spoon

Philosophy with a cup of Coffee

35

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1


We got up at 7 in the morning. Gilli, Subba, Gidda and I finished our ablutions as quickly as possible, dressed up and hit the campus. The remaining boys would join us later.

It was a bright, shiny morning. The campus was clamorous to the core. We were in Siddaganga Institute of Technology, Tumkur – a place well over 250 kms away from our College. The only reason we had decided to take part in the cultural fest organized by the University was to bunk classes. No assignments, no internals, no dozing in the last bench, in short no boring stuff for at least two and a half weeks – two weeks practice, five days fest.

We took around 25 photographs in the span of 5 minutes. There was a tough competition between the memory of our cameras and the girls in the campus. Well, no sooner had we started walking towards the small coffee shop than Apeksha, our dear friend, met with us. She was with her gang of friends.

“Oh, damn it! Junglee Billis! Let’s get away from here before they start scratching us, dudes,” Gilli said, clutching my shirt. He wasn’t referring to Apeksha, but the girls that were standing next to her.

They were the participants of a dance competition, and their item was something to do with the culture of Jungle village. Their costumes were another matter of course. Hence the name Junglee Billis!

“Hey Appi, how is your ashram?” Subba asked joyfully.

“Oh, don’t ask anything about it,” she said, cringing.

“All right. I’ll ask something else. How is your ashram?”

“What seems to be the problem?” I asked, ignoring Subba.

“Those JNNC girls from Shimoga are sharing our room, man. They are showing a lot of attitude,” she said and looked at her junglee gang. They nodded in agreement.

“Oh, I get it. You mean bathroom fighting, right?” Gilli said and sniggered.

“Yeah, that too. We’ve been given such a filthy place.”

She continued after a moment’s silence. “Those bitches have such foul mouths, guys. Bloody bimbos started using profanity, you know. They even slapped one of our juniors,” she said.

“Dude, she is hiding something. I’m sure they’ve had a women’s wrestling match, and not just slapping and cursing. Gosh! I’d give anything in the world to see those things live,” Gilli whispered into my ears.

“What did he say?” Appi asked, arching her brows.

“No, nothing. Did you talk to our lecturers? They might be able to arrange a different room for you all.”

“We did. It was no use.”

Appi then pointed us in a direction and said, “Look. Those are the girls I was talking about.”

We saw a few girls standing with a few boys next to a yellow bus. They were at least 50 yards away from us.

“Come, let’s go to them and have a talk. How could they behave like that with our team-mates?” Subba said, surprising everyone.

“You are gonna talk to those girls?” Gilli asked. No one could tell whether that was a question or a statement.

“As you all know I am from Shimoga too. So I shall talk to them if I happen to know any of them,” Subba said and started walking towards them.

“Yeah, right. Let’s teach them a lesson,” Gilli said, and we followed Subba’s suit, leaving Appi and her Junglee Billi gang behind us.


2


As we went closer to them, they taught us a lesson instead. A lesson of Beauty! There was not a dog’s chance Subba could’ve known any of them. They were so damn beautiful! Surely they must have been sent from heavens to show us mortals what beauty was. People talk about writing and reading poetry, but we were actually seeing it – literally. We were left speechless. Those angels took our hearts for guitars and played a soft music by using the veins as strings! They really took our breath away!

We didn’t have anything to say or do, so we silently returned.

Appi and the Junglee Billis were eagerly waiting for our arrival.

“And….?” Appi asked.

“And what?” Subba snapped.

The girls looked at us confusingly.

“How could you pick up a fight with such nice bab…I mean girls, girls? Did you all forget your manners?” Gilli asked.

“What?!” Sushma, one of the Junglee Billis, hollered.

“You should learn to share things, girls,” Gilli went on. “Instead of that you fought with them? Damn! We are really ashamed of you.”

The girls looked at each other and then looked at us as if we were terrorists. I looked at Appi and a smile flitted across her face. She knew us very well.

“When you come to an alien place like this, you should learn to adjust with others. Gosh! Girls and their bathroom fights!” Subba contributed.

“Well, don’t you have anything to say?” Appi asked me just for the heck of it.

I just lifted my right hand up and said, “I say ‘Aye’ to whatever Subba and Gilli just said.”

