We Never Talked About Love

We never talked about love.
We shared stories of historical heroes
And literary poets,
The valour of Alexander’s army,
And the depth of Shakespeare’s sonnets.

We whispered the beauty
Of ancient lores and tales,
And sparred over our ideas
Of Marx and Engels.

No, we never talked about love.
Instead, we caressed our souls
With the kind of passion
That engulfed us like a raging flame
Burning our hearts and emotion.

– Ahona

Summer Love

I was sitting in my favourite spot at our local library, a secluded corner of the literature section by the window facing the coffee shop across the library. There is something about old books and libraries that make me feel so safe and at home. Don’t get me wrong, I love those glitzy and glamorous bookstores of the shopping malls like any other person, but they never felt like home to me. They are more like a gorgeous New York penthouse where I would love to live obviously, but that can never be home.

So, here I was in a late-October afternoon sitting by my favourite library window engrossed in a classic Holmes mystery. Yes, I’m big on all the blood and murder and conspiracies that make Holmes a classic. Nothing beats boredom like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle does! I mean, yes, Bronte sisters, Jane Eyre, they are all beautiful, but they don’t really get my adrenaline going like Doyle does. Christie comes close, but this afternoon, I was particularly craving for the magical Holmes and Watson duo. I was about to dive into reading the gory details of a murder scene in “A Study in Scarlet”, when I heard a very familiar voice somewhere close by me. You see, I’m not a light reader and getting distracted while reading a Holmes novel is almost next to impossible for me. But, there was something about this voice that struck a chord somewhere deep inside my mind. Yes, my mind, not my heart because heart just pumps blood through the body, nothing more, nothing less! I don’t know why people put so much pressure on that little organ, as if it doesn’t have enough work to do already!

“So, you still prefer Holmes over Poirot!” I heard the voice chuckle breaking my train of thoughts about the human heart and blood circulation. I finally decided to put down my book to look up because no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t place a face to this oh-so-familiar voice! As I looked up, I saw a pair of beautiful green eyes already gazing at me. I have known these eyes, I have seen them before, and I have already been in with love them once.

“Close your mouth, dufus!” I heard him say as he smirked sitting down in the chair next to mine. I didn’t even realise that my jaw was literally about to hit the floor. Well, it’s not really my fault, but I thought I had already said goodbye to those eyes and that smile.

“It’s not that Poirot is bad, it’s just that he doesn’t have the sex appeal of Holmes,” I smirked back at him leaning back in my chair. My comment made him chuckle as his eyes lit up with that same old childish mischief that I knew all too well.

“How long has it been?” He asked looking at me. I could hear the hint of nostalgia in his voice.

“Honestly, I stopped counting after a year,” I replied with a small voice trying very hard not to look at his eyes. 

“You never called,” he said ruffling through the pages of an old copy of Hamlet that he was carrying. I smiled inwardly. His love for Shakespeare hasn’t changed after all these years. We always used to have pretty heated debates about the works of William Shakespeare. While I was on Team Macbeth, he was on Team Hamlet. I realised that he hasn’t changed at all and somehow that made me feel relieved. 

I looked at him as I said, “Well, you leaped so high that the mobile networks were not available up there!” I feel like the concept of sarcasm was created exactly for moments like these.

“Very funny, smartass!” He responded kicking me lightly under the table. We were both laughing a bit too hard, which earned us a few angry glares from our neighbouring readers. 

Sitting there, talking to him in this October afternoon, took me back to those summer mornings when I would wake up to the mouthwatering smell of pancakes as he was the chef of the house. While I sat there looking into the eyes of this beautiful human and listening him talk about his new job, I was reminded of the summer nights when we used to share our sweet-nothings as we lay there in his bed wrapped in his white bed sheets holding each other. It always felt like coming down from such a high that no amount of drugs or alcohol could replace. But most importantly, it all felt so right with him!

My sweet stroll down the memory lane was suddenly interrupted as he said, “You know I never wanted it to end. It wasn’t supposed to be just about those six months.” I sensed the disappointment and sadness in his statement.

“But, that’s the thing about summer love right? It stays as long as the summer does.” I replied with a poignant smile looking at him as he just chuckled and shook his head.

It was April 2017 when I first met him while working on a summer internship for a publishing company. Meeting him was coincidence and falling in love with him was kinda out of syllabus. We belonged to different cities and came from completely different parts of the country, but what connected was our love for literature. Once I got to know him, his ideas, his thoughts, his mind, falling for him was pretty easy and inevitable. But, I never wanted to drag it out because I couldn’t dare to get my hopes up. It’s really scary what too much hope and expectation can do to a person. We decided to keep it short, so it was our summer love. Those six months felt like a beautiful love story and that’s exactly what it was supposed to be, “a story”. And every story eventually comes to an end, right? Or, so I thought!

