May 30, 2010

Unabridged Love - A True Story.

'In true love the smallest distance is too great, and the greatest distance can be bridged'.

Queen Victoria was born on May 24.But across the Atlantic there was another woman who would go on to become the queen of hearts and minds for an entire generation.

About 150,300 people would see the testimony of love that day…because one woman had proved that her love was truly immortal.

It would be a moment in history inscribed forever and the world endorsed it.

Summer of ‘83.

Emily ran her fingers on top of the inscription. The names of her husband and his father engraved in stone. Her dream had come true. The magnitude of it all was beyond her. The people looked at her every move, every gesture… watching her every step.

There was fanfare, people clapped in appreciation, it was a carnival like atmosphere. Barricades were taken down and lined by policemen. Fireworks were planned for later in the evening. The atmosphere was simply electric.

History was being created.

As Emily closed her eyes, the memories flooded her mind; she took a deep breath and re-lived the fragments of history that were the architects of this moment.

Fall of ‘67

John decided that he would take on the East River project against everyone’s advice. Engineering experts had pointed out a technical difficulty to build a suspension bridge so long. The load balance calculation was next to impossible and a wrong calculation could lead to a catastrophic disaster.

‘How are you going to solve the suspension problem? The loads are not easy to calculate? Queried a concerned assistant engineer Francis Collingwood.

John looked distinctly calm considering the enormity of the task at hand. He had already worked out new formulae to solve this problem – he had added a considerable safety factor to divide uneven loads to neutralize the forces affecting the structure.

‘Ah –but I am going to do it Francis’ John said confidently.

‘John you’ve done such wonderful work – why are you risking your reputation? Why do you want to build this bridge?’ Something of this magnitude has never been done before. The builders around town have already speculated your doom. Besides I think the other projects need much more attention right now – this is nothing but a career limiting move’ lamented Francis.

‘Fleeing Germany wasn’t a possibility for most people my friend. Everybody had advised against it even then. But I did. Are you suggesting this is any more difficult?’ John chuckled.

The construction planning had resumed in full swing after a couple of months. He was personally supervising every single detail. The design was brilliant, the engineering- innovative, and the execution, flawless.

Every brick, pebble and stone chip spoke of John’s dedication and love for the project.

Summer of ‘69

The project had gone through an abrupt start-stop phase in the last few years.
The organization finally chartered to build the bridge –the president of the local bridge company signed the bill approving the plan.

John was onsite supervising every minute detail every single day. Scouting for the right location to build the pier. The East river was 16 miles long and the ferry service from one end to the other was the only source of travel at the time. It would get frozen in the winters and travel was affected severely.

Lost in his thoughts, planning where the bridge would be built, he stood on the edge of the dock completely ignorant of an oncoming ferry. Before he realized, his toes were crushed - a freak accident, which would change the course of history.

John was in acute pain, but his work had to go on. He refused treatment. His determination was challenged every single day, until one day, he gave in...only to death.

John died of tetanus 24 days after the accident.

A complete state of shock and denial followed Washington, but he had inherited his father’s resolve and determination. His love for building the bridge.He took over the project with a single minded focus to complete his father’s dream. He loved his father for not only the man he was, the passion he had for his work, but also for the love he had for innovation and courage to achieve the impossible.

His wife Emily knew the road ahead would be tough. She needed to be strong herself and support her husband. She stood by him like the rock of Gibraltar. Little did she realize her love for Washington would be severely tested in time.

Winter of ’70

The construction work started in January. And it was not without it s share of setbacks. There was a caisson fire, explosion and even a steel cable contractor fraud.

Washington took care of every single detail in the project, just like his father. He took it upon himself and led by example - sometimes into dangerous and precarious situations. He pushed the envelope and it led to an irrevocable situation.

Construction of the bridge, which was built with the help of caissons, resulted in several workers being either killed or permanently injured by caisson disease, one of those injured being the designer's son –Washington.

