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A ballad for the love of death.

By: Ashar

I heard a sound, as faint as her tone

The sun was as shy, the river was nigh

For the world was in a spiral, a story for one’s dawn

I drag by my reflection across the sands of her bly

.

Caught my eye, bright as the sun flickering by the ocean

Fresh as her soul was the dress she wore, ashen

The air gazing through my chest spout out alive

Ah! But her heart was of stone, she could not thrive

.

A story of betrayal, sorrow, and love

It was what made us whole for each disfigured

To each of their own, the darkness came from above

Images dancing of our hands together, walls lingered

.

Golden hair, purple eyes, mango residue

A gentle smile, soft-touch, there were only a few

Warm lighting, cozy was her sensation, innocent like a barn owl

Writing about her I wonder who was she under her cowl

.

Running through the park, memories rewritten, like a dandelion shawl

Giggling and looking at each other, oh! did we fall.

.

She might be gone, fixed was she, for I was broken once more

By my dishonesty, I don’t understand why she has to go

Young was her spirit, or so spoke her lore

Everything seems clear, blinded by the snow

.

It was as if yesterday she was my guardian

Couldn’t see for she was my grim reaper

Shredded once again, I started to wonder

.

Who was she when I first met her, I heard the accordion

Who were are we really?

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Bound By Darkness

by:Joshua

T’was the eve of Halloween, the sky was covered with clouds, blocking out the crescent moon. The trees had shed all their leaves, standing bare against the cold wind. The yellow streetlights had cast their gaze around the silent street, leaving the shadows of the autumn trees to look like hands emerging from the depths of hades, waiting for an opportunity to drag you with them. The clouds began to rumble and the wind wailed like a banshee. At that moment, the sky split as lightning tore across it. Devilish thunder accompanied the lightning just seconds later. 

Damien who was asleep in his bed, jerked awake as the thunder rumbled in the night sky. His heart, pounding so hard he could feel the pulse in his throat. He sat upright in a cold sweat and reached for the bottle on his nightstand. As he quenched his thirst, his phone began vibrating viciously. It was his girlfriend Anna calling him. They had been dating for a while now but had known each other since they were children. As the light from the phone hit his eyes, he squinted. The darkness had not yet left his eyes. He picked up the phone and her soothing voice calmed him down instantaneously. She asked him if he had left home yet. They had planned to roam around together on Halloween eve, as it would be one of the few chances they would get to spend together before they left for college in the summer. He replied with his rough but gentle voice, “Sorry, I fell asleep. I’ll be there to pick you up in 10 minutes”. He told her he loved her and got up to get dressed. 

He placed his feet onto the cold floor and stood up. The wood underneath creaked eerily. The rains had turned the entire house into a creaking wonderland and the sound always made him uncomfortable. Switching on the lamp by the corner, he stood in front of the dusky framed mirror and fixed his dark brown hair. His purple eyes gleamed through the dull light the lamp gave off. He put on a pair of torn jeans and wore the T-shirt that Anna had given him for his birthday. Leaving the room, he pulled his leather jacket off the back of the door and snuck out of the creaking house, and made his way towards Anna’s house. She lived few blocks away, in a small and dingy-looking house. It was just her and her dad. 

Damien walked to her front door and before he could knock, she had opened the door and flung herself into his arms. The cold weather made his warmth more prominent and comfortable. He was happy to see her. He looked into her blue-ish green eyes and saw her soul. Her golden-brown hair fell back as she looked up to see his face, revealing her captivating smile. She was everything he was not. She was clumsy and always had a smile on her face, even through the tough times. Her laugh was beautiful and she danced her worries away, like a graceful swan surrounded by a multitude of lotuses. But alas, this would be the last time he felt her happiness, for the night ahead was not going to be a pleasant one.

They began to walk down the street towards the lake, where they always sat down and stared at the sky while talking about nothing and everything. The cold wind pushed them closer to each other. The wind had an uncomfortable feel to it, like as if it had a presence of its own. The yellow-lit streetlight had begun to flicker and slowly take a reddish hue. The feeling of being watched only grew more intense as time passed. Carved pumpkins, that were placed outside the doors of the many houses on the street began to turn towards our young couple. The carvings on the pumpkins lit up as if they were on fire but they weren’t burning. Damien held Anna’s hand firmly and they started running towards his house. The ominous presence seemed to follow them or rather, it never left them. 

