Awesome Blogger Award

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First of all, I would say I feel extremely honoured to be nominated for this award by two very special bloggers – Avid Observer and silencespeaks12. “Avid Observer” writes from the heart and the writings are amazing. As evident from the name, “silencespeaks12” is an amazing blogger who expresses the feelings buried deep inside us vividly, I would recommend visiting them for sure.

This award was created by miss Maggie over at dreaming of Guatemala! And she says :

“This is an award for the absolutely wonderful writers all across the blogging world. They have beautiful blogs, are kind and lovely, and always find a way to add happiness and laughter to the lives of their readers. That is what truly defines an awesome blogger.”

RULES OF THIS AWARD:

  • Thank the person who nominated you.Include the reason behind the award. Include the banner in your post.
  • Tag it under #awesomebloggeraward in the Reader.
  • Answer the questions your nominator gave you.
  • Nominate at least 5 awesome bloggers.
  • Give your nominees 10 new questions to answer.
  • Let your nominees know that they’ve been nominated!

Questions for me :

One thing you do make your morning a good morning?

Smile and laugh a lot.

If you were an animal then which animal you would have been and why?

Lion – because somehow I have a desire of being the ruler and saviour of the world. ( I know I sound weird, but that doesn’t stop me imagining 🙂  )

A bad habit that you have and is difficult for you to change it?

Getting angry in a flash.

If you got a chance to switch your life with someone for two days who will be that someone and why?

I would like to be an army officer, because I believe I am a warrior at heart and in that way I can serve my people.

What kind of music you mostly prefer?

Classical compositions – but don’t ask my favourite composer, because I have a never ending list.

A life hack that you learned and love it.

Ah…. I always love to learn new, weird stuffs. I always try to repair my PC and laptop on my own for some minor problems and while doing that I have how to check whether SMPS is working, how to find out problems in your motherboard, how to fix OS related issues (not all of course) etc. And yes, I am a car-lover so I am into learning those tricks as well… 🙂

Whom do you admire the most?

My mother.

What is your favourite book?

“War and Peace” – Leo Tolstoy

What kind of places do you like to visit?

Places of natural beauty and of historical interest. I love travelling a lot and I guess my readers already know this.. 🙂

Which one post of your blog is really special to you?

Lost and Found – I can’t explain why, but somehow after completing the writing, I was pleased from inside, which I am normally not with my other posts.

Questions for my nominees :

  • Why do you write?
  • Have you ever experienced critical comment (justified or unjustified) on your posts or comments? How did you you deal with it?
  • Do you believe in chance or luck? Or everything is based on logic?
  • Do you believe you have got to read a lot to write?
  • One thing you dislike about my blog ( I know it’s weird, but I need to rectify myself as well 🙂  )
  • Have you ever tried hypnosis or self-hypnosis?
  • If you are given two choices – death for denying to accept a lie as a truth, life for accepting a truth as a lie, what would you choose?
  • Do you prefer working alone in your own way or always prefer to get someone as your partner?
  • How do you define yourself in one sentence?
  • Tag your own favourite post you posted here.

My Nominees :

And all my followers please consider yourselves nominated as well !!

 

The Last Job (Part – III – Finale)

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It was evening already when he reached the final destination. It seemed that Eddington street was not a very populous place and it was easy to find 71/C. The house was situated at one of the remotest places along the road, marking the far end of the road itself. It was a two-storied building, seemingly pretty old but decently maintained. As the house was situated at a corner, it could not be viewed easily, which made the house a decent place for hiding. The few neighboring houses seemed either empty or lights out and the scarcity of street lights made the place enough desolated. Grieg hid behind the long shadow of a building and kept waiting for the clock to strike twelve.

He waited and waited. The bustling noise of traffic from distance became fainter and fainter. It was deafening silence. Suddenly he saw a shadow moving. It was approaching towards the house. Grieg kept watching. The shadow stopped in front of the door, tried to find something from his pocket, probably the key. From the faint light coming from distance, the shadow seemed somewhat familiar to him, but he couldn’t be sure. Then the shadow disappeared inside.

Grieg came out of his hiding and stealthily approached the house. The door was locked from inside. He took out the key he got from the briefcase and entered quietly – like a cat approaching with it’s velvet paws to grab it’s prey. No sound was heard inside – just a dim ray of light seemed to be coming from a room, presumably the master bedroom. Grieg climbed up the wooden staircase, removing his boots to avoid noise. The door seemed to be left ajar. Peeking inside, Grieg saw a tall man sitting on a couch with some papers in hand. He couldn’t see the man’s face as he was facing backwards. Grieg pushed the door to go inside and just then the man spoke from his couch – “Welcome Sergei. So we meet again.”

