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The Death Of Hope 😢

Sarfaraz was living happily with his beloved wife and children in America. His old mother lived alone in an old dilapidated house which was built by her husband in India. Three years ago, Sarfaraz’s father passed away. Sarfaraz has never been to India for the last six years. His mother always hoped that one day his son would come to her and they all will live together in India. On one weird day, she got a call from Sarfaraz.

Sarfaraz: Hello Ammi, how are you? Soon I’ll be departing for India.

Ammi: what! Really? I am fine. Daughter-in-law and children are coming too, right? I’m dying to see my grandchildren.

There was now a new spark in her eyes.
Sarfaraz: No Ammi, it is only me who’ll be coming for now. Soon we all will be living together in America. I’m coming to take you with me. From now on you can play with your grandchildren every time. Okay, Ammi I’m hanging up the call. I’ll be departing for India after 5 days. Take care.

Tears were unstoppable of mother’s eyes. After all, she will be looking at her son after a long time. Her son was coming for her after six long years. She started planning to cook eatables that she knew were favourites of Sarfaraz. She was even daydreaming now about her grandchildren. The lighted lamp of hope that she’ll have a beautiful life of an old grandmother telling stories to her grandchildren, helping her daughter-in-law in the kitchen works, watching television with family could be easily seen through her eyes. The flame of that lamp of hope so bright that she was unable to sleep thinking about her beautiful future.

Five days later Sarfaraz arrived home. His Ammi showered all her love and care on him. She cooked delicious and several varieties of food. While having dinner, Sarfaraz told Ammi that both of them will leave for America soon because he is not provided with holidays.

Sarfaraz: Ammi, take whatever money, jewellery, ornaments and other precious items in your luggage, we will be leaving in two days. And yes, tomorrow I’ll discuss the sale of the house with a property dealer. We need to sell it.

Ammi: Son, why do we need to sell it? Your father had built it with love and efforts. You have spent your childhood here. There are several memories attached to this house. After your father’s demise, it was the memories in this house of both of you that kept me alive. I don’t want this little heaven to be sold.

Sarfaraz: Ammi, when we all will be living together overseas, then who will take care of this place? Hence, the house must be sold.

The mother’s happiness is in her child’s happiness; so she agreed.
The son sold the property at a good price and after two days, the mother-son duo reached the airport with their luggage.

At the airport, Sarfaraz helped his mother to sit on a public bench and went for the check-in procedure of the luggage and to take the boarding passes.

One hour passed but Sarfaraz did not return. Only then an airport worker saw the old lady and asked, ” Maa Ji, are you ere to meet someone?”

Ammi: No dear, my son is in the queue for tickets, I’m waiting for him. Today we are going to America.

Worker: But Amma, there is no one in the queue for boarding passes to America. The flight for America has departed thirty minutes ago.
The worker asked her son’s name and other credentials; went to the counter for verification and came back with a shocking answer that her son had already left for America with all the belongings.

Ammi had no tears in her eyes but her soul was crying out loud.

Somehow she managed to return to the house that was sold and spent the night there. Next day the new owner heard her story and showed some sympathy to her by giving her a room in the house to live.

Today, there is darkness in the name of hope inside her. That flame of the lamp has vanished. Her one and only hope died.

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The Bond

I came out of the house mumbling in anger and started to walk towards the bus station. “I wonder where is he hiding all the money and for what purpose. He can’t even buy me a motorbike, what kind of father he is? I am leaving his house. I won’t return until I buy a motorcycle on my own.”

I was thinking all this and suddenly I felt something piercing my foot. When I looked down, I noticed that I came out wearing my father’s shoes in hurry. A nail was out of the sole which was hurting. But I was angry and continued to walk mumbling. Suddenly I noticed that I had taken my father’s wallet instead of mine.

My mischievous brain commanded “why don’t you check your dad’s wallet today? He never allows anyone to even touch it. God knows what treasure is hidden in it.” When I peeped into that wallet, there was no cash but a small diary kept in it.

Then I thought, ” Ohh, so here is the real treasure.” I was expecting that Papa would’ve written accounts of money he needed to take back from people to whom he might have lent. But I was completely wrong. I opened the diary and read the first page. As I read it, my face was emotionless.

