Contest 6: Writing on The Fall of Peace

Gandhi-icon

This contest is CLOSED. Last date for entries was Wednesday, 15 October, 2014. The winner will be announced on Friday, 17 October, 2014. If you missed this, don’t worry! Another contest will be on its way shortly.

Welcome to Contest 6. This time, in honour of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, whose birthday occurred last week, we will write on peace.

Of course, it is impossible to write about peace without referring to war, so if your inclinations run that way, you can write about war and enmity. But make sure to link the overall theme and message back to peace in some manner. I’m leaving four images as ‘prompts’, all of which in some manner or the other depict the conflict between war and peace.

peace-1 peace-2
peace-3peace-4

Ideas

The main idea that we’re going to focus on in this contest is the fall of peace. In three of the above four images, peace has been depicted as a person. This person is generally a woman, clad in white, and is about to die in the brutal hands of war. Only in the first image there seems to be an equality of sorts between Mars and Venus (the Roman Gods of strife and love respectively). Their eyes are locked, and Venus is in the act of persuading Mars to relinquish his anger.

1. You could attempt a personification of peace in a similar way, but using your own images. Maybe in your head peace is not always a woman with white wings. Maybe if you had a choice, you would personify peace – and war – in different ways.

2. You could write an abstract piece with the fourth image as inspiration. There are no people here, only a skull at the base of a tree that is shedding leaves. The message appears to be that we cannot choose between the two, that we must have both. If you have a similar abstract piece to write, go ahead. But be warned, though, that such abstraction is hard to achieve with words.

3. How about writing an atmospheric mood piece that is leaves us with one or two striking images? Sometimes, forging one image with great detail leaves a deeper impact on a reader than a number of images hastily drawn.

4. A poem? Peace and war are universal themes, and many poems have been written on these topics before. Would you like to add to the pantheon?

The word limit is 300 words.

How do you enter the contest?

It doesn’t get simpler. You leave a comment to this post. If you leave two comments, they will count as two separate entries. The maximum number of entries you can submit is three. If you leave more than three comments, I won’t tell you off (I’m too nice for that) but I will only pick the first three.

What’s the prize?

A Flipkart e-gift voucher worth 500 Indian rupees. It looks like this.

Flipkart-Voucher

No, you can’t touch it, but you can buy things – especially books! – with it. If you live outside of India, your choices are limited to e-books because Flipkart doesn’t deliver internationally (yet).

How is the winner selected?

Each comment will be rated on three things:

1. Clarity: We should understand what you’re trying to say. Good grammar and punctuation will help. So will a reasonable structure to your entry. Beginning, middle and end.

2. Personal Touch: We’re interested in getting to know you better. So go for depth, specificity and honesty. In narrative pieces, the deeper you take us with you into the scene, the better it is.

3. Beauty of the writing: Make your words sing. Give rich sensory detail. Describe well. Transport us to to your world. Be cogent, crisp and clear.

The above three criteria are ranked in the order of importance. So clarity is more important than personal touch. And personal touch is more important than evocative writing.

A Quick Note

Even if you’re not confident about the ‘quality’ of your writing, please participate. One of the great joys of running a community-style writing group like this is to behold the variety of ideas that come out. So give voice to your thoughts. Tell us your stories. It doesn’t matter how well or badly you (think you) write.

Rules/Guidelines/Suggestions

1. The closing date for comments/entries is Wednesday, the 15th of October, 2014. The winner will be announced on Friday, the 17th of October, 2014.

2. When you enter comments on this blog, you will find a separate text box asking for your email. I recommend that you enter your email into this, so that I will have a way of contacting you in case you win. Rest assured that I will not use your contact information for any other purpose, shady or otherwise.

3. Sexually explicit or offensive material will be deleted at my discretion.

4. Avoid plagiarism. I will check for it, and remove entries that I think are lifted from elsewhere.

And finally…

Have fun! If you think this is the sort of thing your friends would enjoy, share this post with them and invite them to participate. You can share it with just a click on the sharing buttons below.

See you in the comments!

Images Courtesy: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5


 Enjoyed this post? Subscribe to my newsletter and be part of many more exclusive giveaways!

sign-me-up-button-2

Comments

  1. Falguni srikanth says:

    First of all….all compliments sharath for this very nice and thought provoking topic….
    Peace is a state of mind and exists just a fraction away from war.
    There is a small story about the great war of Mahabharat.
    The war of Mahabharat was just about to begin.There was a small bird with her young ones residing in the war zone Kurukshetra.For some reason the bird couldn’t get away from war zone and came running to Lord sri krishna to save her…He smiled and hid the bird with her family in a small basket and promised peace…And he kept his promise.She bird lived with her family peacefully for 18 days.
    This story I liked very much and made me realise that peace is just a fraction away from raging wars in our hearts.we need to discover it and cherish it and protect with a basket Of detachment.
    Well this isn’t my original story and hence not an entry in this contest.I read this when very young..The author sri Nanabhai Bhatt.My grandpa.
    Do you wonder any time that the biggest message of peace was given by Lord krishna on a battleground.
    Very nice topic and there will be many entries.
    By the way Gandhijees favourite book Bhagvadgeeta..

