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Till Death Do Us Part…

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“I am so hurt deep inside. But, what’s new? Every time and almost most of the time it’s been like this. When you have been taken for granted that’s how it feels like! The pain is that much, when you were so much dedicated that you forgot your own sense of being.
These words from one of my closest one, disturbed and distressed by her marriage, pierces me reverberating and somehow making me reflect,

What makes a relationship tick then?”

If it doesn’t work…it simply doesn’t how much ever you toil for it!
No, I am not a relationship guru neither have perfect relationships. But then if someone, somewhere can get sense out of it, I did be glad to share few simple revelations:

1. “It takes two to tango.”
Any relationship depends upon two people. Is it as simple as it sounds! If you are the one who is toiling harder and sweating it out more than your mate, possibility is it will never work out and you will always be running around the circle in this vicious cycle unless you want to chalk out your own line and break the circle and venture into the thinness of unknown.
Most of the time it’s the fear of unknown or the pragmatism that instinctively sneaks in as what if it works ! The ‘one more chance’ thing keeps one hopeful and aspiring. Mr.Optimist plays a foul card here. Quite precisely, its futile unless there’s a balance to own, toil and persevere from both end sincerely.

2. “You need to be madly in love.”
Sometime it helps. It really do! It helps when you are a tad bit madder then you should be. Matter of heart and love is a mystery in itself and nobody has a say on it from the time you fall in love up untill the time you are growing out of it. Chances are that if you love the person that much, truly, madly and deeply ( no I am not humming the song here) , you might as well not give up and that zest will keep you intact. Being a hopeless romantic, you don’t have to worry about the balance cards here as you choose to be the messiah in the relationship matrix towards the quest of love.

3. “Let bygones be bygones.”
People talk and advice. It is a well known fact that healthy relationships need respect, commitment, loyalty, emotional transparency, romance and the list may continue to fill the next few lines, which makes or breaks the deal. Being creatures of flesh and bone with a soul too, most of us have scars or issues unresolved from prior time and past liaisons.
And when the past comes hunting in the present scenario, It gets evoked and impacts the reality that we are living in today. It’s unfair and perceptive to decree the liabilities of unfinished business into this distinct and separate tie up, especially when all it needs is loving care and tender nurturing. Working with our own insecurities while keeping an open mind but alert heart with the acknowledgment that no two people on this earth are alike, will make the path little less resistant though. Try your best to drop old hang-ups and issues before you trail towards the valley of loveland. Though it’s easier said than done but one’s conscious practice can seal the deal.

4. “The only thing constant”
The proverbial cliche ‘change is constant’ is not just a fancy word. When it comes to relationship, it can play a pivotal role. Falling in love is not the same thing as staying or being in love. It ain’t a piece of cake. Embracing the change that comes along with the alliance and being aware of the fact that sometime it takes consistent effort to keep the ball rolling is the need. Having common ground as a team and considering each other’s feelings and perspectives is recipe for happy partnership. Let your partner influence you; not like one having hold over the other but in a way that it honours and respects both parties interest in totality.

5. “For better or worse”
Love and marriage are totally, totally two seperate entities. Believe it or not, although it is imperative to love your marriage and the one you are married to, but love doesn’t conquer all.
Choose wisely. Family as a crucial social unit is the offspring of marriage. The very basis of society thrives on the simple fact that happy marriages lead to happy family and which in turn contributes to better stable society. Marriage is an institution in itself. Keeping other criterias such as physical attractiveness, comfort and moolah factor aside, attributes for institution like this rather demands intelligence, adaptability, reliability and compatibility for the long term haul. A noted relationship expert once quipped,
“If you choose someone with traits that drive you crazy or make you sad while you’re dating, then those traits will make you crazy or sad for decades to come. So you need to choose well, because most of the time what you see is what you get.”

