Saturday, February 7, 2015

Concise stories - Part 2: 6 words

This is part 2 of the small story challenge I'm doing. Click here to see the first part.

Pyromaniac. Kleptomaniac. I Stole the fire.

Lost children found. Innocence not intact.

Her lips tasted weird. Ah, 

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Shots fired. Non-violent protest subdued.

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Apocalypse rationing. One bullet per person.

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Shot innocent man. Accident, classifies officer.

Got her Flowers. Keys didn't fit.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Concise Stories - Part 3: 5 Words

'I stopped pretending, Hobbes.' - Calvin

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Jaden Smith. Mannequin rights activist

Ultimate character death: George Martin

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Let's try Heroin once,

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'I am pregnant' - Cancer patient

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Final words: It's not loaded.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Concise stories - Part 1: 7 words

I decided to write a few stories spanning only a few words. The concept is not old, here's my take on it. 
Beginning with 7 words, with each subsequent post, I hope to reduce the word count.

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He buried his mistakes, six feet under.
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Knock Knock. Who's there? POLICE. OPEN UP!

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'You may kiss the bride'. She did.

"YOLO!" said the immortal, slitting his wrists.

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A homeless alcoholic's best friend. The pavement.

'I'm unique', read the mass produced tees.

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Friday, January 30, 2015

The Story of Damon D. Reddington

My name is Damon. Damon D. Reddington. This is my story. The year is 2077. I am the single most influential force in the world. Nice people herald me as the second coming of Christ. Evil men and women live in constant fear of my existence. Whatever the other mortals might believe, I am not like them. My world is filled with despicable scum of the world. The lowest common denominator in this cesspool we live in.
I am a New World Order executive. No, my job is not making sissy presentations or going to pointless meetings. I eradicate the plague of humans that haunt humanity. I am a just man. And despite what many may believe, a nice man too. But what I am not is kind. I am justice. Mercy to the guilty is punishment to the innocent. I am the guy demons dread.
My beginning, like most heroes, if you choose to believe they exist, was humble. I grew up in the wastelands with barely a rock in my name. So when martial began rounding up volunteers for the now called 'Hero Project', I was among the first to sign up. They were trying to administer a fatal truth serum. One that would literally kill you for lying. This was advertised as the endgame in law and order. 143 kids died before the second week. All but me. I believe a part of my soul is buried there, in mass grave no.12 
But then it did something it was not supposed to. I started sensing people who were lying. It enhanced my intuition to the extent that I could then deduce correctly if a person had been hiding something evil inside him. My chest would tighten and my head would explode in clusters. Cluster headaches, if you're not aware, don't kill you, but you almost certainly wish that they did. When I realized what had happened, the first to a long chain of dominoes fell.
I slayed all 7 cruel scientists with a knife I stole from the cafeteria. For the first time in a long time, my chest relaxed.  My rise was quick. It didn't take long for the justice system to see my merits and grant me full impunity from my 'crimes'. A jealous single mother who would go on a rampage at the mall, a man who would strap bricks of RDX and wander into a theater, or a a kid who was planning to kill his bullies at the school. I made no judgments, I just acted. I did not falter from my path.
Over a span of 44 years, I have rid this shithole of the strongest of evil. But when I felt my chest crumple up and my head explode like a 2 ton nuclear bomb, I knew my biggest feat was coming. I was in Berlin at the time, visiting a long forgotten bunker when I saw a lone man all dressed up in white. We were alone in the underground bunker, with not a soul within 500 yards. My head was in seering pain. I reached for my glock and shot thrice. Head, chest, and torso. He was dead before he could make his move.
Imagine my horror when the pain did not subside. On the contrary, it amplified. That's when the full effect of my actions hit me. The physical pain felt nothing to my inner turmoil. We are the product of our actions. 
In the end, this is not just my story. It is my note as well. Maybe true unbiased justice is evil in its purest form.
"I am become death;destroyer of worlds."
Goodbye world.
-Damon D. Redd

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Take A Look

Take a look at yourself.

You don’t need to find a mirror, just closing your eyes for a moment will suffice.

This is the person you’ll be spending the next 50-60 years with. You can say that this is the person you’ll spend all your life with. All your experience and achievements, you will perceive through the eyes of this being. When you’re dead, you’ll just be a human shaped piece of meat. Regardless of what you believe in – a higher being judging us, damning us, or an eternal void, the things you do right now are who you are. This might just be a simple look at the convoluted person you are, or a complex look at the simple being as the case might be, which is not the case.

happen to think that perception is the sole root of knowledge. What you feel, is what is. If there is indeed an afterlife, that does not factor in. This might be the gravest folly, but it does liberate you. At least to me, the thought of knowing all that counts, is what you actually do is freeing. Now this life might be a complex reward based system where the elite people with sufficient fly-miles go to the Promised Land and the defaulters into the fiery pits. But that’s only a way to justify the existence. Finding Prometheus is not likely. That’s not just the skeptic in me talking, although he is screaming. When you suppress the voice there really isn’t a reason why this timeline needs to be an illusion or an entrance test.

