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Ophelia: The Tragic Heroine

by:Harika

Ophelia, her very name is firmly rooted within the realm of Greek tragedy and as the Early Modern literature scholar Cherrell Guilfoyle wittily notes, “in one of the fragments of Euripidean tragedy, there is the saying ‘Woman brings to man the greatest possible succor and the greatest possible harm.’ 

In this way, from the very beginning of Hamlet, Ophelia is portrayed in a way that she was meant to be a helpmate to the men in her life. Thus, Ophelia’s degradation, descent into madness, and eventual suicide are all incredibly clear signs that “something is rotten in the state of Denmark”.

And this is where I am completely at odds with the given narrative about Ophelia

Ophelia didn’t just go crazy because her ex-boyfriend killed her father.

Ophelia went mad because her entire narrative arc in Hamlet is defined by patriarchal control and being treated like a child despite being an adult. Her first scene is one in which both her brother and father warn her not to be involved with a man she loves, but the way they do it is so telling.

Laertes, brother of Ophelia offers a compelling reason for her to be careful: no matter how true his love or how good his intentions, Hamlet is a prince, and his actions can’t always be his own. If he marries he has to marry for political gains, and Ophelia is the daughter of a court advisor with no title. So Ophelia could never be more than a mistress to him, dearly and truly loved but living in social and moral/religious disgrace, reflecting poorly on herself and on her father and brother. And sure, if Hamlet were king, she’d be well taken care of even if she weren’t married, but there’s still the aforementioned problem of honor. And besides, there’s the bigger problem of Hamlet not being king. If he so chose, Claudius could have Ophelia sent away, or imprisoned, or anything else that Hamlet would have no legal power to stop. So it’s better not to get entangled with Hamlet.

Laertes’ position is one that denies Ophelia happiness, but it’s also one that recognizes she’s an adult woman and one that is based on practical truths. It’s a position that grants Ophelia time and agency to end things with Hamlet gradually and in a way that lets both of them process the situation. Well, although, there’s a certain degree of talking down he does to her, it strikes me more like the way an older sibling will speak from experience when telling their younger sibling not to do something stupid. Moreover, their conversation is also one where Ophelia has a chance to respond to him in kind and remind him not to be a hypocrite because Laertes isn’t exactly old either.

But then along comes Polonius, proud and concerned father of Laertes and Ophelia to trample all over that. He speaks all over her, gives her no chance to respond, and treats her like a stupid child, comparing her to a bird caught in a trap. Unlike Laertes, he insists that Hamlet must have wicked intent and be seducing her—thereby assuming that Ophelia isn’t adult enough to have romantic or sexual agency. He’s essentially the kind of dad who threatens to do violence to his adult daughter’s boyfriends (well, not exactly, but definitely the same mindset). He refuses to believe Ophelia when she says that Hamlet has been genuine and gentlemanly to her, not trusting that she’s wise enough to recognize when someone is “only after one thing” versus when it’s actual love.

He then goes on to order her to return his letters, to order her to cut off from him completely and immediately (with no chance to process), and to then read some of Hamlet’s words to her to the king and queen, violating their privacy and turning something lovely into a reason for shame. Polonius says Ophelia gives him the “doubt” that the letter was out of filial duty, but given his busybody character and how he forced an answer out of her earlier, it’s not too much of a stretch to guess that he forced her to give it to him. Polonius then proceeds to conspire with Claudius, the quintessential antagonist to use Ophelia as a tool against Hamlet, putting her in a position to be deeply wounded.

I know a lot of interpretations of the “get thee to a nunnery” scene which is quite a memorable scene in the play reveals the misogynistic ideals of Hamlet where he tells Ophelia to become a nun, swearing off men and marriage as women who give birth are breeders of “sinners” as all men are sinners. You could interpret the scene as Ophelia completely believing that Hamlet is actually scorning and being cruel to her, and frankly, I’m not sure that that scene can’t be played straight on his end either. Maybe Hamlet sees that this is Polonius’ meddling, but maybe he thinks Ophelia is going along with it. In short, though, her father’s actions have put Ophelia in a position to be verbally abused by someone who she believes loved her.

However, later in the scenes you could make out a flirtatious conversation between Hamlet and Ophelia but that’s all in the tone—you could make it flirty, but you could also make it Ophelia being distant out of obligation to obey her father, while Hamlet’s goading her with sexual jokes. So it’s him once again being loathsome at best, cruel at worst.

And the final straw comes when he kills Polonius. Polonius’ death wasn’t the sole cause of Ophelia going mad, but it was the final straw. Sure, her father was a controlling meddlesome imbecile, but whether we read him as actually abusive or not, Ophelia probably still loved him as her father, complicated love or not. And now she’s an orphan, and it’s all because of the actions of the man she loved.

Like, Hamlet’s actions are understandable from his own perspective. But Ophelia doesn’t know about the ghost, doesn’t know about the murder, knows nothing. All she sees is the severe mental deterioration of her boyfriend coupled with the heartbreaking knowledge that her brother and father are right about the relationship not being viable. So she can’t be with him and can’t even stand by him to support him. And then she becomes a pawn in a political game she doesn’t even really understand, her every action directed by powerful men, which results in said boyfriend lashing out at her. And then her boyfriend kills her father for no reason she can understand other than him maybe being insane.

Consequently, you can see why Ophelia would be a little out of her mind by the time she dies.

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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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THE GOD OF SMALL THINGS – A REVIEW

by Chitteshwari

I don’t know about you, but when I think of books written by Indian authors, The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy is always the first that comes to mind. After years of putting it off, I finally delved into its world recently.

