On the Execution of Burhan M. Wani

Either he and his friends were armed and dangerous and had to be shot on the spot

OR

he was intoxicated and began to cry when surrounded.

You cannot have both. As for the people celebrating his “execution”…

A 21 year old boy issues a “challenge” to the Army of a nation. There’s a high chance he has not ever even fired a shot at anyone. He declares, on social media, that what Kashmir needs is Azadi because there is too much violence and too much impunity in the hands of the military. The army accepts the “challenge”, hunts him down and kills him. The people identifying with the State rejoice, even as his friends and neighbors love him more for having the courage to speak out and die while all they have done is avert their eyes when a mother wails for her raped and murdered daughter, for her disappeared sons, for her arrested and tortured husband.

A new line is drawn.

Who wins?

I do not know, but this does not taste like victory.

It tastes like shame.

Question for the Day: How do you define terrorists and heroes?
The answer: Depends on where you are standing.

The test remains the same though:

Terrorists terrorize _the people_.
Heroes fight back _for the people_.

Watch out, brothers and sisters. The long overdue consequences of our actions await us.

The long overdue consequence of our inaction awaits us.

Requiescat in pace, brother.

“It is very evident that there is a lot of anger and alienation as far as the ground situation is concerned, especially among the youth, and these are some of the occasions when they can actually come out on to the street and pelt stones to vent. Otherwise the way things are controlled and managed here, their emotions are suppressed. As a result, people are associating themselves with the sacrifice, commitment and ideology. More and more people feel that Government of India is not going to resolve issues related to Kashmir through dialogue or discourse. This is the reason why young boys are coming and challenging the might of the Indian government despite knowing that they may not win; and they are displaying their resistance and resilience.”

– The aftermath of the Burhan ‘Encounter’

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The Night Begins

He came to her, as he always did, to their chosen secret place, and she smiled as he appeared, breathing heavily from the long walk uphill.

“You’re too happy”, he grumbled, even before she’d managed to greet him.

“Sorry”

He sighed, “Don’t be like that.”

“Okay.”

Damian frowned, but couldn’t bring himself to say anything further. After all, she had returned to see him again, just as she had said she would. He knew it must not be easy. The tired lines around her eyes as she turned to smile at him made him feel a twinge of guilt. But he shivered at the thought of that empty, aching loneliness which was just waiting to envelop him once she was gone for good, and he cast aside those feelings of guilt. Now was not the time.

Cerid was watching him closely, a strange expression on her face as she watched Damian’s distracted frown go through a series of minor transformations, until he suddenly snapped his icy gray eyes on to her warmer brown ones, and even though she smiled comfortingly at him, the haunted look in his tired eyes made her want to cry.

But, Cerid had not cried since the war had ended. Not once. Not even when she had spent two weeks watching Damian destroy everything around him, until the cursing and swearing and whiskey and screaming was all done with, and all that remained in its place was his pale gaunt frame, surrounded only by endless destruction and stony silence. Her heart had ached as she’d watched, but she hadn’t shed a single tear.

Damian liked to believe that it was because she had run out of tears, and not because other people’s agony and pain affected her more than his. Cerid thought it had something to do with the last battle she’d been part of. Because she had had plenty of tears to shed that day. An all of a sudden, the picture of little Remo, lying in a pool of his blood, flashed through her mind.

He had been a day away from his fifth birthday. She had promised to gift him a real kite. He had been counting down the days. The day of the last air-strike… it was Roberto who had found out first. Damian had been in the middle of his own dilemma. Straddling both sides of the war, he had a difficult decision to make. Even though, technically, he would always be of the Shadow Tribe first. Ceridwyn had been at the forefront of the battle. And she had watched Remo die.

Ceri! Ceri!

She opened her eyes to find Damian kneeling over her, eyes full of worry, “Are you alright?”

She laughed, then, suddenly aware of the bizarreness of the situation. “We have to stop doing this”, she whispered, leaning up into the familiar frame of his body. He swallowed, once, twice. “I understand”, he said, “But what am I supposed to do?”

She shook her head at him, despondent and unsettled, “I love you.”

He looked down at her cautiously, then swallowed again, “I have always loved you.”

“And that’s why you can’t stay”, she whispered, smiling up at him gently, even as her eyes sparkled with waylaid tears.

The baby wouldn’t stop wailing. She knew that it was Arianna’s son. Arianna, who had trusted her and helped them escape when the entire kingdom was against them. Arianna, who now lay buried not far from here, shot in the heart with a poisoned arrow, even as her husband fought on in the Outer Circle with the other Marine Corps. Arianna’s son was trapped inside the burning building, and his mother was injured, and there was no one around to help him. Cerid had already lost a lot of blood. But she could hear the shouts in the distance, and it was clear that victory was imminent. She was just steps away from the designated Tower. She’d get medical attention there, and probably be able to send someone for the baby.

