The never-ending tale of violence

In a land far away, so far that you’d need to go by ship and wait until you reached the end of the world to find it, lived a queen who was kind and just. She had many subjects but no advisors. She lived by the principle of ‘Mother knows best’ and more often than not, she did.

One night she had a dream that a boy needed her help. She woke up in a cold sweat, so petrified that it took her a moment to realize she was in her bed, and not near the boy.

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Two queens majestic and powerful
Bound by fate divine
Though they had never met
And would never meet in this corporeal realm
Their journeys intertwined
With the destinies of their kingdom
Where one would unbind her hair in victory and freedom
And the other in grief and lamentation
As one’s husband cut down the other’s,
Slaves as they were to their own purpose.

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A transcendental affair

There was a little boy who wanted to know where all the birds and beasts came from. So he pestered his mother with questions, who in her infinite patience told him, “Why the good lord made it all.”

Unsatisfied with the answer, he solicited the help of his teachers, peers and priest. All any of them could say was the good lord made it all.

Sure there was a missing link, the boy couldn’t give up his thirst for an answer. Finally a teacher, who was perhaps wiser than she was given credit for, had the presence to ask him what answer he was looking for, and why the “good lord” was such an unacceptable one.

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The relic

“Baba what is this?” asked Leena as she peered into the glass case. What she saw made her gasp in delight and an inexplicable itch began in her hand, one of wanting to possess the relic.

Leena’s father hushed his voice and said, “That Leena is what our ancestors used to call a book. People used to read it to gain knowledge.”

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The queen rises

The camp was in a tense silence as the king lay on his deathbed, bleeding, injured by the cunning of the enemy. The queen sat next to him, holding his hand and repeating, almost like a song that she loved him, she would be okay once he left and that he could let go.

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The Prophet

Deciding to drag him away
Beaten to teach him a lesson
Humiliated to teach one to the others
The man had become a public spectacle.
As if that weren’t enough
He was then sentenced to a beheading
Among screams of approval
The people’s bloodlust crying for satiation.

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The old woman’s good fortune

A bustling street with houses on both sides. People selling wares, people screaming instructions and gossip over balconies, leaning precariously out, not a care in the world. The riot of noises, colours and smells would make any human not of this street swoon. But not the residents. They thrived in the multitudinous miasma that comprised the Suli street.

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Nemesis: the making of

Tired of all the animosities, atrocities and the rampant intolerances advocated by the crown, Prachulakta decided to renounce his queen. It was an unprecedented move and nobody knew how to deal with such lunacy. The queen’s advisors tried to charge him with treason but the man was such an eloquent orator, and his advocacy was generating such heat, the queen decided it was in her interest to let the man go. She was sure he wouldn’t find shelter or food and would come back running. After that she didn’t intend to have him beheaded for his crimes but turned into an ambassador for her, and her benevolence. The plan…was perfect.

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The curse of the mango

Once upon a time lived two boys – Ram and Shyam – who were the best of friends. They had the entire forest as their playground and a sprawling mansion with a white façade as their home. Days were spent in teasing out the secrets of the forest, writing songs in praise of a flower, or beast, or the cackling stream and nights were spent under the blanket of the stars, as the cool breeze lulled them to sleep.

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