I Sense A Presence X


Sally’s gaze was fixed on the diary but feet petrified. She stood at the window all night long as a motionless statue but her mind was raging. There were tornadoes, volcanoes, whirlpools swirling, erupting and devastating her from within. She wanted to cry, shout, scream but it seemed as if something caged her at this moment. Panic attacks aren’t new to Sally, her emotionally vulnerable nature have always put her on the receiving end.

Hours passed and it was dawn. Henry woke up around 6 AM and was terrified for a moment to see a motionless and emotionless Sally standing at the window staring at him without battling an eyelid. It seemed as if she is possessed.

“Are you Ok honey?” Henry quizzed as he got from the bed to get a hold of Sally. But before he could touch her she collapsed. Her body couldn’t take more.

“Sally!!” Screamed Henry catching her. He lifted her to the bed, placed her body comfortably. Meanwhile Tracy entered their room as she heard Henry screaming.

“I heard you screaming, what happened? What happened to Sally?” Tracy asked as she looked at unconscious Sally.

“I don’t know, when I woke up I found her standing at the window, looking pale and ghostly. When I tried to reach her she collapsed” explained Henry.

Tracy without furthering the discussion or showing any concern asked Henry if he would be going to office today or shall she start without him.

Henry gave a stern look to Tracy but cordially replied “gonna take a leave today, can’t leave Sally in this condition. And to think otherwise is a stupidity to say the least”.

To that reply Tracy walks up to Sally, settles beside her and gently carassess her hair and says “yeah, she will need a lot of that care now (emphasising on the last two words). Ok I shall take your leave now” and she left the room and Henry returned to Sally. As he was attending Sally, Tracy turned her head once more to get a glimpse of them over her shoulder. She had a smirk on her face.

Around 2 PM Sally woke up, struggled to get up straight as her head was in immense pain and felt dizzy. Henry at once dashed to her to help her. But even in such misery she was cold to the concern that Henry showed. He noticed that at once.

“Look I explained myself yesterday itself that how Tracy ended up at dinner with my client. To accept it or scrutinize my words is your call. I can handle your unwelcoming, cold, suspicious behavior towards me. That’s not my concern, people do change. This is surely not you, I mean not the one I know or have known. My worry is what or who is changing you” and he left Sally to ponder over his words as he got busy arranging lunch for her.

Resting her head on the pillow she turned to her left with Henry’s words now echoing in her head. She thought “he is not completely wrong. Women around Henry isn’t a new sight to me but I have never found it awkward or untoward or say never looked at it in that perspective where I could doubt his loyalty towards me. He gave his explanation, then why I am not able to process it. Am I really getting influenced, is there anything that is taking a toll on my common sense and understanding of circumstances”. She was immersed in her thoughts while looking at the diary as Henry entered the bedroom with lunch. She was so lost in her thoughts that “adventures and miseries” of Anne Turner couldn’t magnetize Sally to pick and turn to read the next turn of events in her life.

Sally and Henry had lunch in utter silence. As Henry got up to take back the lunch set up to the kitchen a sorry escaped Sally’s lips. That was nothing more than a whisper but did reach Henry’s notice. He simply smiled and nodes and turned towards the door to leave.

But before leaving he once again paused at the threshold “by the way honey I forgot to tell you a guy called Josh called when you were asleep”.

This made Sally a bit uncomfortable as she never disclosed about Josh to Henry, though she has been in touch with him for quite a some time now. “Oh Josh! Wh..what he was saying? She enquired in an inquisitive yet shaky tone.

“He asked you to call once you are awake, nothing in particular. Call him” Henry gestured to give a call and left. He left Sally in a guilt ride by not asking Who, Where, What…….

I Sense A Presence XVIII


An unintended chuckle escaped Josh’s mouth the moment he heard the grandma saying “it is cursed”. His reaction was met with a cold shoulder and a stoic pose that had an immediate dominos effect on Josh silencing him too.

