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…

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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

The Folk Singer

“Time Flies” she said as she looked at the ruins of an abandoned fort that had many sweet memories associated with it.

Sukhpreet had seen a lot in life at an early age. She had come back to her village after 10 years of endless struggle in a foreign country

In these ruins lied an untold and unfinished love story. The agony and pain reflected on her face as she opened the Pandora box of her eventful memories.

On the banks of Sutlej river , atop the roof of an abandoned fort ,ad-mist the melodious sound of iktara ,a stentorian voice enthralled every passer-by. This was a teenage folk singer who had made the abandoned fort into his music workshop where he created fantabolous music with his two best friends

His name was Gurnaam and he sang about unrequited love. In Punjab the two most famous sad love stories are Heer Ranjhaa and Mirza Sahiba

Most musicians recreate the old folk songs in their own style as the melody and rhythm of these old folk songs and love stories is spellbinding

Gurnaam and his friends spent their entire day creating music , writing lyrics and singing their songs. These boys were sought for whenever anything was needed anywhere They were the most selflessly helpful boys in the entire village.

They completed any task assigned to them within minutes and all they asked for in return was to listen to their new compilations and requested the villagers to provide them a platform to showcase their musical talent.

Sukhpreet was fascinated by Gurnaam ever since she realized he existed. As a child she used stand on her terrace and wonder , How this boy could hit the Tyre with his stick and run alongside it at the same speed. She always fumbled and fell when tried it at home

Usually girls were not allowed to venture out. But sukhpreet and her best friend Tanvi had found a way .. They used to secretly jump from their roof onto the roof of the abandoned temple and cross over slowly through the roof to the abandoned fort.

They used to hide behind the bushes and see these boys sing, dance and perform. His voice echoed through the fort. His words loud and crisp. The poetry in the song made her heart skip a beat. She had been madly in love with this young singer and she could not remember since when.

Tanvi laughed her heart out and made fun of her. Gurnaam had grown into a very handsome man. His voice and impeccable singing talent was now not only the reason for girls to fall for him. He had an amazing charm ,his surma clad eyes and a gorgeous dimpled smile that made him the young heartthrob of the village, To add his qualities he had a heart of gold. he unconditionally helped everyone in the village.

Hiding behind the bushes ,as the two girls were giggling. Gurnaam suddenly appeared and stood in front. An eyebrow raised and with a frown he stared at both the girls Tanvi suddenly uttered ” She drags me here everyday, She loves listening to your songs”

Gurnaam’s frown suddenly turned into a goofy smile. He loved being complimented for his music. His friends cleaned a charpai and made the two girls have a comfortable seat. Another friend served them lassi while gurnaam cleared his throat and tried to catch the que on his iktara. He sang a terrific romantic number, the lyrics were flawless. the poetry was like a flowing river. the music comprehended with the mood of song. Listening to him live was indeed an enchanting experience.

The Two girls were fascinated. As the mood of the song enhanced. the rythm improvised. the boys started dancing and broke into an impromptu bhangra Tanvi also shed her inhibitions and started dancing with them , this made sukhpreet burst into laughter ,but something sent a shiver down her spine. Gurnaam had been looking at her, his eyes completely focused on her as if he was trying to look at her as long as he could and soon as their eyes met, he sang a long unbroken trance of aalap , the vibrations in his voice were extremely attractive. That beautiful song had en-carved his name permanently on her heart

It was just after dawn , she stood at her roof and stretched her arms. The distinctive chirping of birds which was beautifully pleasant as the sun slowly covered the earth with its light. The sound of the continuous bicycle bell broke her trance and made her see down. The Usual teenage boy who distributed newspapers in her locality as his morning job was accompanied on the backseat by Gurnaam. As the newspaper boy aimed at her roof and threw the newspaper, gurnaam aimed at her and threw a crumpled piece of paper. As she opened it, his dimpled smile made her realize before reading anything that this was her first love letter

A rude deep toned voice suddenly echoed in the quiet morning “Sukhpreet , Are you going to serve us tea today, or should we order it from the nearby teastall” She panicked and hid the crumpled letter in her duppata and tied it around her waist .Her face had turned red in anticipation and nervousness of reading what was written inside but every time she tried to read it, one of her family members either showed up or called out her name.

After running around and completing all her daily chores. She met Tanvi in the evening and they jumped from their roof onto the adjacent roof of the abandoned temple. They hid there and she slowly opened the letter.it read ” Will you come to meet me alone near the lake tomorrow, i need to tell you something really important ” It brought a smile on her face and she blushed. She hugged tanvi and said ” I guess my dream is going to come true. i am surely going to have a beautiful love story”

As she was getting ready to go towards the lake, She looked at the mirror and covered her face with her duppata. .She hummed the same melody he had sung as she slowly looked at herself through his eyes. She was a stunning beauty with flawless skin and beautiful eyes.. She Rehearsed what she would say to him, once he proposes ” I have been fascinated by our singing ever since i heard you for the first time. Your songs make me feel so connected to you. All the lyrics appear so real. Every song you sing, it makes me feel that you are singing for me. Every word makes sense. it makes me blush. it makes me fall deeper in love”. She had to confess to him. They had a strong connection. His soulful music instantly made her feel so awesome. She wanted to spend the entire life listening to his voice and looking at his handsome innocent face.

The Husky voice of her father broke her trance. His name was Dilawar Singh. He had been an police officer and the entire village had tremendous respect for him. “Sukhpreet” He called out again. As she walked out of her room, she was shocked.

