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The Perfect Boon -2

Recap- Guptasura had a bet with Jatasura on trying to gain the perfect boon and hence went to the Himalayas  for his penance,read about it HEREravana-worshipping-shiva

So here I am after thirteen years of continuous penance eating once every 30 days. I survived and at last Bhaktapriya (one who loves his devotees) Shiva came in front of me impressed with my devotion and will power.

“Rise from your penance kid. We are very pleased with your devotion and so we have decided to give you any boon that you desire. You name it and we will provide it. But don’t forget, you can’t ask for invincibility or immortality.” (if you are wondering who the ‘we’ here refers to, don’t! You see out here important personalities like Gods and royalties usually use that term to describe only themselves. So the ‘we’ used above is just Lord Shiva himself)

As I heard his voice I was filled with fear, joy, and excitement. After thirteen years of hell and hardship it was finally over. I was going to get what I wanted. But what exactly did I want? I never actually gave it a thought. I was too busy trying to please him. Then somewhere from the deep end of my mind I could feebly hear Jatasura’s voice telling “Ask for the perfect boon.”

But what was the perfect boon? Whatever I would say they would always find some way to negate the effect. But what if they couldn’t see me at all. Then I am perfectly safe, right?

“Oh, great lord Shiva I feel humbled that you came all the way down here just to grant me a boon. Before your powers I am nothing. However, there is one thing I want to ask of you. I want to become invisible at my will. And when I am invisible I shall not be harmed by anything.”

I was in turmoil. If he saw through my plan and refused, I wouldn’t be able to do anything. It’s not like you could question Shiva’s actions. I was distracted from my thoughts when I heard “Ok, as you wish son. You can have that power.”

After that there was a bright light and he just vanished leaving me the happiest Asura (and the most powerful) in the world there with thoughts ranging from having a big feast to attacking and conquering the deva outposts right away. But there were more pressing matters I had to take care of before I rejoiced.

****************

“Hey Jatasura. Remember me? I came directly from the Himalayas just to meet you.”

Shocked, as if he had just seen a ghost he took his time and finally muttered

“You are back, Gupt?”

“Yeah I am back. Who do you think is standing in front of you now?”

I was so angry that I wanted to just hit him hard to make him realise the obvious. But he was an old friend and the reason I had these powers so I will just let him absorb the fact.

“Hey Jatasura get ready to serve me your whole life, I have finally been granted the perfect boon.”

“And what would that be? I don’t see any difference.” he challenged.

“Well, how about now?” I said and I concentrated hard and willed myself to disappear right where I was standing. In a minute only my clothes were visible. I myself couldn’t believe it.

The mirror wasn’t showing my body either, just my clothes. Wanting to test my powers I said “Jatasura, attack me with everything you have got. Swords, javelins, magic, all at once.”

Before I even had a chance to assure him nothing would happen he attacked, he sure was afraid of life long servitude I guess. But as soon as those things came near me there was a strange fluid barrier which seemed to shield me. On reaching it all the materials broke and the magic just created small fireworks but had no effect on me. I would have been mad at him if I wasn’t amazed by my own powers.force_field_by_lorraine_schleter-d621i9c

“But Gupt, what about when you are visible? Can I hit you then?” Jatasura questioned.

“Yes, you can hurt me then.” I smiled at his question which obviously he couldn’t see.

“Then you didn’t get the perfect boon, did you?” he asked. He was so happy at finding out the loop hole that he was finding it difficult to hide his big grin.

“It’s only a problem if I become visible that’s why I plan on never being visible again. People will have to learn to address me by the clothes I wear. I’m planning to wear a mask for their sake but inside I am going to be invisible throughout my life.” saying that I took out an old war mask which was nearly extinct in our tribe from the pouch my father had given me. It was a family heirloom and had belonged to my grandfather. I was now planning to make it my face. I turned and covered all the uncovered areas on my body with bandages and other clothes to not show my invisibility at all. Everything is set for me to become the ruler I just have to take care the only witness present. So I turned to Jatasura and with a commanding voice said

“You have two choices. Become my true servant forever and never disclose my secret to anyone or die at this moment so my secret is safe for ever.”