After few seconds of silence she resumed talking “well I see this generation tosses up everything in air that is out of their comprehension. There are many things in this cosmos that might not fit into your tiny realm of LOGIC but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist”. Her words did restrain Josh from being eloquent about his thoughts via his expressions. He has resolved now to let only his ears do the working. And the grandma continued.

“A house isn’t just a structure of mortar and bricks but a mirror capturing the vibes of emotions parading amidst the walls. And this house is a glass cage, beautiful from outside but stinks from the staunch of a tormented soul trapped inside” and before she could continue she was interrupted by the blaring sound of a phone ringer that happened to be Josh’s. Apparently it slipped out of his mind to silence it while entering into the house and most importantly the conversation.

Silencing the phone hurriedly and slipping it into his pockets he apologised for such an unintentional unruly behaviour of his and asked “who used to live here? You were acquainted with the families who dwelled there? What nursed the commotion that this house is “cursed”? What has actually transpired beyond those walls? I am a kind of intrigued “. This was in a way Josh’s attempt to make the grandma talk succinctly without the buildup like that of a youtine channel credits that thrive on click baits. And seemingly he was successful in his effort.

“As a child I remember lovely couple of Turners once gracing that beautiful house. One of the most beautiful house in the quarter also hosted some of the most opulent parties in the neighborhood. My grandparents had the opportunity to be on the guest list of few of those parties. It was all hunky dory. But things turned upside down quickly in a matter of couple of years. Gatherings slowly dwindled away and the usually chirpy atmosphere around and in the house was devoured by queer silence. The lady of the house as heard by the people fell ill and chose to remain in solitude. My grandmother tried to peep in their troubled paradise with a a genuine intention of pitching in with help but all went futile. And after few days even the little news from the house died as if it was engulfed by big black cloud of oblivion. And Ann died, reasons best known to the family. And after that misfortune seemed to be a permanent guest wishing every occupant thereafter. The Mark’s, The Schindler’s, The Scott’s everyone had a trail, from unpleasant to scary events driving them out. Last it was the young girl Georgia whose horrifying screams were heard across the neighbourhood. Once a healthy child was reduced to a bag of bones when the family left the place. It has been almost a decade I guess when Georgia and her family left this place” Grandma paused, so did the history in her eyes.

Josh scoffed and reinitiated the conversation ” any idea where all the families are by any chance? And couldn’t I be a mere coincidence of misfortunes and mishaps? Not everything that doesn’t meet the human eye is supernatural, I am sure there will be some explanation behind these stories. Fear is as bad as any other addiction and needs a rehabilitation of truth” Josh made a quite a statement there.

And as he awaited Grandma’s reaction his phone vibrated, it was a call from Sally. Josh excused himself to attend the call. “Come home as soon as possible” requested Sally in rather shaky and petrified tone.

Josh was in a rush in the next moment. Just as he reached the door he was stopped by grandma ” too many coincidences in or around something spells phenomena, my experience says so. Hope you prove me wrong dear” and handed him a letter addressed to her by Georgia’s mother. “Hope it might help you” said the grandma.

With just one glance at the tattered letter and a smile on his face Josh left the place slipping the letter in his pocket.

To be continued….

I Sense A Presence XVII


Josh left the cafe with his head full – full of disbelief about how his friend got entangled in utter nonsense; with a tug of war engaging within whether to step back or go ahead he reached his office. As he was exchanging pleasantries with his colleagues, one of his friend casually showed an online video about “haunted/cursed buildings” of the history. Many stories woven around those buildings led to their abandonment and not to mention how they featured on the bucket list of many adventure seekers. But what happened to those adventure lovers not revealed. How once a piece of beautiful architecture is now secluded and scary, the roots to be searched in the numerous folk tales, rumours aired, the history and few pair of eyes that witnessed silently a belief being built. “Do you believe in these stories?”one colleague from the group asked the man who was showing the video. ” We are seekers, all we need is a proof and witness. Don’t try to cross check my beliefs, the reason why I showed you this video is that it is better than those tiktok videos” and a loud laugh ensued.

