Short Story Archive for Spiritual:

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

Reincarnation

Yogi
Yogi was used to fending for himself.  He was a very quiet child for all of his six years.  He had bright shining eyes, large forehead, high cheekbones and aquiline nose.  His lips were less than full but not thin and when he smiled everyone got mesmerized.  He had that tranquil quality to his persona.  He was largely left alone.
 
 
Yogi loved to go into the wilderness.  It was an easy access from the back of the house.  He loved the forest and was not afraid of anything.  For hours he would sit on a fallen tree branch and daydream.  The forest creatures too left him alone.  They knew a kindred spirit when they saw one.  The playful monkeys stilled in his presence.  The birds simply loved to be within his sphere soaking up his benign aura.  Their lively twitter hushed of its own volition.  The flowers perked up brightening when he was around.  The tree boughs would bend as though in reverence.  They recognized an ancient soul.  They knew.

Yogi was a loner and his cousins only sought him out when they wished to play chess.  He was a born chess player.  No one had beaten him yet in that household, elders included.  Yogi never showed off, just made his moves effortlessly.  He simply knew.  It was uncanny. 

 
***   ***    ***

 

Sheila
 
Sheila was Yogi’s mother and a widow.  She was very attractive and still retained her perfect form and lovely voice.  The only thing that had changed was her bubbly happy go lucky spirit.  She had now become more quiet and pensive.  She had gotten married to an army officer of her parent’s choice and had been relatively happy.  Her heart however belonged to her childhood sweetheart Amar Pundit and she had always thought they would get married one day.  But as fate would have it Amar died in a freak road accident and Sheila was inconsolable.  She almost lost her mind in grief.  The family out of concern quickly got her married to a family friend’s son who adored Sheila.  Yogi was born soon after.  He had been fathered by Amar but only Sheila knew about it.  India was at war with Pakistan and as luck would have it; her husband was killed in the very first sortie.  Sheila returned to her parent’s home carrying her infant son.  She did not wish to get remarried or leave her home ever again.  The family had a huge barnyard of a house and Sheila was welcome to stay.  She was the only sister to four older brothers and they all loved her.

Sheila decided to hone her singing skills.  She approached the revered Pandit Jairaj of the famous Hindustani gharana.  The guruji put her through her paces and reasonably appeased, accepted her as a student.  Guruji was a very hard taskmaster but Sheila did not shirk and won over the guruji in a short time. 

Pandit Jairaj was often invited to sing at prestigious events and often he invited Sheila along.  Occasionally he even let her give solo performances.  Thus gradually Sheila gained self confidence and then after three years, she decided to strike out on her own with her guru’s blessing.   Sheila loved to experiment and loved fusing old with the new.  Her first solo disc was sent to the local radio station and soon it caught the fancy of the young and old alike.  Her compact disc (cd) became a hit.  Sheila has arrived.  Subsequently she made several new cds with her own brand of fusion music and lyrics and they sold well as she had become known by then.  She even gave solo concerts.  Thus Sheila became financially independent and well able to care for Yogi and herself.  But she loved her old home and never left it.  Banaras had a strong hold on her.  She belonged.
 
***   ***   ***

Amar
 
Amar Pundit’s lineage was a veritable who’s who amongst the learned savants and sages of Banaras.  His family was very orthodox and traditional and conversant in all the holy texts and Vedas.  Amar was the second son and hence when he strayed from the family fold, there wasn’t much opposition.  He wanted to be an astronaut and was pursuing his career accordingly.  Sheila and he were school friends and had gravitated towards one another from day one.  Opposites attract as they say.  Amar was the quiet one and Sheila was the chatterbox.  Amar loved chess, Sheila loved tennis. Amar loved the library, Sheila loved the movies.  Thus each one gained from the other.  Amar however was extremely good looking and had a strong lithe body.  He loved to do yoga first thing in the morning.  He was in perfect shape and swam life a fish.  He had great discipline and strength of mind.  Sheila’s family loved him like a son.  Often they would be seen on the roof of the house where Amar would point out all the constellations and then point out to that one particular star which he said belonged to only the two of them.  Laughingly he would say, once he became an astronaut, he would take her there.  He was crazy about astronomy and dreamed of visiting faraway galaxies and planets.
 
