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THE ENDANGERED PROMISES

They were like regular kids. Noor was in the early phase of her teenage and Jaan was still some years away from this phase. So quite natural, it was not possible that their big beautiful house could have been saved from the screams and fights of the young brigade. Nazia and Ahmad spent their day in their colleges juggling the college kids and once they return home there always was the task of convincing either Noor or Ahmad to forget the latest fight or the one which just ended. After every hour or two there was the possibility of next one. Poor Noor sometimes tried to spare her little brother and ignore him, but Jaan never left any stone unturned to instigate her sister and get beaten, obviously.

Ahmad never shouted at his kids; Nazia had to be strict with kids sometimes.

“One day, I will leave this world, then at least you would learn to live together and behave “

Kids hated this emotional torture. The moment Nazia would prepare to say “One day…..” and kids would crawl to their respective rooms.

Ahmad was perfect father for his kids, but only thing he would regret all his life that he would not be able to play football with his Jaan, whose eyes were always hoping for a champion’s shot from his father.

Ahmad met with an accident, the year Jaan was born.  Accident made one of his legs lifeless. But he never stepped back from his commitments which he made to his wife and his children. In fact he always put extra efforts to keep his beautiful family happy and fulfilled.

Everything in the family was usual and moving smoothly except few disturbances from the kids. But the world outside their house was changing terribly. Some geographical divisions which were created by the late leaders of the nation, those divisions proved to be more worthy than lives of human beings living on the same land. A war had started over the right authority of the land, didn’t matter whether anybody would remain alive to enjoy the prosperity of the land or not!

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Tall and handsome Ahmad was the guardian of a very beautiful family, but changing atmosphere would make him tense sometimes. “Shall I be able to protect my family when they will enter our land ….” These visions were getting horrible day by day; the more he listened to the causalities in the nearby village, the more he entered the darker part of his vision.

People who could arrange money were leaving the place and those who could not, either resolved to protect themselves or die.

Ahmad and Nazia also arranged the money to escape the state and move to some safer zone. Children were asked to stay at home and lock their doors until Ahmad and Nazia didn’t return from college. They went to collect some official papers which could help them to fetch new jobs in new place.

Keeping the doors closed kids kept waiting for their parents, but that familiar knock on the door was never heard again.

In a matter of seconds, those innocent kids of Ahmad and Nazia turned orphans. Their parents were said to be died in bombing attack near College. Few items which were recovered from the spot were identified with Noor and in absence of any immediate relatives who could take the charge of kids, those kids became the part of thousands of kids living in the refugee camps along the coastal line. Time flew with its speed………………It is said “Time heals everything”. But some wounds do irreparable damages and even leave deep scars to remind the horrible phase.

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Now Noor is used to shifting her so-called home regularly, from the last one and half years. But  Jaan has no liking towards this sudden shifting. His mind always travels to those memories from his Haveli where he was the most pampered child of his large family. But now in this large terrain, he has nothing to cherish, neither his Haveli nor that large family. Only thing he could retain after that fateful afternoon is, Noor. And he doesn’t want to let her go out of his sight. So, the 10-year-old Jaan has matured very soon. He has buried all those dreams and tantrums of a 10-year-old kid somewhere in the same Haveli where the remains of his family are buried. Somewhere in his head he has grown to an elder brother who has pledged to protect his sister at any cost.

The 15-year-old Noor and her 10-year-old brother troll around with other kids. Water is a big issue in this area because every time they have to wash their hands they have to go to the nearest hand pump. Devoid of children’s fundamental demands in their childhood, these kids only know to search for their food for at least two times a day and to keep themselves safe. In the barren land, hopes of Noor are still alive that she deserves a much better life and capable of providing the same to her brother. She is learning photography through a volunteer driven organization and she is extremely good at it. Photographs clicked by Noor have also been published at an online website through the guidelines and support provided by the volunteers. Against all the odds, she is hopeful for their future.