That’s what stuck Josh instantly – witnesses!! How about mining it there he thought to himself as the huddle dispersed. Just as he was settling in his chair to began his day at work his phone chimed. It was Sally who texted him the real estate agency details.

Josh was on a personal mission now that meant he have to trend rather carefully. He himself was not convinced about why he agreed to embark on this journey into the past. Though he got the details of the real estate agency that facilitated this deal but Josh wasn’t sure if this approach is going to dig out the truth. He was skeptical, being a police doesn’t mean deriving information would be easy and considering the reason behind his investigation being quite bizarre . So he decided to trend a different path for his investigation.

“Agencies, department, files – they are all about dimensions, commissions, census, houses but I need to peep into a home. I need to search for a lens that witnessed the time very closely. I need that good old neighbour who is a witness to different transitions that transpired behind those walls” Josh thought.

With the help of his friend working in local municipality office he got details of the old neighbors around the house where Sally resided. One particular lady Mrs.Philipe was around 90 years old and had been a resident in that area since her childhood. Josh was taking his chances as he was toying with a vague idea of inquiring the neighbor under the disguise of a potential buyer for the Sally’s house.

As he ascended the stairs leading to the doorstep of Mrs.Philipe his brain was at the verge of an explosion. Ironically and more or less funnily tales that he heard in his childhood from his grandmother were doing rounds, tales about supernatural phenomenas, ghosts, out of this world creatures and everything entailing were told in abundance along with stories of kings, knights, fairies and everything in between. He chuckled and waved his head in disbelief both at the stories and why he was doing this after all.

He rang the bell and waited at the door. He was sure that getting into a strangers house won’t be easy but luck smiled upon him as the door was opened in an unfathomable manner by his long lost friend from high school Ken.

Josh didn’t recognize him first but it was the other way round. “My Gracious God I never thought of seeing you again Josh, how are you?” Ken was all grin. It took few moments to recollect and recognize and he did exchanged pleasantries.

“Tell me what brought you here and before that tell how are you, where are you, what are you doing?” Ken was clearly excited of this unusual meeting. Josh was also happy of this reunion but the business in his mind kept h busy with permutations and combinations.

Josh rushed through the answers to the questions he was asked and finally reached to the actual purpose of his visit. “Actually my broker was supposed to show the house on the opposite lane, I waited for long but he didn’t turn up. Any idea how this locality is, how that house is …” Josh mumbled a bit.

“Is the house listed, didn’t see in the local papers” Ken exclaimed (Josh was a bit nervous now searching for an answer to his friend’s very valid question). ” Well, it’s not listed yet an informal intimation you see”Josh chuckled nervously. “Oh I see. Anyways I don’t live here as much as I love to be but I am sure my grandmother might give you some insights about the area and houses in her 4-5 km radius. She spent her entire life here and yes a very good neighbor who knows her neighbors and neighborhood well (Ken winked)” and he left to bring his grandmother.

Josh sat in the hall as his eyes took a tour of the same. The walls were adorned with numerous photographs that aged with the walls. His wait was over with the entry of Ken’s grandmother. For a 90+ woman she was quite agile. Standing on her feet, walked with almost no support. She definitely aged well. A brief introduction and Ken announced the purpose of his friend’s visit.

As soom as she heard the address the first thing that escaped her mouth was “that’s cursed!”……

Heard Of This Pyramid?


Originally posted on Candles Online

Two days back at the time of dropping my daughter at school I had a brief conversation with her. She demanded extra biscuits and Yakult in her bag. When I asked the reason she said that her friends take all the snacks she takes to the school. She gets to eat from little to none. I told her though sharing is caring but she also must have her lunch. To this, she naively replied “Mom I know that but my friend Shalbi cries a lot and quite loud too. If I don’t give her Yakult she will continue crying and the teacher will punish her and I don’t want anyone to get punished, that’s why I make her drink my portion and anyways I have water with me”. On the same night as I was preparing my kids for sleep, I cuddled a bit with my son and went to my daughter. She asked if I was “Siddharth’s (my son) love of life”. To this I said yes and not only his but hers’s and their father’s too. She asked me “and what about yours, aren’t you love of your life? Everyone is the love of their own life”. I was amazed and amused at the fact how she is stating the more or less Crux of human life at such a tender age. What might have actually got into her thoughts and does she actually understand the deep meaning hidden in her innocent talks. She inspired me to think hard and given a perspective to work with. Yet I am confused shall I ask her to part away with her snacks or guard them? 😁

