memories just flow. In Today’s times we can manipulate most feelings.

Normal people have the ability enact their roles perfectly. They do not get stuck on things like emotions. They choose to feel selectively. In our quest to lead perfect lives we have transformed into people that pretend to live perfect lives. The Perfection in our lives is only visible on social media.

The Only thing I guess we have not been able to achieve control over is memories.

We are hit by memories suddenly and randomly. We might be listening to a romantic song. we might be thinking about something. Without a prior notice or pre alert we just happen to see a flashback and it makes us emote instantly

Such were her memories. They just made me smile. A simple thought of her would make me feel so awesome. I had chosen to manipulate myself many times. I had tried to make myself believe that I do not love her. But I just could not stop her memories from suddenly playing in my head from time to time.

Mansi Chaudhry, She was 22 when I had left her. I had thought she was restricting me. I was not prepared to settle down. I hated the stability. I had just left without saying a goodbye.

When I think about it today, it makes me cringe. How could I possibly be so heartless ?

 

Myself , Abhishek Chauhan, I was one of the richest Indians living in New York . However i had always regretted my decision to run away from Indore in my quest to become rich and famous.

The only person i missed was her. There had never been a moment where i had not hoped that she would be living it with me.

 

We had met in the strangest possible way. I was getting drenched in rain and she had offered me some space in her umbrella.

 

 

The rain in itself is harmless. But those glistening rain drops falling on her face had the power to make me entranced in those days

In these days they cause tremendous agony.

When i look back i realize that it was ten years ago. In my journey to make millions i somewhere lost my sense of time.

I have achieved everything today. Life has brought me to a stage where all dreams have been conquered. My success story has been worth the cover story of a magazine. But today at this point i feel saturated. I have felt the vacuum. i have lived with the emptiness. But i cannot survive like this anymore.

I had packed my bags at one stage. I wanted to venture out of this place and go to my homeland. i wanted to search for that girl. She had flawless skin, perfectly sculpted features and a laughter that would make me forget all the problems of the world. Her tresses falling on her face had made me spellbound. The way she had looked at me had made me fall head over heels in love with her. I was still completely smitten by her.

Ten years is a long time. She might be married by now. She might even given birth to an angel or a prince. i just could not muster the courage to go back to my homeland.

 

The issue had been commitment . She wanted me to take up a regular job.There was a lot of pressure on her for marriage. She could not introduce me to her parents as i was not earning anything. i was just a dreamer. i was not sure what i will do with my life. I was not made for these mundane routines. I wanted to set up my own success story. I wanted to make it big on my own. Her constant nagging and those preachy sessions were getting onto my nerves.

My family was giving me stress too. I had to just leave or this would have made me insane.

She told me jokingly that she would nod and give her approval  if a marriage prospect came along

 

I decided to leave her behind. I got my visa and scholarship and migrated without informing anyone. i left no trace behind. I wanted to start a new life and leave my past behind completely.  I had never looked back until I got tired of my quest for material pleasures and I started seeking for some soul satisfaction.

 

It was new year’s eve when the sky was lit up with firecrackers i had wished to see her again, meet her again and have her in my life again.

 

I had a read a book by Paulo Coelho that stated “when your heart truly desires something, the whole universe conspires to help you achieve that thing, simply because it is a desire that originated from the soul of the world.”-

 

I had never imagined that it will happen in real life. She was right in front of me. I could not believe my eyes. I was seeing her walk past the shopping arcade. She looked extremely glamorous.Her persona had gone through a drastic change. She looked more confident and stylish.Her enticing eyes i once was addicted to, were covered by shades. Her body language looked flamboyant.

Unlike normal people who would walk up to their object of desire and start a healthy conversation, I started stalking her. I followed her.i was hiding myself on the opposite street, taking small glances at her.  i guess she lived there The feeling had to sink in. i had to still come to terms with the fact that she was here. I had to accept the fact that she was in the same city as me.

