Sunday, March 11, 2012

WAVES OF PERIL


It was a lazy Sunday afternoon and I was rolling in the bed vetoing a 1 hour long debate about getting up or not. Suddenly I heard a knock on the door. I ignored it to be a dream as no one ever knocks my door but the knocking was persistent. I sauntered towards the door and opened it with my eyes and brain refusing to embrace the sad truth that I had actually woken up. And then I saw a man who looked faintly familiar but scary enough to give me the impression that he just walked out of a grave. His hair was long and shabby, his beard must at least be 6 months old and his fashion quotient would evoke the envy of a beggar. Lo behold! It was Professor Eisenkleiftovich. I jumped in joy as I was seeing him after I don’t know how long: eternity probably.

Me: What on earth happened to you Professor? You look terrible. Where were you all this while?
Prof: I was in Taiji and I nearly got myself killed.
Me: Taiji. That’s in Japan right. What were you doing there?
Prof: Yes. I was watching dolphins there.
Me: Why would anyone kill you for watching dolphins?
Prof: I was watching them die.

A shock wave went through me as I floundered for words. His eyes were unperturbed.

Prof: Tell me this. When you sit in that Sea World gallery and see a dolphin splitting the waters and soaring into the sky as it throws in a couple of somersaults on its way back, what do you feel? What goes through your mind when it comes near you and looks in your eye, beams at you and rubs its nose against yours?

Me: I feel elated and out of the world. I can see its happiness and love for us and the deep connect it shares with humans. Most of all, I am awed by its intelligence.
 
Prof: Well, I would certainly agree to your last statement. But you know what; a dolphin’s smile is nature’s greatest deception.

Me: Why do you say that? What is the problem with its smile?

Prof: That’s my point. When a dolphin is jumping and smiling, it is hard to see the problem. Dolphins are acoustic creatures and sound is their primary sense. The most advanced sonar ever build by humans is no match to the dolphin. It can scan and tell if one is pregnant in a minute. Such is its sensitivity to sound. Now you capture it and thrust it into a concrete tank and then you add a gallery full of screaming people to the agony. That dolphin that swims to you with a sweet smile and jumps to your whim and fancy is enduring extreme levels of stress at that very moment and eventually the stress kills it.

Me: I never knew that there is so much desperation behind that innocent smile. I hate you Professor. I will never be able to go to Sea World again. But you didn’t tell why you went to Taiji?

Prof: Taiji is a small town with a big secret. It is the largest supplier of dolphins to marine parks across the world. And do you know how they catch them?

Me: I guess I don’t want to know. But you will tell me anyways, right. So go ahead.

Prof: The fishermen wait in their boats along the migratory routes of dolphins, immerse long poles with a flange on the bottom and bang on the poles with hammers essentially creating a wall of sound to terrify the dolphins. They swim for their lives to the shores of Taiji and they reach the lagoons, shocked, stressed and freaked out, where they are sealed off into captivity. The next day dolphin trainers from around the world line up to select their Bottlenose Bobs. Each dolphin sells up to $150,000. Now that’s a lot of money!

Me: That is so atrocious. No wonder it is a multi billion dollar industry now. How heartless have we become?


Prof: Wait a minute. You haven’t even heard what happens to the dolphins that are not selected by the trainers?

I was almost about to shut my ears off as I could sense what was coming.

Prof: They are slaughtered; not killed; slaughtered and sold for their meat. They are taken around to a remote glistening cove where no one has access to and the fishermen kill them with their spears mercilessly. Well, you may ask me, what’s the big deal? We kill all sorts of animals for food. So why this hoopla about the dolphin? I am not saying man should not be carnivorous. Many animals are, and it is their choice. But show me people in this world who want to eat dolphin meat, can you?

Me: They don’t? Then why this heinous killing? I don’t understand.

Prof: Well, there are very few people in the world who eat dolphin meat by choice. The fishermen though, label it is as expensive whale meat or in some other form of disguise. If they label it as dolphin meat, they won’t find any takers. And the reason for that is dolphin meat is heavily laced with mercury which is highly toxic and lethal to our health.

Me: So just for a few extra bucks, these fishermen are not just killing the poor animal but also endangering a human’s life. Why can’t they just leave them alone!

Prof: You see man is the weirdest paradox that has ever walked the earth. We all have this desire to watch them, swim with them, hug them, kiss them, hold them and love them to death. And this endless desire is the ticket to their death and misery. Some people love and kill them while others love to kill them. You told me that you are awed by its intelligence. But don’t we always associate intelligence with humans and some aliens living in some far off wonderland we will never get to. Now, when you understand this non human intelligence of the dolphins, you will realize that they don’t really belong in captivity.

