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Modern-Day Feminism 101 4.2 (25)

Modern-Day Feminism

“Oh! You are a feminist? So you must think you are superior to men?”- Yes, I go through this conversation every time I say that I am a feminist. People often associate ‘fem’ with female without knowing the actual definition. Recently I saw a debate going on Facebook about “Why do feminists hate men and don’t discuss their issues?”

Going by the definition, feminism is an ideology that demands social, political, and economic equality of all sexes. Which means everyone in this world should have equal rights and opportunities. Hence, feminists are not man-haters.

But it doesn’t mean that you have to be pro-choice or you should work in the office all day. You can still cook for your husband and stay at home and still be a feminist. Feminism is about knowing that cooking and laundry can be done by both the genders. Feminism is about gender equality and getting equal opportunities for both male and female, not demanding extra rights for women. The feminist wave gave rise to different types of feminism such as Marxist, Liberal, Cultural, and Radical Feminism.

In India, Savitribai Phule became the first woman who advocated women’s rights and education by starting the first schools for girls in India in 1848. So it can be said that India was the first country in the world which kindled the light of women’s rights.

Women of states like Gujarat, Haryana, and Assam have been steadily accelerating on the societal ladder, we can say that the feminist movement is paying off quite well. Soon we are moving forward to a time where women will be seen achieving equality in society, but on the other hand, we also see a new breed of women who don’t react to real-world problems and just want a lot of privileges. We know them as pseudo-feminist and they make things worse for the actual feminists who are actually fighting against the patriarchy and the other greater evils of society. This new breed of feminists are young college-going adults who believe that smoking and drinking alcohol makes them equal or even superior in society.

Feminism can be empowering for college students choosing their career paths, without inequality standing in their way but at the same time, people should also know how they are using it. True feminists should focus on topics like equal responsibilities, gender equality, and empowering other women. They should also discuss that gender, sex, and sexuality do not determine humanity.

It is high time that everyone should realize that feminism doesn’t mean making women stronger, but giving equal opportunities to both men and women. Nobody should be ashamed of being called a feminist, even if you are a man.

Public Vs Policies in the reflection of Black Lives Matter 4.2 (44)

It all started back in 2013 when Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old African American boy from Miami Gardens, Florida was murdered. In the evening of 26th February 2013 when Trayvon was passing by a nearby convenience store, a man named Zimmerman, who was a member of the community watch, without any evidence suspected Trayvon and reported him to Sanford Police and a few minutes later Zimmerman murdered Trayvon by shooting in his chest.

Later in 2013, Black Lives Matters was founded in response to the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s murderer. The Black Lives Matter Foundation became a global organization with headquarters in the US and bases in the UK and Canada. Their mission is to make the world a safe place for the black communities and to build local power to eradicate violence inflicted on them by anyone. They are a group of liberators who believe in inclusive growth of society and protests against any kind of exclusion that is related to black life in any corner of the world. 

The Black Life Matters movement gained international attention and returned to national headlines during the international George Floyd protest in 2020. George Floyd was a 46-year-old, African American man who was killed by a Minneapolis Police Department officer during an arrest, Derek Chauvin a police officer, knelt on Floyd’s neck for eight minutes straight, while other three officers did nothing.

The ongoing series of protests and civil unrest began on May 26, 2020, in Minneapolis in the United States, these protests were happening in response to the killing of George Floyd. Approximately 15 to 26 million people took part in 2020 Black Lives Matters protests all across the United States of America, this made Black Lives Matters one of the largest protests and movements in US history. 

Over the past seven years, the popularity of Black Lives Matters has shifted rapidly across the globe, in June 2020 Pew Research Center found that the majority of people and especially American from all racial and ethnic groups expressed their support for the Black Lives Matters movement. Floyd’s murder ignited the wave of global protest against all type of racism and colourism, the Black Lives Matters protest demanded reforms in the police department by Trump’s administration and equal life opportunity to Black American. 

The 15 million tweets between May 27th to June 4th, made a single scary, eight-minute moment into a global movement which added spark in the Black Lives Matters movement, the social media traffics strongly centered on George Floyd gave the wide reach to Black Life Matter movement and association. The movement spread out geographically and unexpectedly the whole world joined hands for the justice of George Floyd and all black lives.