    Like

    • Hello Aunty! So you’ve again got the first entry. Well done! 🙂 I loved this story of the little bird. I’d never heard it before, and it seems just like the kind of enigmatic thing that Krishna would do, in addition to giving a message of peace on the battleground, of course. I like how you say that peace is forever teetering on the edge of war. With our current geopolotical situation where almost any country can annhilate any other country, we’re forever only one crazy button push away from massive destruction. Let’s see how long we can hold off 🙂

      Like

  2. I loved this topic as it is finally something that I could relate too 🙂

    One question, can I use the above pictures as inspiration? Or should I use my own?

    Like

  3. Peace and War are the Yang and Yin of human existence. Like the light and darkness and the other side of moon, they cannot exist without each other. But they are neither the objects to achieve or acquire. They are within and like the tide, they rise and fall, as I discovered this through the poem below:

    The sands blew, closer the storm clouds drew,
    Bazookas thundered, on and on the thought troops blundered,
    With each step ahead, the soul wished she was dead,
    But they said, struggle you must, burn yourself red.
    In her eyes she saw flowers blossoming, in her mind, the game she was losing,
    Her skin turned golden with the fire within, for right ahead the temple was standing,
    Or was it a mere dead tree with cracked spine, no green leaves, no frisky vine,
    But they said, fight you must, no matter the vultures wait to dine.
    Millions painted their body bloody, for it was a color so pure, so heady,
    To seek the painless colorless peace, they were mortals, more than ready,
    And yet, it was like an evasive lover, rare to find like the lucky clover,
    But they said the peace is within, bask you must in eternal shower.
    She did find the path, labyrinthine and endless knot,
    Beautiful swirls, repulsive twists, merciless dirty blot,
    But they said there was no war, a step only for peace,
    Who knew it was called death, just beyond the precipice.

    -Contest 6 (Abstract) Writing on Fall of Peace

    Like

    • I liked this very much, Pradeeta. Started and ended very strongly, I thought, though it lost a bit of its way in the middle. I loved how you take us both ways – in one breath you say peace is not worth pursuing, and in the other you say that peace is what awaits all of us after our deaths anyway. So whether we fight for her or not, she wins the final battle of time. No matter how much we fight during our lives, after all, we all go to a peaceful, unending sleep.

      That’s quite a powerful theme. Thank you for sharing 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Wings of Harmony says:

    Peace and War are the Yang and Yin of human existence. Like the light and darkness and the other side of the moon, they take turns to resurface, to co – exist. It is a constant journey and like the tides of the seas, the journey may lead the seeker to rise and fall, only to discover that it was a journey after all.

    The sands blew, closer the storm clouds drew
    Bazookas thundered, on and on the thought troops blundered,
    With each step ahead, the soul wished she was dead,
    But they said, struggle you must, burn yourself red.
    In her eyes she saw flowers blossoming, in her mind, the game she was losing,
    Her skin turned golden with the fire within, for right ahead the temple was standing,
    Or was it a mere dead tree with cracked spine, no green leaves, no frisky vine,
    But they said, fight you must, though the vultures wait to dine.
    Millions painted their body bloody, for it was a color so pure, so heady,
    To seek the painless colorless peace, they were all more than ready,
    And yet, it was like an evasive lover, rare to find like the lucky clover,
    But they said the peace is within, bask you must in eternal shower.
    She did find the path, labyrinthine and endless knot,
    Beautiful swirls, repulsive twists, merciless dirty blot,
    But they said there was no war, a step only for peace,
    Who knew it was called death, just beyond the precipice.

    Like

  5. Totem of the Highland tribes…

    In the untamed forests of the Highlands;
    Beneath the Totem of Peace –
    A winged angel in flight –
    Sat the two young Chiefs.

    Bathed in the light
    From the ring of fire,
    Regaled Dark Moon and Red Soil
    Their Tomahawks set aside.

    While anecdotes were retold,
    Hare and Salmon smoked,
    In the stupor of Black Drink,
    Men danced as frybread turned cold.

    In the crackling fire,
    Burnt the anger
    And fury,
    Borne by their fathers and forefathers.

    In the cold night wind blew,
    The rivalry
    And pride,
    Fed from the breasts of their mothers.

    For no longer was peace,
    Within the Highland tribes, a need so dire,
    That tormented and burned,
    Their spirits like wildfire.

    Peace was gained,
    Dark Moon knew,
    Peace was bought,
    Red Soil thought.

    Peace was fought,
    Truth be told,
    From war it was forged,
    Till war it will hold.

    Beneath the Totem of Peace –
    An angel bathed in warriors’ blood –
    Sat the two young Chiefs,
    Their war wounds still caked in mud.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I read this twice, Pirithivi, and it read equally well on the second reading as it did on the first. The images were so sharp and visual, and the most poignant lines were the second-to-last stanza: Peace was fought, Truth be told, From war it was forged, Till war it will hold.