***   ***   ***
 
As far back as he could recall Amar had that same recurring dream.  He would find himself prostrate before a huge gold Buddha statue in a subterranean cave in a remote mountain.  Ancient Tibetan chants washed over him and he seemed to be mouthing the same with fervor.   All he’d recall upon waking up was that he felt energized and at peace after this dream.  In his spare time, he took to researching Buddhist texts to find an answer.   Often in his dreams, he also saw his head in the cosmos and the planets and stars rotating and revolving around him!  He would awake all shook up and perplexed after this particular dream.
 
****   ***   ****

The Monk

To free my mind
I sit to unwind
Detached from tree
A mere leaf I be
Can hold neither them nor me
Time and tide I ever be
Stilling mind I sit still
Lotus pose daily drill
Mind’s activity to abate
Ever wiping its slate
Detached thoughtless
Purposeless- nirvana
To free mind
I sit to unwind
A monk I be!

When meditation is mastered, the mind is unwavering
 Like the flame of a lamp in a windless place.
Bhagavad-Gita Gita

***   ****   ***

The Monk

 
The head monk Tenzin Rinchen who was the senior most amongst the yellow hat sect was dying.  All the senior monks had been summoned to pay their last respects and get final instructions.  There were five of them in all and now they had to follow old traditions and after suitable visions and divination, they would find the home where the head monk had reincarnated.
 
***   ***  ***
 
The lake was like a blue turquoise studded in the pristine Himalayas.  The monks gathered early in the morning mists.  They chanted the sacred prayers paying obeisance to invoke the Goddess Kali of the lake.  Finally after exact one hundred eight minutes the Goddess appeared on the surface of the lake and pointed towards the foothills and Ganges valley- there seemed to appear a glowing light in the sky showing the direction they should take.  Quickly they noted the latitude and longitude and the constellations and after final prayer, they headed back to the cave.  There they collected the sacred relics and some personal objects belonging to the venerable yellow hat and began their quest.

Two of the monks Yongten and Tsewang  were sent on this mission and the other three stayed back to prepare for the anointment of the reincarnated one.  They had many secret ceremonies to perform.
 
***   ***   ***
 
Yongten and Tsewang got up early in the morning to take a dip in the holy lake and ask for blessing from Goddess Kali.  Then they were on their way following the direction of the holy light as was manifested by Kali.  They carried with them a sacred lamp.  When the glow was strong they knew they were on the right track but if the lamp’s glow weakened, and then they knew they had to turn back.  This was their compass of faith.  They lived off the fruits in the forest and if some kindly villager invited them over they accepted their invitations.  This gave them an opportunity to know about the village and its people.  They usually turned their conversation to children with uncommon abilities and grace.  So far they had struck out.  They did not lose heart but pressed on.  Soon they entered the forest leading to the city of Banaras.

***   ****   ***
 
Yogi was seated on a tree branch and as usual was in deep reverie.  Some ancient chants and Sanskrit slokas continuously played in his head.  Of its own volition, he started writing these in the dirt in front of his feet and then suddenly he wrote the letters Y and T.
He came to and looked at what he had written but was mystified.  He had no clue.  But he was aware that something momentous was about to take place which would change his life forever.  His inner spirit was beckoning the two monks Yongten and Tsewang. 
 

***   ***   ***
 
Yogi’s mother Sheila was having strange dreams.  She saw Yogi dressed in flowing saffron robe with tonsured head seated on a high dais.  People were prostrated before him and were chanting ancient hymns.  She too found herself bowing to her son!  She was confused.  How? What? Why?  She knew in her guts that her son was different and his destiny was preordained.  Only she did not know when that would happen.  She also felt pangs of separation from him which she quelled fiercely.  She bided time nevertheless.
 
***   ***   ***
 
Yongsten and Tsewang lighted their lamp to determine if they were on the right track.  The lamp glowed brightly.  They were reassured.  Quickly they settled down for the night in the dilapidated hut they had come across in the forest.   They would leave early and head for the great city of Banaras.