“You guys are sick! You know that?! You guys are sick!” Sushma yelled at us and walked away with her gang, leaving Appi with us.


3


We bought coffee and sat on a stone bench next to the coffee shop.

“So what happened there?” Appi started the conversation.

“Ask what didn’t happen,” Gidda, who hadn’t spoken a single word till now, said nonchalantly.

When everyone had his attention, he said, “I’m gonna propose to one of those girls by the end of this fest.”

“What? Which girl?” I asked.

“I haven’t decided on that yet.” Shabhas!

Gilli laughed hard. When we questioned him, he said, “Gidda just cracked a joke. Didn’t you hear him?”

Gidda stared into his eyes.

Appi, Subba and I didn’t bother to intervene and left them alone.

“Be practical dude,” Gilli began. “If she is a chocolate pastry, you are a road side bonda. If she is a heroine, you are a spot boy. If she is MTV, you are Doordarshan. If she is Mercedes Benz, you are an auto rickshaw.” He paused for a moment and then said, “Did you get the idea?”

Appi smirked. Subba and I nodded in agreement.

“I think I got it, but you forgot to mention one more thing,” Gidda didn’t show any symptoms of anger or irritation.

“Really? What is it?”

“If she is a sophisticated Italian commode, I’m a ‘free to use’ Sulabh Shouchalay,” Gidda said as calmly as possible and took a sip of his coffee.

Listening to Gidda’s self analysis, Appi spilled her coffee, I started laughing hysterically, and Subba staggered and fell down, clutching his stomach. I wanted to help him, but he was in no mood to get up as he was literally rolling on the floor, laughing. Gilli grinned, scratching his head. Gidda didn’t seem to notice any of these things and continued sipping his coffee.

Once we had settled down, Gidda sat with his legs crossed and spoke up with a sudden access of pontificality. He mainly addressed Gilli.

“Listen to me, Baalak. A great sage called Will Smith once said, “No matter what, no matter who, no matter when, any man has a chance to sweep any woman off her feet; he just needs the right broom.”

“Oye, there is a girl here. Mind it,” Appi warned with a touch of humour.

“Well, are you just saying or trying to prove it?” Subba said, grinning from ear to ear.

Appi punched him in the gut.

“But Guruji,” Gilli was saying, “don’t you think this is the age of vacuum cleaners, and not broom sticks?” The new master and his new disciple didn’t seem to notice anything that was happening around them.

“Kudos, my boy! You definitely have a bright future. You are right, by the way. This is the age of vacuum cleaners. We need to suck, not sweep. Take Anirudh for example: He is so fat he would still fall down if gravity ceased to exist from this universe. Now, doesn’t he have a girlfriend? He has, my boy. He has. Mind you, she is pretty. See this is what I’m going to prove in this fest.

Subba and I raised our eyebrows. Appi sipped her coffee and muttered under her breath, ‘Guys!’

“So when is your next assignment, Guruji?” Gilli asked, now bowing his head and joining his hands.

“Very soon, my boy. Very soon. Gita says you should just keep trying without worrying about the unforeseen ramifications. Well, not the Gita of Biotechnology dept., but Krishna’s Gita – again, not Nikita’s scumbag boyfriend Krishna, but the real Krishna from Great India.”

“Great India, Guruji?” Gilli asked innocently, his hands still joined.

“I meant Mahabharat, my boy.”

“Oh, Ok Guruji. I got it. The one who had 16,000 girlfriends,” Gilli said, bowing his head once again.

“Those girls are not gonna talk to you all for the rest of your college life, let alone this fest, you know?” Appi was referring to Junglee Billis.

“We can’t help that, Baalikey,” Gidda, our new found philosopher, was saying. “They are not mature enough to understand our theories.”

“Theories?” she asked, still smiling.

“Yes, Baalikey. Theories. We boys are born Ornithologists. We can’t help it. It’s encrypted in our DNA code. Ornithology is a great art just like poetry. In fact it is just another branch of poetry. Well, that makes us artists then, eh? And only mature people can understand an artist’s art and mind. If we do not practice this great art regularly, we are gonna lose it eventually, and we cannot afford that to happen. But as it so happens with every great artist, we sometimes have to face some resistance. For instance: Junglee Billis in our case. Should we ever get discouraged by such things, we won’t be able to create a name for ourselves in the world of Ornithology. So we’ve got to be brave and follow Gita,” Gidda finished his speech. It would be a cliché if I said that we were enlightened. So I won’t say, because I don’t deal with clichés.