      For pure imagery and tightness, I liked how you linked the first stanza to the last. In the first stanza, it appears that you’re glorifying peace, because you refer to the totem as a winged angel in flight. But by the time we reach the last stanza, the totem is also bathed in warriors’ blood, and the young cheifs have war wounds still caked in mud. I loved how you used the same totem to stand for two different things, almost as if War and Peace were just two sides of a coin. One comes as a consequence of the other.

      Thank you for writing in. This is wonderful.

      Like

  6. pradeepthyagaraja says:

    An anguish of a war hero – A poem!

    To Fight or Not To Fight, that is the question –
    Whether it is nobler in the mind to suffer
    the bullets, the bombs and shell attacks of the enemy,
    or to take arms against my enemy, who is a patriot on the other side,
    And by opposing, end them? To die for peace –
    to utter about the war born to two unsatisfied countries,
    to wonder why mortal souls at times fail your vengeance?
    My heart aches by seeing thousand deaths every day,
    the shocks, inter spread with the moments that doth make –
    my heart, pulled towards the earth.
    I hope to find peace towards the end, but,
    my mind reminds me of the undiscovered planet!

    On my side, a pretending to be living being –
    devoutly he wished. To fight or to lay down the arms
    all through the war. For in that split of seconds,
    what dreams may come – Bang Bang! Must
    give you applause. There’s the respect for your fight.
    For who would bear the whips and scorns of war!
    Peace comes once the war is over, they said –
    I too wish to see that would happen sooner.

    The beholder of Kalashnikov, at times felt weak.
    The proud man’s gun fluttered its trigger in delight.
    The patient merit of the worthy fighters, with one life –
    to do or die under a few weary scenes.
    A war placed between the unknown faces, from whose bourn
    no fighter returns, where is the peace?
    Puzzled the innocent child trapped within.
    To make us the ignorant, wonder the depths of peace
    Which we ain’t feel or embrace.

    Thus conscience does make cowards of us all
    pushing us to respond, to sound highly charged up.
    A few pats on the back that carried the burden –
    of the mammoth enterprises of Great War and Peace.
    With this task may old clichés currents turn away?
    And lose to the name of experimental war.
    Where is the peace, I questioned again,
    Soon it will dawn upon you, they said!

    At the end, to be left confused, yet touched.
    To be like these lines, to have said –
    everything and yet be told nothing.
    I exist smitten, with a perished wish to be smitten.
    All of thou earlier sins, I remember. I survived.
    How about now? I hope you found your way.
    Those burdens to my grave to be carried. Preserved.
    This one shall lie beside, but not within.
    Peace I found, at the cost of thousand lives –
    To be carried to the next generation of lives.

    War or peace, hardly matters now,
    Oh my countrymen lay down your lives!!
    Not for war, not for peace, but,
    To embrace each other, like how the dead ones do.
    Each fighter, they might not remember,
    Results count and not the repercussions.
    To be a war hero, to become a martyr
    See those thousands who perished, let peace prevail ever!!

    Like

    • Hi Pradeep,

      I lost my way a little bit when I was reading this, but there are a few good lines here and there. I especially liked the recurring theme that runs throughout your piece where the war hero is asking where peace was and ‘they’ keep answering that he will find out soon. And I also liked the note of hope on which you end it, by urging your fellow men to give up their lives for the prevalence of peace. And of course, the thin lines between enemy and patriot – a hero in one land and a sworn demon in the other.

      Interesting piece. Thanks for sharing 🙂

      Like

  7. Hey Sharath,

    This is my little story on this theme.

    ‘Puru ke papa, for god sake please don’t read the news paper today as well, don’t you see its Diwali, the next week, you have to cut the grass in the compound wall, clean the fans, wash the curtains. Oh my God! There’s so much to do, and I have to cook, puas, pakwan, gujhiya and so much more. You know I dreamt, last night Puru has come while I am still in the kitchen, there’s nothing done, he comes up to the kitchen and from behind me, he takes the piping hot pua directly out from the kadhai which had just come out and juggling on both his palms being hot, he puts it in his mouth and burns it, I run to fetch water and he shouts, ‘’I like it this way mummy’’. Get up now, we have a lot of work’ urges Asha, holding a huge bundle of clothes running with it here and there cleaning things around with one hand.

    I get up, go towards Asha and holding her by the shoulder I speak ‘sit down Asha, its been seven years, we hardly have any money, let the grasses grow, the dust settle and the paint chip off the walls, I cannot stand long and so can’t you. Sit down Asha, puru was killed in the war near Jodhpur seven years back, Neha his wife you know is married and happy, and doesn’t call. But you see, I am still there’ I hold her hand pull out some money from my old trouser which wears off at the pockets and hand it to her.

    The old eye’s still sparkling in the same charm when I saw her first. ‘ Here I got seven thousand litigating at the court this month, lets make your puas’.