I smiled to myself as I sat there in my favourite corner of the library with one of the most beautiful human beings that I’ve known in my life, a person with whom I thought I would never meet again, a person to whom I thought I’ve already said my last goodbye. Fate is a really weird thing I tell you!

While I was contemplating about my fate, the library clock struck 5, which meant that my precious Saturday afternoon was coming to an end.

“I think it’s time I leave you with the Prince of Denmark as I have errands to run,” I told him getting up from my chair with my copy of Sherlock Holmes.

“Will I be seeing you around?” He asked me as I walked past his chair. That question made me turn around and look at him.

“That depends. Are you here to stay?” I asked him raising my eyebrows.

“What if I say I am?” He replied back with a smirk. Oh how I missed that stupid smirk!

“Then I guess we’ll see,” I said with the most innocent smile that I could muster before walking out of the library.

As I passed the library gate and walked down the busy main street in the brisk October air, my phone suddenly pinged with a new message notification from an unknown number. I checked the notification that read, “Coffee tomorrow at 6 pm at the cafe across the library. I’ll be waiting. – Adrian.”

So, it took him 7 minutes to find the page-marker where I wrote my number and slipped it inside his copy of Hamlet. I couldn’t suppress a grin as I thought to myself, may be some summer loves are meant to last longer than the summer. Just may be!

“Like morning dew, your love will come again to you…..” – Poets of the Fall

The Fall Wind

“You know it almost feels like November,” Beth said tightening the muffler around her neck.

It was the start of September, the maple leaves were beginning to turn into a brilliant shade of orange and red. The entire canopy of trees around the city displayed a riot of colours like some painter’s canvas.

“Your birthday is just around the corner too, you know.” Beth continued stealing a glance at her beloved. You could see the engagement ring hanging around her necklace. It looked like it was almost her wedding day but it was not quite there yet either. Something looked amiss.

She looked down at the ring and said, “Remember the day you gave me this? It was a day just like this one, the maple leaves had just begun changing colours and the sky looked like an endless blue ocean. I’ve never imagined you to be the romantic type before that day,” Beth chuckled at the thought, “But you never ceased to amaze me,” she continued with a tinge sadness in her voice fiddling with the ring.

“It was supposed to be a winter wedding, but no, you wanted to get married right away during that fall. You said where else were we supposed to find such beautiful colours! You told me looking at the maple trees in our backyard, ‘Beth, don’t you think fall is the only time to see nature’s most colourful canvas?’ Who knew that editor-in-chief Julian Scott could be so poetic!” Beth smiled looking at her fiancé.

“I was so nervous on our wedding day. Do you know how many times I thought of running away?” Beth laughed remembering her Big Day.

“But when I was about to walk down the aisle I looked at you, and there you were in your black tuxedo standing at the altar waiting for me, looking at me as if nothing else mattered, I saw your eyes and the way you smiled at me. God, who gave you the right to be so handsome!

That was the moment I knew that it was the right thing to do, and looking at you I knew that I wasn’t nervous anymore, I knew that I wanted to be Mrs Elizabeth Scott more than anything else!” Beth said in a trembling voice, her eyes were cloudy almost as if she was living in a past dream.

“That year’s Christmas, when you told me you had to go for a book tour, I felt utterly miserable, it was our first Christmas together as a family, but I knew it was killing you too. I had some big news for you, but we promised New Year will be our day,” Beth had a look of melancholy as she glanced at her husband. The trees around her rustled as the wind blew harder, the sky shimmered in the September sun like a beautiful blue glass.

“You left in the morning of Christmas’ Eve, it was snowing white, you kissed me before getting in the car and said, ’Wait for me in the next year, Beth!’ You always had a way with words, Mr Editor,” Beth said grinning and continued, “As I watched you drive away I wanted to call you back, I wanted to say ‘Stay! Don’t go!’ But I didn’t. I decided to wait till New Year, it was going to be our year together as a family. I was waiting for you to come back home to me, but you never did, did you?” Beth’s voice was shaking, she was shivering as a chill ran down her spine.

“I still remember that night like it was yesterday. The hospital room felt so cold, Jules, and you just laid there connected to all those beeping machines, as I watched you slowly slipping away from me in front of my own eyes and I couldn’t do anything to stop you, I couldn’t hold on to you. I couldn’t even cry when the doctor told me that your car lost control due to the heavy snow, I couldn’t even cry when they told me there was nothing else they could do to bring you back to me. I couldn’t do anything, Jules!

You were coming home to me, I was going to tell you the big news! You were going to be a father, Jules! I was 3 weeks pregnant when you left me!” Beth looked at the gravestone of her late husband standing in the middle of the cemetery.

The fall wind blew her hair away showing her tear-stained face. Beth looked at the stone and said in a broken voice, “Hey, you know, it’s been a year since we got married last fall! We’re going to have a baby girl, Jules. Your daughter misses you, her mother misses you even more!” Beth stood there trembling, the tears she was able to hold back for all these past months, wouldn’t stop now.