I still remember those scintillating memories at the lake.Hours passed by without uttering a word. Those memories have a pleasant aroma. it was her fragrance that marked those memories. That fragrance made me feel at peace. Her sparkling eyes and that miniscule bindi that had my eyes fixated at her forehead.

Her laughter still echoes whenever i remember those days. I want them again. My Soul needs that peace again. The Peace i felt when she held my hands or when she rested her head on my shoulder. After hours of stalking her, I had finally decided to talk to her again.

Before i could thrill her, destiny had other plans for me. The Car I was hiding behind took off leaving me exposed. She walked up to me with a smile.

 

We shook hands and she smiled coyly. She was so calm. There was no shouting and no drama. She chose to remain silent and walk with me. She chose to ignore the fact that we had spent some awesome memories together. .

i wanted to confront her. How could she forget those beautiful memories that i live with?

I was walking besides her but my attempts to strike a conversation were futile. Almost a decade had gone by. I had forgotten the usual way we spoke. Did we communicate in English or Hindi? How did i address her? How should i address her?.

i finally uttered “ Did you Miss me”

“There wasn’t a single moment where I did not remember you  “She said and wiped tears from her eyes.

I was so thrilled and excited. It all seemed normal again. I had found my peace. Her fragrance filled my car as she sat next to me. It was going to be the best day of my life.

i was on cloud nine.

We planned a date. I took her to the most romantic place in the city. It was a tropical rainforest where we held hands and kept walking. She spoke endlessly. There were so many stories she had to tell me about the village, the neighbours, her parents, my parents. I felt so connected to her once again. i felt like i was living a dream. She was right there speaking like she always did. It seemed like we had picked up the conversation from where we had last left it.

 

We were dancing in my fanciful dimly lit room to the tunes of old melodies of bollywood. “Babuji dheere chalna, pyar mein zara sambhalnaa”. it all seemed like a fairy tale. The music and her presence made me intoxicated. i was high on life. It was turning into the most beautiful evening of my life. My craving for her had surpassed all boundaries. The Passion had been ignited. I wanted to love her like there is no tomorrow. I lifted her in my arms. we satiated all our desires that night.

It felt like i had stopped breathing at one point and now i was breathing again. Her fragrance seemed to be like oxygen to my soul. i had been longing for her and i had been extremely lucky to have found her again when i was on the verge of a nervous breakdown.

 

I woke up with a satisfied smile. My life was now complete had everything and i had an awesome someone to share my achievements with..i called out to her and stretched my arms.

 

I heard no response.

I walked around my house in disbelief. She was nowhere to be found. i called her her number in desperation but it was not reachable. I looked for her everywhere but she was nowhere to be found. I tried to reach her in India. All her relatives and friends gave me cooked up stories i felt.

 

I even went to her village and various cities where she could have been. It was her turn. She had taken her revenge. She had decided to give me a taste of my own medicine. She had found me, loved me and then She had suddenly disappeared without a trace. I was exasperated. In today’s times when it is extremely easy to locate someone using social media, i was stranded in the middle of nowhere trying to find my peace that had just chosen to leave me.

 

Well i really love twist ending in films. But life offered me a twist ending.

© Jitendra Kotai

The Rich Almighty

The Rich Almighty

Famous Lines of Sant Kabir “Moko Kahan dhoonde re bande, Main to tere paas mein. Na mandir mein, Na Masjid Mein.. Na kabe kailash mein. Main to tere paas mein bande. Main to hoon Vishwas mein “ State that “Where are you looking for me o human. I am inside you. I am neither in a temple nor in a mosque. I am inside you. i am in your faith “

Those who believe in God always state that he never differentiates. He is omnipresent and he is not biased towards his believer based on their wealth and the amount of donation the believer renders to his temple.

Even then we see V.I.P Lines in Siddhi Vinayak temple where celebrities get the darshan discreetly and are allowed to stay for as long as they wish to. Whereas commoners are ushered and pushed away as soon as they catch a glimpse of their deity .