Though the above situations and the statements seem to be convoluted and opposing each other per se – self-love and sacrifice are parallels and don’t coincide. But that’s simply because our prism of looking and understanding things is quite micro where our definition of self-love is somehow confined to the concepts of comfort, luxury and hollow happiness. But isn’t the ultimate motive of self-love is attaining happiness and peace of mind? Unfortunately, we forgot about the ultimate while chasing the illusions.

Let’s dive a bit deeper: Human by nature have three inbuilt characteristic traits (Guna) and in the due course of life depending upon evolution, choices made, assimilation of knowledge – spiritually and otherwise these three traits can be arranged like a pyramid ascending which leads to the ultimate destination – self-awareness uniting the soul with the supreme power. Those three traits are –

  • Tamo Guna – Tamas means darkness. This trait in a human being is marked by laziness, lethargy and inactivity. If a person is inactive by the virtue of being a lazy person or by the fear of the result of activity there’s no way he can escape the darkness surrounding him and within him. It’s like sitting in a dark room and too afraid to move a finger lest it would get hurt in the darkness yet waiting for someone to switch on the light. Isn’t it foolishness? It can also be the different vices a man lets breed in him blinding him of his purpose in life both materialistic and spiritual. This is the lowest pedestal – thoughtlessness.
  • Rajo Guna – This represents the active nature of a man as in where he Acts. We are in a race, to secure a good life for our loved ones, for ourselves, to ensure the safety of family, to prosper, to succeed (definition varies for everyone), precisely we want nothing less than the world to ourselves. It isn’t bad because this drive is keeping the nations going. What else is an economy then if not billions of zealous people working to fulfil their dreams. This is a higher pedestal than the above-mentioned trait. This delivers results for there’s an action. But the problem isn’t with the action but the emotion driving it. When our actions are a result of insatiable hunger for power, money, fame, love (emotional bondage) often fueled by our egos, false pride, greed etc. our mind is a restless churning wheel of thoughts. Most of us are standing at this juncture reeking of agony, dissatisfaction, pain, chasing something unknown eluding us constantly– Full of Thoughts
  • Satva Guna – This is the zenith of the pyramid of human nature. Satva means good and pure. As the name itself suggests a person having this trait is in a frame of mind where the realisation actually dawns upon – our concoction has been done in his light – righteous, happy and peaceful. That’s the ultimate destination to be reached on this earth. It is earmarked by virtues like being able to part without clinging on to it, be one’s own company yet maintain the serenity of mind, unaffected by the praise or abuse (not getting carried away, levelheadedness), keeping the mind free of clusters of unnecessary thoughts – both good and bad (a state of neutrality and thankfulness), neither vying for recognition nor complaining about the lack of it. Reaching that pinnacle is the true meaning of Self Love (the state of nirguna the exact replica of the supreme power), a peaceful happy being, isn’t it? This is being thoughtful. When I said no thoughts, it doesn’t equate to the first stage of thoughtlessness. It means acting with an awakened consciousness and not thinking about the result later.

When a human is born these three traits are interwoven. As his journey begins the traits acquire the shape of a pyramid. Whether one reaches the pinnacle or not depends on the realisation and discourse one takes to attain the thoughtfulness yet debunking the clutter of unnecessary thoughts. Where do you stand – give it a thought!!

Miles And More


Originally posted on Candles Online

Surrounded by melancholy as I sat under the rock of my insecurities I was stuck hard by the lightening of chaos. And I was forced…

As I was forced to leave behind my shattered self and trend a new direction my hands held together the broken pieces of a painful heart and haunting memories.

As I commenced my stroll with moist eyes and parched lips, with every mile I left behind the pain in my heart turned into bodily exhaustion yet prevailed a sense of solace.