We all come across junctures in our life, where we feel weak, vulnerable and experience momentary lapse of rationality. These are the moments which makes us aware that we are stronger and enduring enough than we know we are. How we pick ourself up when we fall is the true test of our character. In actuality there’s no right or wrong way to fix relationships as it deals with human attributes which has myriad shades and undertones ingrained in it. But recognising when it’s not working and being honest when it needs a fixing is the first step towards better bonding. Finding your own way that works, keeping in mind the crucial facts and cues that has lead you to where you stand today, is the prerequisite.
The saying goes ‘Marriages are made in heaven.’
The matter of fact is it has to breath, toil, persevere and survive on this earth only. It’s upto you and your partner in unison to build a heaven or create a hell out of it.

 

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A Relationship

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A dainty bloom
impregnated with fondness,
Nurtured by faith.
Termites of mistrust
can devour it to death.
Seldom words of expression
offers bounty in validation.
But in the end,
All that tantamounts is
each act and every deed
of thoughtfulness and dedication.

An invisible thread;
Fragile but iridescent
Merging two absolute –
though distinctive and resolute.
Hearts intermingle.
Subconscious interconnect.
Unfamiliar becomes familiar
in the longing for completion.
And on the trail towards unknown,
Hope springs from dejection.

We are creatures of logic
But emotions too.
In search of finding the suitable,
When we dare to reveal ourself fully
and care to be vulnerable,
When we refuse to amuse the old sores
howmuch ever palpable,
Only then can we find –
The richness and direction.
A Relationship
Which thrives on genuineness,
true dependability and no imitation.

An intersection;
Which breathes on selflessness
and deeper comprehension.
A point, a place;
Which is enduring enough
to withstand any odds or ordeal
regardless how patchy or rough
with the bliss of togetherness
and ardent devotion.

As matters of heart has it’s own frame!
This ain’t a number game,
where two halves do not make a whole.
When it comes to Love,
It takes two wholes
to make a consummate relation.
A state, A bond,
An Unison;
Where souls blossom
while in the path of self-realisation.

 

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Love’s labour’s lost…

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Broken jar
Wasted dinner
In kitchen sink.
Shaken bed
Tumbled sheets
Pillows distressed.
Piles of magazines
Never been touched.
The only thing speaking
Is the TV
On the living room.
The only beats resounding
Is the flicker
On the mobile.
Mind just races
While the heart so bleeds.
Broken beyond repair
Love in despair.
Loneliness slumbers,
Unfulfilled yearnings
they are struck to.
Unforgiving hurts
they cling to.
When destiny mocks,
Trust is tossed.
Promises seems surreal,
And the heartbreak it cost.
Union of convenience breeds
As Love’s labour’s lost.

 
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And it rained that night…..

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The sweltering Indian heat took it’s toll. Around 46 degree celsius, it left no one with mercy. The only game left was to wait…..Come rain, Come again….fill the lives and seal the pain.
When you bleed, you see the pain. What when you don’t (bleed)! That’s the time you feel the pang – a sharp, shooting, unabashed and ingrained clot which refuses to bleed. And after awhile it becomes a part of your life. You just live with it. Maybe it tricks you to live with it.
As tricky are the ways of the world, even if we know, when everything is not in our hand but then we hopelessly try to seize and pursue. We are just hopelessly hopeful in that sense.

The slithering sweat on his face gave a testimony…the culprit was not just the summer heat that added to the messiness. But, behind those sticky fluids were hidden few drops of unwanted tears which just drifted unaware.

It was not a lover’s tiff nor an amorous banter. For him, she was not just love. She was more than that. She was the only emotion he felt for a while. She was that human touch he sensed in a while. She was like that last straw for a drowning man. To him, she was Hope. Chasing hope was not easy and when you had it all, letting it go was way harder.
But love was not enough! With that came the fears, apprehensions, distrust and then, time to commit. To commit in love was not enough, to commit with marriage was.

” I am not afraid of commitment. Commitment is not an issue, trust is. Does the bond we shared was of any worth? Is love not above everything. Why the validation? Why the rush! I guess love too needs a warranty. She gave me an ultimatum; utterly crude and childish. She never trusted me. I feel marriage is not for one and all.” He mulled over.

While lost in thoughts, the engine abruptly made a sudden, screeching noise; with that a thud and then halt. The car just stopped unexpectedly in the middle of nowhere. May be it was wearied and drained, just as much as him. The area was desolate and outskirt. There was a need for some fresh air after that long aimless wandering to nowhere.