But it would be too late.

And as she turned away from the tower and towards Arianna’s home, for some strange reason, she thought of Damian and the last thing he’d said to her.

Dead to me.

He stared at her for a moment, memorizing every detail of her face as she smiled at him encouragingly. “It’s going to be alright. I’m always going to be here, with you.”

“So,” he began, in a shaky voice, stopping to take a deep breath and continue, “What you’re saying is I’ll never be walking alone.”

She beamed at him then, and for just one tiny moment, Damian forgot all about the last night of the Quarter Century War, when he had returned to the village only to find her overwhelmed and outnumbered against Assassins intending to eliminate all the noble-born children.

He had joined in the battle, and afterwards held her blood soaked body in his arms, as the cheer of celebration and jubilation rang out all around them, and the last of her life ebbed away from her. “Forgive me” he had cried, but it had been too late, and the only answer he had was the silence of the blankness in her empty eyes, just as she had promised him.

Sudden darkness. The hill was empty now. A cold wind rustled past the nearby trees, and a whisper trembled at his ear.

“You’ll never walk alone.”

Damian fell to his knees.

The night had begun.

Excerpt: The Cursed

“Why’d you do it?”

Her voice was small, but steady as she stood before Norflus and the bodies of the three young children.

“I had no choice, Saya.. You must believe me.”, said Norflus, taking a step towards her.

“You sick bastard… You murdered them! Your own children!”

“I only did it to save them! They were sick! You know that!! You’d seen Maya and Aliana yesterday! They could barely stand. And Ria hasn’t opened her eyes in 4 days! They’re at peace now, and I’m not sorry for what I’ve done!

The sound of a gun cocking made both of them turn around in time to see a disheveled Shade standing at the door, his eyes sweeping across the ransacked room.

“Saya, what the fuck is going on?”

 “Shade!”, Saya exclaimed, instinctively moving towards him, “What are you doing here? You need to be resting! Where are Tonya and -“

She stopped in her tracks as Shade pointed the muzzle of the gun at her, “I asked you a question.”

Saya stared at him in disbelief, dismayed at her training having seemingly failed her at this crucial juncture. She had no idea what to say to him. Besides the fact that it was dangerous for him to be here.

She watched his eyes sweep over the room, pausing over the bedsheet strewn carelessly over the bodies of the three young children. Oh, no.. Aliana…

Norflus now stepped up to Shade. “My Lord, I did what I thought best. Now you must do the same.”

Saya’s heart began to race. The Imperium would never forgive such a transgression. Already the walls were tainted with the blood of three innocents. Shade would be held responsible. The council was waiting for just such a transgression. The last thing he needed was to kill the one man who could offer proof before the Most Honorable Assembly of The Highest Justice.

She moved closer to him, and Shade drew back his pistol, cracking Norflus across the face with it. It took all of Saya’s training to not gasp out aloud at the sudden violence. Norflus fell to the floor in a faint, and Shade swayed himself.

“Shade!”, exclaimed Saya, slipping her arms around his waist to steady him. “Guards”, she called out into the hall, cursing the Others for letting him out of the Healing Ward and into this mess. He must have followed her. But why was he alone? His body was tense against hers, and she resisted the urge to dig her nails into his back, shocked at the suddenness of the thought.

In anger or in love? she asked herself, suddenly miserable.

Shade looked down at her, “I’m fine. You can let me go.”

Reddening, she stepped away from him. “You tried to shoot me.”, she accused, already aware of what was going to happen next, as if she had seen it all happen before. In the ghost of a dream, she thought, feeling her skin tingle as she watched Shade turn away from her and walk towards the murdered children.

Even though he wasn’t supposed to have entered the room before dawn. By then the girls would have been prepared for the ceremony. And he wouldn’t be walking towards their still-warm bodies on a floor slick with their blood.

It wasn’t your fault, she thought, her heart aching for him. But she couldn’t say that out loud. Because it wasn’t what she was supposed to say. He will curse now. Swear vengeance on the Introducers of this Vile disease. And Norflus.. And even me..

He stopped before the outstretched hand, that would have tugged Saya’s heart right out of her body were it not for her lessons in Momentary Isolation Techniques. “They need a proper funeral”, she said, finally, because that was what she was supposed to do, even though it was six hours earlier than when she was supposed to be saying it.

He will curse now.

A sudden movement on his part drew her out of her reverie, and she saw him on one knee, hand hovering around the youngest child’s hand, which stretched out from below the bloodstained sheet, fingers curled around a crumpled piece of paper. He took the piece of paper with his left hand, then covered her hand with his right.

