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Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category

The 5 PM Girl

In Writing on August 6, 2015 at 6:07 am

So there was this girl I used to know who
would send sad-sad stuff to my email
at 5PM in the evening. I will
call her: My five PM Girl.

If I were to take out a quick inventory today
of all the things she emailed to me
over those last few months, I could mention
the following three items (the last
three) –

One sad story
One Sad poem
One sad song

For the life of me, I cannot say with
100% certitude, the exact event, or the
set of events, that triggered her on an
email sending spree.

Maybe, it was something to do with me:
something I wrote, something I said, or
maybe something I left unsaid.

I once sent her a short story: The 100%
Girl by Haruki Murakami. It was about a
short story — of two 30 year olds, who
were 100% match for each other, only for
both of them to fall sick and lose each
and every loving memory they had of each
other.

Shortly, afterwards, I received an email:
a short story on knaves who pretended
to be knights and about a working girl
miserable because of the many unwanted suitors in her
life.

Then, once, while I was travelling deep
South, trying to nurse my broken heart (I
still don’t know what broke it; or who
broke it; or the exact day it broke) the
5PM girl sent me a link to a sad song (it
was 5 PM).

The song was about unrequited love: guy
meets girl on the subway, falls in love,
comes to know she is already taken,
doesn’t let go (because, oh!, he has a
plan). The song ends with the guy
realizes the futility of his love. He
takes takes off his shoes, watch, and
dives off a bridge into a river. It was
kinda sad.

Sometimes, when we met, she would look at
me, and say: “Why so sad, Amit?”.

I would mumble something about the
weather, some vague illness, centuries old tiredness, but never the truth: that it was the meeting and the leaving her that left me sad…

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Why top [pick your number] lists suck

In Writing on November 12, 2013 at 5:42 am

Top [pick your number] lists should come with a statutory warning – “Top [pick your number] lists are bad for reader’s well being and mental health. Tests carried out at the university of XYZ show that top [Pick your number please] lists impair brain function and lead to a lazy disposition of the reader. Reader’s discretion is advised”

Now, you may say, why this grudge, why this rant, why this all-out, till the end-of-the-world, declaration of war, against something as innocuously worded as “top seven sex tricks to jazz up your love life” or even “top seven apps that will make you a model employee”. Bear with me, let me first introduce you to a top [pick your number will] writer.

Basically a top [pick your number] writer is a megalomaniac who see themselves as some sort of a modern day seer. Now you tell me,  what kind of man or woman whittles down top sex positions to a mere six or seven – she/he has to be a megalomaniac, right? How can you whittle down something so important as sex to a top [pick your number] list.  Obviously, it has to be some kind of God complex at play. It is like – “Ooh! My words are final.   And there is no way you can ever enjoy or achieve anything in life if you’re not acquainted with one of my top [pick your number] list.”

Top [pick your number] writers are overbearingly arrogant, know- it- alls. You know the type. And you see them everywhere, spawning like the matrix – no wonder there are so many top [pick your number] lists on the big WWW.  They are the kind that believe that life’s important questions and everything in between can be distilled down to top [pick your number] lists. Let me ask you – what kind of moron does that? You’re right, only those with some kind of insufferable God complex, the know-it-alls, and the top [pick your number] list writer wallahs.

You can trust them to take the joy out of your Sunday book reading sessions. Trust me, you’ll do well to stay away from their weekly reading suggestions or top [pick your number] things you need to enjoy a book.   I chanced on one that recommended tea, coffee, chocolate cake to make your book reading more enjoyable. Isn’t that depressing? Tea, coffee, chocolate – really?

Here is my question – why limit yourself to only tea, coffee, chocolate cake? Why not add acid, coke, LSD, mescaline? Don’t they know that a good read is like a sustained release Dopamine capsule kicking in at regular intervals and keeping the reader on a perpetual high. Why the hell do you need stimulants?

Then there are top[pick your number] writers who see themselves at the forefront of women’s empowerment. So every article is a top [pick your number] [pick your favorite app/too/software] for the working women. It is sexist really. And it is a tad bit sad because they have taken a perfectly egalitarian thing – technology – and turned it into a male-female divide to serve their respective constituencies.

Here is the thing,  top [pick your number] lists won’t make you any smarter as they are written under the impression that you are too dumb to do your research.  So are you dumb? Your favorite top [pick your number] writers think so? Mad, huh? Time to shun them. 

Writer Mercenary

In Writing on January 2, 2013 at 4:45 pm

I am a writer mercenary. I write for a living. Pay me well and I will do a hatchet job on your competition. I will dish out the vilest untruths and half lies with the greatest relish. I will rip into your rival’s product and drag it through the mud – leaving reputation in tatters. If the money is not good or the other side offers more, I will switch to the other side, just like a mercenary switches sides mid battle. I will do it with no qualm in my heart. I am a writer mercenary.

