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Branwyn is the Goddess of love, beauty, mischief and mystery. It also relates to genuine literature. The name has been tossed by Lavkesh Kumar Singh.


Dear Readers,

Publisher and Director Vineeta Gupta

Founder and Editor-in-Chief Sneha Gupta

Mentor Dr. Subodh Kumar Jha

Tech Support Rahul Kumar Singh

Legal and Financial Advisor Abhishek Singhania

Contacts: Email : Website :

Life is just like a spicy chaat. God has flavoured it with sorrow, happiness, joy, gloominess, success, failure, togetherness, loneliness and eventually He balanced it with death. We can enjoy life only if we accept that to balance the equation of life, we need to go through every such experience which god has defined for us. only then, we can maintain the equilibrium.

This issue has been a bit delayed and I believe that my readers would accept my sincere apologies. But I hope that our readers would equally enjoy this edition which has been made special by two dynamic ladies – Mehek Bassi and Aniesha Brahma. Our regular columnists are there to share their thoughts with you. This time, we have also welcomed our guest writer Ms. Shelley Samson. And lastly, there is my column on your demand and in your service. I will try my level best to continue my column. And we are soon bringing back all our segments. I hope you would enjoy this edition. Waiting eagerly for your suggestions and feedback!

Thanks and regards, Sneha Gupta

Readers’ Feedbacks Poems by Mr. YouKnowMe and N.M. Leepsa were very nice! -

A. Chaudhary, Kolkata

Lovely poem by Heena. Get your bio changed. It's too short i.e next to nonexistent and a new pic should be affixed in your column. Keep writing. -

Meghant Parmar

Shaurya Forever made me cry. My best wishes for Parul and Himanshu. -

Vaishnavi, Chennai

Reading Branwyn is always a pleasant experience. All articles of March issue were very nice. -

S. Shahi, PMO, New Delhi

Its easy availability makes it unique among all. You cannot keep away from it. Not only March but every issue is fantastic. -

Rohit, Bangalore

Branwyn is a phenomenon in our office. This month’s poster person is Aparajita Dutta. -

Sanjay Chaturvedi, Mumbai

It was a very classy tale by Aparajita Dutta. -

Sanghamitra, Barrackpore

Your reading taste could be different. But Branwyn always brings a smile on your face. March edition was lovely overall. -

Md. Ashraf, United Arab Emirates

Three Questions : Mehek Bassi Mehek Bassi is the celebrated author of ‘Chained’ and ‘Unconditionally Yours’. Famous for her candid attitude towards life and ideological implementation in social norms, she represents the Young-Indian-Women’s mindset. Mehek obliged Branwyn with an interview…

Branwyn : What should be responsibilities towards the society?


Mehek : An author is someone who is looked upon for revolutionary views and many times, even bringing a change in the society. Nobody can manipulate/encourage a man better, than a book! So, it's a duty of authors that we should include broad views in our writings, instead of focusing on a narrow mentality. We should encourage the Youth to accept everybody as he/she is, instead of propagating hatred. Every person's responsibility is to make the world a safe and peaceful place to live in, and we authors hold a high-grade in that because people follow our words!

Branwyn : People accuse that feminism has become manipulative? What's your stand on that? Mehek : Feminism is not at all manipulative, especially when we are still witnessing so many rape and molestation cases everywhere. It will become manipulative, the day that all the crimes against women cease to exist and still we will be fighting for women-rights. If feminism was manipulative, with so much havoc on social media sites and everywhere else against the Delhi Gangrape case (16 December, 2012), the convicts would be hanging dead by their necks by now, but it's been over a year and a half, and they're still wasting the planet's oxygen!

Branwyn : Why it is that none of the political parties contesting for General Elections 2014 has shown any concern for women in their manifesto? Instead many politicians passed abusive statement on women. In our country, a slight caste related statement creates havoc whereas gender abusing extreme statements is ignored. Do you agree that Indian women lack brain and can't think beyond Fair&Lovely and Glam-up? Mehek : Interesting question, I must say! The provocative statements that are being delivered in open grounds, by the rulers that common people look up to, just for a few votes, its disturbing to see how far our country has traveled, where distributing cash and liquor illegally aren't enough for winning votes, but freedom of convicts and criminals and promises of their security has also become a part of the manifesto! It saddens me deeply to hear them when they make promises for every community, but exclude women, a community that constitutes around half of the votes and is 50% responsible for bringing a candidate in power. I won't say Indian women lack brains, but they do lack courage when a statement is passed on to our community. The way Hindus and Muslims unite and protest, women should do the same when a politician says that 'Rape is a mistake and not a crime'! Women are no doubt powerful, but aren't united. We still think about our religion and caste, before our community, and maybe that's the reason why we have such people in governance.

