The Commercial Pilgrimage

A very popular pilgrimage is that to the  four abodes in Himalayas called Chota Char Dham (Chota meaning small):BadrinathKedarnathGangotri and Yamunotri – all of these lie at the foot hills of Himalayas.  It is considered to be a journey that the devout undertake for earning punya … a term I have no English equivalent for – perhaps good deeds?  But then many undertake it in the summers, to escape the heat and placate the Gods at the same time.  Killing two birds with one stone…

Everyone has a personal religious journey to undertake.

There was a time in life when I was overwhelmed with life itself and everyone and everything that was happening to me.  I did what people normally do, when confronted by impossible odds.  I turned to religion.  Since I live life and do everything with passion, when that did not work for me … I went whole hog; I turned to world religions, to occult, to spiritualism and to astrology.  I wanted answers to the question that plagued me, “Why me?”

I did not get the answer to my question, but I got much more.  I got a world view on how human beings made sense of their surroundings, of nature and environment through religion.

In my humble view, all religion stems from one basic fact; it teaches us how to live in harmony with our surroundings, with nature and with each other.  It is a set of rules to live life by.  Rules which, when flouted, have disastrous consequences.

“Stop turning my Father’s house into a marketplace!” [John 2:16]

 The Bible says that Jesus cleaned up the House of God by throwing out the merchants, the money traders and people who were plying their wares.

Matthew 21:12 Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves.

The Koran has very strict rules on attire, behavior and conduct when one visits the mosques.

The Hindu religion, like every pagan religion has its root in nature worship.  We have myths woven around banyan trees, peepul trees, tulsi plants.  We consider our mountains holy.  We have huge temples and shrines built on rocks and hill tops.  Kailash Parbat is the abode of Shiva, the Himalayas are given a religious significance.  We, by rights, should be a very eco-friendly country should we not?

How did commerce get into it?

I went to JagannathTemple in Orissa once and was put off by the rampant commercialism.  I came back upset; there was no sense of piety there.  I visited Vaishno Devi twice and then turned away.  I get more happiness chanting and meditating in the confines of my bedroom sitting on my bed than I get when I go to these places.  But then each to his/her own.  My purpose here is not to upset any one else’s religious sentiment.

Religious tourism is a huge commercial force.  And hotels have been built to cater to pilgrims who can afford to be the religious tourist, afford the Char Dham Yatra.  The priests in the temples almost salivate as they take our donations, by hook or by crook.

Everyone is familiar with the images of the buildings being washed away in those awful floods.  Six floors to a building, or more, and built so close to Kedarnath, that one does not have to walk too far.  Pilgrimage in comfort.

Shiva in water

The images scared me and shocked me.  To me, they seem to be a scary version of our belief of washing our sins away by taking a dip in Ganga.

Are the Gods mocking us?

Are the divine forces sending us a warning?

Our ancients built these shrines with a purpose in mind.  The purpose was that spiritualism stands for harmony with nature.  They were situated far away in the lap of nature, where piety and peace would be found.

Nature is a stern taskmaster.  And a powerful one.  It is sending us a message … those who forget history are condemned to repeat it.  As a Devi worshipper I implore to all …

“Stop turning my Mother’s house into a marketplace!”

 

Oh the times .. Oh the people

Or as they say in Latin O tempora, O mores …..

Kids kill teachers ….

In my personal opinion there are a lot of teachers and schools that deserve to be shot down … but not literally.  Schools in the country are destroying the natural human urge to learn and achieve .. but killing a teacher is not the way to address the problem.  It is a system failure …

And I definitely do not buy the spiel about teenagers being under too much stress these days.  In certain countries fifteen year old is adult!  We tend to baby our kids far too long.  Why, in my grandmother’s time fifteen year old girls were mothers!  And fifteen year old boys were in some kind of trade earning their own living.  So!

School kid stabs junior over perceived humiliation of his girl friend

Oh really?  This is definitely not macho or romantic.  This is patriarchy syndrome at its worst!  Not that I expect much better in the Jaatland I live in.

Sometimes I think that boys should be kicked on their arses and booted out of the parental abode to go earn their keep at age 14.  Then they would have school + tensions of a job + having to pick up their own mess and cook their own meals.  It would definitely keep aggression down, and keep them real.

I brought this over at breakfast at my own home.  Today Kid#2 was on breakfast duty and we got bacon and scrambled eggs and coffee strong enough to resurrect the dead, but I digress.

