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To Pray or not to ... ?

Prelude : I kept my promise today. I'm back with a post.

My first tryst with prayer was mainly due to my gluttony. Yeah,you read it right ! A sin-laden virtuous beginning. As they say, it is the age of Kali.

I remember my father saying prayers in the puja room, scent of incense wafting in air, the little bell ringing and the beautiful peda(a sweet) served on tiny copper plates. Needless to say, I loved peda and that drove me to that room itself. Yes ! Temple bells fascinated me. It felt awesome to wake up someone from a nice siesta.

At school, we had prayers at the assembly, before classes and after classes too. I hear some schools have prayers before lunch break too. The words still remain etched in my mind. Serene. Pure. Just as I told them then. Without much understanding of course.

There came a phase in life where I stopped praying. I rationalized that there is no one to listen. So why waste time ? After all, one cannot be fooled all the time. I never was a big-time temple goer. So it didn't quite bother me much.

But,there is always a sting in the tail. I came to peace with myself. The raging war within waned with time. Maybe it is still on with a considerably low intensity. I feel there was no reason now to get angry with anyone. Maybe its the cycle of karma. Or something else I cannot lay my finger upon right now.

I re-visited those old prayers. Their words. Meaning. Significance... to a certain extent. I realized that I was lucky enough to be taught to pray. To believe in someone who can do everything. Not that I got my bag of excuses for a lifetime but someone whom I can pour out all my troubles. Anytime. Free of cost ( I told you, it is the age of  Kali). They may not warranty fulfillment but yeah, a sense of comfort is guaranteed.

It took me long to know it well. Prayer is not about give and take, its about self-actualization.  


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Is there any viable alternative to AFSPA?

The mere mention of armed forces evokes the image of courage, bravery and discipline in India. However, in north-east India and Jammu and Kashmir, the picture is vastly altered. Military force is synonymous with fear, brutality and suspicion. The main reason behind this contradictory public image is the “draconian” law, Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act. It has vested the armed forces with absolute power mainly to aid fight against terrorism and insurgency. Several unprovoked arrests, tortures, rapes and deaths go unnoticed under the wraps of AFSPA.Unmarked graves have been found in the valley. Fake encounters and disappearances make headlines.  At times, it is a case of mistaken identity. Violence in Jammu and Kashmir has increased since implementation of AFSPA in 1990. Similar incidents are reported from the north-eastern states. 
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