Appi burst out laughing.

“Sushma was right when she said that you guys were sick,” she was still laughing.

“Correction, Baalikey. Correction. Didn’t you hear us properly? We are not sick. We suck!”

“You are going to ruin yourself if you continue with this Ornithology crap, you moron,” Appi said, tapping Gidda’s head.

“Baba Oscar Wilde once said, ‘To have ruined one’s self over poetry is an honour’. So I don’t mind ruining myself, for I am an honourable man,” our philosopher said and took a swig of coffee.

“Oh really? But I have never seen any of you flirting with the girls of our college, esp. the ones that have come to this fest. I wonder why,” Appi asked and threw her coffee cup in the waste basket.

“We only deal with exotic species, Baalikey. By the way, they are Junglee Billis. Ornithologists don’t deal with Billis. They deal with,”--- our philosopher was cut in.

“All right, all right. I don’t want to hear any more of this crap and get insulted. I am getting a call from….never mind. Just be there at stage 3 before 11 o’ clock, ok? Off I go. Do whatever you want,” Appi said and got up. She took a few steps away from us, then turned back once, smiled, shook her head and walked away.


4


“Ok, my boys. It’s time to take some real good pictures,” Gidda announced, taking his camera out of the pouch.

“Aye!” Subba and I said in chorus.

“One small question, Guruji,” Gilli said.

“Go on, my boy,” Gidda said and took the last sip of his coffee.

It was only when he threw his coffee cup that Subba and I noticed we still held the cups in our hands. Our coffee had already become cold. We took a copious draught of it and threw the cups in the dust bin.

“Why is that the girls who are around us never appear to be beautiful for us? I mean every girl looks beautiful other than the girls of our class, our department, our college, etc. I experienced this in my School days as well.”

“Hmmm. That’s a difficult question to answer, my boy. I’ve been trying to figure it out since my birth,” Gidda said, putting a hand on Gilli’s shoulder.

“Since your birth, Guruji?”

“Yes, my boy. When I came to this world 21 years ago, I found the nurse attending the baby lying on the bed next to mine to be more beautiful than the nurse that was attending me. I waggled and cried, but the nurse neglected my cries and said to my mother that I was beautiful. Damn it! If only the other nurse had said it, my baby days would’ve been more beautiful,” Gidda said. He continued after a momentary pause, “You know, it’s like buying an Aston Martin, and suddenly wishing you had bought a Lamborghini instead.”

“Yeah, right,” Gilli, Subba and I sang in chorus.

Gilli said slowly after a minute’s silence, “I’ve decided on something.”

“You make decisions too?” Subba humoured him.

“What is it, my boy?” Gidda asked his disciple.

“Well, I have decided not to introduce my girlfriend to anyone.”

Subba opened his mouth to say something, but before he could say anything, Gilli said, “I mean when I have one in the future.”

Well, Subba didn’t say anything as his query had been answered.

“Same here,” I said.

We then got up and started walking towards the breakfast hall. We saw four of our friends approaching us and waved at them.

It was 8.30 in the morning and we had just spent one hour of our 5 day tour.


********************The End********************


Copyright © Karthik 2009




55 Fictions - 1

38

Category:


55 Fiction #1 - Revelation


Tania didn’t want to stay in the new house anymore, no matter how hard her husband, Amit, tried to persuade her. Mr. Kumar was standing a few feet away from them, eavesdropping.

“Why, we are the only 2 people who live here, Tani.”

A flower pot fell on the ground.

Tania looked scared – yet again.


********


55 Fiction #2 - Decision


The meeting had gone for 2 hours, and the board of directors had finally come to a decision – a decision that would change the fate of the entertainment industry.

Shankar, one of the board members, got up and said:

“Ok, friends, we’ll go to Aamir Khan’s movie today.”

His hostel mates cum board members cheered.


Copyright © Karthik 2009




Love and Ego

56

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Love is blind.

This is one of the stupidest statements I’ve ever heard.

If something makes you blind, you can’t call it ‘love,’ can you?

After looking at the title of this post, some of you might be thinking that love and ego are antonyms. I beg to differ. They go hand in hand.