Thanks for being with us Ms. Mehek Bassi. Branwyn Family wishes you all the very best in all your future endeavours.

Aniesha Brahma Born on 12th of September 1989, Aniesha Brahma, had always dreamed of being a writer since the age of six. She was born in Kolkata, West Bengal and has lived there all her life. Her elementary schooling was in Higgins, and from classes I to XII, she studied in Dolna Day School, the place where she first discovered her knack for writing. Blessed with the ability to weave tales with her words, Aniesha's essays would make her teachers and fellow students alike think that she was one day going to be an "authoress". For a time, Aniesha concentrated merely on writing poetry. When her first novel (a whimsical novel set in a college campus) got rejected, she steered clear of writing stories for the time being.

She concentrated instead on her subject of honors during her Bachelors of Arts, Comparative Literature, from Jadavpur University. After completing her bachelors, she took up Master of Arts in Comparative Literature. During this time, from the month of December 2011 till March 2012, she wrote what would be her debut novel: The Secret Proposal - Life Begins from Here Aniesha is currently pursuing her MPhil in Comparative Literature from Jadavpur University and eagerly awaiting the release of her yet to be titled second novel to be published by LiFi Publications" You can remember Aniesha as a lover of cats‌

The first book of Aniesha Brahma talks about the unusual love-relation of a young couple.

Twenty-one year old Larissa Chakroborty (better known as Jasmine) has been forced into the company of her parents’ friends’ son – the twenty-five year old Tanveer Bhattacharya (aka Veer) ever since she was thirteen and he was seventeen. Jasmine found herself slowly getting drawn towards this teenage boy; and harbors an unrequited crush on him, long after he disappears from her life in order to pursue a college degree. It is eight years later now and Veer has returned. Jasmine finds herself going to his welcome home party, and neither of them recognizes each other in the first meeting. Upon discovering that Jasmine is now a Master’s student in a reputed college, Veer makes her a rather strange proposal. He wants her to pretend that they’re in love

and would eventually settle down in life, for he wishes to avoid tying the knot with a girl of his parents’ choice. The constant ego battle between the two, the love-hate relationship, break ups and realizations is what The Strange Proposal is all about; wherein love would eventually find a way in the end. Coupled with birthday parties, engagement announcements, Durga Pujos, weddings, the harrowing rituals, Christmas time fun, the crazy duo have a long way to go before they realize what their act would eventually cost them. Is it enough to get your long time love to be in a pretend relationship with you? Does one grand gesture convince you that you’ve found your Knight in Shining Armor? And why is it that, when you have someone you don’t want them…and when you lose them, you want them back? Is Veer merely pretending to be in love Jasmine? And will Jasmine ever get over her undying love for Veer?

With her literal background, Aniesha surely assures a fragrant breeze of change in the All-Are-Same kind of love-stories flourishing in the Indian popular fiction…

Alpine Ambergris : Dr. Subodh Kumar Jha

Mighty Thread

No no no! We can’t part ways! Can’t be submissive and follow the dictates which our heart admits not! True, the odds are against us We might not ever meet In the lane of institutional knots! But does it matter? Your longings in my veins mount And I often feel drawn In your laky eyes And get drown’d! Oh! What’s this mighty thread That pulls me up And splits apart In the air with CARE!

- Dr. Subodh Kumar Jha Head Dept. of English, SN Sinha College, Jehanabad

Dr. Subodh Kumar Jha has been a member of NCERT and UGC Workshops for the proficiency of English Language in various study streams! At present, he is a prominent part of Magadh University as the Head of Department of English in S.N. Sinha College! He honoured Branwyn with his special segment titled "ALPINE AMBERGRIS". Alpine means mountain peak which denotes Subodh Sir's intellectual persona and Ambergris means a fragrant substance found at sea level. Thus, "Alpine Ambergris" together denotes the combination of an intellectual person like Subodh Sir and novice writers like us who are just trying to make a difference!

Mr. Incandescent Speaks… My Mighty Chariot

The anxiety of Vibhishan is evident. And it certainly is not irrational.

Benevolence; compelling him to handle fellow beings with compassion.

The grandiloquent appearance of Raavan on a golden chariot is causing the earth to shudder under his feet. He is protected by celestial armors, which have defended him against the gods in innumerable battles of valor. He has lost his sons, brothers and nephews, and has but little to lose. His wrath is intense, his fury terrifying, his resolve of revenge insurmountable, and he sets ablaze the path he treads to reach the battlefield on the final day of the battle that the worlds have stopped to witness.

To harness these horses of his chariot, the reigns that are in the hands of the charioteer are the qualities that are Forgiveness, Kindness, Compassion and Fraternity.