Grieg was so stunned that he just dropped the gun. He knew this voice. It was his unknown employer sitting in front of him!! But how did he know this?! Grieg was sure he wiped out every traces of his previous life before he came in here. But this name “Sergei”?? The man spoke again – “Take a seat Sergei. You don’t recognize me, do you? Now you will.”. Grieg walked up like a robot and sat down on a couch in front of the mystery man. Once he saw the face, everything came back in his mind like a flash.

“Nikolai !! You are alive !!”.

“Yes I am Sergei – and it seems you are not very happy to see me.”

“Why have you come back? Why did you played with me like this? You are trying to make me a criminal again. Why?”

“I am not trying to make you a criminal – you ARE a criminal Sergei. Just one thing I had to do, just like old times, offer you an amount you can’t refuse. And I succeeded !! I achieved what all I wanted. Now, I guess you know why I tempted you to be here tonight.”

Grieg knew he was in a trap. The arrival of Nikolai unraveled a dirty, notorious past life he had once – which he thought he buried long ago. Sergei, originally from Mexico, was Grieg’s parental name, though he lost both his parents in a car crash in Mexico. At a very young age Sergei was thrown into the rough, illegal world of drug trafficking – for earning the money to stay alive. Nikolai happened to be one of his partner and worked as a messenger. Sergei happened to be a quick learner and became a master handler withing a few years. He with his three partners Nikolai, Jose and Antonio formed a gang to deal with big drug dealers and collecting ransoms from the clients. This gang was a terror to all and was known as “Black Gang” in police records and all of them were most wanted. But for 20 years, nobody could even touch them.

One day, while collecting payment from a drug dealer, a heated argument broke out regarding payment and in a fit of rage, Sergei shot him in head from point blank range. After that accident, all of them decided to rob the dealer’s house and flee away forever. It was decided the looted booty would be kept by Nikolai and afterwards, four of them would be dividing it. But when they fled from Mexico, none of them could find Nikolai. He vanished. Jose and Antonio parted ways and went under cover. Sergei got himself a new identity, became Grieg and started afresh.

“You found Jose and Antonio, right?”

“Yes I did. In fact, you set the killer traps for Jose a day before. Remember?”, Nikolai gave an evil smile.

“Joey.. It was Jose?? YOU ******* !!! After taking all the money you have come back now to kill all of us you dirty ******* ? You think you can escape this? I left a goodbye note at home. I don’t return and you will be hunted down by the police.”

“I worked with you Sergei. You always told, “Never leave a trace”. That’s exactly what I am doing now Sergei. I am sorry. I have a family too. But you know, you need to clear your path always so that no thorn is left to make you bleed – even by mistake.”

Saying this, Nikolai took out Grieg’s Beretta, put a silencer and said in a cold voice, “You know Sergei, relax. It will look like a suicide only. Believe me, I am a professional.” Grieg jumped upon Nikolai with full force to resist him. Nikolai tried to throw him off and in this scuffle, the gun was fired clumsily and a 9mm. bullet pierced Grieg’s right lung. As Grieg staggered back, Nikolai put another bullet aiming the heart. Grieg collapsed on his knees knowing it was the end. He heard the footsteps of Nikolai, descending the stairs hurriedly and suddenly a fierce explosion rocked the whole house.

Grieg was laughing for the last time. He knew his plan worked. Sensing danger, he had set a booby trap under one of the stairs – which Nikolai missed in his hurry. All Grieg tried to think was of Jane and Alan at the last moments of his life and finally everything went dark before his eyes as his heart stopped beating.

**************** The End ****************

Notorious

Re-living History

India is the land of one of the oldest known civilizations of the world with her history dating around 5000 years back. It’s no wonder that the whole country is full of very old heritage sites, many of them being categorized in the UNESCO world heritage list. One of such places is Mahabalipuram, a coastal city situated at the coast of Bay of Bengal.

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Location – Mahabalipuram

Situated at a distance of around 60 km. from Chennai, the capital city of Tamil Nadu, India, this coastal city served as a bustling port in India from 1st CE and became one of the major ports during the rule of Pallava kingdom (7th – 9th CE). The city is also known as Mamallapuram, named after the great Pallava king, Narasimhavarman I – popularly known as “Mamalla” (the great wrestler) because of his huge military might.