As I continued my stride forward the strings of expectations entangled with my flimsy fingers broke apart getting my shoulders ready for new hopes and responsibilities.

As I picked up pace the heat that earlier filtered through my skin burning my very soul now seemed to have transformed into rays envisaging a path of possibilities.

As I fought my way through barriers I faltered and devoured by the depths unknown, an attempt to put a halt to the fall lifted my gaze opening up for me the skies.

As I crossed miles and more the soaring distances that rested behind me relieved me of my ambiguity, as my body could no longer feel the prick of thrones nurtured around me I am in a state of tranquility.

As I walked and walked and walked looking at a new horizon in offing I paused to pay homage to my journey so far and wondering what could have led to this agility which wasn’t me.

A realisation dawned upon me, I ran out of choices. Fear of losing has already battered me to death that my existence has already been charred to ashes. Had I not walked away I would have been trampled upon in the name of normalcy & formalities.

Its my fear that instigated to retaliate with resilience, make a move, cover miles and more for I am Phoenix and not Icarus.

I Sense A Presence XVI


Sally was at this moment of time lost yet continued “Josh, I know you would find it insane and call me one but I Sense A Presence in my home. Something seems unworldly, observing me, following me. Some days I get up gasping for breath and sometimes I am covered with bruises all over and some days… I really don’t know how to explain this. There’s a diary that I found in my basement and as I took a plunge into it, I found myself drowning into the world of Mrs.Anne Turner. Every incident she mentioned there found place in my life. And she too had another woman in her life and I have Tracy, though I am not sure yet who is she. It seems like a prophecy. This coincidence, if it is by any chance is blowing my mind. Are you getting what I am trying to say” Sally fixed her pleading gaze at Josh.

But her words put Josh in a fix. Had it been some other he would have easily laughed off them but knowing Sally and her vulnerable state of mind he decided to trend rather carefully. “Look Sally what you are saying might be just your illusion considering the traumatic incident you just had been through. Have you discussed this with Henry?” Josh put the ball in Sally’s court and awaited her response.

Sally sighed heavily “Josh I can’t bring it to Henry’s notice. He already had enough of my madness. He might not show his disbelief and dismay just to comfort me. I don’t want that. I don’t want this crazy mystery to suck Henry in. That leaves only one person to whom I can confide in, it’s you! But if you think my fears doesn’t require any attention then I have to set off my journey alone” and she started getting up to leave.

“Hey Sally listen, I am with you, trust me” Josh placed his hand over Sally’s and gestured her to sit for a while and continued. “But what’s with the time, I really didn’t get you. What exactly you want me to do?

Sally was now assured of being heard and gave an insight of what she had in her mind “Henry isn’t in town for three days, that’s the time I have to unearth this puzzle I am entangled in. I want you to get every possible detail of this house, it’s past that you have to gaze at. Who lived there, what happened there, I want to know everything. I know I am sounding insane but my heart says I might find answers for my present in the past of this house. Unworldly or otherwise my world is definitely hinged to it”.

Josh was quite unconvinced, he was more eloquent now to persuade Sally out of her illusions without apparently dismissing her. “Dear I think your first priority should be to know more about Tracy who most probably a criminal off radar. I am surprised you are not perturbed by the mere thought of it. Let’s focus on Tracy first, I am sure her presence in your house will explain many things. First we have to be sure about her real identity” Josh made an attempt to divert Sally’s attention for he was a practical police officer.

Sally was unmoved as if she heard nothing. Josh know what does that mean. “Which agency helped you with this house deal? But how long will this take I can’t promise and definitely Tracy not off my books” Josh made his stance clear.

To be continued….

I Sense A Presence XV


After Sally called Josh in a hurried manner and hung up on him he kept calling her but she wouldn’t respond. She was taking time to get back to her senses from a horrific nightmare she just witnessed.

After a string of calls Josh left a message “what happened”. Sally consolidated herself and simply reverted “10:30 AM at any cost. Don’t ask anything now” and hit the sack switching off her phone. After a brief struggle and with the help of mild tranquilizers Sally did doze off.

