Don’t flinch

Don’t flinch.
Stare at three year old Aylan.
Stare at him lying on a beach, his face half buried in the wet sand.
Stare at his bright clothes.
Stare at his tiny hands, his shoes.
Stare at his future that drowned with him.
Stare at the million ways he could have been saved.

Don’t look away.
Feel numb. Feel hollow. Feel anything.
But don’t look away.
Don’t close the window hastily because you can’t see such pictures.
Don’t look away because you won’t be able to sleep.
Don’t thank god that this wasn’t your child.

Imagine this was your child.
Imagine that was your country you were running away from.
Imagine you holding your family, praying for a better future.
Imagine you holding their dead bodies, staring at the ocean.
Imagine you wishing the earth to break in million tiny pieces.

Imagine you are the police officer who picked him up.
Imagine you looking at the boy when you turned him to pick him up.
Imagine the lightness of Aylan’s tiny body in your hands.
Imagine the heaviness of your heart.
Imagine you going to your home that night and stare at the mirror and wonder if God exists.

Don’t flinch.
Don’t flinch when you see a vulture waiting for an African boy to die.
Don’t flinch when you see a naked, terrified Vietnamese girl running on a street during a war.
Don’t flinch when you see the body of a dead, three year old on a beach.
This is our legacy. This is what we are leaving for our children.
These pictures.
The pictures that our children will judge us by.
If they live.

Hope.
Hope that our children grow up.
Hope that one day they will see these pictures.
Hope that that day, they will come home and look straight at us. Through us.
And flinch.
Hope, because that would mean the world will be a better place one day.
Hope, because that would mean our children won’t repeat our mistakes.

So, don’t flinch.
Stare at three year old Aylan.
Stare at him lying on a beach, his face half buried in the wet sand.

The assassin who tried to kill my family

assassin

Image from here

I am one of the few blessed people who live in a city away from their relatives. Less noses in my affairs. Less Gyan. Less plastic smiles. More peace of mind.

So when a relative is about to come to our house, it creates a frenzy equalling that of cyclone Phalin. I must admit that the frequency has reduced after the death of my grandparents but there was a time when there were regular visitors. It was one such visitor whom I remember very clearly. He was the guy who tried to kill my family.  The assassin.

This assassin was a cousin of my grandma. He was from the hills. He was rotund, had pink cheeks that were dropping off his face because of old age. His eyes were sharp and always scanning everyone in the vicinity, as if trying to find avenues in case he had to escape. His voice was muffled, as if he was standing behind layers of cotton. He never brought gifts for us children but always hugged us whenever he came, swathing us with smells of trees and his unwashed underarms. He would sit for hours with my grandma talking in their local language, sometimes laughing his terrifying laugh. His laugh always reminded me of a serial killer who while trying a dress made of the skin of his victims realized that the dress fits him perfectly.

Grandma was very fond of him. She had no idea that he tried to kill us every time he visited. Every single time.

I distinctly remember the first time he tried to murder me. I was sleeping and suddenly there was this deafening roar that shook me out of my slumber. For a second I thought that a gang of lions have attacked our apartment. My heart was in my mouth when I heard the roar again. I sat up hurriedly torn between screaming and hiding under my bed. Then a third roar happened. A thin crack appeared in the ceiling. It was as if the house was unable to stand the vibrations. I gathered courage and got off my bed. I reached the adjacent room where the assassin was sleeping. I was at the door when another roar brought a warm gust of wind towards my face, leaving my hair in an upheaval. I almost choked at the moist wind smelling of a mixture of chicken curry and bad breath. The roar happened again and I saw the windowpanes vibrate and the ceiling fan sway. I was terrified that the house will not be able to withstand the strain of such powerful snoring. Soon, I realized that my whole family was up, confused and shocked. My grandfather almost had a heart attack. Our hearts were in our mouth. We were so close to our deaths. Eventually, mother stuffed some cotton in my ears to ease the suffering but I was not able to sleep.

In the morning, the assassin tried to kill me again.