Pallavas are known for producing one of the finest architectural specimens of ancient India and Mahabalipuram has got some of the finest specimens of Pallava art. One of the unique features of these architectures is, all these are monolithic, free standing, rock – cut sculptures. The “Group of Monuments” present here are UNESCO world heritage site. Apart from this there are other exquisite pieces of carvings as well, all being rock cut. All these architectures are found within 1 km. radius, spaced out distinctively.

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“Descent of the Ganges”

This is one of the most famous, most exquisitely carved monument known as “Descent of the Ganges”. The story goes like – the river Ganges, the most important river in northern India, descended from heaven to the Earth after extreme penance of Bhagiratha, the king of Koshala, a kingdom in ancient India.

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“Reclining Vishnu”

Another exquisite carving inside a cave situated here – showing God Vishnu in a reclining posture, sleeping on the serpent, “Ananta”, thus the name “Anantashayan Vishnu”.

There are numerous caves here, each of them an example of wonderful architectural and historical value. I am only showing very few pictures here.

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Group of Monuments – “Pancha Rathas ( Five Chariots )” 

These five most famous rock cut monolithic monuments are in UNESCO heritage list. Though commonly named upon the characters of the Indian epic, “Mahabharata”, practically there is no such resemblance. Sometimes these are referred as ancient temples, but it’s not true as well. These were built just for the sake of art. These buildings show the examples of typical “thatched roof” style of Bengal and multi-storied structures.

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“The Shore Temple”

Situated just a few paces away from the group of monuments, this temple is situated just beside the Bay of Bengal. It is presumed that there were seven temples in total once – six of them now submerged in the sea. This temple now contains a broken “Shiva Linga” and a “reclining Vishnu” idol. The whole complex overlooking the sea is a beauty to watch.

I visited Mahabalipuram when I was a child – some 20 years back. The place was very desolated at that time and the solitude had a different beauty. Recently I visited there last year. Tourists have increased a lot and that calmness and deep quietness is missing now. But still, these architectures, more than 1500 years old, are standing just like they were – bearing the wrath of time but standing tall, glorifying the ancient heritage of India.

Read More :

Heritage

The Last Job (Part – II)

Previous -  The Last Job (Part - I)

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Grieg was dumbstruck. He knew it would be an unusual task, but a murder!! Good God!! He was indeed a lawbreaker but to be identified as a murderer? That too at the whim of a mad man? Grieg just couldn’t accept it. But he knew, his employer won’t like to hear “no”. So he just stayed silent, sweat passing over his forehead even in that chilly wind. The man asked after a short pause, ” Are you scared?”. Grieg gathered some courage to say, “Sir….. I…. I never committed any murder. You are asking too much of me. I am just a petty criminal.” The man stood there, silent. That silence shattered Grieg’s nerves and he started trembling. The voice then talked, ” You promised me, you will do any work for me – no questions asked. Now you deny. You break promise. You know the outcome, don’t you?”. Grieg wiped out the trail of sweats from his eyebrows and replied in a trembling voice, ” Sir, please understand….. I have a family…”. The voice now became cold and stern like steel, ” I don’t honor someone who don’t keep promises. Decide for yourself, for your family. And if you think of running away – well, I will find you, and then we both know what’s going to happen.” Grieg knew he was out of options. There was no possibility of mercy. With a long sigh, he replied, “Yes master, I will do whatever you say.” The man seemed to be pleased. He replied, “You will get the address and your payment tomorrow morning. Remember, tomorrow midnight.”. Saying this, the mystery man turned back and disappeared into the darkness again.

Grieg collapsed on his knees, still trying to grasp the reality. It seemed to him that he was swerving towards the edge of the precipice. He cursed himself for his greed and tried to think a way out, but all his efforts were in vain. He stood up and started walking towards his home, drenched in the rain – like a worn out machine, torn into pieces, to be scrapped in a few hours. Jane, his wife, was shocked to see Grieg at the door in such a shape.

“You look terrible honey!! What happened?”

“Nothing.. Just got caught in the rain. I am super tired. Where’s Alan?”

“You are very late today. He fell asleep while waiting for you. What happened? It seems that there is something you are not telling me.”

“No… Nothing.. I just… need rest… Please don’t mind honey, I have a job to get done tomorrow.”

“I don’t like the amount of stress you are handling these days. We were so happy just a couple of months back – playing games, going movies. This new job of yours seems to break you completely. Why do you do such work?”

“I get more money Jane. I am doing this for you, for Alan.”