The Black Lives Matters movement has changed the way for Americans to ask for freedom and challenge the government. The impact of this movement is very diverse. It is now changing the process and phrases of debate over racism and inequalities that are faced by African American each day. It has also challenged the American police reformers and argues for the government policies that could protect blacks from any short of inequalities. Questions are now being raised on the political representation of blacks and especially black women in American politics. The dynamics of the Black Lives Matters movement has changed, now it’s not just about the black lives but more about the American people vs. policies and American youth vs. racism. Now it’s a matter of concern whether or not Trump could take this new multi-racial coalition forward or not. The United States shares the maximum number of multiracial societies and this included African Americans, Latinos and Asian Americans, the Black Lives Matters movement is not just about the protection of black people from regressive and non-friendly policies of American government but it is also about the identity security of all racial groups that are present in the United States of America. As the presidential elections are coming up in the USA, the Democrats and Republicans are doing their best to include friendly policies in their election manifesto; the impact of Black Lives Matters has raised several questions on the existing public policies on racial grounds. Equality on racial grounds is the new base of American policy reforms and it is now taking American society towards a new era of social change. The Black Lives Matters movement is now shaping American politics and policies, in which the black community holds the special representation and security, at the democratic process. 

Surprise 4.8 (70)

Surprise! Feature Image

“Come closer, Bailey. Only a few more steps…” chirped a voice creepily, scaring me. Suddenly incapable of using my brain, I dumbly did as the voice said and as if it was listening to my thoughts, it chuckled.

The voice had led me to a corridor, at the end of which a closed-door was waiting. I tiptoed towards the door and convinced myself that if I walked like that, the owner of the voice will not hear me and my arrival at the door would be unexpected and they will be caught off guard.

“Time for you to open the door, and step inside,” I shivered from how eerily close the voice sounded and managed to stutter out a question, “Why are you doing this to me?” The voice broke into a fit of laughter and didn’t answer so I simply continued to do as the voice said, and opened the door.

“Surprise!” screamed my best friends together as I stood at the door, frozen in shock.

I somehow managed to put on a smile and pretended that I wasn’t just led to the door by some creepy voice that had scared me. I squealed happily as my best friends, Aaron and Lana, quickly walked over to me to wrap me up in a tight hug before ushering me towards the kitchen, where a tall figure clad in a black leather jacket was waiting.

“Joshua?” I gasped, as the figure turned around to face me. We walked towards each other as fast as we could and it wasn’t long before I was engulfed in a bone-crushing hug. Joshua is my older brother, who I hadn’t seen or heard from in four long years after he left our family home back in Charleston in search of his ‘soul’.

As soon as that thought came across my mind, I pulled away and started hitting him wherever I could reach but just as I was to slap his face, he grabbed hold of my hand and interlocked our fingers, pulling me into another hug.

“I missed you too, Bay Leaf.” He smiled guiltily, and I smiled back, not being able to resist the nickname he gave me when we were just kids. Suddenly reminded of the creepy voice outside, I turned around to ask my best friends which one of them was responsible for the voice that scared me.

“We know, we know – you must be wondering why we planned this surprise and by the look of your face, you must have completely forgotten that it is your birthday today since you were so busy working on your new assignment,” I giggled nervously and nodded, knowing that Lana was right and I couldn’t argue with her on this – I had become a workaholic, and didn’t spend as much time on myself as I used to.

By the end of the party, I had almost completely forgotten about the creepy voice until I had stepped out the door with Joshua and my best friends by my side. “Wait, I need to ask you guys – who was responsible for the creepy voice outside?” Joshua shrugged, but Aaron replied, “What voice are you talking about? It couldn’t have been us, we were all waiting inside to surprise you.”

I nodded silently and we stepped into the elevator as one last thought lingered across my mind – if it wasn’t any of them, then who was it? I can almost imagine the creepy voice laughing right now, mocking me for not figuring out his identity already.

Makeover of the Mind 4.7 (52)

Makeover of the Mind (feature image)

Today is the day that I will let you all in on a secret. Think of it as a top-secret of sorts. But first, I would like to tell you all a story. We have all had regrets, both big and small, in our lives. We have all thought ‘what if I had done nearly the opposite of what I have done?’ I am also certain that we all wish for just one chance to change things– just like renovating our homes; it is still our home once it is done, but it has been given a new life. You may renovate your lives, however, life is not like making a post on social media—replete with filters, endless chances to edit your post and even delete it if need be.