Here, the accounts were written but they were the names of people to whom father had to return the money he had taken. Money was borrowed in the name of the computer too. The computer that I’m still using. But I was unaware of the source of the money behind it.

I still remember that day clearly when I had insisted on a camera. Papa had bought one for me after a week past my birthday. I was happy with my new gadget but Papa seemed to be happier than me. Now the anger had vanished that I was carrying. I turned the page to see a few wishes written over there.

The first wish was “To wear a good pair of shoes.”  I was thinking why he wrote it and suddenly I put forward my foot into a small pothole filled with water on the pavement by mistake. Somehow water entered the shoe and I felt my socks getting damped. The sole was broken from beneath. I had tears in my eyes now.

While reading his diary, I reached the bus station and sat on the public bench. The last page of the diary was left to read. When I turned over to that page, I saw the date mentioned there was of the present day. Below the date, there was written ” Rs.50,000 for a motorbike.” My body was senseless with tears in my eyes. I don’t know why was I crying that day.

I started running towards home but that nail in the shoe was hurting. I threw those shoes there itself and ran barefoot. I reached home but father had left already. I understood everything and ran towards the nearby bike agency. When I reached there, I saw my father discussing something with the seller. I ran and hugged him tightly. I was crying and the tears were unstoppable. Papa looked at me confused and wanted me not to calm down, wipe my tears and to select a motorcycle.

I told him in a broken voice, “I don’t want motorbike anymore. I want a pair of shoes for you. From today, I’ll work hard and never act stubborn, I promise.”  That day a new bond was felt between us, a bond that we share for life.

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50 रूपये

एक शख्स पैदल किसी रास्ते से जा रहा था। उसने देखा की सामने एक बिजली के खंभे पर पेपर चिपका पड़ा है और उसमें कुछ लिखा हुआ है। उसमें लिखा था की कल इस रास्ते से गुजरते वक़्त मेरे 50 रूपये कहीं गिर गये। मुझे ठीक से दिखाई नहीं देता है। कृपया इस रास्ते पर कहीं भी, किसी को भी मेरे 50 रूपये मिले तो इस पते पर पहुँचा दें।

नीचे लिखे पते को पढ़कर उस शख्स का मन वहाँ जाने का करने लगा। उस शख्स ने पते को याद किया और उसकी तरफ बढ़ने लगा। वहाँ जाने के बाद जब उसने आवाज़ लगाई तो देखा की गली के आखिरी में एक झोपड़ी है और वहाँ से एक बूढ़ी औरत लाठी के सहारे बाहर निकल कर आ रही है।  उस शख्स को मालूम हुआ की वो वृद्धा वहाँ अकेली रहती थी ।

बूढ़ी औरत के सामने आने पर उस शख्स ने उससे कहा कि माँ जी आपके 50 रूपये जो गिरे थे, वो मुझे मिले हैं।  ये रहे आपके 50 रूपये।

उस शख्स की बात सुनकर बूढ़ी औरत रोने लगी और कहा- बेटा, कल से अब तक करीब 20-25 लोग मुझे 50 रूपये देकर जा चुके हैं। बेटा मुझे तो ठीक से दिखाई नहीं देता है। मुझे तो पढ़ना-लिखना भी नहीं आता है।  न जाने किसने मेरी हालत देखकर मेरी मदद के लिए ऐसा किया है।

उस शख्स के बहुत कहने पर उस बूढ़ी औरत ने उससे 50 रूपये तो ले लिए, लेकिन उस शख्स से विनती करते हुए कहा की बेटा जाते वक़्त वो संदेश ज़रूर फाड़ कर फेंक देना। न जाने किसने मुझपर तरस खाकर ऐसा किया है। उस शख्स ने सर हिलाकर बूढ़ी औरत की बात पर हामी भर दी।

थोड़ी दूर जाने के बाद वो शख्स सोचने लगा कि आखिर मुझसे पहले आये उन 20-25 लोगों को भी तो उस बूढ़ी ने वो संदेश फाड़ने को कहा होगा, लेकिन किसी ने अबतक फाड़ा नहीं है,  तो फिर मैं कैसे फाड़ दूँ?