“I don’t know what your job is Grieg. But whatever it is, it is not good. Leave it. I don’t want to lose you.”

Saying this, Jane went away towards the kitchen. Grieg’s heart was wrenching in pain. All he wanted was to go away, to somewhere safe – for Jane and Alan. But where could be the safe place? He had no idea. He peeked through the bedroom door of Alan, left ajar. His only son was sleeping so calmly, without knowing about the incoming storm. Grieg heaved a long sigh and went away towards his bedroom.

Next morning, when he woke up, he found an envelope slipped under the door. He opened the envelope to find two pieces of paper. One contained a rough sketch of the plan of a house and a red “X” mark on the other side, but no address. The other note said – “128/A, 8th Cross Street, 2nd Floor – Store Room, Grey Briefcase, Combination – 3-1-4”. Grieg knew it was time for him to get going. He decided to leave immediately and rushed off hurriedly, leaving a goodbye note for Jane and Alan.

The journey to the address took over three hours. Upon reaching the address, Grieg found a medium size gray briefcase. Following the instruction, he opened it and found a hundred thousand dollars in cash and and a small note with a key. The note mentioned – “71/C, Eddington Street. 1st Floor, Master bedroom.” . Grieg knew this was it. For some reason this address seemed familiar to him, but he was not sure. “No point thinking anymore, this is another job only.”. He shrugged off, closed his eyes, took a deep breath to get a grip, took out his Beretta 92 F, which one of his friends gave to him and went out to find the address of his last job.

To be continued…..  (and next part will be the finale…)

Precipice

The Last Job (Part – I)

953b21878528f38631ea6f892e126959It was a dark, stormy night. Violent wind was blowing hard, sending shatters on the window glasses and wheezing through the branches of the juniper trees, creating a strange, hollow sound. Tall, huge trees were swaying violently, indicating the fierceness of the wind. Lightnings pierced through the dark sky in short intervals followed by blasting thunders. Heavy rainfall drenched the streets forming puddles at the sides and reducing the visibility to near zero. The light coming from the street lights got dimmed by the heavy downpour. Not a soul was to be seen or heard on the streets or any lanes or by-lanes. The whole area seemed to be dark, gloomy and somewhat creepy.

Grieg was waiting under the shade of a lonely, abandoned garage, situated at the far end of the road, around the curve. The garage once used to be owned by a retired army officer who resided in a house just beside it and served as the storage space for his collection of the “war relics” of WWII. His death was an unusual one and rumors spread that the house was cursed. His sons and daughters just abandoned the house almost thirty years back. The wrath of time shattered the house, reducing it to mere skeleton, along with the garage. The dark, shabby ruins looked pretty spooky at night and on a night like this, the creepy feeling along with the chilling wind sent shivers down Grieg’s spine.

“What the hell I am doing here? Why did I come here? I am such a jerk…. Damn.. “, Grieg was feeling very uncomfortable and scared. But he knew there couldn’t be any turning back. He was trapped in a maze, where there was no way out. He was waiting for him and he knew this time the meeting won’t be a pleasant one. This unknown person, with whom he was collaborating for a month, had put him on a contract for his jobs. But these jobs were pretty unusual and some of them were illegal too. Grieg was not a clean person in police records as well, though he was never tried for any serious offences. But this time, his unknown employer’s work was getting riskier. Grieg knew he was going into troubled waters but the payment was insanely high and that resisted him from cutting ties with him. But today, he knew it would be a big job, as this unknown person was going to pay double of previous job – i.e., setting up killer traps around the house of a person named Joey. Grieg had no idea what it could be, but he sensed a storm coming from the suppressed excitement in his employer’s voice on the previous day.

Suddenly, a long, dark shadow emerged from the other end of the road. A person was coming out of the darkness. Grieg became alert and his heart started beating too fast. It was him, no doubt. He was wearing a waterproof cloak, covering his tall figure fully. His face could not be seen as it was under the hood. The clicking of his boots echoed through the empty street. Grieg knew this. This was the attire of his unknown employer every time they met and it was his instruction to Grieg to stay in the garage for today’s meeting.

The figure drew closer to Grieg and stopped right in front of him. A deep, hollow voice came from inside the hood – “Hello Grieg. I guess I am not late.” Grieg was standing like a wooden doll. In a feeble voice he replied, “You are on time, as always sir.” The figure started talking, ” I have a special job for you Grieg. And this will be your final job. After this, we will never meet again.” Grieg stood speechless. The voice continued, ” As I say it’s a special one, your reward will be special too. But this time you will get it before the job is done. Because as I said, we won’t meet again. I guess I can trust you with this.” “Of course sir. But you haven’t told me yet, what my job will be.”, Grieg was sensing the storm in his heart. “Tomorrow, at sharp midnight, you will kill a person. I shall give you his address and the plan of his house. But I need the job done sharp at midnight. It should be clean, one shot in head. That’s all.”