Published in 1997, it is a contemporary novel that is highly regarded by both, readers and critics alike. Set in the little town of Ayemenem in Kerala in 1969, it revolves around the lives of Ammu, her fraternal twins Rahel and Estha, and the rest of their family. The plot dances gracefully around one specific event in their lives that changes their world forever. 

The first thing you notice about the book is its writing. Roy is an impeccable writer and it shows in every single line. She works her magic so you can visualize every little detail of the surrounding she is describing. Certain phrases are repeated throughout the book and the result is haunting. In one chapter, she describes, over the course of multiple pages, a Kathakali routine performed by two dancers in a temple courtyard. The description is so startlingly vivid that when it ended, I felt as though I had just witnessed the first Kathakali performance of my life. In another scene, she narrates in detail a horrifying incident of police brutality that sent chills down my spine.

The book is not just an ordinary story, but an eye-opener about the severity of the caste system that exists in India. Throughout the book, Roy weaves a strong political commentary into the writing, giving insight into the advent and rise of communism in Kerala. If you venture into this novel thinking it will be a pleasant, comfortable read, you will soon realize that you are highly mistaken. The author does not sugarcoat things. She serves society in its raw form on the platter and yanks away the reader’s rose-tinted glasses. She does not shy away from exploring topics that are considered taboo even today, and the various court cases filed against her for it serve as plenty of proof. To witness a story so honest to itself and its world is quite refreshing, in the same way, that dipping your toes into an icy lake in the middle of the night is.

Arundhati Roy does not create any one-dimensional story or character. She gives almost never-ending depth to every element of the story, which is commendable, considering that this is her debut novel. The minor characters are in no way just props used to further the main storyline (something which many authors and scriptwriters of today could make note of). Even the local temple elephant, Kochu Thumban has his contribution to the way the lives of the protagonists are shaped, just like every minor element in our real-life surroundings affects our growth as human beings. The butterfly effect is something that comes into focus here. However, one (and probably the only) drawback of this book is that there are maybe one too many characters mentioned. Up until the first quarter of the book, this creates some amount of confusion because one tends to misplace their names and identities.

That being said, Roy presents her characters as they are, with all their uneven edges and rough textures. Everyone is reduced to their crude humanity, stripped down to their naked, imperfect morality. She makes the reader jump from hate to love to sympathy, all in the span of a single page. The reader’s heart is almost a puppet in her skilled hands and she masterfully tugs the right strings every single time. She evokes every emotion in the spectrum and in the end, you’re left with a flood of empathy. You’re not going to find any black and white characters on these pages.

The highlight of the book, however, is the sequence and pacing of the narration. The book starts at the end of the story and finishes in the middle. Roy delves not just into the events of a single night, but everything in the past that led up to the present, and the aftermath of the tragedy, over a decade later. Sometimes she describes only a couple of nights over the course of a chapter, whereas in other places, she covers years of the characters’ lives in the span of two pages. Throughout this narration, the reader is never in confusion, all thanks to the brilliance of her craft. She works the reins of storytelling flawlessly and (almost effortlessly) ensures that every change of pace and every switch in the timeline hits exactly as she intends it to.

The God of Small Things is a beautifully complex book, a mirror held to society and humanity. Arundhati Roy ambitiously takes on a lot of elements and gets most of them right. It’s a must-read, both for fans of artful storytelling and for those who look for books with a cause. A sure contemporary classic in the years to come, it completely deserves that spot in every reader’s bookshelf and heart.

Rating: 4/5

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The Human in Humanity

by:Akhil

Selfless, sympathetic, humble, sincere, passionate, emotional, and courageous. 

These qualities represent what humanity is. 

Or, a better way to put it is that they portray how humanity should be.      

The other day, I watched a Ted Talk by a famous author, Chris Abani, on what he thought about humanity. Chris is an excellent author and novelist, often known for writing about his nation of Nigeria. He wrote about how the people of his country fought against a military-controlled government for their freedom. 

At the age of 16, Chris was thrown in jail for publishing his first novel, Masters of the Board, because the book’s plot was based on a coup that was carried out in Nigeria just before the book was written. He was imprisoned for six months on the notion that he was conspiring against the government. Two years after this, he was imprisoned again for a year for continuing to write novels about the government. Another two years after this, he was thrown in jail a third time for conducting anti-government plays in front of government offices. But this time, he was placed on death row. With the help of his friends, he bribed a few officials and got out of jail, immediately moving to the UK afterward.

In his speech, Chris tries to explain his views on humanity, the direct and indirect nature of its expression, and justifies his definition through a few stories of his own. He focuses on the point that the world may be where it is today because of big powerful gestures, but that is not what makes this planet a better place. Small, considerate everyday acts of compassion are what he believes make us human.

He goes on to explain a highly respected philosophy of his Nigerian culture called Ubuntu. A direct translation of the term Ubuntu would be humanity towards others, and this translation is precisely what the doctrine tries to portray. The mere acts of care and love towards others are what solidifies humanity and its strength.

Chris discloses that explaining humanity would be a challenging task. So, he chose to give short accounts of people he found remarkable and more human, thus defining human nature through these stories. 

He starts with his mother. 

Chris’s mother was English and moved to Nigeria in the ’50s after meeting his father. She was a strong, confident woman, known for being outward with her actions, and had five beautiful children with her husband. 

