1. Hello Surindernath,

      That’s deep my friend,


      I learn from living
      Unaffected by life, death
      Water off duck’s back

      It was 1950 and the Chinese communist guards tied the Tibetan monk to the stake and stepped back. He was one of a dozen other saffron robed monks who stood with hands bound behind their backs.

      An officer stepped forward and said,

      ‘Acknowledge your allegiance to the Communist Party of China and we will send you to a re-education camp instead, where you will become upright communists.’

      ‘I have an education in Buddhism and I forgive you your ignorance,’ said the monk.

      ‘Don’t you know I have the power to save you from death?’

      ‘Death is but a new beginning,’ said the monk.

      ‘You speak of your so-called nirvana.’

      ‘No, I speak of your new beginning,’ said the monk. ‘Once you have killed all of us, who will you hate, who will you kill next?’

      The monk and his compatriots were shot.

      Chinese archives opened four years ago, reveal that from 1958 to 1962, at least 45 million people in rural China were worked, starved or beaten to death. They were not shot. Bullets cost money.

      Haiku & Story: Copyright @ Eric Alagan, 2018

  1. Personally I’ve never met a person who returned from the netherworld. Not yet. The heaven and hell stuff leaves me nonplussed. Still, I got my fingers crossed. Cheers!

    1. Hello Stephen,

      No, I doubt anyone had met a person who came back. I did meet one person—one time—who claimed to astral travel extensively. He was a recluse and went silent when I posed probing questions. After our first encounter I could not get in touch with him again.


      Faith, hope, fingers crossed
      To know, we must cross the veil
      A one-way journey?

      I settled in my business class seat and prepared for the flight to Sydney. I made many business travels on this sector, and knew that it would take two glasses of wine and a movie.

      ‘Hi, my name is Abel,’ said the man seated next to me. ‘Abel Roth.’

      I recognised the body language. He wanted to chat. The trip will take longer than two glasses of wine and a movie.

      But I was pleasantly surprised. The man was charismatic and spoke of many things, on esoteric subjects, and held my undivided attention.

      When the cabin lights dimmed, he suggested we get some sleep. I was disappointed but agreed.

      When I got up, he was gone.

      ‘No Mr Jones, the seat next to you was empty,’ said the flight attendant.

      I protested and finally the captain appeared and assured me there was no Mr Abel Roth on the passenger manifest. But they agreed to indulge my request.

      When the doors opened, I stood next to the flight attendants as they greeted the disembarking passengers. No Mr Abel Roth.

      The flight attendants gamely searched the cabin. I did too. No Mr Abel Roth.

      Haiku & Story: Copyright @ Eric Alagan, 2018

    1. Hello again, Bill,

      Yes, I agree. I too was baptised in 2001.


      Reborn in one life
      Second chances are many
      Up to one to grasp

      After the shark attack, Wayne spent six months in bed.

      His wounds were horrific and he had to undergo countless operations. The doctors could prescribe only so much pain-killers and each day he suffered many agonizing hours.

      As soon he was well enough, he took his surf board and went to the beach. His parents were aghast and his girlfriend was torn between remaining with him and ditching him.

      But Wayne had to do it—face and conquer his fear of the sea. After a few tentative minutes, he enjoyed the rest of that afternoon.

      Freed of his demons, he never went back to surfing. He married his girlfriend.

      Haiku & Story: Copyright @ Eric Alagan, 2018

  2. What bothers is how. Excellent Haiku though I’m not sure of that, still ‘हम को मालूम है जन्नत की हक़ीक़त लेकिन
    दिल के ख़ुश रखने को ‘ग़ालिब’ ये ख़याल अच्छा है’
    ‘We know, the reality of heaven, but
    To keep the heart happy, Ghalib, this idea is good.’

    1. Hello Indira,

      Lovely to have you visit and I much appreciate your comments on several posts.

      No one knows for sure, true. Imagine the outcome, if we all knew exactly what to expect after our life on earth.


      Parrot taps, gets feed
      Sure rewards conditions life
      True self is hidden

      Vinod believed that social graces and responsibility can be taught; and bad behaviour must be punished. He wielded the cane in his small school and that found approval from the parents in the village. The children under his charge were well behaved.

      ‘Normal children behave so,’ said Vinod, with great pride.

      But the moment the children stepped out of school, their behaviour changed. They threw litter, urinated in open drains, and drew vulgar graffiti on tree trunks.

      The education service recognised Vinod’s “good work” and offered him a better paying position in a “town” school. He grabbed the opportunity and left the village.

      Vimala replaced him as village school principal. She was a round jolly woman with a ready smile and welcoming hugs. The children grew a little unruly in school, and some parents complained regarding the lack of discipline.

      ‘Normal children behave so,’ said Vimala.

      But there was another change that most people in the village did not notice.

      The litter and graffiti disappeared, and the gutters did not stink of urine.