There was just one loo in our house back then. I was desperately in a need to use it but the assassin was taking his own sweet time. Maybe he was skinning a rat alive. Its not that we had rats in our house but he might be carrying one from the hills to play with it before slaughtering it. Finally, the door opened and he came out. I rushed inside and locked the door. What followed was the stuff hell must be made of. Even though the assassin had the good sense to flush, the loo reeked of such unimaginable smells that I choked for a good five minutes before I decided to stop breathing. I opened the window but the smells were not leaving. I eventually pushed my mouth towards the open window and took a lungful of breath because I was in a danger of turning blue and collapsing. It took me a good fifteen minutes to save myself from this lethal attack of the assassin, during which I completely forgot the real reason for which I entered the gas chamber.

It was not just me, every member of my family who had the misfortune of entering the death room after the assassin met the same fate. They came out wide eyed, clutching their throats, panting like a man with a fish bone stuck in his throat.

We were all terrified. We huddled together night after night, morning after morning, trying to survive the attacks. Thankfully, none of my family members died of choking or heart attacks but the assassin left no stone unturned as he tried to wipe us off the planet.

He visited us again and again, year after year. Everytime the news of his arrival was shared by grandma, we all sent a silent prayer towards the almighty. Mom used to run towards the small temple in our house and pray for the survival of our family. His visits dwindled after my grandma passed away and now I haven’t seen him in years.

Even now I shudder when I think of those terrifying days where my family was attacked mercilessly. We survived the odds. The trauma brought us together, binding us in neverending love.

I am proud of that time when all of us held hands together and fought the assassin. The assassin who tried to kill MY FAMILY.

Open letter to Karnataka state Women’s Commission chief Manjula

Photos of Molesters/Moral Policemen arrested after Mangalore’s molestation case 2012. The arrested are subhash padil (the mastermind, top left), ganesh kannur, taranath kannur, sharath padavingangadi, sandeep shetty, venugopal, tharanath alva, rajesh shaktinagar, chetan naguri, shailesh jelligudde, harish alava, sunil thokkottu, varun poojari, puneeth kudupu, and kiran poojari. Almost all of these attackers are from lower backgrounds, with either blinded minds or misled political ambitions.

Dear Manjula,

Let me congratulate you on your report which you submitted recently on the Mangalore molestation case.

Your report was a landmark report in many ways. Let me tell you how.

Your report reconfirmed the absolute lack of faith of a common citizen in our system. It reconfirmed the fact that till there are people like you in position of power, our country will rapidly adopt the ideologies of the Taliban and celebrate it too. It reconfirmed the fact that you are a mere puppet dancing to appease your political masters.

The fact that you report did an unbelievable magic trick by making the molesters from HJV vanish from the scene of crime and put the blame squarely on the boys in the party does not come as a surprise. We were expecting nothing more than a moral preaching and cultural preservation bullshit but you took the episode to a shockingly low level. The best solution you could come up with consisted of two steps :

  • Consider the whole population of India to be dumb.
  • Turn the boys in the party into drug addicts and someone who run prostitute rackets.

Job done!

Well, but there is a small problem sweetheart.

We saw the video.

Tell us Manjula,

Why didn’t your report probe the fact that a group of 50 shitheads forced their way into a house without the permission of people inside it?

Why didn’t it probe the fact that those 50 shitheads beat up adult men and women for enjoying a birthday party? Last time we checked, our constitution allows people to cut cakes on birthdays.

Why didn’t it probe the fact that those shitheads were hired deranged goons who stole things amounting to 2 lakh rupees from the location?

Instead, your report does not even mention those shitheads from Hindu Janajagarana Vedike (HJV). This Reminds me of that Vanishing Cabinet in Harry Potter. You are that Vanishing Cabinet.

Manjula,

Let us for a second believe your twisted logic that everyone was having sex with everyone in that party. Let us assume to please you that they were having an orgy. So what is wrong if young adults have sex? Why can’t your Neanderthal cultural sensibilities snap out of it? Why do you, the goons whom you are trying to save and their masters have to label it as prostitution? A lot of adults have sex with multiple partners before marriage. Our constitution does not give a right to anybody to go and punch them for having consensual sex.

Now coming back to not believing your twisted logic. If it was just a birthday party, then how can you turn into that vanishing cabinet? You have already given the hired goons a clean chit.

Instead, according to you, the boys attending the party were under the influence of drugs which the police was somehow not able to find. Did you dream about this possibility?

Instead, you have even blamed the mother of one of the boys for running a prostitution racket and suggested transfer of a police official who is the father of a girl who was there at the party.

Do you even realize what you have done?