In his distant vision he could see a house. It looked deserted and as if, forsaken. As he approached near the house …. it stood there erect, like rejected and discarded in that intense unbearable quietude. The exterior was unkempt with lively undergrowth of thickets. The windows were dusty and stained pleading to be revealed.
The unused and almost rotten cane furniture in the front porch(veranda) was urging to be occupied. A cracked mossy cricket bat masked under the foliage(greens) in front of the garden area, was longing to be gripped. A discoloured bangle with slight golden patches lay there on that muddy soil was bitterly smiling, with the hope to be worn again.

There was a void, an emptiness lingering. An emptiness as if the house is begging to be touched, to be felt and to be lived once again. The air was heavy but not eerie rather something warm and engaging about it as if desperate of being alone, trying to tell a story.

Once there lived a boy around nine may be. He lived with his mom and dad. It was a family of love, fondness and devotion. It was a home for these three people who were inseparable, as if three bodies but one soul. They lived happily and merrily, at least the boy thought so. At nine, all you need is loving care and protection and the rest, you leave that to your parent to tackle and persevere. Carefree and nonchalant were those days of innocence and childhood.

That tattered cricket bat reminded him of those eager, wishful lazy Sunday noons, when father used to coach him a trick or two; rather say drilled the techniques of the game. To the little boy’s mind, those were mostly bouncers; again a word taught by Dad while practising. But what he looked forward to were those brief male bonding times. It used to make him feel little grown up. How mom used to rush and put some sweet pieces of his favourite Sultanas(dried seedless grapes) on his mouth in between and would tell him to hurry up as it’s time to take a bath. How the cricket buddies will plead for that extra ten minutes and then it will add upto twenty more. That’s it. They have to be ready for the consequences now.

But then almost like nothing happened she will persuade him, little angrily though, and march along with him towards the bathroom. While they walked together, the sounds of those bangles on her wrists were as tender and sweet as sultanas, his favourites. Then the family will share some warm delectable meal together cooked with mom’s loving touch. They will share laughters and pains, some occasional stress and strains, dreams and aspirations, hopes and apprehensions all along together being a family. Didn’t I tell you, they were like three bodies in one soul. That closer.

His birthday was closer too and the excitement ran along with it. He was going to cross the single digit tag. So many plans chalked out by him and mom, and dad too. It was going to be a good affair. It was going to be a hell of a party with a ceremony(prayer).
The ceremony did happen but it was mother’s last rites, just three days before he would have hit ten.
At nine, his innocence mercifully shielded his sadness. After months of tears and grief, he helplessly struggled to cope. Dad became his friend, caretaker and mentor. He sold the house as every corner smelled and whispered of mom’s presence.

Quite painstakingly they trailed a new beginning. But the tragedy was not over yet. Within next two years, he lost his only guide and nurturer too. He was hardly twelve at that point of time. After mom’s death, Dad was never the same. He walked, talked and sometimes laughed too. But he was damaged beyond repair. She completed him. And now he lived incomplete. Their love was deep and boundless. He was like a dead soul in living body for those last two years, before dad died.

From that time on, life did never looked the same. He was not just a genetic legacy to them. He was their reflection. And when the bodies evaporated with the soul, the disturbed shadow struggled for it’s existence every second. He did do anything to get them back in flesh and blood. Though he lived a mortal life to read, sleep and eat in that order….he was living a life of gradual death with a numbed existence. He was like a lost soul, then after. Then she came like a tiny shaft of light, at the end of the tunnel.
Why always life puts you in the crossroads which you don’t want to face? It’s the same old wretched circle!

A few fine drops of drizzle on his face just smacked him out of his trance. There he was, standing in front of that wretched house and his past memories haunted and then slapped him hard. He cried out loud – still grieving, whimpering and lamenting. A dark sullen cry as if forced out of a deeper dark labyrinth of sadness, remorse, angst and above all fear.
All these while he kept it inside him subconsciously, in the core of his heart like a raw tender sore unhealed and unattended. He was in denial, struck in the past. A past ingrained with pain and woeful circumstances. And all these while the universe stood their in silence, in awe to witness pitifully that little boy’s misfortune.

