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 ?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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

Behroopia- The Imposter

 

I moonlighted as the radio jockey that speaks in an erotic nasal voice after 11 pm and solves love problems. i used to enjoy doing that under an alias name of “ Love Guru Raj”

My basic advice to all the callers was to lower their expectations in love. The lesser the expectations the better love gets.

 

During the day i was a struggling writer trying to publish my first novel and in the process writing episodes for a daily soap to earn my bread and butter.

 

That day while walking back from my night job i found a young teenager at a place he should have never been. Completely drunk and wasted on a street struggling to get on his feet and walk. He seemed heartbroken and terribly depressed. His eyes were red and it seemed he had not slept since ages. Saying that he was rolling drunk was an understatement .My heart melted and i took him home.

 

The first thing he did next morning was vomit. He kept struggling in and out of my washroom for four hours before he felt better. As he sat down on the sofa i started interrogating him

 

“What’s your Name ?” I asked

“ Kunal “ He replied

“How Old are You ?” I asked sternly

“17” he replied

 

“Do you think it’s legal to get drunk and roam around on streets of Mumbai at 17?” I demanded to know

He was reduced to tears. He cried like a small child. I understood what had happened

Countless romances and dejections later

Two decades after my teens were over.

I had become pretty experienced in this field.

 

Let me put it this way

I realized very early in my life that i had a very innocent face

And realized that i could take advantage of it to fool innocent girls

I spoke with flair and confidence and i also had the gift of the gab

But then i also realized very early in my life that what i was doing was nothing great or exceptional

I realized that winning the trust of an innocent girl is very easy and breaking it is even easier

But this conquest and victory is worthless when you see the innocent girl shed tears

It is that moment that makes you realize that you have broken something very valuable.

 

I asked him to tell me if i could help him with something. May be i was assuming it to be a girl, maybe it was something more dramatic.

But simple guys like Kunal have simple problems. Yes it was a girl. Her name was Anjali.

 

“She works at Crossword.” Kunal said tentatively

“ I am a bookworm and hence i frequent that place very often in search of new books”

 

“Her smile was enticing; her eyes had a unique unusual sparkle”

“ I started frequenting that place more often , but now it was just to see her, feel her presence, smell her fragrance and talk to her” “ We became good friends, exchanged numbers and started chatting on whatsapp and facebook” Kunal Continued

 

“But then one day she told me something unusual. She asked me if i would like to check out some adult books in the store room upstairs.

I accompanied her. She bolted the door and had a naughty smile on her face.”

“She had planned everything. The Storeroom had no adult books. The adult stuff was in her mind and what we did was extremely insane “ Kunal concluded

 

I was taken aback. I belong to an older generation and a girl making such moves was not something we had seen in our times .I was a little nervous to ask this question but i did anyway

“Did you guys go all the way?”

“No” He replied angrily “I mean we locked the door and then we Kissed” He replied

“Not once, not twice but Sixteen times “he said

“You counted “ I asked

“Yes “he replied

“I maintained a diary and i wrote down each and every detail, i wanted to show her after marriage” he sobbed

“Had you discussed marriage and kids?” I Inquired

He suddenly burst into tears.

As he regained his composure, he walked towards the window.

“She just suddenly threw me out of her life one day” “She said that it was just a casual fling and there were no emotions associated with it” He said

 

Well back in our days we had brats. Boys did this usually. The Biggest brat i had seen was “Ranjeet” in the movies. He did this in every other movie. He impregnated the girl and then wiped his lips and rubbed his chest and then ironically said” Once in a blue Moon Kabhi Kabhi”. His dialogues never made sense but his actions did.

But this had happened with an innocent guy this time.

 

I eventually said. I know how you can win her back. At that moment even i was not sure what i was going to do. It was like a bowler that wanted a wicket badly but did not know where to pitch the ball. But i did say something sensible

 

“Ignore her for a couple of days act as if nothing has happened. Do not communicate with her by any means at all. No phone calls, No whatsapp messages, nothing.”

 

“On the third day walk into her bookstore and completely ignore her.” “Walk past her and do not make eye contact”. I instructed him

 

I was also present in the bookstore to make sure Kunal was following my instructions. I had dressed him up in style. Gelled his hair, opened a few buttons of his shirt, and had replaced his heavy school bag with a stylish bag that contained just one book.

 

He did what i had instructed him to do. Kept browsing through books and when he needed help he waved out to another girl and she showed him the book the wanted.

 

He walked out of the bookstore. i could not make much from her reaction. It seemed anger. The Fact that he had chosen to ignore her had made her angry… He walked out with tremendous confidence. I could see the sprint in his stride and his lopsided smile looked terrific

 

We were watching a movie well past midnight and his phone beeped. It had an angry smiley.

The Angry smiley made him smile sheepishly. He leaped like a school boy who had passed in all subjects. I instructed him not to reply and just completely ignore her message

 

After a few days, she confronted him.

She was curious to know the reason for his behavior.

He was more polished than before and every word he spoke impressed her

But those words were mine. I was scripting this love story and Kunal was just playing the character written by me.

He was playing a flamboyant boy, charming, intelligent and witty.

 

The Only thing i was scared about was when he would be caught off guard.

He proposed her

She accepted to go on a date with him. But she was not sure yet.