***   ***   ***

Banaras*
Mystic Banaras city of Shiva and sanctity, resting on left bank of the holy river Ganga is the Hindu’s center for nirvana. It is believed here in Banaras Lord Shiva and his consort Parvati stood when time started ticking for the first time. A plethora of folklore is associated with this ancient city.  Varanasi has found place in the Buddhist scriptures as well as the great Hindu epic of Mahabharata.  ‘Kashi’ signifies that it is a ‘site of spiritual luminance.’  It is the city of the dead, the undead and rebirth.

***   ***  ***
Monks Yongten and Tsewang
The two monks resumed their quest through the forest.   Soon they experienced a subtle change in the air and in the flora and fauna.  This part had strong vibrations and the trees were greener and flowers brighter.  They knew they were headed in the right direction.  Their bent shoulders straightened and their gait gathered speed.  They felt rejuvenated.  They confirmed by lighting their special lamp and the flame was strong and steady.  They smiled satisfied.
At the edge of the forest they came across a sprawling house.  Involuntarily their eyes looked up and espied a young boy standing in the roof.  He was calm and looking towards them as though expecting them.  It appeared as though he had beckoned them here.  They were compelled to bow towards the child!  Gathering themselves they entered the courtyard. 

Yogi’s cousins surrounded the monks and as was customary invited them inside and ran to fetch the elders.  The monks were served with a simple repast and then everyone gathered to know about them.  They plied them with questions about where they were from and where were they headed.  The monks exchanged glances and then asked about the child on the roof.  Instantly everyone knew they were enquiring about Yogi.  Quickly the cousins ran to fetch Yogi and Sheila.
Sheila’s heart was pounding.  She felt it in her bones that something momentous was about to take place.  She felt bereft and elated.
With unhurried steps, Yogi descended the staircase and entered the living room.  He quietly sat down in front of the two monks with an impassive demeanor.  The monks seemed nonplussed at first.

Then they asked to speak with the boy’s parents.  Sheila came forward saying she was a widow.  Then the monks spoke about their quest and the passing away of their head monk and subsequent reincarnation.  They had come to fetch their master home.  They said they had been guided to this house and were certain the child Yogi was their master.
The whole family was wonderstruck except Sheila.  Then grudgingly they too felt that this statement felt just right.  Yogi had always seemed removed from them.  He belonged on a different plane altogether.  Then the monks in order to clinch this matter conducted the ancient tests as was customary.  Yogi passed all the tests without faltering for a second.   Yongten and Tsewang were satisfied.  The head monk Tenzin Rinchen had reincarnated as Yogi.
Now came the hard part.  They had to take the child away from his family.  Sheila felt all torn up inside.  Yet she knew that this was Yogi’s destiny.  He was destined for greater things in the service of humanity.
He was going home.

 
note:* Banaras aka Varanasi, Kashi info. and picture from internet

Hindustani gharana: particular style of singing

© binagupta., all rights reserved

The Heart Knows

What is happening to me?  His mind screamed.  Oh Lord Krishna please help me.  I know god is one and all that but why am I reciting Shree Durga mantras. Something that I have never done in my life.  I am confused.  Krishna please help me understand.!! All I want to do is to hold my lovely wife Rose and son Jay close to my heart and come to your temple in person to pay my homage Krishna.  HELP!!!
 
Hotshot builder architect Neil Bhatia found himself constantly chanting goddess durga chant “Om Sarva mangala Maangalye   Shivey Sarvaartha Saadhikey    Sharanye Trayambikey Gauri  Naraayani Namostutey
 
He was flabbergasted.  How did he know this mantra??  To date he had only chanted Krishna mantras as his folks were staunch Krishna devotees and contributed heavily to the Delhi ISKON temple.  He came up blank. Ever since his head on collision, his world had become topsy turvy.