Summer of ‘72

Washington had contracted the Caisson disease. It is so named since it appeared in construction workers when they left the compressed atmosphere of the caisson and rapidly reentered normal decompressed atmospheric conditions. It is caused by the same processes as decompression sickness in divers. Washington was paralyzed.

The only way Washington could be at the constructing site now, was with his vision. His body had refused to cooperate. A lone window by his bedside was the cruel divide between what could have been, his moment of glory, and what could well be, his painful death. He was hit with near total paralysis barely able to move his fingers. His body was paralyzed his mind was numb and his spirit was dying…but -

It’s in moments like these, brilliance strikes or divinity intervenes.

It’s at moments like these, when boys are separated from the men.

It’s at moments like these, when true passion is tested and determination bombarded like in a blood thirsty battle field, and they defeat anything everything that comes in their way.

Washington chose this moment to rise above his paralysis of the mind. The love for his father and his work became his source of motivation and his wife Emily the inspiration.

As Emily saw her husband lie in bed tears welled up in her eyes. Trying to hide her tears she rested her head by his hand and sat by his side right through the night. She was completely shattered. She didn’t realize when she fell asleep but she woke up with fingers tapping her forehead.

Washington was trying to say something. He tapped again. This time there was a pattern to it. Emily was still groggy and couldn’t understand what was going on. Then she followed the pattern closely and got a message.

‘Emily – I am going to build the bridge.’

His eyes spoke and his fingers tapped on Emily’s hand. All he could do was move one finger and he decided to make the best use of it. By moving this, he slowly developed a code of communication with his wife. He touched his wife's arm with that finger, indicating to her that he wanted her to call the engineers again and restart the project work.

‘Yes you will – and I‘ll make it happen for you.’ Emily said solemnly.

Emily and Washington had just built a new bridge of communication between them. Her love for Washington would rise to new heights. But challenges had only just begun.

The news of Washington’s handicap had spread like wildfire. The world had given up on them and the bridge. People felt that the project should be scrapped and Washington removed as the chief engineer.

But Emily had other plans.

Emily rearranged the room and placed Washington’s bed closer to the window where he could see the construction site more clearly. It was also the first time she looked at the construction more clearly and thus began her journey of love, determination and execution.

With Washington confined to his bed and fearing he wouldn't live to finish the project, she began taking down copious notes on what he said remained to be done.

Painstakingly she learnt every detail of the project, worked on every calculation and wrote every single instruction to be carried out.

As the project faced delays and cost increased, skepticism mounted that the bridge could be completed under Washington guidance. The project had captured everyone’s attention. It had become a national obsession.

Emily wrote down her husband's statement, citing the reasons why he should not be displaced. She delivered it as an address before the American Society of Civil Engineers - a brave move on her part, as women who spoke in public often were not well-received in those days. She took on the critics, the legislators, the completion and championed the cause.

Fortunately, the council agreed to retain Washington as chief engineer.

For 11 painstaking years Emily dedicated every moment of her life, every bit of hope she had, every ounce of energy she’d got into this project. Her love was tested and withstood the test of time.

It became a routine to read up journals on constructions around the country, studying higher mathematics, the calculations of catenary curves, the strengths of materials, bridge specifications, and the intricacies of cable construction, every single detail of the plan over and over again.

She was in essence the new chief engineer of the project.

May 24, 1883 - 2PM

‘Sir I am nervous’

‘Oh don’t be – this is your moment as much as it is America’s’ said the 21st president of the United States of America – Chester A Arthur.

Cannon fire greeted the presidential carriage. The atmosphere was electric. An estimated 150,300 people gathered on the day of opening ceremony. There were ships lined up in the bay. The Mayors had arrived as well.

A staggering 1.3 miles long, this was 50% longer than any such structure in the world. It boasted of the first usage of pneumatic caissons and first steel cable suspension bridge weighing approximately 15 thousand tons. A feat achieved with outstanding innovation, dedication and sacrifice.

