The Raped Girl Who Refused Heaven!

A girl who was brutally raped and murdered, went to heaven. Near the entry she checked herself in the golden mirror. All signs of cruelity that had been done to her body was gone. Now, she had a glorious, translucent form. The four guards of Heaven greeted her at the gates. But suddenly, she stopped and stepped aside.

Every soul was always eager to enter heaven and meet God. Since eternity, nobody had ever done that. So, the four agitated guards asked her, “Why are you refusing heaven? My dear, come back to the queue and enter the great gates.”

The girl smiled and recounted, “You know I was gang raped by a group of filthy men, who were jeering and spitting on me…”

“Yes, we know that…,” the guards cut her short in chorus. “Please don’t tell us the details. We know you have suffered immensely but once you enter the gates, all pain and sadness will vanish. Your troubled soul will find peace. All thoughts will leave you and you will bask in eternal glory.”

The girl still hesitated. The wind played with her hair as she she looked around with delight but still showed no inclination to enter.

“Dear, what is going on your mind? Do you feel any sort of guilt? Do you think you can’t face God after what happened to your modesty?,” the guards asked in chorus.

The girl laughed for a long, long time while perplexed guards looked at each other. 

“It is not that! The reason why I don’t want to see God is not because I am ashamed. I have done no wrong. Wrong has been done to my body.” she answered.

“Then?,” the guards asked.

“It is because God will be shamefaced on seeing me. I know, He will never be able to meet my eyes. I want to spare Him the shame as I love Him too much,” the girl wandered away after saying this leaving a trail of shimmering light behind her. The guards stood unmoved, red faced.

God heard her, clutched his heart and cried…

( Written after viewing a terrible image of a dead, rape victim in West Bengal, India. She moved me beyond words. A tribute to such victims.)



Images courtesy Google

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From Mad Man to Mountain Man

Dashrath Manjhi sat viewing the mighty mountains surrounding him. They were the barriers, the hurdles, who had played with the lives of so many of his loved ones.

The mountains arrogantly stood between his village, Gehlaur and the nearest town blocking medical and other facilities. And not long back, the love of his life had slipped from one of these rocky terrains, leaving him alone.

He wanted revenge now! It was his will against the daunting mountains. Angrily, he took out his hammer and chisel and began to hurt the mountains. 

The villagers called him mad. But he just stopped listening. For twenty two years, he single handedly struggled against the mountains. 

Finally, he succeeded in carving a path 9.1 metres (30 ft) wide and 110 metres (360 ft) long through a hill 7.6 metres (25 ft). The distance between his village and the town got reduced from 55km to 15km.

Today, the world knows him as the noble Mountain Man!

(The picture reminded me of the poor labourer Dashrath Manjhi from India, who spent his entire life doing a noble task. His life has inspired many documentaries and films as well as stories.  In August 2015, a Hindi movie Manjhi – The Mountain Man, based on his life got released and was well received.)


(This is my entry to the flash fiction challenge, Flash Fiction for Aspiring Writers hosted by the lovely Priceless Joy. We are given a photo prompt and approximately 75-175 words with which to create our stories. This challenge is open to all who would like to participate. Please CLICK HERE for more. Thank you Grant for the image!)

Can we reset our past?


Can we change our past? Most of us would answer an emphatic ‘No’ to this question. We have always been told that our past can never be changed.

But this particular quote by the great Richard Bach got me thinking. 

You are always free to change your mind and choose a different future, or a different past.                                                                     

Choose a different past, really? What made Richard Bach write that? I thought.
Further research made me smile. I got my answer! Bach was right! Our past can really be changed. I learnt that our past is energy and made up of our experiences…of what we have gone through in our private world. If we change the way we look at our past, our past will take a different shape… thereby liberating us in our present and changing our future for better.