The most powerful king in the world faces Ram, the banished Spartan sage-king who resides in forests. He cuts an austere figure against his formidable and opulent Owner-Of-Ten-Heads (symbolically, one who is so wise that it appears he thinks through ten brains put together). Suddenly, Vibhishan’s faith is shaken. Qualms begin to surface through crevices. His unwavering confidence in his master and ally (whom his army venerates as the incarnate of Narayan; Sanskrit for a place for the residence of all “Nar”, thus, quite literally, one who is present in everyone!) Vibhishan’s, a maudlin witness to the greatest clash in history, is overwhelmed with concern,as he falls at the feet of the sage king, and without mincing words, describes the power balance of the epic battle. He sees Ram standing on his own feet without a chariot, without an armor, standing bare feet on the soil, facing the lord of the mighty kingdom of gold. He sees no hope for Ram. This is where the sage king describes why he is confident about a certain victory against the strongest enemy that can be. Ram says he sits the chariot that shall carry him to his victory. It is not the chariot made of timber and iron, nor is it pulled by horses that are mere animals. The base of the chariot that he stands on, is Righteousnessthat drips from his action


Valor and Perseverance. These are the two wheels that his chariot has. They are wheels that set his chariot in motion, and never fail him in his pursuits of battles of life. The Adherence to the path of Truth, and an Upright Moral Character- these are his Flags and his Banner. These are the symbols that he flaunts, and under the aegis of these symbols, he wages his battles, be it the clash of Lanka, or his battles in everyday life. He has four mighty Horses, who are not mere animals. They are powerful, unflinching, invincible and unstoppable, with an unwavering sense of direction. His Four Horses are ; (Physical) Strength, Vivek (an non- translatable term, simply because this doesn’t have an English parallel- but is characterized by the individual’s capability to discriminate between the right and the wrong), The Control over oneself (i.e, one’s senses and thoughts, under the guidance of Vivek- notice the co-ordination between the horses that pull his chariot)

Who is the charioteer that serves him as a master? Ram says that his charioteer is his Devotion to God. His charioteer serves him as a master, is rather skillful and faithful, and guides his chariot through un-navigable with ease, based on his judgment. His Sense of Detachment is the Shield that protects him, and thus he is never hurt (is that not what we can relate to?). His sword is the perpetual Contentment, that he banishes to his adversary with faith. A Sharp Axe that makes his attacks lethal, is Charity (i.e, the Goodwill that he has gathered out of charity. Ram points out in several verses that Goodwill gathered is a mighty and practical force) The strength that backs him in his attacks is his Buddhi (The closest English translation would simply be Intelligence) Although Ram carries a mighty Bow, Celestial Arrows and a Quiver, he says that his Bow, Arrow and Quiver are more symbolic. The Knowledge of Self is the real Bow he carries (notice how the veteran archer chooses the analogy; his bow is his most important weapon. His Knowledge of Self is his Most Important trait. The most important characteristic of the Bow is its flexibility and the ability to bent to be functional-traits that may be strongly associated with Self-Knowledge) His Steady Mind is the quiver where his arrows are kept Yam and Niyam( Adherence and Observance of religion ) are the bunch oflethal arrows Ram worships his Gurus. That is the Protective Armour that surrounds his body like an inpenetrable cover. Ram at last, points out- Oh Friend, don’t let your doubts clutter your mind, for I ride that chariot that is the surest way of Victory- not just against the mighty Ravan that barges to the battlefield, devastated with wrath and agony of loss, but in the battle of life against the invincible enemy- the World.

Lavkesh Singh [Branwyn Column name – Mr. Incandescent] is an Investment Banker who works in the Realm of Mergers and Acquisitions for his living. He at present resides in New Delhi.