Emily walked over to the foundation stone inscription and ran her fingers over the names of the builders of the suspension bridge.

1. John Roebling

2. Washington Roebling

As she opened her eyes –the majestic Brooklyn bridge stood in front of her in all its glory.

She was the first person to cross over the Brooklyn Bridge. By 5PM that evening an estimated 1800 vehicles crossed the bridge connecting Brooklyn and Manhattan.

Washington could not attend the ceremony but the president personally went over to shake hands and congratulate the marvelous achievement and hosted a banquet dinner in his honor.

It was a tribute to the triumph of one man's indomitable spirit and one woman’s undying love.

It was a tribute to a father, John Roebling who the world considered the pioneer of engineering the suspension bridge, and the son who lived up to his father’s name.

It is also a tribute to the engineers and their team work, and to their faith in a man who was paralyzed and incapacitated to work.

It was a monument of love which bridged the gap between belief and destiny.

Gyanban Thoughts -

It fascinates me to know, that a woman who was not an engineer,trained her mind, learned mathematics and construction details, at a time when there were no such precedents. Society was not for it. No technology supported or facilitated learning.It was just books. There was no Google.There was no access to world of materials on the net. Just books and lessons that her husband taught. Simply phenomenal isn't it?

Think about conviction. John daring to build something that was never done before. Most of us fear going into unknown territories even with so much of knowledge available today.Salute to John and the brilliant men like him who live their lives to make a difference.

It is not easy to fill in your fathers shoes, more so if the father happens to be a pioneer. Think about Washington's sense of respect, his sense of discipline and his tremendous tenacity. Phrases like 'when the going gets tough...' get written for men like him.All he had was a bedroom window. He saw the construction every single day.imagine his state of mind when the bridge finally got built - and he was not able to attend? Courage and self belief were by bedside till he died. Wonder what stops us?

Emily and Washington did this for 11 consecutive years.Can we even begin to imagine their mental strength and tenacity ? How does one get it?

Or is it inborn? Or is it simply love?

The facts of the case are researched below.

  • Caisson Disease – The tremendous pressure, the suffocating heat, the lack of oxygen and the noise all combined to limit a worker's time within the caisson to a maximum of two hours. As they ascended through the compressed air to the top of the caisson, the workers were threatened with the crippling and painful effects of the bends - an imbalance of nitrogen in the blood caused by a too rapid ascension out of the compressed air.

  • History before the bridge –NYCroads/David McCullough - A bridge over the East River, joining the cities of New York and Brooklyn, had been talked about for nearly as long as anyone can remember� But nothing was done. The chief problem was always the East River, which is no river at all technically speaking, but a tidal strait and one of the most turbulent and in that day, especially, one of the busiest stretches of navigable salt water anywhere on earth. "If there is to be a bridge," wrote one man, "it must take one grand flying leap from shore to shore over the masts of the ships. There can be no piers or drawbridge. There must be only one great arch all the way across. Surely this must be a wonderful bridge."

  • In 1855, John Roebling, the owner of a wire-rope company and a famous bridge designer, proposed a suspension bridge over the East River after becoming impatient with the Atlantic Avenue-Fulton Street Ferry. Roebling worked out every detail of the bridge, from its massive granite towers to its four steel cables. He thought his design entitled the bridge "to be ranked as a national monument� a great work of art."
  • John Roebling fled Germany on May 22, 1831 with his brother Karl.