The thing about Damien was that he always felt out of place. Like every other teenager, he felt that there was something fundamentally wrong with him. Every Halloween, he felt like there was something inside him. No, he knew there was something that was trying to come outside and every year, the presence only grew stronger. He would call Anna up and listen to her melodious voice, which calmed him down to a point where his fears could no longer reach him…

As they ran for his house, the blood-red lights went off. The darkness of the night had surrounded them and all the pumpkins were facing them. One by one, all the pumpkins simmered down. Damien knew that this time, nothing was going to stop the presence, it overpowered him…

It took over his will while Anna took few steps back in fear… She could hear whispers around her, like an enchantment, slowly growing louder and louder until it was unbearable. She fell to the ground, holding her hands against her ears to keep them from bursting.

The whispers suddenly stopped, Damien started walking towards her and picked her up, and waited until she could steady herself. The crescent moon began to peek through the clouds, shining onto our couple. Damien moved his hand upwards slowly like he was making for her cheek but at that moment, he stabbed her through the chest, his hand emerging from her back, with her beating heart in his palm. Anna was losing her strength and as the moonlight fell on Damien’s face, she looked into his eyes, but they weren’t purple anymore. It was as if there had never been any eyes in there, empty, hollow… 

Damien pulled his hand out of her writhing body and watched her fall onto the ground. Her heart was still in his palm. Blood spurted out of the slowly beating heart and onto his clothes. The T-shirt she had gifted him, was now covered in her blood. Her now lifeless body started going pale as she bled out all over the moon-lit street. Her golden-brown hair, covered with her blood now had a crimson glow. Even though it was Anna who died, it was Damien who lost his heart… The clouds began to cover the night sky, hiding the crescent witness. The street lights began to glow yellow again. The presence had left him, all alone… Seeing what he had done he broke down into tears and wailed loudly. His pain was immeasurable. At that moment, the sky split as lightning tore across it and Damien woke up in his bed in a cold sweat. He looked at his hands and found no blood. He was relieved that it was all a dream and went back to sleep but… his shadow moved across the wall and onto the ceiling, covering it in its darkness and staring at Damien with a devilish grin…

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Till death did us part.

by:Sumana

There didn’t pass a day you weren’t on my mind

There wasn’t an act that didn’t turn my thoughts to you

There didn’t exist a time you didn’t reside in my heart

There is not alive another soul like you

I can’t imagine a life without you

.

.

Yet here we are, 

On opposite sides of a fine, fine line

Nothing new, nothing amiss

Only this once, the line is an abyss

.

.

You dance with death

Whilst I stare from across a chasm

Living a lie

Knowing you court death

How could you leave me

To fend all alone

I know not how to live

Without you by my side

You brought out the worst in me

And you brought out the best

Yet there you are 

Caught in death’s tempest

There is no one else like you

No one I respect as I did you

Another quip, just one other taunt

Anything, anything to get you back

.

.

Whom will I thank for all that you have done?

Who will fill this void you have left?

Whom will I challenge, whom will I fight?

Whom will I grind to dust in my wake?

.

.

There was love in this enmity we shared

There was meaning in our story of hate

There was purpose in our every war

There was elation in our rivalry

.

.

There doesn’t pass a day you aren’t on my mind

There isn’t an act that doesn’t turn my thoughts to you

There doesn’t exist a time you don’t reside in my heart

There is not alive another soul like you

I can’t imagine my life without you.

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Of Gratitude and Affirmations

by:Prajjwal

Gratitude and affirmations. We all might have come across these two words several times, maybe on our socials, or whenever we surf “How to be successful in life” or something congenial to this. This article is basically a review/experience of how gratitude has transformed, not just my life but the greater good as well. It does sound philosophical or scholarly, to begin with. I, for one, found it worthless and stuff even before I could go on to discover it, only to realize its actual power at a later time, especially when I hit the rock bottom. Everyone does experience their ‘rock-bottom’ phases in their lives. You might be just stuck with some work, you might be in a dilemma on how to proceed further, unable to pull off the burden upon you while you are left with no other assistance to heal your mental wounds. And this is when gratitude can prove to be your knight in shining armor. Also, this is not some kind of a summary of Rhonda Byrne’s gratitude books. It’s just one of my little ‘secrets’, I’d like to share with you.