If one isn’t utterly selfish, he can’t love anybody truly and honestly. To be selfish, one must first have a ‘self.’ And having a true self is not easy.

A selfish man is the one who isn’t concerned with others in any primary matter. His wishes, desires and dreams aren’t guided by others. He doesn’t need the approval of others. He doesn’t need the assurance of others that he is good, that his work is good. He lives for himself. He loves himself. He respects himself. This is why I say that only an utter egotist can love somebody honestly. If a person cannot respect himself, he can neither love nor respect others. So there is nothing called selfless love. And anything which is selfless is rotten, let alone love.

I often hear things like, “I can do ANYTHING for my girl,” “I have given my heart and soul to my boy,” etc. But giving one’s soul is the easiest thing in the world. Keeping it with oneself is difficult.

Let me narrate you an incident that took place some months ago. I was sitting in a coffee shop, waiting for my friend. A few tables away from me, a boy of my age was sitting, reading a book. Some time later, a drop dead crazy gorgeous girl walked into the coffee shop and to my envy she went and sat in front of the reading boy. Well, the boy said ‘hi,’ in a nonchalant way, and she apologized for coming late. The boy said it wasn’t a problem since he had his book for the company. Then our heroine got angry all of a sudden and said to him that she deliberately came late in order to know whether he was worried about her or not. She then mouthed some imprecations and walked out of the coffee shop furiously. And I was not jealous anymore, not because she walked out on the boy, but because I was happy for not having a person like her in my life. Let beauty be damned, I don’t want a bimbo for a lover.

This is what we get to see everywhere. The girl wears her boyfriend as her badge and the boy keeps his girlfriend as his champion’s trophy. And they call it love. True romantic love is only possible to people of unimpeachable self esteem. Now where was the girl’s self esteem in the above example?

One of the biggest fallacies is that love is a matter of heart and not the mind.

Let me tell you something: love is related to mind, and not heart in any way. It is NOT independent of reason and one cannot love anyone without being rational; it is a subject of values and only a rationally selfish man with the highest self esteem is capable of love, because it is only he who can hold his convictions and values firmly. If he cannot value himself, he cannot value others, and eventually cannot love anybody. Such is the nature of love. It is thus an expression of your highest values, and the greatest gift you receive for your chosen actions, your character of the highest kind, for the joy he/she receives from you through your virtues. It is definitely not blind, because it sees a lot.

Love is devoid of any pity or sympathy, contempt, self-sacrifice and compromise. These things never exist between people who are equal, and love can only exist between equals.

In love, there can only be reverence and glory.

A woman, in spite of being brilliant, leaves her job to take care of her family. Now this is not a compromise in any way, because her family comes above everything else. Her first priority is her family and not her job. She is doing it for her own happiness and for the love of her husband and children. She is utterly selfish and completely virtuous. On the contrary, if she places her job above her family and still gives it up, then it would be a compromise. And it is definitely not virtuous. It’s like saying, ‘Schedule your priorities. Don’t prioritize your schedules.’

If a man’s wife is suffering from a deadly disease and he spends all his money for her treatment and also leaves his job to take care of her at home, it is again not a compromise. He does it because he is an egotist. He can’t be happy if something happens to his wife. His wife comes above everything else. He does it for himself. He does it for his love for her.

Now, let me tell you what a compromise is.

A boy wants to go on a trip with his friends and have some fun. But his girlfriend doesn’t want him to go, because she wants him to be with her. He is cognizant of the fact that she is not sick, or depressed in anyway, but simply wants him to be with her. He succumbs and stays with her. He is unhappy for missing the trip, but he doesn’t show it. He doesn’t want her to know that he is unhappy, and he does it under the pretence of his so-called love for her. And this is called a compromise, which is certainly not virtuous. Compromise is a negative term, and not positive. What the boy did for his girlfriend is not love, but rotten dick-headedness. Anyone who compromises is a brute.

When a boy asks his girlfriend to change, say, a particular personality trait, her dressing style, her hair style, her friend circle, or anything else, she does it blindly, without a process of thinking. She thinks that giving up something (something that defines her identity) for him is 'love.' But only she doesn't know that it is not love, but slavery.

The biggest crime in the world, folks, is not murder, or extortion, or fraud, or rape, but having self-pity. All the other crimes I mentioned start from this single crime itself.