Jatasura knew this was coming so he fell down to his knees and started massaging my feet a gesture which confirmed his servitude. Things were going as I had planned. Now I just had to go talk to my father and inherit my right to become the commander of the army.

******************

Today all the Devas came to me to seek protection, they knew I was the only one who would show sympathy to them. Their exact words were

“You have to save us great Lord. Guptasura is very dangerous. Last night he attacked the lone outpost in the eastern hills and totally destroyed it. What’s even more terrifying is that he did it all alone without even an army backing him up.” Both Brahma and Shiva always follow the rules strictly. They say that the balance of nature should be upheld and that’s why they keep giving the Asuras any boon they want and in the end it becomes my duty to try to save the world by finding out a loop hole in the boons. I was given the title of Vishnu – the preserver and I have to uphold it by any means. But this kid is different. He is surely not as dumb as the other Asuras I had to kill earlier. I had been watching him from a long time. I tried sending an Apsara (heavenly damsel) to seduce him while we was in penance so that he would get distracted and abandon his goal. But that didn’t work out and he was able to get his boon at last. I keep trying to persuade those two not to give out such powerful boons but when will they listen to me. It took a lot of persuading just to implement the rules of no immortality and no invincibility. They just are so easy to flatter that they don’t even think twice before saying yes and I am left to clean their mess.

Now what should I do with this guy. He surely is intelligent. He has already thought about all the possible scenarios where I could trick him. My direct involvement will just complicate things more so I must try a more discrete approach. I can’t act now or it would just anger Shiva and he is just difficult to handle when he is angered.

AFTER A YEAR……..

It’s been a long time since I had to worry about Guptasura but now I must act on it. I have postponed the inevitable long enough. He destroyed all the Deva outposts and has killed more than tens of thousands of people in the short period. No one is being able to stop him. Obviously they won’t be able to. No one knows his real power or why he is invincible till date. I hear the king is throwing the biggest feast ever in his honour where thousands of animals are going to be slaughtered to feed all those hungry Asuras present there. But what do I do? I have to do everything in secrecy. Probably it’s time I turn into a woman again. I hate seducing other males especially those Asuras. They are so ugly and disgusting. But if my plans works correctly then the seeds of his destruction will be sown much before the feast itself.

****************

So here I am in the Asura kings palace, now to find the prince. I must give these Asuras some credit for their style and grandeur. Wow! The mirror does show a pretty image of me. Damn it! I have to control myself a lot whenever I am in this woman form. It’s frustrating but I do get a lot of great comments from people. That guy is uglier than the rest. He must be in a high rank. I shall ask him.4f9e27618784e91166e3460a522bfdbc

“Hey, you! The one with the weird sword. Come here.” I shout.

He seems to be pissed off so I was right in thinking he is a high ranking official.

“Do you know where prince Meghdoot is? I was told to meet him. He seems to have sprouted a liking for me”

Well that worked. Anger drained from his face and he just stood humbly and replied

“Ma’am if you have been requested by the prince you are our guest. Please take this corridor and it will lead you to the palace grounds. The prince is practicing there.”

“Ok, thanks a lot. I will find my way you don’t have to accompany me.” I reply.

Now I just have to find the prince.

Oh, there he is and now I see why he has gotten his title. He is the ugliest Asura I have ever encountered, with those two fangs out of his mouth he looks more like a crazy bull than a humanoid. His arrow just missed the target, now is my chance.

“You must be prince Meghdoot.”

“Yes I am the prince, and you are?”

I was prepared for this question already and in the most seductive voice I could gather I reply

“I am a long-time fan. I started following you after you single handedly defeated a hundred of the Deva elites nearly 7 years ago. But you seem to have lost most of your charm since then.”

He seemed to be enchanted by my body, but when he was able to grasp the real meaning behind my words he was furious.

“What do you mean by the taunt you just threw my way. I am still as efficient and will surely be the best ruler this land has ever had. If you ever again talk to me like this I will make sure you will be hanged and your dead body will be left to rot and be eaten by the vultures.”

“I didn’t mean to taunt you. I just wanted to know about the rumours floating around that Guptasura is going to be the next king. He was the one who brought the Asura Empire to its full pride, wasn’t he?”