Kid#1 : Stabbing over a girl??? Gosh! How futile.  Now he will be in jail and the girl will possibly change her school and never meet him.

Darn right, I thought

Kid#2 : Damn I better keep my license and voters ID in my wallet all the time.  The police will be frothing in their mouths and checking every male for the next two months.

Practical!

Me – persisting – But did you ever feel the need to fight for a girl’s honor?

Both laughed.

Kid#1 : Hell yeah, fight yes.  But not over a chick!  Cant she fight for herself?  

Kid#2 : If she can’t stand up for herself, she is way too much responsibility.  I don’t need that.

Makes me hopeful, really hopeful that patriarchy is on its way out.

Now if someone could also, similarly dilute religious intolerance and jingoism, this world would be such a better place to live in.

Perhaps I am hoping for too much

Silly Times

Now that our respected leaders have scared away Team Anna which has dug itself a trench and jumped into it … News has been boring.  There are no threatened bans on Facebook and Google, even though  Blogger is quietly putting its shop in order.  I read this at the Blogger faq site recently

Why does my blog redirect to a country-specific URL?

Q: Why am I seeing a URL change?
A: Over the coming weeks you might notice that the URL of a blog you’re reading has been redirected to a country-code top level domain, or “ccTLD.” For example, if you’re in Australia and viewing [blogname].blogspot.com, you might be redirected [blogname].blogspot.com.au. A ccTLD, when it appears, corresponds with the country of the reader’s current location.

Q: Where will I see this change? 
A: We routinely launch limited updates, so in the coming months you will see ccTLDs in additional countries.

Q: Why is this happening?
A: Migrating to localized domains will allow us to continue promoting free expression and responsible publishing while providing greater flexibility in complying with valid removal requests pursuant to local law. By utilizing ccTLDs, content removals can be managed on a per country basis, which will limit their impact to the smallest number of readers. Content removed due to a specific country’s law will only be removed from the relevant ccTLD.

Q: How will this change affect my blog?
A: Blog owners should not see any visible differences to their blog other than the URL redirecting to a ccTLD. URLs of custom domains will be unaffected.

So, effectively we are being grouped into country specific groups … so that we can be censored ..

This is really bad news – I thought that at last the world was shrinking, and information was not in the hands of a select few …  It can only get worse.  Even News Hour has lost its flavor … same old politicians mouthing lines they dont mean – Oh and I am not talking about Mulayam Singh offering jobs to rape victims!  Can you imagine the number of improvished families pushing their women to get raped or else?  And can you imagine the pressure on the cops to produce “Rape Certificates” genuine or forged?  Silly times …

The only thing that put a smile to my face was Shah Rukh Khan slapping Shirish Kunder and Amul topping it with this ad

Trust Shah Rukh Khan to cheer me up

 

Please don’t make it a circus

I have been keenly following the Anna Hazare fast.  I know that in this country we have a large number of discontent and agitated people keen on committing violence – be it arson, stone throwing or even shaking their fists and mouthing Ma – Behn gaalis.  But that I can still condone – no not the arson and stone throwing but the general venting.  We have a lot to vent about, our democratically elected government and netas have ensured that.

What I cant condone is our fat arsed armchair intellectuals who will argue every progress or positive step, without getting the said arse out of the chair and do something.

Argument No. 1

Anna Hazare is holding the government to ransom

Well … high time someone from the aam janta did!  Our netas and beaurocrats have been holding the country to ransom and thereby harassing us for a long time.  Time they got a taste of their own poison.  And it is a step in the right direction.  At least Anna and Team are trying to do their bit for a corruption free India.  What are these arm chair intellectuals doing?

Argument No. 2

What Anna is doing is unconstitutional.

Yeah sure!  By the same coin, what Gandhi did was unconstitutional too.  But the government does not like to hear that, does it?  I feel that this movement represents a hope that the general poison in our system will get exorcised.  I don’t know if it will – but am with it, because its a step in the right direction.

Argument No. 3

The growing protest by self serving brand of intellectuals like Aruna Roy, the dalit activist who fears her following may be diminished, rabble rouser and supporter of Maoists and Geelani, Arundhati Roy and the likes.  Well, I have nothing to say to them, apart from directing them to this blog post which I really admire “Why I’d rather be Anna than Arundhati”

My plea to one and all is – Please don’t make a circus out of this.  Acknowledge that you have come face to face with something greater than individuals, something greater than personal and petty aspirations.  Watch it carefully before shooting your mouth off, like Manish Tiwari did.

