Short Story Archive for Metaphysical:

Transition


Little Bobby loved to venture now that he could crawl.  His mom Raji was usually at her wit’s end turning pots n pans, closets, nooks and crannies for him.  Finally she’d extricate him with cobwebs hanging on curly locks and dust smearing his cherubic face.  His endearing smile melted her anger and she hugged him to her bosom, thankful that he was safe.

Bobby

“Mom is really busy today and now that my tummy is full, I can go and seek new adventure.”  His tiny anklets tinkling, the baby made a beeline for his favorite haunt, that secret room with big brass inlaid doorway and old fashioned chain and lock where happily he gurgled and cooed as though playing with someone.  Luckily the door had been unlocked for mopping and dusting.


“Today I am going to explore that dark corner which has some really interesting jars and pots.  Even though I like that silver baby in the swing a lot but if I can crawl into the rocking chair, then I can have a better look.  Let’s see if I am able to climb on.” 

Pre-Partition of India and Pakistan

Chowdhary Ratan Singh was greatly respected in his town in West Punjab, now in Pakistan.  His family owned a flourishing business in dry fruits.  His brothers and their families also lived in the rambling mansion.  Ratan had one son and two daughters.  He got his girls settled early and was on the lookout for a suitable bride for his son Rajratan(Raj).  Around that time there was a problem in the dry fruit supply from Kabul and he sent Raj to investigate.  Raj went to meet their main supplier Aftab Khan who invited him for dinner.  There he met Khan’s daughter Kesar and fell head over heels in love with her.  Kesar felt the same pull.  She knew her father was ready to marry her off to her awful cousin Kaif who was a mean person and hence knowing their families would never agree, they bolted to Delhi.

 

Kesar’s mother was in the know and not only approved but had given whatever money she could lay her hands on and jewelry.  She even sent a maid to help them.  Both the fathers were angry and washed their hands off them and forbid everyone from even uttering their names.  Ratan cursed his first born but on his deathbed forgave his son and wished they had patched up. 
Rajratan Singh and Kesar were hardworking and after selling their jewelry and diamond ear-rings they were able to have enough seed money to start they own dry fruit business in Delhi.  Both knew the supply sources and through a trusted hand were able to build up their business from scratch.  Here in Delhi festivals and marriages took place all the time hence dry fruits were always in demand.  They had chosen well.  The couple missed their old homes.  They constructed their new home incorporating the beauty of both ancestral homes.  The doors had brass inlaid work and the windows and latticed balconies had intricate colored glass designs to keep the harsh summer sun out.  Cross ventilation kept their home cool.  They were happy except for the one recurring pain in their bosom for their kith n kin whom they missed dreadfully.    Raj and Kesar each had worn cameos of their parents around their neck and hence got paintings done of their elders and it occupied a place of honor in their diwan khana (drawing room).  The kids would get to know their grand parents in this manner only.

Time sped and Raj and Kesar’s two sons decided to study abroad where they subsequently married and settled down never to return. The parents  grieved for their sons realizing how their own parents must’ve felt.  They reconciled and now took one day a time.      

There was a lot of unrest against the British rule.  Some firebrand Hindus decided to bomb the local prison and set free their leaders.  Raj and Kesar were in the bazaar when the bomb misfired and were killed instantly.  Their horse buggy driver and jack of all cook Bakshi quickly gathered up their mangled bodies and got them cremated before sundown. Then they dispatched mail to their sons overseas to return home and immerse the ashes in the holy Ganges.    The letters never reached as the post office was bombed the next day.  The sons remained oblivious of their parent’s demise.  Finally the family lawyer as per instructions sold off the mansion keeping one room locked with family heirlooms for the sons whom he had informed via telegram.  It was a clause that was agreed upon by the buyer in the sale deed.  Their parent’s curse did not let Raj and Kesar rest in peace and their ashes languished along with the heirlooms.  They lingered on.

 

This was the room which attracted the baby most.  The keys had been provided to the new owner for mopping and dusting and for this service the sale price had been adjusted.