There are a zillion things out there that go unappreciated or for which we are ungrateful. We all have succumbed to a mundane robotic routine of ours. How often do we realize the importance of people in our lives? How often do we feel lucky to have a roof above our head, pure air around us, the pettiest things we use daily? Be it our gadgets, accessories, or trivial stuff around us. How often do we thank our own existence? To start off with, I’d suggest you maintain a gratitude journal. You could savor your gratitude to all the things or people to whom you are grateful and appreciate their existence. Take a vow to recall moments of gratitude associated with the ordinary events, your personal attributes, things that pique your interests, in order to interweave a sustainable theme of gratitude in your lives.

Second off, practice affirmations. Gratitude and affirmations go hand in hand. Want a new car? Crave for a new outfit? Want to overcome your bad habits? Want to improve your grades? Affirm it! (Nothing to boast, but the secret to all my exam results lie here:)) And slowly you start manifesting what you affirm. You start to attract what you speak. This is the whole concept behind affirmations- the law of attraction. So make sure when you stand in front of a mirror the next time, to affirm good thoughts instead of holding an empty gun pointing at your head. Every syllable we speak manifests energy, towards or against us.

The science of gratitude is omnipresent. It is vast. It is relieving. It isn’t unrealistic wishful thinking. Luminaries such as Plato, Socrates, William Shakespeare, Leonardo da Vinci, Einstein, Newton had discovered it way back and have delivered the same through their works. 

Change your perspectives, drink loads of water, exercise daily, think of grace, gifts and reap your rewards. You do feel a gush in feel-good chemicals such as dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin once you shift your thinking from negative to positive. Replace your feeds with gratitude pages, group your apps on your home screen with affirmative titles, consider yourself lucky if you see repeating numbers, download apps that help you practice gratitude, practice freelancing, start writing letters (it’s okay even if you don’t have to send them), and reinforce positivity back into your lives.

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Good On Paper

by:Aabirbhab

Folding a yellow paper, 

my grandfather schooled me 

how to build a paper plane, 

he put a paperclip on the plane 

& said, “it’ll fly farther dear.” 

I grinned and abused many papers 

while trying to make planes and 

The lonely old chap was smirking as 

I saw a gorgeous morning

on his wrinkled face.

I wrote, “Hello, I like you.”

on a reddish-pink paper

While holding my thirteen years of courage 

& with my best friend’s moral strength, 

I gave that paper to that popular girl 

but her “sidekicks” beat me black and blue 

but I beamed when a soft zephyr

from the window caressed my cheek 

while passing through her golden brown hair.

Trigonometry, algebras and mensuration 

the last page of my mathematics notebook 

was resembling like a garbage centre 

while I got occupied with the reckoning 

of my life and inside the 

totting-up of my flummoxed existence

 where a newspaper on my table 

was gaping for someone’s nudge.

And one day, I departed this journal

while bowing down my head 

to the enigmatic candour of death 

I gulped some darkness but couldn’t vomit 

I chewed many sighs but couldn’t sigh 

I gnawed some lies but couldn’t stop a death 

and to prove the end of my extant, 

The faceless paper granted me the final gift 

My very own “Death Certificate.”

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Crack of Dawn

by:Siddaarth

National Anti-Terrorism Day is remembered on the 21st of May and gives us all a chance to stand together as one united front against the evil force of terrorism and tells us to salute every single life. It is also a day where we remember all those soldiers who sacrificed their lives for the protection of the Nation. 

The message of humanity and harmony must be spread widely and the Indian Government took this initiative to spread these messages across the people to emphasize the importance of combating terrorist activities. The objective of the  National Anti-Terrorism Day is to help spread the feeling of harmony, peace and unity amongst the people.