Neil Bhatia, the son of Bhatia the leading Builder of Delhi was in Shimla on a working holiday.  He was staying at Hotel Oberoi Cecil.  There was a builder’s convention in the hotel.  After attending a few talks and workshops, Neil decided to take a walk down the Mall.  His timing coincided with Rose and they met halfway.  Neil was classically handsome with killer looks and blue eyed fair Rose looked ravishing in an aquamarine dress.  It was love at first sight.  Smiles and nods soon changed to handshakes and embraces leading to an engagement.  Bhatias and D’Costas were both broadminded and had full faith in their children.  Soon a marriage was solemnized in a church and in Hindu tradition and Rose moved back to Delhi.   After all the festivities and honeymoon excitement was over, Rose began an avante garde Nursery school with the latest teaching techniques.  Her family school catered to children of foreign ambassadors and the wealthy.  Hence she was familiar with the latest innovations and utilized them in her school as money was no object.  With in laws’ blessings, she also set aside eleven scholarships for those deserving children who could not pay the steep school fees.
Her staff was hand picked and as committed to quality teaching as her.  Hence when Rose was pregnant, she could stay home without any worries.  Jay Bhatia was born one stormy day and looked like the elements were rejoicing with her two families. 


 
****    ****  ****   ****
 
O Virgin Mary!! I, Rose D’Costa Bhatia wish to thank you from the bottom of my heart for the miraculous recovery of my love Neil.  As promised I have come on this pilgrimage to your beautiful St. Michael’s Church in Mahim, Mumbai.   I am fulfilling my vow and completing my Novena by attending mass on nine consecutive Wednesdays with my son Jay. Thank you Mother.


Rose D’Costa was an incredibly lovely Anglo- Indian of 23 years.  She wished to get away from her family run convent school and strike out on her own.  She applied and got a teaching post at the famous Bishop Cotton School in Shimla.   She was very happy and often during free time explored the town and its environs.  Once she found herself outside the Kali Bari Temple.  She was hesitating to enter when she saw the priest emerge from within.  Priest Durgesh saw her interest and showed her the temple complex giving a running commentary about its history.  They became friends.

 
****    ****    ****
 
Today, I cannot contain my joy.  My innermost desire to become the head priest of our Goddess Durga’s shrine has become a reality.  Father is unwell and needs to rest.  Mother Durga has always been kind to our family and continues to bestow HER benevolence.  Our Kali Bari temple is graced with the presence of Goddess Shymala (Shimla).  I simply love morning arti best and chanting Durga mantras constantly. 
 
Durgesh’s college friend was getting married in Delhi and he decided to shop for the wedding gift there itself. Knowing his best friend’s likes, it did not take him long and as he was hailing a taxi, a car suddenly burst out of the parking lot and hit him.  The accelerator had been  erroneously pressed by the child driver in mischief and Durgesh was injured badly.  Meantime, the car’s chauffeur managed to grab the steering from the child’s hands and halt the car. But it was too late and Durgesh was grievously injured.


****   ****    ****
 
Yes, I think I can finally negotiate and deliver the property vacant to dad for our next big project.  Dad will be delighted and relieved. The squatter has finally agreed to meet and surely we can come to an amicable settlement.  I can feel it in my bones.  Then I can celebrate with my bundle of joy Jay and Rosie who have both been very patient with my short temper lately.  I feel awful about my behavior and after today will make it up for it to them..  In fact I will surprise them with tickets to Disney World In Florida USA.  They will be delighted. 

 

The Bhatias had purchased a large property on the outskirts of Delhi and Neil had to go there to negotiate with the last squatter.  Waving goodbye to Rose and son Jay, Neil rushed out.  As he was driving on the highway, a truck with failed brakes suddenly jumped the median and crashed into his car.   The steering embedded in his chest and he lost consciousness.  The accountant who was seated next to Neil was shaken but uninjured and immediately alerted everyone.  An ambulance was on its way. 

 
Neil required a heart transplant.  Durgesh was brought in unconscious at the same time.  His injuries were grievous.  The police had found Rose Bhatia’s phone number along with Soham Kher in Durgesh’s  pocket.  Soham was out of reach but Rose was available and was coincidently in the hospital itself.  The police informed Rose about Pandit Durgesh’s accident.  Rose called the head priest in Shimla at once and advised him about her own plight as well.  Once the senior priest came to know that their son could not be saved, he gave permission to have his heart donated to Neil.  He felt, in this way a vital part of his son would be alive in Neil’s body.  The heart transplant was a success. 
 