“We love you, Mr Julian Scott!” Beth said in a choked voice caressing her over swollen belly as those little legs kicked her from the inside. “You always had a weird way of loving me back, didn’t you, Jules?” Beth chuckled looking at her husband.

As Beth placed the bouquet flowers on her husband’s grave, the fall wind blew and carried away the fallen maple leaves around the empty cemetery.

Beth dried her eyes and smelled in the fall air looking up at the bright blue sky as she remembered something with a poignant smile, something that Julian told her a long time ago,

“The ones who truly love us, never really leave us.”

.

.

“As my memory rests

But never forgets what I lost

Wake me up when September ends.”

– Green Day

 

fall wind

 

Happy New Year

“The world is ready to welcome the New Year, and here at New York City, we’re reporting live from the Times Square where hundreds of people from all over the globe have gathered to see the Ball drop at midnight,” the reporter was saying on the live broadcast from the Times Square as Mr. Duncan watched the news on the TV set in his hospital room.

“Excited for the New Year, Mr. Duncan?” the young surgeon asked her patient as she entered the room for her regular rounds.

“It depends. Do you have good news for me, Dr. Evans?” Mr. Duncan asked his doctor.

“As a matter of fact I do. UNOS called us this morning, they have a new liver for you. Congratulations, Mr. Duncan, you’re going to get your liver tonight!” Dr. Evans squeezed her patient’s hands gently as Mr. Duncan cried his happy tears while processing this piece of information.

David Duncan was diagnosed with a severe case of liver cirrhosis over 2 years ago, and was admitted to St. Peter’s Memorial Hospital, New York. Over the past 2 years Mr. Duncan had faced too many near-death experiences, he had been in and out of the hospital and had been through multiple surgeries, but every time the bottom line was the same, he desperately needed a new liver. David Duncan was almost 70, but one could tell he was not done with his life quite yet. He still dreamt of finishing his bucket list and to watch the Knicks win the next basketball season for the City.

When Dr. Katherine Evans was assigned to Mr. Duncan’s case she was a senior resident at St. Peter’s. All these years of medical treatments, surgeries, and hospital visits had made Katherine to grow a close bond with Mr. Duncan. It was more personal than a doctor-patient relationship. Katherine had been with Mr. Duncan through all his past surgeries, post-op cares and those various medical tests. For Mr. Duncan, Katherine was more like the daughter he never had than his doctor.

Over the last few months, Mr. Duncan had somewhat accepted his final fate, but it was Katherine’s tenacious attitude that had given him the last ray of hope. Katherine was adamant in finding a new liver for her patient, so when UNOS called her that morning, she had felt like all the prayers and the struggles of the past 2 years were finally being answered.

“You’re scheduled for surgery tonight at 9:00. Sounds good?” Katherine asked her patient.

“Sounds perfect,” Mr. Duncan replied smiling widely.

Katherine let the nurse prepare Mr. Duncan for his pre-op care and left the room as her pager beeped, it was 911. She ran to the ER and saw series of ambulances filing outside the ER. She was stunned for a moment, working at a trauma hospital always had its perks.

“What happened?” Katherine asked the first paramedic who stepped out of the ambulance carrying a gurney.

“A New Year party gone wrong. Fire shows near an open bar, not a pretty picture,” the paramedic said breathlessly as he carried a severely burnt victim on the gurney.

“Okay, got it. Take him to Trauma 1, the nurse will page the on call plastic surgeon right away,” said Katherine urgently as a nurse followed the paramedic to the trauma room.

“28 year old, female, Emily Stevenson, with severe injuries to the stomach and the spine,” said another paramedic carrying a gurney out of the second ambulance.

“I got this,” Katherine ran towards the ER door and took the gurney from the paramedic. She took a look at the patient and told one of the ER nurses, “Page Neuro and Ortho to Trauma 2, ASAP!”

“Emily? Emily, can you hear me?” Katherine asked the patient as she pushed the gurney to Trauma 2.

“I… I was standing near the bar, and then suddenly everything was on fire….” Emily sobbed, “And… and everyone was running, but… but I couldn’t… I couldn’t run! The ceiling, it… it fell over…” Emily couldn’t even finish her sentence, she was in too much pain and completely beyond any comprehension.

“Okay, okay. Emily, I need you to calm down, I’m going to give you some morphine for your pain. You’re safe now, you’re at St. Peter’s Memorial Hospital, and we’ll do everything to save you, alright?” Katherine assured Emily as she checked the patient for a steady heart rhythm.

“The heart sounds alright,” Katherine said after a while to the nurse who was attaching the IV drip to Emily’s arms, “But still page Cardio, just to be sure,” she said finally readjusting her stethoscope.

“Someone paged Neuro?” asked a young male doctor entering the trauma room.

“Ethan, good you’re here. This is Emily Stevenson, 28, with severe spinal and abdominal injuries. I paged Ortho and Cardio as well,” Katherine said to the young male neurosurgeon Dr. Ethan Watson as she continued checking the patient’s abdomen.

