THE FEAR OF THE UNKNOWN

Anguish, despair or melancholy; whatever you may call it, Aljeeta was totally engrossed in it. Melancholy descended over her with the torrential rain outside home. With nothing much to do, Aljeeta binge-watched Netflix show Dark. After watching four episodes of utmost confusion and guessing game, she finally shut the laptop down. Now totally fed up, she couldn’t understand what to do next. Now she grabbed Shakesphere’s tragedy Hamlet, her favourite among other tragedies like Othello, and King Lear. She was an English major and used to do plays in college. But there was no college at the moment. Everybody was behind closed doors. There was no college for the next few months as everything was under complete lockdown by the government.

It’s been raining the whole day. She liked it this way. Rain outside and she being wrapped in her blankets could match no other happiness in the world for Aljeeta. But she had to cook too as there was nobody home at the moment. Her parents are abroad and probably can’t be back soon. They had gone just before lockdown to meet Aljeeta’s paternal grandparents. It had been all the same for the last few days. She had never imagined that such a tragedy would occur in her life.

But she wasn’t all alone. Her Nani( Maternal Grandmother) came to live with her after a few days of her parents’ departure. Now she had at least someone to talk to. Then the declaration of the government for cancellation of flights to India from abroad made Aljeeta dumbstruck and depressed. She couldn’t think of anything as her parents were stranded in some foreign country and can’t be back. She would sit with a sad face all day for many days. But her Nani would try to make her understand that everything would be okay. But even she knew that these were only false hope.

It had been raining heavily for the last few days continuously. Aljeeta and her Nani hadn’t gone out to buy any fresh food. The stock food was also getting over day by day. It was just about time before every source of food would be over in their house. They had been unable to go out due to this torrential rain. They were also afraid to get wet as they might catch fever, which of course would make them nervous during this pandemic.

The first floors of almost all houses in their colony were submerged under water. They had also the same situation. The mobile networks had also been damaged. Her Nani was a heart patient which was also a matter of concern for Aljeeta. She felt like almost all hell broke loose in no time. Having no idea what  to do, she finally went out to see if there is any food she could get from anywhere, if there was any. She went out with an umbrella and a water level of her thigh height. She could get no tress of any food out there. There was no sign of human life anywhere as nobody was getting out. She got horrified by the fact that her neighbours who had only one floor had already been submerged, and probably dead. Now this was feeling like a very bad dream to Aljeeta who didn’t have the slightest idea of what to do next.

Then she remembered she had left her Nani all alone in the house. She tried very hard to reach the house through the watery lane. She finally reached. There was total chaos out there. Their car and garage were submerged. She reached her room painstakingly where she saw something she couldn’t believe. She saw her Nani on the floor and bloodstain on the floor. She reached her, but it was too late. She might have fainted and her head had hit the back of the wooden bed to result in a concussion. She was dumbstruck. Another tragedy hit her like a lightning bolt. Her Nani was dead. She cursed herself for leaving her all alone at this time. But she had to go as they would have eventually died of hunger, which of course happened to Nani. In her age with a weak heart, living three days totally starved could only result in one thing. Death.

Now everything seemed to be fading away from Aljeeta. She felt like losing her consciousness but got herself back. There wasn’t even a place to secure Nani’s corpse. She was now left with nothing. No food, no friend, no contact to parents. She felt like being struck in an island from Lost. There was only fear inside her. Fear of the unknown. Fear of uncertainty. Fear of nothingness. Now darkness was arising in her mind. She could see no light. Meanwhile, the rain had also caused power cut. After few hours, Aljeeta opened her eyes as she felt water on her feet. Yes, water. Her second floor was now almost starting to be flooded. Gradually, the whole room got flooded. She still felt like it was a bad dream. But it wasn’t. It was reality straight in front of her. It was death that was knocking doors for her. But she was helpless. She could do nothing. She could see her Nani’s body floating at the corner of the room. “Goodbye, Nani” she said. Those were her last words. And then a complete blank.

IMAGINATION: A PORTAL TO ANOTHER REALM AND WHY CHILDREN MUST BE ENCOURAGED TO IMAGINE

School days leave a huge impact in a child’s life. The way a child is taught and brought up influences his or her future. So, when teachers in the school tell a child to memorize this and memorize that to have a good percentage in exams, that leaves a bad impression of that thing in a child’s brain. They start memorizing stuffs but sooner or later that thing gets monotonous and exhausting. How much shall I memorize! That’s the question that pops up in their heads and they begin neglecting studies, and the process goes on and on through the rest of their lives. So, what a child should be instructed to do in school to create their interest in studies?