What you are about to read now is the epitome of bizarre and dream-like. It was like any other morning—chilly and tranquil. Sweet words of devotion to God woke me up and as I turned off the alarm, I was met by my phone screen, giving me a diabolic smile. My breathing became heavy and my eyes grew big at beholding the frightening sight in front of me. The date on the screen read 5 January 2018. I ran frantically and checked the calendar and other devices. I was indeed in the past. As feelings of confusion and fear overcame me, the notification bell rang from my phone. With trembling hands, I picked up my phone to see a mysterious message without a sender. I knew that there was no way back but to move forward. Opening the message, I beheld the following words: ’24 hours in the real world can be a lifetime here. Change whatever you want to. You shall be sent back when you are done’. Defeated, I plonked myself on the sofa. I needed to digest this ‘reality’. 

I could have gone back right then and there but my curiosity to find out what was going on was far greater than any other need. I tried to recall what the significance of that day was and it occurred to me that it was the day I had chosen to drop mathematics in my future academic pursuits. It was a decision towards which I had come to harbour strong feelings of regret. This one decision of mine had quashed my dreams of doing my graduate studies in Australia. By the time I could change things, it was already too late. I then thought that this was not such a bad thing after all. I was being given a rare chance to change my life forever. Only someone cowardly would stand and watch as the opportunity turned the corner and disappeared without leaving a trace. I knew what my future was and I was going to change it.

I no longer felt anxious, rather optimistic and confident. Two years on this fast track would turn my whole life around. I was eager to submit the application form to college once again, but this time, with one major change. I had lived through all the rest before. Writing my grade ten final examinations, having the best holiday time for two whole months after that and enrolling myself for the ISC program where I would now study mathematics. Time passed by rather quickly in this ‘reality’. I was already three months into my study. Mathematics was indeed a challenge and pushed me to the brink. I did not have enough time for myself like I did before. The bounds of my mental capacity were being tested each day. Instead of writing poems in my leisure, I was solving the endless problems of a textbook.

The two years flew by but it had taken blood, sweat and tears to get there. Regardless, I was at the penultimate stepping stone. Starting off on the right foot, I applied to Monash University, my dream college in Australia and before I could blink my eyes twice, I was admitted there too! ‘This one choice really changed my life,’ I thought to myself, overwhelmed with emotions that no words could describe. I was to leave in September which was just a few months away. All kinds of preparations—from documentation to financing and shopping to building connections—were being made with renewed vigour. But obstacles are inherent in all journeys and to my narrow mind, my journey had indeed been smoother than a baby’s skin. What was about to hit me –  and the rest of the world—I somehow did not anticipate despite having lived through it in my past. 

It had not occurred to me that I was only capable of changing my story; what was destined to be the story of the world was not in my hands to change. What really turned not only mine but also the lives of everyone else around was the coronavirus. At its onset in that ‘reality’, I knew where things would go in a few months’ time. I had seen it all before. In such uncertain times, I would not be able to go to Australia. It was both extremely risky and practically not feasible. I could not waste any more of my time and energy there. Taking a deep breath, I picked up my phone and scrolled down to that cursed message I had received on that fateful day. With a dejected heart, I typed in the words ‘I’m done’ and hit send. Within the next few minutes, I was hit by a heavy drowsiness that I could not resist. I was forced to give in to that strange force. I was in deep sleep yet completely conscious. It was like being in a trance and when I embraced it, it was surprisingly meditative. I do not know for how long I was in that strange state. But the thoughts that overcame my mind were words of wisdom that one earns during an entire lifetime. I was beginning to understand why I was given such an opportunity to do-over my life. If I had been naïve and immature earlier, this ‘reality’ unknowingly taught me many things that I perhaps would not have learnt otherwise and new-fashioned me- just like that renovated home. 