Down Memory Lane : Koushik Gangopadhyay The Legend of Kargil The wounds of the Kargil war had not yet healed. Even after the retreat of the coward Pakis, the brave Indian soldiers had not returned to their units from the Military Hospitals. But Nawaz Sharif and his boys donning the khaki uniform of the Pak Army commanded by the shrewd General Parvez Mussharaf tried another trick in their bag. The Pakistani Armed Forces played a dictator’s role during the puppet governance of Mr Nawaz Shariff and that was evident when they tried to test the might of Indian Army in the Kargil sector. In spite of being compelled to flee the war zone, the Pakis refused to learn a lesson. They tried to test the patience of the Air Defence system of the mighty Indian Air Force. 10 Aug 1999…In one of the ground radar units in the Gujrat sector, Flying Officer Banerjee had his eyes glued to the radar screen. 10.51 AM. A speck of light was blipping on his screen. He picked up a track on his radar screen inside Pakistan’s Sind province but moving towards the International border. Being a seasoned Fighter Controller, his instincts told him that a bad boy was trying to violate into Indian Air space. A quick survey confirmed that an airborne object was trespassing into Indian area from the Pakistani side. Further clarification confirmed that it was an unidentified aircraft flying at a speed of approximately 350 km/hr and at a height of 3000 to 3500 feet. India and Pakistan have a bilateral agreement on airspace intrusion. In 1991, both countries have agreed that necessary steps would be taken to prevent airspace violation. Moreover, a memorandum stating that Combat aircraft won’t fly within 10 kms of each other’s border has also been signed. Suspecting something fishy, Flying Officer Banerjee reported the matter to his superior officer who in turn informed the higher echelons of Indian Air Force Air Defence system. In view of the Kargil conflict and the track record of Pakistan’s misdeeds in the past, it was decided to deal the air violation with a strong hand. The Operations Control room was buzzing with activity. The airwarriors carried out last minute checks and decided to engage the intruder with fighter jets. 10.57 AM. “Scramble Scramble Scramble” echoed the public address system in the air crew rest room. The two fighter pilots, who were on standby to take care of any threat to the Indian airspace,

were sipping coffee and relaxing. As soon as they heard the word Scramble, they realized that something was amiss and they had to get airborne at the earliest. They picked up their helmets and rushed towards their respective fighters. The technicians eased them into their cockpits and within minutes two MIG-21 fighters were on the runway end awaiting clearance from the Air Traffic Controller to take off. 10.59 AM. Immediately on getting permission from the Air Traffic Control, Squadron Leader PK Bundela and Flying Officer Sanjeev Narayan shot into the sky. The radio crackled “Juliet one…track at 23 degrees 58 min North and moving southwards. Make visual and confirm.” Squadron Leader Bundela replied. “Roger. Heading north.” In the meantime the unidentified aircraft made several manouevers inside and continued to fly in and out of the Indian air space. The fighter controller continued giving inputs to the airborne formation Juliet 1 and Juliet 2 about the position of the track to help them in locating the intruder and to ensure that the Indian jets do not stray into Pak territory. The unknown aircraft entered Indian air space for the third time at 11.14 AM and flew almost 10 kms inside Indian air space. Squadron Leader Bundela and Flying Officer Narayan had now visually identified the intruding aircraft to be a Pakistan Navy aircraft and relayed the information to the base Fighter Controller. It was French made Atlantique which could be heavily armed and was used for reconnaissance missions. Sqn Ldr Bundela identified the Pakistan insignia on the aircraft. It was declared to be a Hostile aircraft and had to be dealt with accordingly. Sqn Leader Bundela closed up on the Pak aircraft on its left so that he could signal it or communicate with it for landing in the nearest Indian Airfield. Flying officer Narayan continued trailing the Pak aircraft so that it could not turn and escape towards the border. Despite repeated attempts by Sqn Leader Bundela to compel the intruding aircraft to land in India, it remained adamant. Instead of maintaining the same height and direction it tried to maneuver, a sign of arrogance in Military Air Defence. In military parlance, when an intruding aircraft is cornered, it lowers its wheels as an indication to surrender and land. Instead the Pak Navy aircraft tried to throw the Indian fighter off guard by suddenly veering to the left where Sqn Leader Bundela had positioned himself flying alongside the Pak aircraft. It tried to flee towards the Pak

area. Sqn Ldr Bundela spoke on his radio “Track escaping towards border. Permission to fire.” And then there was that eerie silence except the sound of jet engine. Suddenly Bundela heard on his headset “Juliet One Fire.” Bundela responded “Roger.” ….Maintaining his cool while controlling the jet, Sqn Leader Bundela positioned himself behind the Pak aircraft, locked his R-60 infra red heat seeking air to air missile on target and pressed the FIRE button. Flying Officer Narayan noticed from his cockpit a bright red flame in the missile pod of Sqn Ldr Bundela’s fighter and a missile, leaving behind a trail of smoke went and hit the left engine of the Pak aircraft, which caught fire and smoke started bellowing out with debris crashing on the ground. The Indian radars saw the track gradually loosing height, spiralling and finally disappearing from the screen. It was later known that the aircraft crashed killing 16 Pak Navy personnel on board. Squadron Leader Bundela conveyed the message that the Hostile target had been hit. Both the Indian fighters were asked to break off and return to base. Sqn Leader Bundela and Flying Sanjeev Narayan passed on the relevant first hand information about the mission to concerned officials which were in turn conveyed to the Government of India. The Pakistani government made a huge hue and cry over the shooting down of its aircraft. They claimed that it was a training mission and their aircraft was shot down inside Pak territory by intruding Indian fighters who violated the Pak air space. They invited foreign dignitaries and took them to the crash site where most of the debris had fallen. But the real fact is, the Pak Navy aircraft was fired at when it was around 5 kms inside Indian air space and the momentum took it into Pak area. While some portion of the debris fell on Indian soil most of it crashed in Pakistan’s territory. The Pakistan government issued contradictory statements on the status of their aircraft. The Pak Information Minister, Mushahid Hussain had initially claimed that the Naval aircraft was on surveillance mission but the Prime Minister, Nawaz Shariff claimed at the funeral of the 16 Navy personnel that it was on a training mission. But Pakistan failed to answer a few simple questions. 1. What was a training mission doing near the international border when training areas are clearly demarcated by all countries? 2. How can Pakistan’s claim that the aircraft was unarmed be accepted without a pinch of salt by the two Indian fighter pilots when the whole world knows that Atlantique can be heavily armed? It can carry 3.5 ton of armament including bombs and air to air missiles. 3. Why did the captain of the Pak aircraft take an aggressive stand when Sqn Leader Bundela warned him repeatedly that not landing in Indian airbase could cost him his health? 4. The Pak Navy uses the Atlantique for operations over the sea but