Well there is a thing called imagination which is, in my opinion, is a very beautiful thing. In the words of Genius Einstein,” Knowledge is not important. Imagination is. Knowledge is limited, but imagination encircles the whole world.” Imagination gives one wings. Children must be instructed to visualize, imagine, and create something on their own, such as writing anything they like in their own words; drawing pictures that are popping up in their tiny heads; whatever they are interested in. They should be encouraged to read fascinating stories, which is, in fact, one of the best ways to boost their imagination as they would be imagining themselves in the situation of the protagonist or any character they like from the story. They’ll be engaged in a whole different world of their own where the story and the  characters in the story will be their own creating a whole different level of fantasy and imagery than our real world. Reading a Harry Porter story and imagining themselves riding on their magic sticks in the sky can be a beautiful experience for them. It would ultimately increase their interest in reading imaginative fiction that will transport to another realm altogether.

Imagination is the portal through which many scientists like Einstein and Newton have contributed amazing theories to science. Einstein used to enact a lots of thought experiments in his own mind; in fact, many are still correct. Artists use imagination for their work; whether it is painting or music or writing or designing. These artistic habits must also be cultivated among children to enhance their creativity and imagination. In George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984, he imagined a whole different world with far different rules than ours. He interpreted a story that would happen in future where everyone is being watched and everything is under surveillance. There is even a character called The Big Brother who has an eye on almost everyone. The most surprising fact is that the novel was written by Orwell in 1949 and the story was set in 1984. But if we look into the plot deeply, it’s actually the depiction of our own society now where almost everything is under surveillance, where freedom of speech is deteriorating. So, my point of taking you through all this is that the author imagined the whole story taking into consideration his then present societal circumstances. And that imagination is coming true. So, we can see how powerful imagination can be. It can create a whole different world. It can transport you to somewhere you have never been or you’ll never be in your whole life.

Dreams are also a part of some kind of imagination. We experience a whole different reality which isn’t actually real. You may think about some occasions where your almost-real-dream woke you up in the middle of the night only to find out that it was only a dream. Sometimes you get disappointed if it were a fairy-tale dream or feel really relieved when it was a nightmare. So these dreams can be interpreted as imaginations that are made up of manipulated images, concepts and propositions or sometimes really abstract images. There were also an art movement in the 20th century where artists made paintings of the unconscious mind by the irrational juxtaposition of images.

So, what are your most fascinating imagination or imaginative world ever. Please let me know in the comment section.

Thank you for reading. Have a good day and don’t let anything ruin your imagination.

FEMALE FOETICIDE AND HOW TO AVOID IT


Indian society is a male dominated society wherein the status of women is secondary. Women are meant to be confined within the four walls of the house and are subject to utter mental pain and isolation. They aren’t allowed to take part in social activities as they’re burdened with the heavy responsibilities of family and children. Though we’re in the 21st century where women go hand in hand with their male counterparts, it seems as if we’re still in those 80’s or 90’s when women were tortured the most.
The biggest example of torturing of women is female foeticide, which is, the killing of the fetus of an unborn child growing in the mother’s womb. These days, by the help of ultrasonography, many stupid parents determine the sex of their baby to-be-born. If it’s a boy, all’s well; if it’s not, they’ll go for an abortion murdering the fetus of the girl child before her birth. Most of the parents have a misconception that a son will look after them during their final days, whereas a daughter won’t be present with them,as she’d be then taking care of her in-laws. The sons have also the rights of rituals of their parents after their death, which the daughters don’t have.
Another principal reason of female foeticide is the dowry system. Many parents don’t want any girl child for this corrupted custom as in this custom the bride’s family has to fulfil all the demands of the groom’s family after her marriage. If they don’t, then they have to face the rudity of their in-laws. Sometimes the groom’s family demands such things which are out of the reach of the bride’s. In this case, the bride’s family can’t fulfill their in-laws’ demand, as a result of which their daughter has to face both physical and mental abuse; sometimes they burn her; sometimes they kill her, ony for the sake of some rupees. So, in order not to indulge in all these complexities, finally the parents to-be decide not to have a girl child in the first place. If by chance, they come to know about it, they’ll opt for an abortion.
According to statistics, the northern Indian states have a high percentage of female foeticide. Of these states, Uttar Pradesh is on the top, followed by its neighbour Bihar, where most people live on superstitions and misconceptions. The biggest culprits in female foeticide are parents who enact all these by the help of corrupted doctors who determine the sex of the baby in exchange of large amount of money.
Now-a-days, people have become crazy about male child. They can’t understand the importance of a female child. They can’t realize that girls are always equal to boys. In their old ages, their son may forget them, isolate them in a lonely house on a death bed and romance with his wife; but their daughter would never abandon them. She’d always be there for them, even though she has many responsibilities of her own. It’s unknown to these people that girls can do anything, even they can move mountains if they’re given the right opportunity. They have the potential, capacity and energy to face any obstacle coming on their way.
So, it’s all about realization that girls are equivalent to boys in every quality- be it studies or sports or arts or anything. We should recognize the fact that they are our mothers, without whom we wouldn’t be here in the first place. They are our sisters and friends who are the closest to us. They are our wives, with whom we spend our life and share our ups and downs. So, how can we be involved in such an offense in which we’re killing them before they’re even born? But we can’t make someone realize something forcefully, instead realization emerges from within; automatically and spontaneously.
The government should also look into this matter and create mass awareness by organizing programes that reflect upon this issue. The government should try their best to educate each and every child living in any corner of the nation, which is of course an uphill task in itself in a populated country like ours. They should introduce this topic in school books so that children can learn and think about it. On the other hand, the doctors involved in all this corrupt practices must be punished hard so that no one would ever think of committing such a crime. The media should also highlight these issues on thier channels instead of all the India-Pakistan stuff.