When a relationship ends in an awful way, some get into a state of melancholy and it is quite normal. They share it with their close ones, not to gain sympathy, but they just want to get it out of their systems. They never make any fuss about it, but deal it with dignity.

There are others who belong to another category: they start pitying themselves and start advertising their misfortunes, everywhere, with everyone (even with total strangers). They expect others to say that they are good and their exes are scumbags. They need ASSURANCE from OTHERS that everything is going to be all right. Their self esteem is breached, they start enjoying the attention they are getting from their sympathizers, and eventually they start enjoying that pain. Technically speaking, they become masochists. And masochism is a disease.

It’s people like these who are incapable of loving anyone, people without self esteem, people without integrity. These are the kind of people that always need others to guide their actions; their lives depend on others’ judgments. They never ask, ‘Am I correct?’ but all they ask is, ‘Am I correct in others’ eyes?’ Others’ opinions about them and their work matter a lot to them than their own. I agree sometimes some relationships do not work, and it causes some pain. But pain is not the reason to suspend the faculty of independent judgment. Pitying oneself is not going to get one anywhere. When a man starts having self-pity, he starts destroying himself. And how can a self-destructing man love anyone?

Now you understand why one needs to have an ego in order to have the capability of loving. Anything done for personal happiness is good (provided it doesn’t cause any disturbance, pain or embarrassment to others) and anything done to please others, no matter who they are, is despicable. It is slavery.

When I see a man looking at the sky, enjoying the cosmic beauty, with his head thrown back, it is the sight of the uplift of his head that fascinates me more than all that heavenly glory. But I get sick of that same uplift of head when I see him kneeling down in front of a girl, beseeching to accept his love. Love? Sorry, wrong usage of the word here.

So where does true love come from?

It can only come from a self-sufficient ego.

Now I would like to ask a question to all those Lailas and Majnoos that say, ‘I can do ANYTHING for my boy/girl’: Where is your ‘I’?


*********


I humbly wish you all have lovers, and not girlfriends/boyfriends. Hope you get my drift.

P.S. Having said the things I firmly believe in, I might still write funny stories where boys behave in a silly way in front of girls. But that would just be for pure fun and entertainment.


Copyright © Karthik 2009


A Journey through an Enigmatic Heaven

29

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1


Ever since Pratap watched the movie ‘Motorcycle Diaries,’ he wanted to go on an adventurous trip. He certainly didn’t have any intentions of throwing up his career and becoming a revolutionary like Che Guevara, but he just wanted to have a gala time. Being a journalist he had traveled a lot, but this time he wanted to take a pleasure trip. Free from his busy life, free from his assignments that demanded a lot of hard work. What he didn’t realize then was that once a journalist, always a journalist.


***********


Two days later he was in New Delhi. After two days of ruminating in the train, he had finally decided to go to Mount Kailas. It wasn’t that he was a religious person, but he was simply in love with the Himalayas. And who isn’t? One of the primary reasons to choose Mount Kailas was that it was quite a dangerous journey and he loved adventure and taking risks.

There are actually four main ways to reach the peak. He had chosen New Delhi – Purang/Burang – Kailas. Well, this is the only feasible option for Indians and it is also the most dangerous among the four possible routes. It was unfortunate and inevitable. In spite of this, thousands of people travel each year and anyone who has been there will tell you that it is worth taking the risk. Mount Kailas’s gorgeous summit and Mansarovar’s resplendent overpowering beauty constitute the heavenly spot on earth.

It wasn’t difficult for Pratap to get the permission from tourism ministry to go there. His profession made it easy. When the journey started, he realized that it was quite expensive and full of red tape and uncertainties. This route can be closed without any prior notice if some political issue between India and China comes up and above all the route is also plagued with Maoist activities. Nevertheless, it was a journey through heaven.

After some traveling he decided to take a short cut along with some other pilgrims he had befriended on the way. That route could be traveled only by walking.

And he would remember this particular part of journey for the rest of his life. He still didn’t know what lay ahead.