In 1968, his mother and his whole family were caught up in the middle of the Biafran war, the Nigerian Civil war. They moved from one refugee camp to another for one year, and Chris remarks that his mother never cried through the whole of it, even with all the hardships and troubles they faced.  

Then one day in the near future, they were finally on an airstrip in Lisbon, ready to leave this war behind. Another woman in the airstrip noticed his mother, her ragged clothes, and her five hungry-looking children. She came over and asked what had happened. His mother explained to the woman their terrible situation because of the war. This woman proceeded to immediately empty her suitcase and give Chris’s mother all of her clothes. She also handed out some toys of her children to Chris and his siblings. That is when Chris said he saw his mother cry for the first time. 

Years later, he asked his mother why she had cried then at the airport. She replied, “You can steel your heart against any kind of trouble or horror, but the simple act of kindness from a complete stranger will unstitch you.”

Another anecdote he shares is of a rite of passage for young men that his culture, the Igbo, had in Nigeria. Many of these rites of passage included killing little animals, and that made sense because of their agrarian community. When he was 13, it was time for him to kill a goat. He admits that he was a sensitive kid and didn’t want to kill a goat but had to. His friend Emmanuel, who was much older than him, came along with him that day. He recounts that Emmanuel was forced to serve as a boy soldier during the Biafran War, and having him there with him, made him feel better.

Chris explains that the voice of a goat is said to be very similar to a human and a goat’s eyes look like a baby’s eyes. So, when the time came to kill the goat, Chris couldn’t do it. His friend Emmanuel bent down, put his hand over the goat’s mouth, and covered the goat’s eyes so that Chris didn’t have to look into its eyes when he killed the goat. 

Chris explains that, to Emmanuel, killing a goat must have seemed like such a menial task yet, he found it in himself to try and protect Chris. Chris continued, saying that he started crying, and Emmanuel stood there in silence until he was done. Afterward, he said to him, “It will always be difficult, but if you cry like this every time, you will die of heartbreak. Just know that it is enough sometimes to know that it is difficult.”

His message of understanding that we can make the world a better and brighter place by showing love and care to anyone who needs it is one of my main takeaways from this Ted Talk. The last story I’d like to share about Chris is another anecdote he let loose during his speech. 

The Igbo, Chris’s cultural community, built their own gods. They would all come together as a community, and they would express a wish to their priest. And then the priest would find a ritual object, and the appropriate sacrifices would be made, and the shrine would be built for their god. If the god became unruly and began to ask for human sacrifice, the Igbos would destroy the god. They would knock down the god’s shrine, and they would stop saying the god’s name. This is how they showed their humanity, and so I’d like to end with a quote from Chris Abani himself,

Every day, all of us here, we’re building gods that have gone rampant, and it’s time we started knocking them down and forgetting their names. It doesn’t require a tremendous thing. All it requires is to recognize among us, every day – the few of us that can see – are surrounded by people like the ones I’ve told you. People with humanity.

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Survivor’s quest

by:Aasika

The mighty sun peeked from behind the rugged mountains of the town Saka, Hiroshima, and sluggishly emerged higher. The sun rays generously hit the ocean, causing its surface to gleam as the balmy summer breeze carefully carried the dulcet chirping of the birds and the fragrance of the dainty flowers throughout the city. The small town of Saka remained a serene residence for its inhabitants.

Bun Hashizume, an avid fourteen-year-old, lived a contented life with her parents and siblings in the town. Taking leisurely strolls along with the flower gardens, ascending the majestic oak tree and admiring the beautiful ocean, and indulging in endless conversations with her best pal Hitoshi were pretty much the details of her routine. She aspired to become a poet as Hitoshi desired to become an author. 

The dawn of 6th august, 1945 bloomed like any other. Bun Hashizume set out to work at the Ministry of communications in Hiroshima. It was around 8:15 AM and Hashizume was standing near a window on the third floor. She was bewildered when a sudden powerful light beam splitting into vibrant rays momentarily blinded her sight. That was the moment when the American US B-29 warplane dropped the lethal bomb bearing the moniker ‘Little- boy’ over Hiroshima.

The bomb exploded with a drastic thud as it hit Hiroshima. It annihilated the buildings, shattered the glasses, demolished the edifices, and eliminated 70,000 lives instantaneously, and victimized another 10,000 lives as the rapid-fire commenced. Moreover, the intense radiation ejected by the nuclear bomb was starting to affect the civilians. The hospitals were crammed with injured patients and the relief efforts rendered by the government were below the par.

Finally, acquiring consciousness after her concussion, Hashizume attempted to fight back the aching agony in her limbs as she willed herself to stand up. After a finite number of sloppy foot-steps, she stumbled her way out of the building as blood droplets resumed to ooze out from the wound in her head. She was fortunate to find an elderly woman who offered to walk Hashizume to the nearby hospital.

The walk to the hospital was horrid. Hashizume perceived that her entire town was demolished and the path was covered with innumerable injured people screaming in agony, wrecked people mourning over the corpses of their relatives and desperate people jostling their way to any nearby shelter to protect themselves.

The next morning, dubious and concerned if her family survived the bombing, Hashizume decided to get back home. Placing cautious steps amidst the relatively less fervent fire, Hashizume made it to her place and was delighted to reconcile with her mother but had lost her brother and Hitoshi to the catastrophe.

After years of being tormented by trauma and dwelling in the dark chambers of depression, Hashizume stepped forward to share her experience, and talking about it helped her to heal. She eventually became a poet who penned down her authentic thoughts and fed her readers with motivation and optimism.