what was it doing on land inside foreign territory apart from surveillance? In September 1999, Pakistan filed a compensation claim at the International Court of Justice claiming around 60 million US dollars from India. The Indian attorney general argued before the court that ICJ had no jurisdiction in this matter as it was a bilateral issue. Pakistan had violated the bilateral treaty signed in 1991 by intruding into Indian air space using a combat aircraft and Atlantique fell in the category of combat aircraft. In June 2000, the court ruled in favour of India that indeed it did not have jurisdiction in the matter. Pakistan’s habit of telling white lies to the world fell flat on its face once again when the court stated that Pakistan would not have the option to appeal in the case. The rogue state had spent close to 25 million Pakistani rupees to fight the case. The Pakistan government’s reluctance to learn from the past and get involved in adventurism has once again proved costly for it. 16 personnel of the Pak Navy lost their lives due to the short sightedness of their government and senior military officers. Squadron PK Bundela was awarded the prestigious Vayu Sena Medal for display of courage and determination while on operational duty. But his life on this planet was cut short by a tragic accident while flying a MIG 21 in the Rajasthan sector. He met with an accident while ejecting from his jet whose engine had stalled while flying at supersonic speed and severely damaged his spine. He was paralyzed below his neck and finally succumbed to his injuries.

Kaushik Gangopadhyay is an exdefense personnel presently working with State Bank of India. He honoured us by accepting our request to share his real experiences and anecdotes of AirForce life in ‘Down Memory Lane’

PEEK-A-BOO : PRERNA VARMA Un-follow the ‘fake people’ Okay I am sorry, I have to say this- I have been witnessing too many people writing offensive, derogatory remarks on facebook. And then there are people (especially the writers’ community) fighting amongst themselves, slinging accusations regarding how fake some people are. There have been reports that people have been fooling others, financially and emotionally and then there are those who have pointed out how ‘fake’ and how ‘unhelpful’ their ‘so-called friends’ are! More and more of us are probably busy asking questions such as ‘Why are people so fake?’ and ‘How do we deal with them?’ And by fake I am not just referring to people that backstab or badmouth on social media platforms, but also those who lie, ditch and portray things in a way that aren’t in real life. And no matter how much we try, we can hardly escape it. But believe it or not, sometimes we are also fake (not that we try deliberately, but that happens). And don’t say that you haven’t lied, deceived or backstabbed anyone, even if it was unintentional. So, what do we do? Well, ideally, I would say that we should be better at interpreting. And when I say interpreting, I don’t mean that you should judge a person on a scale of goodness and badness, but rather analyze how much you should open to a person, observe if the person is capable of keeping secrets, judge what could go wrong if you confide, take help, assist or develop a bond with this person. This will help you to decide where you should draw a line. A friend who gossips about the world around you is great for chatting, but maybe s/he is the one you should avoid opening too. After all, if this person can discuss others’ personal life with you, they can discuss your personal life with others too (unless they are particularly your great friend of course!) An important aspect that should be understood here is that humans live on three levelsFirstly for themselves, Secondly for their family, Thirdly for the world around them The first two may interchange, i.e. a person will get himself killed while protecting his children or assist a friend who is like a family for him. But the third always comes at third. Therefore, if you