But after the heartfelt cry, which unleashed the inner hidden monster, he felt relieved, as light as a feather, for the first time in his life. It looked as if Fear has made him suffer more than it was capable of. He always ran…ran away far adrift from anything called family or home.

Back to his conscious self, he suddenly felt that stifling humid temperature dribbling down his skin. The temperature might have raised upto that unbearable 48 degrees by now. The dark gray clouds rumbled and thundered with it’s all gathered might. The tiny soothing droplets filled his palm and then his face. With each roar the rainfall picked up its momentum.

And it rained that night….as if it never rained like that before. It rained heavily and poured densely and washed away with it, some jitters and few misgivings. He was fully drenched with nature’s kindness.
‘Only when we are no longer afraid, we do begin to live’, he reflected on the quote which he read somewhere.

He rushed towards the car to find some shelter. He took a deep sigh and picked the book lying over the front passenger seat. He started reading from where he left. The lines said:
Don’t give in to your fears. If you do, you won’t be able to talk to your heart.”
― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

There appeared a teeny weeny smirk on his face. And then a smile; earnest, aware and glad for where he stands today and what life might offer him tomorrow; a sincere chance to live a life truly once again.
He picked up his phone and made a call. The very first expression which mumbled out of his mouth in sheer delight was,

“Let’s get married.”

 

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This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.

 

 

 

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Why you don’t want to get married ?

 

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Why you don’t want to get married?
You are 19. This is the right age. The younger you marry, better it is for you.

I wish I could tell you this but I respect you so….with her lips sealed, she broods over ….

“~~~yes I am 19…that enkindles me with a hope.
A hope to fly with my wings to chase my dreams.
A hope to be me and topple and stumble and arise and learn to live fully, by being me.
A hope to explore and to enlighten myself to face this resilient world ahead.
And a hope to grow; grow into a woman well-grounded yet with a voice. ~~~”

You have crossed even 18 now.
When will you have some wisdom?
Why don’t you understand it’s your life?

With a deep sigh yet unruffled demeanour, she ruminates…..

“~~~Yes, I am aware I am above 18(legal age for girls to get married in India). As far as legalities are concerned, are you aware that forced marriage is a violation of fundamental Human Rights? That implies I have the freedom to choose whether I get married or not, when to get married, and whom to get married.

Obviously, marriage will not infuse wisdom into my mind, may be time and life experiences will but how is it concerned with being married or not!
I understand too it’s my life and that’s why I don’t want to comply on this. Getting married is a choice and I reason out that I have the right to make crucial choices about my own life. ~~~”

Don’t you see, Nina already got married and nicely settled in New York. Why it is that you don’t want to get married?

If only I could tell you this aloud but I love you so as it might hurt you..words playing all over her mind, she is thinking….

~~~To make you feel better, perhaps Nina always waited for this Prince Charming from time immemorial. Or may be she was choiceless. This might hurt you though! Now I remember why in the whole world New York was her favourite destination! ~~~”

Haven’t you studied for 15 long years? What is it with all these unnecessary excuses you got? More studies? What is the use of higher studies, when after marriage all you have to do is to raise kids and take care of your family which is so important?

With a heavy heart and sullen face, henceforth she ponders….

 “~~~Oh yes I knew this was coming! Interpretations like this makes me feel numb at one side and on the other to revolt with whatever strength I got. It makes me cry, makes me scream, scream it out. But then I realise that somewhere you have lost your own voice, your own self with years of conditioned mind and prejudiced heart toying all over you. So I feel helpless for you and care to remain speechless.

Fifteen long years..let me rethink….that makes my sweet little brother got only three more years to pursue his education. But how on earth, can he be a doctor or an engineer as much as you desperately want him to be going by this ’15 long years’ logic. Or is it that he is entitled for more than 15 years to seek for whatever he aspires to be!

Now I realise that the scope for any kind of pursuit of knowledge and learning has to be eyed through blue&pink colour scheme(gender specific). How dumb I can get! It’s there for a long long time, so why question? Does it even matter if I say that I am all flesh and blood with a heart and soul too just as much as him!

And the thing you said about family; Raising kids and taking care of family is a big, big responsibility and requires tremendous maturity and endurance. I honour those family values. With kids, It’s like little life in your hand. And I am not prepared for it.~~~”

I just pray that everything is normal with you! I am asking you now, don’t play with my patience. Why don’t you put some words in your mouth and respond instead standing there mum like a figurine, from that time? 

With a colour of mischief in her eyes she playfully muses…