Little Bobby managed to climb the rocker in the forbidden room.  He was in seventh heaven.  There were so many interesting objects on the mantle above the fireplace.  Also there were those huge pictures of old people.  He scrambled down and crawled into the corner, when suddenly four hands quickly embraced him and hugged him.  He felt kisses being showered on his cheeks and squealed with delight.  The maid was passing by and heard the sound and came rushing in.  She brought out the dirty squirmy brat and then his mother saw perfect lip marks on his two cheeks! She got the fright of her life!  She decided to investigate.  She saw the nook where Bobby had crawled and there under the red velvet cloth lay two pots tied up with red threads.  They looked like someone’s ashes!


So the old people’s spirits were still in residence!  Oh my God! Her hand flew to her mouth in a silent cry.  She quickly called her husband home and showed him the ashes.

Next morning they called the local pundit who knew the departed well and said that they were waiting for salvation at the hands of their sons.  Fortunately the sons were finally in town to tie up the loose ends of the family business and property sale and had indicated that they would like to see what their parents had stored for them.  They were grief stricken and remorseful about their callous neglect.  But it was too late.  Next day they performed “Havan” and all rituals required to speed off their loved ones.  They immersed the ashes in the holy Ganges.  In their dream their parents had asked them to gift their silver swing with Bal Gopal to little Bobby their little playmate whom they had enjoyed during transition.

Bobby was in seventh heaven as now the secret room was thrown open and made into his playroom.  He slept with the Balgopal by his bedside.  His elderly friends no longer played with him.  They were resting in peace.

pictures from internet- not mine

A Journey- a Connection

A Journey- a Connection

 

Sometimes, certain journeys are like a renaissance painting, a bit blurred but pleasant on the eye and soul soothing.  Such were the trips we’d made consecutively a few years ago during our visit to India.

My sister has great faith in this particular Devi shrine in Himachal and both times she was delighted to have us n make it a family outing.

We piled into a Tata Sumo van in wee hours.  Bro-in-law’s  best friend Jay likes to drive.  After invoking  Hindu god Ganesh and   goddess shakti also knowns as “devi” we were on our way.  Jay is a diehard fan of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan hence out of his copious pockets he withdrew some tapes and we were treated to some soulful sufi music.   We were entranced.  The mood was set for the trip.

I have absolutely no road sense, so will only dwell on what my mind captured on these trips.  On our way after several hours, I recall having a sumptuous meal at a  (roadside diner)   Dhaba.  Then we were climbing the mountains and the hairpin curves around white limestone/sandstone cliffs were rather daunting.  Luckily none of us was nauseous and then we had halted midway up the mountain at a Shiva shrine inside a cave.  This was a natural cave temple of Trilokpur containing a stalactite and stalagamite dedicated to Shiva. High on the ridge of the cave we saw the ruins of a palace and baradari (audience hall). Ihe Shiva temple was very ancient and we had to bend very low to enter this shrine.  Outside, there was a lovely waterfall(banganga) and I felt this is how mount Kailash would be with Ganga flowing out of the Shiva locks as he meditated.

  After paying due obeisance we were on our way reluctant to leave as it was very peaceful high up in the mountains. The Kangra valley is one of the most picturesque valleys of lower Himalayas. Ancient Hindu Temples like Bajreshwari Devi, Chamunda Devi, Baijnath Shiv temple and Jwala Devi ji dot the country side. The valley, sheltered by the sublime Dhauladhar range, is green and luxuriant. It provides a tremendous contrast in nature.

I recall visiting the various “Devi” shrine during these trips. The one place that completely enchanted me was this ancient shrine of Mata called Bagalamukhi.    The Bankhandi temple is located on the Dehra-Dharamsala road, Kangra. There had been a rock fall and a good portion had fallen inwards inside the cave itself.  The inner sanctorum was intact and the caretakers had built a small entrance and veranda around it.  Belief had it that whatever boon you ask there will be fulfilled.  My sister firmly believed in it after a narrow escape and her husband had promised  the Devi that he would return to give thanks and hold a langar (lunch)for the local children and their families. 

After due respects everyone was busy mustering up the locals and preparing for the langar feast.  I absorbed the peace and tranquility of the place.  It was incredible.  The aura and the vibrations were amazing.  Mercifully there were no crowds and in fact at that time we were the only ones there.  I was allowed to sit in the inner sanctorum and the bliss was tangible.  I closed my eyes and meditated.  I was transported.  It was almost an out of body experience.  I was floating and drawn towards the deity. Peace descended on my bruised spirit like a soothing salve.  The Mother had taken me in her arms and removed all my hurts absorbing them and filling the void with love.  I was in a blissful state.  had journeyed within and without. This shrine’s power was quite potent and I felt it fully. I cherish this experience holding it close to my heart.