And one day against the promise which the brother and sister made to each other, Noor can’t protect herself and fell into the hands of some monsters. She cried like anything, she knows that her kiddo brother would fail to save her but other than Jaan she could not recall anything else in her consciousness.

Jaan has been looking for her sister for an hour. Tears have rolled out of his eyes. Cursing and praying to Lord, suddenly he heard her voice. Jaan is a kid but grown up and responsible kid. He has understood that his little body isn’t enough to protect her sister, so immediately he called upon his neighbors to their mercy. Noor has been rescued but with some injuries. Brother and sister thanked their saviors and silently moved from there.

Black clouds have covered the sky and children are dancing with joy that they will dance in the expected rainfall. It is a big change from their usual boredom.

Along the lake Noor and Jaan are sitting with dried tears upon their cheeks. Perhaps both are travelling in their own world of imaginations. Imaginations which have crossed all the boundaries of God’s restrictions and reaches to Ahmad and Nazia. Ever since Nazia and Ahmad have left the world, travelling in the world of imaginations where the presence of their father and mother is unrestricted, is their favorite escape route to pamper their little hearts and gain the courage to live again.

Jaan comes out of his dreams when droplets of rain fell through his eyes, upon his checks. But Noor was still lost.

 

After a long hour of silence, Jaan spoke.

 

Didi, why this has happened? What had we done? What Maa and Baba had done? “

I don’t know…why?

You have all the answers in this world. Tell me!!!

What shall I tell you?  Please go away.

Didi, please tell me something that soothes my heart. I can’t survive with this pain.

 (Noor can’t withstand with this sentence.)

“You know Jaan, when you were a little kid, you never paid any attention to me. Never!           You used to fight with me like a warrior. Infact, we both were least tolerant of each other. Sometimes Maa turned so furious while handling idiots like us. Probably, this is the reason we are left alone to learn to love each other and take care of each other. Maa and Baba needed rest so they have been taken away by god and granted all the happiness and blessings. Anyway, what do you feel?  Its better that they have been taken away by lord, if they could have survived they would die every breathe, watching us in this condition. “

“Hmm…Didi you are right, it’s better that they are not here to watch us running for food. And Baba could not have even run for food, and what would have happened to Maa! They didn’t deserve this forever suffering. This is written for us, but I only pray to God that you remain with me, forever. Now I have learnt to love you and respect you.”

“Please do not separate us, I am not a bad boy”. Jaan is sobbing in front of Noor with his folded hands and closed eyes. She takes her brother in her arms and promises to remain by his side, forever.

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I don’t know how longer such brother and sister who promised to be with each other survive in the barren land. But nobody deserves this day when a sister has to justify the death of their parents to her younger brother to protect him and keep his trust alive in God.

This piece of writing just came out of my own imagination, recollecting the reflections of events around the world. I always pray and hope that reflections should never appear again because it is very painful to document. I always wish that this should never be the truth of anyone’s life, but I don’t know how many brothers and sisters are experiencing this horrible phase all over the globe. Because we are living in a world where the value of human breath is much cheaper in comparison to land which is meant to be lived upon.

via Daily Prompt: Commit

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Mary Wollstonecraft: The Pioneer of Revolution in Women’s Education and Womanhood

“I earnestly wish to point out in what true dignity and happiness consists, I wish to persuade women to endeavor to acquire strength, both of mind and body…and to show that elegance is inferior to virtue, that the first object of laudable ambition is to obtain a character as a human being regardless of the distinction of sex……”