~~~Normal! What does that mean now! Oh, I so get it! Thank God you didn’t scout my personal diary which still got that post card of Cristiano Ronaldo intact… He is so…. I feel flushed now. Let’s talk something else~~~”

But then suddenly she collects her bearing. With those doleful eyes tearless yet drowned with melancholia… words floating all through her veins, she deeply reflects…..

“~~~There is so much to say. But will you understand what I mean to say!
Would you open your mind whole heartedly to embrace fresh new unbiased ideas?
Would you be my confidant and guide and let me be what I want to be?
I just want to live a fulfilled life. Will you take that from me just because I am a girl!
And have trust on me as I will never break your trust. If you would then I have so much to say…
As much as you think I am against marriage, to your surprise, I value marriage. Marriage is an institution in itself and it brings meaning to your life. With marriage starts a new chapter in your life,momentous and delicate and appeals for lifelong commitment and calls for two different shared life.
I don’t want to get married just to settle down. Neither I want to get married to follow a religious convention or to maintain a traditional belief.
I don’t want to get married to enhance my individual status or identity; just for the sake of being called Mrs…and definitely not for some economic or immigration benefit(I just hope Nina is happy there!).

At 19, I barely know myself. Whenever I want to jump the wagon or decide to get married, I want to do it for all the right reasons. I want to get married too but for love, for togetherness, for commitment, for a family of my own, for someone whom I can trust and devote no matter what, for time perpetual.

Haven’t you heard ‘Happily ever after’ is not a fairy tale….it’s a choice.
I will be glad, if you did rather asked me :

Why you don’t want to get married ‘Now‘?

How I wish I could have told you all this and more! But somewhere I am aware that it’s pointless and moreover I choose not to distress you so. ~~~”

This time you better respond as Why you don’t want to get married?

“~~~I thought….In my silence, you will find my confession and my utterance as I was sure you will understand that. But if you still insist…~~~”

And finally for the first time, she retorts aloud:

“Because, I don’t want to be another you.”

Only god can help you!

With a spring in her step and raring to go,  she picks up her Canvas Jute college bag and chuckles confidently,

God helps those who help themselves.”

 

 

Ref: The genesis of this short fiction comes from a real life incident. In certain stratum of society, the sad truth lingers; when a boy is born, there’s jubilation, songs of success and prayers for his bright future but with the birth of a girl, the first thing which crosses parent’s mind is her marriage. As if a girl is born to get married. An inexperienced, immature girl is emotionally coerced to get married in her early young age pressurised by these partial standards. It’s a vicious cycle and a blow to her self-worth. With this practice, a path towards individual aspiration and self-realisation is brazenly compromised just because she is a girl. How justifiable or reasonable is that?

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Yet Another Love Story…. (Release or Renew)

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(A Short-fiction story)

“Anything I say or tell him even if it’s with good intentions utmost or for our mutual benefit, it backfires. It backfires to such depth that I am wounded. In this living body I continue, but soulfully dead. I don’t know if it’s the same for others. Life has never been kind to me. First time while I was in my adolescence, I realised life treats you the way you don’t want to be treated. All our fears and apprehensions come in form of challenges we face. We face it with courage or bow down to it in fear; crux of the matter is you have to go through it. It’s inevitable.

When you love someone more than yourself, the risk is that much uncertain. But we take it as it might bring some solace or joy to our life and when that very someone becomes the reason for our agony, then we are left with two choices – ‘Release or Renew’. What’s more worthy in a relationship ? Renew in a relationship needs more than you; the effort of other person too whereas Release(let go) needs just you. Both are arduous to approach but then these are the only two doors open to us at that point of time.” So she mused.