The National Anti-Terrorism Day is remembered on the 21st of May to commemorate the assassination of India’s former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi that occurred on the 21st of May 1991 at an election rally in Sriperumbudur in Tamil Nadu. During the campaign, a lady who was a suicide bomber and was a part of the terrorist organization Liberation of Tamil Tigers Eelam (LTTE), had approached him. The lady had explosives under her clothes and approached Rajiv Gandhi with a garland and then touched his feet. She denoted the bomb as soon as she approached him and touched his feet. Around 25 people were killed along with the youngest Prime Minister in Indian history was assassinated on this day. Ever since then, the National Anti-Terrorism Day is commemorated every year to ensure that no innocent soul would be killed from any sort of terrorist activities. 

Even after the tragic assassination of Mr Rajiv Gandhi, many terrorists have tried to attack India, its various sights and its people. But we as Indians have always shown a sense of pride, belonging and a feeling of bouncing back from any sort of difficult situation. After the 1991 assassination, India faced many such acts of terrorism on its soil like the 1993 blasts in Bombay in which 13 locations across Bombay were bombed and around 260 people were killed. The terrorist groups known as Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed attacked the Indian Parliament building on the 13th of November 2001 in which many police officers and parliament workers were killed. Three other terrorist attacks have occurred after these, namely the blasts on the Mumbai suburban railways, the 26/11 attacks and the Pulwama attack. 

Even after this, India has truly bounced back from these heavy scars on our nation. Though India follows the policy of forgiving but not forgetting, though in the case of terrorism India would never forgive the perpetrators and would never forget about the wounds. To conclude, I would want to quote the Indian Prime Minister, Mr Narendra Modi who stated the following: 

So many nations have suffered due to terrorism. Terrorism is not a challenge to a nation, it’s a challenge to humanity.

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England’s Rose

by:Akhil

On the fateful day of August 31st, 1997, Princess Diana, also known popularly as Lady Di, sadly passed away in a car crash in Paris. Her death shook the world and, the people were in utter disbelief as to her sudden and unprecedented death. She had been only thirty-six when this happened, killing her film producer-boyfriend, Dodi Al-Fayed, and her driver, Henri Paul, along with her.

The people’s princess had always been more of a down-to-earth person compared to her royal counterparts. She openly spoke of the difficulties and illnesses she faced in life, portraying that she was a normal human being just like everybody else. Her being able to express herself openly was one of the main reasons people found her so inspiring. So naturally, when someone loved so much by the public died in a random car crash, the result was denial and conspiracy theories.

To this day, the conspiracy theories live on, even after an official British Metropolitan police investigation called Operation Paget (investigated over four years from 2004-2008) ruled the case an “unlawful killing” by the driver and pursuing paparazzi. But there is a good reason that these theories still live on even today. First of all, let’s take a look at what happened that night.  

Earlier on that fateful day, Diana was with her boyfriend, Dodi Fayed. At around four-thirty, they arrived at the Hotel Ritz Paris. Later that night, at ten, Diana and Dodi went to the L’Espadon restaurant. Later on, they took their meal back to their room, suspecting that a few diners were photographers.

At around twelve-twenty, they left the hotel and started heading towards Dodi’s apartment. They got into a black Mercedes S-280 with security  Henri Paul as the driver and security Trevor Rees-Jones in the front passenger seat. Police confirmed later on that the driver Henri Paul was drunk that night. At twelve-twenty-three, Paul was driving at an estimated speed of 105 km/h, trying to shake off some photographers chasing the car. Paul lost control of the vehicle at the entrance to the Pont de L’Alma tunnel. Then, the Mercedes collided with a concrete pillar inside the tunnel, killing both Dodi and Paul on impact. Diana and Trevor survived the crash. At around one-twenty, Diana suffered a cardiac arrest when she was in the ambulance en route to the hospital. At two-one, she arrived at the Pitié Salpêtrière hospital and immediately underwent surgery. At four in the morning, she was pronounced dead.

Looking back at that night, it was a cut and dry case; drunk driving over the speed limit and no seatbelts. Or was it? It seemed a little too perfect.

Was Princess Diana murdered? Let’s take a look.