 

I was not sure if i was doing the right thing. The only thing i had previously cared about was seeing Kunal happy but now i was also worried about Anjali. She was a also a naive little teenager and i somehow felt i was manipulating her into loving a character i had created and not a real Kunal

 

One date led to many more dates. I kept on pressurizing kunal to stop taking my guidance for everything and show her his real self now.. But he was extremely low on self confidence and relied completely on me. The Modus Operandi was I had to be present with him on the phone on every date. I heard their conversations and then sent him voice messages on whatsapp. He hid a small earplug behind his ear and spoke all that i told him to. Sometimes he never understood or remembered what he had spoken about.

 

My fears were rational. The Eventful day had arrived. She caught him unaware. She had smelt something fishy since a long time. His replies were sometime not in sync with the topic.

She heard all the voice notes on his phone. She realized how she was being manipulated

She just walked off without saying anything to him.

No amount of explanations could win her back..

 

One Year Passed By. I lost touch with Kunal. But one day i bumped into him again and he was still hopelessly in love with Anjali. He had been stalking her all along but he did not have the courage to speak to her.

It was time to try and rectify things and hence i decided to make a grand entry into Anjali’s life as another character.

This character was called Gopal. I was playing this character.

I wanted to become her friend and confidante and know what she thought about Kunal. I wanted to tap her feelings

 

She had now started working as an actress at a well known theatre group and i joined them as a scriptwriter. My Happy go lucky, full of life, cheekily cheery character became very close friends with Anjali in no time. She was a very positive and bold girl. i had realized that she was in many ways just like me, a boundless spirit that could not be restricted or confined.

 

I created a character called Heer and i pushed Anjali into playing that character on stage.

Every day we discussed Heer and her feelings and i wrote the script in such a way that Anjali explores her feelings for Kunal. The Male character i had written was extremely similar to Kunal.I also named it as Kunal. We were discussing an act, however under the pretext of discussing a fictitious kunal, i was also discussing a real kunal.

 

When we were casting we took a lot of auditions. While i searched for Kunal, i made the director reject them all. Then finally i pretended to have found kunal working in a bank as an intern.

I manipulated things in such a way that everyone was convinced that this character could only be played by Kunal.

 

It was a struggle to make him act. Even though the character was so close to his personality, Kunal struggled to say his lines

 

They finally came face to face again. It was an epic moment. She blushed and he tried to hide his nervousness. They said sorry to each other and became friends again

 

They got along really well and their laughter echoed in the theatre whenever they rehearsed

 

Until the time came when Kunal professed his feelings again

This revelation from him came just before the final performance.

I was extremely confident about the entire effort i had put in making them fall in love, but she rejected him again.

 

This time more patiently but she rejected him.

 

Finally on stage

 

He was in character when he read this poetry to her. All though written by me, the emotions he showcased were real. He had indeed missed her all along But what i admired the most was his confidence. He was performing brilliantly and his confidence was impeccable

 

“ The creator himself, proudly exults, at the form of her eyes,

Tongue-tied, lines of verse, in vain, to paint her form, it tries,

The bounteous lips, they lend, a rosy hue to Spring,

Led astray, those who seek, heavenly streams, they bring,

On her ravishing form, meanders, flowing robes, her attire,

Songs of wandering minstrels, her stately build, inspires,

Such beauty, need not on, ministrations it thrive,

Not possibly from mortal thoughts, it may soul derive,

Long ago, through these lanes, I had for a moment, passed,

Held in awe, her enticing frame, vainglorious, as I passed,

Down these memory lanes, enamored, enticed, I traverse,

Enwraps my being, the very wind, she breathed in wine and verse,

Hangs vaporous, the elegance, over the ground once she tread,

Softly plays in the air, her eloquence, a melody she impressed,”

 

Anjali played Heer to perfection. The Story of Unrequited Love touched the hearts of the people who saw it. I had created a modern tale based on popular folk tales of unrequited love

The play had a sad ending but the real ending of this story also became a sad one

 

After the show I entered the scene again and introduced my real self to Anjali. I told her the entire story from my perspective. i explained to her that Kunal was a genuine guy and his love was pure and no one could love Anjali with the same amount of Madness.

 

But she was adamant “.Love cannot be taught, forced or planned. It is a natural phenomenon and it takes its own course” “Why do i need to think seriously about a guy, only because i kissed him “ “It’s my choice and i have the right to cure my curiosity”” Who gives you the right to enforce his love into my life, or write your script around us” “ Please pay with your characters and their emotions, we are human beings , please leave us alone “ She said dramatically

 

The Woman of India had come of age; she could have a casual fling and move on. She was not bound by the so called piousness and virtue. She was strong to take her own decision and live her life to the fullest with the same amount of freedom a guy has

 

I understood that Love, respect, care and emotions cannot be forced on to someone. if it does not come naturally , there is no point in pursuing them.

I wish we stopped arranging marriages and engaging two people to meet that look seemingly made for each other to us.

 

© Jitendra Kotai

 

Safarnama- The Diary of a Journey

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 in my entire life after he rejected my proposal. He was an insane artist and his fundas of life were insane too

He believed in unrequited love without any expectations. He said that the moment the lovers agree that they are in love, expectations arise and love dies

But his words were true .Today even i believe that the Best form of love is when it is Unrequited

It is the purest form of love when you don’t expect someone to love you back

It needs lots of courage and patience to not expect them to love you

I was slightly nervous but i did address the audience

His picture walking away  with his back turned to the world formed the cover of my book and the title read “Safarnama – The Dairy of a Journey ” .. I held the book up showing  it to the audience and spoke

“His famous lines were – “

“An Artist is like the wind.breezing through the freeway “.” Free flowing, Unstoppable and Wild”.