She got up around 7 in the morning, checked for Henry on her bedside as she didn’t speak to him about the chaos and horrific vision she experienced yesterday. And before she could say anything Henry who arrived from the bathroom after a shower, came to Sally and as usual planted a kiss on her forehead “good morning love” he whispered. He seemed to be in a hurry.

Sally’s gaze followed him in the room as he was getting ready much earlier than his usual routine. “What’s the matter? Any emergency? Where are you going? You seem to be hustled?” Sally asked.

Henry : Honey, I have a sudden client meeting to attend and will be out of the town for three days . There might be an extension too depending upon the circumstances . Wanted to tell you yesterday but you were sleeping. Didn’t want to disturb you. See you soon honey.

And Henry left hurriedly even before Sally could say something.

Sally was silent yet her silence was contemplating something. There was a lot of chatter in her head as she laid back once again on her bed. Fog of memories, unusual occurrences that happened off late began to seize her mind. Faces were flashing in and fading out. Probably the tranquilizer effect. But suddenly two frames collided in her mind – Anne Turner’s mystery from the tottered pages and Tracy flashing her conspicuous smile. That effect was enough to get Sally back to her senses. She checked her phone to see what time it was.

9:15 it was already. Sally sprinted like a deer to get ready as she was supposed to meet Josh. In no time she was in her car and drove towards Charlie’s cafe and restaurant, a resto-cafe they decided to meet at. Meeting at police station could make things awkward so they decided otherwise.

Josh arrived 10 minutes past 10:30. Tucking hi shades into his shirt’s pocket he waved at Sally entering the place.

“Have you placed an order or no?” Josh asked Sally looking at the Menu at the table.

“Yeah our regular from college days” Sally answered Josh and quickly moved to Tracy’s matter.

“How on earth did you identity that Tracy isn’t Tracy in such a short span of time? What’s the issue after all?” Sally in her usual inquisitive tone questioned Josh.

Picking up coffee that the waiter just served, sipping it Josh asked ” Dear there’s a reason why I am in police force. Have you ever noticed the peculiar birth mark in her left eye and on left temple? And besides the face quite closely resembles to Lizzy that I mentioned to you”.

“Birth mark?” Sally rephrased quite puzzled. “When did you notice, except for eyes I never noticed anything else” Sally shrugged her shoulders in denial.

“Well, chances are minute to non existent that you could have noticed anything as the birth mark I am talking about is quite frail now. Unless you have seen her before it’s hard to make out. I sensed her discomfort when I told her I might have seen her before. She immediately covered her temple area on some pretext. She is definitely doing some sort of cover up. I vividly remember how she was caught earlier for possession of drugs by police. There wasn’t a slightest remorse on her face. She was last seen when she left the Hemington prison premises to be changed to a new prison. After that was never seen never heard of, simply never reached the other prison…. ” Josh was still continuing when Sally interrupted him.

“What if you are mistaken and she is not the one you are looking for. How can you be so sure” Sally countered Josh.

“Hmm, may be I am mistaken. In fact would love to be proven wrong here as I don’t want a criminal in your proximity. Just wait and watch” Josh replied to Sally.

“I wish I could wait. I need to unravel mysteries before they unsettle me. Time is running out” said Sally with a deadpan look on her face.

“They? Mysteries? Time? What’s on your mind Sally, speak up” Josh’s tone had depth and pause this time…..

To be continued……

Success Comes In Different Forms


Candles Online

Few days back I was gliding through my LinkedIn page. One of my distant relative updated her status “promoted to the position of Director”. I was happy to see her succeed but in another moment started self introspection “what I am doing?” , ” Where I am standing?”, “Will I ever succeed in my life?”. Basically I was anxious about “will I ever be able to EARN?” A question that I am struggling for a longtime now.