God had created a perfect universe: until he made man. And from that day on, God has never looked into the mirror.


P.S: About 23,000 dolphins are being killed in Japan every year. To learn more visit http://www.takepart.com/cove. And to witness the poor plight of the dolphins and the nefarious crime that goes on unnoticed, watch this documentary: http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/cove/


79 comments:

  1. That was a beautiful thought provoking post Raj... I could never have thought there was such a sad story behind the dolphins smile :-(

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    1. I know. I was shocked too when I read about it and then watched the documentary. Really sad such things happen!

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  2. That is so terrible! Ruthless killers! My eyes welled up on reading this. Worst of all, that poor thing cannot even voice out.
    "God had created a perfect universe: until he made man. And from that day on, God has never looked into the mirror." How true! I have seen pictures of dolphins being brutally murdered. This makes it all the more inhuman. :( People have been voicing out against this. I so wish some serious action is taken against all those cold hearted people. After all "life is to live" doesn't apply just to humans!

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    1. Yeah.. It is inhuman and it is pointless as well. No one actually prefers dolphin meat and on top of it, it is toxic as well. And the most irritating fact is that the fishermen make big bucks in catching the dolphins for amusement parks and very meager amounts for those they kill for meat. It is really sad why they can't let those few live!

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  3. Oh I never knew these things about Dolphins.. The sensitivity towards sound is the strength that God has given it but we the insensitive humans have made this strength of Dolphins its own enemy.. Thoughtful post Raj..

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    1. Yeah.. it was terrifying for me to know as well. While putting the dolphins in troubled captivity is harsh, killing them for inconsequential meat is criminal! :(

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  4. Humans are always cruel and thoughtless towards animals in captivity. But the news of the dolphins' sensitivity to sound was not known to me before. killing animals for their meat is bad enough, but this heinously?

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    1. Yeah.. some amusement facilities treat the dolphins with care but the others subject them to immense pressures which wears them down. And certainly the killing is heinous because of the lack of purpose and heart.

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  5. I am literally crying!!! THIS IS THE SADDEST POST I've read. I'm so sorry to hear about this but I'm glad you have brought it to my attention. There is another blogger I follow in Massachusetts who has told about people who go to save the dolphins and I was so impressed by their efforts- and now I read of other people who exploit them to points of cruelty and putting dolphins and human in danger. VERY SAD!!!!

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    1. Very true. There are a lot of people who are striving for the cause of dolphins. You should watch this documentary "the cove". No one is allowed in that area in Taiji Japan and this crew risked everything to document and tape the slaughter of dolphins in order to make the world sit up and notice. But still not too much is being done about it but still there is some hope left and I hope something is done at least to prevent that unnecessary slaughter.

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  6. dolphins are like little angels - the movies they are featured in, the shows on TV that showcase them - they instantly warm our hearts and to know that there is such a sad, tragic story behind their "smiles" is extremely disturbing. such cruelty we are capable of

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    1. Oh yeah.. they are so adorable and I have always been fascinated by them. And they are damn intelligent too. Sadly humans don't recognize or respect that. I can at least digest the captivity (as there is no incentive other than our heart to stop it) but the slaughter at least should be stopped.

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  7. The Cove documents this slaughter. So sad!

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    1. A very warm welcome to you here Alexandra.

      yeah.. it is a really powerful documentary. It was a big eye opener.

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  8. I am disturbed now. I never thought that it would be such a dark thing behind those amusement park gigs. I am sad now....

    Thanks for telling us this...

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    1. I was heartbroken after watching this documentary. Especially the last 10 minutes is unbearable as they show the cruel slaughter. And what pains me the most is that there is no incentive for anyone to do that.

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  9. There is no doubt human beings are the most advanced when it comes to intelligence. The real question is how much of that is put to good use. Things have come to such a stage that we don't care about fellow beings anymore. All we think, or act upon is to just meet our own selfish ends. There is not a single thing humane about human beings today. It's just sad.

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    1. Very true Deva. I totally agree that we do not put our intelligence to good use. And it is indeed a sad state.

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  10. That's a brilliant post, very thought provoking....and done in a very effective, dramatic style, my favourite..

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    1. A very warm welcome to you here Satish. Thank you so much. I am glad you could relate to the post.