Even at the end of this disaster, she admits that hasn’t developed resentment towards the human race. More than being appalled by the fact that human beings dropped a bomb on other human beings, she was genuinely astounded by how wonderful human beings can be after such turmoil.

Meanwhile, Sachiko Matsuo’s family residing in Nagasaki was dreading the inevitable. Matsuo was a hopeful 5th grader. After the horrendous event at Hiroshima, the US B-29 bombers raided the city of Nagasaki and threw flyers all over, proclaiming that Nagasaki was about to be reduced to ashes on August 8, 1945. Tentative though, this announcement created commotion and chaos. Schools and workplaces were shut down and the citizens were insinuated to evacuate the town.

Matsuo’s family gathered the essential equipment and embarked to the hills behind their residence where they established a tiny makeshift shelter to survive the night of Aug 8. Anxiety and apprehension filled the hushed atmosphere and Matsuo’s siblings protectively snuggled towards one another as they lived the longest night of their existence, anticipating the disaster to slam anytime. On the contrary, nothing happened that night.

The next morning faintly relieved and positively hoping that the flyer news was fake and that the storm had passed, Matsuo’s mother suggested moving back to their residence since the town remained intact but her father protested otherwise and insisted that they stay. So, Matsuo spent the morning unpacking their luggage while the elders prepared their meal and her innocent younger siblings played outside.

Hours later, Matsuo witnessed an extremely intense yellowish-white beam that was bright enough to instantly disrupt her vision and before she could retaliate from it their shelter succumbed to the fiery flames of the bomb and blew up. That was when the second US airplane dropped the fatal bomb code-named ‘Fat-man’ on Nagasaki. The resilient fire butchered Matsuo’s elder sister while her father died on exposure to the perilous radiation from the bomb while Matsuo, her mother, and her brother were fortunate enough to survive the calamity with some serious burns.

The paramedics and the rescue team couldn’t make it in time and the severely injured lay in despair awaiting death to take them as screams of anguish and yelp echoed everywhere. The alive assembled at the air-raid shelter with much difficulty. Matsuo’s mother retrieved their savings from the nearby bank, garnered food, and aided the critically wounded before their relatives came to their rescue and escorted them away from the radiation.

Even though the obnoxious memories from the aftermath of the bomb blast keep lingering in Matsuo’s mind, over the years she has learned to talk about it and realized the necessity of passing the story on. At that time, due to the hideous discrimination that came along, she couldn’t openly admit that she was a survivor. Today, she proudly speaks up that she is a survivor but the thing that detains her from being happy about it is how the radiation might affect her grandchildren.  

However, the bomb attack did put an immediate stop to the prolonging second world war, and estimated life loss during the war panned out to be relatively less due to this. Yet, are the inhumane intentions and acrimonious actions of the US military officials which drove them to drop an atomic bomb on fellow humankind to manifest authority justifiable?   

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ANTHROPOS: TO FEEL

by:Preeti and Sutanuka

Anthropos is a Greek word that means “human being” or “Man”. Digging deeper, Anthropos is to feel, is to convey, is to rage, is to yearn, is to feel all the emotions on a bone-deep, molecular level; so much so that it becomes a part of you, it overtakes your senses in every form, until you’re nothing but what you feel. 

Yearning has a soft place in her heart for the lonely. She comes home, the red wooden door of her quaint house a dull reminder of everything. The lock latches in with a click and Yearning leans against the door. It’s a heavy thing, constantly feeling like Atlas in her robes, the red thread of fate always a touch away; people trying to bend the thread always end up wrapping it tighter around their throats. Yearning thinks the picture frames on the walls are something more than an illusion and every time the phone rings she jumps three feet into the air before crumpling up like paper because the name on the caller ID isn’t familiar. Yearning wishes upon every shooting star and at every 11:11; it’s been months and her wishes haven’t changed. It’s hard to want something so desperately that you start to melt with your want, the atoms colliding and forming a part of you, eroding your walls of will. Yearning is a deep-seated guest, refusing to leave until you pick apart every fiber of your being.

Angry is gloomy; she constantly complains and is always in a bad mood. She never feels sorry for what she destroys – people mostly. She wants control oozing out of her fingers. The pressure from wherever she looked, encouraged Anger to grow up long before her mind and body were ready for it.  She thinks it is because of perceived inadequacy, frustration, and a fear of failure. Whenever her parents and teachers ask her angrily to improve her behavior she says “Stop irritating me!”. She gets easily offended and often takes the slightest setback as a personal attack. She constantly blames others for her misfortune. Anger spends a lot of time complaining about the transgressions and shortcomings of other people. Compassion and empathy were as foreign to her as the depths of her anger. Listening isn’t her virtue and it flows down to her jittery knees, whenever she has to pry open her ears to listen. Watching the world burn down because of her has always been her forte.

Fear wears her clothes in two shades – a rotten block that seeps through the seams or a pale shaky blue, a robin’s egg blue. There’s a tremor down her spine with every step she takes and Fear has her eyes clouded over always. Carrying your heart in a glass jar is a two-edged sword when you realize that when the jar breaks, your heart gets stabbed too. Fear takes calculated steps after thousands of calculations and she still trips on the tightrope. Fear thinks every breath she takes coils around her throat and she has to watch herself wither away with the knife to cut it apart in her hands. Fear is crippling. 