“He was the one to build the empire but he is still a slave, a speck of dust in front of my true talents without his boon you know.”

Well I did hit the sweet spot, now to administer the finishing blow.

“Prince, why do you think that only he has the boon? If you want the secret of the boon come with me.”

He is confused, but Asuras aren’t exactly the thinking type, are they? He is following me. I will have to simplify my theory for his dumb brain for sure.

**************

THE FEAST….

“Today we have all gathered here to honour our General Guptasura, who has been the pillar and the tip of the attack of our armies and has in the process amassed us Asuras great lands and wealth. I can proudly claim that at this point we are the biggest empire ever to be created in Asura history all thanks to Guptasura.”dd69e7d6a19c8c81b30b7a3c72663c5e

As soon as he said my name there was a lot of noise. Some were hailing my name, some were clapping and my mates nearby were outright whistling. I miss Jatasura. He was a good servant but he died in the attack of the western province. So now I have to stay in the mask every day since the past three years. It’s an irritation, but the kind of power it gives me makes me invincible, a necessary evil.

There has been talk of me being the king but that’s not going to happen. The king loves his son much more than the kingdom and the ruling part I could never do. It would be a really big burden. I am better off being the General of the Army. This is where the real power lies anyhow.

Suddenly, out of nowhere came the noise of a trumpet being blown forcefully as if someone was trying to gain everyone’s attention. And he surely succeeded as within a matter of minutes every body was looking at him and it was none other than the prince. Everyone got up to respect him but he seemed oblivious to his surroundings. He looked at me from across the crowd and said

“Well, well. Today we celebrate our great General’s victory over all the lands. We really owe all our prosperity to him. But who do you owe the victory to General?”

He is annoying me now, I can kill him in less than five minutes. Does he not realize that? But everyone seems to be staring at me. I better handle the situation well or I would face the king’s wrath.

“What do you mean prince? I owe my victory to my skills and a great, loyal army that follows me everywhere.”

Why is he laughing? It’s like he is testing me. Does he know something? Is my secret revealed? But Jatasura died and he was very loyal to me. I know he never uttered a single word, I trust him. Let me just hear him out.

“I have one small question great General. What is behind that mask? What is such a big secret that you are hiding all the 4 pahars (6 hour cycle) of the day, since five years?”

The king got angry and said

“We all know here that the General was able to get the perfect boon and in the process his body was disfigured, he is wearing that mask and bandages since to hide that fact only. He has done the ultimate sacrifice for our tribe so don’t you dare talk to him without respect which he truly deserves.”

Wow I never knew the king had such a high opinion on me. It’s good that he doesn’t know about the bet or the real boon.

“Father, how naïve are you? Can’t you see it is all trickery? If he really was disfigured why hasn’t he taken any medication or ever tried to find a cure. Moreover we all know that nobody has ever seen his face. Only Jatasura had seen his face but he died long back just after assuring us that this was Guptasura himself. How did he die? Was he a witness or a victim?”

He surely seems to have interpreted the situation wrongly. But he doesn’t seem to know the real boon. I should listen to his theory it sure seems interesting.

“What are you trying to imply Prince? You think that I am not Guptasura?”

He smiled slyly and uttered  “You are a Deva.”

I really didn’t see that coming. I was about to laugh out loud but seeing the gravity of the situation had to refrain. Everyone is looking at me. I have to gain everybody back to my side. If the prince is proven wrong now he will also be seen as not suitable for the throne. But all that is a long shot.

“Prince,  that is the wildest theory I have ever heard in my life. May I know made you think so?”

Again that crooked smile. He really is making it very difficult to not kill him right now. In fact, if it wasn’t for his father he would be long dead by now.

“I am pretty sure of this because, the Devas seem to be surrendering so easily in recent days. I know there have been some casualties but strangely enough you have never killed any deva captain. They are safe and sound acting as puppets for you. Then as I already said you never show your face and Jatasura, who was the only one to have seen your face is dead. So tell me how you were able to become the first to ever get a perfect invincibility boon while others have tried real hard before you to get it? Or did you kill Guptasura while he was in his penance and took up his identity and cooked this elaborate story to get the Asura throne to surrender to the Devas as soon as the king made you his heir?”