The Focus today is on whether or not we should donate to temples. Does donating gold, valuables and cash to the temple work towards any cause. The Statues of gods are laden with Heavy jewelery. Does it make them more pious ?

According to a report from a mainstream media house named Dainik Bhaskar
The Appropriation of funds in some of the major temples all across India has come into questioning. The Trustees have not been maintaining their accounts and have not even done an audit for years.
Below mentioned are the basic figures of how much some of the major shrines are worth

1) Shirdi Sai Baba Temple – Gold and Jewellery worth 32 crores. Yearly income 350 crore in Donations .
2) Siddhi Vinayak temple mumbai- The dome over Lord Ganesha is 3.7 kg Gold and the temple gets 48 crore annually in donations
3) Vaishno Devi Mandir, Kashmir- A rough estimated income of 500 crore every year
4) Tirupati Balaji ,- The temple gets a whooping 650 crore in donations and the gold on the deity itself is 1000 kg
5) Padmanabhaswamy temple, Kerala- Gold Treasure worth 20 billion was found in this temple. There were sacks of diamonds and tonnes of gold jewellery mysteriously untouched for years
Public Figures like Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Swami Agnivesh and Baba Ramdev have come in support and stated that instead of donating money in temples. We should ideally take care of a poor child’s health and education. There are many below the poverty line who do not get basic necessities and helping them would please the Almighty even more.
God does not want our riches and materialistic mode of exchange

Have you ever read the small writing inscribed above the charity box in a temple.
In all likelihood it reads ‘All donations will go towards building the corpus of the temple fund”. They may even mention the names of the great benevolent souls that poured their heart out in charity. They may even mention the amounts that they had donated. But what they will never mention is what was that donation used for and how were those funds utilized. In india they say Charity should be done according to your willingness and Capability. But what they forget to tell you is that it should be done for a cause and not wasted in giving gold to a deity

From my perspective Shirdi Sai Baba would have been terribly hurt when a devotee donated him a golden throne. He was a true fakeer who had given up all materialistic things in his life. All his life he lived in a broken hut called Dwarka Mai which only had a pot of water in it as his belonging . He relied on the charitable food which his devotees prepared for him. He had left all worldly pleasures and hence we was known as a saint.
If he would have been alive. He would have utilized this golden throne donation for a true charitable cause and helped mankind.

Another aspect is Anonymous donations that add up to the temple corpus. Such donations are not considered as the temple’s income and hence the temple pays no tax on such donations. The Fake donor does so to avoid tax or convert the money earned by unethical means and the real donor that really wants to do something good does not realize that there is no accountability of his generosity

if you light up a diya in front of your deity. it is not necessary that it should be done with expensive ghee.On your religious or spiritual journey monetary gains or monetary show off should be of least importance .
If you donate a gold rath (vehicle) when your deity is carried out for rath yatra and the news makes headlines.it is purely showing off of your wealth and indirect advertising to prospective business associates. It can never please your deity, if millions of his creations suffer for a daily two time meal. Your Riches and finances if you have in abundance , i request you to use your head and try for maximum optimum utilization of your resources for the growth and benefit of mankind .

Article 26 of The Constitution of India states that the temples governance will have no interference from the government.

In Spite of this the government has intervened in the process on their false pretext of streamlining it.The Appointment of officers, Archnayaks and head priests in some temples is in the hands of the government

On Tuesday March 8th 2011. High court issued a notice against the Andhra Pradesh Government for diverting Tirupati temple funds towards other activities .

I was born in a priest family and i have stolen coins from the temple many times for my personal entertainment in my childhood.

I was a small child then but the government is full of corrupt people that come into power only to utilize their tenure to their maximum personal benefit and entertainment

The last thought gave me a very wild imagination. The Money you donated to your shrine for purely pious reasons might just be getting used by a small minister for his Bangkok Pleasure trip

Wake up now.. Donate with our own hands and for the right cause to the right person that is actually in need. God is already the Almighty. He does not need your money or your riches, He lives in a non-materialistic world and he has nothing to do with your currency notes. What holds value for him is your humanity and devotion.