She took a step closer, concerned with the different direction the situation was taking, and then stopped as she heard him speak. The Ancient Tongue! Tears sprang unbidden in Saya’s eyes..

He was praying for the children.

What had they done?

Murdered Children/ Incoherent Rant

I don’t know if this is Gaza or Syria or whose doing it is or who they are.. but here are murdered children. Look at this picture. What are we? This is worse than primate behavior. Who does that? Who fucking murders babies? What does that even prove, man? Come on. Fuck. Even video games don’t allow you to injure civilians, leave alone toddlers. I just feel so ashamed of being human right now. I know we do a lot of good too. But it’s just damage control. We are all that’s wrong with this world.


Murdered Children

Injured Children

Murdered kids

Requiescat in pace, my darlings. I’m sorry we failed you so miserably. I know it doesn’t mean a thing. But I don’t know what else to say.

I hope it didn’t hurt. There’s no use saying cliched things like I hope you are in a better place, though wherever it is, even oblivion, it would be kinder than what our world did to you.

We’re not supposed to ask forgiveness from children for letting them die. We’re supposed to protect them.

Protect those weaker than you. Isn’t that what civilization is about? What does bombing or shooting a child prove?

What does murdering someone who can’t fight back fucking prove, man?

Fucking cowards.

Whoever did this.. indefensible act.. death’s too good for them.

They deserve to be damned.

I Can’t Take it Anymore [said the Pied Piper]

The Murdering
The Raping
The Torturing
The Terror
The Violence
The inability to stop involving the children!

There’s this theory scientists are looking into that suggests that our Universe might just be a giant computer program. There’s another theory that says that human beings existed longgg ago, even indulging in Nuclear warfare. All over the world, unexplained, mysterious ancient artifacts have been discovered that at least point towards the fact that we don’t know everything about the past. To me, these two theories could co-exist, as could they with the theory bout aliens watching over our planet. The reason I bring this up is because I like to believe that some of our older tales and information have trickled down from these futuristic ancestors of ours.

For instance, take the story of the Pied Piper of Hamlin. Long story short, there’s a village of lazy, greedy people that get affected by a plague. Being lazy, they do nothing about the situation until it gets utterly out of hand. At which point in the story, the Pied Piper makes his entrance. He plays music for the people, but finds them super-stingy. It’s only the children that stop to listen to him. And, then too, they’re most often dragged away by their parents. Then, noticing a couple of reward-on-getting-rid-of-rats signs, the piper goes to the palace/mayor and claims that he can rid the city of the rats in 2 days (or something). The people smirk at him, and agree.

That night, the Piper gets up, and starts playing a soft tune. He plays in his room for a bit, and then steps out, his lips never leaving the pipe. As he walks through the village, slowly, rats start filing out of hidden nooks and crevices, falling into line behind him. The piper plays and plays, and the rats continue to pour out, as if in a stream, and slowly, yet surely, the piper begins to lead his absurd following towards the river. As he stands by and plays, one after the other, the rats leap off the stone bridge to their doom, and the few villagers awake to witness this, shudder and bar their doors.

The next morning, the piper goes up to the council/mayor and asks for his reward. “What reward?”, says the mayor, feigning ignorance.

The piper’s eyes grow cold. “The rats are gone.”

“Yes, and?”, asked the mayor, even as the greedy, stingy people looked on. “What had you to do with it?”

“I got rid of them, like I said I would.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” said the mayor.

“Are you sure?” asked the piper softly, head bent low so that his cap prevented anyone from looking into his eyes. “You’ll regret this.”

“Are you threatening me?!”, asked the mayor. “Guards!”

The pied piper raised in hands in a non-threatening gesture, and slowly backed out of the packed hall, which let out a collective sigh of relief. Something about that man was very unnerving.

That night, when the inhabitants of the town are fast asleep, a beautiful tune starts to sound in the night air, soft enough to not wake a soul. Except, one by one, in every house, the children start to wake up. Quietly, they drop out of their beds. Stealthily, they sneak out of their homes. One by one, every child turns around and bolts the door shut. The pied piper continues his song, and the children fall in line behind him.

By now, parents have begun to notice their children missing. At first, they worry. Upon finding themselves locked in their little houses, they begin to panic. The fear spreads through the town like wildfire. “Look! There they are!”, screams a little boy’s mother, pressed against her window and pointing out into the distance.

Faint strains of the piper’s song can still be heard by villagers.

“He’s going to drown them!”, sobs another mother, even as her husband falls into a faint.