    Nitesh

    Like

    • Hi Nitesh,

      Thanks for writing your piece. It started off with a lot of promise, and I could tell straight away that Puru was killed in battle. So I think maybe you should have written it completely as one big chunk of dialogue from the mother where she’s talking about Puru and the hedge and the grass and so on. Without being told explicitly that Puru was killed, you could leave hints in the mother’s way of speech. I think that way it would have been more powerful.

      Love the idea, though. Thanks for sharing 🙂

      Like

  8. Aftermath

    “Ye shall reap as ye sow, and the harvest will be blacker than the heart of the devil… Blood shall flow free as the world is submerged in darkness.
    The lesser born shall inherit the earth and spawns bearing testimony of the misgivings committed by the human race in the days of yore shall populate earth.
    It would be the beginning of the end; a legacy of the rise and rise of blackness.”

    He reflected over the words as the stale wind breathed down his back. The sky looked as it had, after the Great Fall erased the last traces. Shades of darkness swirled like ominous vultures closing in on a dying prey in a desert dream. The ground, made up of burnt bones crackled beneath his feet.

    “The blackness shall rule over thee, swarming kingdoms that were, washing over your defeated Sun. It shall remain a presence that would surpass all that has been, a ruler for all eternity.”

    He stopped dead in his tracks. Something rustled in the distance. No wind induced stimulus, this. The winds howled as he drew closer to the moving pile of rubble. Destruction surrounded him, clouding everything. It moved again.

    “No being shall age, no flower shall bloom
    Forever ringing the knell of doom.
    No telling of time, in remorse shall ye dwell
    No heaven shall absolve thee, your salvation; hell.”

    It was a survivor; a lesser being. The higher beings had plunged into the Great Fall, leaving the lesser beings to fend for themselves. They were all that were left, a dim silhouette of what had once been. Rare, but not extinct.

    He reached out to the rather sorry remnant of a race that they had called human. “And what would your name be?” he asked. The battered face smiled.

    “Hope.”

    Like

    • Hi Mithun,

      Welcome to the blog, and thank you for the entry. What I liked the most about your piece was the dense atmosphere, and since I’m a sucker for post-apocalyptic fiction myself, the piece almost called out to me. I loved the four lines that come in the middle: ‘No being shall age…’

      A part of me thinks that this is a superhuman race that has defeated the human beings. There is a hint at the beginning of the scene that these superhumans are a result of something (an experiment, perhaps?) that the humans got wrong. But then, why does it say that ‘the lesser born shall inherit the Earth’? Aren’t the superhumans ‘higher’ born?

      Anyway, that’s a technical question. I thoroughly enjoyed your writing. Please be regular here from now on! 🙂

      Like

  9. Solomon M Donald says:

    I know, I know,
    for a certain reason,
    He will face the same I do today.

    With fancy names and toys,
    He commands me,
    forgetting I fear nothing.

    D girl sways to His tune, forgetting her own,
    fingered in every hole, she finds ecstasy in that pain.

    I know, I know,
    for a certain reason,
    He will face the same I do today.

    That buzz over my head was not a bee,
    it was His eye flying around.

    Lights and flames are all I see,
    the deafening noise you make everyday,
    a noise that silences the majority,
    a majority that’s me.

    I know, I know,
    for a certain reason,
    He will face the same I do today.

    You burnt my field and broke my mountain,
    built me something I never needed,
    you call it something, I’ll never understand,
    what you get from it, I’ll never know.

    But…

    I know, I know,
    for a certain reason,
    He will face the same I do today.

    Like

    • Hi Solomon,

      Welcome to the blog, and thanks for your piece. I read it a couple of times, but I must confess I still don’t understand who the ‘he’, the ‘you’ and the ‘girl’ in the poem are. There are a few lines that are evocative and make for good, musical reading, but the meaning is not coming through for me. If you’d like to explain the scene in the poem – as in what is going on – that would be great. Because I’d love to understand more about your poem than I currently do.

      Thanks for sharing 🙂

      Like

  10. Amazing topic to write on…

    This is something I came across while reading as well as watching Mahabharata on television. Throughout the Mahabharata; Lord Krishna tries to decipher that war and peace are two sides of the same coin. With war comes peace and for peace we need to wage a war. The Mahabharata also points out that the Pandavas, supported by Krishna, tried to resolve issues with Kauravas through the medium of peace. However, when that failed Pandavas were left with an option of waging a war to again attain peace for generation to come. Today we are in a similar state of life. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi himself had said that in situations where peace fails to show its power one has to undoubtedly pick up a weapon to restore peace. Speak about our soldiers who lay down their lives for people to enjoy peace, speak of revolutionaries who have faced excruciating pain to lend us peace as a gift.

    I remember a scene from the movie Lakshya where in Priety Zinta talks about countries being at war and how war ain’t a solution to problems. At that very moment one of the soldiers scowls on her and explains that no one desires to be a part of war for the sake of fun but because we all want peace. War is indeed painful, but then when the situation demands so one has to bow down and act accordingly. Peace does not come for free…it comes with a price…it has to earned…and that is earned only through hard mediums..