*In Hinduism, Bagalamukhi or Bagala is one of the ten mahavidya goddesses. Bagalamukhi Devi smashes the devotee’s misconceptions and delusions by her cudgel. She is also known as Pitambara in Northern Parts of India. (wiki)

**Kangra HP, rich in culture and history is sheltered by the massive Dhauladhar range of mountains and this majestic mountain range surpasses all others in its grandeur The history of Kangra valley dates back to vedic times, more than 3,500 years ago. It finds mention in the Puranas the Mahabharta and in Rajtarangani. Kangra valley is one of the most picturesque valleys in the Himalayas. The famous Bajeshwari Devi temple is located in the town.  Kangra town is situated at the confluence of the Baner and Majhi streams, overlooking the Banganga torrent famous for temples, forts and now a speedily emerging as a business centre. There are two other important Hill stations in district Kangra known as Dharamsala and Palampur. All in all, Kangra with a numerous important temples is a great destination for people looking to go on a religious holiday escape.

Dharamshala is full of Buddhist air and McLeod Ganj is Dalai Lama’s official residence, and home to several Buddhist monasteries and thousands of Tibetan refugees.  We got a taste of mini Tibet here.  The shrine of Budhha was very majestic and peaceful. (Source-internet)

pics. from internet

The Lovers Part II (Mirza Sahiban)

Singh family was in an uproar.  They had made grand plans for their only daughter’s wedding and had selected a close family friend’s son as her groom.  Monty (Montek Singh) was madly in love with Guddi who considered him a mere friend much to his frustration.  Now their darling was in love and that too with someone from Sikkim!  That was unthinkable.  How could they let the apple of their eye reside so far away!  It would break their hearts.  Grudgingly they had to grant that it would be a feather in their sport loving family’s cap to have an Olympic Gold medalist and an Arjuna awardee as their son-in-law.  They were also relieved that financially KK’s family was well off.  Their main gripes were cultural differences and distance.  It was hard to reconcile themselves on these two issues.  Their whole clan to date had married within the Punjabi community.  They decided to resist this alliance.

Guddi was in seventh heaven after she came to know that her beloved author “Shivam” was her KK!  She had read every single book written by him.  She longed for her parents to meet KK in person as she knew they would be impressed by him.  KK and his family were scheduled to arrive in Delhi the following week to attend a formal dinner at the Rashtrapati Bhawan (Presidential palace) that was being given to honor India’s Olympic team and the Republic Day honoraries.  KK’s family was planning to meet with Guddi’s parents during this visit. 

The families met and liked each other but still the Singh family balked at this alliance mainly due to the “Gurkha” hilly features of the Kusho family even though they were impressed by the diluted royal bloodline.
They had reached an impasse.

Guddi quietly took KK to the local gurudwara whose head priest was her friend and right from her childhood had been her confidante and consoler.  She felt he would help them out.

The head priest and seer, a realized holy man was revered by the local community.  His words were treated with due respect and reverence.
He liked Guddi and KK at first glance and knew they belonged together.  He looked into their eyes and liked what he saw.  He gave them his blessings and asked them to return with their parents within the hour. 

The two families met the priest in his private chamber and what he told them, startled them all.

***
  Story of Mirza-Sahiba

The Lord of the Jatts – Mirza Jatt – The Archer of the Archers. The Jatt of the Jatts.
And Sahiba the beautiful love lorn soul.

 
Mirza and Sahiban were first cousins as he was sahiba’s mother’s brother’s son. They fell in love with each other. But she was  forcibly being made to wed Tahar Khan instead, by her parents. Sahiba at once sends a taunting message to Mirza, whom she loves, at his village Danabad, through a Brahmin called Kammu.
 It said:

“You must come and decorate Sahiban’s hand with the marriage henna.”

Mirza Khan was the son of Wanjhal Khan, the leader of the Kharal tribe in Danabad, a town in the Jaranwala area of Faisalabad, Pakistan. Sahiba was the daughter of Mahni, the chief of Khewa, a town in Sial Territory in the Jhang district Punjab,Pakistan. Mirza was sent to his relatives’ house in Khewa to study, where he met Sahiba and they fell in love. Her family opposed the relationship, and instead arranged a marriage with a member of the Chadhar family.