Happy is extroverted and runs low in neuroticism. She is content with what she has and doesn’t waste a whole lot of time worrying and stressing over things she doesn’t. She leads a balanced life which means she makes time for all things that are important to her, whether it’s family, friends, career, health, etc. She treats others with respect. She is sensitive to the thoughts and feelings of other people. She is compassionate and gets treated this way (most of the time) in return. One of the biggest things Happy does differently is that she lets go. Bad things happen to good people sometimes. Happy realizes this and can take things in stride, and move on. Happy isn’t perfect, and she is well aware of that. Whenever she screws up, she admits. She recognizes her faults and always works to improve on them. Happy lives by the mantra: “There are two types of people in the world: those that do and those that make excuses why they don’t.” She often exhibits the virtues of honesty and trustworthiness. She would rather give candid feedback, even when the truth hurts, and expects the same in return. She can find her passions in life and pursue those passions to the fullest. Happy accepts challenges and uses them as opportunities to learn and grow. She turns negatives into positives and makes the best out of seemingly bad situations. She doesn’t dwell on things that are out of her control; rather, she seeks solutions and creative ways of overcoming obstacles. She is grateful for “the now” and focuses her efforts on living life to the fullest in the present. Her philosophy is: There’s a reason it’s called “the present.” Because life is a gift.

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Conspiracy Theories That We Wished Were True

by:Siddhaarth,Aasika and Aanchal

Conspiracy theories may seem strange, unreasonable, or even peculiar when you read them but one thing’s for sure, they are a hell lot interesting and fun to read about. They pique our curiosity and make us want to know what really happened or what could have happened, and some of us even wish, these theories were true. We wished that the theories such as the existence of the Illuminati, the 9/11 terrorist attacks being an inside job by the US Government, the assumption that we might be living in a simulation and many others, were true. 

As far as secret organizations go, the most well-known is probably the Illuminati. Their rumoured members include nearly every public figure in the world, including Beyonce, Paris Hilton, Barack Obama, Bob Barker, Adolf Hitler, and many more. Their supposedly powerful cabal has been implicated in the Kennedy assassination, 9/11, the death of Whitney Houston, and the Ice Bucket Challenge, and is said to be pulling the strings that make the world go round. 

The Illuminati was founded in Bavaria, Germany, back in 1776, by Adam Weishaupt, an anti-clerical professor who wanted to spread Enlightenment-era ideas, an attempt to shift the pro-monarchy, Catholic Supremacy movement into a rational, scientific, and somewhat more secular movement. They envisioned nothing less than a world revolution that would result in a universal republic. A new world order necessitated the destruction of Christianity and all other forms of religion. It also meant the annihilation of all governments, the new order would bring liberation from all social, moral, and religious restraint and embrace absolute equality and social fraternity. Religious superstition would be replaced with atheism for the masses and a kind of enlightened pantheism for the higher classes. The Illuminati gained momentum in its initial years itself, having about 3000 members, some of whom were both a part of the Freemasons and the Illuminati. 

Once the cult became too large to remain a secret, knowledge of the group got out. After being accused of publishing anti-religious literature, the Bavarian government banned all secret societies, seized their records, and published them. This effectively ended the existence of the group, but this is just what meets the eye. It was believed that the Illuminati continued to survive as an underground organization and kept meeting at secret locations and even planned greater events. Some believed that the Illuminati was behind the French Revolution, even conspired the 9/11 attacks, and had links with JFK’s assassination. 

There are also theories that the Illuminati has been killing celebrities and replacing them with clones to brainwash society. Also, the heavily militarized police forces hint at government involvement in the Illuminati and their goal of establishing a world totalitarian government. There is evidence for these. The first one is that many celebrities have been recorded to behave ‘abnormally’, like staring into space, changing looks, and abnormal behaviour at interviews. Also, the police are more militarized than ever, because heavily militarized police will be required to control the crowds and haul up anyone who tries to defy the idea proposed by the authorities. The number of people in America who believe in the Illuminati, according to research, was a whopping 30 million, which means they’ve got a huge population to believe in their existence and speculated involvement in various activities happening around us

I want this theory to be true, being interested in the supernatural things that happen around us and fairly good evidence of the Illuminati being on their mission to a New World Order makes me believe that these events are intricately planned and makes me connect the strings to something greater than what is suggested otherwise.

One of the darkest moments in modern human history is September 11th, 2001 known as the day when the 9/11 terrorist attack occurred on the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon. These terrorist attacks were conducted by the Al Qaeda terrorist organization in the form of hijacking of planes.

Now, one of the many conspiracy theories regarding the 9/11 incident is that these attacks were instead planned by the Bush administration that was in power at the time. It is believed that Dick Cheney (the former Vice President of the US) and the top branch of the Bush administration had conspired with Al Qaeda and used Osama Bin Laden as a cover-up to help execute this attack. 

A lot of people might be curious as to why would the United States Government carry out such a dastardly act against its citizens. One possible explanation is that the United States and the Bush administration needed a reason to intervene in/invade the Middle East (Afghanistan and Iraq), but could not do so due to legal reasons and international condemnation.

Hence, after the 9/11 attacks had occurred, a United Nations Security Council meeting was called upon and in this very meeting, the US delegation had referred to the phrase “War on Terror” and the UNSC resolution 1368 was passed. This Resolution stated that any country could invade another country on the grounds of fighting terrorism. Hence, it gave the United States an excuse to invade Afghanistan, Iraq, and later Syria. I believe that this conspiracy theory could be true because all the pieces of the puzzle fit together perfectly in the sense that the attacks and their aftermath were truly in line with the USA’s agenda at the time, giving more credibility to the proposed theory. 