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🇮🇳That Kashmiri Girl 🇮🇳

“Dear students, as you all know that today Major Vijay Singh is with us who had participated in the Kargil war. So, I request Mr.Vijay Singh to come to the desk and share his valuable experience.” As the principal left the desk, the whole school echoed with the clappings.

“My lovely children, first of all, a Happy Independence Day to you all. Today, I’m not here to give you a long lecture but to present a great example of patriotism, on which it will be difficult to believe. It was hard for me to believe too.”

This incident took place when war was being fought at Kargil. I was posted in Rajasthan. I got the orders to go to Kashmir soon. I was praying to God to give me an offer to serve at Kargil war. So, as soon as I received my orders, I left for Kashmir.

On the battlefield, neither the enemy nor we were ready to lose. My colleague Manoj got hit by a bullet. I can never forget that moment. He called me, I ran towards him. My childhood friend was bleeding in my arms. I gave him sympathy that he will be fine. He said, “We always wanted to die for the nation fighting battles. I’ve got my chance brother. So, I want you to smile for me. Take care of your niece and sister-in-law and win this battle for me.” He died in my lap.

The image of his seven months old daughter flashed in front of my eyes and an unknown source of energy was experienced. I took my gun and started to move forward-firing continuously. I got hit in my leg. I fell down, stood up and again moved forward. Again a bullet pierced my shoulder. This time I fell and fainted.

When I opened my eyes, I was in a room. That room with two windows was a little dark. I sensed someone standing at the window. I was unable to see properly due to darkness and dizziness and suddenly two soldiers entered the room. They started talking among themselves, “let him rot here for today, tomorrow he will be moved.” By then, I was sure that I was on the enemy’s land. As soon as they were gone, a girl jumped in the room from the window. She asked me “How’s the wound now? I had pulled the bullets out. Can you walk on your own now?”

I was unable to grasp the situation. Who is she and when did she pull out the bullets? Then I noticed a piece of cloth on my leg with bloodstains on it. She said, “I had tied the cloth on your leg and shoulder. I can help you cross the LOC. We need to move before the soldiers enter the room.”

I stood up and started to walk with her. She was quiet while walking. I was eager to step on the Indian land. Crossing small hills and rivers, walking on unknown paths, we reached on India’s land. While thanking her I asked, “Who are you and where are you from?”

“I live in Kashmir and I’m an Indian. I need to leave. You should leave too, it’s dangerous to be here” and she left. I was happy to be once again in India. My battalion had thought that I was dead, but after finding me alive they were happy too. As soon as I recovered from the wounds, I was ready for the battle again. On the 26th of July, we Indians had won the battle.

I had to go back to Rajasthan, but there was a willingness to meet that girl. I had two days to leave for Rajasthan so I decided to find her. I reached the place where she had left me. I sat there for a few hours but to no avail. Then I thought to ask the villagers about her. Suddenly I saw that girl. I ran towards her. When she saw me, she stopped.

I started the talking, “I searched for you a lot and found you here. My name is Vijay. I am from Rajasthan. I had arrived here for Kargil war. I will return to Rajasthan after two days. May I know your name? Please tell me about yourself.”

“My name is Chenab. I live in Kashmir. I am an Indian. It is about to get dark and I must go home.” She walked a little ahead then turned back to me and said, “Sir, you should not waste your time here. The purpose for which you were here is fulfilled now. Congratulations, our country won the battle.”

That girl went on her way home but she left several questions unanswered for me. If she is Indian and lives in Kashmir then how was she in Pakistan that day? Even now she was walking home towards Pakistan. I was not in a state of mind to think a lot. So, I started to walk quietly towards my camp.

On my way through that village beside the border, I stopped to take some rest for a few minutes in front of a house. I was sweating in winter. An old man came out of that house. He understood that I was unwell. He asked me to sit on the cot. Two more people came out with a few cups of tea. When they came out while sliding the curtain, I saw a framed picture of Chenab on the wall. Those people sat with me and I felt better after having tea. I asked the old man “Sir, do you know any girl named Chenab?”

He replied, “Chenab is my grandchild. She is the daughter of my daughter. But how do you know her?”

