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The sum total of life was never easy to calculate,

And the equation of existence was never easy to evaluate,

Where, I had rubbed some, and some had rubbed me,

And from this tug of war I could never be free.


But I remember I was born with a mission,

That had a vision,

It also had a goalpost,

And it also had the foremost.


But then what went wrong?

That soon after I was born,

My mission changed and vision altered,

Goalpost shifted and I somersaulted.


Perhaps, in the windings of life,

Attractions were galore,

Where arrogance was available even in a road side store,

And where ego had become the dubious cynosure.


Slowly, all these had become the handy recipes for success,

Where, show off had become the order of the day,

Humbleness had become the emblem of the frail,

And politeness the solemn disgrace.


So, to stay the course,

 I deviated from my umbilical holds,

To become that fashionable rogue,

Where, I too, cheated to the fore,

And intimidated others, galore.


One day I met God while walking on the road,

He asked,

Son! How are you?

I replied,

Who are you?


He said,

Well I’m God your creator,

I replied,

But you’re quite a traitor,


In utter disbelief,

He asked why?

I said because you belied,

About the journey of life,

By selling me the futile.


But how?

Asked God,

I said,

Where, it was arrogance you gave me some great mission,

Where, it was ego you gave me some stupid vision,

And where it was show off you gave me that wide goalpost.


But all that wasn’t required,

To rise higher,

So I changed my fire,

And with that my sire.


But son I had sent you to there,

For everyone’s welfare,

But instead of welfare,

You became a malware,

And what will God do,

If it has sons like you?


That is your problem God,

If men can’t do what you want them to do,

Go create some other species,

That will help you chase,

Your mandate that is not easy.


Hold on my son,

Don’t throw such a referendum,

Life for you has just begun,

So, let give you an ultimatum.


Mend your ways,

And return,

To those humble and noble sways,

For you have no idea,


Of the sum total of those stormy waves,

That will only strike you,

When you’re at the twilight of your days,

And that will be too late.


In pursuit of wild success man has imbibed arrogance, ego and show-off leaving behind those splendid virtues of a simple lifestyle. And it is only by practice of simple habits the sum total of your life will move towards the positive side.


By Kamlesh Tripathi


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     It is said—‘In India you can change your religion but not your caste.’ But this reality almost met with a challenge, from the Britishers at the time of the British Raj which is largely unknown. In fact, had the British Raj, pushed its way through. It would have shown the way for abolishment of the caste system, all together. But they began only with criminals, by sending them to Andamans, better known as Kala Pani. (Literal meaning is ‘black waters’. But ‘Kala’ also signifies ‘kaal’—that signifies the time of death).

    If the British so wanted. In the eighty nine years of their dictatorial rule. They could have at least blunted the ferocity of the caste system in India, if not completely uprooted. But they had other nefarious designs. That was to divide and rule. So, on one hand they exploited the caste rivalry in the mainland. And on the other, they got rid of it by sending criminals to islands in Kala Pani. Where, they could rid them of their caste. Sadly, most of them were freedom fighters. Whom, they had held as prisoners.

        These remote islands in Andamans, were considered suitable to punish the ‘India Independence’ activists—called the freedom fighters. Not only were they isolated from the mainland. The overseas journey to the islands (Kala Pani) also threatened them with loss of caste. That could have resulted in social exclusion. But sadly, this was also corroborated by Hindu religious scriptures. These convicts were largely used in chain-gangs, to construct prisons, buildings and harbor facilities. Many were finally hanged and many died while building these structures. Where, they largely served to colonize the island for the British.

    That brings us, to the moot point. What about those Hindus, who were not prisoners? But have travelled overseas, either on business or pleasure. Have they also lost their caste identity, like those prisoners just because they crossed the seas? Because, as per the scriptures. Hindus who have travelled overseas, automatically lose their caste, and to retrieve it. They need to go in for a deep penance. Further, if we are to believe in the caste system. We also need to believe in the scriptures with equal measure. As both are ancient and part of our tenets. For it can’t be. That we believe in the caste system but give the other theory a grand miss. For our religious scriptures below, say it all.

    The offense of crossing the sea is known as “Samudrolanghana” or “Sagarollanghana.” The Dharma Sutra of Baudhayana (II.1.2.2) lists sea voyages as first of the offences that cause the loss of varna (caste). The Dharma Sutra suggests a person can wipe away this offense in three years by eating little at every fourth meal time. By bathing at dawn, noon and dusk; standing during the day; and seated during the night.