To the ruling government and the inept way this was handled, I’d like to ask, “Kya boss? Didja think you’d make the old man wear a salwar kameez and flee?  Bad judgement boss”

Coming to my own personal opinion

1. No I do not support the government bill at all, but I do have reservations on Anna’s bill.  I do hope that an open debate is held and glitches ironed out.

2. I am very glad that Anna has shaken us out of our apathy.  We, the working classes have been doing nothing but earning our living and shooting our mouths out on the ills that we face in this country.  We have not taken steps to correct it.  I am glad we are voicing our protest.

3.  The youth has got involved.  I love this.  Youth is, by its very nature, idealistic, impatient and eager.  Those energies will make all the difference.

My appeal to the Government, rabble rousers and the protesters is just one simple one

We have, after a very long time, got involved in something that transcends the individuals that lead the movement, oppose it or support it.  The protest we are seeing is not for just tabling the Jan Lokpal.  It is bigger than that.  It is for a cleaner system of governance in the country.  It is for getting jobs without paying bribes, it is for an effective and cleaner government.

I think Kejriwal and others in Team Anna are aware of this and are trying to keep the movement limited to tabling of Jan Lokpal.  Perhaps they are unsure of how to deal with the larger demand from the people.

I feel that we will be disappointed – but hope that its just the cynic in me that feels so.

 


 

Tolerance or Weakness?

Shakti aur Kshama (Strength and Mercy)
Poet: Ramdhari Singh “Dinkar”

Kshama, daya, tap, tyaag, manobal
Sabka liya sahara
Par nar vyagh Suyodhan tumse
Kaho kahan kab haara?

Mercy, resolve, tact, tolerance
You’ve tried everything and some
But o my king of men
When did Suyodhan succumb?

Kshamasheel ho rrpu-saksham
Tum huye vineet jitna hi
Dusht Kauravon ne tumko
Kaayar samjha utna hi

The more forgiving you were
In your humane compassion
The more these rouge Kauravas
Pegged you as cowardly ashen

Atyachar sahan karne ka
Kufal yahi hota hai
Paurush ka aatank manuj
Komal hokar khota hai

This is the consequence
Of tolerating atrocities
The awe of machismo is lost
When one’s gentle n kindly

Kshama shobhti us bhujang ko
Jiske paas garal hai
Uska kya jo dantheen
Vishrahit vineet saral hai

Forgiveness is becoming of
The serpent that’s got venom
None cares for the toothless,
Poisonless, kind, gentle one

Teen divas tak panth mangte
Raghupati sindhu kinare
Baithey padhtey rahey chhand
Anunay ke pyaare pyaare

For three days Lord Raam kept
Asking the ocean for a passage
Sitting there he petitioned
Using the sweetest words to engage

Uttar mein jab ek naad bhi
Utha nahi saagar se
Uthi adheer dhadhak paurush ki
Aag raam ke shar se

When in response there was
Not a whisper from the sea
A raging fire of endeavor
Rose from Raam’s body

Sindhu deh dhar trahi-trahi
Karta aa gira sharan mein
Charan pooj daasta grrhan ki
Bandha moodh bandhan mein

The ocean took human-form
‘N supplicated to Raam
Touched his feet, was subservient
A slave he had become

Sach poochho to shar mein hi
Basti hai deepti vinay ki
Sandhivachan sampoojya usika
Jisme shakti vijay ki

Truth be told, it’s in the quiver
That lies the gleam of modesty
Only his peace-talk is reputable
Who is capable of victory

Sahansheelta, kshama, daya ko
Tabhi poojta jag hai
Bal ka darp chamakta uskey
Peechhey jab jagmag hai

Tolerance, forgiveness and clemency
Are respected by the world
Only when the glow of strength
From behind it is unfurled

 

Dear People in charge of feeding and housing Kasab, dear people in charge of preaching tolerance when the Chinese threat is escalating at our borders, dear people in charge of my country’s foreign policy, please pause and consider.

We are not judged for our intentions, but for our actions.

I did not write the poem I have quoted above, or translated it.  Dinkar wrote this wonderful poem and  I got the an excellent translation of it from here.  It is a poem that is taught in every school in this country. I read it as a girl.  It taught me valuable lessons in life.  I want you to read it and reflect …

No, time for reflection is gone.  I request you to please read and ACT for all our sakes.