Trevor Rees-Jones, Fayed’s bodyguard, was the only one wearing a seatbelt that night. Some doctors say Diana might have even survived if she had been wearing a seatbelt. And on further questioning of the princess’s close friends, the police concluded that it was suspicious that Diana didn’t wear a seatbelt, as she previously never forgot to.

Due to him wearing his seatbelt and the only one in the car who had the protection of an airbag on impact, Trevor-Rees Jones was the one survivor of the crash that night. Some people came up with crazy theories that somehow he knew the accident was about to happen, and that’s why he didn’t die. If this theory was true, he seriously took one for the team. His face got crushed during the accident, turning his bones to powder. Doctors put him in a coma for ten days while reconstructing his face with small pieces of titanium. Adding on top of this, he had a broken wrist and chest injuries that took him years to get over. So implying that the man was willing to sacrifice his life, with no benefits whatsoever,  to stage the murder of Princess Diana was stretching it a bit too far.   

The Pont de L’Alma tunnel had fourteen surveillance cameras, all of which didn’t capture anything that night. Some were in the wrong direction, and some were not working. So, they had no footage of the car crash. Suspicious or not?   

Later on, Mohamed Al-Fayed, Dodi’s father, accused the royals of planning the murder because they thought Diana was pregnant with Dodi’s child. He said the royals could not accept that an Egyptian Muslim could eventually be the stepfather of the future king of England. Naturally, his accusation opened up pathways to various conspiracy theories. But was Diana pregnant with Dodi’s child? That’s where it gets even more suspicious.

In the hospital where they pronounced Diana dead, the body was deteriorating due to the hot temperature of the room. Out of instinct, the doctors decided to embalm her body as quickly as possible to make Lady Di presentable for her funeral.  In doing so, without an autopsy, they couldn’t test if she was pregnant or not. They also tested blood samples of the princess from the crash scene for traces of pregnancy or any other substance. All the tests came back negative. But some doctors confirmed that this was not enough to say she was not pregnant.

Another accusation against the royals was that Prince Charles needed to kill Princess Diana, allowing him to marry again. So, the public made a theory that the royals hired MI6 to take out Princess Diana. Three major conspiracy theories, investigated during Operation Paget, emerged from this speculation. The first being that the driver Henri Paul was in on the murder plan.

His driving the Mercedes was a last-minute decision due to the unavailability of any other driver for Lady Di. Speculations arose that he was working with the secret services to kill Diana. He earned about 35,000 euros per year working for the princess.  The evidence was that he had a large amount of money(nearly 250,000 euros) in his account at the time of the princess’s death. Where did it come from, and why did he have that much?

The second theory was that the paparazzi chased the vehicle down until the entrance of the tunnel and that they tried flashing large amounts of light into the driver’s eyes using their cameras, distracting him and causing him to crash inside the tunnel. Later it came to light that the MI6 was known to use a similar technique to ‘eliminate’ their targets. So, the theory was that the MI6 paid off the paparazzi to cause the crash.

The third theory was that a car had rammed into the black Mercedes as it entered the tunnel, causing the driver to lose control and crash. Later on, the police proved that a white Fiat Uno had collided with the princess’s car, making them crash. A potential suspect with the same car design was suspected but never convicted for the crime.

In a recent update, the hacker group known as Anonymous released a statement informing the public that the royal family had murdered Lady Di. Anonymous is a group of the most famous hacktivists or hackers spread out across the globe. The reason, they claimed, was that she found out about a human trafficking ring linked to the royals of England. They claimed Lady Di was collecting substantial evidence against the royal family and was soon going to release this evidence. They, therefore, declared that the royal family, viewing her as a threat to their monarch, “shut her up” for good.

To conclude, we have to admit that Lady Di’s death was rather suspicious. The number of ‘coincidences’ was way too many. And the lack of evidence only leads to more suspicion. I believe that Princess Diana died of a car crash that the royal family orchestrated. And there is more than enough evidence to support my conclusion. But the power and authority of the royal family overrule the right to the truth. I hope that one day the truth comes out and Princess Diana gets the justice she deserves. Don’t you?