“Okay, Emily, I am Dr. Ethan Watson, will you please follow my finger,” Ethan motioned his right index finger in different directions and checked Emily’s optical response. “Can you wiggle your fingers and toes for me, Emily?” Ethan asked the patient, further checking Emily’s motor responses.

“Her brain activities seem fine to me, but still it’s better to get a head CT just to be completely certain,” Ethan informed Katherine while updating Emily’s chart.

“Okay, then order a head and an abdominal CT for Emily.” Katherine told the nurse.

“Hey, you guys paged Ortho and Cardio?” asked the two female doctors entering the trauma room as Katherine and Ethan briefed them on the case.

“Okay, so page me if you need me in the OR, but right now. I’ve got to run, I have a craniotomy scheduled,” said Ethan before rushing off to his OR.

“Well, the heart sounds good,” said the Head of the cardiothoracic surgery department Dr. Sarah Andrews after checking Emily thoroughly, “But still if you need me during the surgery, page me,” she said before leaving the room to attend other patients.

“Yeah, the spine needs surgery,” Dr. Amanda Davies, Head of the orthopedic surgery department, finally said after looking at Emily’s spine and ordered some spinal scans for further study, “I’ll be there in the OR with you, Katherine.” Dr. Davies confirmed.

“Okay, so get Emily’s test results right away, and then prep her for surgery as soon as you can, book OR-3,” Katherine instructed the nurse as she continued updating Emily’s medical chart.

“But, Dr. Evans, you have a liver transplant scheduled for 9:00 pm, and it’s already 6:30,” the Head ER nurse reminded Katherine, after checking Katherine’s schedule, as two of the junior nurses took Emily for her scans.

“Shit!” Katherine exclaimed cursing her memory and her circumstances.

Katherine was a single mother, she was 32, and she had adopted a beautiful baby girl earlier that year whose biological mother was a 16 year old teenager. Katherine could still remember the day when that 16 year old girl had begged Katherine to adopt her baby, because she was in no way ready to be a mother. The girl was living in Brooklyn and her family was in no condition to raise a baby, neither financially nor emotionally. The father of the child was a raging 18 year old drug addict who had no idea that he had a daughter. Katherine knew that it was killing the girl to let go off her child, but the girl understood it very well that she couldn’t raise a baby, but Katherine could, after all Katherine Evans was a successful general surgeon living in Upper East Side, Manhattan. Katherine fell in love with the baby girl the moment she led eyes on her, those beautiful blue eyes made it impossible for Katherine to let the adoption agencies take her away, Katherine couldn’t help but feel protective about the little angel, and so, she decided to adopt the baby girl. Katherine named her Alex, short for Alexandra, after her birth mother.

It was New Year’s Eve, the whole world had been preparing for this final countdown for the past month as they welcome the New Year with renewed joy and enthusiasm, with promises and vows for all the new beginnings. It was supposed to be Alex’s first New Year’s Eve, and Katherine wanted nothing more than to go home and spend it with her 11 months old daughter and her mother who had visited Katherine for every New Year’s Eve ever since Katherine had moved to the City.

“Should I reschedule Mr. Duncan’s liver transplant for tomorrow morning then?” the Head ER nurse asked Katherine.

“No, the liver is already here, it has to be tonight. Okay, reschedule it for 12:00 in the midnight. Hopefully we’ll be able to finish up with Emily’s surgery by around 11:00 pm,” Katherine said doing a quick mental calculation.

“But, Dr. Evans, it’s New Year’s Eve,” the nurse said hesitantly.

Katherine chuckled softly, “Don’t worry, Mary, I’ll page the on call nurse. I know it’s your first New Year’s Eve with your son since he has returned from Iraq after 5 years,” Katherine said with a warm smile.

“That’s not it, Dr. Evans, I was talking about your daughter,” Mary said with a motherly smile.

“Well, I’m sure she will have loads of fun with her grandma. Her mother’s got lives to save,” Katherine said with as much enthusiasm as she could gather at that moment.

Before Mary could say anything else, Katherine’s pager buzzed. “Emily’s scans are up,” Katherine said checking the message, “Get her to OR-3, Dr. Davies and I will go look at the scans,” Katherine said to Mary as she paged the orthopedic surgeon and went off to look at Emily’s scans.

30 minutes later, at around 7:15 pm, Katherine and Dr. Amanda Davies scrubbed in for Emily’s surgery. It was almost a 3 hours long surgery, Emily had a massive renal bleed in the left kidney and a ruptured spleen, Katherine had to get rid of the spleen, but she was able to repair the kidney, and Dr. Davies was able to fix Emily’s spinal fractures, but Emily would be going through a long and painful post-op recovery period and months of physiotherapy sessions.