“If you stop him and ask him to flow in a certain way. Restrict him by censoring his thoughts. He will be unable to flow at all”

“The Creativity is a natural process. Let the Artist be. Let him flow like a river, blow like the wind”

“He was my best friend. A Philosopher, An Amazing Story teller. His Dreamy eyes would always be analyzing some aspects of life and building up a creative story”

“We had grown up together.Right since childhood i knew that he was special.I was not the only girl in awe of his thought process. He had a huge female fan following “

“Through School and College he kept growing in life as a person and as a writer.

Once he started publishing his work . I realized that i had recognized his value most accurately”

“He had the midas touch. All the stories he wrote were bestseller and sold at-least million copies.”.”He showed the world how to live it up. He donated 80 percent of his income in charity and the rest he spent on himself buying the best luxuries possible. He had a big heart and he was fearless. His charismatic smile never left his face. He was an eternally happy being that loved being alive. His glorious humanity shined through him and radiated on to the lives of each and every person that crossed paths with him.”

There was a huge round of applause and just because his name was associated with it, my book was also going to be a bestseller. But i had not written this with the profit motive. I really wanted the world to know his story. I wanted the world to learn a lesson and change their mindset about certain things. They had forgotten their ghastly deed but there is a very old proverb that the Axe forgets but the tree remembers

I remember very fondly as if it just yesterday. I saw his first book on the shelf at the local store.it was a proud moment.It was titled “The Sedulous Girl” . My friend had become an author. Everyone i over heard were talking about his book, about his story and the twist at the end.

Sitting alone whenever i miss him his memories give me excellent company. They make me smile and laugh.. He would tell me all his stories much before they would be published.But he would narrate them to me like they were  real incidents and then see if i was convinced by his lies. He enjoyed pulling that prank on the soft-hearted and naive me who believed in everything he said. I would have believed even if it was daytime and he had called it a night.Such was his impact on me. He was my hero.

I visit the orphanage very often that he donated his earnings to. He ensured that those kids got everything they needed. He knew the name of each child, He encouraged them to visit their creative side, he encouraged them to paint, sing, dance and pick up at least one form of art

He was creating a better world. Rubbing on his zest for life on those kids. When he played with them and made them laugh. When he narrated them his stories there would be a pin drop silence. I saw those faces lost in the beauty of the story that was being narrated with such tremendous skill that they were all in a different world of fantasy.

He had some morals at the end. He taught them tolerance, humanity and spreading smiles.

He was creating helpful and charismatic humans like himself. He was spreading humanity .

15 Years and 11 Major books later. He had become a very prominent name globally. He had been very versatile and had tried every different genre at least once. His Overall personality was awe worthy. His impeccable sharp wit and rational thinking made him a star of talk shows

My thoughts then recollect that  he had a new muse that he was completely smitten by and he would even sketch her portrait and write songs for her

I had thought that he had finally fallen in love and i was expecting an epic love story in his real life. His insane fundas did not let that happen. The Wanderer that he was he could not give a commitment to her.

As soon as the muse started getting attached to the art and the artist. He set himself free.

The devastated girl had cursed him and cried her heart out. But he had been clear about his stand , he had never made any promises or commitments.

Separation with her did affect him and he wrote a few tragic love stories in her memory

As he was getting slightly older and whenever we discussed how life has been to us. we would realize that we were both in our forties and now it was time to change certain things.

He had made himself a fortune and now he wanted to write something he had never written.

He was such a Vagabond that one night a story idea stuck him and another morning he would be travelling to the place his story would be based.This time he had targeted Indian Mythology He travelled to each nook and corner of the country and collected all folk tales, mythologies and popular stories of India and compiled his own book around them

Everyday when he spoke to me from the place he visited i wrote my own version of his tales. i titled it Safarnama – The Diary of a Journey.. He told me a new story from the rich world of mythology and expressed his views on it. We discussed a lot on those lines. I still remember those enriching conversations.He had told me that he could actually feel those characters from mythology coming alive in those places.

In his book he connected the stories and showed how they affect the way we perceive things in today’s times. His central character  had time travelled to the mythological world and spoke to the epic mythological characters on rational terms. His character had tried to redefine the misshapen in Mythology.. He had removed the god element from the stories and had taken them from a layman’s point of view He left his perspective on that story open for interpretation and discussion. He left many things ambiguous and when i read the first draft i was overwhelmed by the creativity.

I told him this was going to be his masterpiece

After the launch, the book did sell like hot cakes.The Elite club of book readers and reviewers gave a fantastic review to the book. They were left in awe of the man’s style of narration and his ability to connect those stories to today’s times.

The praise was short lived.. Religious tolerance is something that no religion teaches i guess. The Moment an artist turns slightly blasphemous, the religions caretakers start taking offence

.

The Sight was tragic. Books were being burned and his posters wore a black face.His effigies were burnt outside his house. The talk shows had people discussing and fighting

The Religious groups waited outside his house to pelt stones at him the moment he walked out.