To be continued……….

Collaboration Final Maze

The Path to Eternity

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The Path to Eternity

The setting rays of the Sun, reflecting from the surface of the never ending waves – creating an imaginary pathway, leading to the point where the sky and the sea ends.

This photo was taken before the sunset and around two years back. I used this photo in one of my previous photography blogs as well, but for this prompt “reflection”, I am using it again as it’s an appropriate one.

Reflecting

A Road to Happiness

 

The Road Home

Tyler was sitting on the couch with his eyes half closed. It was dawn outside. Sounds of the chirping of birds and shining rays of the rising Sun was indicating the beginning of a beautiful and fresh new day. But nothing was cheering enough for Tyler. Last night was a sleepless one for him. To be precise, he was experiencing sleepless nights for quite sometime.

Tyler was a young energetic fellow once who just wanted to be a successful corporate. For the whole life, Tyler’s aim was to achieve the targets set by him. And he never regretted that. He always pursued for his dream, i.e. to be one of the most renowned and respected corporate leaders of the world. And he achieved it to a great extent in his mid-fifties, by heading one of the most prestigious corporate institution. Now, he was on the verge of retirement, and this was the fact that was causing those sleepless nights.

For the first time, Tyler was left clueless. There was no goal anymore, no target to follow, no dream to pursue. So what’s next? He remained a bachelor in his whole life, so that his work life was not interfered. Now he was left alone and a strange, hollow feeling engulfed him. He was on the top of the world, but it only seemed to be a curse. “Is every successful person alone like me?”, wondered Tyler, but he knew even getting the answer won’t change anything for him.

“Rrrring, Rrrrrring”, the sound of his phone startled him. On picking the phone, he was surprised to hear a sweet, immature little girl’s voice on the phone. “Hello Papa, is that you really?”, the voice of the child was enthusiastic and pure. Tyler was dumbstruck and stayed silent, having no idea what was going on. The voice continued, “I knew you will pick up my call. How can you not talk to me for so long? Papa, talk to me please. Don’t be angry please….”. Tyler replied, in a shaky voice,” Yes sweet, how are you? I.. er.. I missed you.” And the weird conversation continued. Tyler had no idea who he was talking with, but he just couldn’t resist the appeal in that sweet voice. He assumed it was a wrong number dialed and was somewhat feeling guilty as well, for deceiving the little girl, by pretending to be her father. But he continued. The conversation was a long one and finally the girl bid goodbye and told she would call again, to get help for her homework. After the call ended, Tyler was feeling like he was dreaming. But for the first time he felt that this, extremely weird encounter, was one of the finest ever in his life. He was so happy. Just a few minutes talk with the girl has rejuvenated him to the fullest extent possible. He jumped up and began preparing for his day ahead.

After the day’s work was over, Tyler was returning in his car. He kept on thinking about the girl. All that he wanted was a call from her. He couldn’t call her back, fearing this little mistake may get rectified if someone else picks up the phone. Finally the most expected call came again, from Abby, with an obvious request of help for homework and lots of “very important” topics to be discussed with her “father”. Tyler was overjoyed and went on with the flow. It seemed to him that he has got a daughter of his own, and she was the one for whom he would be living now.

This amazing “mistake” continued for quite a few days. The bonding between this two unknown souls became stronger than ever in those few days. Finally Tyler thought of meeting Abby in person and called back at the number. An unknown voice answered the call and Tyler began talking. What he learnt fascinated, saddened and overjoyed him. Abby was an orphan who was being brought up in a home for the orphans. The number from which she was calling was the institution’s phone, which she used when nobody was around. Abby lost her mother during her birth. Her father was everything to her. But both Abby and her father was travelling in their car when a horrible accident happened. Abby survived but her father didn’t. But the little girl never believed that her father was gone. She remembered couple of digits of her father’s cell number. So she just dialed an imaginary number, and the call went to Tyler!!

Tyler made up his mind. He thought the only one who can give him happiness was this little girl, Abby. And Tyler was certain, that bringing up her would be the goal for the rest of his life. He went for his car keys, feeling certain to bring Abby to her father’s home by the end of the day.

Pursue