Stories and their Eternal Weave

What is the one story that has stood by you as life ebbed and surged in infinite undulations? Is there a tale, so powerful, that it can take you from the throes of unhappiness and plunge you into a world of wonderment? How did children come to look up to the storyteller and seek him as if he were God? Why does a story bind us like nothing else in this world? Why, do we have so many questions and no answer to the one we would all like to know, what was the first story ever told?Perhaps it predates so much back in time, that we can only believe that it is as old as the universe. Adam and Eve come close to being the first characters ever created. The Bible, figures in the Guinness Book of World Records for not only selling more copies than any other book, but to be consistently rated as the number one book to have transformed the lives of millions of people, incomparable to any other body of work.

Voltaire said, “Faith consists in believing when it is beyond the power of reason to believe.” If faith can move mountains, then what is at the foundation of faith? Is it just make-believe statements or personal accounts that otherwise could not have existed had they not occurred naturally, at least in a partial percentage. For there is a very remote chance that they could have been fully imagined otherwise. These are stories of bravery and valour, of awe-inspiring sacrifices and of triumph of the good over the evil. Stories that have stood the test of time because it was not time that created them, but a willingness to tell a story as it should be told, undiluted and flowing like the words of God himself. Ved Vyas performed the Akhand Tapas in the forests for years. He was so well versed in the Vedas and the Shastras that he was able to segregate them, a near impossible task. Then came his epic of epics, the Mahabharata, a divine gift to mankind. But, ever since business and economy have taken centre stage, there has been little relevance given to ancient texts and teachings.

The question then arises, can matter exist without matter? Water needs hydrogen and oxygen, fire needs a spark to jump-start the flames. Similarly did the Espirit De Corps exist in isolation? Did it come from nothing? No.  It existed in the Ayats of the Quran, in the shlokas of the Gita and in the verses of the Bible. So did unity, diversity, employee motivation and several other modern day teachings. If Krishna can live on as Kris and if fairy tales can be further immortalised by digital technology, it is only a matter of time before other legends and folktales become a part of our everyday lives.

The latest Amar Chitra Katha is right on your desktop, an icon glowing, waiting to explode on your screen. Snow White and Cinderella go about their duties in 3-D even as their evil relatives plot their downfall. Aesop and Grimm too have travelled well beyond the walls of their European homes. Neil Gaiman, that magician with words, says in his book Coraline, “Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”

So, let us also travel with these stories and see where they take us, for they may lead us nowhere or lead us beyond our destinies, but surely will leave us more entertained and enlightened, than ever before. A thought, before you begin with that next big story!

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INDIA AND PAKISTAN

‘Neighbours, but still tension prevails more than peace; same physiological conditions , still hatred prevails more than love’ - This has been the tale of India - Pakistan relations so far. Each time a new government is crowned in India and each time the power shifts between politicians and the military in Pakistan, the whole globe awaits the decisions of each of these countries about the relations between each other. It is worth mentioning that from Vajpayee to Dr. Singh, nothing of some value has turned up from the High Level talks. All these talks have been more of a custom than any sincere initiative to calm down the region and thereby provide a threshold to progress.

The most evident aspect of the attitude of these nations to each other is the frequency of cricket matches between these countries. In both these nations, cricket is a religion of the majority or even more. Avoiding cricket matches between themselves is a strong move to make the hatred known. It is India, who appears to be more interested in this kind of a move. It is interesting that India has neither hosted nor visited Pakistan after the 2008 incidents except once, which was more a way to restore its pride after a continuum of losses than a move to encourage cooperation. After a long time it was announced a few weeks back that bilateral series between India and Pakistan would be restored next calendar year, the latest happenings brings back a question mark to the statement.

Now, the ascend of Narendra Modi as the Indian  Prime Minister, was believed to trigger more tensions in the border. But,  nothing has gone hot yet! Instead, it was seen that he started meetings and peace talks from the scratch. When things were expected to be as usual, he stepped back from the meetings after the Pakistan High Commissioner met the separatists in Kashmir. Though it was routine, as Pakistan claims, Modi seems to be upset with it and wants it changed. This is the trouble in assessing this relationship- one can  never guess what it would be like the next moment! When everything seems  to be on track , something comes up. From Mumbai terror attack to the latest Pakistan High Commissioner’s meeting with the separatists in Kashmir, all these factors have spoiled it. Peace seems to  hate this part of the world altogether

We have for sure fallen hands down to the trap set by the British to prevent the growth and development of the region. The policy of Divide and Rule was a great success, right from the case of Bengal to that of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. The way they split India into a Hindu nation and a Muslim nation did the trick and India is still developing. No other nation in the world would have matched India’s wealth and now we still striving to be one of the ‘Riches’. We need to break the stereotypes and rise.

Whatever be, the common man continues to believe that sooner or later a positive decision would be made. For Indians, it is that his children would have the right to draw an Indian map with Her head held high and for Pakistanis that terror and blame game on Kashmir would end, irrespective of whether Kashmir is India’s or Pakistan’s. But, still, a solution seems to be very far.

 

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