In those times people valued their self respect and love, kept their promises, and sacrificed life for truth. Mirza arrived on his horse, Bakki the night before the wedding and secretly carried her away, planning to elope. Sahiba’s brothers got to know about this and decided to follow them. On the way, as Mirza lies under the shade of a tree to rest for a few moments, Sahiba’s brothers caught up with them.

Sahiba was a virtuous and a beautiful soul who did not desire any bloodshed to mar the one she loved. She did not want her hands drenched in blood instead of henna. She thinks Mirza cannot miss his target, and if he strikes, her brothers would surely die. Before waking up Mirza, Sahiban breaks his arrows so he can’t use them. She presumes on seeing her, her brothers would feel sorry and forgive Mirza and take him in their arms. Now Sials and Chandarhs arrive and surround Mirza Jatt. Mirza Jatt gets his Mighty Sword out and starts defending himself but he is one against many. Despite being alone, he fights like a Mighty Warrior and a ferocious Lion but is eventually outnumbered.  Mirza Jatt is hit on the back fatally by Chandarh Jatts and The Great Mirza Jatt Kharral dies.  Sahiba is grief stricken and mourns the death of her lover.  It is said that she died on the spot out of shock and remorse at what she had done. Other’s say Sahiban slaughtered herself with a sword and thus bid farewell to this world.
 
 
Meanwhile Mirza’s Family, mother and sister mourn as the horse Bakki reaches Danabad without Mirza and they come to know the entire story.  Mirza’s Family soon reach the spot where both Mirza and Sahiba lay dead.
 
Mirza Jatt and Sahiba Jatti were buried together and their graves still exist in West Punjab. Sahiba died on the spot but Mirza the supreme Jatt became Immortal forever, in the hearts and minds of the Jatt People. 


***

Some say that Mirza’s horse Bakki was from Shri Guru Gobind Singh’s (10th sikh guru)horse’s blood line. Mirza sahiba’s story is the only story where the guy’s name comes first and then the girl’s. Mirza’s love was greater like a steady flame whilst her’s wavered for both her family and lover.

Mirza–Sahiban is a treasure of Punjabi literature. It is a romantic tragedy

**   ***  ***

The priest then revealed that both the families were the reincarnated Jatt families of Mirza Sahiban and after many lifetimes it was ordained that justice had to be finally served and the two souls had to united. 

The Singhs were rather shook up and quietly agreed without any further reservations.  The lovers were elated.

Note: mirza sahibaan’s story and pictures are from internet only

 

© binagupta., all rights reserved.

Neil’s Reincarnation- Ageless Love

Part One 

Neil’s Reincarnation- Ageless Love

****

Part two: Amber’s Reincarnation

http://www.binaguptapoetry.com/ambers-reincarnation-997.htm

***   ***   ***   ***

Neil, the famous mad sculptor was an obsessed man. Ever since he could recall, every night when he slept, he felt he was drowning  desperately trying to breathe and save his love and himself from a watery grave.  He would get up, wet and shivering and his hands would itch to etch that beloved face.  Gradually he started sculpting that face and form that haunted and lived with him night and day.   He only drew, painted and sculpted that one particular face on every surface, material that he could lay his hands on!!  His family would collect his finished pieces and after his permission would sell them at a local gallery where his work was in great demand.  Thus his family and he survived on this dream love of his.   Valentine’s day was in two weeks’ time and he had been commissioned by his teacher who was also his guide and master to sculpt a piece that could be entered in the national competition as its prize money was half a million plus a trip to USA for entry into international art competition.    He was very keen to sculpt something unique and was looking for inspiration… 

*********************************
Sohni was the daughter of a potter named Tula, who lived in a Gujrat town in the Punjab near the banks of the Chenab on the caravan trade route between Bukhara and Delhi during late Mughal period.
 
As soon as the ‘Surahis’ (water pitchers) and mugs came off the wheels, Sohni etched floral designs transforming them into masterpieces of art.


Izzat Baig, the rich trader from Bukhara (Uzbekistan), came to India on business but when he saw the beautiful Sohni in the town of Gujrat on the Chenab in Punjab, he was completely enchanted. Instead of keeping ‘mohars’ (gold coins) in his pockets, he roamed around with his pockets full of love. Just to get a glimpse of Sohni, he would end up buying the water pitchers and mugs everyday.