Manjula,

Our regressive culture has done more harm to our nation than helping it. And people like you, who are in the position of power, who have the ability to change what is wrong, have been a huge disappointment.

You and your ilk has spread regressiveness in the name of saving our culture. Since when have our culture included beating up adults who don’t think like us?

You have given courage to every rapist and molester out there, especially those who are disguised as moral policemen. You have given courage to the throw-acid-on-her-because-she-wears-jeans brigade.

You have hammered another nail in our society’s mindset that there is no concept of justice in our nation. A middle class girl in a pub can be branded a prostitute just because she went there to have some fun. Her life is spoiled and the goon who slapped her is free to slap more young men and women who fall under his definition of cultural subjugation.

You have glorified the concept of controlling women. It is an irony because you are a woman yourself.

Just to tell you Manjula, the boys who were beaten up in that party and whom you have blamed for prostitution, have come forward. And, you know what, we are all proud of them because they are going to each and every college and telling students what happened to them. They are calling press conferences and telling the media about the truth. They are much more supportive to the girls who were molested than you.

Manjula,

We believe that it is not the moral police or molesters or rapists whom we have to fear. The people whom we should fear are people like you who nurture such monsters. You are the ones who let them loose on citizens of this nation.

And till there are people like you in positions of power these goons will spread like termites.

We know that you know that these goons have no idea about our culture, otherwise they would not have done what they did. They are just a bunch of losers with meaningless lives. The only culture they understand is that of Money and Power. And that is exactly what you are feeding them.

Stop suppressing the young generation of this country. You are forcing us to leave this country because of the disgusting way people like you are running the show. There are a lot of people who have given up the idea of coming back after incidents like these. Please do not expect us to bring in the cash to run the country and bowing to such tyranny as well. We are not slaves. We are sorry if your generation had a subjugated upbringing but please do not make us pay for it in the name of saving our culture just because you are jealous of the freedom we experience.

Yours truly,

An young Indian Citizen.

Open letter to all the molesters and rapists

The Guwahati Molesters

Dear Wannabe/Seasoned Molester and Rapist,

I will address you as pig in this post. I know that the pigs will be angry but I will personally say sorry to them.

Dear Pig,
I was very young when I saw my mother braving you in a bus. You were middle-aged and were leaning on her, rubbing your crotch on her shoulder. She was sitting on the ladies seat and politely asked you to step back. When you ignored her numerous times, she lost it and shouted at you – ‘Step back or I will slap you.’ Everyone in the bus looked at you. You stepped back.
I was a boy aged 7-8 years but I remember looking at you with hatred in my eyes. I still remember your face.

Then my sister told me about another one of your ilk. She was returning from a wedding with mom. A car was following them. When they reached home, the car stopped and the window rolled down. You were sitting there smiling at her. You took out a 500 Rs note and waved it at her. No, you did not molest her physically but the action was more than that.
She was brave a few years later when during a family holiday in Amritsar, you brushed passed her and tried to touch her. She dug her nails in your arm and twisted it. She did not leave your arm and dug deeper. You had to shove her nails away. You must have bled. She had long nails. I saw it happen but I was too far away to react and you mingled in the crowd quickly, rubbing your arm.

I sometimes wonder how many such acts of molestation my mother, sister and wife have gone through about which I am completely unaware. I am afraid to ask them. I know I will crumble to pieces, my mind will explode.

Pig,
I know you are an offspring of lawlessness. You exist because the public servants who behave as our rulers think it is not a big deal if a woman gets molested in India. They think it’s a way of life. That is why you are capable of having the audacity to molest a woman on camera, because you know that there are no laws in this country. It is not difficult to rape someone and go scot-free in India. Thousands of pigs have achieved the fete and are proud of it. You exist because of this sexually oppressed nation in which you are born. You exist because we draw lines and apply rules for women; give separate seats to them in buses and trains, thus turning them into desirable objects which have to be attained. You exist because women are taught to be vulnerable since they are born. You exist because the crowd has not picked up a stone yet.

But tell me Pig, what will happen if someone threw a stone at you while you molest a girl in public? What will happen if someone kidnaps you and castrate you? What if someone brings an axe and cut off your hand? And believe me this will happen, because you have crossed your limits. All the people who are suffering by your hands will one day realise that no help will come and they have to help themselves, take things in their hands. And that is when they will pick up the knife. That is when they will dig their nails in your face.