  • Type of bridge ……………………………………… Suspension
  • Construction started ……………………………… January 3, 1870
  • Opened to traffic …………………………………… May 24, 1883
  • Length of main span ……………………………… 1,595 feet, 6 inches
  • Length of side spans ………………………………… 930 feet
  • Length, anchorage to anchorage …………………… 3,455 feet, 6 inches
  • Total length of bridge and approaches ……………… 6,016 feet
  • Width of bridge ……………………………………… 85 feet
  • Number of traffic lanes ……………………………… 6 lanes
  • Number of cables …………………………………… 4 cables
  • Height of towers above mean high water …………… 276 feet, 6 inches
  • Clearance at center above mean high water ……… 135 feet
  • Length of each of four cables ……………………… 3,578 feet, 6 inches
  • Diameter of each cable ……………………………… 15 ¾ inches
  • Number of wires in each cable ……………………… 5,434 wires
  • Total length of wires ………………………………… 14,060 miles
  • Total masonry in towers ……………………………… 85,159 cubic yards
  • Weight of suspended structure ……………………… 6,620 tons
  • Total weight of bridge ……………………………… 14,680 tons
  • Cost of original structure …………………………… $15,100,000

  • The Brooklyn Bridge opened - May 24,1883, 2:00 PM
  • People crossing the bridge on opening day - 150,300
  • Bridge opened to vehicles - May 24, 1883, 5:00 p.m.
  • Total number of vehicles crossed on the first day - 1,800
  • Vehicles charge on Opening Day - 5 cents

May 27, 2010

Milestones - 7

Doubt is a pain too lonely to know that faith is his twin brother ~ Khalil Gibran

It was dark by the time Don set foot on the 7th and final bend. He could see the 6 hairpin bends from the corner of his eye. Experiences were on the right and feelings on the left. There was no temptation to look back or turn around. There was calmness and peace in his demeanor.

The sky was jet black mostly, only interrupted by the twinkle of diamonds that lay strewn carelessly. Don looked up to notice the sky that cushioned the stars. The occasional comet scratched the surface, but the forgiving soft sky always hid the scar.

The mercury had dipped further to about 5C. Smoke billowed into the sky announcing it’s presence to the immediate world. The small huts that punctured the mountain slopes had woken up gradually from a deep day long slumber. The birds chirped silently in the distance, the gentle breeze whispered to the trees, the church bell rang in the distance.

The music of the night had just begun.

An old motel stood alone in the distance. The bulb on the signboard highlighted it s age. Don decided to stop for the night and resume his journey in the morning. He knocked on the door gently. The chiming bells at the door greeted a pair of eyes. A raised eyebrow questioned the wanderer.

With the exception of the crickets and some distant birds which hymned rhythmically, the quietness of it all was otherwise soothing. A passing vehicle flashed headlights and her face lit up momentarily. She had brunette waist length silky straight hair, sharp hazel eyes and wore red and black check skirt and top. As the vehicle passed by it disturbed the curls serenity. The dimpled cheek didn’t complain though.

‘Are you a wanderer?’ she asked.

‘Why do you want to know, aren’t tourists allowed here?’

‘I need a room for the night’

There was silence.

Don’s gaze flirted with the lips rather than the eyes.

‘There is one room –but you’ll have to wait a few minutes’.

‘– can I sit there?’ Don pointed towards the sit-out on the other side.

‘Ok – I will need you to fill the details here’ she forwarded the register and went inside.

As Don started to fill up the form establishing his credentials, his pen stopped at the junction where the form forked the marital status.

Don took a seat near the fireplace. He sat down with the unfinished form in his hand. His mind wandered back to the days just before his trip to Ooty.

It was rather a small room where they met. They sat across each other, the table was not big, but the distance between them had become unreachable.

Don signed the papers and the divorce formalities were over and done with – He looked up to see Roohi Dasgupta go back to Roohi Ali Khan again.

The once “it” couple had now split.

Fond memories and pain fought for a legal existence in Don’s mind. A peculiar conflict.

The battle was won by fond memories, but the war was won by pain.

It had all started with an umbrella, a deserted bus stop and torrential rains.

Roohi and Don had met by natural coincidence. As the raindrops fell lovingly on their hands and feet it also wrote their future. While the cold winds caressed their faces, warmth forced it s way into their hearts.