Yours

Concerned citizen of a land that is being viewed as a soft target

New Kid on the Block

This is in response to people who have been asking me why there is no blog post

Folks there are plenty, but all in the head. What with importing people from facebook to Google Plus, logging into yahoo mail and finding that I had 58 unread messages … from people I think I knew at a point. I must have known them right? Otherwise why would they be on my mail list?

I wonder why we migrate from one social networking site to another … circa 2000 BC everyone was on My Space, then mass exodus happened. We found Orkut. Then it became uncool and we shifted en masse to Facebook, now every one is clambering on to Google Plus.

A bit weird considering that we meet the same dudes at all these places.

The world view is shifting. Soon we shall have a world in which the most dangerous parental threat would be

“YOU STOP DOING THAT RIGHT NOW, OR I WILL TWEET YOUR BEHAVIOR”

and the poor kid would die rather than let his timeline know about his unacceptable behavior.

An awesome image of the virtual sky line today

Uff yeh duniya ….

And then when one wants to opt out and spend more time in the real world … one finds that it is dull as ditchwater, and so tame. All the interesting people are online, on one’s time line.

So yes folk, I am on Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, Google Plus …. and I think my Orkut account still lives on. Havent checked but must still exist.

I am well networked

Art and Anarchy

Anarchy comes from the Greek word an = without and arkhos = ruler.

The times we live in with a PM in absentia, and his spokesman Mr. Kapil Sibal’s moronic statement “The PM is a notional concept”. Sheesh, Mr. Sibal, I hope you realize that the votes you get from me is also notional. But then I digress.

What is art? As a creative person, I can safely state that to me my writing, my art is something that helps me express, without any limitation, my mind. Art knows no boundaries. Art is definitely anarchic in nature. To grab eyeballs, to capture the imagination, it has to push beyond safe boundaries, beyond comfort zone.

And creative people soar so high into their own imaginative worlds that it shocks them, surprises them when they see the strong reactions that the fruit of their creativity brings. I am sure Taslima Nasrin found that out to her own horror, so did Salman Rushdie. Stéphane Mallarmé, was once quoted “Je ne sais pas d’autre bombe, qu’un livre.” (I know of no bomb other than a book.) I would say the same about a painting.

I got an email forward today which was Hussain bashing. Honestly the paintings depicted did not shock me. They did not even titillate. I mean, they were just forms of the female body, no detailing. Very artistically done and not vulgar at all. They were not portraits, like the portraits of his wife and daughter. Of course his wife and daughter sat down to get portraits done, and hence were clothed. Mother India or the numerous goddesses did not. Hence the forms were there.

Honestly people, what about the copulating statues of yakshas and yakshinis? What about Khajuraho?

This is the statue of the mother goddess in Chottanikkara Bhagavathy Temple which is one of the most celebrated Hindu shrines of Kerala. The temple is located in Chottanikkara town, 17kms away from Ernakulam. Rajarajeswari (Adiparasakthi) alias Durga Bhagavathy – the mother Goddess, is the presiding deity of the temple.

To know more click the link. This picture is worshiped in most homes of Hindu devotees.

Given the current intolerant and sensitive milieu we live in, the fact that Hussain is of Islamic faith played a huge role in his being singled out for special treatment, I guess.

I bet the poor man came out of his creative trance and said “Whoa, I did not sign up for this!”

We have had Shekhar Kapoor at loggerheads with censor boards, we have had other creative people at odds with moral police. The most creative way to express disgust at such repression was in May 1967 when the protesting students tarted up the walls of Paris with slogans like L’ennui est contre-révolutionnaire (Boredom is counter-revolutionary).

So let us just put this in perspective.

Hussain painted nude goddesses and mother India. The paintings upset some people who were non creative and considered them offensive. So they protested and Hussain, rather than waste energy fighting them, left. He went ahead and painted more, in another country. No, his form of expression could not be repressed, for all the moralistic jingoism. Now he is dead.

So why the hullabaloo? Art is by its very nature anarchic. It brings forth a lot of change, it pushes the viewer out of his comfort zone, and of course, it communicates to the soul. It is said that the devil played the fiddle. Rock and Roll was considered anarchic and devil’s music. Hussain’s paintings also touched some atavistic chord that led to so much unrest.

All I can say is that the rabble rousers will die – but his paintings will endure.