    The reasons behind the taboo include the inability, to carry out the daily rituals, and the sin of contact with the mlecchas (barbarians). The fear of crossing the seas also derives from the notion. That it entailed the end of the reincarnation cycle as the traveler was cut off from the regenerating waters of the Ganges. Such voyages also meant breaking family and social ties. And, according, to another belief in the pre-modern India the Kala Pani (sea water) was inhabited by the houglis, bad spirits and monsters.

    During the Age of Discovery, Portuguese sailors noted that Hindus were reluctant to engage in maritime trade due to this taboo. In the eighteenth century, the Banias of North India, considered, even the crossing of the Indus River, at Attock as a taboo, and underwent purification rituals upon their return. However, not all Hindus adhered to the taboo, and there were several Hindu merchants in Burma, Muscat and other places.

    So, can we, then say. All those Hindus, who have travelled overseas, are now devoid of any caste?

By Kamlesh Tripathi







By Kamlesh Tripathi


    Just as terrorism—Help, too, doesn’t have a religion. It can come from any corner. But unlike terrorism, that kills. Timely help sustains life. I had once gone to a hospital in Delhi. To meet parents of some poor young children who were suffering from cancer. The drill was to provide them with direct financial support, for treatment.

    In all we had met about ten children and their parents in the hospital. Our NGO decided to support three out of them. Based on, certain illness criticalities, doctor’s recommendation and the budget available with us. Out of the three. One child happened to be from Sopore in J&K. His name was Abdul. His father’s name was Fareed. Who, happened to be a small-time shopkeeper with a paltry livelihood. Abdul was suffering from cancer for the last one year. And, during that period Fareed had exhausted all his savings. Although, he had received timely aid from the government. But that too had been gradually spent. Slowly the resources were receding, while the treatment was still in full flow.

    When I met this bright child Abdul. I found him in an animated mood. As he was talking to his mother in Sopore over phone. He had come to Delhi for treatment without her. I spent some time understanding the challenges of Fareed. Then decided to give him the good news of our supporting his son’s treatment. Up to a certain level. But he didn’t sound enthused about it.

    First, I thought he hasn’t understood me. So, I repeated what I had told him earlier. This time I spoke in Hindi. But still his reaction was not at all cheerful. I then specifically enquired, if he had understood what I had said. To which he gave me this shocking reply. ‘Janab, I have understood what you’ve said. You want to pay for my son’s treatment. But yours is a Hindu NGO. So, how can I accept money from your Trust. That too for my son’s treatment? It might not cure him at all, and Allah won’t spare me.’

    For a moment I was shocked. I didn’t know how to react. Does religion lay down crude boundaries at such junctures? I thought dismally. But without being deterred. I opened my bag and wrote a cheque, and handed it over to him.

    He held the cheque and looked at it morosely. I patted his back a couple of times. When his eyes went moist. Perhaps, he was at a break point. Where, on one end, was the health of his son and the mounting expenses because of that, and on the other, were his own self created radical diktats. Which, he was trying to blame it upon his religion.

    I said, ‘Fareed Bhai this cheque is neither Hindu nor Muslim. It’s only a piece of paper from Upparwala, for your son. So utilize it.’ And then I moved out.

    After the episode. A couple of months had passed. But that cheque never came to our account for debit. It was only when the cheque was about to expire. I received a text message from the bank debiting it to our account.

    And upon reading the text message. I felt nice. Not because Hindu money had helped a Muslim. But, because Abdul had realized. That help has no religion or face. It is infinite and can come from any corner of the world. And it is absolutely divine to take help. But the source has to be right.

It is a true story. Names and location are fictitious.