An unknown family of three people were seated on the sofa and her mother handed her the expensive tea set which had been kept hidden for a special occasion. As she ventured out to serve the tea to the unrecognizable guests. She somehow sensed that it may be something terribly heart breaking for her

As her eyes surveyed the faces of the strangers she saw a

1)A Moustached man of her fathers age,

2)An Extremely Overweight Aunty,

3) A Shy and Dark Young man and

4) a finally recognizable face of the Village Panchayat Sarpanch.

The Moustached man asked her a few questions about her studies, academics and future plans and then they looked at the shy  dark skinned boy who smiled and felt more shy .

The Moustached man then announced ” We Like the Girl… The Engagement Ceremony  will be held tomorrow and the marriage will take place six months later “

Tears flew down her cheeks as her father embraced the moustached man. All her dreams were shattered in a few minutes where her elders had made a decision without even informing or asking her.

Girls in Rural india do not have a choice when it comes to choosing a life partner. She walked back slowly to her room her tears had no respite. They were shamelessly continuing to show up, even when she tried to wipe them off desperately

Meanwhile Gurnaam waited endlessly at the lake and kept throwing pebbles in frustration . 

Next Morning he climbed up to her roof with great difficulty. As soon she entered the roof , he held her arm. She gave him a crumpled piece of paper in his hand and asked him to leave before he gets caught and beaten by the team of pehalwans

The Note read ” They fixed my marriage. i am getting engaged today. I do not want to be Heer , i want to be Sahiba. Ranjha just turned insane and kept being pelted with stones.. Mirza rode on a horse and took his sahiba away. I will stand by you and we will fight the world”

He could have done what she wanted. But he chose not to. He was a small time folk singer. he hardly earned enough to make ends meet. She was the daughter of a rich police officer who was being married to an NRI from London.

“What could we possibly achieve by eloping . The Panchayat would interfere and have us killed or Dilawar singh would have us killed. Honour killings are very common and these people place their honour above and beyond their children ” he answered Tanvi when she came to ask him his plan of action.

Nevertheless he decided to enter the engagement ceremony with his friends. They disguised themselves as caterers and started serving food and drinks to the guests that had arrived

Seated as the centre of attraction, wearing a beautiful pink dress. She sang a folk song in her beautiful voice.

“Do not call me Heer, I want to be Sahiba

So that he comes on a horse and takes me away

Mirza comes on a horse and takes me away “

were the words she sang 

He had heard her voice for the first time. She had a flawless voice and he felt extremely helpless about the situation,

She was expecting him to do something, take her away somehow.

Teary eyed she acknowledged the claps from the audience. Her groom to be then exchanged rings with her and the ceremony went off perfectly without any disruptions

That night he climbed on the roof again,Her eyes were searching for the passion in his eyes. She wanted many answers from him and he said ” I stand nowhere. I am poor folk singer , My Father is a cobbler who mends shoes for a living”

” I need time to make myself something and prove a point. Your father will not place his daughters hands into the hands of a folk singer who does not have any future ahead of him”

She said ” Six months is all you have. You need to become something and come and stop this marriage.. Otherwise let us elope today” I can never fall in love with anyone else”

He assured her ” I will become something and come back soon”

“So Did Gurnaam Never return”  Tanvi asked

“He had come back” Sukhpreet Said

“He looked smart as a policeman, i was the first person he met dressed in his uniform.” We sat near the lake, the fierce training, the arms and ammunition had changed the soft hearted, sweet and charming folk singer into a tough ,quiet guy but she still sang with the same flair” The tone was different, the melody was no more romantic . The song he sang was patriotic”

With just a few days left for Sukhpreet’s wedding. Her holding hands with another man sitting near the lake was considered an outrageous sin. The news spread like wild fire and within a few moments Dilawar singh stood there with his gun. His eyes were full of rage. She tried to play mediator. She had never spoke to her father before. She had never had the guts to look into his eyes. But she tried to explain to him that she loved this guy.

But they took her away forcefully. The last thing she saw was Dilawar pointing his gun towards Gurnaam and while being dragged away by her brothers she heard a gun shot.

She instantly fainted. When she woke up she was already in her wedding mandap  in her red wedding dress , decorated with ornaments. She decided to go through the ordeal out of fear

Her ordeal lasted for ten long years where she was physically and mentally abused in London by her husband and in her in laws and finally she decided to end the nightmare by filing a police complaint of domestic violence and returning back to her country.

Today she stood there where she had dreamt of a beautiful love story with a boy who had transformed himself into a policeman from a folk singer she had fallen in love with

but she had lived all these years with the guilt of his death and she had held herself responsible for it.

She entered her house and she was greeted by her mother and a broken and shattered Dilawar singh who had lost all hopes of life. “I forgive you dad, i spent ten years in hell, just trying to save your reputation and your prestige”

“I did not kill him” he said. With tears in his eyes he looked at her and said ” I had fired my bullet on his leg”

“He could not become a policeman because of the disability he suffered due to my bullet”

but today he is a police informer and he runs a drugs rehabilitation center. He exposes rave parties and motivates youngsters to leave drugs. His songs are now dedicated to life. To look at life from positive perspectives. He is doing much more for the society than i did in my entire police career” You had made the right choice, but i was hell bent on getting you married to the guy of my choice”

He opened his palm and showed her a crumpled letter , 

It read ” i am still the same guy who had fallen in love with you ten years back, still waiting near the lake for you to come and meet me, i still have something very important to tell you”

Tanvi Said “ I feel that you are definitely going to have a beautiful love story”

As she ran towards the lake, it seemed the torment and misery of the last ten years had been wiped off in a moment and there he stood with his dimpled smile and surma clad eyes opening his arms to embrace her and all she wanted to do today was listen to his song and die in his arms.