Wollstonecraft belonged to an era which was tempered by seventeenth century English Philosopher John Locke’s revolutionary ideas and fervour. The spirit of radicalism was further empowered by French revolution which had as its stated ideals as liberty, equality, and fraternity. This phase of social and political turmoil pushed Wollstonecraft to come out with her political thinking and ideas regarding Women’s education and rights which were documented as “ Thoughts on the education of Daughters” followed by “ A Vindication of the Rights of Man” and “ A Vindication of the Rights of Woman” . Her works were more analytical which deals with the melancholy of social status of women, marked by debilitated education, no economic independence, and no career choice.  According to her, Women’s rights were to be seen not in the closet of their own but as a part of an ongoing movement for human upliftment and development. This should be seen in the context of the issue of human rights in general and for both men and women’s part of the revolution. She said that education is integral to the development of individual identity, to let the mind work freely irrespective of external impressions and associations. And this is essential in case of women when they had always been subjugated and hence more bound in an irrational way to first impressions. Their mind had always been tutored to please others, far from seeing the world in clear light of reasoning and understanding. She wrote: “Taught from their infancy that beauty is woman’s scepter, the mind shapes itself to the body, and, roaming round its gilt cage, only seeks to adorn its prison”. Instead of being the slaves of domination and enforced opinions, women should develop their own thought process. They should have subsequent access to a career and business. Defective education of women is the cause of social and personal ills. She believed that educated and well-versed women are essential to our society since they nurture the future generation of the country. They can be seen as companions to their husbands rather than attractive docile figures meant for pleasure. To further nourish the concept of equality of education, she argued that schooling should be co-educational where education and knowledge should be imparted to children irrespective of their gender and demand of work in future. This approach will help to cultivate the general human thinking towards broader perspectives of life, be it granting the equal status to women in society. She also laid emphasis on educating children to reason rather than accepting the facts as presented. In fact, the groundwork for her revolution for women’s rights was prepared on the basis of reasoning and observation of ordinary life.

Through her works, Wollstonecraft became the pioneer of feminism.  She challenged the existing social norms and refused to accept it. Instead, she became the political voice for women’s right whose legacy crossed the borders of England and travelled across the globe that is live 200 years after her premature death.

An Encounter with Magical Beauty

It’s going to be a month since I returned from Leh- Ladakh. When I was moving along those amazing terrains of the mountains, the stories and literary lines were building themselves. The moment our flight entered the zone of the giant mountains, till the second we moved out of it, everything was picturesque.  It’s true that beauty extracts the writer out of you.  I thought that I won’t be able to write much about it since it’s almost a month now. But, still, when I close my eyes, the beauty of the mountain, cloud, desert, land, and river unfold itself. A single land holding every asset of the nature; mountain, river, desert, and greenery. The jewel of this scenic beauty is the enchanting play of the colors of the clouds. The crystal-clear clouds made the vision exotic. From the deserts of the Nubra valley, the confluence of the Zanskar and the Indus to Pangong & Tsumoriri lake, every piece of the natural heritage seemed a blessing to the eyes.

I had never seen the more magnificent version of the Himalayan mountains than the various ranges over here in Leh- Ladakh. The pattern of the colors of the mountains, changing from Grey to red, to green at some places. It felt that somebody had painted on a canvas, to get the correct color contrast of a scenery. Indeed, it was the perfect canvas created by God himself.

We drove from Leh- Nubra – Leh – Pangong – Tsumoriri, the entire journey accompanied by the Himalayan ranges. The charismatic confluence of the Zanskar and the Indus, where the shining blue water of the Zanskar and the dirt green water of the Indus distinguish themselves very explicitly.               I remember, our camera and phones were constantly full in memory because we were not having the option to delete any of the captures. We were amazed that suddenly we turned into extraordinary photographers. But obviously, it was the muse, not the photographer, who was brilliant.

Once you land before a beauty, you also learn the skill to appreciate it and admire it. The luminous blue waters of Pangong and Tsumoriri gave the mirror image of the mountains and clouds in its vast space; perfect mirror image. Pangong lake at 4 pm was treasure to the eyes. ‘Blue ‘, everything was blue till one could stretch eyes. I feel blessed when I get the opportunity to encounter such visions that leaves me speechless.  Perhaps, speechless beauty is the reason that it is situated high up in the Himalayas which is not easy under normal reach. You have to endure a little bit of pain and strength to survive the twist and turns of roads to get here, but I guess that is the thrill. And off course every good thing comes with a price.