It was around 11.30 pm when they left OR-3 finishing up with Emily. Katherine made a quick round to Mr. Duncan’s room before his surgery to see how he was doing. She had never seen David Duncan so happy, his eyes were filled with sheer joy and immense happiness, and it felt like he had just found a new sense of hope and purpose in his life. He was about to get his new liver, he was about to live his life again rather than just surviving it.

Before being taken off to the OR, Mr. Duncan held Katherine’s hands and said in a trembling voice with a soft smile and teary eyes, “Thank you for gifting me this new life, Katherine. I promise I won’t disappoint you.”

As Katherine stood there in that empty hospital room, Mr. Duncan’s words kept on playing inside Katherine’s head. Those words reminded her of the reason she had decided to choose this profession all those years ago, she was reminded of the oath she had taken in med school, she was reminded what it meant to be a surgeon and to hold someone else’s life in your hands. She had the power and the knowledge to save people’s lives, and with that knowledge, comes the responsibility, and she hoped that one day, Alex would also be able to feel extremely proud of her mother’s work.

Katherine let out a heavy sigh and wiped off the single tear that had rolled down her cheek, and said to herself, “Get it together, Evans. You’ve got a job to do.” And with that, Dr. Katherine Evans cleared her voice, squared off her shoulders, and headed towards the OR to scrub in for her liver transplant surgery.

“It’s almost 11:59 pm on the 31st of December, 2017. The whole world has started the countdown to the New Year. Few seconds are left on the clock to welcome the New Year. Everyone all around the globe is ready to celebrate this moment with their loved ones, and here at New York Times Square the Ball is about to drop,” the reporter continued reporting live from the Times Square,

“10… 9… 8…”

At St. Peter’s Memorial Hospital, Dr. Katherine Evans entered OR-1. She smiled and said to her patient softly, “Go to sleep, Mr. Duncan, you’ll be as good as new when you wake up,” and the on call anesthesiologist put Mr. Duncan under.

“7… 6… 5…”

Katherine looked around the OR at all the assisting nurses and interns, and said, smiling warmly, “Okay, everyone, let’s get started. It’s a beautiful night to save lives.”

“4… 3… 2… 1… Happy New Year!” as the whole world cheered and celebrated, Dr. Katherine Evans looked up and stretched her right arm towards the attending nurse of her OR, and asked, “Ten blade?”

“It’s a beautiful day to save lives.” – Dr. Derek Shepherd, Grey’s Anatomy.

Origin, Atheism, And, Religion!

“Where do we come from? Where are we going?”

These are the two fundamental questions of the human race.

The origin of life and its fate is a topic of curiosity for both atheists and religious pundits alike. While the atheists put forward the scientific theories of the ‘primordial soup’ and ‘Darwinian evolution’, believers mostly go along the lines of ‘Adam and Eve’, Lord Brahma, etc. etc. You must be wandering why am I ranting about these already known facts, to answer your question I would just say one name Dan Brown.

I’ve always been an overly outspoken atheist, I could never stand those religious zealots, the self-appointed ‘messengers of God’, and those foolish human souls who believe and take shelter under the blessings of the so called ‘Almighty’. I have never understood why people say religion gives them hope, and in certain cases, even a reason to live! I’ve always believed that knowledge acts as the beacon of hope for the mankind, knowing the unknown, and that only by touching and seeing it can we truly believe in it.

I recently finished reading the novel ‘Origin by Dan Brown which essentially dealt with the two questions, “Where do we come from? Where are we going?”

He answered the question of origin of life on this planet by explaining Miller & Urey’s classic ‘Primordial Soup Experiment’, and thus referred that the process of origin of life might as well have been an abiogenesis process following the laws of physics, rather than the laws of biology. I, being a bioscience student, have always found it extremely unsettling and contradictory considering the fact that the entire living community on this planet is thriving based on some mode of reproduction or other, be it vegetative, asexual, or sexual, so naturally, the concept of abioginesis in relation to the origin of life have always been a bit of a shocker to me. But, Mr. Brown beautifully explained the concept of ‘order & chaos’, how the universe creates small packets of orders in order to create a larger wave of disorders, in other words, how large build up of energy eventually leads to the scattering of energy. Change in entropy, as we all know it, is one of the building blocks of this universe, and may as well be one the building blocks of the origin of life within the primordial soup. Thus, Mr. Brown further inferred that life might have well been created on this planet all those billions years ago just as a form to dissipate energy, which eventually led to Darwinian evolution because, as I understand, life always finds a way to continue its flow.

You see, the problem with this sort of explanation is that it throws away all the religious concepts of ‘ Genesis’, it throws away the entire religious community of the world right under the bus, because the theory of the origin of human civilization is the foundation of any religion on this planet. Teaching their followers about the Divine mystical power that orchestrated the entire process of Genesis is essentially the bread and butter of all the religious fraternities across the globe. History is the proof of how science has questioned religion in every step of human evolution, and we know how religion retaliated to that questioning over the past centuries, Socrates, Copernicus, Galileo, the examples are plenty.