But the piper turns away from the river where the rats had leapt to their end, and starts moving towards the nearby mountains.

By now, some of the parents have managed to free themselves. Soon, most of the town is free, and they rush up and down, collecting torches and horses to ride out after their children before the night swallowed them whole.

Meanwhile, the children hadn’t looked back once, their eyes focused on their leader with the strange hat and the musical pipe. If any of them had bothered to turn around, they would have been surprised to see how far they had come, certainly further than most of them ever previously had.

Except for one boy. The town’s only cripple, the lame child had fallen behind as the trail of children followed the pied piper up the winding mountain path.

Soon, he was the only one the search party that was sent out to find the kids could see.

The pied piper, along with all the children of the village – they just vanished into thin air. When the distraught parents finally reached the crippled boy,  they found him standing and staring at the side of a mountain, tears streaming down his face. “They didn’t wait for me.”, he finally said, sounding as if his world had shattered.

The parents of the village were inconsolable, and wished that they had done right by the pied piper, but they never saw him, nor any of heir children, ever again.

~~~ The End ~~~

Okay, so that was pretty much long story long, but, well, I like telling stories. And, since it has been forever since I last read the Pied Piper of Hamlin, it’s more like a cover than the real story. I’m sure I got a hundred things wrong. Just think of it as the modern retelling. :\

Anyhow, the reason I brought up the tale of the Pied Piper, as well as the theories about computers/aliens, is: What if this story isn’t just a metaphorical reference to the fact that children will leave you if you stifle their fresher spirits with your jaded talk of wealth while they still believe in dreams?

I personally think it’s an allegorical reference to Moses and his leading of the people into the desert in the quest for the promised land. Or the advent of Christianity after the Jewish community unfairly treated Christ, who dealt with it so well, that nearly all of their children “left” to “follow” him.

Either way, I think if Aliens are involved (or a supercomputer program, or God-like futuristic ancestors), the implications of this story would be a lot more straightforward.. and a lot more sinister.

Treat your children right, or we will take them from you.

If humanity doesn’t change its ways, the planet will either find a way to destroy us, or we, the planet. The virus will most likely affect our ability to reproduce, counting on the barbaric nature of man to ensure it’s spread across the globe.

And we will die.

Sometimes I think that is the only way to stop the screaming in my ears.

How can you stand it?

Sometimes I think that to die would be more of a relief than an adventure..
Especially when I think of the children.
Our descendants should be ashamed of us…
and if they are not, then we should be ashamed of them.

Atrocities against Humanity: Syria – Leave the Kids Alone!

“Images of the killings in and around Baniyas have transfixed Syrians. In one video that residents say shows victims in Ras al-Nabeh, the bodies of at least seven children and several adults lie tangled and bloody on a rain-soaked street. A baby girl, naked from the waist down, stares skyward, tiny hands balled into fists. Her round face is unblemished, but her belly is darkened and her legs and feet are charred into black cinders.”

This is not a scene from the World Wars, or Iraq or Vietnam. This is Syria, today.

Sometimes I think to be a speck of dust would be more noble an existence than being a part of this septic cesspool of filth that calls itself humanity.

And, for all those ready to jump in and point out that a lot worse happens all over the World, and has been happening for centuries, save your breath. That makes nothing better.

It’s, like, at least once a day, I am ashamed of being human. And, don’t ask me to concentrate on all the good things few human beings are doing to help other living beings on this planet (both human and not so) – we’re only fixing what *we* broke. It’s the least we ought to do, considering the most inhuman acts today are carried out by humans.

I don’t even know why this bothers me. But, it does. Perhaps because it’s happening right now. It’s happening as I sit in class, as I play DotA, as I read Game of Thrones, as I sleep and – the children. Why would you murder the children?

It’s all the same everywhere. Are people really inherently evil? I get angry too. If I knew I could get away with it, I’m sure there would be at least a couple of people who would end up dead (okay, 5) But what kind of creature tortures infants, man?

RIP people I never knew, and never will.. May you find better worlds.

TL;DR – Humans suck. Here’s some more proof.

Nobody’s Chidren

Tilted smiles on dirty faces
Hoods and sweaters with holes
Absent fathers, abusive mothers
and invisible little souls.
Messy hair and sullen frowns
for every slap or blow
And a hardness in once twinkling eyes
that never ceases to grow.
Empty bottles serve as toys
and water must often be food
And in the sunlight their hair lightens
while in darkness, they quietly brood.
Justice isn’t even a word for them
Let alone a concept of human pride
Fragmented, before they could grow
They’re as whole as you & me, inside.
And, they rub their grimy little faces
after they’ve shaken hands with sin
With empty pockets, and small dreams
that die before they can begin.