Saying this he threw the javelin towards me but in mid-air it started glowing and even though it couldn’t harm me it somehow was able to break the mask I was wearing. Everyone is shocked. Why wouldn’t they be? Before them was standing a body without any face. No point in hiding now. So I started peeling out my bandages as one by one my body parts were being shown to be invisible. I was also explaining to everyone about my invisibility boon, some awed some booed telling me to show my face so that they would be able to determine if I was an Asura or not. I have no other choice

“I know you have the parasite of doubt eating over your brain right now, so I will become visible to you but just for one minute as during that minute I would be vulnerable to death. I request the soldiers to be fully alert.”

Saying so I became visible but at that instant I felt a sharp pain in my chest. I bent down to see that I was struck by an arrow and it had come from the prince but instead of the prince there was the famed Vishnu standing there, with a bow out and pointed towards me. So he had succeeded in cheating me too, probably killing the prince on the way after he had served his purpose. I was about to turn invisible again but before I could get over the shock and do that there was another arrow heading towards my forehead. And then there was darkness!

************************

 

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The Perfect Boon-I

Today is a cold day in the Himalayas but for someone who hasn’t eaten in a month I am pretty jovial, because today I was granted the boon I had desired. I am Guptasura which literally means an Asura who can hide himself well. In fact, unless I want you to, you will never be able to see me.

I come from the Asura tribe. We are humanoid creatures with animal traits like immense stamina and unbreakable willpower. We are constantly at war with the Devas (minor gods). We strive to win their kingdom and rule the world but are plans are foiled almost always by the Trimurthi. Before plunging into my story, I’ve got to tell you about the Trimurthi. Since the beginning of time (consult Stephen Hawking here), the world’s balance is maintained by three powerful gods – Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva, each having their own responsibilities to stick to. The three of them together are called the Trimurthi.

Brahma, the creator is the one who decides all our fates, but this is something I have always had a doubt about. If he is the one who decides what we do, then isn’t he to blame for most of our twisted lives filled with greed, lust, and destruction? And if he isn’t to blame and we ourselves are responsible wouldn’t that mean we are the ones with real powers and he is there for nothing? Well, these are just my thoughts on him and maybe they don’t count for anything.

Moving on, let’s talk about Vishnu, the preserver. I hate him. In fact, our whole clan does. He is a big cheat. Whenever any Asura prays hard, does all kinds of sacrifices and finally gets granted a boon from one of the gods, this Vishnu tricks them into using the boon to kill themselves. For instance, Bhasmasura (a fellow Asura) got a boon which allowed him to burn people and turn them to ash by simply touching their head but Vishnu, the meddler that he was transformed himself into a girl and seduced the poor Asura and finally made him touch his own head leading to the poor guy’s death. Then again there was Hiranyakashyap whose boon gave him invincibility and immortality (at least almost). He couldn’t be killed by a human or an animal, He also couldn’t be killed inside his house or outside of it and he couldn’t be killed on the ground or in the air. But Vishnu found a way through. He transformed into a half man and half lion thing called Narasimha and killed the guy on the first floor door threshold thus finding a loophole for all the conditions successfully. There are many more, but it you get the gist he tricks kills you.

Now, the greatest of all is Shiva, the destroyer. In spite of his intimidating name he is the most loved as he loves his devotees the most and grants any boon without hesitation. Now that you know a little about my world let’s dive into my story.

It all started when my friends and I were told by our parents to go and snack up on tasty humans in the villages nearby as kids. Don’t judge me! In fact, thank me for keeping a check on their population which grows uncontrollably, thanks to their reproduction rate. Anyway, there we were like good Asuras listening to our parents and eating some humans when one my friends Jatasura said “Have you heard about Mahishi, the one who got a boon which let her get killed only by a son of Vishnu and Shiva?”

“No. What happened? Last I saw her she was conquering many deva kingdoms and winning everywhere she went” I said.

“Yeah, well she was killed yesterday” he replied.

“What! how is that even possible?” I replied, dumbfounded.

“Apparently Vishnu turned into a woman and had a son with Shiva called Manikandan and he killed her” he said.