But is it just about money? Answer is an absolute NO. It’s about my craving for Identity. My thoughts at that (on many occasions) point were convoluted. I want to earn, I want name for myself, I want financial independence. I kept applying for jobs. Many applications were rejected outright, few made for interview round but success still eluded me. It was not just the applications that were being rejected but a piece…

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I Sense A Presence XIV


Sally rushed to the door. It was jammed. Exerted pressure both with her hands and her vocals. “Open up damn” she struggled with the door. Kicked it, levered the knob and it separated from the door. It left her baffled and worried. She didn’t had her phone with her, no one was at home and with the diminishing daylight it dawned upon her that she was trapped.

She settled down at the feet of the chair positioned in the centre of that dingy room. Silence and darkness were slowly getting themselves acquainted with her. Her fingers caught hold of iron shackles tied to the chair.

As she was getting a feel of them a drop trickled down her neck from the backside. She turned and raised her head to see what it was. In the faint brightness of streetlights basking inside that basement through the ventilator it was hard to ascertain what it was. She didn’t pay much attention to it and walked towards the light filtering through the bars of the ventilator. She sensed huge shadows looming over her. And in a moment she realized she couldn’t move further. Something was dragging her back. In a jiffy she turned to find that the shackles she was moments ago fiddling with now bound her. As she tried to free herself the door sprang open and a woman with a knife charged at her. Her face was masked. Before Sally could unmask her she stabbed Sally with vigour and was laughing in a demonic way. Sally collapsed wailing and wriggling in pain. Her shrieks tore apart the blanket of silence that room was embracing till that moment.

Sally woke up in a jolted state. She didn’t realize that she slipped into sleep when she settled near the chair. Her hands raced to reach her abdomen It was an illusion, a dream, a gruesome one. As she was perplexed and gasping for her breath the jammed door did open.

Standing in front was Tracy with a knife in her hand.

She approached the petrified Sally and knelt down on her knees and peeped into Sally’s eyes and said ” you fear me right?” whiled holding knife close to Sally’s face.

Sally by this time was stone cold sans any emotion. Silence ensued again before Tracey broke out in hysterical laugh and handed over her hand to lift up Sally. “I just came home and heard you screaming and tracked you down here. And this knife is to cut… Apples…Red as Blood, I was doing the same when I heard you”.

Both of them climbed up the stairs. Sally couldn’t take her eyes off Tracy. The dream, Tracy and knife still playing havoc in and with her mind. She was struggling hard to divert her mind and posed an unmindful question ” where’s Henry? Isn’t he with you?”

Tracy smiled and said ” you aren’t as naive as you seem to be, isn’t it?” Their gaze was locked in awkwardness before they reached the common area between their bedrooms. With a good night they retired to their respective rooms.

Sally rushed and shut herself in her room and called Josh. ” See you tomorrow” she concluded without giving him time to respond. Sally’s heart was racing…….

To be continued..

Know The Art Of Detachment


Originally posted on Candles Online

Have you ever left food on stove and forgot to turn off at the right time? I am sure not an alien situation. What happens then? Smoke all around, burnt food, burnt vessels, an uphill task of cleaning the mess and not to forget taunts / reprimands 😁. This is exactly close to what happens to us in life if we don’t know the art of detachment in our lives. Anxiety surrounds us as smoke, the vessel that is our body faces the burnt of such anxiety & related issues. Food that is a result of our anxiety & attachment driven actions are highly marred by negative emotions of greed, lust, anger, deception, lies and everything in that cadre. Food or lives, there’s no need to explain how people remember if it isn’t a right(eous) one. If we can’t turn off the fire in time or detach ourselves from the worldly pleasures and bonds then surely we will be charred.

What are the attachments we as human beings have?

* Materialistic Attachment

* Emotional Attachment

* Attachment with our fears

Let’s take on them one by one:

Materialistic Attachments: I will quote a simple example here. A person has a favourite coffee brand that he has been drinking over years as the first thing in the morning and anything else would leave him irritated throughout the day. Due to this reason he would plan his trips with coffee on his itinerary, even it means to going to someone else’s place. We can call it addiction or obsession but it is his attachment to that product that’s causing him this unnecessary trouble. This is an example where the repercussions might not impact others. But then as we move up the ladder (read more inclined towards accumulation) of materialistic attachments like that of money, land, gold etc. – our better sense is slowly replaced by seeds of greed, lust, deception. Why do you think why scams happen? Food for thought, isn’t it?