***   ***   ***
 
Neil slowly regained his strength.  Only his nights were bizarre.  He found himself nightly in a Goddess Durga Shrine performing arti and chanting Durga stotram constantly.  Rose then told him about Pandit Durgesh and how she had become his friend.  Neil wanted to visit the temple and also meet Durgesh’s parents.  Rose decided to call them to Delhi instead. Upon arrival, they came to know that their son’s heart remembered Goddess Durga and hence Neil the staunch Krishna devotee was fluently reciting all Durga slokas without a single error.  He had never chanted them before.  His donated heart knew.
 
“Om Sarva mangala Maangalye   Shivey Sarvaartha Saadhikey    Sharanye Trayambikey Gauri     Naraayani Namostutey
 
Lord Krishna and Goddess Durga had collaborated.
 
Jay Bhatia now basked in the love of three sets of grand parents viz. Priest Shastri’s family, D’Costas and Bhatias.  He was lovingly cherished by all.

Lord Krishna : Indian deity, god

 Goddess Durga (wife of Shiva) is also called shakti, Goddess Shymala (power)

Shimla is a hill station in Himachal state in India

Mumbai is Bombay India

picture from internet

Lila's Resurrection

Doctor Kevin was exhausted.  He cancelled all his appointments and headed home.

Piled up on the tiny table in the foyer was today’s mail.  Most letters seemed familiar and medical profession related except one.  He picked it up curiously.   He peeled off his address and underneath found a letter addressed to: God, Central Post Office, Mumbai 400 001.   How strange!! He slit open the letter and it said: Dear God, I am in big trouble.  Today I saw a man shot dead right in front of my eyes and I am scared the killers will find me as I am the only eye witness.  Please God, help me. (as translated from Hindi)

It had no return address.  Somehow a letter addressed to God had been forwarded to him by postal mishandling!! Thoughtfully, Kevin set it aside and retired.

~~~~~       ~~~~~~     ~~~~~

Mrs. Pestonjee was turning into a royal pain.  Even extensive plastic surgery could not rejuvenate this crumbling edifice but she still wanted to throw more money.  Fountain of youth was still elusive to her and Dr. Kevin had lost patience.  He vowed to refer her to one of his hungry juniors.  He preferred restorative surgery.  Tired and dispirited he drove faster than usual.  Suddenly he had to swerve sharply as a young woman ran full tilt towards his car.  He was at the top of the slope and hence had not seen her.  Quickly she opened his car door and cowered inside and begged him to drive.  He started the car at once.  Running a few yards down the slope, were three thugs with guns.  They ran towards the woods.

~~~~~~      ~~~~~~~       ~~~~~~

Lila had found refuge in Dr. Kevin’s house but was worried about her dependent parents.  She owned a flower shop outside the famous Hindu God Ganesh’s temple and did brisk business.  She lived nearby in a cheap rented apartment that met her family’s needs.  Lila had witnessed the murder of a famous businessman two weeks ago- it was a case of botched up kidnapping and the thugs had ended up murdering their golden goose.  Now they were on the lookout for her.   She was afraid for her life and with no one to turn to- she had penned a letter to Lord Ganesh and mailed it.  She had felt that the temple priest may throw out her letter but as the lord was everywhere he will get it at the post office. Now her life was in God’s hands.  She and her family had implicit faith in Lord Ganesh.

~~~~~~      ~~~~~~~    ~~~~~~~~

Sister Maria was enjoying the break in her monotonous life.  Dr. Kevin had brought to the church her look alike and she was teaching her all of her peculiar habits etc. so that Lila could pass herself off as Sister Maria.  With a shoe implant, Lila even had a limp like Sister Maria.  Skilled makeup, implants and reversible plastic surgery had changed her completely..  In the interim that Lila was undergoing makeover and facial transformation, Sister Maria used to visit her parents and help out.  No one was the wiser as the nuns frequented this neighborhood and were a common sight.  Soon she was ready to take Sister Maria’s place.  In the meantime to allay suspicion, Dr. Kevin had mailed a letter in Lila’s handwriting to her parents from the Middle East saying she was happy and they should not worry.  This letter was read by the gangsters after bribing the mailman and then resealed.  Their worries were lulled.  Now dressed up as Sister Maria, Lila visited her parents daily and all was well.