Sohni lost her heart to Izzat Baig. Instead of making floral designs on earthenware, she started building castles of love in her dreams. Izzat Baig sent off his companions to Bukhara. He took up the job of a servant in the house of Tula, Sohni’s father. He would even take their buffaloes for grazing. Soon, he came to be known as “Mahiwal”(buffalo herder).  That name stayed with him for the rest of his life — and thereafter. 

When the people started spreading rumors about the love of Sohni and Mahiwal, without her consent her parents arranged her marriage with another potter.
Suddenly, one day his “barat” (marriage party) arrived at the threshold of her house. Sohni was helpless and in a poignant state. Her parents bundled her off in the doli (palanquin), but they could not pack off her love in any doli (box).

Izzat Baig renounced the world and started living like a “fakir” (hermit) in a small hut across the river. The earth of Sohni’s land was like a dargah (shrine) for him. He had forgotten his own land, his own people and his world. Taking advantage of the darkness of the night, when the world was fast asleep, Sohni would come by the riverside and Izzat Baig would swim across the river to meet her. He would regularly roast a fish and bring it for her. It is said that once, when due to high tide he could not catch a fish, Mahiwal cut a piece of his thigh and roasted it. Seeing the bandage on his thigh, Sohni opened it, saw the wound and cried.
From the next day, Sohni started swimming across the river with the help of an earthen pitcher as Izzat Baig was so badly wounded and could not swim across the river. Soon, the rumours of their romantic rendezvous spread. One-day Sohni’s sister-in-law followed her and saw the hiding place where Sohni used to keep her earthen pitcher among the bushes. Next day, the sister-in-law removed the hard baked pitcher replacing it with an unbaked one. That night, when Sohni tried to cross the river with the help of the pitcher, She discovered, to her horror, that the pitcher had begun to dissolve and disintegrate.
What shall she do now? Different thoughts rushed through Sohni’s mind. Abandon the trip?   Or continue trying to swim without the help of a pitcher — and drown? Her inner struggle at this point is  expressed

 translated   into a song  as follows:

Sohni (addressing the pitcher):

It’s dark and the river is in flood
There is water all around me
How am I going to meet Mahiwal?
If I keep going, I will surely drown
And if I turn back
I would be going back on my promise
And letting Mahiwal down
I beg you (O pitcher!), with folded hands,
Help me meet my Mahiwal
You always did it, please do it tonight, too

(The pitcher replies):

I wish I, too, were baked in the fire of love, like you are
But I am not. I apologize; I cannot help

Hearing Sohni’s cries, Mahiwal, from the other side, jumped into the river to save her. He barely managed to reach her. As the story goes, their bodies were washed ashore, and were found the next day, lying next to each other.  With their death, Sohni and Mahiwal entered into the world of legends and lore. And, in their death the sinners became saints.

The Tomb Of Sohni In Shahdapur City Sindh, which is 75 km from Hyderabad, Pakistan. According to the legend the bodies of Sohni Mahiwal were recovered from river Indus near Shahdapur and hence are buried there.

****************************************************
The border between India and Pakistan had been opened and many Indians were allowed to visit historical places and also the old homes of their ancestors.  Neil’s family hailed from Uzbekistan and a few members had settled in Sindh, Pakistan.  Eagerly he boarded the ship for Karachi, Sindh.  After sightseeing to his heart’s content the cab- driver suggested that as the tomb of the famous lovers Sohni- Mahiwal was very near- would he like to see it and Neil agreed and he had time to spare before his family returned from another place.    The minute Neil entered the tomb, he felt very much at home and his agonized spirit was at once at peace.  He had arrived at his destiny.  He felt he was very close to his beloved.  Then he saw the numerous paintings on the wall of Sohni and Mahiwal and it was like déjà vu-  Mahiwal looked just like him and the face and figure he had been drawing all his life was Sohni!!!.  At once he  felt that itching in his fingers and he needed to carve something quickly.  He cut short his trip and they returned home.  Neil shut himself up in his studio and emerged after three days drained but elated.  This was his best work yet.  He had sculpted the figures of Sohni and Mahiwal in the throes of love, embracing one another and the two faces showed the ecstasy and peace of union of two loving souls and kindred spirits.  The sculpture was mesmerizing as though crafted by cupid himself!!

He won both national and international prizes.  The dreams stopped too. 