There is not much you cannot do with money. But the things you can, outweigh the quantity with sheer quality. But money is an arbitrary restriction posed on us by ourselves. It is also not the topic of this post. Time is like looking at the landscape from a fast moving car on a highway. The things closest to us move the fastest, and the farther away they are, the less likely it looks we’ll ever reach them. Until we do, and then everything we passed by seems like a distant dream.

If you know just how to look, the Universe bleeds secrets. Knowing that what you experience is your only way of measuring this life in some quantifying terms is no reason to be self-absorbed. There will always be things you haven’t done and never will. The road not taken. But sometimes that road hasn’t been taken because there’s a reason not to. Life is a game and there are not a lot of cheats. You cannot randomly buff up your skills by typing a hash of keywords. But it is not altogether unfair either. Rewards exist for sacrifices made. Sometimes the risk is higher, and sometimes almost non-existent.

The grand scale of events. Oh the people love to say that ‘in the grand scale of events..’. But that does not make our existence insignificant, it just gives us more leeway to do things our way. You are not a drop in the Universe. You’re the Universe contained in a drop because what is an ocean but a multitude of droplets.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Discovering New Music

With the end of the year approaching, music websites and click-spam Buzzfeed articles have started listing their musical finds of this year.
Discovering new music has got to be one of the most enjoyable things of life. Good Music often gives a sense of ASMR. A physical sensation characterized by a pleasurable tingling that begins in the head, and often moves down the spine. It is not just mentally rewarding either. New music is known to release endorphin in the body.

Once music leaves the labels and the artists, it changes its ownership to the hands of listeners. Well, I am no lawyer and I am pretty sure that defense won't hold up when you're charged with piracy. But in a more deep and philosophical sense once a new song is out, its covers, remixes and crappy lipsyncs to the tune of blown out speakers pop up pretty quickly. Sometimes change is all the ears need.

Music is abstract, no two tracks are the same(Yes, even Nickleback's). With each new track comes the possibility of an auditory masterpiece. Music is getting better. The more it is produced, the more refined it becomes, sort of like the musical evolution. Music has not been withering, rock did not peak in 1971, disco may or may not suck and punk is not dead and now is a better time to discover songs than it was five years ago.

Those moments when you sit at the front of a screen, clicking at random titles and artists hoping to come to that music which will redefine your taste. Maybe even expand them. Eclectic tastes are complimented almost everywhere. Hipsters and top 40 listeners can simultaneously survive in the current music scene. And while I refuse to ever recognize 'indie' as a valid genre, there are now more branches of music than a 'Diary of a Wimpy kid' rehash novella.

Everyone has a process, some people use Youtube. No matter how buggy and messed up the place is, it is still the hub of choice for people hoping to expand their tastes. Each song comes up with ~10 recommendations. Another way is listening to random songs on the radio, whether online or the good old fashioned heavy sets. Random mixes are bouncing back from obscurity on sites like Soundcloud and 8tracks. Recommendations from friends is another hit-or-miss way.

Music is still one of those topics new friendships are forged over and old ones are renewed. I have some friends whom I talk to few and far between. But when we do, it's always the prospect of a new
album that gets us going. With that in mind, here's a good way to discover new artists that might end up staying with you till you're old and cranky and believe all the new age music is shit that kids with authority issues listen to:

Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Problem of TL;DR

I was reading a post today, which had a succinct summary at the end explaining what I had just read. It was not a scientific paper or even an economy journal. It was a simple anecdotal story from a person who used way too many words for a way too boring story. Yet there it was, a Tl;dr at the end, mocking the reader, simplifying the 6 sentence post and abridging it to 2 lines. Tl;dr, for the unacquainted is an acronym for Too long;didn't read. It serves the function of cutting down time of the reader to let them absorb the required information instead of actually reading the information.

The problem right now is not reading too little, but writing too much. Tl;dr tries to give a solution to
the problem that does not exist. To me, these textual bombardments of posts are no better than Tumblr GIFs in a Buzzfeed article. More words does not necessarily equal more knowledge or a better story, sometimes it is just a pile of overwrought ideas haphazardly scratched on the screen.

To get the redundancy of TL;DR, we have to first understand the concept of words. The English language has 26 alphabets. A dictionary roughly has 250000 words. It used to be, writing too little was our fear, but writing too much is just as bad. When things can be explained in 10 words we use a hundred. Like someone trying to organize his workload by creating unneeded files, successfully complicating the process. This is a direct result of what schools try to force on us.