Mera Bharat My India II

The Uber-Rich and The Babalog

I once wrote a blog post about the 3 Indias that co-exist in our country. The urban Baba-Log that are beautifully depicted by Karan Johar’s movies. These guys are rich, and definitely think that they have the divine right to rule. They look down on the wannabes and have a complete disconnect from the rural India. The Swiss Black Money Club (the uber rich) that reacted so violently, to protect their ill gotten fortunes are a part of this elite I feel. There was all this money to protect, children’s phoren education, a plush lifestyle etc etc. No wonder the corridors of power pulled a few strings, got the police to lathi charge folk sleeping at Jantar Mantar. And yes, Mr. Kapil Sibal, this is a democracy. Folk can peacefully protest, and aam janta gave you and your colleagues their job. Aam junta can ask for hisab too. Too bad it happened in your tenure, but there it is.

The Wannabes

Remember Khosla Ka Ghosla? Do Dooni Char? And the recent movie Band Baja Baraat? The movies represent the urban classes, that do not have the money. But they want it so bad! And they are the folk that conjure up fears of Indian culture being spoilt by foreign brands. Oh yes, they are the self proclaimed guardians of Indian culture and morality. They are the ones who will opt for cheaper preventive health care measures that Baba Ramdev offers in his Yoga. This India is the source of Baba Ramdev’s power. They want a finger in the pie too. They want the power held for so long by Baba Log. They are jingoistic, very patriarchal, but they appreciate the irony of the ruling party laughing at Ramdev fleeing wearing a salwar kameez.

The rural India

And in this they are being assisted by the third main India, the rural India. Omkara showed this class in its true colours. These Indians have not yet come into their own. When they do … well India is going to be a very different ball game altogether. They hate urban India, think we are fools. To them superstition, black magic make more sense than the black money that has the country in uproar. But they understand Anna Hazare and Baba Ramdev. Hence they are supporting the Wannabes

I think that right now, the wannabes have served notice to the Baba log and what we are seeing is a struggle for power. The vernacular India has woken up and smelt the coffee. They have had enough and the rich people, so used to ruling in a feudal way are fighting to keep them from snatching the power out of their hands.

Wonder how this will end.

As of now, its the news channels that are laughing all the way to the bank.

Again, my thanks to the cartoonists who have given us such catchy images of the current events. I have published cartoons I recieved in email forwards, I claim no credit for them

Nero fiddled when Rome burnt

The thing about history is that a lot of it is a bunch of poppycock, and a pretty stinky bunch of poppycock, at that! The historical truth is that Rome was not burnt completely, about a tenth of Rome burnt. Nero could not have fiddled as Rome burnt, fiddles were invented about a thousand years later. Some Christians insist that he played the lyre while Rome burnt. But there are reports that Nero was in Antium, not Rome, when the fire broke out.

According to Tacitus, the historian, he rushed back to Rome on getting the news. He organized relief efforts, funded by his own money, even opened the palaces to shelter the homeless. But still the perception that Nero fiddled while Christians were persecuted and Rome burnt remains.

I think there is a lesson here that our leading party could learn. It is hard to fight perceptions.

But then I feel that they were never in touch with ground realities and now have lost it completely.

I mean, where was the need for strong arm tactics at the Ramleela ground? Ramdev Baba may be double jointed and adept at selling his brand of yoga, but he is another person who is not in touch with ground realities. He even stated that Yoga could “cure” homosexuality, for God’s sake! If they allowed the circus to continue, he would have been buried under his own lack of political savvy-ness. But Lo and Behold! The two day circus at Ramleela Ground ended in a Diwali of sorts – thanks to the ham handedness of our rulers. I heard cries of “Ram Dev Baba Amar Rahe”

Yeah sure, thanks to Congress, Ram Dev Baba has become amar! Ham handed for sure. I am appalled at the stupid timing. Sunday is when everyone is home. This is summer, and no one goes out. People watch TV. And the images they see lead to just one conclusion :-

This Govt does not want to do anything about corruption. So what if it jailed Kalmadi and Kani. They were arm twisted into doing it. This Govt wants to bring back emergency like Indira Gandhi.

Nero fiddled when Rome burnt

And you know what, not a peep from the Queen – who is incommunicado

Not a word from the Prince who was ashamed to be Indian a few days ago.

And the decoy ruler? Well, have we ever heard him saying anything forcefully?

Where are they? Are we leader-less? Is this why we elected them?