~~~~~~~           ~~~~~~~~~       ~~~~~~~~~~~~

The court was filled to capacity.  The businessman’s family had engaged city’s top legal firm to get justice and to put the notorious culprits behind bars for life. The media too was there in full force.  Sister Maria was seated quietly in the back and no one paid any attention to her.  The testimony had begun and due to the lack of any eye witness the defense was urging the case be thrown out.

The nun got up quietly and entered the restroom.  Suddenly there was a diversion in the corridor as a man fell down clutching his heart and screaming.  The bathroom door opened and a veiled woman quickly walked to the courtroom.  In a few minutes, Sister Maria returned and took her seat.

The defense lawyer got up and said that he would like to present to the court his star eye witness.  There was a hush in the court and the gangsters were aghast.  Lila removed her veil and boldly identified the three killers and they were sentenced for life.  The victim’s family was very grateful and awarded Lila a huge amount of money for her bravery.  There was even talk of a movie based on this case.  Lila was rich and famous.

Lila could now fearlessly stay with her parents.  With the money awarded, they moved to their village and lead peaceful lives.  Her God Lord Ganesh had not let her down.

Euthanasia & Living Will Part I

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The media was going crazy trying to get a glimpse of the Spanish Royal family and a chance for an interview with the grieving family members.  Everyone was stoic and tight-lipped.  Donna Isabella was brain dead. She had fallen down the marble staircase of her duplex penthouse in Manhattan and was on life support.  Per her living will, her shell shocked husband had asked the doctors to switch off her life support machine – but this news had been leaked out and now there a huge uproar from her devout  family members and the catholic clergy as Euthanasia was illegal in Spain.

************************
Princess Donna Isabella had led a sheltered life and was always chaperoned by her beloved duena Tita Lozano who loved her like her own child.  She was the favorite of her Papa as she was the only daughter with two brothers.  She had blossomed into a beautiful young woman and had persuaded her papa to permit her to attend the wedding of her best friend Donna Maria to her elder brother Carlos’s best friend Paulo.  Carlos and she were in Rome for the wedding.  This was the first time she was away from the family and relished every moment.  It was a perfect morning and she had risen early and had quietly sneaked out on her own to visit the famous Fountain of Trevi.  Her friend and chauffeur whisked her away and she found herself standing in front of the fountain.  She opened her scarf and let her auburn tresses fly in the wind.  She laughed in sheer joy.  She looked picture perfect.  Diametrically opposite her stood Patrick Murphy who was there on a short Roman Holiday after a grueling work week.  He too was enjoying the view of Trevi when the sound of joyous laughter came as a pleasant wave and caressed his ears.

He lifted his head with a rich mane of blond hair and stared into a pair of dark limpid eyes.  He was enchanted.  Then as Isabella blushed and turned away to take some shots with her camera, he too did likewise.  But as luck would have it, they were so engrossed in capturing Trevi from all angles that they bumped into one another unawares!!  Patrick caught her in his arms or else she’d have toppled and fallen.  He was mesmerized by the pair of dark mischief laden eyes full of  laughter.  A dimple appeared on her left cheek and captivated him completely.  He was lost.    For her it was an adventure and her almost twenty year old heart was beating fast in excitement.

She was giddy headed and reckless and agreed when he asked her for coffee and a snack.  They made their way to an open air café and ordered coffee and croissants.  Both spoke at once asking questions and then he said you first.  Bella merely said she was a college student in town for her friend’s wedding.  Patrick said he was an architect and was working for the firm who had won the contract to rebuild New York world trade center.  He also mentioned that he had been offered a junior partnership in his firm as the senior partners were very pleased with his avant garde and futuristic design sense.  He would be their bridge between old world and the new mod design concepts.  Cupid had really struck and even though they’d just met, they both felt as though they knew one another from ages and time flew.  Soon they realized it was lunchtime and Isabella had to rush back for a formal luncheon with her friend.  Promising to call as soon as she was able to meet, she vanished from his sight.

to be contd….

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