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  11. I have seen dolphins trailing ships and jumping in air like babies, so am not sure about the facts here!As regards their sensitivity to sound, it is accepted that the latest sonars cannot match most aquatic life.All that said, no creature can live happily in captivity:(

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    1. I agree Rahul. In the open seas, dolphins live happily and in complete abandon. I was only talking about the ones in captivity where they are not taken good care of and put in small enclosed asbestos tanks and also subjected to high noise levels which freaks them out and reduces their life span. I can even ignore the captivity issue as it is uncontrollable now and it is multi million dollar industry. But the killings can certainly be stopped which is what I hope and pray for.

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  12. The facts here are mostly right, I think. As I have read about this documentary 'The Cove'. Haven't watched it yet, but I heard about the horrific condition of Dolphins. We are unmatched in our intelligence, may be. But, we are also unmatched in our power to do damage to other creatures to satisfy our false and misplaced pleasures.

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    1. Very well said Kunal. Humans are unmatched in their destructive capabilities and it has impacted the ecosystem and we never know when it will break. Watch the documentary if you can, it will be a painful experience but still I would recommend it.

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  13. Reading this has disturbed me.How did man become so ruthless! Its sad! Very sad.Is there anyway to stop this ruthless daylight murder?

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    1. Very true Upasana. I was pained and heartbroken after watching and reading about these things. There are quite a few activists at work trying to do their bit towards stopping the killings. Not much has been accomplished due to the lack of a strong regulatory body and the rigidity of the Government.

      Some ways to help can be found here: http://www.takepart.com/cove. These are small initiatives but will go a long way in tackling this issue and hopefully we will see these killings stop.

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    2. Thanks for the info! I really hope something is done to stop this ruthless murder!

      My world, my thoughts, my musings...

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    3. You are most welcome. I too hope and pray that this comes to an end soon.

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  14. Thank you Raj for this thought provoking and informative post. I had never knew about this. This is even worse than killing animals for food. Very disturbed after reading this...

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    1. Yeah.. I totally agree. It is worse than killing animals for food because here they are not only slaughtering these poor dolphins but also endangering the health of people. In Taiji, dolphin meat was given as mid day meal in schools until this documentary released. After that it was stopped.

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  15. I had earlier read about it. But When I saw few Dolphins, playing and smiling at us, it was then that I realized, how cruel the Human race had become, to kill such wonderful creatures!

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    1. Yeah.. once you see all the things they do and get close with them, it is so hard to digest these killings. And the dolphins actually share a unique bond with humans. I have read an article where a surfer talks about how the dolphin saved him from a whale and another one where a diver who goes snorkeling tells how dolphins recognize them and circle them with affection.

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  16. That is so sad, I had heard about dolphins slaughter but never knew they sell its meat disguised as some other whale meat. Man has stooped so low as to endanger not only the dolphins but also fellow human lives just to earn a little extra.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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    1. Yeah.. Apparently there is no level low enough for man that would stop him from stooping. Sad indeed.

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  17. Dolphins are the most cute creatures...
    Killing them in this extent?? unacceptable
    great message raj....
    we can feel pity for them, we cant eradicate it honestly.
    good work.

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    1. Yeah Deepak. Dolphins are indeed adorable. Yeah.. the sheer lack of purpose or heart makes the killings totally unacceptable. And I agree with you.. we can feel pity for them but it will take a lot to eradicate it.

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  18. A hard hitting message put beautifully. Breaks my heart to think that what we view as entertainment is actually sheer torture for them.

    Nope...will never ever step into Sea World again! And no more Dolphin Shows.

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    1. Really appreciate your concern for dolphins Purba. It is indeed a sad plight for them and I am so happy you share my agony.

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  19. Must say its really a amazing thought .. keep writing like this ..
    All the best .. :)

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    1. A very warm welcome to you Anu. Thank you very much and am so glad you were able to relate to this.

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  20. Very disturbing....esp to an animal lover:( Knew plight of some animals at Sea world but didnt know the reality.Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Yeah Rekha. This is indeed very disturbing. And they really have suffered a lot at our hands.

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  21. Very informative& well written post.Who is the animal here ?

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    1. Very well said. "Who is the animal here?" Nothing more needs to be said.

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  23. I had read about dolphins dying, but I didnt know about this place Taiji..Humans are the most disgusting creatures ever!

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    1. Yeah Keerthana. There is no limit to the destruction we humans can cause. I hadnt known anything about Taiji too. Was really an eye opener.

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  24. Raj - you've written this piece so honestly that all of the above comments are a testimony to that !! A great eye-opener !!

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    1. Thank you very much Sangeetha. That really means a lot. :)

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  25. "Things Man do for Money"! Blinded by the price tag on harmless/defenseless creatures what would stop a Man? I guess Nothing!