believe that an individual (even the one you call as BFF) would put himself on fire for you or expect that s/he would support you throughout or at least appreciate you for your goodwill, then your belief is erroneous, because there is a strong possibility that you might not be as important to him as they are to you. I personally opine that if something like that happens to you, then the fault is yours, because by the end of it you have to decide who you help or be associated with. Another thing, if you as an individual are fond of helping, then practice altruism- helping others selflessly, without expecting anything, even appreciation in return. You will be a happier person. Lastly, an individual is never all good or all bad. We all have flaws. If you stop judging, you will take tons of loads of your mind. And if you try and succeed (which you will, sooner or later), then start practicing Unconditional Positive Regard. Because as Carl Rogers mentioned, ‘Individuals must be treated in a positive and dignified manner, despite of what kind of person they might be.’ Treat the world the way you want to be treatedafter all, if you bark at the mirror, the mirror will bark at you. Try it and the world will appear awesomely good place. I know it seems preachy, especially when too many of us have become victims of jealousy, gossip and deception, but it isn’t that tough to follow! Just give it a try for a few weeks and let me know if you find anything good!

Prerna Varma is a versatile writer who has been working with a number of organizations on a freelance basis. She is credited with a book titled THE DUMB AND DUMBFOUNDED. Her writing prowess is free of genre specification and that is what makes her unique.

Sacrament Sobriety : Gaurav Gill “Lead me to the Cross” Have you heard of Tyler Doohan, from East Rochester, New York? Am sure the name leaves you baffled. To elucidate more on him, he was an eight-year-old boy in the United States, who saved six relatives from a house fire but eventually died while saving his disabled grandfather. Doohan was able to wake six other people in the small trailer, including two more children aged 4 and 6. Doohan then went back to help his grandfather, who was disabled and would have been unable to get out of the home on his own. It appeared that the boy was trying to lift his grandfather from the bed when he was overcome by the smoke and fire. The pair was found dead together on a bed in the back room by a group of firefighters. This was an unimaginable sacrifice by an eight year old Good Samaritan. At his funeral he was bestowed with title of honorary fire fighter and a helmet was gifted to his family It left me numbed for a while, thinking the unthinkable. He laid down his life saving his own family, a rare trait to be seen in times where a man nonchalantly kills his own conscience. It is an incomparable and a sublime sacrifice that anyone could ever do for his family or could ever fathom. And what if I tell you of someone….who stretched his arms and laid down his life for us……….someone who sacrificed his life for the entire world, such was his love for us………. It was an evening after my college that I happened to board a cab to my church. It was a familiar face smiling at me from the corner of his freckled eyes. An elderly gentleman, decked in uniform, creased forehead and eased eye brows. “So sir, you would be having an off tomorrow? It’s Good Friday right?” I gently smiled and said “Yes it is”. “I am 50 years old now decades have gone by, however I still do not know why do they celebrate Good Friday” said the frail inquisitive voice. That question injected a rush of dopamine in me, I could feel goose bumps. I sat up in my seat and cleared my throat to answer something, something that was stuck in my chest and soul for a long time. “Well sir it is like this, it is on this day Lord Jesus died for us and for our sins. He was crucified, so that we could be saved”. He heard me keenly and nodded his head in silence. The conversation ended and I disembarked the cab, however the questions resonated and rose to a crescendo. It was this fateful Friday afternoon; when those clamoring streets of Jerusalem were thronging with curious crowds to see Jesus’ crucification. It seemed to them; that it was their callous decision to demand his death. However it was a part of God’s plan and it had already been prophesized centuries ago.

It was that sweltering afternoon that Lord Jesus picked up the towering rugged cross; his head was impaled with a crown of thorns and was profusely bleeding. His clothes were in shards, his flesh was lacerated. His tottering feet were staggering as he lifted the cross up the place called “Skull” and his wounded feet left trails of blood behind as he trudged with our transgressions. He was reeling under our iniquities and we were jeering at him. Every whip that broke on his flesh lacerated his heart and soul for us. His blood trickled on the wooden cross as the nails of persecution were driven into his flesh by the relentless Roman soldiers. He took the burden of man’s transgressions upon him like a lamb with no blemishes and got sacrificed for our salvation. The word became flesh and that was Lord Jesus. He was the son of God and could have easily evaded the crucification; however he said to his father “Let not my wish, but let your will be done”. He chose to bear the burden of our iniquities. “ It was about twelve o clock when the sun stopped shining and darkness covered the whole country until three o clock and the curtain hanging in the temple was torn into two”Luke 23:44-45. It explains the reason of church’s holding their services/ masses from 12 to 3 pm on Good Friday. He died so that we could be saved from perdition. And he rose again on the third day on Easter, as he had promised. Our hopes and lives are resurrected in him till eternity. Good Friday is good because he laid his life for us, for our sins. He beckons us to lift our crosses and follow him… he speaks in a still small voice…….you have to pause and listen to his calling….May Lord Jesus bless you and your endeavors in abundance. “Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me”- Luke 9:23

Mr. Gaurav Gill is a person of quintessential contemplation known for his kind and modest nature. He is a lecturer and lives in New Delhi.