Even if two people were a part of the same incident, their perspective about it would differ from each other. Past is a variable…If it was invariable, every person in a particular time and place would have undergone exactly the same kind of emotions, same sort of feelings and level of trauma. But everyone has a different past. You and your sibling’s past could be similar but not same!  

I learnt that our past can be changed by changing our perspective towards it, through creativity, positivity and visualization of the event. It can be changed through different ways, which you can read in this inspiring post here. (http://simonarich.com/change-your-past)

Dear confidantes, if something about your past is troubling you, take this journey – Go back in time, look at the incident as an observer and try to help your ‘stuck’ self there by being positive and strong. Tell yourself – you will emerge stronger after this! Be creative and strong as you live through it!

We derive strength from our past when we have a grim present…why not the other way round? Everything is possible! 


We are always free to change our mind and choose a different future, or a different past.

Images courtesy Google


The pilot who loves to write!

When Squadron Leader turned author  Manish Kumar got introduced in one of our favourite Whats App groups by the enthusiastic admin, the group members were more than happy to welcome him. His book ‘Be Your Own Pilot’ has been climbing charts and we wanted to know more about him.

BYOP has sold a number of copies till now. In Amazon.in, it had been in top 50 Bestsellers list. It has sold out thrice in the US and is selling in almost 15 countries including France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Austria, Japan and Netherlands.

In a chit chat on his personal wall, he talked about his journey from being a pilot to a writer. His noble profession enabled him to undergo various enriching spiritual experiences that led him onto the path of writing. Here is an excerpt:

Q: What is ‘Be Your Own Pilot’ all about?
Manish
: In this inspirational fiction, I talk about the unlimited power and potential lying dormant in every soul, waiting to be awakened. The moment we become aware of the power within, we stop being a victim of circumstances, get off the autopilot called fate and take control of our life.

‘Be Your Own Pilot’ is about the journey of a boy from a small town who realizes his dream of becoming a pilot, learns the lessons of life on the way and goes on to inspire others to follow their dreams. His Flying Instructor implants wisdom into the flying lessons and teaches him to take the flight of faith. The book shows the way – how, by aligning personal desires to the benefit for mankind, it is possible to lead a deeply rich and satisfying life.

Q: What was the inspiration behind BYOP?
Manish
: During my tenure in the Indian Air Force I survived many near-fatal accidents. I and my crew were lucky to come alive out of these situations. These incidents made me delve deep into the meaning and purpose of life. I realized that my Life’s purpose was to show people way to live a meaningful and purposeful life. Hence, I wrote the book.

Q
: Please tell us about your career as a pilot? The challenges and the highlights.
Manish
: Initially, I was posted to a VIP Squadron and was a part of the formation carrying VVIPs like The President, Vice President, Prime Minister and the Service Chiefs. Flying with them requires precision and there is no room for error. 

Later, I was posted to an operational Squadron. I flew extensively during Gujarat Cyclone and Earthquake in 1999/2000 doing rescue and relief work. In one of the sorties I rescued 05 fishermen, who were afloat on wooden planks after their fishing trawler was destroyed in the Cyclone. I was awarded the Chief of Air Staff Commendation Medal for saving their lives.

Q
: Have you had any formal training as a writer? Your message to upcoming writers?
Manish
:I had no formal training as a writer but I consider John Harricaharan, the Creative Writing Guru and the best-selling author, my mentor. I have read all his books on creative writing. He has also been kind enough to write the foreword for Be Your Own Pilot.

My first suggestion to all budding writers is to read or watch John’s story of Professor Peterson (click here).

Next is to fall in love with words. Once you are in love with them, you can feel intuitively whether you have used them correctly or not. 

Lastly, write with your heart. Express your true feelings. Do not bother about what the Publishers or Readers will think. And don’t worry about grammar or other mistakes. There are people to correct them. The world just wants your original story. Write it.