Read my articles on

http://www.adesiflava.com/#!magazine/c14r1

 

This article has featured in the Magazines Jan- Feb 2016 issue

Atmagrast – I am

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We are all Self Obsessed Beings. We Love Ourselves above and beyond everything

If anyone says that they love someone more than their Own self. It is definitely a lie

My Story today is about Self Obsession, Identity Crisis and Perception

Atmagrast means Self Obsessed.

“Life is all about perception. We perceive things differently. What I perceive as right may not be right for you and vice versa, Society has created certain norms that are considered idealistic”

“My perception may be above and beyond. I might fiddle in some grey areas and try to bend certain rules for my convenience, My Perception may be completely wrong. i may be playing with prejudice. i may have judged a person or a situation completely incorrectly,” he concluded

This was an explanation to a simple question, But it seemed rather confusing coming from a 25 year old reckless youngster who was just arrested.

Have u killed Shraddha Singh ? “The Policeman Growled in anger. Repeating his question to make sure the man understood it.

“What we perceive as good may be completely bad and obnoxious

and similarly what we perceive as bad may not be that ridiculous , infact it may be correct and nice.”

” I am just trying to say that , what makes me a prime suspect of this murder is my fathers and peoples perception that i am a bad guy” ” I am not” ” I just flirt with girls, drink alcohol and have no goals in life” 

” That is common trait in today’s generation”

Mickey’s philosophical take on life had hardly made the policeman blink. He continued to be stone faced and stone hear-ted and stared back at Mickey with his eyebrows raised

Mickey Arora “ he finally said and laughed. “Who named you this ? “he questioned with a semi dimpled smile

I am used to it now”, mickey retorted. “My father made my life a living hell when they decided to name me after the famous mouse.”

Whenever I introduce myself. People ask me “ Mickey Who ?” Mickey Mouse

Arjun Nair , the investigative officer suddenly lost his cool and banged his fist on the table

Why did you kill that girl ?” he demanded

“And where is your twin brother Vicky Arora ?”

” Not me, It was not me” ” I am perceived as bad. i am certainly not” He repeated.

“You Hated your brother didn’t you ? “Inquired the inspector .

His eyes were moist . He was recounting all that he went through since childhood. It was a trauma he had faced that had turned him into what he was.

“i was desperately seeking to find my own identity in a world full of clones. Don’t we become clones of each other ? In our attempt to lead a righteous life. To have a stable job, our self respect, a stable amount of finance and a lifestyle.  Yes Lifestyle it is. We get prone to a certain lifestyle and then we cannot get rid of it”

A Prime Suspect in the murder of his Brother’s girlfriend and a sudden disappearance of his brother. Mickey Arora seemed a tough nut to crack. He was educated, intelligent and well spoken.

“I do not understand this flowery language and these psychological undertones of your philosophy about life ” Asserted the policeman.” Give me the truth in layman language”

” “Officer, I am trying to.. But I am lost.” Seeking to find something that I’ll never find again “

A Resounding slap followed and Mickey Arora fell on the floor nursing his cheek and jaw.

“Yes , I hated my brother. Because of the constant comparisons. We were identical twins. There was absolutely nothing different . we looked like a replica of each other. It was like walking to school with a mirror. it was like living your life with your mirror image. Later in my life, I realized that mirror images are not identical. they are opposites of each other”

“My Brother was academically very strong and I was more inclined towards arts. My father was proud of my brother as he was the perfect son. Everything about him was perfect. Neatly combed hair, Impeccable language and behavior and of course sense of responsibility “

” He got all praises. and all I received was comparisons and taunts. I was always told to learn from him and act like him”

“but acting like him would make me his clone. No one understood that I wanted to be different I had messed up hair, Loud clothes, no table manners and nothing perfect about me. but I was me. I was never mistaken for being Vicky Arora.”