    Another example to interlink war and peace is when Draupadi tells Krishna to propose a solution to refrain war. She also agrees on sacrificing all the wealth and leisure to avert war and loss of lives. On which Lord Krishna explains her that, this war is not merely fought for the sake of achieving the wealth and leisure from the enemy, but is done to achieve peace for centuries to come. And war is a medium to achieve that peace. The best gift one generation can gift its next generation is PEACE and a beautiful planet to stay in.

    This also reminds of the book ANTHEM by AYN RAND which also slightly deals with the concept of war and peace. As to how people from different strata of societies had to wage a war to compel people to understand their existence in a society which accepts people as per their requirements and discards the rest.

    And this game of war and peace is something we have been witnessing for a long time. We, ourselves as individuals are at war with ourselves with regards to numerous things, with an honest intention of acquiring peace for the soul at the end of the day.

    And as I mentioned earlier

    PEACE DOES NOT COME FOR FREE…IT COMES WITH A PRICE…A PRICE TO BE PAID MANDATORILY..

    Regards,

    Disha Prashant

    Like

    • Hi Disha,

      Thanks for your comment. I liked how you dealt with this issue of peace and war at various levels: first in its literal form, then as class and social warfare, and then as internal war which ends in peace (or death, as we call it). Ultimately it appears that you’re saying war is necessary to obtain a temporary state of peace, which escalates over time and brings about another war – and so on the cycle goes.

      But isn’t there a better solution? Isn’t it possible for all the people across the world to decide that there would be no war? Such a situation would only exist in a world where there is an abundance of resources, I suppose, and the socio-economic systems have evolved beyond what we use today. But I’m sure we can hope for a future in which no country has to arm itself, and indeed, there are no countries at all.

      Utterly idealistic, eh? 🙂

      Like

  11. That thorough loud “whisper” in Ashoka’s ears.
    Day in, day out, “the glory chants”.
    He planned a kingdom, huge enough
    no fairy tales can ever grant.

    “His highness, we captured another piece”
    came shouting his warriors in his dreams.
    He wanted to live that very dream.
    Those ears wanted no other scream.

    On mighty “Ranbhoomi” they called him “Kaal”
    his mildest of talks had arrows and spear.
    He had an image, either one of the two
    as the man they worshiped, or the man they Fear.

    He was a Maurya, they called him “Naresh”
    “God of the Men” it meant.
    His bloodthirsty eyes, and quenching zeal
    a clear message it sent.

    The day he decided to battle Kalinga
    his intention was to grasp that land.
    He never knew, what message awaited
    awaited for him in the “sand”.

    Yes he won, yet again
    no man could defeat the “Kaal”.
    But this time he stood and looked at the land
    he couldn’t find it, at all.

    He saw the lying bodies
    those of soldiers from both the sides.
    This time he heard no “Glorious chants”
    this time he heard the “Cries”.

    This scene reverted a thought process
    in his soul and in his head.
    That realization he had with life
    the meaning of living and dead.

    He can’t undo nothing.
    He made “no past” but “History”.
    Peace is never the aftermath of war
    he learnt and “was moved” with mystery.

    -Arpit Khandelwal
    twitter: @karpit3
    Link: http://wp.me/p2XF3e-33

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for this, Arpit. I thought more people would write about Ashoka and his realization of peace after the Kalinga War. But yours was the first. And only, I think. On thinking a little about the biological origins of war and peace, it appears to me that war and conflict is the ‘natural’ setting for our species, and peace is the ‘higher state’ desired by those who are spiritually inclined. Our history is full of conquerors and battles and heroes – no one speaks of peaceful saints and monks as brave, even though it takes a lot of courage to embrace peace.

      Your poem made me think, Arpit. Ashoka must have thought these same things that faraway day on the battlefield of Kalinga.

      Like

  12. Today after years of struggle Rahul had achieved what he wanted. He was amongst the top real estate builders in city. In his struggle for riches , he had left behind many reputed brands and today Capital Group was at its peak. He came back home after a grand celebration at The Leela Palace where he was declared as businessman of the year. It was a day which he had only dreamt and today it was a reality, but somewhere his heart ached, he was not comfortable and could not relate to this strange feeling.

    He went to the mirror and looked at himself, in all these years of struggle there was a constant war that he had with himself, it was his own roots. His upbringing had rooted values like honesty and truthfulness which no more existed. He had left behind all of them, to be a king today. His entire empire was standing on the moulds of deceit and corruption. He had battled with all his deep rooted values to reach this peak and this war with himself had killed an innocent small town guy.