His life was in great threat. That night i saw him break down. I saw him disappointed. All his adulation was over. He no longer had any fan following. It was just one book that had changed the course of his literary career.This was followed by a court case for hurting religious sentiments. The Policeman that came to arrest him was a very stern believer and he made sure he humiliated him and hence he started off by slapping him and then made him walk handcuffed through the busy street till the police station.

Why is it that your faith has the power to move mountains but it cannot stand the criticism from a creative writer and he is termed as blasphemous and insulted ?

Raja Ravi Verma had been an renowned painter in the 16th century and he had faced the same ordeal . However the British courts had then decided that art will not be judged by morality and hence he was set free at that time.

I used all my expertise as a lawyer to argue and made sure he won back his respect and dignity.The Same act of law worked for my hero too. I saw that enigmatic smile on his face when we won the case. That night he slept in my lap and professed his love for me.

I was teary eyed and i wanted to go berserk and crazy. It was like a dream come true for me. But i resisted myself. His words came flowing into my mind that the moment two lovers realize that they love each other, expectations arise and love dies. He may have felt it in that moment but i did not want this artist to stop flowing for me. He was way ahead of his times and he still had a long way to go.I declined his love, i told him it was too late in the day. I told him all my feelings for him had died a natural death. It takes courage to finally get all that you want but decline it from the fear of losing it again.

On One Sunday afternoon we were returning back from a book fair and he saw a jeep stuck in a manhole. He asked his driver to stop his car and he walked towards the jeep with his charming smile and asked “ Do you need any Help ?”

He had forgotten all the rage and atrocities but they had not forgotten anything

It was the same religious group that had burned his books ,effigies and posters

But he was like a child, he never held any regrets. He recognized them but still his smile remained undeterred. His faith in humanity unshaken.. He tried to make an effort to help them push the car out from the manhole.

But they had also recognized him.

The leader of the group wasted no time. He too had a smile on his face but that smile was of triumph. He had caught him unguarded and he could satisfy his rage and hatred for him without being stopped. He wanted the world to remember this as a lesson

He shot my eternally happy hero in the head at point blank range and shouted some slogans.

The world suddenly became non existent for me. I saw him falling  flat on the floor

The Triumphant slogans continued. This was a victory for the religiously inclined but a big loss to humanity. He may have not been a very religious man but he was the best human being i had seen.I was in a state of shock keeping his blood smeared head in my lap. i keep staring at his smile.They even spit on his dead body while gathered people clicked pictures. He shrieked out loud that anyone that speaks against our gods and goddesses will face the same fate.

My Hero was an insane artist, he had just dared to think differently. Was it justified to kill a human being for just being blasphemous. i condemn such people that are so fanatic that they cannot tolerate a small point of view.He was a much better human being than most of the diabolical people who hide behind the mask of a good religious man.

I hope his story can inspire other rational thinkers. I hope his story can change the mindsets of a few fanatics. I wish they had seen that boyish charm of the childish man through his enigmatic smile. I am sure that even if god was present there at that moment he would have forgiven him for his small sin and embraced him for his other good deeds

© Jitendra Kotai

Rehguzar- The Path to Travel

Rehguzar – The Path to Travel

 

A Journey which leads to no specific destination.

The never ending path with innumerable twists and turns that keeps you on your toes

It Keeps you engrossed in trying to decipher what is going to happen next

The Unpredictability of this path is what makes us come alive.

 

We all have our own manifestations of the truth. We all live the journey based on what we have concluded either from hear-say or from our own experiences

 

This story is about three friends that took the road trip to a destination and how their perceptions about the biggest truth changed drastically

An Atheist is someone who has understood that there is no superhuman power that is magically governing the world from the sky. The Actions of every atheist may differ  But they view the world from a logical perspective

 

I, Gautam Sidhwani was the same. I never believed in anything superhuman. As a TV Reporter i had covered lots of live action. I had reached the scene of crime even before the Policeman got there.And every bleeding man and every crime story confirmed to me that this human race was not being controlled by any super power

But as the days passed i grew tired of reporting crime scenes and i decided to do something unique

My Best friend Inamul Haq was a cameran. He stood behind the camera while i stood in front of it and reported the news .He was a stern believer and a fabolous singer. We had reported many depressing bomb blasts and incidents of shootouts by some youths from across the border . His emotional vent out was singing and it gave me tremendous peace to hear his soothing voice. He Usually sang complaining to his god that what is happening to humanity and why are people killing in his name .

 

This time we were on a trip to a village in North India. The Saptarishis were going to be in prominence on a certain night and the Sadhus and the Religious heads of the hindu community had organized a Maha-Yagna  to held on the banks of the ganges. The Turnout was going to be gigantic . Over 30 Million devotees were going to take a dip in the ganges and be blessed by the Sadhus .

We had the Opportunity to cover this event live and get the experience of a lifetime

 

Our Media House must have certainly understood our boring lives and hence we were accompanied by a young Photographer named Shraddha. We boarded the same train and i could hardly keep my eyes off her. It is ridiculously rude to stare at a female colleague but somehow i felt she was enjoying the attention. I tried to strike a conversation but she responded very rudely

 

From what i have understood of women is that they never portray the right emotion. If they like someone they try their best to get him rid of his interest or attraction for them. The first attempt they make is by being rude to them. And if you are put off by the rudeness, they usually reply in a sweet tone as usually women are very soft-hearted

They break hearts but they want to be least offensive towards the one giving them attention. They usually get attracted to those men who give them no attention and look away from them. The Ones that are usually ill mannered, rude and Abnormal.