It is counterintuitive to first write something going into tautologial and redundant details and then backtracking to a vague summary redifining what was already written. After reading a plethora of teenage angst and woe paragraphs, it's transparent that cutting down words to the core that both explain the post concisely and maintain the essence of the written piece is harder than it looks. Much harder than going on about an easily understood topic like the leaking wound of an HIV infected person.

One good story, written well and edited with brevity is worth a lot more than hundred stretched posts written by a bored guy trying to procrastinate on the Internet.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Taking Timeless Transient Pictures

It is terrifying how strong our urge to take a pic of the next sun bathed beach with golden sand we see is, a haphazardly graffiti-ed wall with pamphlets stuck to it half-heartedly, an absurdly zoomed in shot of an open book with words strewn all over. To flip out the camera and slap filters on it like a Californian water source or edit it in Retrica with a bright jaundiced light, probably a faded matte look. Something to cover up the dullness of reality, anything.

The need to preserve a timeless moment is staggering, and there's no reason for it to be bad. Everyone is free to post whatever they want, wherever they want. Doesn't matter if it's vapid like a half empty Breezer bottle or a pose up with an expensive car that is not your own. There is a lingering fear that just living the moment isn't enough, and it isn't. Experiencing new things contains a disguised pain, we forget the old ones, they become duller, fading into oblivion, a much simpler version of what we're experiencing right now. Do we do it so somebody looks, an odd feeling of instant gratification maybe. It feels satisfying to know there is someone clicking on the pictures staring at a screen, squinting, and quite possibly jealous.

It is not about posting these pictures online either, it is just taking them, collecting them, organizing them into little folders separated by different names, and looking pretty. Picture connoisseur, picture hoarder. 20 80. There is a sense of urgency in taking a shot before the moment is lost, evaporating from our memories like invisible ink. The fear of not remembering its presence after all. So we document it before the star dwindles, even if it has been there for longer than all our lives joined together. Because if the star blinks into darkness for a moment, it might as well have been destroyed.

Taking pictures is feeling those emotions and cataloging them simultaneously. Not unlike a butterfly pinned to a hard board, framed by a suffocating display glass. The pleasure derived from looking at the beauty cannot possibly be dwarfed by their death. Or can it? A picture is worth a thousand words. It doesn't matter if those words are in jumbled order with confusing interpretations and misleading context.

Pictures of everyday object make it seem like we're having a profound experience. A cup of tea with a good book screams rejuvenation. Overlooking the fact that it took 5 minutes to meticulously set the two objects, 2 more to get the best angles, another 3 to sort through them isn't all that hard. Especially since We're trying to ignore it. You don't have a limitation of time or stuff to do either- like reading the patiently waiting book or drink the hot coffee. That is the exactness of the moment you want to remember, for an eternity, until a better shot comes along.

A camera only does so much though, sometimes we just have to put it down and look. Some moments cannot be captured by the convex  lenses. You cannot photograph the brilliance of life by trying to capture it in one somber moment. You can try, and sometimes succeed, but a camera can only capture the outside, what makes them special is inside your head, a world full of experiences.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

A Tragic Life

She sat near the glass paned window on an oak wood stool which was heavily stained from years of careless use. Sipping coffee she had made herself after some careful forethought, from a mug, she thought about her existence. The rim of the mug felt on her lips slenderly but the touch of the ceramic felt weird to her hoarse rosy flesh. It was one of those days, even the bright sun and chirping birds seemed like blinding epileptic flashes and blaring noises. Why had fate brought her to this strange and helpless point, was her survival merely a chance of cruel fate?, the dreary life was making it harder and harder by the day.

"I'm not fucking sad."

Uh, what?

"You heard me narrator guy, I am not fucking sad. Stop describing me like a melodramatic sissy. I am not one of those teenagers with who're well adjusted, but still feel the need to go on about their extraordinarily tough lives."

Overcome with emotions, she felt her grip on reality deteriorating, escaping from her harsh life by trying to justify her life to a voiceless entity.

"Really, man? Fuck you! This is not another one of those pitiful and pathetic trite pieces guilty of extravagant dramatization is it?"

To find some solace in the void of ennui that was slowly but unmistakably enveloping her, she lashed out on the fictional voice describing her condition. Like trying to fight with someone who was not even there, was this what she had expected to become after all these years of never ending work?

"You're worse than high school girls writing pseudo tragic  banal paragraphs with zero content and no originality. Writing sad pieces takes virtually no talent whatsoever but still disgorges sympathy from hapless readers. Not everything has to be sad to be deep."