2


It was already dark and the pilgrims could not continue their journey any further; it was time for camping. There was exotic wilderness everywhere, which was beauteous and also quite scary. Pratap didn’t mind the scary part. His camp was finally set up with the help of his fellow travelers. He thanked them and went inside his tent. Though he was tired, he couldn’t sleep, for it was simply not in his habit to sleep so early. So he took out ‘The Calcutta Chromosome’ by Amitav Ghosh and started reading. Surprisingly, for the first time in years he could not concentrate on reading. He could not decide whether the book was boring or he simply was not in a mood to read. He closed the book and tried to sleep.

No sooner had he closed his eyes than he heard a loud peculiar sound; he got up suddenly and ran out of his tent to see what it was. There was nothing outside except the lengthy stretch of wilderness all around and the eerie silence had already confiscated the sound he had heard a few seconds ago. This is crazy! He stood there mystified, trying to figure out what it was. He looked around; a blanket of darkness was floating down over the world. He looked up to see the canopy of fiery stars sprayed against the gray sky. Except these, he could see nothing. He came back inside his tent, still wondering. One more reason that puzzled him was that the other pilgrims had not bothered to come out. Or were they in deep sleep to hear any of such things?

A few minutes passed and he found that his eyelids were drooping. He slowly closed his eyes and fell asleep. He was in deep slumber when a dreadful peal of thunder shook the tent, and this time accompanied with a bright light, which seeped through the tent and woke him. He wasn’t somnolent anymore and ran out of his tent, again. A few pilgrims had now come out of their tents too. He stood there frozen, with his eyes wide open in utter bewilderment. He was seeing some strange lights in the sky. These lights showed up from underground and moved vertically up. He had never seen such a sight before.

The pilgrims that were out of the tents were now yawning and didn’t quite look surprised. They turned and went back inside as if nothing had happened and this surprised Pratap more than the sight he had just seen. He went to one of the tents and asked them. There were three members inside.

“What was that light?”

“Oh, that’s nothing new here. It happens all the time,” said one.

“All right. But what IS it?” Pratap insisted.

“We don’t know. Nobody knows actually. We tried to ask the security personnel once, but they turned us down. They didn’t say anything to us,” he paused for a moment and then continued, “I understand why you are so surprised. You are a first timer, aren’t you?”

Pratap grimaced.

“Don’t worry, my friend. It’s nothing. It’s a normal phenomenon from Kongka Pass area,” said another.

Being a journalist, he knew what Kongka La was. It is the low ridge pass in the Himalayas – The disputed India-China border area. This is the area where the Indian and Chinese armies fought the major war in 1962; the same war in which India lost (Thanks to Nehru for not giving the permission to use air strike). This area is one of the least accessed areas in the world and by agreement the two countries do not patrol this part of the border. Buddhist monks and the local people of Ladakh, the Indian Army and the Chinese Military maintain the line of control.

“Go to sleep, my friend. We have a tough journey tomorrow,” said one of the pilgrims, breaking the flow of his thoughts.

Pratap returned to his tent, unsatisfied and his inkling had grown stronger. He lay wide awake for a long time, and finally decided to abandon his journey to Mount Kailas and head back to find the mystery behind the Kongka La area.


3


When he woke up in the morning, the weird bright light was replaced by the splendid rays of the sun. He packed his bags and headed towards the Chinese border to get an access to the site.

He had asked his fellow pilgrims to show him the way, and they had done it reluctantly. After a tiring journey of 2 hours, he finally reached the border. A Chinese guard saw him from a distance and became attentive. Pratap asked the guard, “How can I get an access to the site?” It was quite a direct question.

He knew it was too naïve and useless, but he had to try anyway. To approach the site from the Indian side means another 2 hours of walking.

The guard looked at him surprisingly and shouted, “Zou kai.”

Pratap decided to try once again, “I’m a pilgrim going to Mount Kailas. I was just curious to know about that site. That’s all.”

The Chinese guard shouted again, with austerity, “Bi zui. Zou kai.” Shut up and go away!

Pratap silently walked away from there. Two hours later he reached the Indian border patrol. He first introduced himself as a journalist and told them that he had the permit to travel between the two countries. He requested them to allow him to visit the site once.

“You are wasting your time,” the Indian guard told him firmly.

Pratap could say from the look on his face that he meant it. He was now more determined and approached the Indian border security personnel. It was an hour away from there.

“Want a smoke?” Pratap asked one of the members of the security personnel, across the fence, taking out a pack of cigarettes from his jacket pocket.

