Friday, March 28, 2014

It's A Blogging Life

Let’s start right off,
With this little rant,
It’s a blogger’s life for me,
I try to change but I still can’t.

I hope to make this rhyme,
Yes I really do,
The search begins for words,
And thesaurus is where I go to.

Picking words at random,
I try to make some sense,
To understand them at first,
I need a very thick lens.

Cut and edit,
Is next in my list,
Now I’m leaking things,
Which need to remain in my fist.

Topics come and go,
And we sometimes follow the leaders,
Comments drip in slowly,
It’s almost the same with readers.

Poetry is written,
And so are endless rhymes,
They keep on going,
Till the alarm bell chimes.

Soon comes a contest,
Or a blogger’s meet,
A chance to do something big,
But that’s an impossible feat.

Fights break out,
As the results come,
Sadness hits the heart,
And the loss is washed away by some rum.

Mild depression strikes,
Due to the rejection,
There’s nothing one can do,
Other than face the dejection.

Time passes on,
And the heart wishes to write,
It never sees the wrong,
And always favors the right.

The pen starts scraping,
And ink blots the page,
Freedom the nib wants,
A wish to break out of the cage.

Now I’ve crossed limits,
And gone on a bit too long,
I’ve made a meaningless jingle,
A worthless blog song.

I feel I’m back,
But it’s a long week to go,
I hope it goes by fast,
And I truly return from this low.

Not a bad re-start this is,
Though I didn’t mention stories,
I’ll use that next time,
Now there’s no worries.

Writing is all I do,
Without the hope of anything,
That will remain my life,
It will forever mean everything.

I missed you bloggie,
I won’t again just let you be,
You’re my lover and true friend,
So it’s a blogging life for me.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Cover Story

Books for me have been the best companions since childhood and they continue to be at my side even now. I have shifted from the paperbacks and hard copies to the soft copies and PDFs now, so I miss the covers a lot. The feel has gone away from reading, but still it remains as much fun. My journey began with Magic School Bus I guess, and then came Enid Blyton and Agatha Christie and Tintin. I then moved on to Dan Brown, Robert Ludlum, Robin Cook, Jeffrey Archer, Arthur Hailey, Norah Roberts and all those many authors who write fiction and in the thriller genre. These are the authors whose I read more than 5 books or so, and the order is not right as well.

Pointing out a single favorite is not possible for me as each story has a certain plus point in it, and with that are various things we can learn from that single book. But yes, the one story I shall never forget is Harry Potter. 7 parts and 8 movies! Phew! It does seem tiring and some people do frown at the name of Harry Potter, but I have enjoyed that whole series various times. Many books I have given away to others, but these 7 books, I am never going to give away to anyone.

Memories cling to those fat scriptures which I have gotten into me, and as Daniel Radcliffe says his dialogues, I can speak them too. So, the main question (and the prompt) here is, would I have read the book if the cover had not been what it was then?

No, of course not!

Just ignore the 4 words above. Till date, book covers have not been of any importance to me, except for removing the plastic coating on the paperbacks. The story has always interested me more, and the back of the book has always proved to be friendlier to me than the front. The back of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone talks about a giant and Hogwarts and Quidditch, which do seem more interesting and revealing and attracting than a boy looking at a train with Hogwarts Express and some stars and fumes.

“Never judge a book by its cover.”

The above line seems so true as the covers of many books are so very misleading. Frankenstein and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn being some of the classics with such covers, it seems that you may have missed some wonderful books due to the singular fact that you built a conception about the book just by seeing the cover.

Doesn’t this all talk the exact opposite of the other saying?

“A picture is worth a 1000 words.”

No, it does not say the opposite, but it has the same meaning the 2nd saying has. It is just that there is a misconception which gets built in the mind due to the 1000 words the cover says.

That’s enough with philosophy and sayings now! We were at J.K. Rowling and how she took this series to such a high which made me go reading it on and on, repeatedly. I would talk about the presentation and the fact about how she portrays the wizards and witches to live completely normal lives with family and all the drama. That keeps us connected with the reality that magic does not exist, while it takes us on a ride through Diagon Alley and Gringotts and Hogwarts and Hogsmeade and those many more places we wish we could go to.

By now, I have got my copy out from the farthest corner of my attic, where my mom had hidden it to prevent me from reading it a long time ago, and I’m already in The Cupboard Under The Stairs, Number Four, Privet Drive, Little Whinging.

Do Not Disturb me, and kindly comment at the bottom of the page.
This post is written for Project 365’s prompt titled ‘Judgment Day’.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Ideas of Idealism

There come the elections and the fake promises and also the exams. Yes, as a student, this is seriously one of the worst times of the year- with Holi and football and then the exams. My blog is resting a bit (it is when I’m writing this post around a couple of weeks before today that is), and it’s also time for bringing some change in it. But yes, how can I ignore this opportunity to write with a group of excellent bloggers on a series of prompts which go on for a year. I have got 4 posts in a month, and I’m running amok with the pressure, so I don’t know at all how these Big 4 (Sid, Sakshi, Rekha and Jairam) will be managing the strain. Kudos to all of you!

So, I began with elections and promises. You think I’m going to go on again about political parties and their superb ways of working? I would have loved to do that again, but no, today is different. I plan on being a bit positive in my outlook, and I hope to not criticize anyone (tough task for me).

Getting back, again, to the point which awaits me- elections and the following promises which usually are fake war cries to stimulate people to think of a better future. It all works towards creating an ideal community, and a place which is accepted by all, with faces splattered with wide smiles and toothed and toothless grins. Something which everyone likes, and wants- an ideal community.

So what would your ideal community have? RTI, Lokpal, women empowerment, some tea and milk? (I just can’t hold back myself from making small jabs at certain people.) Idealism is a matter of perspective and it truly differs from person to person. What I may feel ideal may be the worst thing there could be for you, and that’s how it should be. Well, your points are freely welcomed in the comments section below and we can surely have a long discussion as well on this. But yes, following below are some of my ideas about my ideal community.

Are you really happy? Is your work and your daily routine just a routine or does it impart you happiness to follow it? Do you wish to do some activities which you cannot on a daily basis and you feel at least some regret about it? I’m sure there will be at least one person who would say that, “No, I’m not happy”, and there would be many more who say, “I’m happy, but yes I could use some change”. So yes, there goes my first point in my ideal community- happiness about the self. People must be satisfied with themselves and there must not exist any comparison between them. Along with this, people must be happy about every small thing they do and self satisfaction must prevail. This can lead to a reduction in greed and thus reduced crimes and it would thus make society a better and safer place to reside in.

I would have loved to talk about reduce crime, but that will not work to solve anything. We must concentrate on the more important factor there, and that is the cause of the crime. Greed was one point, which was touched before, but the next factor is inequality. Here, it is the divide caused by the most scarce and most wanted resource on this planet- money.

And I wish for equality as the next ingredient for my ideal community. Equality by all means- between the rich and the poor i.e. by money, by religion, by caste, by creed, by country, by language, by food, and by all those petty differences we have used to create walls between us and others. We are all humans, and that is what we must remember forever. God never wished to see us as Indians, or Americans, or as French or any of the names we created for ourselves. He never made India and Pakistan, we did. He never made Muslims and Hindus and Christians, we did. If equality is attained between every person on this planet, then there will be rise to unity, which is my next point.

How does a virus work in a body? It itself has no brain, or nucleus, which leads it on to infect a host and then it goes on to have a large impact on our bodies. How does it manage such a herculean task while it is so minute? Diversion and isolation. A single virus can affect just 1 cell, which is later isolated and this goes on till our body has various partitions like that. We can imagine the world as the body, the people as cells and the various problems we face, like corruption, as the virus. If we make sure its method of propagation does not work by being united and equal on all fronts, then there will not be a single problem which we, the united people, will not be able to handle.

I guess this has gone on to be like a political speech of sorts, and I must confess that it’s quite some time since I’ve done a write-up on a topic like this. Feels good though and I must make a note to myself to write some more stuff like this.

So, this is what my ideal community contains. There are some more points I would have loved to add to these 3, but those would be minor ones which could be tackled by following the above 3 points. There is always a chance that you will have points different from mine, and this is just my opinion on the topic. To share your points, go down to the comments section, and begin typing!

This post is written for Project 365’s prompt titled ‘Idyllic’.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

MayHem 370

08/03/2014 2330 Hours

The lights came on very slowly and my eyes blinked and adjusted slowly to the new brightness around. It was almost 24 hours since I was stranded in this weird place- a container which flew. There was no use for money, and I didn’t have any friends with me. We all had helped each other, yet we knew no one; we just had to do what the gunmen commanded us to. Seizing my book and pen from the bag which lay below my feet, I began writing a diary- a first for me. I had to get my account done, it would help me figure out stuff faster, and it would get me out of this mental trauma as well.

I began writing.

08/03/2014 0000 Hours

“This is the final call for Flight MH-370 to Beijing. Passengers are requested to go to…”

The rest of the announcement drowned in the background as I ran towards the closing gate with my backpack flying berserk.

“Sorry I got delayed. The traffic in this place never ceases.”

“It’s all right Sir. May I see your Passport and Boarding Pass?”

Giving her all that she wanted, I walked into the massive Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777. The safety procedure had been displayed already and as I strapped myself, the plane began taxiing. I looked out of the window as the lights shimmered and illuminated the whole city of Kuala Lumpur. I was glad to have taken this trip, and I hoped it never ended. I had no idea that this trip was going to go bad, very bad, within the next hour.

08/03/2014 0145 Hours

My stomach did a double take as the plane dipped suddenly. Jolted out of my sleep, I looked around to see all the other passengers in the same disoriented state as I was.

“We can’t be there already can we? Unless we had to go back…but that would have been told by the Captain.”

Looking out of the window, I saw that we were surrounded by just sea, and nothing else. But then why the sudden dip?

At that moment, one of the airhostesses came out and said, “We are facing some bad weather and uhmm, to avoid that, we will be flying low. Please do not panic.”

Before anyone could ask her anything, she ran back to her station, as the passengers, including me strained to look up into the dark sky, which showed no signs of bad weather.

Something was up, and we didn’t know what it was.

08/03/2014 0224 Hours

“This is your Captain speaking. We are a bit off course, and we shall be making an impromptu stop in between. You have my guarantee that we shall reach our destination, but when that depends on these men with me…”

The voice vanished abruptly as the uproar began.

“It is requested that all passengers remain seated. We shall be attending to you in some minutes, and you can ask us all that you wish to know. Thank you,” a new voice over the announcement system said.

08/03/2014 0235 Hours

From the shadows, the echo of footsteps reached my ears as the lights in the cabin came on. Walking majestically, a well-dressed man emerged from the shadows and said, “Before you ask me questions, I will ask my friends to come forward and to head towards their respective positions. The situation is well under control and we shall be reaching our destination soon. To the rest of you, I will politely say this once. Please do not interfere in whatever happens on the plane. We do not wish to bathe this lovely piece of engineering in red, though we could if that remains our sole option. And yes, this is a warning, the first one you have received.

5 men got up from their seats and after a nod at the man in command, they walked out.

As the man retreated back into the shadows, the old man next to me asked, “What is going on son? When shall we reach Beijing? Is everything all right?”

Coolly walking towards where I sat, the man pulled out a handgun and pointing it at the now shivering old man said to me, “If this man speaks again, I will kill you first, and then him. You understand?”

I just nodded as the old man fell back into his seat.

With a jubilant smile, the man with the gun walked away.

08/03/2014 0600 Hours

“We will reach our destination within the next hour. Do not move from your places once we land, as you will be the only one responsible for your life. Fasten your seatbelts and kindly switch off all electronic devices for the landing. Now is that how these lovely ladies say it?”

The voice had returned over the speaker. From the window I could see the sun rising, but there was still no land in sight. In the background, the voice on the speaker continued laughing- strong, controlled, and scary. It was the determined laugh of a man on a mission.

08/03/2014 0630 Hours

As the wheels hit the tarmac, I looked out of the window to find my eyes widen with surprise. There was the sparkling sea, highlighted with tall palms and lush greenery, which partially hid the orange ball which had moved higher from its earlier position.

The airplane came to a halt, one of the passengers rushed down the aisle towards the exits, only to return back slowly. Following him was one of the 5 men who were part of this mission, and in his hand he held a gun.

“You were told to obey what was said. We don’t show you what we really can do doesn’t mean that we’ll just sit and watch. May the Lord accept you and may you be blessed. May you rest in peace.”

The last word went unheard in the crack of the gun.

“Is it understood? Does anyone else want to leave?”

He just sniggered as nobody answered.

08/03/2014 1015 Hours

A cold touch on my head roused me from my slumber. Shaking myself awake, I wiped the sleep away from my eyes to see that the killer had returned. All of the eyes in the cabin were on the two of us.

“Teach the others to sleep like you. They will need it,” he said as my eyes widened with fear.

“This man is fast asleep even when his life is in grave danger. That requires courage, and courage demands applause,” he went on as the others clapped due to his waving gun.

“I’m sorry Sir. I haven’t slept for the last 2 nights, so I dozed off.”

“Just sleep like he did. There are hard days which await us, and we shall all require adequate rest. Just don’t snore or I will blow your nasal cavity into pieces, even if it means that I have to shoot you in the head.”

I just nodded weakly as the man sneered.

08/03/2014 1235 Hours

It was more than 12 hours since I was stranded in this pressurized tin can. I wished it all ended soon. I would have loved to write something, but there wasn’t even a faint plan of the future like that. The only option available was to sit through what was going on, and maybe my life, all our lives, would be spared.

08/03/2014 1248 Hours

“The airhostesses shall be coming down the aisles with some food and water. Only take what you need. Wasting food will only make sure that you starve to death faster. There will be nothing I shall be able to do to help you then. Thank you.”

The voice vanished as the ladies began walking around handing out fruits and bottles of water.

At least there was some food available to silence the grumble of my stomach. I ate the apple I had to the core and drained the bottle to the last drop, after which I closed my eyes, letting the darkness control me.

08/03/2014 1423 Hours

A hard nudge on my shoulder again brought me back from the darkness. The old man next to me asked, “Son, can you ask them if I could use the washroom? I am an old man, and at this age I can’t hold my bladder anymore.”

My eyes filled with mist and the fear of asking the terrorists this question set in. But seeing the look of complete anguish and pain on the wrinkled face, I stood up and began walking to the front of the cabin, as various eyes followed me.

As I passed the door, I noticed that it had been left open, and that 7 men stood huddled in the sun, smoking cigarettes and laughing. I recognized 6 of them from the cabin, and the 7th one looked to be the pilot from his uniform, or the co-pilot. As the hushed up meeting went on, my curiosity got the better of me and I walked to the front of the plane. What I saw turned my blood to ice.

There in the corner lay 3 bodies, and the floor was sticky with dried blood. My stomach squirmed and as I tried walking back without revealing my presence, I heard footsteps behind me.

“Well well. Look who’s here! We got ourselves a little treat boys! What are you doing here,” asked the leader as he walked in with his gun.

“I came to…to find you sir. The old man next to me wants to use the washroom, and he needs his medication as well.”

“You dare lie to me kid! You lie to me!”

“No, I swear I’m saying the truth.”

“Bring that oldie here right now. Wait, we’ll all go and if he’s lying, then it will set a nice example for the others. We can’t waste the people who will get us out if we fail. They are our escape route. And Zaharie, get to work on our flight plan. We need to get airborne as soon as the sun dips. There are still some nights left in our travel.

08/03/2014 1441 Hours

Seeing me walk back into the cabin, my old neighbor got up, but fell back in his seat on seeing me cowering under the force of 6 guns.

“This man here tried to escape on the pretence of asking permission to use the washroom. Who sent him, may I know,” one of the men asked.

“Own up right now and answer him or I shall shoot everyone such that you die very painfully. Speak NOW!”

The last word was shouted in extreme rage, and the crowd shuddered. Shaking with fright, my seat partner slowly raised his hand and said, “Could I use the washroom? I’m afraid I won’t be able to hold on any longer.”

My heart boomed as the guns shifted a bit away from me.

The leader began, “Go on old man, and return fast. I don’t want to break the lock on the toilet door and waste a bullet. His life has just been saved or else he was about to become what he just saw- a dead bleeding corpse.”

“Yo Ahmed, this is Zaharie. Can you read me?”

This announcement on the PA system infuriated the leader more, and with a vivid use of swear words, he sent one of his burly henchmen to check what the problem was; and pushing me to my seat, he walked out, stowing his gun in his belt.

08/03/2014 1745 Hours

“We will be departing in around an hour’s time for our next stop. Such journeys will go on till we reach our final destination, where your destiny will be decided. Stay seated, and enjoy the view.”

As a ripple of hushed conversation passed through the seated people, the voice went on, “I expect silence, or I shall cut off your tongues.”

08/03/2014 1900 Hours

We had been in the air for around a quarter of an hour as the plane lurched dangerously. A wave of fear echoed in the silence as everyone held their breaths. Outside the window, the sky had gone dark all of a sudden, and the clouds shone grey in the mist. As I continued looking for some clue, a jet of electricity shot past me and a large rumble resonated in the aluminium can with wings. The plane shivered again, and with a quick look outside, I noticed that we were descending.

I just closed the window and shut my eyes, wondering about my future. I wished I was somehow saved from this mess, and if I would, I would write a book on it.

With a shaken body, mind and soul, I began thinking titles and covers and the plot. Diversion always worked.

08/03/2014 2007 Hours

Shaken and moved by my last look outside the window, I risked looking outside once more as soon as the journey smoothened a bit. We had descended to just some meters above the surface. The sea lurked dangerously below, threatening to engulf the whole transport vehicle with its liquid jaws, and above shone the sky, cloudy but calm. Far near the horizon blinked some lights, bobbing in the swell of the sea- a lost ship, pirates or maybe help.

Without another thought, I blocked my head again with the cover picture I would use, and the gist I would use on the back cover.

08/03/2014 2015 Hours

“The lights in the cabin are being switched off. My men are equipped with night-vision goggles and they shall be moving around the cabin. They have been commanded to shoot anything that moves. A naval carrier has just popped up at the edge of our horizon and to avoid detection, we shall be using these procedures. If anyone tries to create any problems for us and manages to foolhardily put our holy mission into jeopardy, we shall make sure that will be the last thing that the person does. And, not a word.”

08/03/2014 2330 Hours

The lights came on very slowly and my eyes blinked and adjusted slowly to the new brightness around. It was almost 24 hours since I was stranded in this weird place- a container which flew. There was no use for money, and I didn’t have any friends with me. We had all helped each other, yet we knew no one; we just had to do what the gunmen commanded us to. Seizing my book and pen from the bag which lay below my feet, I began writing a diary- a first for me. I had to get my account done, it would help me figure out stuff faster, and it would get me out of this mental trauma as well.

I began writing.

09/03/2014 0030 Hours

The new day has just begun, and there is no surety of when this journey will come to an end. I have now begun to feel claustrophobic, and my ears have a weird screech playing incessantly in them. This plane has been rightly named I guess, MH 370- MayHem 370˚.

This post is written for Project 365’s prompt titled ‘Stranded’. This is just a fictitious visualization of what could have happened to the flight. As of now the plane has not yet been found (when I’m writing this), and I hope that the passengers and the crew are all safe and in good health.