You know what the perception is …

Nero fiddles away

while our Rome burns

All the cartoons put up in the post are from email forwards, I claim no copyright for them. I thank the cartoonists for their brilliant depiction of current events

The Death of The Monster

Thanks Blogadda for selecting this post as Spicy Saturday Pick

There once was a prince. He would have never got to rule the kingdom since there were too many princes between him and the throne. But that did not bother him much. He wanted to rule the hearts and imaginations of the people of his clan. In these days of electronic media, that was far better a franchise than just sitting on a throne. Even that was not an original idea; a certain princess of an island nation had aspired to and become the “Princess of Hearts” until she died when her car crashed in a tunnel. That princess was beautiful, so it was easy for her.

But he was a tribesman, not too hot in the looks department. Becoming Prince of Hearts was not exactly his cup of tea. So he decided to do something different. He sought to destroy egos. That would hurt and that would leave a lasting impression. It would be his legacy.

So he took looked around for a soft target, among the land of unbelievers. He zeroed on a nation that was egotistical, overfed and pompous. The infidel ruler of the nation, who people called Potus was so full of shit. He kept talking about national pride and convinced his people that his nation was untouchable. The prince gathered around him some tribesmen who were restless.

“I am bored” they complained.

“You wanna do something fun? It’s risky and can cost you your life?” he asked.

“Yeah, why not?” said some of them. Others dropped out. They weren’t that bored!

So he got them to fly planes into the totemic symbols of the proud nation’s pride.

BOOM! CRASH!!!!

Citizens died in the crash, the proud nation wept.

The prince became famous. He, like Gabbar Singh, became the monster mothers scared their kids with if they did not drink their milk or sleep at bed time.

The proud nation peed in its pants, just like Golaith’s supporters when David took him down with a slingshot. It realized that it was not untouchable. It also realized that other countries hated it. The nation did not like that. It dethroned its ruler and crowned another Potus.

This Potus knew that he needed to stop posturing and prove a point. He had to kill monsters. Like all corporate honchos, he had to show results.

He befriended other rulers, some of them simply so that he gained knowledge about where these monsters lived. Meanwhile whispers maligned this Potus too. Some thought he was weak, others thought he was soft. Still others distrusted him. He got worried, he could get dethroned like the last Potus and become a joke on late night talk shows. His wife and daughters would not like that!

He consulted his trusted aide, a sorceress with more ice in her veins than blood. She went online with her crystal ball.

“King, here you are in trouble, and the monster that destroyed our totem pole was found living a cushy retired life with his youngest wife”

“So what do you suggest Sorceress?”

“This monster destroyed your slanderers loved ones. He killed them. He destroyed our pride. If you kill him, Potus, all will be forgiven.”

“So what’s the problem? Kill him!”

The sorceress said, “Potus, please sit down. You are not going to like this!”

“Tell me!” he said, unable to sit down because of anxiety.

“We already have him dead. We just did not tell people.”

“Why?”

“What with Wikileaks and the unstable economy, there just wasn’t the right time.”

Potus peered into the crystal ball. All he could see was grey images. “Why doesn’t Google color them?” he grumbled.

“We don’t own Google, Potus. And stop grumbling. There is more!”

He sighed and said “Tell me!”

“Thing is, we did not kill him. He got irritable, living in seclusion for so long. His tribesmen and sons were also having a bad case of cabin fever. There was a shoot out and they killed each other. We can’t claim the glory”

“Damn! Now what do we do?”

“The monster was given shelter by our vassal nation. You need to threaten the vassal nation with retribution and allow them to let us fly by the monster’s castle and create a huge noise. They will agree”

“How dare they shelter our enemies!”

“Never mind that, we can squash them like a bug. They’re already scared and will agree to sell their mothers right now”

Potus smiled, understanding what the sorceress was saying. “You must have been a good queen to your Potus, sorceress”

“Thank you Potus. Yes I was, but he always played around and got caught with his pants down eventually”

So on a fateful Sunday, when the nation woke up, they got the news that the monster had been killed. Doctored gory pictures of the monster were shown to the nation that danced and celebrated. His decomposed body was thrown into the sea to avoid any controversies.

The tribesmen mourned their prince, who had hurt the proud nation and brought it down to its infidel knees.

But a strange thing happened. The Potus and the Prince both had similar names, with just a letter that was different. To some, they both appeared similar. Both had taken steps to kill, maim and destroy to keep their name shining. Both had crossed lines to destroy pride of the other. One’s motive was controversial; the other’s method gave rise to conspiracy theories.

They say the monster is dead. Really? Which monster?