"Know thyself, to the extent that you can say, with knowledge, that you don't know."
























































They showed the visuals on every news channel of the nation. Throes of her supporters wailing and lining up to pay their last respects, as their beloved leader's body lay in the casket. Some had even fainted on the streets, while some just squatted with blank faces. One of the women... <Switch>
 
The kid had walked into the room, silently picked up the remote and, as was his habit, switched on the cartoon channel. He did not care what others were watching. When he walked in, the TV belonged to him and everyone had to watch whatever he liked.
 
So Oggy and the cockroaches filled the TV screen. Oggy ran, and the cockroaches chased him all over. They never seem to get enough of Oggy or get bored of him. It was like they did not know a life outside of him.
 
I managed to grab the remote from the kid and... <Switch>
 
They were now showing visuals of the leader's past - her hey days. How she climbed the ladder of power in a male-dominated society and swayed the masses. How the people ran after her, prostrated in her presence. She was larger than life for them. And they just never seemed to get enough of her.
 
Kid grabbed the remote back from me and.. <Switch>
 
Oggy and his brother Jack were holed up in the room, discussing intensely, while the cockroaches huddled outside the door making their own devious plans.
 
The remote war continued.. <Switch>
 
They showed videos of the leader and her trusted confidante together on stage. The two kept whispering to each other while the masses huddled below the pedestal eager to hear her words...
 
<Switch>
 
Oggy was laying out a dinner table full of delicacies and sweetmeats intended to lure the cockroaches into a trap he had set for them
 
<Switch>
 
They were playing a soulful music while showing pictures of the leader's magnanimity where she was seen donating several items free to the grateful public that came in droves and queued up to receive her grace
 
<Switch>
 
Cockroaches were chasing Oggy all over the house, teasing him and beckoning him to face them.
 
<Switch>
 
Masses ran behind their leader, cheering for her as she embarked the helicopter after a public rally
 
<Switch><Switch><Switch><Switch><Switch>
 
The remote war intensified and the kid began to throw a fit. I could not fight anymore, so gave up the remote and let the kid enjoy his show. Anyway, there did not appear too much of a difference between what was playing on the two channels...
 
 
 
 
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How do you not see it man? God is an inevitable factor and cause in the creation of this world...

Sorry! Science does not accept any of your baseless theories. Can you prove the existence of God? The world was created through Big Bang. Not by some God that you are trying to force on me.

God was that big bang, my man.

Can you prove it?

How can I go back into the past to show it to you? You have never met Gandhi and Tagore, but don't you still believe they existed?

That's different my friend. History books are replete with their stories. Everyone around believes Gandhi and Tagore existed.

Everyone believes God too, my friend. And there are more books on God than on Gandhi and Tagore, isn't it?

But Gandhi and Tagore's stories are fact. God's stories are fiction.. or rather, faith, at best.

Is there any fact without faith? Geocentric theory was a fact as long as people had faith in it.

Don't you confuse me buddy. You show me the proof and I will believe in God. I can probably find some museum which will hold some part of Gandhi's body and I can get its DNA fingerprint to prove that Gandhi existed. Can you get the DNA of God?

How does DNA prove anything at all?

Don't question the established methods of science now. I am fed up of this discussion already. I guess we should stop now. I am getting a bad headache.

You have a headache, is it?

Yes

Prove it!



.
He was a crusader of nonviolence. And it wasn't that he just preached; he led by example. Millions came to hear his discourses. "Violence is only in the mind. It is a negative energy that entraps us and tries to make us lesser beings," he would often advise his followers, "there is no place for violence in God's world. Look at Nature - the gentle wind, the patient tree, the calm mountain, the silent earth - is there violence in any of them? Let us celebrate Nature through acts of nonviolence." The audience would sway to his words.
 
One evening, after a long day of many speeches, he felt a sore throat and retired to bed early. It was flu - the usual one which gave quick bouts of cold, fever, and went away. Lay people would get an antibiotic course to hasten recovery, but the ahimsa-wadi that he was, he wouldn't use medicines that harmed the germs.
 
So off he went to bed, with a prayer on his lips.
 