Time didn’t wait to tell them that they were very similar to each other. It just clicked liked magic. Soon the entire college was giving examples of their compatibility and plotting their glorious future.

It did quite go according to the plan as well. When Don presented the idea and intent of marriage to Roohi, his parents were speechless.

‘Ma,Baba – I want to concentrate on my studies right now, and then focus on my career, at least for the next few years, and once I decide to settle down, I would like to do it with Roohi – of course if we still feel for each other the same way we do now.’

Don did exactly what he’d promised. He finished his education, got a decent job, and now it was time to get married. After the initial hiccups on the inter-racial tie, everyone turned out in full support. They got married eventually.

However, time had other plans for them. Their compatibility and comfort increasingly stuck out like a thorn to the people around them. Till one day it got to their creators.

‘I just can’t stand this drama – this farce’ remarked Don’s father. A man who had never connected with his wife. For him this love, this affection was nothing but a fa├žade.A man who had married only to respect his father’s wishes and squash his own.

‘I’ve seen life from close quarters – sooner or later they are going get fed up of each other – then I’ll see where those compatibility philosophies go’ muttered Roohi’s mother sarcastically. A woman who had lost her husband to ego battles and alcohol abuse.

She had indeed seen life from closed quarters.

Roohi and Don resisted their influence for some time, but eventually succumbed to it.

The definition of life and love is very subjective, and they were out to set an example.

The sweet nothings became silly things, the spontaneous gestures became carelessness, blind support became the blind spot. The constant criticism and fault finding got to them. They began doubting their relationship, they began doubting themselves.

Hurt is even more incisive with your loved ones. Some scars never go away. Until one day they accused each other and fought a bitter battle. One up-man-ship brought out the worst in them. The same support squad of friends now acted as fuel to the fire – all under the garb of help and support.

Don and Roohi were after each other’s happiness.Revenge was on their minds. They spent days thinking of ways to hurt each other viciously. Roohi contemplated a stiff alimony and Don gathered evidence of extreme mental harassment.

‘Have you filled it up?’ she asked politely.

Don snapped out of his stupor. He was perspiring a bit. He wiped his forehead and managed to look calm again.

‘uh-huh – yes’ he said handing over the register.

‘are you ok wanderer?’ her eyes spoke more than her words.

‘Yes I am ok, maybe a bit tired perhaps’

‘Your room is ready and it is one the floor above’

As Don got up to leave, he noticed a glass jar with some odd shaped stones inside it. The stones were oddly shaped but perfectly placed. Each bend or curve on each stone seemed to compliment the other.As result even with their odd shapes, they kind of formed a symmetry.

As he looked closely , he saw that the jar contained 7 stones.

Don was taken aback. This is was surreal. He had just crossed 6 hairpin bends and was on the 7th and final bend before he reached his destination.

‘Is this by design or by chance?’ Don asked pointing at the jar.

‘Nothing in this universe is by chance, everything is by design’ she said rather plainly.

‘Who designed this?’

‘Eternity – I am sure you must’ve known her. She picked up the stones from the hair pin bends below. Each stone has a story to tell’

  1. Provide – for your loved ones and those who need love.
  2. Protect – your beliefs from being broken.
  3. Nurture – your love and grow every day.
  4. Create – pass on the love to create a loving life.
  5. Embrace – what comes your way, accept and move on.
  6. Ensure – you learn from every mistake.

‘But these are only 6 what about the 7th stone.? What message does it give?’ Don asked anxiously.

‘That you have to find out yourself’. She left the hall and went inside before don could ask anything else.

Don went to his room upstairs and lay down on the bed thinking of the day gone by. So much had happened. It had opened his eyes and soul. He reflected on the incidents leading up to his separation with Roohi. The last bone of contention between them was the farmhouse at Ooty.