Pig,
I have seen the fear on your face. Once when you tried to molest a girl in the Metro, the guy with her slapped you so many times that you stumbled to the other end of the coach. You ran out when the doors opened and ran very fast. I would have loved to see the guy holding you by the neck and ask the girl to slap you, but you got your lesson. This is what will happen eventually. This is what is in store for you.

Pig,
I know you frequently visit Vaishno Devi. I know your religious head bows down in front of a lot of female deities. I know you follow religions which teach to respect women. I know you would boil in anger if someone molest a female from your family. So, what is this all about treating women not related to you as objects? How is your mother different from a woman whom you dare to strip in full public view for your fun? How is the woman whom you ogle at in a bus different from your sister? I wonder what kind of family upbringing you had. From where did this desperation for flesh came? Is it because you are a born loser and could not achieve anything in your life and you know that no decent woman will come near you? Is this your way of telling your feeble ego that you are still in control of your puke-worthy life?

Believe me, with people like you around, we really miss all those medieval forms of torture as punishments where they peeled off the skin of culprits and threw them in drums of chillies.

I fear for my family, Pig. I fear that one day my wife will go for her job and never return. I fear that one day I might find my sister in a condition which will haunt me for the rest of my life. You have no idea how it feels to live in such a constant fear. You have no idea how it plays with your mind, looping again and again till it becomes a part of you. You have no idea how it feels to live like this in your own country.

You cannot begin to imagine what the women in this country go through everyday. You are taking away their freedom Pig, you are terrorizing them into staying indoors, you are isolating them and no one is going to take that chin down. After all, you are just a pig.

My last piece of advice for you Pig – Please go and jump off a building. The world will be very beautiful after that. You are just like the dirt stuck in a shoe – not required and to be washed away.

Yours truly,

A person with a stone in his hand.

Related posts –

Terrorism against a whole community called women

In a land of Maha-abuse

Yet Again

When I met God in a Bar

I was drinking beer waiting for my friend in a bar when this gorgeous girl walked up to me.

She: Hi! How are you?

Me: Hi! I am good. How are you?

She : Great. Can I sit here? What’s your name?

Me: Rohit. And yours?

She: God.

Me (coughing in my beer mug): Which one?

She (smiling): All of them, I guess. Rolled into one.

Me: Listen, can I buy you a drink, dear lord?

She: Sure Earthling. I’ll have a beer too.

So, God and I sat comfortably on the sofa sipping beer, eyeing each other. She was a pretty God.

Me: So, God. What are you doing here on Earth?

She: Just roaming around. Checking how you guys are doing.

Me: And how are we doing?

She: You want me to answer that? All right. You guys are pathetic. I am thinking of ending your race. I am thinking of bringing the dinosaur back.

Me: Really? That is a noble thought. But we are an advanced species. We have made such scientific advancements in the last 200 years. Why would you want us dead?

She: You guys are in such awe of yourself! It’s amazing how being in awe can make you blind to everything else. Tell me something. Point out one thing in the world you would like to change.

Me: Whoa! That is a very difficult question. Hmmm. Let me try. Weapons. Remove all weapons from the world. Yes, that would be perfect.

She: Your stock markets will probably crash if I do that and half of the nations will either be bankrupt or lose their purpose of existence. Anyways, that was a noble thought human. *She smiled* What next?

Me: Vaporize all the terrorists, I guess?

She: What about the people in the position of power who actually fund terrorism? Do you want them to be vaporized too?

Me (emptying my beer mug and ordering another) : Sure.

She: Do you even realize what you are asking for Earthling? Your whole system will collapse if I do that.

Me (realizing that she was getting quite serious) : Relax. You need another beer?

She: Yeah sure. What else?

Me: You really want me to keep going, don’t you?

She: You are angry, I can see it pulse inside you. Out with it.

Me: Okay. You asked for it. I want people to stop littering. I want the spit of a person to fly back in his mouth the moment he spits on the ground. *She giggled* I want people to respect each other’s decisions. I want freedom to express myself. I want girls to be respected. I want politicians to understand the gravity of their position. I want all the black money confiscated. I want honking to be banned. I want poverty to be eliminated. I don’t want to see a single human die of hunger. I don’t want any farmer to commit suicide. I don’t want a single child to be blinded to beg or a girl pushed into prostitution. I want all rapists to be castrated. I want peace. I want people to love this gift of life and give it the respect it deserves.