I told him everything that had happened. The old man replied, ” so, the child saved one more life. I’m proud of her.”

I asked all the questions from him that I had for Chenab. The answers I got was difficult for me to believe in. The old man explained, ” my daughter and her family live in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir with many others like us. They have been appealing to the Pakistan government for a long time to get included in India. Kashmir is a part of India and not Pakistan. When people revolted, the Pakistani army killed many families. They torture many families and my daughter’s family is a victim too. My children have seen worst days soldier, and even today they are protecting their Indian brothers and sisters. You are one among them who were saved.”

I felt as if I missed a few heartbeats. The girl was helping Indians being under Pakistan’s control while suffering a lot. Do we hear about such examples of patriotism? I always used to think that a patriotic person joins the army, navy, airforce etc. But today, Chenab was a different definition of Patriotism. Once again I went to the place where I met the girl a while ago.

I asked the soldiers standing there on guard about Chenab. They told me that they have noticed a girl coming to the village several times. ‘She often leaves her cattles here for grazing. When we asked her why she does so, she answered, “If they will not get a place to live in their own country then where will they go?” She seems to be a nice and kind girl. We know nothing more about her.’

Next day I went there once again in the hope to meet her once, to thank her one last time but I failed to find her. Even today, I’ve kept her memories alive. Now I see her every day as I’ve named my daughter ‘Chenab’.

At last, I just want to say that patriotism is within all of us in different forms. Thank you, children, to hear me so patiently.

The whole school once again echoed with clappings.

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Link 😉

This satire is based on an interesting visualization of a scene where parents are told to join the online classes along with their little children.

“Honey, have you got the joining link of Chintu’s class? If you’ve got it, please attend the class with him”, mummy said while finishing her kitchen works.

” No dear, you know it very well that in the field of technology I only know that W stands for Whatsapp”, Chintu’s papa gave an excuse sharing good morning messages. In the corner of the room, Chintu was commanding the talking tom to mimic his parent’s conversation.

“Whether it is an offline or online class, it seems that it is only my responsibility”, mummy whispered. Chintu knows each and every application of the mobile phone except the online class joining procedures. Like Abhimanyu from Mahabharata, Chintu was trained for using a mobile phone in the womb itself when his mother, in her pregnancy, used her cellphone adjusting on her stomach, taught her son the processes of using the cell phone. After coming out of the womb, he knew very well to play videos to brush his teeth, video to bath, video to eat, video to sleep and almost video for everything.

Meanwhile, the link had arrived. The school authorities had declared the rules commanding parents to join the class along with their children. It was about five minutes past the class had started that Chintu felt a craving. Mummy instantly gave him a bowl of noodles and told him to pay attention in class. On the other side, the teacher showed objection that parents should provide breakfast to their child before the class.

As soon as Chintu finished his noodles, he was ready for a toilet tour. Mummy took the notes and switched the video off. By the time the English class was over, Papa had already licked up the newspaper. Mummy told him to inform when the link of the next class is received. Busy with his social work on WhatsApp, Papa forgot to inform about the link which he had already received.

“Oh My God, it has been five minutes since the class has started and you…” Mummy’s tension was hyper.

On the couch, Chintu dear is busy with completing the third stage of Subway Surfers. “Mummy, just let me finish this level and I will join… SLAP”; the class was joined.

Chintu was continuously closing the video in anger. Teacher sitting another side, being paid half wage, expressed her anger on the parent, ” All parents have to keep their video switched on.” Paying the total fee even in this lockdown holidays, parents felt like a culprit with their heads down and scolding the child. Chintu once again closed the video. The teacher shouted, “Chintu’s mother pay attention, please. Otherwise, I will remove you.” Chintu’s mother was losing her patience, “I am being scolded because of this stupid Chintu. I’ve never been scolded in my own school life. He is just like his father, never understands anything at once. Just like the father, he is stubborn too. It’s in the gene. And look at this idiot teacher, a little bit of visual glitch and she will throw me out of the class. When Chintu was physically present in the classroom, she never cared if he is learning and now in this online session she is showing off her teaching skills. What a useless teacher she is.” In order to blow her frustration out, she didn’t notice that Chintu had switched the video on.