    Very well written. I would have said "I enjoyed your writing" but given the idea of the post, I feel sad.

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    1. A very warm welcome to you Ajay. You said it perfectly. Nothing (other than himself) can really stop a man. I share your sadness. This is indeed a painful truth to know.

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  26. wouldn't watch that documentary. as usual, brilliantly written.

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    1. I can totally understand why you wouldn't want to watch the documentary. It is indeed painful.

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  27. Raj, I am stunned both by your style and content. The closing sentence is a superb whack on the human face.

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    1. A very warm welcome to you Umashankar. And thank you so much for your compliment. I am glad you were able to relate to this. Man indeed has the potential to create and destroy in astronomical proportions and this is one facet of his destructive side.

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  28. Very sad and unhuman but very informative eye-opening , well written post. Thanks for sharing with us.:)

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    1. yeah Kitty. This is indeed extremely sad and inhuman. And I hope things change.

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  29. The documentary sure prompts one to write a post on it.
    I remember watching it back when it won an Oscar, a truly deafening tale. Things did take turn in Japan, thanks to Ric O'Barry.

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    1. A very warm welcome to you Harish. Yeah.. the documentary is very stimulating. And yeah.. Ric O'Barry has indeed brought about a lot of change and I hope some day soon these killings come to a halt.

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  30. A sad but necessary info that needs to be passed and shared with everyone...
    This has to be stopped.

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    1. Yeah Vinay. Well said. This indeed has to be stopped and I hope it happens sooner than later.

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  31. OMG! This is so shocking!!! I always loved dolphins but never knew this was the plight they endured!!! :(

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    1. Yeah.. they are such adorable creatures. It is really sad that they have to endure such cruelties at the hands of humans. :(

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  32. ur prof waking you up thing was kinda hard to swallow but all in all I should thank you for giving me some insight about this subject

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    1. You are welcome. This is indeed a very serious issue and I am glad it impacted you.

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  33. Hi Raj, A very very thoughtful post!!! I truly agree to 'God had created a perfect universe: until he made man'.

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    1. Thank you so much. I am so glad you could relate to it and feel that way strongly.

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  34. OMG, just can't believe it..so atrocious..thanks for the useful info.
    btw, I liked your tagline below the title of the blog. That's what I had in mind when I wanted to start a blog..will check out your entire blog ..:)

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    1. A very warm welcome to you here. :) yeah.. this killing was unbelievable to me as well. Yeah.. it is atrocious and hope it stops some day soon.

      Thank you very much for the lovely compliment and welcome again. :)

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  35. Gliding over from Zephyr's blog here. This is an absolute shocker. This post is filled with facts that I did not know. I feel sad, very sad. I will forward the link to my son who is 10. It breaks my heart that the cheerful, loving dolphin is under stress, killed and hunted.

    http://rachnaparmar.com

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    1. A very warm welcome to you Rachna. yeah.. I was devastated when I read and saw these things too. It pained me beyond description. And I pray that the killings stop.

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    2. And thank you so much for your deep concern for the dolphins and for spreading the awareness to your son.

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  36. A SHUDDER PAST THROUGH MY BODY AFTER READING THE SHOCKING POST WHICH REVEALS THE HEINOUS CRIME WE HUMANS ARE DOING AND HOW HEARTLESS WE ARE. I AM POSTING THIS LINK ON SOCIAL SITES AND TO THE ANIMALS NGO HU R FIGHTING FOR ANIMAL RIGHTS INTERNATIONALLY.THIS MIGHT AS WELL BE AN EYE OPENER FOR THOSE HU R UNAWARE N IGNORANT. GREAT JOB N WELL WRITTEN N COMPILED RAJ.

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    1. A very warm welcome to you Shilpi. Yeah.. This is really a disturbing truth and not many know about this. Even in Japan, outside of Taiji and a few neighboring towns, not many people are really aware of this. Only after that documentary came out, the world woke up and took notice. Thank you very much for your interest and for spreading the awareness. This will definitely go a long way in saving the dolphins.

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  37. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  38. Sad to know that no one respects the creation of god. Nice post Loved it.
    Regards,
    Cynthia (www.blogatcynthia.blogspot.in)

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    1. A very warm welcome to you Cynthia. :) I totally agree with you. Sometimes we don't allow nature to be itself.

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  39. realy aweful act :(
    nicely explained by you. liked it!
    i have also posted few days back about remains of life! few electrifying pictures amazed me to write about ..
    http://emotestar.blogspot.in/2012/05/remains-of-life.html

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    1. Thank you so much Jasmeet. Oh.. I am going to read the post right away. :)

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