“People could easily distinguish between us.” He paused and wiped his tears

But my dad’s concern for me grew by leaps and bounds. In my attempt to be different, may be I was going too far .While Vicky had a steady girlfriend whom he got engaged to. I kept moving in and out of relationships at breathtaking speed. I was letting go of relationships at effortless ease. I had stopped feeling. I was seeking something that never existed .”

Arjun Naik then decided to speak to his father.

Ranjeet Arora’s wife had passed away within minutes of delivering twin boys. In his trauma of losing his wife , Ranjeet did not even look at his sons for a few years. A Rich business tycoon who had his dreams shattered on the eventful night when his two sons were born and his wife passed away.

Ranjeet did eventually start behaving like a father and he did spend time with his two sons whom he had named Vikrant and Makrand Arora and he lovingly called them Vicky and Mickey

Mickey had always been the rebellious son, he loved being the one who swims against the tide. He never followed a flock, he always decided to do something unique

“He drew sketches in his answer sheets in exams” “He never cared about doing the right thing.”Every day i received one complaint against him” Ranjeet said when asked about Mickey

“Whereas Vicky always understood, he was the school topper. He did well academically and he was brilliant in sports too. He always listened to me and never went against my instructions” 

Arjun Naik then popped the uncomfortable question ” Do you think Mickey killed Shraddha and Vicky ?”

A Long silence ensued . Ranjeet Arora looked up at the Inspector and Said ” I Wish he has not done it, He may not believe it when you tell him. But i really love him too. He is my Son”

Ranjeet walked outside the cell Mickey was locked in and Mickey came out to meet him. Ranjeet wished he could hug him tight and show him how much he loved him. ” I always scolded you, but that was because i wanted to see you doing good in your life, becoming something. i was not your enemy. i wanted you to become,”

” A Clone ” interrupted Mickey. ” Like your beloved son is. ” ” Walk like you, talk like you and even wear clothes like you, Stand like you., Make a neat side-partition in my hair exactly like you” Fold my sleeves upto my arm and then fold my arms and look into the mirror with my eye brows raised..just like you”

“Did you kill him ?” Where is He” Ranjeet demanded an answer.

Mickey banged the wall with his head and said ” Damn. You always think i am the villain. How can you blame me for it?

“I have not done anything. She had called me and shouted Help Me .I just found her half dead in her apartment and i tried to help her and save her life” But i know you would not believe me”

Who Killed Shraddha ? Ranjeet Asked

“I Don’t know ” he casually replied.. “Whether He is a sinner, I do not know; one thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see” he quoted from the Bible.

Mickey sometimes spoke things really deep that did not make sense. He had become a philosopher who quoted things randomly.

Ranjeet reached home. The place never seemed so quiet. As if a storm has passed by and destroyed everything in sight.

Somewhere he had failed. He had not given enough of himself to Mickey. He had chosen amongst his sons. He had resorted to favoritism and invested more time in the horse who could win for him

He had completely neglected his other son who he had never hoped or expected to win the race for him

He laughed while sipping his whiskey at home as he remember that once Mickey had said ” Dad, i would not be surprised if one day you compared our farts and said that Vicky’s fart sounded melodious and sweet ” and mine was disoriented and distasteful”

He remembered how happy he had been seeing Vicky dressed up in a sherwani , He was being engaged to Shraddha , His steady girlfriend since school days. They had dated each other for 10 years. 

Shraddha’s elder sister had decided not be a part of the engagement ceremony because of her 6 month psychotic fling with Mickey Arora who had made her insane and completely disillusioned. 