God stared at me for a while. Her beer arrived. She sipped it thoughtfully.

She: That was quite a mouthful. Now say all this in one sentence.

Me: Ummm. I would like people to be more helpful, to smile at each other, to be honest, to respect.

She: Do you understand now?

Me: Yes. Yes, I do.

She: Killing terrorists and destroying weapons will not solve your problems Earthling. They are the manifestations of decades of wrongdoings. You have to begin from the beginning. One person at a time. From here. *and she tapped her finger on my heart*

It was my turn to stare at her.

Me: Who are you, again?

She: I told you. I am God. *She gulped down her beer in one go* My second glass of beer is over.

Me: And you pick a random stranger one at a time to have a chat and drill your point?

She (smiling): No. Not one at a time. I can appear at a million places at one go. Surely you know that? And besides, I get free beer. 

My mobile beeped. It was a text from the friend for whom I was waiting. He was not coming.

Me: Do you want to walk?

She: Sure.

We walked for a while. The air was cool. It felt good. I slipped my fingers between hers.

Me: Can I call you sometime?

She: Of course you can. *She turned and faced me, moving her fingers on my cheek* You were my greatest creation Earthling. You can always close you eyes and call me.

With that she started walking towards the next turn.

Me (shouting as she turned the corner) : I was going to ask for your mobile number.

She smiled and turned. I ran after her. There was no one there.

I started walking towards my car scratching my head. I saw an old man walking by. I looked in his eyes and smiled. He hesitated and then smiled back.

[This post has been written for IndiBloggers Time to Change contest

http://facebook.com/sftimetochange]

What is the purpose of your life?

earth's timeline

Last Sunday, as I was trotting towards the nearest bus stand with two of my friends as we hurried to catch up our show of  Transformers:Revenge of the fallen, we were halted in the middle of the road by three young chaps. They hailed from a Christian society and were very polite. One of them threw a question at us – “What is the purpose of your life?”

Now, imagine yourself in such a situation. You are all excited and ready to see the latest machine war flick and someone pops the “purpose of life” question in front of you. Its like asking a soldier to choose the menu for the dinner while he is busy dodging bullets in the enemy’s firing line.

“Right now, the purpose of my life is to reach IMAX on time.”, I said and smiled.

“Would you like to have a postcard from us which will entitle you to a dvd about Jesus Christ? Its for free.”

“Yes!”

I could not believe this. They were young kids who could be watching a movie or going on a date. Instead, they were stopping people in the middle of the road and asking them the purpose of life!?! I found those guys too spiritual, in the same way in which they would have found me too materialistic.

When Swami Dayanand saw the mouse trampling on the ShivaLingam, he was devastated. He could not understand that how can the Almighty Lord possibly allow a mere mouse to just walk over his statue and eat the offerings? Asked in another way, if God wants Earth to be the Garden on Eden, then why does he allow evil to breed? Yes, we have all heard about the balance between the Good and the Evil, but isn’t that too lame an excuse for God’s incompetency?

Sometimes I feel that we are obsessed with the unknown. Aliens, werewolves, mermaids, witches, vampires, yeti, fairies, dragons, heaven, hell. God. Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that I don’t believe in God. I know there is a power which drives us. Its not all about probability, serendipity or theory of randomness. There is something more to it and I am sure that that shall never be revealed to us. That is our destiny. To understand God is to unscramble scrambled eggs.

What I hate is the Glorification, the Spiritualization of the rest of us by a selected few, the sanctification, the cleansing and the conversions. If someone has to come to me and ask me the purpose of my life then either that person is absolutely confused about the purpose of his own life OR my face gives an impression that I am completely purposeless and I am sure that the latter is not true. 🙂

If we have not realized this by now, Religion is a business in modern times. It always was, but now its booming. We have billions riding on it. When a temple can raise a donation of Rs 5 Crores(approximately 1,046, 684 $) in 7 hours, then the sky is the limit. The terrorism industry is an offspring of religion. The politicians use religion to get to the seat of power. We use it as a reason to rape women. We use it to forcibly marry off our children without their consent. Its a way to make instant money on the internet. And if you have no reason to hate your neighbour, religion can be a very tempting bait. And so where is God in all this? Well, maybe he is sitting in a corner and doing this :

LaughingCartoon

I am sure I am born for a purpose but I am also sure that a priest or a spiritual Guru cannot reveal it to me. No one can. I am sure this is something which can’t be revealed. Maybe there is nothing to be revealed, but to understand. I am also sure that chanting a deity’s name or lying in the feet of the lord or donating crores for a yagya cannot be the purpose of my existence.