Technological advancement is transpiring at a rapid rate. The evolution of technology is making human life much more sophisticated, enthralling, and elementary. The civilians of this modern era, are coming up with incredibly indispensable inventions and astoundingly alluring game simulations frequently. The periodical amelioration of the current technologies aspires to make the simulations indistinguishable from reality. But what if this tangible world which we believe we are residing in is a convincing simulation by a super-advanced civilization and in reality, we are the creation and not the creators?

While some consider this conspiracy theory to be bonkers and some haven’t given it a sufficient thought to land on an opinion yet, the theory in actuality doesn’t appear insane after Swedish philosopher Nick Bostrom initially claimed that we are living in a simulation and over the years astute scientists ended up garnering evidence to assist his theory. 

Uncertain assumptions like the impossibility to replicate the entire universe as a smooth simulation and to generate infinite power to incessantly run the simulation stimulates the civilians to speculate otherwise. Furthermore, a few other prominent and persuasive presumptions provoke us to contemplate the credibility of this conspiracy theory.

Several people are believed to have witnessed TV coverage of Nelson Mandela’s demise in the 1980s when in actual he passed away in 2013. This is the famous “Mandela effect” and it nudges us to think about the existence of a parallel universe and that the controllers of the simulation are attempting to change the past. 

Another important piece of evidence being the popular double-slit experiment. When electrons are directed towards a copper plate normally, electrons demonstrate wave-live behaviour and when the same experiment is conducted “under observation”, the electrons manifest particle-like behaviour. Hence, this makes us wonder if our simulation is conserving its existing resources and offers certain things only when it knows it is being observed. 

Elon Musk, in a lot of his interviews, has mentioned that he’s a firm believer of Nick Bostrom’s hypothesis. Given the realistic simulation games which were non-existent until 40 years ago and the present photorealistic 3D games with millions playing them simultaneously, the augmenting advancement would automatically lead to the development of more realistic games, making them indifferentiable from concrete reality.

Other compelling shreds of evidence being the ones generated by a group of researchers in the University of Washington which proclaimed that malicious computer code can be embedded in our physical DNA strands and hence hinting that our biological reality could have been a computer code all along. The universe is governed by a set of mathematical laws. Hence, we are again pressured to mull that the simulation is programmed to run with those laws.

I feel this theory would be awesome to be true. Firstly, if it was all a simulation and if the life we are living is utterly bogus then I speculate it is safe to assume that the after-life wouldn’t go hard on us. Secondly, it would be good to know that we aren’t liable for our feckless actions and reckless decisions. Thirdly, the post-human created advanced machinery showcases the magnificence of the humans who modernized the world. 

The assassination of the youngest man elected to the office, the 35th American president, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, often referred to by his initials as JFK induced controversies all around the globe. The unexpected and unfortunate demise of every young president in the world remains a conspiracy and Kennedy’s death was no exception. On November 21, 1963, JFK, the Vice president, and his wife Jacqueline Kennedy embarked on a five-city fundraising trip to Texas. The president was warmly greeted by the audience and the presidential party settled to spend their night at Fort Worth.

The next morning, after delivering a speech at a Fort Worth chamber of commerce breakfast and Dallas’s love airport, he boarded his convertible Lincoln continental Limo with the Texas Governor John Connally and his first lady. The limo was on its way to Trade Mart where JFK was scheduled to address the gathering. Moments after the president’s car crossed the Texas school book depository building, around 12:30 PM, blaring noise of gunshots pervaded the atmosphere as the rigid bullets escaped the rugged rifle of a nefarious assassin.

A bullet pierced the base of Kennedy’s neck and eluded from the back of his throat and a follow-up bullet fired seconds after that, hit JFK right in the back of his head. The doctor’s efforts were in vain and Kennedy was officially declared dead around 1:00 PM on November 22, 1963. The word of the president’s demise propagated and shook the entire nation. From the sixth floor of the Texas school book depository building, bullet cases and an infantry rifle were retrieved, and later the rifle was identified to be Lee Harvey Oswald’s possession.

Oswald’s presence in the building before the firing was witnessed and when he was interrogated by a Dallas policeman, he gunned him down in front of several witnesses and entered the Texas Theater where he was apprehended around 1:50 PM. Officials started to doubt if Kennedy’s assassination was just an initial step by their enemies to destabilize the American government. Finally, when the footage of Kennedy’s assassination was shown in the ‘Good night America’ TV show, its reach went wide.

When the bullet hit JFK, his head jerked backwards, denoting that the shot came from in front of the president’s head. This indicates that it wasn’t from Oswald and establishes that there was a second shooter. Later, the Dictabelt audio recording made by a Dallas policeman revealed that three shots were fired by Oswald and the fourth one by another shooter, confirming the existence of a second shooter. Hence many people suggested that this is the start of something bigger and also speculated the involvement of Dallas right-wingers in this assassination. People truly believe that Kennedy was assassinated by the CIA and Kennedy was also fed up with the actions of the CIA. For example, Kennedy was not pleased to hear about the assassination attempt of the Cuban leader, Fidel Castro. Hence the CIA felt that Kennedy might disband them as an organization and hence people feel that they assassinated him because of this. I wish this theory was true because it appears more plausible and Kennedy deserves a rightful explanation for his assassination. 

However fascinating and intriguing the conspiracy theories are, they pan out as an unanswerable enigma that arouses controversies and keeps the ponderers packed.