By Kamlesh Tripathi



By stopping Nawazuddin Siddiqui in Muzaffarnagar, from playing the role of Maaricha, uncle of Ravan, in the local Ramlila, after 20 years, Shiv Sena has stood out like a thorn in the society. Ramlila is a famous play enacted each year, all over India and even abroad. Let me for a moment juxtapose Muzaffarnagar with Lucknow on Ramlila. Both have been holding it since ages. Where, Lucknow is even more famous. For a lot of Muslim actors take part in the local Ramlila, and at times they even go on and on with their acting, even when they are keeping Rozas during Ramzan, if it happens to fall in the same month. This intermingling is the ultimate beauty, of one and only one—India. We are no deep state, but the biggest democracy of the world. Where, Ramlila, Dushera, Durga Puja and Diwali are our tall, widespread, cultural and festive totem-poles. Ramlila is therefore our Indian-ness. That belongs, to we Indians, and not Hindus alone. Nawazuddin is our own son. Rather the worthy son of Muzaffarnagar, and now even of India, who entertains us through his movies. He was born and brought up in Muzaffarnagar. So, Shiv Sena cannot just snatch away the colourful memories of his childhood by not allowing him to act in his home theatre 20 years later. He is free to visit his childhood the way he wants in his own city. Muzaffarnagar is amassed in him, so you just can’t dig it out like that. Shiv Sena needs to understand this. And, last but not the least, you just can’t seize hold of any Indian’s Indian-ness, by just citing his religion, because there is a fine distinction between Religion and Culture.




By Kamlesh Tripathi




    The ancient and traditional greeting of ‘namaskar’ or ‘namaste’ is for one and all. It is done reverently. By joining the palms at the chest and humbly bowing the head. Namaskar or Namaste is a form of prostration and salutation and has profound spiritual and ego bearing significance.

    In Sanskrit, namah + te = Namaste. It means, ‘I bow to you along with my prostrations and salutations.’ Namah can also be interpreted as na mama, which in the literal sense would mean, “not mine.” The purpose of saying Namaste is thus to negate one’s ego. Rather separate yourself from your ego and recognize the Divine in every person we greet. And, as we feel the Lord God resides in us. In the same manner we feel, it resides in others too. The joining of the palms depicts this sense of oneness. When we know this significance. Our greeting paves the way for a deeper and divine communion, complete with love and respect.




By Kamlesh Tripathi


Earlier Dhaka and now Nice where 84 French nationals were mowed down by a truck used as a weapon, driven by a lone wolf terrorist as they were celebrating the Bastille-day in Nice, calls for a deep introspection.

And off late one is really not sure of what one will get to see when you switch on the TV or get to read when you unfold the newspaper. Probably it will be about another terrorist attack.

After every terrorist attack we prominently see the head of the state issuing statements, denouncing the killings and cursing the terrorist organization responsible for the bloodshed and a reassurance of protecting the country from further attacks.

But this is not sufficient, because the paradigm is fast changing. In Dhaka attack most terrorists were from high families and in Nice it was a lone wolf. The trend shows terrorists are well educated and could be self radicalized. The Islamic State has been losing territory but gaining wider popular appeal, with its call for individuals around the world to carry out jihad. The barbaric interpretation of Islam used to justify such heinous acts thus needs to be quashed.

At times one wonders as to what is driving these terrorists to massacre. They call it a holy war, where they kill hapless and innocent people to please ‘Allah.’ Definitely this cruelty is no jihad. And there is need for the entire world community and especially the Muslim community to run a structured parallel digital campaign against what these Muslim terrorist groups a trying to preach the capable, young and fresh Muslim minds.

The problem cannot be handled by authorities of any country alone. The civil society needs to pitch in very strongly and much before it’s too late as a handful of terrorists are giving a bad name to the entire community.










By Kamlesh Tripathi

You adventured to kill, but in the process you too got killed,

And one wonders who asked you to kill?

For if it wasn’t your teachers and friends in college,

Your peers in places, and your siblings and folks indoors,

And God in heaven,

Just who was it who asked you to kill?


You shot so many in a bloody,

When someone had to shoot you in a scurry,

You stood for someone unknown,

Trusted him more than the known,

But was it for any holy throne?


To you sermons through social media mattered more,

And not the grace of Holy Text,

Nor the lineage of societal touch that you chose to ignore,

You hallucinated as if killing was the right path,

And the rest needed to be ignored.


And now when you’re gone,

Leaving behind a storm,

God says,

Son I had sent you there,

To conquer the storm, and not to create a storm.


Where the world was your oyster,

And so much was still there for you,

As you had hardly arrived,

To create capture and destroy,


But isn’t it sad my son,

That you only created the bloody killings,

Destroyed human values,

And, captured the Holy Grail.


And remember my son,

If all would start killing who will create,

And for you,

Without seeing the world,

Without feeling the world,

And without admiring the world,

You decided to slaughter the world,

So now remain unwept and unsung,

In your unrealized world,

While my slain sons and daughters shall rest with me in peace.


This is a tribute to all those killed in Dhaka terrorist attack. Most of the terrorists who struck here were young and from high families so then how did their values change so much in a short period of time that they created this mayhem?