If you look at the chart of the Earth’s evolution at the top, humans have just appeared. Its amusing how we have pushed the Earth on the brink of collapse in such a short span of time. The rate at which we are going, we will end up being nothing more than a faint flash of existence on the vast timeline of the universe. We can either live for thousands of years in harmony or we can end up like the dinosaurs.

The existence of each generation of humans is a story with a moral at the end. It is us who will be writing the moral for the next generation. Its us who will be deciding whether the next generation will live a life better or worse than us. To give them a better life, all we have to do is to just live our lives without any hatred and everything else will fall into places. Just live.

Now how is that for a purpose?

Can I live please?

bloodI went to Barakhamba Road yesterday. I was standing at the exact place where the bomb blast happened last year. I moved my right ankle in a semi circle to displace the dirt on the road. Maybe I was trying to see if it was still red? I went there to meet my very old friends whom I was meeting after a gap of 7 years.  While standing there I realized how fragile my own life was. I have a lovely family, adorable friends, a good job and some dreams, but someone can press a button and everything will vanish in a second. I just have to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Moving around in Connaught Place yesterday gave me this creepy feeling. I loved that place! I have some beautiful memories of C.P. but now there is always this fear that its not a safe place. The old warm feeling has died. Its gone.

Whom should I blame? Whom should I blame for embedding this fear in my heart? The fear that I might have to see a mingled, limbless, burnt body of a family member one day? The fear that I, who just want to lead his normal life and live happily ever after with his family and friends, might be blown apart the very next second?

Should I blame the Indian Government? Indians have a “Get used to it” attitude towards everything. Someone is littering on the road. Get used to it! Spitting? Get used to it! Corrupt policemen? Get used to it! BOMB BLASTS? Get used to it! Ofcourse, the Government officials also suffer from the same disease. It took thousands of people flocking the roads of Mumbai and carrying derogatory posters to wake up the government and to make them realise that there is a difference between butchering humans and butchering goats, to make them realise that they were chosen to protect us, to make them realise that “Get used to it” is not going to work this time. We, the citizens of India, choose politicians and give them bullet proof vehicles and 50 black cat commandos each from our hard earned money, not because they can feel safe and forget about the common man who is as vulnerable as he always was. Thinking and mulling over something is good but there comes a point when action is required. How long did the Pakistan Government took to sack its National Security adviser after he confirmed that the lone surviving terrorist is Pakistani? And how long did the Indian Government took to decide “something” about what Mr. A.R. Antulay said? The difference is stark and naked, and THAT is the problem with us. Having a pessimistic and defensive approach does not work when your neighbouring countries are a breeding ground for terrorists. War can never be an option, but can the  government at least come strong on our own security agencies and the police force? 

Or should I blame the Pakistani PM? He is trying every trick to make the world believe that its an internal problem of India. Infact, after his latest statement today, which says that – Why is the world more concerned about the Mumbai attacks than the killings in Palestine? ‘‘We have to see that the world does not have double standards. See how many innocent women and children have been killed in Palestine. Why is nobody talking about that? Why is the world silent on that?’’, I have decided not to follow the buffoonery anymore. Its tormenting. I think its high time that the Pakistani PM stops using the forced and mindboggling euphemisms and tell India to go to hell. That would be at least honest, if nothing else! Whether it may be Mumbai or Palestine, you would be glad to know Mr. PM, that it is me, the common man, who is dying.

I don’t care about the political mud slinging matches which Indian and Pakistani politicians are indulging in right now. I don’t care about and I am not a part of the various religious groups which are fighting their mindless and stoical wars by killing innocent people like me all over the world.

I just want to live happily. I want to love the city I live in. I wan’t to roam fearlessly in C.P. I want to believe that I will live to see my dreams fulfilled and will not be shot through my head while celebrating a friend’s birthday in a hotel or when I am at a railway station to receive a family member. Am I asking for too much? Is it too hard to achieve this? Is it too hard to stop fighting over pieces of lands, stop turning terrorism into a profession, stop waging wars in the name of religion?

Or is everything too complicated now to move it backwards?