 

The Favorite pastime of Inamul Haq and me was to discuss God. We always argued about his existence.They say that when an Atheist has a conversation with a believer and it turns into a healthy argument where both sides keep their perspective.It Usually gives both lots of matter to ponder about.

 

As the heated discussion was on. Shraddha slowly got captivated by the quality of this debate and she was tempted to give her two cents.

But she stopped as i continued my perspective

“I Don’t like the manifestation of your god

I Don’t like the fact that my creator loves me only on this condition that i sing his praises

If i do not sing his praises he will make me burn in hell and if i sing his praises i will be rewarded”

Shraddha Quipped “ So what kind of god do you expect ?

I Replied “As an atheist for me my god is my mother

My Mother loves me unconditionally. She does not demand anything from me. Her love is pure and divine.Her love is not based on the mandate of me singing her praises and even if i criticize her ,she can never imagine to burn me in hell.

For me my god should be loving kind and forgiving.

Not someone who is so arrogant that he orders me to kill someone if they say anything against him”

 

Her facial expression suggested she was impressed with her lips pouting in disbelief that a pervert could be intelligent and could strike such an engaging conversation.

Inamul Haq could not stay behind , He interrupted “But if he does not set certain rules. How will we differentiate from Just and Unjust ?”

How will we decide what is Right and what is Wrong ?”

 

Shraddha Said “ Our Conscious , It tells us. When we are about to do something wrong, it stops us”

I Jumped from my seat to take an upper hand in the conversation

“ My Problem is not with Believers or god or its existence

.The Problem lies with Fanatics. I never thrust my atheist beliefs on others. My debates are always for Religious Tolerance

“Your faith is so strong that it can move mountains

Yet it cannot stand the criticism by an atheist and they get killed for being blasphemous”

Shraddha Nodded . Inamul Said “ Even i am against Fanaticism of any kind. But it is the wrong interpretation of certain things mentioned in the religious texts”

The debate went on and on and what had started as a repulsive behaviour from Shraddha had already turned into attraction. Her body language suggested that she had started liking me.

She complimented me for my confidence and was now sitting right next to me. She was very fidgety and clearly showed how impressed she was with me. Her eyes never made contact with me. Whenever i tried to look into her eyes she would look the other way and blush. This journey had given way for a potential love story to develop between us

The night journey was even more fabulous . While Inamul snored away to glory , we took some time out for romance. As we sat in the corner of the train discussing everything under the sun. I realized that the entire rude and bold avatar was just a pretence. She was the usual girl next door, extremely shy and very beautiful.The more she spoke about her endeavours , the more she impressed me.

I wasted no time in telling her how fascinated i was by her. Everything she did or said made me feel so awesome .Even the perfume she was wearing was mesmerizing . The fact that drew me to her was that she had no qualms about my atheism and she accepted me the way i was . She was the first female i had met who had not tried to preach me and restore my faith in the almighty.

 

As we reached the destination, we realized that this might just be an experience of a lifetime. As we got down at the station, everywhere we saw there was a Saffron Clad Sadhu. The Whole ambience of this place was filled with religion. It gave us the feeling that we were blessed by a certain entity just to reach here. Many had queued up and struggled for days but were not able to reach this point where they would get the instant salvation they so deserved.

 

I had booked two adjacent rooms in an Ashram since i wanted to get the feel of the place to write the words i would speak on National TV and then in my article which would appear on the International Platform Called the World Wide Web.

Shraddha and I had spent almost the entire night in the passage outside our adjacent rooms glaring into each other’s twinkling eyes and talking sweet nothings

I had hardly closed my eyes for a few minutes and something disrupted my sleep It was 4.00 am in the morning when a bhajan playing in the Ashram woke me up from my sleep

As i walked out of my room the voice grew louder. It was a beautiful young girl dressed in a saree singing in the Ashram’s temple and rotating the thali in her hand in a circular motion

Inamul grabbed his camera and Shraddha grabbed her Camera and they started recording the heavenly atmosphere of the place. Almost everyone was awake and they had showered and were dressed in traditional attire and were swinging their heads in similar motion to the song. The Music was melodious and the lady’s voice was enchanting. It did not look like a pretence.

When they do this in Mumbai, It somehow feels very annoying and gives no pleasure. But these people were doing it from the heart. For the first time i was amongst real believers.They had no agenda. No selfies were being taken. No one was dressed as God or Baba. It was just devotion in its purest form and it somehow impressed me

 

We had a breakfast at as early as 5.00 am. The same lady who had set off this auspicious day with the melodious song was Serving us Breakfast .Shraddha was slightly insecure at the way i was looking at this woman.It was not attraction here, just my curiosity. I wanted to ask her how she could be so engrossed in Godly deeds at such a tender age. Does she not get tempted when she sees young boys of her age? Does she not feel like going out with them, Watching movies, letting her hair down ?

But her face had a certain tranquility and peace. She looked completely satiated by her god and his devotion.

