Week 4- Fear of the Dark

'Thud, thud', noised the door. Somebody was knocking or perhaps it was an illusion. It happened very often. But it always made her miss a beat! 
She found this funny looking house a few months back. Her star shaped scar made her remember that day clearly. Sweating, her heart pounding heavily, she was struggling hard in the woods to find a way back home. Suddenly, she found herself being chased by a wolf. She ran hard but it got hold of her. 
A thundercloud lashed and the beast got distracted in fright. Taking advantage of that chance, she ran for her life again, only to find a century old house. She took refuge in that very house.
It was a spacious one with a front yard which supplied her fresh food. But it became scary at night, so she never stepped out. She did try to get out and search for daylight but it proved futile as it was a dense forest. The place was also a hiker's favourite  Many a times, people found her house and knocked at the door just to spend their night there.
If the door would have ever opened, she would have been rescued, but it was not to be, not yet. She was scarred for life and too arrogantly feared to come out of it!

-Dharini Dutia (Writer of the Week)
FE, SIES Graduate School of Technology

As a child I always feared the ‘unknown’ hidden in the folds of darkness. The gloomy, eerie feeling when I entered an empty dark room always sent a shiver down my spine.
But now as a grownup (well, almost grown up!), I still fear the dark. But this time, I fear the darkness that grows inside man. One that leads to the creation of a nefarious side of man. One which seeps into a man like snake’s venom in his veins.
The darkness possessing man to commit heinous crimes. Now, I don’t fear spirits or phantom’s haunting me in the dark. Rather as a young woman, I fear the darkness that took ‘Nirbhaya’, the brave heart away with it. I dread the darkness that has sucked into its depths many such brave hearts.
10 years ago, I feared the eerie brightness that loomed in a dark room and now I fear the vile darkness in man while sitting in a bright room.

-Sayali Upasham
FE, SIES Graduate School of Technology

Open the main door. Suddenly a shiver goes down your spine. Did someone break into your house? You can see something moving to and fro the kitchen entrance. Is it a ghost? What’s that shiny thing out there on the terrace? Seems like an insect, so alien. Switch on the lights. Whoosh! All the fears seem to just disappear.
Doesn’t it happen to all of us? Fear of the Dark? Remember. Fear lives in the dark. But the valiant don’t live in fear.

FE, SIES Graduate School of Technology

When I close my eyes and enter the abyss of darkness and emptiness, fear is the last thing playing on my mind. I'm not afraid, I convince myself so. It's not the dark or the things that accompany it that I'm afraid of... metaphorical darkness, that's more like it. The fear of not knowing, the fear of the unknown, the fear of staying in this personal dungeon of mine forever. However darkness is not to be feared, embrace it. Learn from it, get inspired from it. It's your personal fear of being stuck in the dark forever, that pushes you in the light more.

-Rohit Tandekar
FE, SIES Graduate School of Technology

Dark: Doesn't it bring to us a sinister, gloomy picture ? Doesn't it send within us a wave of trepidation ? But isn't there many other and sure double the reasons so as to love the dark.
A paper lantern sent up in the air at night... a silhouette show… a shadow dance... aren't they picturesque and do we really fear them?
But why do we fear dark?
It is just a state of mind where absence of light makes us feel vulnerable and dreadful. Also dark has been very often implied as the dooming phase between heaven and hell where witches and evil spirits subsists.
A walk in the forest along with eyes full of plight,  shuddering feet and fumbling hands beholding a cresset. With buzzing sounds and roars hitting your ears, sweat drizzling down your forehead. A scary situation indeed. But what happened next? Your eyes perceive a stunning vista. You see the whole place being annexed by the luminescence of fireflies…. You would have missed seeing the magical flutter of the flies.. if not entered the forest at night.

Fear of the dark
A scribble on the bark
Says ‘I fear’
You can see me quiver

Flambeau, I behold
Surges the evil away
Affirms my behaviour
And I walk with valour.

Fear only leads to restrictions. When the wonders of nature and man can prove so pleasing at night, then why miss it?