The Hope… The hope rose.. Could feel my heart thump madly right across my chest Was it the end…? Or it was a start much awaited…. Is it gonna be the end Or rise of the desires much suppressed The hour was nearing and I could feel my mind frantically flush out the negative thoughts “No, keep hope” he had said, “have faith, for we are told to.” Watch no bar, „cause it‟ll bring doubts, doubts like those thunderbolts that shudder the ground Sharp light, sharp sound, the hurt .. That cut through like a knife into the flesh Is it a start ?? the beautiful future we weaved together…. In those calm, quite hours, breaths rising…falling when we sighed In those silent moments when we‟d long to feel fingers of the shivering hands Those unspoken words of ecstasy most desired Of ache of flesh that longed for touch The hearts entwined like two turtle doves, Inseparable Untouched by those storms unknown ….. Was it the heart thundering or it was my mind beat back the reality Jolt me back to the surface When all I wished was to swim deep beneath the blue waters Still wanting to breathe… Still hopeful for the breath of life found only at the surface Yeah I wish to be hopeful, Yes I have faith, holding me tight… ;letting me breathe in the deep Why not?? The dreams that we saw The love we wish to give Lips on lips, feeling the warmth, and the caress of the touch So deep, so subtle, so pure Like them we‟d fly, soar into the evening sky The touch of the setting sun, the kiss of the breeze, the rush of the moment My hand in yours Your head on me You breathe on my neck……….. Oh! That seething love These aching fingers that long for you Caress each strand of your hair with immense love, with rising passion I whisper your name and I feel it resonate Across your cheek I kiss……… Those eyes look into mine And then I feel the pain, that sharp ache.. Still soaring high I fear I‟d fall That intense look, that assurance .. If this is a dream Never bring me to life I plead Let me live it till the end For my search has ended For my soul has found her mate Let me live

- Shelley Samson Pune

Fragrance of Heena Brazen Meet….. On a sunny evening and weather so torrid I saw your mystifying gaze, oh so lurid The crimson crown enfolding you in arms Triggering in me thy amiable love’s alarm

The crown adoring your esoteric hazel gaze It’s your aura that forever sets me ablaze The birds engulf you with their majestic voice Your magnificent persona gives a reason to rejoice

I wish I can broaden my horizon just like yours To travel from shores to shores till I reach Azores With a fascination I’ll come to watch you for hours With thy spell you have tempted me into your lure Pulling me towards thee I set out for a spree Grasses too are dancing with swaying trees Wind seems so enticing with its cool breeze How I wish, this moment I could eternally freeze God thy creation of dawn and dusk is scintillating That my chirpiness enjoys the feeling of titillating For you, I know it may sound a weird and insane But I’ll still be in love with you till we meet again…..!! © Heena Ahuja

Heena Ahuja is a girl who loves to scribble the rhythmic melody of literature. She lives in Mumbai.

Mr. YouKnowMe Speaks…

“Goodbye Gabriel" “If I knew that today would be the last time I’d see you, I would hug you tight and pray the Lord be the keeper of your soul. If I knew that this would be the last time you pass through this door, I’d embrace you, kiss you, and call you back for one more. If I knew that this would be the last time I would hear your voice, I’d take hold of each word to be able to hear it over and over again. If I knew this is the last time I see you, I’d tell you I love you, and would not just assume foolishly you know it already.”

was beyond my incapable mind, which often lost the track while reading his works. Often I found myself lost in a trance, travelling the void, and feeling the happiness, and pain, and sadness, and love… With him gone, I will find the salvation in his books… R.I.P. Gabriel. Don’t forget to send your words through the rain and snow.

― Gabriel Garcí¬a Márquez This quote always made me wonder how a person can so closely accept the ultimate truth of life. The way it defines the wishful thinking of a person who knows that there is no way to create an exception to the circle of life, but accept it. Is it true that memories are the only way to keep someone, who is long gone, with us, forever? I think it’s true. Because the way you remember people, is the way you used to be with them. Every moment, good or bad, happy or sad, becomes so real that you start living them all over again. If only there is a way to turn the clocks backwards and get back to the time when everyone was with you; it's through the memories. One more thing I learned from this quote is that we must express out affection, care, love towards people who matter to us. Otherwise the uncertainty of life could leave a scar in heart forever. And now, when the author of this quote is gone forever, I wonder if he had seen it, the Death. The way he would go, the way people would remember him through is words, the way he would become immortal. I personally feel that Márquez never wrote anything extraordinary, but what he wrote

Mr. YouKnowMe is someone whom all of us know yet all of us are still to discover. He is a biker, an author and like all of us, a lover of life… He is at present working with an IT Company.