Emotional Attachment: A small story I would like to narrate from our epic Mahabharata – Guru Dronacharya, the teacher of Kuru Princes loved his son Ashwathama very much. His entire life he toiled to give a better life to his son and see him happy. His constant worry and misconception about Loving one’s kin even made him fight the righteous Pandavas. But the question is was his emotion truly can be defined as Love? No!! Love enables endurance, showing the right path by trending it even if it hurts for a while, love acts like a medicine that might taste horrendous but heals eventually. Let’s take a leaf from the present scenario. A mother punishing a young child for misbehaviour is surely love but the same mother trying to whitewash the same child’s image after few years if he / she picks up a wrong path is not love but emotional attachment.

Fear & Us: Our attachments feed our fear to say the least. If we don’t earn “enough”, if our kids don’t lead a certain patterned life, if we don’t fill in the already set norms of the society we will be ostracized. If we speak up the truth we will be mocked and we will end up sounding not relatable. We have to fit ourselves somehow in the places carved , even if it means denying our conscience. We don’t want to be robbed of our deemed valuables, we fear losing, we fear old age, we fear death, we fear estrangement from loved ones. This is our fear only that results in complications in our relationships feeding our egos. And in this run to the mill the only thing we don’t fear is “losing ourselves” and “sense”. Strange, isn’t it?

Interesting Fact: Most of our pilgrims are located at higher altitudes which requires us to carry as much as less possible baggage with us to make the journey easier. If we closely observe the intrinsic meaning / core of such journeys, it says “if you are coming to me why carry the unnecessary baggage of bonds, fears and attachments. Aren’t you supposed to relieve yourself in my presence?”

Where’s the liberty? Attachments impact us beyond a speck of doubt. But does this mean we take up asceticism right from the word go? Not possible as when born with this human abode we have a set of responsibilities towards our family and society. They need to be discharged with utmost care. But every once in a while we must care to answer “Who Am I?”, “What’s my purpose on this earth?”, “Is making merry the sole purpose of life?”. These questions to yourself will shed light on a new perspective of and towards life. That’s the illuminated path of righteousness where the almighty wants to see us shining in his light. Once that truth dawns upon us we will slowly try to distance ourselves from these attachments that shackled our souls. Our attachment shall be like a pearl of water on the lotus flower, it seems to be attached but never really stick together.

Practice Tip: All of us must practice silence, absolute silence!! No phone, no book but time with you. Start with 10 minutes a day, can increase it gradually. You will soon find the clutter that clogged our minds is getting decluttered. This silence is a teacher that teaches us we can be alone and don’t have to entertain “unnecessary” bonds. That will fill us with the ability to speak the truth and what is right the without fear of being judged. When fear leaves our hearts it is filled with joy. And the joy in your heart makes you understand there’s more pleasure in giving up than accumulating and holding tight.

Go ahead first simmer down and then switch off that stove, let your lives be filled with flavour of Joy that was intended to be. I am your company in this process 😊.

** My work is inspired by the words of Shri Garikapati Narasimham Garu🙏🙏.

Picture credit: Google.

Death Not The End


Candles Online

Zindagi toh bewafa hai ek din thukraayegi,

Maut mehbooba hai, saathi leke jaayega”

These are the lyrics of an old hindi song that I have heard decades ago. It translates to “life is a betrayer, will leave us midway but death is a darling that will surely take us with it”. Profound, isn’t it? Death is the ultimate reality of life. That reminds me of a particular scene from a regional movie – a mother whose son died pleads her husband to do something and revive her son’s life. He agrees but asks her to do one thing “go and get some black sesame seeds from a house / family that haven’t witnessed any death“. She runs from door to door but receives only one answer “SORRY, We just mourned loss of someone”. She collapsed of fatigue but realized one thing Death Is Inevitable! Hence that realization…

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