That night the fever ravaged his body. The pathogens swam his bloodstream, bruised and battered everything they could get to. They clouded his lungs and made him convulse in episodes of sneezing. They gnawed into his glands and made him sweat. They climbed into his head and toyed with his brain, drawing a pale flush all over his face. They especially played with his face - flushing one cheek, and when he turned, then flushing another, and going on jumping every time he would turn the other cheek...
 
All night the battle waged on, with the pathogens revolting and his immune system militating against the attackers. By dawn, the pathogens had tired out and began to retreat. His health was almost back. As he prepared to get up and start the day, the dead soldiers from both sides were lined up in his intestine to be flushed away. He got out of bed and prepared for yet another day of crusade for nonviolence...
 
Nature was just clockwork; violence or nonviolence is, after all, only in the mind.
 
 
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The president and his son assumed office at the same time. The president busied himself with setting up his cabinet of ministers and their secretaries, while the son was given a Lego set and a cosy corner to play in, under the watchful eye of the house matron.
 
Ideally, the children would not be allowed into the main office, but this was the president's darling and none dared to make the child cry, for fear of angering the new president (who was known for his short temper).
 
The kid opened the box, spread out his Lego pieces and looked around, contemplating the structure to be built. All the president's men gathered around the desk, while the president opened the packet and spread out the portfolios of all his key men. They pondered on the structure of the cabinet to be built.
 
The kid saw some shiny pieces and began by picking them up first. These pieces would be the foundation of his structure. The president noticed some illuminating resumes and picked them up first to assign his main cabinet positions. They would form the bedrock of his government.
 
Once the 'basic structure' was in place, the kid began picking up complementary pieces from the lot and adding them to build his structure. The president, having established his key ministries, began sorting through the pile for other suitably qualified candidates for the remaining vacancies.
 
The matron intervened occasionally to hand over the kid some pieces that lay out of reach. The president's men pitched in from time-to-time to promote candidates from their circle, which they felt the president was overlooking.
 
At some moments, both creators - the Lego-builder kid and cabinet-builder father - wished they had better pieces to fill some gaps. But as the 'system' would have it, they had to make do with whatever was at hand. The fact that Life was not an orchard plush with rich harvest but rather a basket with limited choice struck their unconscious, but they did not delve deep enough to realise it. They just picked up whatever pieces were available and built the best structure they could.
 
Once done, both creators - small and big - stopped for a moment and beheld their creations. Then, satisfied with a good day's work, they patted themselves on their backs and decided to call it a day.

The proud president beckoned his proud boy for a hug. Both creators ran towards each other, leaving their creations behind. As they walked back home, hand-in-hand, the matron dismantled the Lego building and put the pieces back, so another day another kid - from the basket of Life - could come in and rebuild it again, from scratch... 
 
 
 

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I looked nostalgically at a picture of my nephew on the wall and admired its infinite cuteness - those round innocent eyes, soft curly hair and the naughty smile. I recounted how, as an adolescent, he would seek me out and come running to my room, climb on the bed and jump on me. The boy was such a hugger, so physical in the display of his love. He would sit on my back, roll on my thighs, and play with my hairs. He would hug and kiss my arms all the time. I yearned to see him become a baby again and redo all those cutesy acts that made him so adorable.
 
I would feel so special whenever the boy would come running to my room, seeking me out, even when others were in the house. Like I am the only one who can give him what he wants..
 
Right then a cockroach streaked across the floor, and scurried under my bed. I jumped up in fright. I hated these vermin - scrawny beings with thorny legs and scaly bodies. Oh! so obnoxious. I was sure it would climb on my bed and try to jump on me. It had happened many times before. I was terrified at the thought.
 
"I wonder what is it in me that these creatures seek me out. Is it because I sweat a lot? I feel so filthy.."
 
While I am fretting over the cockroach, I see two mosquitos buzzing into my room. Bigger ones than normal. The mosquitos too seek me out like crazy. I knew it was because my body temperature was higher than normal. More so, I had not taken bath yet. I hated the sight of these pests - these pesky creatures that come running to me, even when others were in the house.. like I am the only one who can give them what they want.
 
"Bloody pests," I shrieked, as I jumped out of bed to get the pest repellent.
 
 
 
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