They had invested in – not only for the money, but for their retirement plans and vacation getaways. It was also nostalgia for them as they spent their honeymoon in Ooty. Letting go off this property was tough for both. Each claimed rights on the property.

It had reached a deadlock and a bitter battle ensued. Till a suggestion came from someone to sell off the property and split the money. Such was the pain and hurt that Don and Roohi didn’t think for one moment before signing off the papers.

The new owners were eager to demolish the farm house and make it into a hotel.

Don had received a note from the new owners, asking if he was keen on collecting some old stuff they had found lying in the attic.

The heart found a renewed reason to raise it s voice to the mind and Don was on the bus to Ooty.

The night floated into dawn.

Restless, tossing and turning right through the night had Don fatigued instead of being relaxed. He had conflicting thoughts about going to the farmhouse all along, but in the morning, this morning, this new dawn, there was something different. He couldn’t explain it , but felt it. There was something within him wanting to speak up.

Before his mind could speak up again, Don rushed downstairs. He noticed the stone-filled glass jar lying on the floor but he did not stop. He walked out briskly and headed towards the farmhouse. As he approached the farmhouse a myriad of emotions flooded his mind. The times spent together flashed right in front of his eyes.

As he entered the gate, he tripped on a stone lying on the path. Regaining his balance and composure, he looked at the stone and found something odd.The stone closely resembled the texture, the curves and pattern of the stones in jar at the motel.

He slowly bent down to pick up the stone.

A familiar silhouette cast a shadow on the stone. As he looked up, it was Roohi.

It was then he understood the meaning of the 7th stone – forgiveness.

The 7 hairpin bends had taught him live a new life.

Gyanban thoughts - In the journey Don undertakes he goes through 7 different challenges,in each of the 7 hairpin bends.

Each of the 7 obstacles are tied to one single thread - that of self limiting belief. Life throws up more questions than it gives answers,therefore sometimes it is imperative we become alert to the messages around us.The more sensitive we are to our environments the lesser chance of the universe construing against you.

The story is about Don and Roohi - two very compatible people,who essentially stop listening to these voices within and start listening to the noise outside. It is a story of realization of this self limiting belief that society weaves around us.It is a story that tells us to break free from the noise of the world and listen to the music of the soul.

There are 7 vows in a Hindu marriage.Each vows is taken by circling around the fire,a symbol of ultimate purity of thought,and each vow provides us the guidelines for us to lead our lives with our partners.

The vows taken in each phera are as below:

  1. With the first phera, the couple invokes the gods for the plenitude of pure and nourishing food and a life that is noble and respectful.
  2. With the second phera the couple prays for physical and mental strength and to lead a healthy and peaceful life.
  3. The third phera is taken for the fulfilment of spiritual obligations. The gods are invoked for blessing the couple with spiritual strength.
  4. The fourth phera is taken for the attainment of happiness and harmony through mutual love and trust and a long joyous life together.
  5. The fifth phera is taken to pray for the welfare of all living entities in the entire universe and for begetting noble children.
  6. The sixth phera is for bountiful seasons all over the world. The couple prays for bountiful seasons and seeks that they may go through these seasons together, just as they would share their joys and sorrows.
  7. With the last phera they pray for a life of understanding, loyalty, unity and companionship not only for themselves but also for the peace of the universe.

I enjoyed writing this piece and went along with the flow.Needless to say all characters and incidents are fictitious.Yet are very real. This story has ingredients of my experiences and interactions with various people over the years.Each experience has been fascinating and enriching.

For those who are keen to read how Don got here, read in the following order -

  1. Milestones
  2. Milestones
  3. Milestones
  4. Milestones
  5. Milestones
  6. Milestones

image courtesy

May 26, 2010

Milestones - 6

Milestone - 7

Don Dasgupta was a well travelled man, best of places, best of hotels, best of airplanes, but this journey on foot surpassed all his previous endeavors.

It was to be his atonement.