All pictures and  Sohni- Mahiwal info from internet- not mine

Amber’s Reincarnation

 Part Two:

Amber’s Reincarnation

 Amber was a handful.  She was like a bird of paradise that had landed in a dove’s nest.  Her middle aged professor parents were rather bemused, at this unplanned delivery by Mr. Stork.  Two older sons were doctors and one was a psychologist.  Their New York home had been turned upside down by Amber!

 

Amber had red hair and emerald green eyes and a boyish body to match. 
Her curly top was unmanageable and to tame it brought tears in her stormy green eyes. She was volatile by nature and teetered between one crisis and another.  Her rages crested like boiling milk and subsided as quickly.  Professors Malloy were certain she was their reincarnated great aunt Tillie as Amber was her spitting image.  Dougie, Tom and Mike adored their little sister and were her adoring slaves.  Amber tried her best to ape her elder brothers and was good in all sports and could chug beer like them.  Everyone made fun of her pug nose but her gamin face with high cheekbones and wide forehead offset it well.  She’d say that having been punched in growing years that was to be expected!

 

Amber was four years old when the family went to Cape Cod for summer vacation.  That is when her dreams began.  Every night she would wake up screaming. In the dream she would appear to be drowning and beg for help.  The whole family was in a tizzy.  Quickly they gave her sweet chamomile tea to calm her down.  On return to New York, the psychologist brother tried to speak to her and get to know what was going on in her mind but was at a loss as he had known her all of her four years and no untoward incident came to mind.  He prescribed a very mild sedative for such episodes.

 

At twenty Amber was a world class painter and once the professors had discovered her talent, sky was the limit.  They had all encouraged her every step of the way and she had become a name in the city and state.  There was a brooding quality in her paintings with incredible floral designs evocative of magical Arabian deserts and the Sirocco.  She seemed like a turbulent semi tragic mix of an Irish beauty with elements of the desert wind and sandstorms swirling within.  She had been to Paris and Italy and the artist colonies in the California coast to hone her talent. 

 

There was a great buzz in the fine arts world about the incredible Sculpture from India by an upcoming painter Neil Sindhwani.  Amber was eager to have a look too.  She entered the circular Guggenheim Museum where the exhibition was being held and gradually made her way to the winning entry.  On seeing the lovers she turned to stone!  She knew these faces! They tormented her every time she had those awful dreams.  She had to meet this Neil guy and get to the bottom of this mystery. 

 

The whole Malloy clan saw the masterpiece sculpture and was enchanted by it.  Knowing that their beloved Amber had experienced a déjà vu moment, they decided it merited investigation.   Luckily the sculptor Neil Sindhwani was in New York to receive the prize.  They invited him for dinner.  Neil was intrigued and decided to accept.  

 

Amber was wearing her favorite green dress that offset her eyes and she looked fetching in her sheath dress.  Neil was captivated upon seeing her.  He too felt he had known her forever and at the cost of being rude, he had eyes only for her.  Amber felt the same pull.   Dougie the psychologist decided to get to the bottom of this mutual attraction.  
All preparations had been made and Amber was hypnotized and regressed.  As she was led further and further into her past, she finally became Sohni the potter’s daughter in Sind, Pakistan.   Sohni had loved a young man called Mahiwal but her father had forced her to marry another.  Their love had been so overwhelming that they met in stealth at night.  She swam across the river with the help of a fired clay pot.  Unfortunately her jealous sister in law replaced her pot with an unfired one that melted in the water and even though her lover tried to save her, they had both drowned. 

 

All those who were present were shook up.  Neil and Amber were those unlucky lovers from numerous lifetimes ago!

 

Amber decided to visit the Tomb of Sohni in Shahdapur City Sindh, which was 75 km from Hyderabad, Pakistan. According to the legend the bodies of Sohni Mahiwal were recovered from river Indus near Shahdapur and buried there.  Neil promised to accompany her family and her. 

 

The etchings on the tomb walls were reminiscent of Amber’s painting motifs.  This was a further proof of her reincarnation.  Her parents and Dougie were satisfied about its veracity.  Plus Amber and Neil naturally gravitated towards one another.  Once the families met and approved, they were soon married and Neil opened his own studio cum workshop in New York along with Amber.  They were a team now.  Amber’s dream was a thing of the past.  She had met her other half

pictures are from internet- disclaimer

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