I was totally shocked. I admired her to have asked for the perfect boon. Then, suddenly out of nowhere came the voice “The boon giving system is rigged. First, they make you do all kinds of penances during which you can even die. When they finally notice and come to see you there are ridiculous rules which prevent you from directly asking for immortality. So finding the perfect boon without any flaws is absolutely impossible and they take advantage of this, ex37612-biestploit our flaws and kill us.”

It was Mara holding a half-eaten human body in his hand. He always had these weird thoughts about everything and yet they seemed to have some meaning in them. But still there has got to be a way to become invincible. While I was thinking that Jatasura came over to me and started taunting me.

“Hey, you got any ideas as to ask for the perfect boon? Want to bet on that? If you are able to ask for the perfect boon I will serve you my whole life but incidentally if you can’t, then, well that would mean you die, wouldn’t it? So, how about betting on that?”

This taunt got me thinking. Anyhow I was the son of the commander of armies in the northern region and I have to inherit that position someday so why not accept this challenge and figure out a perfect boon. I would also be getting a loyal servant in the process.

“Ok Jatasura. I accept your challenge and Mara here can be the witness. How about that?” I said.

Seeing me so nonchalant and confident about it shocked him but we Asuras never back down from anything we say even if it costs us our life, so he complied. And that’s how it all started.

That day I went home to find my father sitting with my mother drinking some freshly poured blood and chatting with her on the current events. I walked to them and timidly said “Mother, father I want to talk with you. I want to go out into the Himalayas and do deep penance till the great Shiva comes and grant me a boon”.  At least they didn’t act like human parents and force me to take up engineering. But I surely do remember my dad every time I sit on a chair uncomfortably.

 
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AN ENGINEER IN THE CLASS

An engineer is a great multi tasker he can ignore so many things at the same time, like the fact that there is a teacher standing in front of him on board, that someone is trying to poke a pen on leg, or that someone is showing off their artistic skills on his white shirt. you never have a good day if you didn't sleep in the class at least once You come and sit in the class to start the day as cheerfully as possible. You enter the class you feeling like Santa Claus in a sugar rush, in Disney land. You make yourself a pact today that you are going to listen to all the classes and grasp as much knowledge as present in the air today. And the class starts, the first hour is of the lazy teacher who has no idea what he is supposed to teach about, he starts with one topic and before you can make he the philospher ads or tails about it he is off like a effing ping pong ball bouncing off topics so fast that all you can do at the end of the class is just the time old act of nodding your head and imitating the actions of our very own class topper. Now in the next hour comes the philosopher teacher this guy urges you to do something in your life commit to your goal and thus he is able to finish his one hour of nonsense without even so much as writing the name of his subject  on the board. Then we have the friendly teacher who is the greatest of the kind he is a youngster who can relate to our troubles and all you can do is talk all kinds of crap about every person you both know. Within all this you have to go through two tea breaks and a lunch break and your determination to really absorb knowledge has long died like the dodo. And till the end of the day you are sitting at the last row with your mobiles out slowly, while some guy just drones on in his sleep inducing voice make you to take your education into your own hands which just means you are going to collect notes just before internals and mug up and puke it over the paper having no idea what all this is supposed to mean.

GETTING UP AS AN ENGINEER

Getting up early morning with only one thought in mind, today at least got to get attendance for the first class. Then hurriedly getting up and trying to  apply as much cosmetics as we can to hide the fact that today again we have slept so late that don’t have time to even brush our teeth properly. Then running off to the bus stop and hoping with all our hearts that the deodorant ads are at least half true and that even though girls don’t come running towards us, at least must not start running in the opposite direction. And finally we reach our destination our beloved college, but just like in a ghost movie the guru will enter the start scanning the house for the ghost, we enter the threshold and start scanning too for the hottest chick {girl} we can find on the campus today and just when there seem to be some promising results BAM!!! We remember class started 15 minutes ago running through the corridor like a monkey who just got a heart attack and after pushing through a humongous crowd somehow manage to reach the class only to find that the attendance is already been taken and knowing perfectly well that the teacher will have all the pleasure in advising you on the bad effects of coming late to class but will sure as hell never give you attendance so you just come in and sit down to start the day as you did till date.

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