However, the class of Hindi resumed. The teacher read a few lines of a poem, “पानी बरसा छम छम छम…” Suddenly the teacher’s child started crying in her background. Madam played ‘Jingle Bells’ rhyme on the tab and gave it to her kid. Here Chintu started to scream, “I want a tab just like that one.” After getting tired of crying and screaming, Chintu slept. Presently, the class is being taken by the teacher peacefully and Chintu’s Mummy is paying full attention in the class.

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THE GREEN EYES 😟

It was a bone-chilling cold winter day. I was in my hometown Hazaribagh after the term-end examinations were over. Hazaribagh, you can say is a small town in Jharkhand that can be assumed as a ‘hill station of Jharkhand’. But, like other small districts of this state, Hazaribagh too lacks several facilities till date. Absence of healthcare institutions is one bitter truth here. This story is a horror one indicating the situation of government-owned hospitals.

So, I with my father and mother was having a casual day. In the morning we got a call, it was good news. One of my cousin sisters gave birth to a baby at the government-affiliated catholic hospital named ‘Hazaribagh Mission Hospital’. The other news was not so good as the baby was facing certain breathing issues. Hence, he was shifted to a privately owned paediatric hospital where he was kept on ventilation. As soon as we got this news, my mother decided to visit both the baby and his mother. Maa wanted to carry some food for that family at those hospitals. My father advised me to drop him at work and return with the motorbike. I followed him and so I was back home at about 11 in the morning.

After an hour or so, me and maa departed for the hospital. First on our way was the paediatric hospital where the child was admitted. We went there, maa got involved in discussions with the ladies and I had a conversation with the father of the child. Meanwhile, the mother decided to leave for the Mission Hospital along with those ladies and told me to receive her from there after an hour. I waited there and prayed for the better health of the child.

At around 2 pm, I went to the Mission Hospital to see my sister and to receive my mother. Mission Hospital or St. Columba’s Hospital, if I can create an image through words, is a hospital established in the 1920s by the British government. Initially, it was just a missionary institution for the conversion of ‘Adivasis’ living here to Christianity. Later, it became a hospital. There was a time when it was popular for its prompt service and cleanliness but with time everything changed. Today, the hospital lacks cleanliness, maintenance, nurses, doctors, appliances and almost everything. You can say that it is functional just for the sake of being called a hospital.

However, I parked the motorbike and went inside the 3 storeys dull building. I asked the compounder about the patient and the ward she was in. He told me to go straight through the corridor and at the end, I’d find the board saying “General Ward”, where my cousin was admitted. I started walking normally through that dark and long corridor to find it’s ending. In the midway, I found a slope on my left going to the first floor of the building and there was a board that said “General Ward”, arrow indicated to the above floors. I got assured that this is the one and started walking on the slope meant to carry a patient on a stretcher. I was so desperate to see maa that I had no other thoughts in my mind. Neither I found anyone on the way, nor there was fear or need for help at that moment.

I walked independently and came on the first floor where I found an old lady, a very old lady mopping the floor with a piece of cloth. As I was standing in front of her, I was unable to see her face. I noticed a paper band on her wrist with some numerals on it and the wrinkled skin. She was in a dirty old saree. I asked her “Amma, can you please tell me where I will find the general ward?” She raised her chin and I saw that face, the face I can never forget. There were wrinkles, white hair and tinted green eyes. Yes, those were the first and the last pair of green eyes I have ever spotted. She, without answering verbally, indicated me to go up to the 3rd floor of the building. I was in a hurry, and without a second thought, followed the path she had shown.

The second floor of the building was locked. Due to the broken board, I was unable to read it. I went to the 3rd storey and here, on the board, it was clearly written ‘Mortuary’. I felt a cold breeze at the moment warning me to go ahead but my determination to see maa told me to move ahead. I thought maybe the general ward was on the same floor.