 

Time was moving at snail’s speed. When i opened the gate to take a stroll outside. I realized that it was still pitch-dark outside. We still decided to take a stroll. As we walked ahead we saw some massive monstrous statues of all kinds of gods you could imagine. The Clinging of bells came from all corners and the sound was magnificently glorious. As if the Entire set of humans who had laid feet on this immensely auspicious place were celebrating their godliness

 

The Three of us were walking on the highway where trucks were passing at breathtaking speeds.On either side was River Ganges..My Only fear was that if a truck could not see our hazy figures and hit us we would all achieve instant salvation by drowning in the freezing water of the Ganges and as per hindu scriptures reach Vaikunth Dham which is the most sacred place to go after death

 

Inamul Haq came up with an Idea. He Played a loud bhajan (A Song with God’s Praises) on his cellphone. According to him it was his survival strategy. The Passing truck would hear the bhajan and not hit us.

 

We cleared the Highway and reached the Location. The Preparations were on. Shraddha started capturing some divine moments on her camera. A Sadhu walked up to us and tied a silkish red thread on our hands and asked for some money. We shelled out some change and he blessed us.

Inamul Haq held his hands across his face enacting to have a camera and started choosing the angles he would shoot the scenario by. After a few minutes of Monkeying around with his hands he finally found the angle he wanted and adjusted his camera .He adjusted the lights and he started shooting me

 

With my back to the Sacred River i set off with my shot in style “ As i pointed out the River, Sadhus, The Ambiance . I felt proud of representing this fantastic scenario to my people who were watching this Live on their TV Sets. The Atheist in me had slightly began to believe in the magical power of a certain almighty.This place made me feel alive. Millions had gathered at the single place and this almighty whom we all had never seen had the power to gather a crowd of Millions who could sing his praises in unison.There was something magical about all this and i started admiring this awesome moment like an awestruck child. Shraddha was gaping at me with her mouth wide open getting impressed at my ability to speak and hold the show so well

 

As i was confidently phrasing my anecdotes. I  noticed a change in Shraddha’s emotions.Her eyes had grown wide and she was looking at something with astonishment in her eyes . I turned around to see what had transpired. It shook me to see a whole herd of petrified people running in one direction pushing each other fanatically.It sent shivers down the spine and the sudden change of events led to a whole negative vibe in the entire auspicious air. I Overheard an old man say that someone had kept a bomb in the premises of a sacred temple where the holy event was about to take place.

Shaken and stirred we tried to find a secure place as our first reaction but then we realized this was an important news.

We climbed on a temple roofs and tried to shoot the havoc. As i struggled to stand on the slope and deliver my lines, i realized how inhuman we had become. Inamul had tears in his eyes and Shraddha was constantly looking at the tragic incident unfolding itself

 

The Stampede grew in magnitude as maximum people were trying to run away from the place to escape death.We closed our shutterbugs and decided to help people in needed. Some people had suffered fatal deaths and some were injured very badly .Shraddha ran from pillar to post to get first Aid and other things required.

I and Inamul tried to drag injured people to safe corners and many others joined us in the process The Moment had left us all wounded. Our hearts that were admiring the beauty of the creator suddenly felt cheated and disheartened. I felt that if he had the power to bring such a big magnitude of people to a place.He should also have the power to protect them from the Mishaps.

 

This continued throughout the day. I hoped that the believers would certainly walk up to the temple and perform the sacred event However The Celebrity 201 Sadhus that were going to perform the Yagna did not set their foot in that place. The Bomb demolition unit made us all breathe with ease when they said that the bomb scare was just a hoax .

An Entire Tragic twelve hours had passed to get the situation somewhat in control. It was 4.00 pm in the evening now. The Loudspeakers had started blaring again with Bhajans and Praises of the almighty that sounded  irritating to me now. I had changed from an Atheist to a believer and back to being an Atheist in a span of twelve hours.

 

We walked up to the Ashram to collect our luggage and return back to the city where we all belonged But then we saw something that shattered us all to pieces. The Beautiful women who had started this auspicious day with her melodious voice. The One who had divinity in her eyes. The One who had made me feel inferior to her because i did not believe.The One who believed and sang praises from her heart. She lay dead on the pavement. The Mob had walked all over her. She had been a victim of the stampede and no one had even tried to move her away or save her. She had suffered some major head injuries.I sat down next to her dead body and tears flew down my cheeks. Her enchanting voice still lingered in my faded memory. The way she had referred to god as the one who is our Palanhaar.

Palanhaar is someone who protects us, raises us and takes care of us.

Who was responsible for this Tragedy ?

A Foolish man who set off the rumors just for fun or the foolish millions who flocked to a destination to be blessed.That moment made me question the very need to travel to an auspicious place to seek god

“Our scriptures say he is Omnipresent”  Shraddha replied.

“ He is everywhere, You are right . We should try to seek him within ourselves or a nearest temple” She Concluded

i was too stunned by the occurrence. It reminded me of hundreds of other such occurrences where humanity has been subjected to terror, tragedy and untimely death by the so called faith keepers and religious heads.I made it a point to make it a revolution and change a few people like Inamul and shraddha and take them out from blind faith and Hypothetical beliefs

Finally seated in the jeep that was taking us to another city .Inamul Haq started singing in his heavy voice complaining to his god that what is happening to humanity and why are people killing in his name I hope that he gets an answer soon

© Jitendra Kotai

Trapped

I feel nostalgic as I walk past auto rickshaws. Nothing much has changed in this city. It’s only me who has changed drastically.I have returned to my hometown Mumbai after being in a New York Prison for more than a decade.