20 minutes later he opened the subject and asked him to tell him what was happening there and allow him to visit the site, if possible. He didn’t forget to show his ID.

The security guard laughed and said, “You know, you are not the first person to ask this. Lots of people have come to us with the same request. But since you are new here and curious, let me tell you something. We are ordered not to allow anyone near the area of interest and it is true that strange amplified and modulated lights come out from under the ground. Some times even some strange objects come out along with the lights. India’s Special Operations Forces and the Intelligence Agencies are in charge of that area.”

Pratap crinkled his eyes, puzzled. “What strange objects?”

“You still don’t get it?” asked the friendly guard.

Pratap simply shrugged his shoulders and shook his head.

The guard took a deep breath and said what it was. Pratap laughed in a mordant way.

“Don’t laugh Pratap Babu. It’s true,” said the guard, seriously.

It wouldn’t have intrigued Pratap so much if the guard hadn’t said it with such certainty. He then thanked him and took his leave.



4

He cancelled all plans of going to Mount Kailas and decided to dig deep into the matter at hand. Since there was no place to stay, he traveled to a small village in the Tarai region of Himachal Pradesh. It was one of the few places, which was quite near to the site. He set up his camp near a peepal tree in the village and went around searching for his answers. Sometimes the local people are the best source, for they don’t have anything to hide, like the higher officials.

The locals started laughing the moment he mentioned it. They then told him that it was too common a sight and everyone knew exactly what and where it was.

“If it is true, then why are they not saying anything about it?” Pratap asked, innocently.

“Don’t know Pratap ji. It’s going on since more than a decade. We really don’t know the reason why they are obliterating this,” said an old man. He still wasn’t ready to believe what he was hearing.

He kept meandering through the village and came across a small govt. school. Looking at his sophisticated attire, the headmaster, who was in his mid-fifties, invited him. The inside of the school was clamorous to the core. After some small talk, Pratap asked the same question to him.

“I don’t have anything new to say, my boy. But I shall show you something interesting today. We have arranged a drawing competition for the students here. Just wait till they finish with their drawings,” said the headmaster.

‘What will I know from primary school students’ drawing?’ Pratap wanted to ask, but kept quiet. He didn’t want to offend the headmaster who was being nice to him. During the conversation he also found out that the headmaster was a retired soldier.

A few minutes later, the students started submitting their drawings as Pratap and the headmaster sat on a stone bench. The headmaster went through the sheets for a few minutes and gave some drawing sheets to Pratap. Initially his face looked like a cold stone, but slowly his expression changed drastically. Bemusement was written all over his face. He lifted his head and found the headmaster, laughing. Pratap looked at him blankly, not knowing what to say.

More than half of the students had drawn the pictures of strange objects in the sky and some coming out of the mountains. A minute later another boy came and submitted his drawing sheet. He had clearly drawn a picture of an extraterrestrial flying object. Pratap still didn’t talk.

The headmaster asked the little boy in a sudden access of pontificality, “Where did you see this?”

“We folks see them all the time while playing in the fields outside the village, master ji. These vehicles have no sound, can take off vertically, and can float in the air like a kite. Sometimes they disappear all of a sudden. Can I go home now, master ji?” the boy said everything in one stretch.

The headmaster sent the boy and looked at Pratap. The security guard was right, then.

“Well…?”

“I don’t know how this is possible,” said Pratap, nervously.

Then the headmaster told him.

“UFOs have been seen ‘by day and night’ near the high altitude glaciers of the Himalayas. UFOs seen at night glow red and gold. This may surprise you, but some of the IAF pilots are continually reporting strange flying objects in the Himalayas near the Chinese border. Visits have occurred frequently during the past few years and the northeastern region of Himachal Pradesh has also experienced many varied sightings.”

“Then why is it so hush-hush?” asked Pratap, after a moment’s silence.

“Nothing can be said with certainty, but as far as my knowledge goes, the military personnel are talking privately and maintain that for national security reasons. That’s the only reason they give. NATIONAL SECURITY,” said the headmaster, and heaved a huge sigh of relief.

Pratap grew silent again and stared at the empty ground in front of him, marveling. The headmaster patted his back and said, “Truth, my son, is always unpalatable.” He then slowly got up and went back to his office.