I was walking on that ‘L-shaped’ long corridor to find only mortuary rooms with broken window panes and doors. There were spider webs all over the rooms. I noticed the wall full of chrome boxes and hand levers. I was frightened and just wanted to vanish with maa from the hospital as soon as possible. Further, that floor grew darker and I came to the end of the corridor. I was standing in a dark place with a door in front of me. I wanted to ask if someone was there to help me but I feared if someone paranormal will answer me. It was that moment when I decided to call maa and ask her for help.
I was frightened and several negative thoughts were in my mind. My throat was dry, I was unable to utter even a word. I took my cellphone out of the pocket to find not a single bar of the network. I was shivering. I felt the cold more at that moment.

I recalled my way from the ground to this floor and decided to run out of the hospital as fast and as soon as possible. I annexed all my energy and started to run down. In one breath, I crossed the mortuary and the second floor. On the first floor, I stopped to see that the whole corridor was mopped and was literally shining. I remember it very well that when I saw the old lady mopping a few minutes ago, the corridor was full of dust and dirt and she had just started to mop.

At the moment I got assured that everything is not alright here and I continued to run straight out of the building. On the exit gate, I found the same compounder who had roughly guided me. I was drenched in sweat and all my fear came out in the form of anger on him. I yelled at him for misguiding me. He looked questioned at me and told me to come along.

We went to the same place where that slope had started, but this time, there was an iron gate which was locked with a heavy old rusted lock. The compounder told me that the slope and corridors are locked since last 10-12 years and even he had never ever seen it opened. He was frightened and questioned now as to how did I knew that there is an old mortuary on the 3rd storey of the building because a mortuary really exists there. I desperately wanted to see maa at the moment. That compounder took me to the correct place where I found maa sitting and gossiping with other ladies. Looking at my face, she understood that there is something wrong. I came back home with maa and explained everything that I had experienced. She helped me come over my fear.

After everything that happened that day, I still have a question in my mind, “Was she (the old lady) trying to convey or show me something?” The question that I may never get an answer of.

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माँ की याद

यहाँ सबको सिर्फ धन-दौलत की भाषा समझ आती है, यहाँ की चिड़िया भी खरीद कर अनाज खाती है।इस शहर में माँ की बहुत याद आती है ।।

यहाँ इमारतों की होड़ में सीमेंट में मिल गयी माटी है, यहाँ अमीरी-गरीबी के दृश्य भाँति-भाँति हैं। इस शहर में प्यारी माँ की बहुत याद आती है ।।

यहाँ मोटरों की शोर में मेरी आवाज़ दब जाती है, यहाँ महँगा खाने-पीने और पहनने से ख्याति है। इस शहर में मुझे माँ की बहुत याद आती है ।।

यहाँ की भीड़ कामयाबी के नशे में मुझे कुचलने को आती है, यहाँ एकान्त में अनायाअश्रु-धारा निकल जाती है । इस शहर में मुझे माँ की बहुत याद आती है।।

यहाँ सपनों में आकर मेरे बालों को सहलाती है, भर जाता हूँ जज़्बे से जब मुझमें माँ मुस्कुराती है । इस शहर में माँ की इतनी याद क्यूँ आती है?

शिरीश निकुंभ

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A Warrior Within You

Today it is very common to hear about suicides, depressions, mental retardation and what not just because of a mere failure. In such a situation,  the question arises that are we as a human race evolving ourselves ahead or devolving? We are the most advanced race on this beautiful planet and this fact we often forget. We have evolved from Monkeys as proven by anthropologists and you would be glad to know that monkeys never attempts suicides, they never complained of falling in depression etc.
What I want to convey to this generation is that we need to believe in our potentials. And you can count on me when I say that each and every individual here on this earth, carries a virtue, a potential to make his life worth living. What is needed here is to fight like a warrior with the odd situations in your life. “Do it or die trying”; I’m not sure if you’ve heard this phrase, but it just now stuck my mind. However,  the fight is not physical here, it’s mental. The fight is with yourself. 
Do not take the competition you face academically , the relationship you live in with girl/boy , or whatever be the reason creating a negative thought inside you, be a burden on you. Just put a smile even in the odd situations and think calmly about the solution. Remember one thing, attempting suicide is not a solution, it’s just multiplying the burden amd transfering it on the people who cares and loves you. 
At last, I just want to say, You are not build to loose, you are a warrior, Fight until you succeed.  My well wishes are with everyone. 

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The Journey Begins

Thanks for joining me!

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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