Getting a chance for a do-over is like strapping yourself into a time machine and not looking back- well technically looking back but only to look forward (the paradox is high on this one). But there are more things outside our control than within. Even if you do get a chance for a do-over, you cannot change the circumstances into which you were born. Living life with the wisdom that we can control only our actions and reactions will make us realise that we do not need a do-over. Yes, you might want to go back into your childhood and have more fun. You might want to go back to your teen years and better equip yourself for adulthood. You might want to go back and take more chances in life and worry less. There are endless things that we would do differently. But we have learnt so much by those very so-called mistakes that we want to go back and change. Don’t think about changing what has already passed you. In thinking about what could have been, you are losing your present- that very present which is the only thing still in your hands. Look forward to the future for each day is a chance for a do-over in itself. No one can live a picture-perfect life from day one. But in utilising your rich experiences to enhance your future, you will see how far you have come. Where is the growth in doing everything right from day one. Where is the learning? Instead, it would be monotonous and quite boring to live a life without any ups and downs. As much as we are extremely curious to know how different things would be if we had done things differently, I am sure that ‘different’ in no way means flawless or perfect.

As I opened my eyes, I knew deep within my heart that I was back for good and that everything was fine. I would now live my life with a wondrous truth to guide me. I know that I can’t change the past. I know that the world won’t change for me but instead that I need to change myself and adapt to the world. But that day was unexpectedly very eventful. It was the day that I found a rare gem of wisdom. It was the day from when I would make the best of every situation that I would be faced with. It was the day that I was REBORN. 

Family 4.9 (216)

Family Article

Where Life Begins And Love Never Ends

When it comes to writing about my family, I often become speechless and confused, because there are not enough words in the Hindi or English dictionary to convey the love I feel for mine. Although the word is small, it carries a whole lot of meaning. ‘Family’ means love, care, responsibilities, togetherness, support, and a truly unbreakable bond.

If someone asks me what family means to me, I would say that it is the first cell of my body and a truly god-given blessing. They complete me, and are the reason I wake up in the morning. I honestly cannot ask God for anything more, because my family fulfills my life, and as long as I have them by my side, my heart and soul are content.

No one but them has made me realize the true meaning of ‘always’ and ‘forever’. There is nothing else a human being can demand once they have realized that they already have everything they could ever wish for, and by that, I refer only to the non-materialistic things in life, as they matter the most. For me, these non-materialistic things include the love, care, emotions, and the true bond my family shares with each other, along with the happiness I feel when my entire family is together.

According to me, whoever stands by you during both happy and sad times, that person beside you has all the rights to be called your family. Family is not only identified by blood, but also by support and care, and I stand by that belief. Over the years, as I grew and nourished into a teenage boy, my family and friends always stood by me, and completed me. By being there for me then, they have proved to me that there will never be a bigger and more important entity than your family.

This is my tribute to all the people who have stood by me throughout the past couple of years, as we faced ups and downs together, but also grew together. I would call myself The Family Man, but sadly I do not work for any government agency, nor will I ever, because I need to support my family in everything they do, and support them no matter what, as they have done the same for me. To those who do not feel the same way as me, please just try giving them some time, show them love and care, and see how beautifully happy you and your life will turn out to be.

Racism 4.1 (36)

Racism

‘Racism’ is a widely prevalent characteristic of the world, which refers to how people are discriminated against based on colour, caste, gender and religion. People that are dark-skinned, lower caste or women are treated brutally. Why are dark-skinned not allowed to wear clothes of their choice? Why can’t they live life on their terms? Why are they judged and mocked for the each step they take?

We live in a democratic state for the sake of reputation but none of the rights that are provided with democracy are given. It is difficult to digest the fact that even in such a modern world, people are being discriminated against. Why can’t people understand this simple fact? Everybody is different and unique in their own way and that is their power. God has made each and every person the way they are for a reason. If everyone were the same, then the beauty of humanity would be lost.

Nobody has the right to treat other people cruelly just because of their skin colour. In the end, we all are humans and require the same amount of love and respect. We have so many examples in our society where the dark-skinned people have broken all the stereotypes, faced wrath of people but still proved themselves. From Barack Obama to Priyanka Chopra and Usian Bolt to Oprah Winfrey they have inspired zillions and continue to impress us with their charm and work. Dark-skinned people have gained success, love and respect in all the fields and they have taught the world a lesson that a person’s skin colour is nothing and it is their work and character that ultimately speaks.

It is shameful that even after so many years, after the Civil Rights Movement, human beings still have such a small thinking. Revolutionary leader Nelson Mandela sacrificed his life to get rid of the slavery system. A single individual created such a huge change! Then why can’t we also do the same? When a single individual can do it, then why can’t 7.8 billion people contribute in making the world a better place to live in?

