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    Neighbour – Mirror Across The Wall

    Continued from: Taj Mahal Tax

    But why only the Taj, almost every magnificent work of grandeur and art, which stand as the glorious faces of history are actually the living monuments of historic blunder? From the Pyramids of Egypt to the Taj Mahal of Agra, enigmatic neighbour’s envy and owner’s pride, are of no other social relevance except the fact that these haunted sites of man’s worst plight – of slavery, of genocide, of tyranny, of autocracy and of the barbarism of warmongers throughout the human history – screamingly declare, what a savory meal can human slaughter serve on the plate of time for posterity to feed upon.

    Then is this reason enough for a reasonable society to pull down these great historic works of ageless art because they are soaked in the blood and misery of innocent people sometime in the past? No! That would be, undoubtedly, a disgrace to the sacrifice of those less lucky persons who have laid down their lives, not in vain. Kahlil Gibran once said, “Nay, we have not lived in vain. Have they not built towers of our bones?” Oh, how so true!

    Now let me ask: is my neighbour worse than the tyrants of the past? Can you make him stand in a line with the Pharaohs of Egypt, the mad emperor Niro of Rome, bloodhound Aluddin Khilji of the Delhi Sultanate, and Genghis Khan Louis XIV and Louis XVI of France, the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, and the Sheikhs and Aimers of Arab? Tell me!

    Instead, I urge you to look at it the other way. Your neighbourhood reflects your aptitude to build your own fortune and your appetite to build your own wealth. Not the slightest dust of the worldly wealth you amass or property you build is going to make you eternal or going to accompany you when you die – this is the ultimate truth everyone knows. But not engaging with the CRAFT OF LIVING will be equally unworthy and a waste of life, as is not pursuing the quest for truth and knowledge. Hope one succeeds in understanding the meaning hidden therein and in unleashing the bounty of joy and knowledge and in decoding the secrets of happy living.

    Having a wealthy neighbor is akin to owning the Queen’s Magic Mirror from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Like as you cannot choose who your parents and siblings shall be you cannot choose who and what your neighbour will be. And more important to remember is: in a social life you can choose to stay away from everyone who is someone in your life, but not your neighbor, even if a stranger.

    Bharadwaj Mishra
    Bharadwaj Mishra
    Bharadwaj Mishra, 1975 Odisha born, a Delhi University Post Graduate in Social Sciences, with a professional career in banking for around two decades, is engaged in creative writing and with film society. As on date he has two English poetry collections published, “Farewell To Kalpana Saikia” (Author’s Press, New Delhi) and “Bathing Ghat At Kotipalli” (Athena Books, Bhubaneswar). He has published English Essays, Poetry and Short Stories with English language magazine of Kendriya Sahitya Academy, Indian Literature and few others. He also does English subtitling for Odia language films. He is single and lives with his parents in Bhubaneswar.
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