Human mind is one of the most precious gifts of nature, its inquisitiveness, its creativity, its compassion have made it possible for the human beings to defend their position at the top of the food chain for the past many millennia. We’ve either successfully learnt to adapt with the change, or sometimes, we’ve become the change ourselves. Our thirst to know the unknown has led us to the most astounding discoveries of mankind, whereas, our fear of the unknown led us to believe in the existence of the Divine. I understand that universe do act in mysterious ways, in ways that are far beyond the reach of science at times, but is that really due to power of God? What is a mystery? A mystery is something that hasn’t been defined by science yet. Science is a progressive concept, which evolves with mankind, it is subjected to change, and a phenomenon which seems like a mystery today, might as well become a perfectly explained scientific incident in the future. There was a time when people used to think that the earth is as flat as a board and once you cross the horizon, you’d fall off the edge of the planet. But, the story is not quite the same now, is it?

Well, people may ask, if everything in this universe is controlled by the laws of science, then who controls the laws?

I’d like to answer that question like Mr. Brown did, ‘Nature’!

When none of us were here, Nature was. Nature is not the Garden of Eden, nor a work of Divine miracle, it was nurtured carefully and meticulously by the elements of this Universe, sun, wind, water, lightning. Everything started with Nature and everything is controlled by Nature, even the laws of science. This Universe is not a cold, lifeless entity, it has its own soul that has nothing to do with Lord Brahma or Jesus or Prophet Muhammad. The Universe just exists, with or without ‘God’.

Life originated in the very lap of Nature and humanity was a gift that Nature gave the Universe all those years ago, humans have survived through the process of natural selection, we’ve perfected ourselves over the past centuries, we became Homo sapiens from Neanderthals. We became humane. Losing our humanity in the hands of some religious deities, or even in the hands of technology, is not only an insult to the entire mankind, but also an insult to the Universe itself.

God didn’t create Adam and Eve, nor did Lord Brahma create human beings from his body parts, it was the forces of Nature that created life, and it was our struggle for existence that has made us the most advanced species on this planet.

So, if you want to believe in something, believe in yourself, believe in mankind and humanity, but above all, believe in Nature.

“Nothing is invented, for it is written in nature first. Originality consists of returning to the origin.” – Antoni Gaudí.

365 days….

365 days… that’s how long our earth takes to complete one revolution around the sun. 365 days… that’s how long it takes to complete one whole year. 365 days… that’s how long it takes for a person to turn his life around. People usually think it’s just one year, what big can happen in a year!? I say, a lot! If you start to think about how your life was one year back compared to how your life is now, you’ll know what a year can do to your life.

A year ago, I lost the love of my life, at least I thought he was the love of my life. To say that I was messed up would be an understatement. I couldn’t eat, couldn’t sleep, instead of living my life, I was just surviving it. I became a stranger to myself. I have never really been a people’s person, but a year ago, I became someone whom I myself couldn’t recognize. I loved him with everything I had in me, I gave him my everything, sounds cliché, but yeah, he left me. I lost my virginity with him, not something I’m proud of, but we all do crazy things when we are in love, right!? So, I was literally left with nothing and that broke me. One year ago, I lost something which I can never get back.

Last year, I also graduated from my college and had no idea what to do next or where to apply for my master’s degree. I had a fall out with my parents, but like most other middle class Indian kid, I had to choose my parents’ wishes over my own dreams. I wasn’t strong enough to come out of my comfortable science background and choose my dream career in journalism, I couldn’t gather up the courage to say no to master’s degree and say yes to journalism. And if you are from India, I think you have a pretty good idea which side my parents chose when it came to journalism versus M.Sc. I was devastated, home became a prison, but somehow, I prepared myself for the 2 years of torture and applied for M.Sc.

So with a shattered heart and a shattered dream I stepped into my new life as a M.Sc. post-graduate student. And boy oh boy, who knew I’ll come across the most crazy ass bunch of people on this planet! They made me happy. They made me forget about my shattered heart and my shattered dream. I’ve had the craziest, funniest times with these people. They’ve barely known me for past one year, but they made me get over something I thought I never could. If I was miserable, they were even more miserable than me. I meet them every day in my classes, and they make my post-graduation life easier every day.

One year ago, I lost myself, I lost my life. 365 days… that’s how long it took me to glue up my broken pieces back together again. 365 days… that’s how long it took me to realize that you can love more than one person in this life. 365 days… that’s how long it took me to understand that your dreams are your own, and you don’t need anyone’s permission to pursue them. 365 days… that’s how long it took me to accept the fact that sometimes, just sometimes, leaning upon someone for support doesn’t make you weak.

I have learnt a lot about myself and about people in the past one year.

What have you done with your life lately?

“Like keep grindin’ boy, your life can change in one year. And even when it’s dark out, the sun is shining somewhere.” – Unknown.

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Sin?