Thinking about black lives, Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi founded the ‘Black Lives Matter’ Movement on 13 July 2013. As the name suggests, it is a decentralized movement in protest against police brutality and all racially motivated violence against African-American people. It is a non-violent movement where people associated are risking their lives to save the lives of the innocent, dark-skinned people. If human beings had changed their mindset then, there would not be so many lives at stake now.

Small differences in the way of thinking will lead to a very big improvement. Dark-skinned people should be treated with the same respect as the rest, they should be given an opportunity to prove themselves and firstly discrimination should be stopped. Even the people who are mistreated should not tolerate it and should fight for their self-respect. It is high time for all to bring good changes so that there will not be a requirement of any such movements and equal rights is provided to all.

The Little Things 1.6 (268)

It was a pleasant evening at Dehradun, the sky turned orange and the cool winds started to blow as the excitement in the Mehra family grew. Ryan Mehra belonged to a middle class family and being the only child of his parents, he was showered with enough love.

Meanwhile at Neeti’s house things were not as calm as Ryan’s. “Oh mom not again! I don’t want to marry some stranger only to spend the rest of my life imprisoned for killing him over petty issues!” I retorted angrily at my super excited mother.

“Trust me, he isn’t a stranger.” She said with a wink! It took me an hour and a few miles’ drive away from home to figure out that it was my neighbor with whom my parents have set me up for marriage! That day I saw him nervous for the first time, yet so calm.

His stubble made him look dashing and I couldn’t help but catch a glimpse of him every now and then in between our conversations. I almost had a teeny tiny crush on him before even starting the conversation. We had been sharing a common locality since kindergarten. He was always known for his sweet gestures among adults. Everyone including my parents had always liked him.

It’s been an hour since we met and I couldn’t take my eyes off her. The ambience of the restaurant feels great with its dim yet bright lighting, the aroma of delicious food all over the place and peaceful music in the background had been complementing our conversation pretty well.

“What do you mean you understand?” exclaimed Neeti in total disbelief. “I understand what you said. It’s okay to have your own perceptions about marriage and love. I am comfortable with it.” I replied calmly.

“Listen Mister! Even if we get married don’t expect me to be changing my views about love okay? I’ve had enough bitter experiences already.” She said while tucking a strand of hair behind her left ear. She was looking strikingly gorgeous in her ocean green kurti paired up with big silver jhumkas. Her mascara complemented her big eyes. Oh lord, she’s so beautiful!

I can’t believe my parents set me up with my childhood crush for marriage..I had been dreaming about her since the summer of grade six. I still remember how every evening she would come out of her house with her Husky to walk him.

Being neighbors we became good friends, but for me she was too beautiful to be just a good friend. I never really approached her upfront, but now, destiny has played its part! My dreams are finally coming true!

Thank you arrange marriage customs because wooing her was totally not my cup of tea, at least in this life.

“Just calm down, let’s be good friends first and see how it goes?” I said calmly though I wanted to scream how much I love her already. She smiled a bit and then we went back to our houses.

It was difficult for me at first to accept her as just a friend, but I knew it was a lot more difficult for her to let go of her beliefs and not live according to herself.

Present day, Neeti sat on the sofa with her personal diary and a pen to write today’s entry.

Dear Diary,

It has been 2 months since our wedding and all I can do is adore this man! Today he made tea and cooked breakfast for me because I was in pain due to my menstrual cycle, he didn’t let me do anything all day and also took a day off from work.. I never told him this but I think I have started falling for him now, maybe.

Maybe I have started getting more comfortable, we have become best of friends and we share almost anything and everything with each other without any fear of judgement.

He was totally cool when I told him that I am not a virgin (though I am, I just wanted to see his reaction). He’s sleeping right next to me like a baby, all tired from work…oh, his hand just touched my waist. It felt great, his touch on me. I feel cherished every time he looks at me . I don’t know what love is yet, I do not believe in the worldly perceptions or what the books have to say about it. For me, he’s love.

Till we meet again tomorrow.

Love, Neeti.

The Human Mind is Capable of Incredible Things 4.1 (37)

Introduction

The human mind is the most complex machinery known to humankind. It is a celebration of the exuberant mysteries of nature. It holds us prisoner and liberates us from miseries amidst difficulties. The conceptualization of thought and creating it, in reality, is the basis of our society. The brain helps us perceive reality and fiction comes in the dominion of reality due to our will. We become social animals due to our intellect, but every coin has two sides.