Q
: Who is better Manish, the pilot or Manish, the author?
Manish
:I had become a Pilot with the sole aim of saving a life someday. After that was achieved, I moved over to shaping lives. Today, I have better and immense opportunities to touch lives through my book and lectures. You know, I had a reader who was about to commit suicide after being rejected from a job-interview. Luckily, he had the book. He read it and it gave him hope. So, I find being an Author is better than being a Pilot but I do miss flying at times.

Q
: What would be your next venture?
Manish
: We are trying to make a movie based on “Be Your Own Pilot.” I am also in between two books. “Souls : United at Last” is a true love story of Soulmates who meet after a few births. “The Fall Guy” is a science fiction in which I have borrowed the characters from Ramayana and Mahabharata and fit them in the modern context.

If you are looking for a nice self help book, this summer, do try this one! I tried and loved it.

http://www.amazon.com/Your-Own-Pilot-Manish-Kumar/dp/8184301359

In search of a story idea!

image

Not far from where we live, there is a patch in the sky that holds ‘Thought’ clouds. You can call it the Thoughtland!

Whatever thoughts you’ve had today or in the past, travels to this place and sticks there. To be frank, it is quite a confusing world comprising of jet black, white, grey, orange and blue clouds.

Dark clouds comprise of sad or wicked thoughts while white clouds are inspirational. Grey clouds are filled with tragi-comic thoughts pertaining to ups and downs in our mundane lives. Orange clouds hold thoughts by people from the past while blue clouds, which happen to be my favourite, hold brightest ideas.

That day, like most thinkers, I unwittingly entered the ‘Thoughtland’ while looking for a story idea. I got carried away, flew and flew, and reached the cloud patch. It was totally chaotic there…as thought clouds flew past me whispering of bitter sweet things.

I found myself amongst the grey clouds first and read a few thoughts of a teenager – “Why do my parents keep finding faults with me? I will grow up and take up a job and live far away from them!” Then, there was a housewife’s thoughts – “Thankless job I have been doing! Since morning till night, I am working. Cooking meals, washing, taking care of kids. But no respect, no joy! I will have to do something about it!”

I steered myself towards white clouds and read a few happy ones. A girl was going on a date with the guy of her dreams and she was thinking – “May the fairytale I am living today never ends.” And then there were thoughts of a little boy who was going to Disneyland and he was dreaming – “Tomorrow is going to be the best day of my life”.

I read a few black thoughts too and felt revolted. Stopping myself from reading further, I attempted to catch one of the blue clouds because I intuitively knew they held the story idea I was looking for.

But the blue clouds were the naughtiest ones! The moment I tried to get near them, they vanished, and my own dark and grey clouds, blocked way. Some of the dark clouds screamed, “It is useless to look for ideas and inspiration. Get used to your mundane existence. It is stupid, tiring and hard to try. You are born unlucky. Just give up!”

It was difficult to breathe when the dark clouds started bombarding me with negative thoughts. The naughty blue cloud had floated away. I felt like being trapped in an ocean of depressive thoughts.

Somehow, a lone Orange cloud appeared out of nowhere and whispered – “All the powers in the universe are already ours. It is we who have put our hands before our eyes and cry that it is dark. Never think there is anything impossible for the soul. It is the greatest heresy to think so. If there is sin, this is the only sin; to say that you are weak, or others are weak.”

I remembered reading this quote somewhere. I guess it was by the great spiritual leader Swami Vivekananda! His lofty thought had stayed in the universe to inspire people like me. I chanted the thought like a drowning person holds on to a branch.

After a short while , I felt something wriggling in my hand. The tiny blue thought cloud was resting calmly on my palm. It had come to me on its own! I understood! The idea got pulled to me when I was chanting a positive thought. A bright frame of mind attracts great ideas!

I came out of the ‘Thoughtland’ holding the precious tiny blue cloud. An interesting story idea was already taking shape in my mind. I resolved to work upon it as soon as possible…because guess you know, great ideas often vanish quickly without a trace.