    He was a king in front of the world but the man standing in front of him , his own image had lot to say. Today, It was his verdict that counted the most for him. He realized that it was him that he had to please and not the world. There was a time when he used to be happy and feel peaceful with all small things around him. A small help to his villagers would shower lot of blessings and his day would be made. However, today though he was a king, there was an emotional turmoil within him, which would just not subside. There was no peace and he could only think of one thing. He knew today ,that he could fool the whole world and get pats on his back but the final reward is only heartache and tears as Rahul in the mirror was not his friend any more. He had failed in this most difficult and important test of his life by cheating the man in the mirror.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Loved it

      Like

    • Nice little tale, Niharika, and for once this talks about the ‘internal’ war and inner peace that we all want to achieve so badly. And ultimately, no matter how much we achieve in the eyes of the world, we all have to look in the mirror at least once a day, don’t we? And there is that voice that knows exactly what you’ve done, how you’ve traveled your path, what you’ve given up, what you held on to. Sometimes we try to ignore this voice, but it doesn’t ever go away, does it? It’s always there, buzzing, whispering, taunting…

      Some people are more adept than others at shutting out this voice, or maybe arguing with it and convincing it. I wonder how they do it. For the rest of us, we’re better off listening to it, aren’t we? Thanks for sharing 🙂

      Like

  13. To fall there has to be a rise, and the last time peace rose was ‘never’, I got an stupendous session from few superficial specialist of the word ‘peace’, just for speaking which was in their terms was ‘immature’. But why was I judged so ? well, it didn’t impact me much, and out of curiosity I did happen to do a meticulous research on peace and war. I also wondered simultaneously, that perhaps, I would have got into a renowned war free private firm if I had studied my subjects with this sincerity. Anyways, the first thing I had to seek was the definition of ‘peace’, and what I discovered was interesting. It says, absence of war, freedom, inner contentment. I laughed like a hyena and uttered, ‘Really ?’.. unfortunately, I could not even recollect a single event when there was no struggle for survival. Right from the age of dinosaurs, there was struggle to stay alive, I think we need to blame our mother nature, since she works in a mysterious way. There were this great saint who visited earth occasionally, but even they I think would have struggled to stop war while elucidating peace. They might have lost peace in their mind while drifting people away from war ? Even the outer universe was keen in engaging war, there were this peculiar looking meteor and comets, which kept bonking the earth just to see who among them flared-up widely and wipe out generations at once, ah, I rejoice with the thought also that the wiped out species didn’t get to see the industrial revolution or else by the grace of human being they could have got trashed by our horrendous traffic or at worst case scenario with a nuclear bomb. I feel more pity on that white pigeon which symbolizes peace, the cosmos know who came up with this idea but it was utter discrimination on the black crow, since both are birds. That poor flying pigeons got captured and was then let go, man!! what an agonizing thought of getting mutilated might have crossed its mind. I would have rather nominated a snail instead, it looks pretty peaceful to me. So peace, please exist, I desire to see you rise…

    Like

    • Haha, Keshab, I like your nomination for peace, the snail. You’re right, now that you mention it. I’ve never seen any other animal that symbolizes peace as well as the snail. Well, maybe a tortoise? A sleeping tortoise? 🙂

      The point you make in the rest of the piece is a valid one. After all, conflict and war is the default state of life, both animal and human. Right from micro-organisms to the more complex animals, every ecosystem and every habitat is characterized by conflict. The smaller species against the bigger, the stronger against the weaker, the ‘more evolved’ ones against the ‘dumber’ ones. Peace, as you say, is a purely cultural construct of human beings. No other animal longs for peace like we do. So maybe we should all understand that while we may hope to achieve lasting world peace, it’s most likely outside of our capabilities.

      Like

  14. As the great statesman, Rahul Gandhi would have put it, Peace is a state of mind. You are either at war or at peace based on your mental makeup. Every Monday, you get up, fighting the war of the week in your head. Your Boss is going to loom over you for the next five days and there is nothing you can do but head butt the whole damn office like a raging bull before you get up. Then, in the shower you are at peace, the cool droplets drenching out the strains of the war.
    So much has been said about Bangalore traffic that one word more would make the reader vomit out the contents of his/her gut, but still I’m taking the chance for the great cause of peace and the reader’s health. Peaceful and calm is the word, when you step out from your home. Unfortunately, you are jolted back to reality that peace is a state of mind, when a rough biker cuts through you from nowhere. Four small stars boom out from your mouth, and the war has begun. A few paces later, you see a big jam, People all around you are gritting their teeth and honking. You also join in, by the time you reach office, you have waged a war and are also at peace with yourself, what with all those four letter stars you have distributed liberally around you.
    When you are in the middle of saving the world, or at least making it a better place to live, by fixing that new bug in the software, you get a call from your better half. Woe betide you if you ignore that call, perspiring, you squeak out a meek hello and you get to know that the coming weekend would turn out to be a great shopping extravaganza. You want to growl but end up pouting the choicest love words. Again, peace is a state of mind and keeping your better half happy is half the battle won.
    Fathers who are retired and sitting at home have this unbound affinity towards news channels. Arnab rages around the house creating a cacophonous din, ensuring a thunderous welcome, when you enter back its periphery in the evening. But again, peace is a state of mind. Even Buddha would have found it difficult to handle Arnab, A man, who should have been introduced to civilization years later has made it early and with our lack of evolutionary skills in total mind control to deal with such attacks, you end up as a scapegoat in this great fight of war and peace.