Mumbai 1996

I was just wired differently. I remember it was the same street when I had walked on it as a 14 year old.It was 1996 and the Mumbai underbelly was flourishing. I had belonged to an affluent family of priests,  but my inclination towards criminal activities had started very early in my life

Everyone has their vices. I had too many.I enjoyed doing things that were forbidden. It gave me an high, it gave a sense of accomplishment and enthusiasm.

I remember my father running behind me with a stick in his hand because I stole coins from the temple and went to the nearby matka place to gamble with them. It was not the money that sometimes doubled and tripled. It was the excitement . It was the sheer joy of doing something forbidden. Out of the fear of my father finding out that I was gambling. I used to pour all my earnings into a poor cobbler’s hut. He worked hard all day mending shoes but he hardly had money to buy himself a meal.

“Those coins were being wasted when they were being offered to an already rich god. Why does he need money when he is already the almighty,” I told my dad. He slapped me hard.

My father diagnosed my condition as a disease. I was dangerous for this society that set rules for itself and where forbidden things are only allowed to be done behind closed doors and in the dark. They wake up in the morning and pretend as if nothing happened

I used to get beaten at home. My father used to hurt me with tremendous passion..I got used to it. In fact I learnt that self inflicted pain sometimes gives infinite pleasure. Once he was tired and there was no power left in his blows . I Laughed as loud as I could and he would say “Rakshas, Vinashkari , Vipreet Buddhi”

I Could not pretend any longer and live with the self proclaimed god. He used to fool people everyday and survived from the money earned from inflicting fear in them. Human beings build unnecessary cages around themselves called responsibility, Society and Limits. I had to fly and do everything that was forbidden. Not be bound by any artificial restraints

Then on one unfortunate night. The only person I could call my own, Tribhuvan Shastri my father passed away. I was only 16 and I had no source of income. There was no money to even arrange the great priest’s funeral.

As I cried sitting alone. The Cobbler walked up to me with a bag of coins and he offered them to me.The Affluent Tribhuvan Shastri used to tell me that the cobbler is from a low caste and that he is an untouchable was the only person I could hug and cry.

New York, 2005

I walked past Chinese fishmongers and green grocers cluttered in markets in the indian dominated area of Chinatown in Manhattan. I had heard about this man called as Mak.i was going to his office for an interview. On the forefront he ran a big financing company. His real name is Makrand Deshmukh which has cut short to mak as it is usually done here in the US.

He ran an empire of illicit trade .He was the kingpin of the drug mafia and all anti social activities in this city.He was the undisputed king of the Drug Mafia, He was also into Prostitution and Money Laundering for Arms and Ammunition’s and funding of Terrorist Organizations.

As i sat fiddling with my watch in the conference room of a plush office waiting for Mak.

I saw a beautiful girl fair as milk photocopying some papers. In Agreement to my bollywood icon Amrish Puri whenever i see a girl with fair and smooth skin i feel like drinking Black Dog Whiskey as hundreds of black dogs start barking in my psyche.

My heart skipped  a beat as soon as she looked at me. Her eyes were big and the eyeliner and kajal made them looking even more stunning. My thumping heart sound was so elaborate that i felt she could hear it. i felt she could see the tension on my face as she walked towards me with some papers in her hand. She had a perfect hourglass figure as i saw her from head to toe with eyes full of lust. Her body hugging red dress was so elegant and glamorous that it made her look like an enchanting seductress. She said “ Please fill this form, Mr Mak will be with you shortly” .My glare was stuck at her luscious lips and their perfect shape and her voice sounded like a symphony of melodious romantic tracks. I started believing in love at first sight. My brain definitely had a chemical locha, she was the one i was waiting for all my life.I walked outside to find her again. Sitting on her desk and her eyes glued to the monitor on her workstation. As i neared her desk she saw me. She gave out a friendly smile. That smile had the power to make a man suffering from Chronic depression look forward to life with Zest and Enthusiasm.Her name was soothing to the ears. Her name was Nagma.

Mr Mak walked out of his cabin and looked at me with a sullen look. Probably he did not like me standing so close to the girl’s desk. He Tilted his head and gestured me to follow him.He swayed ahead in style. He was dressed elegantly in a stylish suit and he looked extremely dashing.He stood tall at 6ft and his neatly trimmed beard went well with his overall persona

We spoke for about 30 mins and i really do not know what he saw in a visibly under confident and fidgety me. The best thing i remember i said was that i wanted to become like him one day and wear those stylish suits. I also remember that he told me that in order to achieve that i will have to be very strong and let go off all morals and ethics i have .

Soon i became the most trusted aide of the big man. Every big businessman needs a intelligent confidante. Someone whom he can fall back on for advice or for discussing his decisions and future plans.. I was paving my way up the ranks and soon turning into the man everyone ran to for work. i knew everything . All codes, All secrets, Even Everything Mak thought,i had the key to all the locks of this business empire

Then i fell upon a tiny secret. The Girl i had fallen in love with on my first day at work.The charming fair girl with beautiful eyes was infact Mak’s mistress.She had been an innocent girl who had once been implicated for carrying drugs in her purse. She had no clue how the poison that had been found in her purse had gotten there. The only rescue she had was through Mak. She had come to visit Mak to ask for his help and the filthy man had been allured by her beauty. She had paid a heavy price for it. Mak had kept all the proofs that would prove her guilty and even though Narcotics department in this state was extremely strong but Mak had connections .He knew the figures of authority very well.  He was powerful and he could do anything. He forced her to work for his company and abused her everyday.He proudly narrated the entire episode to me and even though i did not have a heart to understand humanity. i Somehow understood this girl’s plight. Maybe because my heart had thumped out loud when she had smiled at me.