Sin, an immoral act considered to be a transgression against divine law. That is how our elders have defined sin. And as we all know, according to Christianity, there are 7 deadly sins, Pride, Envy, Wrath, Gluttony, Lust, Sloth and Greed. If you’re thinking that I’m gonna bore you by talking about the 7 sins then let me assure you that’s not what I’m intending to do, no! But, I’m gonna talk about something very closely related to lust and that has intrigued all of us since our early high school days. Sex!

See, now that I have your 100% attention, what were the first things that came to your mind when you read that three letter word? “Ooh! That’s hot” or “Yeah! Bring it on baby!” I’m sure most of you took a beat right there and my young readers surely thought, “oh boy! I hope my parents don’t catch me reading this!” My question to you is, why? What if I had written any other three letter word, there are tons in English vocabulary, would you have taken a beat? No, you wouldn’t! Why is sex a taboo, a sin when the so called ‘Divine Lord’ himself made us sexual beings? And that is exactly what I’m gonna discuss about, “Why a sin?”

Sexual Battle, Sexual Sins and Purgatory in Dante’s ‘Divine Comedy’.

Whenever we talk about sex, one word pops up very frequently, ‘virginity’. What is virginity? According to well known English dictionaries, virginity means purity or the act of being pure. In terms of sexual intercourse, anyone who haven’t performed the act or haven’t done the ‘deed’ is considered as a virgin or in other words ‘pure’. So basically, to make it crystal clear, sex is an act of impurity or something that pollutes us and makes us impure, and still Home sapiens sapiens falls under Class: Mammalia whose only method of propagation is through sexual reproduction. The irony is hysterical to be honest!

Now, let’s take a quick Christianity 101 class shall we? I’m no expert in that field but one thing that has always disturbed me is that how is Mary a virgin and yet the mother of Jesus? So, either Jesus was adopted by Joseph and Mary or the whole concept of Mary being a virgin is a blatant lie fed to the people by the self proclaimed ‘messengers of God’! I do not question anyone’s faith or believes, no, I don’t have that kind of right, be a believer, have faith in the Almighty, but there’s a difference between being a believer and being a downright blind fearful moron! Mother Mary, as we all know, defines purity and hence is also known as Virgin Mary, which brings me back to my initial question, why? Why is a word like virgin associated with sex? Why does sex have to be tainted and sinful?

A few days ago, in an article published by BBC News, they wrote about the stories depicted by the sculptures on the walls of the temples of Khajuraho in Madhya Pradesh and Konarok Sun Temple in Orissa and how sex was considered as a holy act by the kings and priests of the 4th Century BCE. Fortunately, I have been to both Khajuraho and Konarok, I’ve seen how tourists as well as the local people get mesmerised when they observe those sculptures, how they hear with their utmost concentration when the tour guide explains them the stories about the sculptures, and at that moment not a single brow is raised, not a single giggling is heard! Although, these are the very same people who would cringe even at the thought of discussing sex with their family!

Temples of Khajuraho

This proves that how the Indian societies back in 4th Century BCE were much more tolerant and flexible when it came down to sex. Sex was even a part of their education curriculum back in 2nd Century and 4th Century BCE.

There’s a thing about human instinct, the more we’re restricted from knowing or doing something, the more we get attracted to that very thing. And to be honest, sex is ‘The’ restriction which we’ve faced since our adolescence. The funny part is, although sex is considered as a taboo and as a restriction, the porn sites and the Playboy magazines are quiet easily available to all! It’s like you’re egging a snake on to attack but yet caging it down. Have you ever thought what will happen if you let that agitated snake lose? In the most simple terms, it would cause a mayhem! Isn’t that exactly what our society is facing at the present moment, a proper epic mayhem? Why have sexual assaults become such a common crime? Why are rape victims increasing at a tremendous rate? We restrict ourselves from discussing, even talking about sex, but let’s be honest, how many of you have typed Sunny Leone or Mia Khalifa’s names in your Google search history? We’re literally egging the snake on but refusing to set it free! We’re considering sex as a sin but, my oh my, aren’t X Videos hot!

Take a beat and do think about why is sex a sin? How can a natural process be a sin? Is respiration a sin? No. Or photosynthesis? No. If sex can be a sin then peeing should be considered a sin as well! What have we achieved by treating sex as a sin? What have we achieved by treating sex with so much secrecy, as if its an information which, if discussed openly, can jeopardise our National Security? Oh yeah, I’ll tell you what we have achieved, hundreds of rape cases and sexual abuses!

Sex is never sinful, we are! Know the difference between lust and sex my friends!

This is me, Ahona Sarkar, signing off!

” The only sexual act that is sinful is the one that uses or abuses.” – Pat Buckley.

Author’s note: I know I was supposed to continue with my Harry Potter blogs, but this is something that has been stuck in my head for a long time now! Don’t worry my Potterheads, I’ll be definitely back with my Potter blogs! But for now, bear with me please! I love you all! 😘

Girl In A Facade

I am the girl in a facade,

Two souls trapped in one body.