-Priya Girijan
FE, SIES Graduate School of Technology

The moment when you think all the people you know, have abandoned you,
The moment when you look behind your back, and find no one around,
The moment when you expect someone but see a crowd of unknown, unfamiliar faces,
The moment when you think everyone you know is not that trustworthy enough,
The moment when you feel lonely and everything seems desperate,
The moment when you think there is no one to catch hold of you when you fall,
The moment when you think all your hard work goes unappreciated,
The moment when you think the burden of responsibility might bury you,
The moment when you realize the person you look up to lets you down,
The moment when you hold a grudge and end up losing someone in the process,
The moment you think you don’t have any shoulder to cry on,
The moment when you walk into a room and people judge you,
The moment when all your prayers and wishes goes unanswered,
The moment when everything they have led you to believe, is not true,
The moment when you think it’s safe to walk across the street late at night,
The moment when you realize it’s not safe even for your little sister to leave your house,
The moment when you think the world is enraged and everything will fall back into its place,
And the moment when you realize it’s all fake,
We all try and put up a brave face, not realizing we fear but everything,
The darkness consumes us all. Always has and always will. 

-Haripriya Iyer
Editor-in-chief, Scintilla
FE, SIES Graduate School of Technology

Fear, a word, a feeling that we are still grappling to truly understand. Those who don't have it marvel at its power while those who don't refrain from even acknowledging its presence.
Man has been taking precise steps towards becoming a free thinker. Somewhere along the way to access the whole potential and the power of our mind we broke a psychological barrier which kept us on the righteous path. There are two ways for anything: the right way, and the other way.

The trickling of negative thoughts poured into our conscience to corrupt our very core. The taste of power of the dark alter ego, I believe, has proven too overwhelming. Yes, I said alter ego, because even if we may still be in denial but there is a part of our mind that tends to work in all the wrong ways. Those who have understood this are terrified because even a small exposure to this darkness within has jarred our mental makeup so badly that at moments we feel all the lines blurring. The degree of corruptness of our mind has baffled us all. Believe me when I say that the door to this alter ego is not only wide open but possesses a blinding force ready to suck us in.
Fear like every other problem has a solution-Will. But I feel a bit different. I face a million dollar question- do we need a solution? This fear is not even rational, because this darkness does have an unlimited source of power. The prejudice we have about it is baseless! I think that only I have the authority to decide what is right or wrong for me, nobody else. For me the 'other way' is as good as any way.

-Swanand Bhave
FE, SIES Graduate School of Technology

Life seems so easy when everything happens according to our wish. But that’s not a true story at all. Its life after all and it won’t go as we wish. Times come when nothing goes well, no one is there to hold your hand, and all you can see is darkness-all around, surrounding you. That is the moment everyone, I hope, is feared of. At least I am feared of such day coming into my life. It makes me think a lot about what would happen in future, and what could happen to me. Fear sets in mind when a particular incident has an impact. Situations getting out of control, losing people who were the ones close to my heart, tragic incidents… the list goes on. I fear, if such darkness ever occurs, what would I do? How would I survive? What if all of a sudden I face death? Life is known for its unpredictable twists and turns-no one ever knows what life has stored for the next moment. It’s the same darkness that I fear a lot and have no idea of what should I do. They say ‘When darkness surrounds you, keep hope and search for a ray of light.’ But fear in our mind doesn't allow us to do so. Brave ones get over their fears and find that way, and the rest gets succumbed to their fear. All I hope is I could find that ray. Till then, all I can do is facing the challenges in the path of life and live it, with the ‘fear’, keeping it somewhere in the deepest corner of my mind.