I had tried to speak to her a few times but she had avoided all interactions. This was the opportunity. Mak had sent us together to deliver a consignment. I knew that the cartons we were carrying contained Arms and Ammunition but i was not sure that she knew it.

I asked “Do you know what’s inside” . She looked at me in the mirror from the front seat of the car and replied “ Yes” . I then tried to make small talk.

“ How did a girl as pretty as you start working at this place”

She replied “Well it is the same . Even i am surprised that a guy as intelligent as you is working here” She was smart and witty. She paid me a compliment and smiled.

Well i expected her to compliment my looks and not my brains but then i happened to glance in the mirror and i realized that i was an ordinary looking man and there was nothing earth shattering or even worthy about my looks. At least she appreciated my grey matter.

I was completely smitten by her. We started spending more time after office hours.

After ten occasions of rejecting it , she finally agreed to a date. Just me and her. Fascinating music played in the background and the shade of hazel lights in that discotheque made her look even more desirable and appealing.

But what intrigued me the most was why was she taking all the abuse from Mak. But i dared not to ask. I did not want to put off the vibrant energy she was showing and the did not want the beautiful smile to disappear.

But she herself spoke “ Since you asked that day. I want to share with you” “Mr Mak is obsessed with me and a man who is that powerful just takes a jab at his whims and fancies”

“All these years of endless abuse i have waited for a knight in shining Armour to come and rescue me, i do not know if can expect that from you”

If a man like Mr Mak was obsessed with her then definitely a man who wanted to be the next Mr Mak would see her as an unattainable conquest. But i was completely obsessed with the thought of becoming what she expected to me to be.

We had become inseparable. Especially after that night of passion at her house where we explored each others bodies till we quenched the insatiable thirst our souls had.

We started a joint silent rebellion It was like a slow poison that kills you slowly.Something that you can never get detoxified of.

Yes i was using the trust and faith of my mentor and turning the tables against him.Surprisingly she was much more intelligent than i fathomed. She had a full strategy in place and following her plan would ensure the complete destruction of Mr Mak and demolition of his well built crime empire. We encoded encrypted data, Passed information to competitors and cops. Mr Mak was facing tough times suddenly. His consignments were being caught. The Important men in high authorities that he was friends with, were suddenly getting fired.

In Spite of all these hindrances, he still trusted me and he gave me the code to his secret bank accounts just in case if he was caught. Then he shocked me when he said that he wished he could marry Nagma, transfer all his money through money laundering and move to different country. He wanted me to help him do that and he wanted me to also close all the pending deals and move with them.

That Night when i was smoking with Nagma. I questioned her. I told her about Mak’s Intentions and she laughed about them. She said after so many years of repeated abuse , now he wants to give me a respect and marry me.

Her bloodshot eyes reflected anger. She said with utmost passion that she wants to see him finished.

We were going to pull the trigger now. This was the final round of this drama. Mr Mak was now going to be slayed.Next Morning i was going to call Mak and tell him about an consignment been caught. I was going to pretend that i was shot and i needed his help. We were sure Mr Mak would rush to help me and fall into their trap.

Next Morning as planned i called Mr Mak.He acted as predicted.A Fleet of police cars waited in anticipation but things did not go as smooth as expected. I suddenly felt a jerk on my shoulder as i fell to my knees. Two strong policeman stood behind me with their guns pointed to the back of my head.A Police Van zoomed past others and a lady cop jumped out of it and stood there. Nagma was not the damsel in distress as she had made out to be. She had duped me and Mak. She was the smart Cop with a penchant for acting .She stood there pointing her gun towards Mak who stood there in shock as two people he had trusted the most had been responsible for his downfall. He was not the criminal who gave up that easily. Two pistols came out from two of his jacket pockets and he fired at the cops recklessly. But he did not have the strength to fire the bullet at the lady cop who stood there pointing a gun at him. I have never understood the emotional quotient of these cops. She smiled while she shot him . A bullet pierced through his expensive jacket straight into his heart and he fell flat . She fired another round this time aiming at his forehead and my idol in the crime world lay dead.

I still cannot decipher why she left me. Even i could have been killed on the same day.

For her it was just a mission. When our eyes met ,she looked at me like a stranger.I felt used and abused by a woman She was so perfect in enacting her characters and she had resorted to such cheap tactics to deal with crime and criminals..She gestured the policeman to take me away and walked past me smiling with confidence.

But as they were taking me to the prison, i realized that my end would be similar to that. A Fancy Tracer bullet piercing through my expensive jacket.Probably fired by a someone trustworthy.

Before going to prison i used to think, How would i survive in prison if i ever got caught. But then in prison i realized that An Innocent man cannot sleep in prison as he thinks how did he get there and what is the way out. But A guilty man can sleep in prison peacefully as he knows that he deserves this for the mistake he has made. The Mistake of trusting , the mistake of getting caught. The mistake of being impulsive and emotional.

© Jitendra Kotai