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Making Meaning Out Of Madness

by:Harika,Netra and Sakshi

In recent years, conspiracy theories have been running rampant (thanks to WhatsApp university, viral Facebook, and blush-pink Instagram posts). We have all talked or heard about the famous myths surrounding the Holocaust, the CIA’s hand in JFK’s assassination, or 9/11 being an inside job and numerous other theories. We even made conspiracy theories out of fictional stories of cartoons and TV shows be it ‘Scooby Doo’, ‘Stranger Things’ or any other Alfred Hitchcock movie. Time and again, people have proven to love picking up clues, recognizing patterns, figuring out things for themselves, and ultimately enjoying the thrill that conspiracy theories have to offer. But is there more to it? Weaving conspiracy theories into real-life events makes them even more deceptive as they are all strung together in a dramatic and fictional manner. So, in some instances, these theories might make sense. But when you dig deeper, you begin noticing the lack of consistency and fact-based proof. And no, lack of proof shouldn’t be taken as evidence for the conspiracy. That’s the whole point. So what drives people to believe these poxy explanations or theories for such significant events? 

Conspiracy theories often take flight during unsettling times, for instance in a pandemic, after a terrorist attack, or during an election in a politically divided nation. It is natural and understandable to feel angry, frustrated, or saddened by these agonizing situations which lead people to find alternative ways to make sense of the situation. When people feel threatened and out of control, it’s natural to want to feel more control and bring order to the randomness. By cooking up a conspiracy theory, people try to understand the events and alleviate some uncertainty and anxiety. However, there’s more to conspiracy theories that we just need to make sense of.

If such theories are captivating and everyone wants to throw in their two cents, is everyone vulnerable to conspiratorial thinking? Not necessarily. It’s interesting to know that the people who believe in them have certain cognitive styles and personality traits. 

Researchers have found that people who believe in conspiracy theories tend to show characteristics such as eccentricity, narcissism, not being open to new experiences, low trust in others, a stronger need to feel special, a strong belief that the world is a dangerous place, and figuring out meaningful patterns when none exist. In a world where you are always hustling and battling for your position on the top of the rat race, it is logical to feel the want of being special which explains the increased belief of people in such theories. The higher the need to feel special and unique, the more likely a person is to believe in a conspiracy theory.

Just like how you need to plant a seed to grow a tree, you need to plant suspicion to build a conspiracy theory. Human minds seem to be prone to suspicious thoughts and paranoia which is considered to be an important evolutionary advantage. The paranoia that drives individuals to constantly scan the world for danger and suspect the worst of others probably provided a survival edge for humans.

So how do we plant this suspicion? 

There’s a mathematical explanation stating that any large structure will implicitly contain patterns if you pay attention. And here is where illusory pattern perception comes into play. Most of us, consciously or otherwise, have fallen prey to illusory pattern perception at least once in our lives. In my case, I’ve been going to sleep facing my left side for the past few days as I noticed that I tend to wake up earlier if I slept that way. There’s no logical reason behind that, except that, because it worked too often it felt like a pattern. Thus my mind unconsciously believed in this cooked-up theory of going to sleep facing my left side.

Pattern perception is the ability to perceive patterns and form meaningful connections between stimuli in our environment. These patterns can be real or something spun up by our creativity. While most of us seldom make huge decisions based on such patterns, we tend to take that direction in uncertain and desperate situations. In the case of conspiracy theories, conspiracy theorists carefully craft these theories, specifically highlighting these patterns. The more you think about these patterns, the more believable they start to sound and in no time you find yourself leaning further towards a claim that has no logical proof whatsoever. 

(Chuck E cheese conspiracy theory would be a great example if the article isn’t long already)

Pattern perception, despite being evolutionarily advantageous, ends up being a huge setback when unable to differentiate between real and illusory patterns.

But to talk about these particular traits and stimuli that drive people into believing in conspiracy theories, they can be broadly classified into three motives- epistemic, social, and existential.

The epistemic motive categorically deals with seeking causal explanations to something unanswered or uncertain. These explanations serve the need for people to feel safe and secure in their environment, giving them a sense of control. A related property is that they can protect cherished beliefs. The belief that vaccination is harmful or that climate change is a trivial concern falls under this category.

The social motive, on the other hand, is a consequence of our tribe mentality. We may find a social connection with like-minded people by being part of a community of believers. We also tend to identify with ideas held by those we find similar to us or feel obligated to agree with baseless beliefs to maintain a positive self-image in a group.

The existential motive justifies the behavior of folks accepting theories as a compensatory satisfaction when their needs are threatened. This motive is predominant in situations where people feel they have a lack of sociopolitical control or psychological empowerment. For example, in the conspiracy surrounding the 2020 US presidential elections, Trump supporters were overwhelmed when he lost the election. Fearing financial and social vulnerability, they endorsed theories that made them feel more comfortable.

Conspiracy theories are hardly based on facts, rather, they serve the purpose of confirming things we already believe in. Illusory pattern perception is one of the tools used in crafting these theories, in addition, theorists often build gripping narratives centered around you, the protagonist bound to propagating the truth, and the other believers play mentors and guide you through your journey. This storyline is one of the principal methods used by theorists to get you to join communities of believers. When people get too submerged in these stories, existing shreds of evidence become part of the conspiracy theories themselves. 

While the conspiracy theorists are responsible for conceiving an alluring and captive story, the internet promotes them. By prioritizing the most liked and shared posts, baseless theories end up being circulated uncontrollably.