The Dark Sides of Mind

The brain is the factory of thought. Sometimes the ideas of the mind can be very dark and dingy. A young child named Mary Bell in 1968 committed a series of murders. She was just 11 years old where innocence prevailed over the hardships of life. This child came from a broken home with a teenage sex worker as her mom and her father a criminal.

It is hard to comprehend such a fact that an eleven-year-old child can be a cold-blooded serial killer. A person’s thought is very subjective to them.

It is unfathomable that the mother first tried to kill her child, then sexually abused her at the age of 4 onwards by her clients. An innocent and naive child of this tender age was subject to the torture, which no criminal should have faced. A mentally sick person for her avarice through her child to demons and cajole her into this flesh trade.

Mary Bell strangled two boys in a short period and she served 12 years in prison and released at the age of 23, her identity is anonymous to date. A person who is subject to inhumane conditions tends to be more susceptible to developmental disorders. The mind is capable of incredibly sick things.

The Positive Sides of Mind

As our thoughts can turn dark as coal there are also some people that despite their brain went haywire and against them, it was unable to stop them from doing incredible things.

John Forbes Nash Jr is a mathematician whose research was the key contribution of various theories of mathematics such as game theory, differential geometry, etc. The discoveries made by him have been instrumental in decision making in everyday life. He developed schizophrenia, which became apparent when he was in his 30’s, during lectures he tended to go in reveries. He started to disappear for days without explanation.

As his mental state deteriorated significantly, and at one point in time he declared himself as the leader of the peace movement. Princeton University was deferential to Mr. Nash and allowed him to work whenever he was in a good state. The odds which he suffered were enormous, but as he started to question his delusions, he started to get more insight. Due to which his mathematical prowess gained him a Nobel memorial prize in mathematics in 1994. The constant visits to the mental hospitals and psychiatrists did not stop him but helped this genius man instead.

Conclusion

The human mind is capable of doing incredible things in both — good and bad ways. It is either the case of Mary Bell or Mr. Nash, it has shown us that our thoughts sometimes deride and despot our existence. The world is either a sick place or a beautiful paradise. It is what it seems due to how we filter it through the lens of our thoughts.

The person who has developmental orders can be a result of brutal treatment. They can be dangerous, but do give a thought that whom we think is menacing is not due to the result of our indirect actions because if the world is a sick place then we are also an integral part of society.

Bloody Gifts 4.6 (71)

BLOODY GIFTS RED SCARF FEATURE IMAGE

“Lizz what are you doing? Stop it, are you mad?” Lizzi could hear Ben’s breathy and taut voice fresh and in the flesh, as if he was right there. The voice faded slowly.

Lizzi’s pulse skipped and her eyes snapped open, she was covered in cold sweat; shaking, and her heart pounding, looking around the room suspicious and paranoid. The same dream has haunted her for the last five years. She realizes that she was not in her bedroom. Her hands, legs, and mouth were tied with pieces of red cloth. The room was dirty and painted red. Blood dripped from her hands to the floor.

The fear of the colour red hammered in her chest and she could feel the fear creeping up her spine, crawling up her throat and gripping it. Her face was ashen.

“Where am I? Who brought me here?” She screamed until she was drained out of energy and passed out. 

Back at Lizzi’s apartment, Shen called James. the cell phone rang and James answered her call.

 “Hey James, did Lizzi stay at your place last night?”

 “No, she left at around eight last night. What happened?”

 “She is not at the apartment. It’s too early and she has not even left a message. I have been waiting for one hour, but she has not come back yet.”

 “What?! She didn’t get back home?” James said, faking concern in his voice. “I will wait till this evening and if I don’t hear from her, I will go to the cops.”

It was for the first time that Lizzi didn’t return home without even informing Shen. They have been best friends for three years now. Shen met Lizzi at the office when they were assigned to the same project and from then their bond grew stronger. From then they shared a flat as Lizzi always felt some kind of unknown connection with Shen.

It was evening now, and there was no sign of Lizzi, leading to Shen calling the cops.

James was called to the police station by Matt, the police officer appointed to investigate Lizzi’s case.