Pratap was still sitting on the bench, holding the drawing sheet in his hands. He tardily looked at the drawing once again and felt a slight pang in his head. An alien was staring at him, as if it were mocking him.


********************The End********************


Notes:

1. On October 10th, 2004, UFOs ranging from very large cylindrical objects to small discs have been seen over the glaciers, about 40 kms from India’s border with China.

2. According to a scientist of the Indian Geological Survey, UFOs and strange beings are visiting a 100-square- kilometer portion of the Tarai.

3. There are many indications that a large underground base is now being built within the hard andesite (bedrock) of the high Himalayas. The construction is going on in the high terrain close to the ‘No Man's Land’ between India and China.

4. Many UFO researchers believe that there are hidden UFO bases deep under the ground. Kongka La is experiencing some strange phenomenon and suspicious objects coming out of the inaccessible huge mountains (Himalayas) and both the Governments refuse to come out and say what these are.



Copyright © Karthik 2009



Tagged!

16

Category:


Tagged by Samadrita


Tag 1

This is concerning the brands that you use on a daily basis..


Here's mine...


1. Sony Ericsson K700i handset (I've been using it since 4 yrs)

2. Philips mp3 player (my constant companion while riding my bike)

3. Woodland shoes (damn it! they never wear out)

4. Deodorants keep changing every month.

That's all. I'm a simple guy, you see.. :)


Tag 2

RULE 1- You can only say Guilty or Innocent.

RULE 2- You are not allowed to explain anything unless someone messages you and asks!

RULE 3- Copy and paste this into your notes, delete mine and type in your answers and tag your friends to answer this.


Let me begin…


Asked someone to marry you? Innocent.

Ever kissed someone of the same sex?
Innocent.

Danced on a table in a bar?
Innocent.

Ever told a lie?
Guilty.

Had feelings for someone whom you can’t have back?
Innocent.

Kissed a picture?
Guilty.

Slept in until 5 PM?
Guilty.

Fallen asleep at work/school?
Guilty.

Held a snake?
Innocent.

Been suspended from school?
Innocent.

Worked at a fast food restaurant?
Innocent.

Stolen from a store?
Innocent.

Been fired from a job?
Innocent.

Done something you regret?
Guilty.


Laughed until something you were drinking came out your nose? Guilty.

Caught a snowflake on your tongue?
Guilty.

Kissed in the rain?
Innocent.

Sat on a roof top?
Guilty.

Kissed someone you shouldn’t?
Innocent.

Sang in the shower?
Guilty.

Been pushed into a pool with all your clothes on?
Guilty.

Shaved your head?
Guilty.

Had a boxing membership?
Innocent.

Made a girlfriend cry? _______
.

Been in a band?
Guilty.

Shot a gun? Guilty.

Donated Blood?
Innocent.

Eaten alligator meat?
Innocent

Eaten cheesecake?
Guilty.

Still love someone you shouldn’t?
Innocent.

Have/had a tattoo?
Innocent.

Liked someone, but will never tell who?
Guilty.

Been too honest?
Guilty.

Ruined a surprise?
Guilty.

Ate in a restaurant and got really bloated that you couldn’t walk afterwards?
Guilty.

Erased someone in your friends list?
Guilty.

Dressed in a woman’s clothes (if you’re a guy) or man’s clothes (if you’re a girl)?
Guilty.

Joined a pageant?
Innocent.

Been told that you’re handsome or beautiful by someone who totally meant what they said?
Innocent.

Had communication with your ex? _______
.

Got totally drunk on the night before exam?
Innocent.

Got totally angry that you cried so hard?
Innocent.

That's it.

Now, after all why should only I suffer? :( Here are the people I'm tagging.. :)


Tanmaya

Neha

Ansh

Anoop

Archana (Yemiledu)

Swami Naveen

Murali

Raksha Raman

Jaunty Anima

Urvashi

Ipsita

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The Negotiator
Malgudi Days
As The Crow Flies
Swami and Friends
The Devil's Alternative
The Picture of Dorian Gray
The Godfather
The Seven Minutes
The Prize
Atlas Shrugged
The Fountainhead
If Tomorrow Comes
Digital Fortress
The Chancellor Manuscript
The Bourne Supremacy
The Bourne Identity
The Fist of God
The Fourth Protocol
The Odessa File
The Day of the Jackal


Karthik's favorite books »