Random Reveries : Sneha Gupta Life and Happiness

“Today, take a decision. Take a decision that you would make your life worth living. Today, promise yourself that you would live like the master of your life.” -

Swami Vivekananda

Once I got a strange feedback from a reader who seemed very annoyed. I was accused of being ‘Larger than Life’ and ‘Unrealistic’. I smiled and questioned back the reason behind this perception. The reply came that my regular facebook statuses and quotes were ‘too much positive’ and impossible to implement. And a declaration followed the reply – ‘I guess Miss Sneha, you were born with a silver spoon in your mouth. You don’t know how cruel and harsh life is…’ I didn’t reply… We, the humans, always have negative tendencies which dominate our perceptions. I have seen that men tend to be more pessimistic than women. Does it mean that they give up easily?? It is always good to be cautious and practical in our life but being too much pessimist is what ruins us. As for example, my positive quotes were taken as my inexperience. But the truth is, we realize the value of smile only when we have gone through heartwrenching situations. I don’t say that I am the greatest philosopher of my time, but yes, I do know the essence of life. And the essence of life is happiness! Happiness is all we want in life. But yes, perceptions could be different. For some people, materialistic approach towards life ensures happiness. They need wealth, fame, power and luxury to be happy. But the poor fact is, even the abundance of such things cannot ensure long endurance of happiness. People get bore of money and fame they already have and then they want more. Greed has no end… Contentment and gratefulness are two great things which lead to happiness. Happiness would follow us if we stop mourning over what we haven’t got and start celebrating what we already possess. We complain about our disciplined parents instead of being thankful that we didn’t live the life of an orphan… We complain about our troublesome siblings instead of being grateful that our childhood wasn’t spent alone. We complain of strict and dominating teachers instead of being grateful that we didn’t spend our teenage collecting garbage along the streets… At least we are being educated. We forget to thank God that He saved us from being a child labour!

chuckles that behind every successful man, there is a woman because women never chose unsuccessful men.  Jokes apart, as Victor Hugo had said that the feeling of ‘not being alone’ is the best feeling in the world which fills the conscience with positivity and it eventually leads to success and happiness. Here the context is itself proved that if you value, care, trust and love your relations, you are sure to live a happy life. God made roses and He made thorns too. He made thorns to make us realize the value of roses. Similarly, God gives us pains so that we could value happiness. You get the courage to laugh loudly only when you have had shed tears in your past. Sorrows test our endurance. Happiness keeps us going… Life is not about becoming a money-making machine. The most profitable enterprise is happiness. Let yourself become a production-house of happiness. Manufacture happiness and distribute it. And trust me, the smashing return which you will get would be so abundant that whole universe would fall short to hold it. And that, my friend, is the reason of my happiness. What you feel through statuses and quotes is actually my inner happiness which radiates in my words and action. My only motive in life is to be happy and spread happiness. It doesn’t mean that I haven’t cried ever. Yes I did. Even I have faced such situations which compel you to end everything [everything means everything…!], but the only difference is, I never gave up. Yes, I became a little obstinate to be happy. It was my craziness, my ‘zidd’, to be happy. I promised myself that I would be happy and that is why I am happy. The other factor which works here is, if your happiness is related to a particular entity, don’t let it go. And if you are scared of obstacles then remember what Paulo Coelho had said – “If you want something/someone wholeheartedly, whole universe conspires in getting it for you.” And if this sentence seems too difficult to remember then repeat the Indianized version spoken by ShahRukh Khan in one of his famous movies – “Tujhe pane ki hamne iss shiddat se koshish kee hai, ki har zarre ne tujhe hamse milaane ki saazish kee hai…” Because at the end of the day, doesn’t matter how much money, fame and power you have! What matters the most is how bigger your smile is, how contented your conscience is and how beautiful your dreams are…! So my friend, what matters the most is your happiness!

We complain about a nagging spouse….! This is probably the most delicate question which our generation needs to answer itself. According to Zig Zagler, married men are happier than singles. Oprah Winfrey adds that married men are happier because they have got a wife whom they could hold responsible for all their miseries and even shield their own inefficiencies.  Jerry Pinto

Sneha Gupta belongs to a small town in Bihar. She is a banker by profession and breathes to write. She is the author of two published books and received several awards for her writing ventures. She is often invited as motivational speaker in reputed schools and colleges. She is the founder and editor of Branwyn and Akshara.

Branwyn april 2014  

April 2014 issue of Indian Lit-Mag Branwyn featuring Mehek Bassi, Aniesha Brahma, Shelley Samson and others.