James was Lizzi’s elder brother. He was devious, conniving and amoral. Lizzi never really talked about James and had not even met him in the last three years until yesterday. Shen asked Lizzi about this sudden plan but Lizzi avoided her question by saying that it was just family business. As James arrived, Matt, the officer incharge of Lizzi’s case, questioned him.

 “Was Lizzi with you yesterday?”

 “Yes, she was.”

“Where is she now?”

 “I don’t know. She left my apartment at 8 yesterday night. I insisted on dropping her but she said that she had some work to do.”

 “Why did you meet her yesterday?”

 “Just for a little brother-sister chit chat..” James seemed to be terrified.

 “When did she leave, Shen?”

 “She left home at 5 pm.”

 “Did you find any difference in her behavior?”

 “No, nothing at all. She seemed fine.” Shen answered Matt honestly.

“Nothing much just that she didn’t like the red color but yesterday she was wearing a red scarf. It’s not a big deal but just that it was different.” James added.

Back at the garage where Lizzi was  kidnapped,  the darkness of the room filled Lizz’s heart with regret. The fear reduced down to tears. The secret she kept from everyone but James and now James had tried to threaten her. And why wouldn’t he? Lizz always knew how James was but she thought he would be different for once and the result was her ending up in her chamber of secrets.

Waiting in the room for James to end it, she fell deeper into the arms of her darkest secret.

It was Lizzi’s 20th birthday, and she found a gift wrapped with a red ribbon. Excited, and ready to open it, Liz was disappointed when the doorbell rang. She opened the door and when she noticed Ben standing there, she hugged him and said, “Thanks for the gift, Ben.”

“Have you opened the gift, yet?” Ben asked her excitedly. She replied, “No, I haven’t. I was just about to open it when you rang the doorbell. I saw a red fabric like thing. Wait, I will get it.” 

“No, not now. after I leave. It is something very dear to me and today, I have gifted it to you.” Ben stopped her by dragging her back to the sofa to sit with him.

Ben and Lizzi were best friends. They always knew what the other was thinking without even sharing. Ben trusted Lizzi blindly, and everything was sound until that night. The darkest and scariest night of Lizzi”s life, when the evil inside her overtook every being of her soul. She longed for a chance to reverse it for the last five years.

“Lizzi, what is this place? Where are you taking me?”

Lizz didn’t bother to answer as she quietly moved in with Ben walking in right behind her. In no time they reached a creepy looking garage, and Lizz asked Ben to sit before tying him to a chair.

Ben was too confused to use his mind. He kept asking. “What are you doing? Keep those ropes away from me, Lizz. What’s wrong with you?”

After a few seconds, James arrived. “Your work is done.” 

Lizz replied to his statement by saying, “Get whatever you want from him and please just let us go, James.”

He took out a paper and asked Ben to sign it. At first, Ben refused, but he had no choice left. “Okay, Ben. Let’s go. I am sorry, but I didn’t have a choice.”

“Haha, you really thought I would let him go? I am sorry dear sister but that was never an option.”

Matt continued to investigate Lizzi’s case while Shen and James answered his questions to help him find Lizz as soon as possible.

“Yeah, I gave her a red scarf. At first she refused, but then she just wore it for me.” Shen said to Matt as the investigation continued.

“Is there any reason that she didn’t like the color red?” Matt asked.

“No, I don’t know the reason.” replied both Shen and James in unison.

After the investigation, Shen allowed James to drop her off at home. They were inside the car when Shen saw a red piece of fabric. This was from the same scarf she wore yesterday. She grew suspicious of James and informed the police.

“What is the red fabric doing in your car? Earlier, you said she went all on her own at night?”

“I don’t know, seriously I have no idea,” answered James. The police could notice the range of fear in his face.

“Keep an eye on him, something very fishy is going on.” said Mark.

Lizz decided that she was not going to let James use her this time. She bent down and picked up her phone, removing the tempered glass, she broke it into pieces and started cutting the red cloth that tied her hands together. Her hands were bleeding terribly, but she finally managed to completely untie her hands. She opened the door and was about to run when Shen arrived.

Lizz rushed towards her best friend and hugged her, “I knew you would find me,” she said relieved to see Shen standing in front of her. “Yeah, obviously I found you,” Shen replied by hugging her back.

“Come on, let’s run.” Lizzi pulled Shen’s hand, but she did not move, and instead started asking questions, “Why is the whole room red? Why did they keep you in this creepy place?”