Monasteries add divine touch to the land of Leh-Ladakh. You can always find monasteries at some distances, which can be easily recognized by their peculiar tombs.  Prayer flags and wheels all over the mountains make you relate to the traveler magazines where we find such captures.

It is said that People belonging to the mountains are simple and clear at heart and yes they were. Their simplicity and innocence were evident in their hospitality of the travelers. They deserve the clean and pious beauty of the place. God has chosen these people to preserve the natural heritage and keep all the destructions aside which emerge out of the human desires.

There are countless feelings but everything which can be written about this land is less to justify the varied feelings which you experience after moving along these terrains. When you encounter something which is mesmerizing , then you are also lack of words to compliment it. Such is the magic of this land upon me.TsumoririThe travellersPangong lakeNubraMagnetic hillMagnetic hill roadIMG_20170830_155119IMG_20170828_154915IMG_20170827_160351IMG_20170827_160005IMG_20170827_155935IMG_20170827_155932IMG_20170827_115615IMG_20170827_080511IMG_20170826_182727IMG_20170826_182426IMG_20170729_012306 (1)IMG_1330IMG_1325IMG_1297IMG_1258IMG_1169IMG_116721314713_1433396373364572_6203309232235873630_n

 

“DIARY MOMENTS”

 “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you “

I unfolded the pages of this diary after almost an year and actually realized that we all need a trusted companion to reveal our untold stories.  Turning the pages of an old diary seems like a healing therapy. Good memories rewind the aura of high spirits, while the one which are not so good remind of the days when we had the courage and strength to overcome those situations. And the best part is that nothing could be more loyal than these pages of the diary that never reveal the untold truths unless someone intrudes into them. It protects our dreams, aspirations and stories which are untold.

So lets keep a trusted partner with us , which holds all the secrets in return for nothing.

Akritrim Jiva…..

I am very much inclined to natural , basically unprocessed things.  Anything that has the most organic and raw ingredients in it , attracts me . In our normal lives we come across many products that claim to be 100% natural  and we are feeding our bodies with those ingredients on those promises.  Very recently,  I came across one of my friend who is doing self-research on preparation of soaps by unrefined process . Infact she manufactures also using different composition of ingredients.

I have used these products personally and I must say that I can completely realize the difference using the chemical-free things. One of the most important factor is the retention of the natural oil and moisture to the skin unlike the after-effects of normal soaps. Coffee, Dark chocolates, Coconut oil, Green tea, Turmeric , Shea Butter, Charcoal, Basil, Tea-tree oil, Cocoa, Essential oil are the vital components for healthy Skin . Each soap is suitably created  using the correct composition and combination of these ingredients .  It does not promises to make fair ; but retain the natural and healthy genetics of the Skin.

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” Some long lasting impressions “

I was dying to write this, even before I finished this book. Usually, it doesn’t happen with me. I take my own comfortable time to articulate anything that I write, but this time it was different. I felt that if I fail to pen my feelings down at this very moment, I won’t be able to write about it in the same manner ever- this feeling won’t sustain.                       The full story can be read here