Although it is difficult to keep calm during times of uncertainty, here are a few ways to avoid falling for conspiracy theories. Turn off the news, gadgets, or whatever is making you anxious. Stay away from social media or anything that repeatedly brings up concerning situations. Closely examine evidence and consciously tell yourself to think critically. Sometimes, even changing your perspective can help better your anxiety. Try to look at things more positively and visualize positive outcomes.

Last but not least, take good care of yourself. Remind yourself that your life lies in your hands and you’re the only person with actual control over yourself. 

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Mandela Effect

by:Akhil,Vaishnavi and Keerthana

I absolutely love conspiracy theories and everything to do with them. Sometimes they’re over-the-top crazy theories, and sometimes they actually make sense. But in the end, they are the gateways to imaginative and realistic stories that may be real. 

One of my favourite personal conspiracy theories is about the Mandela effect. 

The Mandela effect is a concept in which people, with no relation to each other, believe that a particular event transpired when it actually never did. 

An easier way of explaining the theory is implying that certain people share a memory of an instance that didn’t occur or occurred differently than how they actually remember it in their minds.     

The Mandela effect gets its name from an event in 2013 following the passing of world-renowned leader Nelson Mandela. During this time, many people believed that Nelson Mandela had already passed away in jail in 1980 despite him living on for another few years. The kick here is that the group of people that believed he was dead from 1980 were unrelated and had never met before. 

How then did all these unrelated people share a similar memory that had never happened? False memories?

Ok, let us assume some of them did have false memories of the event. But most of them went on to vividly describe the memorial service for Nelson Mandela and a speech given by his wife during his funeral. How could these then be false memories when each one of them recounted similar events that never transpired?

My conspiracy theory is that the Mandela effect is real (like literally!) and is not a mere play-of-the-mind. Many speculations (crazy people like me) support my stance, and I’ll be exploring the three most feasible and believable of the lot. 

The most appropriate explanation for the Mandela effect is the existence of alternate realities. To be more specific, parallel universes. The scientific approach to this concept is a wary and tiring path to tread, so I ask you this. 

Do you really believe we are the only planet blessed with life in this universe? Is there not a minute chance that there is one more lifeform out there? Is our universe the only one to exist? When we can imagine such a vast nature for the universe, then why not a parallel one? 

Now that I’ve (hopefully) convinced you that parallel universes exist, let’s explore how it actually works.

Basically, events transpire differently in our parallel universes. Different decisions lead to different outcomes and therefore lead to different realities. Like what if Hitler had actually won? That’s definitely not a reality I want to remember. So, sometimes discrepancies occur when these parallel universes accidentally spill into our reality. What causes these accidental merges? I don’t know. But are you seriously going to tell me that everything that has happened in history till now was supposed to be precisely that way? I don’t believe that. A small change anywhere in the past could cause changes in the future, and it would become so different that it would have to exist separately as an entirely new entity. 

That is why parallel universes, although with no proof of existence, are such a convincing way of explaining the Mandela effect. 

Next in line, we have an all-time favorite that is absolutely bonkers but also believable. Time travel.

The concept of time travel is reasonably straightforward. If someone traveled through time to the past or the future and changed the events of what had occurred or what was supposed to occur, the history of that reality would change. 

This concept actually ties into our previous claim of parallel universes. But here, instead of looking at reality like separate lines of existence, there is only one reality with an uncountable number of branches. Each branch, representing a change in that reality, would eventually grow into its own reality with branches of its own.  

Explained well by movies like Back To The Future and Tenet and novels like A Wrinkle in Time and The Time Machine, time travel caused different events to transpire in a particular reality. These events resulted in the creation of new realities. The interaction between these various realities is what causes the Mandela effect. 

In an iconic scene in the movie Star Wars, the character Darth Vader reveals that he is the father of Luke Skywalker to Luke himself. The original line goes, “No, I am your father.”, whereas most of the fanbase remembers the line as “Luke, I am your father.”. The fanbase swore that the line began with the word Luke, but on rewatching the film are bewildered to find out that that is not the case. They even found merchandise as evidence that supported their view, but it was never proven.  

This is a small but plausible example to prove the Mandela effect through the merging of realities.

Finally, the theory that even I would say is a bit far-fetched is the ideology that we are all living in a real-life simulation. 

Two factors question this theory but don’t disprove it. First, it would mean that everything we do to the smallest detail, like dropping a spoon, is written down and executed like a movie script. This, to me, is highly unlikely. Second, for us to be in a simulation, someone would have had to create everything in our simulation and would be controlling everything. This also seems too complex to imagine as it implies someone is controlling our whole lives. 

But some factors support the theory of a simulation. The number of reports and actual captured footage that show abnormal events like people appearing out of nowhere or objects strangely duplicated could all be ‘glitches’ in the system. These could all be errors that the ‘people’ running the program forgot to correct.  

Our constant development in the type of technology that humankind can create is another factor that proves that we may be able to actually run simulations like our world in the future. So, what if we are a simulation running in the future, being controlled by really advanced beings?

The story of The Matrix explores this unique, abnormal perspective on our reality and does an admirable job of convincing the audience that we are actually living in a simulation. 

Now that I’ve finished ranting about the Mandela effect and trying to convince you that it’s true, I’d like to end this by saying that the Mandela effect, at the end of the day, is a conspiracy theory. It may be true, although it has a higher chance of not being legitimate. But there is also no proof otherwise to state that the Mandela effect is not real. 

There are no hard distinctions between what is real and what is unreal, nor between what is true and what is false. A thing is not necessarily either true or false; it can be either true or false.

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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?