Naina(Indian name meaning eyes) thought she will never be happy in her life again; as if the whole universe was plotting against her. But then life changed. What happened that night was nothing less than a benediction.

She fell asleep waiting for him on the cement patio….hoping that he will come and wipe her tears gently but with his rough patchy hands. With the hope that he will ask for his part of forgiveness shedding his doggedness and she in turn will appeal for some too, subduing her emotions. One warm sweet embrace and the time will standstill melting into eternity.

But that never did happen. When it was around the chirping of maybe the first bird that she woke up unexpectedly in the orange hue. It was dawn, about 5:30 am. Hairs dishevelled and salty-stained cheek…..she no more looked that beautiful. It was the least she could have cared for(her appearance) at that particular moment of time. She pressed the number. It was not reachable. May be some connectivity issue which is better than utterly switched off.
Connectivity is what they suffered from in their relationship. But in the beginning they felt otherwise at least she did, feeling intensely connected to him; physically and metaphysically and somewhere she was aware that he too felt the same. Unhesitatingly, she continued calling him. She got restless what if!

It was a trivial issue which lead to rudimentary ones like most of the times, but unlike this time they both lost their self-restraint. And it flared up deep and high. Naina kept on calling every minute and then, though unattended. All she could think is how could he do this to her!…after all these years of togetherness and love abound. They were married for seven years and courted each other for four more. Eleven years what she bargained for and where she stands now is almost wrecked.

“Marriage- this tricky eight letter word she gasped. The words from one of her favourite Author Elizabeth Gilbert’s best-selling ‘Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage’ reverberated on her mind which says:

“To be fully seen by somebody, then, be loved anyhow – this is a human offering that can border on miraculous.

”How true and how profound”, she felt. Perhaps it was the time to Release, so she thought. It was a dead-end. She partly blamed herself but still partly implicated him. “Where the hell is Neil”?

Neilesh(or Neil as people called him) took a taxi. He was famished. All he could think of that time was some food to sustain him for the next hour or two. He went straight to the nearby railway station, the only place which can provide him with some helpings. The railway stall satiated his need.
He ruminated,” It’s time; time to bid adieu”. He closed his eyes and one last time he struggled to think of all the worthy times he had in this lifetime in a glimpse. His body was worn out without any sleep from past twenty two hours and mind numbed. His hands touched his pocket unconsciously like a zombie. He felt his cell inside his front pocket. He switched it on for the last time. There’s a ring. It’s an unknown number. Nothing to gain or to loose to answer that call, he thought unconcerned.

” Hello! is that Mr. Neilesh? …..”

The call was from the nearby city hospital, which both Neil & Naina visited in times of need and it lasted for about eight minutes. The message from the call was like a bolt from the blue for Neil. What was he thinking! What’s wrong with him! How could he!

And that sparkling radiant sublime face….those soft nurturing hands….her carefree laughter…her addictive smell…the aromatic servings…..list endless. He wanted to see Naina the very next second.
Few seconds were like years infinite. He got restless what if!
Neil finally assembled his courage and rang the bell breathlessly praying incessantly. The door was opened…..Thank god!

Naina was standing there, with no expressions at all. Without further ado they hugged each other steadfastly but gently as if aware of the presence of a third soul. As if their love has grown manifold in these few hours. Their eyes met and begged for forgiveness to each other.

Before she could say a word, Neil fumbled , ” I got a call and there’s a news to share with you.” She said, “Don’t as they called me too after not being able to reach you for number of times.A new shoot of life, a little one, an angel in disguise; their own child – all they have been trying and waiting for from past five years, has arrived and yes indeed the report came positive this time. Life will never be the same for them. From now on ‘Mommy and Daddy is the word or to say the world’ will be for them. It was a god-sent opportunity. And it was time to Renew.

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Reference: (WordPress has partnered with Nobel Peace Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu and his daughter Mpho Tutu to initiate Global Forgiveness Challenge to help people learn the practical steps to forgiveness so they can live with greater love and joy in their life. The four fold path of forgiveness begins by telling the story of what happened, then grant forgiveness, and finally either Renew or Release the relationship. And the story is my humble dedication to the cause.)