Bridges ——-A Different approach to experience

Bridge – an epitome of  connection, which in itself defines beauty. However, I never wondered about it philosophically , it never seemed to be more than a marvelous construction. Living in India , I have seen some of the stunning constructions among them . Worli Sea Link is one among those stunners.  It has always been a means of fast transportation , so I could admire the fantastic technology behind the construction of cable-stayed bridge connecting Western Suburbs to Mumbai’s main business center.    But you have to stay at a place for a while , to connect to the soul. And this connection I felt for “Henderson wave bridge” in Singapore . This could be attributed for several reasons. One and foremost reason is that I was already connected to this place because this is one of the favorite destinations of my best friend, secondly minutes of walk along the waves of the construction with cool breeze will make you surrender. Far from the bright lights of the city of Singapore lies the highest pedestrian bridge of the Country.  Very true to its name, the bride mimics the shape of waves and surrounded by lush green forests. There are  shell-like niches where pedestrians can sit and capture the beauty of the surroundings. Hours could be spent on this bridge enjoying the panoramic  view of the city. I believe it gives big solace to people who want to experience a different side of the  technology-ready nation. And then, rest all is to do is to stay at the place for a while to connect to it and wait for its magic that will calm you down…..……via Photo Challenge: Bridge

 

Companion or Stranger

When you are alone in a completely new land, what do you urge for most? A perfect view or a companion ! I guess , a companion… Let it be a stranger , doesn’t matter but it should be a person who can understand your demands and needs in a strange land or country. I accidentally met someone in a new country , who was totally stranger to me and just opposite of my character but I must say the beauty of the new land must not have been that memorable if the strange partner cum friend would not been there. New places and experiences become memories with the people , less with the digital photographs captured. My experience would not have been valuable if I would have failed to find the friend in him. Perhaps that’s why we say “value people and relationships”.
I am very passive person, take my own comfortable time to befriend with someone. If the stranger cum friend would not have been there who would have taken the first step to remove the boredom of new land , I believe I would have spend days roaming alone. But later on the excitement was more of our stupid conversations . Unnecessary long walks and useless chit chat add to the energy.
Life is a long journey if we fail to find the companion , doesn’t matter the companionship is of the person itself to him or her . The only thing that is important is the correct bonding .

via Daily Prompt: Passenger

The Desire to Climb!

I just finished with the book ” Into the thin air”. I was willing to read some good stuff on mountaineering and mountains for a long time. While selecting this book, I did not pay much attention to the reviews and ratings, somehow the title of the book hit the chords.

Certainly, high altitude climbing is much more about the struggle of human survival against the diminishing oxygen. Every materialistic desire at the pinnacle seems futile. I wonder about this amazing feeling which is attained after bearing all the physical and mental breakage and sometimes even risking lives. It is appalling to read that towards the summit of Mt. Everest, climbers find the scattered human bodies, which will continue to mark their presence till the death of the universe. Perhaps there is no second chance to rectify the mistakes at a height of more than 28000 ft. It feels terrifying to continue with a journey that might ends up with some known fate. One starts a journey with twelve , and ends up with four ; but still the zest for conquering the summit is alive and the ascent continues. I guess this fearless attitude is only vital to mark the beginning of the ascent. But being fearless is not the only tool; there are some of the most brutal prices which one must pay to claim the presence on the highest point of Earth. Sometimes mountaineers make the toughest decision of leaving the living bodies alone on those heights, the bodies which are trapped under snow and just marking the presence of few signs of life. At such situations, it become necessary to negotiate the quantity of human lives which could be saved at the risk of just one. It seems cruel to leave someone to get killed just because at the cost of one, many other lives could be saved! But it is heart wrenching to imagine someone in that brutal and helpless situation. I guess these are all the prices which need to be paid to conquer the zenith because nothing comes without price.  Watching our own body parts getting paralyzed and unresponsive are something which cannot be explained in writings but these are the emotional struggles for which these warriors are also well prepared.

“I conquered Everest not through my feet but through my brain” – I heard this from one of the best mountaineers in the history and it is so true. It is not only the struggle against physical potential but more about the struggle against mental strength.  While reading this book, I cannot figure out the thin line between obsession and passion, for the mountains. I guess that such line doesn’t exist at those heights. It just vanishes .

It is so inspiring to know about the mountaineers who claim the highest summits on the Earth. I believe it teaches everything, right from the leadership and team building skills to never – say – die attitude.

So let’s conquer those peaks and master our own fear.