-Sanket Shetty

FE, SIES Graduate School of Technology

It was the dreaded night of December 4, 1971. It was during the pitch darkness of 12.30am. I feared a war, not because the Indian Air Force wasn't prepared, but I hated to see drops of red. They say a true soldier waits for the day to fight in a war. Being a Wing Commander in the Indian Air Force, I always thought of that day, but it engulfed my mind with darkness. I had never told this to anybody; I feared. My eyes almost drifted into a sleep when our Commander sounded the war alarm hooter; Pakistan Army had launched an attack across the Longewala border along Rajasthan with 2800 soldiers. Indian Army, with only 120 soldiers along the line of control, sent an immediate call to the Air Force. I feared, my dream had come true. It was just like I thought; it was pitch darkness outside. We readied in our emergency response reconnaissance team in 15 minutes. My flying machine was a HAL-24 Marut; a bird I always loved right from my pilot training days.

We took off from the tarmac at Jaisalmer base, I could feel the machine vibrate at take off speed; my mind feared the worst. I remembered again that it was pitch darkness; I panicked, but we fighter pilots are taught to be in a controlled form of nervousness. We didn't have the benefit of night vision infrared; we never entered the battle region until permit was granted from the ground team. It followed some of my most feared moments of terror as a pilot; I never know if I cherish tears or fears these today. We entered Longewala region after we received control clearance. My commander instructed the formation over the transmission line, I checked up on the horizon.
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We were flying at 43 thousand feet, but descended at a steep angle experiencing high levels of acceleration, well enough to even stall our consciousness. I saw several tanks on the Pakistan side burning in red hot fire; we descended and launched an instant air strike along the border. My hand trembled on the fly-by-wire; our attack was too enormous and well planned to precision for the opposition. We killed 200 soldiers, 36 military tanks and destroyed over 100 military vehicles. We had mentally prepared for an aerial war with Pakistan Air Force, but our ground control sourced that they had retreated. So our tasks were a little simpler.

Sweat oozed inside my temperature resistant jacket, my helmet visor fogged up, I could hear cheers from the ground control tower as well as from my fellow flying commanders. I was happy that we won the battle, but I felt an incomplete void. I was informed that two Indian Army soldiers sacrificed their lives. I became part of the most successful mission of the Indian Air Force. We had landed back at our base. Touching down never felt so good. We were greeted with a thunderous applause which I will never forget.

Time flew and today, I always remember that mission when I see the dark open sky, I cherish those moments, but it left a tinkling fear inside me; the fear of the dark; I reconciled; God never gave anything without downsides. I remembered the day when I was on my bed before the war, it was dark, and I feared dark then; I fear dark today.

-Vishnu Chandrasenan
FE, SIES Graduate School of Technology

When I was a child, darkness to me was the presence of monsters, demons, weird aliens, ghosts, etc. As I grew up, the meaning of darkness changed for me. I saw people struggling in various types of darkness! Some from illiteracy, slavery, poverty, hunger while many were lost in greed, addiction, stress, etc. I realized that there are some who bring darkness to the society by keeping informed, real-time facts, solutions and education away from people for their personal gains. I wonder, if someone could cast such darkness in the society, how much darkness would be within them? Well, there is nothing called darkness!

Darkness is the absence of light. That means darkness comes into existence in a place where there is no light. So you may ask, what were the darknesses I was talking about above? Well, they are just the absence of their equivalent goodness! Illiteracy, slavery, poverty, hunger, greed, addiction, stress is the absence of education, equality, wealth, sufficiency, self-control and the rest respectively! The people who tend to bring darkness in people's lives are controlled by the absence of light inside them, to turn off the lights in others!
Most people have the fear of darkness, a fear that is not just limited to the absence of light, but the fear that they would be swallowed in the shadows of dreadful fate! A Farmer fears the darkness that is caused by a hot, dry and sunny day, a teacher fears the darkness of getting rejected by her students, a soldier fears the darkness of losing a war, while a student fears the darkness of failing in an examination! This fear of the dark is the fear of something non-existent! Being optimistic, positive and honest is the ultimate answer! If one truly starts taking each and every thing positively in life, he never has to fear anything that doesn't exist! A person should try bringing light within himself as well as in his society to cast away the darkness and live in a prosperous and self-sufficient society!

-Aniket Raje
FE, SIES Graduate School of Technology

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