Everyone had a process, this was hers. What good did it do to scold a stream of bare consciousness merely describing her, only she knew. As coffee from her mug reached her throat, she stared out of the window looking at all those people having fun. Couples out for walks, little kids running aimlessly under the azure sky. Everything in the world had meaning, but it eluded her heart.

"Okay, I get what your problem is. You're a sadistic piece of scum who takes pleasure in watching little girls like me suffer your boring, not to forget absolutely false  descriptions. Is this a weird fetish I don't know about?"

Once again, she found herself in a conflicting predicament. She could face her severe problems to relieve her duress or blame it on a faceless personification. But her life had crippled and made her incapable of making challenging decisions.

" I'm not even depressed, just unwinding after a long day moron,  and you're fucking it up. Someone like you belongs to the little leagues. Next time I'll go with another narrator. You haven't even described the room yet so stop talking about my non-existent depression, pussy. "

How dare you?! A soundless voice boomed. She was too far down the rabbit hole of insanity to make sense anymore. But all was not lost, the voice would be the cold splash of water, it needed to bring her back.  She had lost herself in grief and self pity. But she was stronger than this, better than this. She was not broken.

"What kind of a narrator writes about the sadness he has never experienced? 
I know, the most vapid kind. You are like Superman talking  about how it is to be a human, or Jeffrey Dahmer writing a book on parenting. Maybe if you tried harder to write about your own original ideas than to garner fake sympathy by projecting your insecurity on a random girl you're describing, you'd be a better writer."

Now, she was just grasping at straws. Trying to hold on to any semblance of reality that was crumbling beneath her very legs. She was distraught and had given away to the naysayers.

"Don't you know it is rude to refer to someone present in the room in third person? Did your mother not teach you anything? And will you please just refer to yourself in first person already?"

Okay, okay, I get it. I am a crappy narrator and you're the bigger person over here. Thank you for ruining my only shot at getting people to think of me as a profound and intelligent person who writes about deep stuff such as the soul's lament. I hope you're proud of yourself. Bitch.  

Thursday, May 22, 2014

An open letter to everyone: Humanity is Awesome

I don't know what it is about me that screams sarcasm to people. Maybe it's because I use irony to mock people. Regardless, I continue to remain clueless. Another thing that is attributed to me is the distaste for humanity. Nothing could be more wrong. Well, maybe something could be, but this is somewhere near the top of that list. This post has absolutely no reason to go on for longer than one paragraph, which means it almost certainly will be longer than one paragraph. Take it as an open letter of sorts addressed to everyone(~6 people who're reading this).

I love humanity, and it's not some constrained love either, I do not profess to like one aspect of it while completely disregarding most of it. Yes, I like some elements more than others and even dislike some, but that does not mean humanity isn't amazing. Of course, seeing as I belong to it may skew my perspective a bit. I however, stand unmoved, humanity is awesome.                                                         

No one can narrow the spectrums that humanity exists on, it is like a layered cake you're viewing sideways. Even so, I dislike quite a few people. Oh yes, disliking some people is not something I deny and there is
quite a lot of hate for people so few in number. Just because I like humans doesn't mean I like someone specifically. Flaws exist in everything and that is the basis for it to continue to better itself.

Let me tell you why I love humanity. The answer is not because humanity is 'beautiful' or how 'heartwarming' some people are. None of those bullshit vague answers that don't mean anything once you stop reading them. Humans are just as cruel as they are heartwarming. They're just as dark as they're beautiful.
 No, I find people to be the best thing ever. We are sentient, and therefore have the power to control and concentrate our thoughts. We are the only known species that can do this. That outright makes us special, but it is our minds that make us interesting.

Discovery, research, art and so many other fields, whenever there is something new to be found, we find it. And it never ends, one man's life span is merely a hindrance to humanity's quest. We have always been constantly in conflict with our own limitations. The only way to escape the humdrum is to keep evolving, and goddamnit! aren't we the best at that?

People look for Heaven and Hell when everything to find is over here. We just have to discover it, and that is one of humanity's major selling points. Wherever you look, there's something new to find, something more exciting than anything else found before. And don't even get me started on humans. Everyone's unique. Every. Single. One. This does not mean they're all the same. Their uniqueness is not
shared on a linear plane.
Whenever someone proclaims- 'we're all unique, so no one is', I secretly grind my teeth at the profound sounding load of crap. People are different to varying degrees in varying dimensions. Not all of these people are good. Not many of these are outwardly interesting. But those who are, make it worth your while to go discover people. We have undiscoverable boundaries and yet so many choose to revel in this gift like it's a curse. The ability to understand people and their motivations is something special to us. My faith in humanity is not restored because it never subsided.