Mickey Arora had suffered 21 heart breaks. His illustrious list of girlfriends included the Home Ministers Daughter too. Ranjeet was trying to figure out what could have led to the prevailing circumstances and suddenly the phone rang. It sounded very dreadful in the middle of the night ringing unabashedly loudly as Ranjeet sprinted across to lift the phone

” Dad, ” The voice on the other line said 

“Mickey” He responded

“Yes , Dad i have managed to escape from police custody. I am innocent. ” But i need to find Vicky to prove my innocence” I need to uncover the mystery behind the death of Shraddha” 

The Phone abruptly disconnected. Ranjeet’s agony multiplied . He gazed at the picture of his dead wife and tears rolled down his cheeks . He folded his hands and apologized. He knew he was responsible for not being the righteous father, and not inculcating the values in his kids. He had just taught them to win the rat race. and shunned the one who had decided not to be a part of the rat race”

“If Sibling rivalry is the reason for all this. I am the one to be blamed. As i was the one who started it”

He remembered a day in their childhood where he had been furious at Mickey and torn his sketch book only to realize that the poor boy had been sketching his dad in different poses. The reason for his anger had been that Mickey had failed a Maths test. But today he thought , after all the Maths test was not that important. There were many more tests after that in life that he had failed because of the way his irate father treated him

Meanwhile Mickey had reached the crime spot . Gulmohar Apartments .On the 22nd floor, Vicky had gifted a flat to his fiance Shraddha. That was her engagement gift that had turned into a love nest for the two.

Pictures of Vicky and Shraddha in various happy moments a couple enjoys adorned the walls of this apartment. It was tastefully done. Red being the theme. From the curtains to the sofa to the wall clock . Everything was ‘valentines day’ Red.

Searching frantically led to zero results. He decided to leave and just as he was about to close the door. His eyes fell upon an unusual picture of Vicky

Vikrant Arora, who was always so well dressed and level headed. seemed drunk and wasted in that pic. His hair was all messed up, He looked unusually carefree and the attitude in that picture seemed completely unlike him.

He looked at the picture more closely and saw the letters “Danny’s Den” inscribed on the wall 

“Who is Danny ? ” He asked immediately as soon as his dad picked the phone

Danny ? Ranjeet retorted on the speaker phone . The policeman urging in sign language to ask his location

Where are you ? ” Ranjeet asked

“I Broke in to Vicky and Shraddha’s apartment ” i found something unusual ” he said

The police teams left in a hurry to catch him and took Ranjeet along and asked him to continue the conversation while walking towards to the car 

“What did you find ? “

” An unusual picture” In which your righteous son is dressed up like me. and looks very much the party animal” In fact more gruesome and messed up than i am” 

As he took the lift the phone line disconnected. Two policemen took the stairs and others waited patiently for the lift door to open. Ranjeet Arora and Arjun Naik took the other lift to go to the Apartment

The Gun trotting policemen were left dumbstruck when the apartments opened and it was empty.

” He has somehow managed to escape sir” Said the policeman.

He hid behind a big pillar near the lift lobby.. He had to just run a few inches and he could be free again. But his eyes got stuck at a signboard. ” Danny’s Den”  An Arrow pointing to the basement of the building.

He chose to run there instead and hide in the basement. He could also uncover the mystery behind ” Danny’s Den”

It was a lavish apartment in the basement which was locked with a security code.” Entry by Invitation Only “

” Hi Danny” The Lobby Manager said and Mickey was taken aback. 

“Hi” was all he could come up with

The Lobby manager laughed and said ” I think you snorted too much again, you forgot your password , Didn’t you ?

“Yes” He nodded in approval

Hahaha” Your password is your real name ” That is the hint i always give you when you forget it”

“V I K R A N T” he punched in and security controller beeped . It was wrong

“M A K R A N D” he punched in and it opened.

He walked slowly as it was very dark inside. A Foul smell made him cover his nose and he walked down the stairs leading to the apartment. He kept wondering why his real name was the password and not Vikrant

He stumbled and fell as he failed to keep his foot on the next step .He saw the switch and put on the lights. A small bulb flickered and there was a dim orange light that lit up in this room

This room had black walls. The Pictures on the wall were depressing images of Vicky and Shraddha completely dissipated and high on drugs.