    Like

    • Hahaha, this was good, Mithun! I second your puzzlement at retired uncles’ fascination with Arnab Gowswami. I consider myself a rather meek and soft-spoken person, but even I get riled up when I listen to Arnab speak. He doesn’t have to say anything provocative. He could be saying that it’s a nice day, he could even be smiling, but his voice just creeps the hell out of me and makes me want to pace the room with my hands tucked behind my back.

      Loved all the other bits too. Thank you! 🙂

      Like

  15. I am living a Spartan life in this city . In this huge city ,once bustling with thousands of people I once had an opulent life. I stayed here ,there and everywhere ,in every heart in every home and in every mind.
    There were a handful of them who thought of me as a superfluous entity to be dispensed with ,just to achieve their ideal world .They wanted their rubrics in all the places, their rules being followed. They constantly checked if their mental equations were perfectly overlapping with the real world. They wanted uniformity in life. Their goal was to have a world of no odd man out , no anomalous thinking , no atypical ideas . Annihilation of one and all who came in their way was the tool for achieving their dream . As long as they were only a handful and did not transform into a huge cult , I never felt threatened for my existence.
    Those days I roamed about the place like a balmy breeze in a chilly night .I sauntered around the place ,resided in many a composed minds and coexisted with dreams and aspirations and vision of a shared future for everyone. I promised a dream to every child , a promise to grow up ,live a full life without being shot by bullets or their homes and schools be razed or bombed. I gave every mother a lullaby to sing and every friend a hope to have a lasting friendship. When people left their homes, there were only ‘ see you soon and you will be missed’ kind of exchanges without any uncertainty looming large in anyone’s mind.
    It’s a war ravaged city now. Hundreds of thousands have fled with their families , leaving behind their empty houses . Roads full of battle tanks, smoke still reeks of devastation . The entire city carries a grim reminder of the fact that when people start believing in ideas ; good or bad , big or small having a pedestal above people ……………………..peace starts shrinking.
    Even the displaced people are wondering now, how it happened to their world ? did they allow it to happen to them? How could they let the ideas reign over humans? How could an idea be so great and justified to bring about carnage? Were they too responsible for this blood bath? Why did they let the crazy and fanatically ideated people get by with their warped thinking of uniformity? should they have thought for themselves before buying into the twisted idea ?Now they were regretting being tad too busy with their lives to not to have noticed what was coming to them.
    I am marginalized and shrinking day by day .This place is completely non conducive for my survival. Yet there still are a bunch of old guys out there , incapacitated but still waiting for a miracle to happen . Though I do not know , between the desperation and hope who would blink first ,I am going to stay here till the last man keeps me alive in their mind and prays for my return.

    Like

    • Hi Kirti,

      What I loved about your post is that it is probably the only entry in this contest that personifies peace and talks about her (or him?) as a character. You actually take us through the process of the fall of peace: at the beginning of your scene, peace is thriving in the city, but then she becomes less and less important, until at the end she doesn’t even know if she’s going to live any more. But there is also that last remnant of hope, that as long as she lives in at least one person, she’s not really dead. I liked the themes that you displayed in the piece, and in many ways, it probably fit the brief of the contest the best of all the pieces I’ve read today.

      So thank you 🙂

      Like

  16. “Probably, hundreds of centuries has passed by now, but beheaded corpse of known one, lightning pyres, howling sounds of grief still haunts me. I’ve no idea, when I should get out of this unknown fear of dismay” Arjuna said. “
    “Indeed! Little brother” Karna replied.
    “My condition is worse than me. Being on wrong side and, sin of attacking my own brothers with arrows of venom will never unburden me”
    It is like any other day in heaven, exotic gust, loony wide spread silence, and two noble souls of Karna and Arjuna lost in an imitable conversation. With head dipped in lap with shame, Duryodhna is sitting next to them. In whole conversation, he did not speak a single word, and keep cursing his adamant behavior for the wholesome reason of blood shed at Kurushetra.

    They find Krishna coming from a distance, and when he approaches near them, with head bowed three of them folded their hand in Namastay. Krishna sit under a banyan tree, after his consent and blessings, they too take their position near Krishna feet. Before Arjun introduces lord to the going conversation, almighty Krishna to whom everything is known said, ‘I know the reason behind these regret lines on your face, and in heart. Brother Karna… Brother Duryodhan, for you this Mahabharata is just a blood shed, which gives you nothing rather than an eternal pain of regrets for breaking the breach of peace. Please, don’t ail noble souls of yours with the feelings of a sinister. This whole world is a creation of Lord Brahma, In which hundred and millions of mere humans are puppets, playing part of their history encrypted in their destiny by Brahma; without his permission even ice can’t melt in burning desert.’