KITES: THE CHINESE’S GIFT TO THE WORLD

Remember playing kites in the early Januaries with the neighbours and families. Such a fun ride, isn’t it? But do you have an idea who invented it or who made the first ever kite? Well, the story goes around 3000 years back. The first recorded construction and design of a kite was made by a Chinese Philosopher Mo Zi who spent almost three years for building a kite. The availability of silk for the sail material and bamboo for a strong, light frame helped the man designing the first ever kite. Documents and records suggest that kites were used to test the wind, to measure distances, and to communicate during military maneuvers. Many kites were designed with mythical symbols, and were also fitted with musical instruments to create sounds as they were flown.

Later the kites worked as an inspiration for the Wright brothers to create an airplane. They constructed a 1.5m box kite in the shape of a biplane when they were experimenting with the principles of controlling an airplane in flight. This helped the Wright brothers accomplish their dream of designing the first ever controlled, heavier-than-air, human flight of the world. American Physicist Benjamin Franklin also used a kite for his famous and courageous experiment to prove that lightning is a form of electricity. See here how Franklin executed his famous kite experiment. http://www.benjamin-franklin-history.org/kite-experiment/

CYCLONE AND DIVERSE HUMAN PERSPECTIVE

There comes another cyclone carrying along with it plethora of desolation, devastation and destruction. Every time the news of a cyclone is put out in the media, there sets off an eerie atmosphere of agitation and trepidation among the people of the state, mainly the people of the coastal areas. People get panicked on the basis of how the previous cyclone had caused loss and damage to the state and its people. This time the cyclone ‘Amphan’ induced the same fear and angst among the people in my city ‘Puri’ who haven’t yet got through ‘Fani’, the super cyclone with a mind blowing windspeed of above 200kph that had almost destroyed my whole city.

But during this uncertain time, some who had already experienced the 1999 super cyclone didn’t want to have another action replay of it. And there were also some people or teenagers who were really eager to see what a cyclone actually is. The funny thing is that some of my friends who don’t reside in coastal Odisha told me that they were quite disappointed that they couldn’t “feel” the storm as there wasn’t much effect of Fani in their districts.

There is also another thing one would observe during this time, which is the difference in the thought process of the poor living in chawls and that of the privilege living under a permanent roof. The former get worried about what they will eat; what they will do if the high windspeed causes their chawls to fly away. Meanwhile, the latter worry about what they will do if the electric power is cut off; what if their cell phone battery goes down. It just shows how ,where we are, affects our thought process and decision making. And again who suffers: The Poor; the ones without any permanent living and roof to sleep beneath; the ones who aren’t sure whether they could feed their children another meal; the ones for whom there are a huge number of government schemes but who knows what happens to them.

So what do you think how the perspective of people changes as per their societal status. Give your opinion on the comments below.

INTO THE DARKNESS

I AM NOWHERE

GOING INTO THE WILDNESS OF THE SEA

DON’T KNOW WHERE SHALL I REACH

DON’T KNOW WHAT SHALL I BREATHE.

I AM NOWHERE

STRANDED IN THE MIDDLE OF THE SEA

OBSERVING THE BLANK HORIZON

WITH A HOPE OF SOMEONE RESCUING ME.

DESPERATE OF ITS CONSEQUENCES

DID I GAZE AT THE SERENE SKY

IN THE MIDST OF ALL CALMNESS

EVEN THE GOD DIDN’T REPLY.

THERE COMETH THE TEMPEST

TO RUIN ME TO MY KNEES

COULDN’T IMAGINE WHAT IT TOOK WITH IT

TO MAKE ME BREATHE WITH THE FISH.

NEVER HAD I IMAGINED

I WOULD END UP HERE

IN THE MIDST OF NOTHING

WITH EACH MOMENT FILLED WITH FEAR.

CHILDHOOD’S GONE

COLLEGE TIME’S DONE

MOVING TOWARDS THE YOUTH

LETTING GO BEHIND ALL THE ECSTASY AND THE FUN.

NEVER HAD I IMAGINED

I WOULD END UP HERE

WITH THE BODY DROWNING

AND THE SOUL LOSING ITS PEER.

War: Mankind’s Way To Devastation

Sometimes people have the perception that war can make everything fixed; that war can change things; that war can actually bring back their peace. But it’s wrong. We all know it’s wrong that war will bring peace. Only people in the border and the people praying for their own people in the border know what war can cause to them and their families. Here sitting in our air-conditioned rooms , we assume that it will better our country. We surmise that it will better our economy but, no, it won’t. So instead of promoting this devastating act, everyone should promote peace in each part of the society and bring peace to each corner of their heart.