A Skeleton was the first thing he saw as he started examining the room. There were books full of porn and DVD’s with torture porn. The room was stuffed with alcohol and other banned stuff.

And suddenly his eyes caught the sight of a man. 

“So there you are” He said in an angry tone

” What should i call you ? Danny, Vikrant, Makrand ,Mickey or Vicky.” What are you?” An insane inhuman actor” He shouted in hurt. Mickey was terribly hurt to see his ideal brother in this state. ” You were my hero. “

“You have let us down. Dad will be shattered to see you in this state”

With ridiculous amount of cocaine and nicotine in his blood. Vikrant laughed out recklessly. He sounded insane. 

“You want see more” He said grasping a DVD

“Shraddha” read the DVD which was in Vicky’s hand.

Vicky had always wanted to live the life Mickey lived. He had secretly envied Mickey for being himself. Vicky had acted out being the righteous guy all his life. He initially did it out of fear of upsetting his father. But slowly he started enjoying it.

The two opposite facets of his personality. He became Vicky as soon as he entered the premises of his house . Soft spoken, clean and righteous. He turned into Danny as soon as he entered Danny;s Den. A monster who tortured women. A man who did everything that Vicky could only imagine

Shraddha had always known the secret. She had initially enjoyed being the only one to know about the den and the danny side of his. But slowly as the Danny side of his personality grew stronger. She was subjected to torture and inflicted with pain. Now, she kept the secret only due to fear. She loved Vicky and she thought that once they settle down in life , Vicky will stop visiting his eccentric , self obsessed side

But Danny had slowly started moving into Vicky’s real world. He could no longer act as the good guy when he was dressed as the Righteous Vicky. He got into bouts of violence even when he was vicky and he had started forgetting to carefully manage the two lives separately

That was the reason why a picture from Danny’s life had found its way to Vicky and Shraddha;s bedroom

The Policemen finally found Danny’s Den but they struggled with the password. The Lobby manager was paid a hefty amount of money by Vicky to keep his mouth shut 

As Mickey dialed his fathers number . Vicky hit him with a rod from behind. 

Dragging the rod on the floor. He tilted his head and laughed like a maniac. ” I Kill them who come to know about my secret” he said and suddenly anger grew on his face..

” Shraddha wanted me to quit this life. She does not know how relieving this is. She threatened me that she will tell the world about Danny. She threatened me ” He said hitting his chest hard

A Sudden burst of emotions, Tears rolled down his cheeks and started squalling in pain. ” I loved her” he said and fell on the ground.

The Policemen finally were able to break the security code. and as soon as they entered. They saw both brothers embracing each other and crying

Before they could inquire Mickey Said ” He is my brother Mickey Arora, He is mentally unstable. He had kidnapped me here and he accidentally killed my fiance Shraddha Singh” Please help him on medical grounds. He is in too much agony”

Mickey Arora had taken over the image of the righteous man. He had become Vicky and decided to keep Danny and his den as a secret. He did not want his father to be shattered again. He would not have survived the blow that his ideal son and his only hope in life had been perceived by him incorrectly.

Mickey now lived a righteous life as perfect son. He got married and well settled in his life. There was no longer a battle with his identity. But was he living someone else’s life?. Was he trying too hard to live as an image.? 

He finally had what he deserved and desired all his life. Love and respect from his father. No Comparisons and no references to learn from someone. 

Do we all live our lives pretending . Saving our righteous images in public and then hiding under the garb in a danny;s den to unleash the hidden wrong side in us. Right or Wrong are two sides of a coin. 

Again , What we perceive as good may not be good and what we perceive as bad might as well be good

What we perceive as right, might be wrong and what we perceive as wrong might be a grey shade waiting to be explored

Finally, What we perceive as true might be a blatant lie and what we perceive as lies might just be true 

@JitendraKotai