      Haiku & Story: Copyright @ Eric Alagan, 2018

  3. I wonder if death reslly opens a new door or is it a quick rewind of the hamster wheels as we had failed in the lesson of life. Often I ger a sense of deja vu even though my mind tells me I’ve not been to such a place or have never met the person or perform a specific task. Yet, there is some unexplainable familiarity. Wonder if our past do get intermingle with the present.

    1. Hello Windy dear,

      I subscribe to what you say—our mind is a repository of all our experiences, I believe, and these do end up in some sort of a mental soup. The question is: does the “all” include experiences gained in previous lives too.

      Luv and hugz,

      Souls never at rest
      One’s dreams are night time travels
      New places, faces

      Not a night went by without Yu Yan experiencing a dream. She looked forward to these nightly adventures to exotic places where she met interesting people. Her experiences were happy ones and she was a happy person. All who met her, loved her.

      Then, one night, she had a frightening dream. For her, it was so extraordinary that she did not even know the word “nightmare” existed.

      ‘Did you sleep with your hand on your chest?’ asked Old Teacher.

      Yu Yan was not sure. But that night she tried it—she slept with one hand on her chest.

      She had another nightmare.

      Haiku & Story: Copyright @ Eric Alagan, 2018

  4. In the midst of grief it is hard to see how death can be anything but an ending. Nature – rotting trees etc – helps us to see the way to new life and opportunities.
    A compelling and thought-provoking haiku.

    1. Hello Sarah,

      You’re right – death does bring an ending. And you’re right again – nature is a great mirror for our life.


      Death an end, a start
      Saves one pain, gives many grief
      Twin edged as always

      When Beyhan died, his enemies rejoiced. They had been trying to assassinate the old chieftain but he had more lives than a cat. For a renowned warrior among the peoples of the steppes, the manner of his death was both strange and unexpected. He was hunting and had fallen off his horse and broke his neck.

      ‘That dog of a bitch did do something good,’ said Dilar, a clan chief of the Tartars. ‘He brought us together. Before he appeared, we spent all our days making war on each other.’

      Seated around the open fire under the stars were a dozen faces, all sun bronzed.

      ‘Yes, kardeş, and now that he is gone, what will keep us from lunging at one another’s throats?’

      ‘We will lunge at the throats of others,’ said Temüjin, chief of a minor Mongol clan. ‘We’ll go south into Qin.’

      By the time Temüjin faced the same fate as Beyhan, millions across Asia and Europe had fallen to his word and sword.

      Haiku & Story: Copyright @ Eric Alagan, 2018

    1. Hello Ian,

      Yes, reincarnation is generally associated with Hindu beliefs. As you know, it is also a central tenet in Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism. And before the advent of the Abrahamic faiths, many ancient thought leaders such as Socrates and Plato also subscribed to reincarnation.


      Power of the gun
      Religion followed commerce
      New beliefs planted

      ‘If I live a bad life, will I be reborn a worm, Grandpa?’

      The old man laughed. It was not the first time that village idiot who called himself a teacher had spewed nonsense to frighten the children.

      ‘Humans will always be reborn as humans, and worms as worms, and cats as cats,’ said Vaidya.

      ‘If I live a good life, will I be reborn a rich man?’

      ‘You will reborn as rich, poor, famous, downtrodden, cripple or even as a woman, as you desire,’ said Vaidya. ‘It all depends on what you wish to learn. And the best lessons are learned by living and experiencing.’

      Haiku & Story: Copyright @ Eric Alagan, 2018

    1. Hello Bill,

      You’re right—that’s a journey we all have to make.

      Have a great week ahead,

      P/s. I checked both your blogs. You’ve stopped posting. I loved your posts on cycling and time spent with your children—both your favourite first born, and favourite youngest 🙂 Hopefully, you’ll get round to sharing some more.

      One life or many
      Birth and death, shared in common
      There has to be more

      ‘Britons and Saxons have been fighting and killing one another for scores of years now,’ said Arthur. He wheeled his horse this way and that, as if rousing men for battle. But these were war weary villagers: bedraggled, bloodied, and broken.

      ‘But my dream, and your dreams too, is to live in peace. And we can and should press for peace with all the vigour with which we’ve pressed our wars.’

      ‘There’s been too much blood spilled. Too many debts to be paid,’ said a man. His words found some acceptance among the gathered people.

      ‘Would you rather make a friend or an enemy?’ said Arthur.

      ‘We’ve nothing in common with that lot.’ The words were shouted, the speaker unknown.

      ‘Really?’ Arthur turned his horse in the direction from which the shout had come. ‘Do they not breathe and bleed as we do? And when the time is upon them, do they not die and weep too?’

      ‘What do you propose, Arthur?’ said a man of years. He who had seen many battles, lost many loved ones.

      ‘Build on that which binds us. There will be challenges, I concede. But let us win the peace, for in war we’ll all lose—Briton and Saxon.’

      Legend has it that under Arthur’s rule, Britons and Saxons secured peace, and in time became one people.

      Haiku & Story: Copyright @ Eric Alagan, 2018

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