“I don’t know, Shen.” Lizzi replied, trying to hide her emotions. She held Shen’s hand and dragged her out saying, “Let’s get out of here.”

Shen stopped her and said, “We will but tell me how you killed Ben.” Lizz froze and went numb, she was unable to understand and decipher what she had heard. How could Shen know about this?

“Who are you? How do you know about Ben?” Shen hit Lizzi hard, dragged her back and tied her to the chair. She took out a gun and pointed it at Lizzi, and questioned her again, “How did you kill Ben?”

“I didn’t want to kill Ben. The only thing I knew was that I had to bring him to James, so that he could get a signature, but then he didn’t let Ben go back…he took the gun and tried to shoot him. I snatched the gun and threw it towards the ground, but Ben took hold of it and pointed it at us. He was determined to kill both of us. I had no other way, so I took a scarf and strangled him with it.”

“The red scarf, right? The one he gifted you for your birthday.” Lizz stood surprised because she never told anyone that it was Ben’s gift to her.

“How did you know?”

“It was my red scarf, I’m his sister.”

“But he never really mentioned you…why?”

“Because I left home and him, along with it a few years ago so that I could live my life with freedom. He was extremely furious with me and disappointed as well. I returned on his birthday three years ago.”

“How did you figure it out? How did you know that it was mine?”

“I saw red-colored threads tangled with the shirt he wore on that day which I got from the hospital…it reminded me of my favourite red scarf that Ben knit for me himself. It didn’t take me much time from there to figure out that you and James were involved in all this, because I went through Ben’s Instagram once and had seen you wear that scarf. ”

Shen took a gun out, making Lizzi scream instantaneously, “It was James who did this!”

“Yeah about that. Yesterday, I plotted a piece of the same red scarf you were wearing in James’s car to draw all attention towards him. He grew suspicious of me, went to our apartment, and saw pictures of Ben and I. He is following me and should be here any minute.”

Shen gave Lizz a crooked smile and fired the gun. James arrived at the spot where he was met with the sight of Lizz lying dead on the floor with a gun lying beside her. Just as he was about to run, the police arrived and arrested him.

The next day, Shen arrived at the graveyard dressed in a beautiful yellow gown with a red scarf and flower in her hand. She walked towards Ben’s grave, and sat near it. As she placed the flower on his grave, tears rolled down her cheek, but she was finally content that she had gotten justice for her dead brother. She rested her head on Ben’s grave and said “I am sorry I wasn’t there when you needed me, brother, but you can be at peace now, you will not need to turn in your grave everytime James and Lizz took a breath – you have got justice, Ben.”

Importance of Time 4.2 (21)


Time is an illusion.


I believe that time does play a very important role in our life. It helps everyone and everything move on.

Procrastination on the other hand, is like a credit card, there is a lot of fun until you get the bill at the end of month. It is more like a grave in which a great opportunity might get buried without us getting realized. It wasn’t until recently I myself learnt the importance of time. The problem was that I always thought I had plenty of time and procrastinated, until the deadline came around and I started panicking, and ended up getting in trouble.

So now I’ll tell you what I have understood about it so far – do things before deadlines, don’t wait for the last moment as the right time starts as and when you start doing the work. It is not enough to just plan things, you have to put them into action as well. Time is a luxury, once you lose it, you won’t get it back.

What’s gone is gone and what’s done is done. So buckle up and start moving forward. We all have heard people saying these things and I wasn’t any different. I have lost quite a few good opportunities myself because of my habit of procrastination. I am good at planning but working on the plan and putting it into action has always proven to be a difficult task. 

Realizing what I had actually lost was really a turning point for me. Although I have not yet found the most precise and accurate solution for this, there are certain things that I try to do, like force myself to work, or keep constant reminders that I have to work, I try to think of the possible negative consequences of my procrastination, and the fear immediately makes me get to work. I also set small and achievable goals, for an hour or less, so that the smallness of the task makes it easier to do. 

Identifying things that can be particularly categorized as “time wasters,” and learning to say NO was also a breakthrough since I am a pushover, and lastly, committing to my success and achievement of goals “on time”, because ultimately, it is all about priorities. We only get one right moment for everything which is right now, but we don’t realize that until it is ripped away from us. We often can’t comprehend why it is so important because the results are never immediate, but visualizing the end is what can keep us on track.