I am a maiden,

I am a prostitute.

I am the light,

I am the darkness.

I am the altar,

I am the abyss.

I am Mary, 

I am Aphrodite.

I am sacred,

I am sinful.

I am nothing out of the ordinary,

Yet everything that the world forbids.

I am nothing compared to you

And yet everything you can only aspire to be.

I am the purity that is unholy, 

The virgin who is tainted.

I am the celibate, 

I am the slut,

I am the girl in a facade. 

– Ahona.

Love

“Don’t pity the dead Harry, pity the living. And above all, those who live without love.”

Love (n)  1. a strong feeling of affection. 2. a great interest and pleasure in something.

Love (v) 1. to feel deep affection.

These are the standard definitions for this four letter word. The four letter word that creates life, destroys life, it even wages war man! So, what is love? Well, I am not entirely sure either, but it’s definitely not just these definitions I took from Wikipedia.

Humans are weird creatures, they can die for love, they can kill for love, they can do anything in the name of love. Countless battles have been fought since the beginning of time for the sake of love, love for your soul mate, love for your country, for your ethnicity, for your identity, love for money, for power, for dominance and national chauvinism. Love isn’t just a four letter word with a little red heart shaped emoticon, hell that’s not even how the real heart looks! Love isn’t all ‘hearts and flowers and rainbows and unicorns’, it’s not about Cinderella finding her Prince Charles or about Sleeping Beauty waiting to be awoken from her eternal slumber by that magical kiss from her one true love, no, for me love is the greatest never ending paradox of the Universe. It’s cold yet warm, it’s dark yet peaceful, it’s ruthless yet caring, it’s cruel yet kind, it’s selfish yet selfless , it kills yet nurtures, it destroys yet protects. How can a single emotion hold so much meaning, so many ironies? 

A single four letter word that can keep the entire world from falling apart, that makes us human. A four letter word that gives a mother the hope that her son will return home safely from the battlefields. A four letter word that makes a 16 year old giggle when she receives a text from her crush. A four letter word that makes a 24 year old throw a party after receiving his first paycheck. A four letter word that brings tears to a 26 year old when her man shows her the engagement ring. A four letter word that makes a 35 year old’s hands tremble while holding his baby for the first time in his arms.

So, what is love again? I don’t know.

What do I understand by the word ‘love’? Definitely not a heart shaped emoticon.

Have I been in love? I’m not sure.

Does it always have a happy ending? Depends on what’s your definition of ‘happy’.

What does love mean to me? Everything and yet nothing.

Paradox, isn’t it?

“Love is a strange master, and human nature is still stranger” – Edgar Rice Burroughs.

December 

[All the characters and incidents in this piece is purely fictional. Any kind of resemblance to the living or dead is purely coincidental.]

“Another nightmare son?” his mother asked with worry in her eyes.

He chuckled, “What else!”

It has been exactly 3 years 9 months 26 days, he still wakes up screaming in the middle of the night covered in cold sweat. It’s been 3 years 9 months 26 days of nightmares and insomnia, 3 years 9 months 26 days since that December night. They say time heals all wounds, but everytime he hears this, he asks “How much fucking longer are you gonna make me wait!”

He is tired, exhausted, frustrated with guilt and self loathing. That night haunts him, makes him hate himself more and more with every passing moment. People have tried to console him, her parents never blamed him for anything, they said, “It was not your fault son, there’s nothing you could have done.” But his conscience eats him up from inside, each night he asks himself,              “Why did we board that bus?” “Why didn’t I stop her from boarding that bus?” “Why wasn’t I strong enough?” “If I would have been stronger would she still be here? ”                                                   Every night he is consumed by this darkness, this guilt, this hatred.

Those days of tireless trials, their faces make his blood boil. To everyone justice was served but to him that ‘justice’ held no meaning. Their deaths, their punishments made no difference to him. Yes, it gave him some momentary satisfaction to see them suffer, but that could never bring her back, she was gone forever.

The city that once was his home, once was his escape and safe heaven, now suffocates him, kills him slowly bit by bit every day. He can’t share these things with anyone because he knows no one will understand and he doesn’t want anyone’s pity. His life has become a complete utter mess of a million questions and ‘what ifs’.

People have forgotten her, have forgotten that night and that’s makes him extremely jealous because he wishes to do the same, he too wishes to forget every fucking thing about that December night,  but he knows he can’t. His life, his time, his everything is still stuck in that December night, the night they didn’t only destroy her but him as well. To him December is dark, harsh, cold, lifeless. When the entire  world dresses itself for all the festivities and welcomes another new year with open arms, December frightens him, makes him angry, breaks him again and again and again for 3 years 9 months 26 days now.

“It was a long                                                      cold night,

A winter that                                                       would never end,

A depression                                                       that echoes                                                           forever………”

– A. Bentley

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