    Krishna rested for few seconds, and, after examining others affinity in conversation is still on, further quoted ‘Everyone on this mortal earth has its own version of good, bad or evil. Whatever deeds one did, became lessons for their upcoming generation. If you commit sins- you’ve to pay the price. In the same way, Mahabharata was not just an epic battle fought for infinite acres of land, or power, but it was conspired by Brahma for preaching the earth with the truth of “Gita.” The red soil of Kurushetra is not the symbol of Pandvas victory, epitome of Karna velour or stubbornness of Korvas. This red color reminds the ‘victory of truth’ over evil, and, in future, if someone else dares to challenge the eternity of truth: it take time, but by the wrath of Lord Shiva, they will be soiled too. Krishna’s words spell bounded three of them. They got their answer; all of ’em were just dices in the game of chess, not the players. Only players Lord Vishnu, Brahma and Mahesh.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Saurabh,

      Interesting piece you have here. Surprisingly enough we have had almost four entries based on the Mahabharat even though the topic had nothing to do with it. I guess we do see a lot of truths in that story. The main theme of your scene appears to be that war, sometimes, is necessary to keep the peace, and in such times, we must just grit our teeth and get on with the job, without agonizing over why and how.

      That is actually the most often-occurring theme in this contest. Almost everyone who entered said that war is sometimes necessary, so tough luck. But we have now reached a stage where any of the top ten countries in the world can wipe all of humanity with a few button presses. If there is another large-scale war on a global scale, most likely, that will be it for us.

      So I wonder if there is a case for taking the opposite view: that a war is NEVER necessary, no matter how much we think it is. What do you think?

      Thanks for sharing, by the way 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  17. First thanks for sharing the set of videos about happiness. It gives a totally different perspective. Very interesting set

    ——————————————————————————————————————————
    Ravivarman Rajendran said “Thiru, hope all is fine. Let me take leave” Thrirunirai selvam was standing on the railway station. How bad can it be?. When the train arrives, wait till people fill the platform. Then press the button. “Its fine. I will take care” “Your attention please. The next train from Mumbai arrives in 5 minutes” The sweet voice from the Public Address System (PAS) counting down. Selvam slowly walked along the platform to find a empty seat. Unusually today the station looked very crowded. He wanted to grab the mike from the PAS and say “Your attention please. Since you all have been working everyday without break, today is your holiday. Please leave the station immediately” At last he found an empty chair and sat. Why am I not sweating? Is that not the right reaction? I should be sweating. Yes. I should be sweating profusely. But why am I not. When this is all over, a doctor should examine me. He laughed at his inside joke.
    Hope Rajendran pays the promised amount to my Mother. Of late she had been complaining a lot about lack of provisions at home. My younger brother too has to pay his college fees. Pity them. What will they do? If only my father had seen the kid crossing the highway, a little early, from his high Lorry seat, he would not have crashed it on the nearby tree? The family responsibilities would not have crashed over me. I told him to buy a pair of glasses.
    Would there be any fathers like mine in this station? Probably many. Would there they all have a young lad at home who has to drop out of school to take care of his family? At least one or two. If I walk away, would one of them give me some work which pays enough to take care of my family. No one.
    Even my relatives took one day to come to my Father’s death. How can I expect people staying so far here, to travel across to Jaffna to help me in my troubles. I had to give my land as guarantee, to get a loan, even from my Uncle. How can I expect, people with whom my great grand fathers shared land and food, to help me. Expecting people, who look out of their house only when current in their home goes away, to come out of their own circle of life to help me. Impossible. Not practical.
    They cannot see or hear the bombs blasting several miles away making many homeless. They do not have such a powerful telescope to see or we do not have such good loudspeakers for them to hear.
    What rajendran said is right. People require some kind of distraction from their routine to make them notice us. It is hard nowadays to get people’s attention. Rajendran said that its like calling for a political meeting. Except here we do not serve you biryani or pay you money for your attention. We have to pay them through lives. Even media like TV and newspaper requires a sensationalism to pull people in to watch their own problems. Like a earthquake in gujarat, A Tsunami in TN, A flood in JK, A terrorist attack in Mumbai, A firing in Kashmir border. Even movies require violence to attract audience. But our nations Father, Gandhi said an eye for an eye makes the world blind. But the population around the world is large enough that we have sufficient eyes.”
    The blaring sound of the train entering the platform made many to cringe.
    “Would Rajendran pay my family as promised? He is the only one who came to my help in my need. He stood by me during my pain. I believe him. If not him, who else. Mother was saying she had to visit Kashi before her lifetime. Brother said he needs to start his own company and employ many like us. It all depends on Rajendran. ” The platform got filled with people. “In Rajendran I trust” pressed the button. Love for Family triumphs.

    Like

    • Nitthilan, I enjoyed reading this. There are a few lines sprinkled throughout your piece which speak the sad truth. We talk of peace but we’re not yet ready to do anything to help the unfortunate. There is war and violence and sadism buried deep within us, probably so deep that it is impossible to pry out no matter how hard we try. The devil is indeed within us. The parts about movies and media feeding on violence is also a striking one. If we’re really as peace-loving as we say we want to be, why do we enjoy watching Salman Khan beat up a bunch of goons? We all want violence. We all want war. At least our instincts do. Whether we can achieve a level of conscious thought that overrides these instincts – that remains to be seen. We’ll know soon enough.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

      Like

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: