Miranda – Nahi Baraka

A rape is in progress at street 4, barks the operator. The drunk constable on duty, having been jarred from a considerably salubrious dream involving the commissioner’s wife and daughter, rubs his eyes at the unexpected disturbance. He wonders how a rape can be in progress, since there is no way for a rape to actually progress anywhere. Except, of course rape. Pushing away such innately wholesome thoughts, he boards his duty vehicle and vrooms off to the crime scene. Again, he reflects rather sullenly, there should be a separate law for such occurrences; naturally, it would have very little to do with the actual crime, and would be based around what terminology to use while reporting such crimes. Ah, he sighs. There is the apartment, and yet nothing seems amiss. But of course, he says, tapping his forehead. Surely the rapist must be Isaac Newton’s direct descendent. Such a genius move, to choose a vocally disabled woman. Pure excellence. Pushing such thoughts away, he barges in on the crime scene, and adds mental air quotes to the “crime”. The man is facing away from him, busy in the vulgar act. Baton in hand, the constable steps forward. Why, he thinks, there must be this level of paucity in brilliant constables like myself? He hits the rapist, who spins around.

“Aila, Pankaj?”

Pankaj, momentarily forgetting his “sumptuous [sic]” victim, gapes at his childhood friend. “You’re still drunk.”

“And you’re still so charismatic…”, groans the constable, and slips and falls. The potent liquor finally shows its true power. But oh! One cannot shirk from one’s duties even while in a state of extreme inebriation.

Thus the constable, drifting away into another curvy dream, watching his childhood friend grab the hapless woman once again, starts to read him his rights. “You have the right to remain violent…”

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Week 4

I have changed the color scheme of this site and it will remain that way for the foreseeable future. (yes, I am working on The Visitor’s next installment)

Twitter is like selective AIDS, in the sense that it only affects the queers, in this case, budding writers. This isn’t a joke. Wait. No it isn’t. Why is twitter actually bad for writers? It’s like when you think you’re having sex with a mexican mama in a beautiful tropical setting but it’s actually a dingy public washroom and you’re calling your hand oh Carmen. On that thought, visiting my maternal uncle’s family has been really weird for the past year. Oh well.

Again, this is one of the reasons I’m on a break from Twitter from my original account. Tweeting oRiGiNaL fuNnY cOnTeNt is, in a way, good because it acts like the occasional adrenaline rush from running away from the local police. The real rush, however, will only come from an actual highway chase with at least one female lead dying of unnecessary bleeding. Or from that time when you though you were in love but it was just a fleshlight with better mechanics. This is why I have to keep writing long pieces; tweeting short but unexpectedly brilliant tweets like this and this and this helps me retain my sharpness but actually writing something meaningful helps me get sharper. Does it? I do not know. It should. It probably is. I think I’m drifting away from the point here.

Fuck it. My manuscript folder logged a virus today. Like the trojan dude probably always looks for inactive places on the PC hahaha haha ha… Talk about avast laughing at my script’s avastha am I right? I had a backup, so all of it is safe for the time being.

These days I’m weighing my options: I could start drinking and start writing with lesser inhibitions, OR I could kill myself. University is exhausting. Archer is the best, ever. I think I won’t drink after all. Let’s see.

Apathy and other small victories.

Deep Blues

All fully lived lives will inevitably comprise of highs and lows and mediocre incidents. I never knew I was addicted to activity till I crossed the teen threshold a few years back. Like what is this even smh

There’s some kind of cultural celebration at my old college next week; almost certainly another typical gathering of awkward men and women brought alive by a tiny group of typically exceptional individuals. I have been part of the latter crowd for the better part of the last decade, but guess who has two thumbs and typed out “no thanks” to this year’s invitation: this guy.

I want to somehow be in the limelight but also be the one controlling the light switch. Perhaps I will surprise everyone and go to this ageless tradition of coercing innocent denizens of a troubled era into a socially aware force field. Perhaps I will not. That remains to be seen.

To be or not to be is an inherently stupid thought, I think I’m depressed but I tell myself I’m not. This isn’t my idea of a haiku. > This is >

Haiku var haiku
Lok hotil khush jevha tu
Hoshil majhi baiku

A wise man once said, only a fool would fall in love. The best part about this is the irony. More to follow in the far future.

Huffin’ Post

See the thing about exertion is that your breaking point keeps changing. I began running this week, and I’m already at 1km no sweat. It’s really bad, but it’s a start. +XP.

I honestly can’t relate with fellow runners who shove some or the other earpiece into their ears and “pump to the beat” like bitch that’s what your heartbeat is there for. AND there’s nothing quite like collapsing onto the pavement without the tangle or care that electronic devices bring with them. Inshallah I could run without my hoodie if it wasn’t for the cold.

Update: as I’ve committed to writing at least 52 posts in 2018, it is highly probable that I will keep filling the weekly voids with dumb content like this.

Also, please watch The Twilight Zone. *Rod Serling voice* It is a series lost to time but immortal in its own right. (Also it’s much better than Black Mirror)

The Quandary of Good Samaritans

Anne Barber, a 30-something soccer mom from Minneapolis, backed her 2009 Subaru out from the homely garage of her homely home and swung the steering wheel around, pointing the vehicle towards her son’s soccer practice venue. He sat in the back with a pair of half-clean headphones in his ears, probably watching an old Maradona match or porn. The roads were deserted; the holiday fever was in full bloom. Anne rolled down her window and soaked in the humidity, gazing at the rows of lush trees as they waved at her. The beautiful autumn sun made the environment feel like a newly baked batch of vegan cashew cookies. She had almost started smiling.

The truck came out of nowhere, a loud and hard mishmash of bent metal and drunk human. The grille of the truck rammed into the passenger door of Anne’s Subaru and the door window came apart onto her face and she died on the spot. The Subaru kept rolling till it gathered a good amount of moss and landed in a ditch some distance away.

The drunk driver of the truck managed to fishtail his vehicle into a fireball 30 meters from this incident. The entire thing took place in about 16 seconds, leaving behind two corpses and a quarter of a million dollars in insurance bills.

Anne and the driver escaped what Anne’s son, Miles, couldn’t; the agonizing wait for an elusive death. Miles had been, of course, watching porn. His ears were bashed in; he’d gone deaf. The phone screen had shattered and lodged in a piece of crooked doorframe, playing the same doggy style shot over and over again — a glitch that would cost Miles his sanity soon. Both of his legs were missing, and he couldn’t feel his left hand. His right hand felt like it had been used as a pincushion and then dipped in hot tamale sauce. There was a long, unearthly-looking shard sticking from the forearm. He couldn’t move, locked into submission by the faithful seatbelt his mother always assured him would save him. For seventy-nine minutes, Miles stayed in shock, staring at the loop of an ugly man fucking an equally ugly woman. Then the dam finally broke, and he cried.

The first vehicle rumbled in after three hours, and Miles couldn’t hear it. The driver, returning from a long day of depositions, rushed onto the crash site and stopped fast. Pulling out his cellphone and dialing the police, he went from the truck to the Subaru, checking for people. He reported two bodies and a kid screaming. Miles watched as the pair of black office shoes made their way over to his resting place. He couldn’t hear anything but he kept screaming his lungs out. The stranger ducked into the ditch and came face to face with Miles. Miles Barber, an eleven-year old upcoming soccer star with brilliant grades, a boy who had lived his life with his mom and had nothing else to lose, looked into the wide eyes of the Good Samaritan and gasped, uttering only two words, perhaps his last. “Kill me.”


Would you rather put a troubled life out of its misery or would you save it and introduce a deadly new aspect of life, hope, to it? Stay tuned for more neckbreak philosophy.

The Visitor – Part 2

Please read the earlier parts before continuing further.

Part 1


21st August, 2018

Noon

It is true that most men live and die without having truly peeked into their soul. I do not fit into this particular demographic because my soul was right next to me, munching on a vegan cheese sandwich with a wrist flick that mirrored mine.

To whomever finds this document: do not assume, for one second, that this is make-believe. To everyone else: congrats, you’ve saved yourself from a lifetime of looking for apparently nonexistent answers.

Back to the story then. For the convenience of the reader (I really hope someone finds this), I shall refer to the future me as him.

He glanced at me. Judging. Guessing. I did the same. His hot coffee got colder. I don’t drink coffee. Hmm. Finally, I took it upon myself to broach one of the touchier topics of discussion. “Do I get married along the way?”

His face twisted into a grin, but it was sad. I’d never seen myself like that. Weird fucking feeling. “I think it’s better if you don’t know, frankly.”

I frowned. “How does this work? How does your consciousness keep up with this new timeline?”

“Have you watched Dr. Who yet? Wait, no. Not yet. Shit show, but great concepts.”

I ate my sandwich. Waiting.

“See, as I make new memories, for example talking to myself, my brain adjusts accordingly. Older memories are overwritten by new ones.”

“So you don’t remember what happened today, on this day, in your old consciousness?”

“As a matter of fact, I do. The scientists call it a phantom memory. Like when your arm is amputated and you get a bionic arm but you can still feel the presence of your fingers? Very similar to that.” He glanced at the charcoal sky. “Except that the pain is much worse.”

“So what happens to dad?” I had almost accurately guessed the answer beforehand.

“He has a heart attack seven years from now. The attack doesn’t kill him.”

“Then what-”

“The ambulance driver is drunk.”

I gaped at him. A torrent of memories coursed through my head; I couldn’t imagine having to deal with such news. Then I sat back and thought about how he never seemed to genuinely smile, about how his crow’s feet looked forced, and about why he was here.

As if reading my mind, he leaned forward and said to me in a grave tone, “In 2031, there will be an incident in the South Pacific ocean.”

I wiped my face and gazed at a dinosaur-shaped cloud make its way overhead. The restaurant was at the top of a 26-storey skyscraper. “What sort of incident?”

“I can’t tell you,” he said in a low, cautious voice. “But I can show you.” And with that melancholy cheshire grin that I can’t do yet, he yanked me to my feet and threw me off the balcony.


As always, this is only partially fictitious.

Utopia

Imagine a world, not of this time but perhaps one from a parallel timeline. Everyone is just like us, although also distinct in certain ways. The humans know no symbolic bubble of humanity except one in which they reside, as individuals. Everyone leads separate lives. Couples stay together for the period of recreation and procreation as deemed proper by both consenting parties. There is no social obligation to discuss overtly commercialized sports and underwhelming weather. It’s perfectly fine to not party or make public displays of exaggerated histrionics. You are not supposed to smile at a joyous occurrence, and no one frowns if you don’t shed a tear at the passing of a loved one, if there is even such a thing. You live your life without having to make peace with yourself because you already did that when you were born. The only organized religion is individuality. The only god is you. Business works smoothly; markets do not dance to the tune of emotional sway. Technological advances are left to capable hands. There is no AI. Conglomerates do not need advertising or data mined personalizations because no one cares. Occasionally, death and negligence kill people under newfound duress, in time. As needed. Homicides are scarce; the only tenable threat to humanity is a natural calamity. No one cares about anyone else beyond a set of imaginary fences enclosing some individuals close to them. People live and die not knowing sorrow, bliss, or anything in between.

I’d live here.

The Visitor – Part 1

21st August, 2018

Perhaps it was a mistake on my part, or perhaps on mother nature’s, but I could distinctly hear the slow rhythm of raindrops in the distance. On the first day of December. In winter. In India.

The copy of the Times displayed a close-up of another “actress” whose make-up-caked face looked like every other “actress” who was launched into Bollywood after 2012. Pathetic times. I miss Sushmita Sen.

I stood up and did 50 pushups, and 25 blinks. A tasking exercise for sure, but a welcome one. Today was a holiday, on account of it being another religious occasion of some kind. India has more religious celebrations per year than France has in a decade. India 1 – 0 France. Perhaps terrorist attacks will even out the score.

Almost immediately after I showered, I went for a run. A jog, to be precise. I walked. The weather today seemed right out of a Hercule Poirot mystery.

It wasn’t raining yet. Just dense mist and you get the gist. Gloomy clouds crawled across a dark, ominous horizon, almost as if indicative of a great horror. The indication was right. And what a horror it turned out to be.

I saw him at exactly 10:11 AM, on my way back from the market. I hadn’t bought anything. He was leaning against the bridge, wearing a dark suit, maybe dark gray, the 49th shade. He had a mildly sharp jawline, and as I approached him, he turned to face me. The face had changed, but not so much. It showed lines of aging, but not so much. The eyes though, held some kind of sorrow so deep it was almost like there was a pair of borewells behind his eyes and they were filled to the brim with constant reminders of regrettable choices and profound tragedies. He angled his face away for a second, and there it was. The one thing that I could recognize from any place on earth. A mole, precisely in the middle of his left cheek, at equal distances from the left ear and the left nostril. It was so uncanny that I almost stepped ahead and touched it.

I didn’t.

The man smiled mirthlessly. It was the exact same smile I’d been smiling for more than two decades. The exact. Same. Smile.

I have always prided myself on being able to be rather unexpectedly calm. I had anticipated this moment four years ago. I’d been waiting. He was finally here.

I was finally here.

The idea of time travel, if you think about it, is just an intractable problem waiting to be solved. Paradoxic as that may sound, the lack of certain constants and variables and things in between are the only entities separating us from time travellers.

In an episode of Rick & Morty (S03E01), Rick Sanchez talks about 3 lines of math that separate his life as a man from his life as an unfeeling ghost. I have no such separation layer, a fact that only made today’s encounter plausible.

I always knew somehow that within 3 decades, man would’ve cracked the code of bending time and space, and that soon after that there would be time wars on unprecedented scales.

The man smiled at me. I was right. From the start, we’d been unusually adept at making guesses and being right.

“You’re old,” I said.

“No shit,” I said.

“How long did the wars last?”

“There was only one war. It started in 2033, and it ended in 2028.”

I stared at my 15+ year older self, particularly the lower part of the face. Seemingly, I’m supposed to take up smoking in the next 15 years. Never thought that would happen. And yet here was living proof.

He looked away. The thing about time travel is that there will always be a paradox. The two things are synonymous.

Then he looked back at me. “I need your help.”

It started raining.


Note: this story is, has been, and will be only partially true.

The Other Side

It’s another cold wintery evening, I’m out here in the park with no internet and just my phone. And I now know what the real definition of shrinkage is.

People have all kinds of weird hobbies; it is almost imperative that you have some or the other hobby. Me? I love to watch.

I watch movies, series, documentaries, and people. Especially people. Somehow I have the right knack in this aspect. Maybe it’s genetic; my parents have always been keen observers. It is almost creepy at times but who cares. I will now proceed to extrapolate a story based on uneducated guesses and featuring a guy who was walking 15 ft ahead of me. He went away when I reached the park. Bear with me.


John Doe was a twitchy man that evening. He walked fast, perhaps trying to keep pace with his heartbeat. Which was fast. His hands kept opening and closing as if trying to grasp at invisible tits. At one point he took out his phone and unlocked it and locked it and put it back in; like he was at home and it was his fridge. Home. The very word seemed alien to him; surely there was a place in the world where he could attain peace? No, there wasn’t. John tightened his coat and took a left after he’d crossed the park. Everywhere around him, silhouettes shifted against the shadows.

She’d been right. Always, unerringly right. If there was a god, he’d be wrong, but not her. Never once had she lied to him. He was a different story altogether. Even after their marriage, he’d kept his second life, this life, secret from her. Jane.

In government circles of the more clandestine nature, people like John are known as sleepers. These sleepers are deep cover agents conditioned from the very start to infiltrate and, as needed, destroy target communities/groups. His wife, Jane, had no idea her jolly and voracious husband was one of these. She died with that lie.

On her deathbed, John took one look at his wife, the same face he’d seen for seventeen months, and yet that day he saw it and he went crazy.

He had made the most common mistake all agents make. As his wife inhaled one last time, as her eyes searched for his eyes, it struck him that he’d fallen in love. As she ceased to live, his love for her came alive as never before. He cried for seven hours that night.

Then he went to work. She’d been mugged not far from here. He pulled schematics and talked to the locals. He poured his heart into it. And then today he’d found her. A girl named Donna had been missing from the usual mugger meetings that exact night. He was headed towards her lurker spot.

John knew he was about to commit something that his superiors had never heard of, let even approved. He didn’t care. In any case, they probably didn’t even know what he was doing. His handler, a strict, loyal man named Nathan, worked at the local supermart as the head manager. It was the perfect cover. But he was a long way from here.

John reached the cul de sac and cautiously stepped in. His brain displayed the mugshot of Donna clear as crystal. An eye for an eye. His hand reached for his combat knife and stayed there; he could have it out in a jiffy if he wanted. Then he saw her.

She was Donna, there was no doubt about it. Her face was exactly as shown in the picture. The only difference here was that her throat was partially torn open and her head was turned the wrong way around. He knew he wouldn’t find a pulse.

“You cannot stray from the cause and hope we don’t notice, my friend.” A high-pitched voice said.

John’s grip on the knife tightened. “Nathan”, he said.

“John”, Nathan said. “This was a bad idea.”

“She was my wife.”

“She was a means to an end.”

“What now?”, said John. His knife waited in his hand, poised.

“Good night, John.” Nathan zipped into focus from John’s right, and there was a sudden pain in the middle of John’s eyes, and then he died.

Nathan put the one-handed crossbow away and called his superiors. Everything would be taken care of. Then he went home and slept soundly.


Thanks.

Joke #2: The Touch

[I actually posted this as a Twitter thread but it got no traction, hence edit-reposting here]

Disclaimer: Keep your cringe to yourself, and don’t skip to the end

I work in a very commonplace workplace. I have a car which I share with my male co-workers, and they have wives with the same deal.

I also have a stereotype bitch colleague, let’s call her Riya. Now Riya is basically the workplace yedi bhok, and no one likes her. However, she came into the world with a silver spoon in her mouth (there are rumors of a Caesarian complication due to metal in the womb) and hence everyone tries to make do in the hopes of getting a bit of extra maal every now and then. Maal also means drugs (did I mention?). Riya also has an uncle, let’s call him Manish. Manish is filthy rich, and is in the precious metal industry. Which means he swims in pussy and deep, dirty mines. Last week he contacted me and a couple others, inviting us to this posh little secret place in the “mountains”. I later found out that mountains is a codeword or something for his jacuzzi (very big, very smelly). Anyway we reached there, and this nigga came to greet us, all smiles and no foreskin (inside info). Turned out we weren’t going in the jacuzzi at all. We were going to one of his mines. He managed to push a “these mines are mine” joke somewhere in the convo, I don’t recall. He was very excited though, and to be honest, we were too.

The day soon took a turn for the worse. We reached the mines, and all the workers glared sullenly at us (wage gap wtf) and there was this dense atmosphere full of graphite dust and hostility. We did not mind (I’m trained in all kinds of mixed yoga and my colleagues do MMA) this behaviour. Now the workers almost certainly had something shady going on, but Manish seemed to be oblivious to it. We were the obvious victims here, we just didn’t know. Again, did I mention that the mine workers looked kinda strange? Like really weird for the kind of work Manish was getting them to do. Anyway, as soon as we set foot here, we were ushered into an antechamber that had a soft glow. Manish told us he was mining a certain highly coveted metal (never disclosed the name). After about 20 minutes of idle chitchat, he got a phone call (“booty call”). Very suspicious pucchi imho. We were left alone with the group of surly workers, who stared us down if we were the ones cutting up salaries and bonuses.

Eventually, we realized that Manish had been gone for too long, that somehow this was too wrong, that rhymes sound good only in pairs.

Then it happened. The lights went out. There was no indication, and poof! No lights. I almost said something utterly stupid like “demonetization was a good idea”, but caught myself and moved closer to the walls for support. I did not notice the dark shape till it was too late.

My hand reached out and grazed a fleshy appendage in the pitch black mine. The touch sent electric waves through my body (even though it was a body part, not a socket). It came to me in a matter of moments that I had just made physical contact with a dick (not Richard) How did i know? Don’t ask. I just knew. And then the lights came on. Manish came in. I looked at the mine worker, who wouldn’t meet my gaze. I wouldn’t meet my own gaze for a solid 48 hours after that. The lights were sorted out, Manish took us back and dropped us off at our homes. It was a truly, truly devastating incident, and I will never be able to forget it.

And that is how I once inappropriately touched a miner.