He walked slowly, stopping occasionally; the weight of the bag pack was becoming heavier. His legs were cramping up a bit.He couldn’t take the weight any longer and twisted his ankle while crossing an ugly pothole in an otherwise flawless road.

The pain was unbearable. As he sat by the road side, unable to move ahead he broke down physically.

Mentally he had broken down much before.

‘why me?’ Why? – what have I done to deserve this?’

'Yes I am not perfect. But then who is? Are You ?' he said looking skywards.

‘If you only wanted peace and happiness on this earth why did you create evil in the first place?’

‘if you wanted love why create hate?’

‘why offer a choice of good and bad…and why not good and better?’

‘why even get into a comparison?’

And then when You did create all this comparison why punish the ones who make the other choice?

‘Why is it called a wrong choice in the first place?’

‘isnt someone’s truth always going to be someone’s lie ?’

‘what then is the ultimate truth ? the undeniable the uncontestable truth?’

‘what do we follow?’ Who do we follow and why do we follow?’

‘Or maybe you couldn’t do anything about evil.’

Maybe You are not all that powerful after all ?

Maybe we’re all fools…wishing and hoping for you to show up one day someday…’

Maybe You don’t exist at all.

Don Dasupta was on the verge of a complete break down…of the mind body and spirit.

He sat their lonely in the middle of nature with the hills, trees, roads and some clouds. They tried to say something to him all along the way…but he did not listen. They even tried to console him…but he was hurt. He buried his face in his knees and closed his eyes….

Just when hope lost itself to the winds,

Just when tears dried up in the clouds,

Just when hurt cloaked the slopes,

Just when pain hardened the pebbles,

Just when sorrow felled the trees,

Just when emotions choked the thunder,

Just then….she arrived.

Time had stopped for a moment.

Vulnerable eyes for love to look, luminous skin of divine origin, hair left for the breeze to follow, arched eyebrows bridged the sorrows, and a dimpled chin with lop sided grin, floated in from the sky.

The sun delayed it’s set, the moon peaked in early, the clouds fought to get glimpse, the trees swayed and the naughty leaves broke away, the pebbles rolled closer, the ground became softer, water fell slower, and the air cloaked her aura.

Words escaped Don. Expressions fought a contradictory battle. Don had no idea what to do or say.

‘you look hurt – what happened?’ she asked.

‘uh mm I don’t know’ Don fumbled with words.

‘then why do you look so forlorn?’

‘I ve been hurt and I have nothing to look forward to…

'b-but who are you?’

‘I am eternity – I have existed in time and beyond…such is my sorrow’

‘but isn’t that supposed mean ultimate happiness that you don’t die?’

‘your feet that touches this bare earth, this drop of water that trickles down your face, this wind that caresses your face this touch that feels the rain have all but deserted me.Does that make you more lonely than me?

‘When you travel this valley you can see the mountain it garlands….but when you travel the roads you will only wear the bracelet of pebbles…’

She put her hand on Don’s eyes, by the time he opened them again she was gone. So was his pain.

As Don continued his journey towards the top of the hill, he could see signs of civilization and hope. The weather beginning to clear a bit.

It was almost evening and he could see the lights dance in the distance.

Gyanban Thoughts – sometimes in life when things go wrong we question our fate, our existence our future and everything around us, having a ground level view of situations only adds to the confusion and dilemma.It is therefore upon us to rise above the ground level and view the picture from a distance or from a height, you will see the big picture and more importantly a clearer picture.

Who knows it may give you a new perspective. Just like Eternity did to Don, and made him realize to look at the big picture, to look over and above…in this world of micro-management and plans to the T, there is but a superior abstract waiting for all of us.

Read all about it in the final leg of Don's journey on hairpin bend number 7.

"The eye of a human being is a microscope, which makes the world seem bigger than it really is."

Khalil Gibran

Fade away

and then, just like that, one day we will fade away, aging books on empty shelves, receding memories of ourselves, sail away l...