Here is a secret – I never use a product before writing a review. Your product may be the best, but I don’t care. My job is to tarnish your reputation and I mean to do it well.  All I need is my imagination and some bitterness in my heart.  I can feel bile rising now. I will trash, burn and savage your competition to your heart’s content and ground your rival into the dust. But you must pay me my money. Or Else..

For a price I will write you nice reviews. Your cake is the sweetest! Your diet works magic!  Your home gym rocks! Your exercise bike is the safest! African Mango, Acacia berry – name it. And I will say it works.

Even though I have never assembled a bike, I can write manuals on assembling the most complex exercise machines in less than 30 minutes. Do you know what a “Crosman Benjamin 392 .22 Caliber Bolt Action Variable Pump Air Rifle with Hardwood Stock and forearmfeels like. I do. It feels like a Crosman Benjamin 392 .22 Caliber Bolt Action Variable Pump Air Rifle with Hardwood Stock and forearm. If you want more information, read the review.

Being a mercenary has its advantages. I can write the way I like. I am a writer mercenary after all. Writer Mercenaries are not known for their allegiance – not even to the rules of grammar. Hell with your “subject and word agreements”, “dangling modifiers” and what not’s. Commas are boring. Use your brains and put them where you please.  If you don’t like the way I write, find another mercenary.

Since I am a writer mercenary, I am not bound by rules and regulations. I am not your employee.  I work when I want. I work where I want. Sometimes I tell my client to take a hike. It feels good. It feels good to get back the control. I control the rudder to my ship. This ship sails to where it wants. Sometimes it drifts. There is great fun in drifting. Try it sometimes. But of course you must come back from your drifting. There is money to earn.

Written in a beer induced daze

In Writing on May 3, 2012 at 9:52 am

On writing

A guy like me, with limited number of grey cells swimming in the medulla oblongata, has no business reading Schopenhauer. He was a wiz, if ever there was one. He wrote treatise on philosophy, science, and, the way we think and act. Precursor to Freud, Jung he waged a war against rival philosophers like Kant. I don’t think, he put in one honest day’s work (lucky him), but, he thought a lot, some of it focused on  writers and their writing- my kind. Hence my trepidation, I am a writer you see.  It was only with a lot of alcohol swimming in my system and some trepidation( I love this word) that I finally found the courage to read him. He was tough on writers, so I was told. I needed an armor stronger than steel, because I am a writer( I love calling myself one).

Most of his thought scares the hell out of me. For example, he firmly believed that if you write for money, you suck big time. Yeah! he said that. Money tarnishes your work with a brush of banality. It lacks content and a heart. The expectancy, he says, of being rewarded for the writing, destroys the soul of the writing, the wit, and much about. everything else. Much of the writing is done to please and that essential “naivety” is lost behind the façade of words and much convoluted thinking.

I agree

I do that a lot when I write.

It is called technical writing. .

You see most great works have a childish, naïve like quality. Let’s take Alice in the wonderland for example. Isn’t it a fabulous read? It has everything a fable needs: talking rabbits, walrus and the carpenter, the queen shouting “off with his head”. I can bet the bottom rupee in my money jar that, there is no way, anyone could have written such a tale, unless in a very inebriated state.

I tried it once upon a time and it worked fine.

I, once, wrote a short tale of talking cats after downing copious amounts of beer.

—————————————————————————————————————-

Suzerainty

Many, years ago, a very young boy, the hermit, hearing scratching and mewing, opened a door and found his destiny and a yellow cat. The cat, one of those bushy little things, very businesslike, always running on an errand, sat on its haunches, raised its paws, and kneaded the dry winter air in little circles: Once, twice and then thrice. The hermit, sat down, and with child like naivety, proffered his hand: A handshake Mr. Yellow Cat; How do you do? Are the children all right; the missus, she okay, eh? The Yellow cat, looked at the hand, and said gravely-

“The twelve cats
So they prophesied
The hermit, he lived
Near the silver fox
With the button hole”

By reflex, and part by fright, the hand tightened, much to Yellow Cat’s discomfort; right before the hermit’s eyes it leapt nine feet high, spinning in a blur and landed at the very spot. Now, had there been a slow motion camera an astonishing feat would have been recorded, for in its ascendancy the cat had thrown in a backward somersault, one cater vault; all the while licking its paws with absolute nonchalance.

“Ouch, hurt me not
I am the messenger
Not the mole”

The Hermit sat and pondered and looked at the cat; the cat sat back on its haunches and looked at the hermit. Then thinking aloud he said, “But there is no silver fox with the buttonhole; it’s not me the cat addresses”. Clearing his throat, very businesslike, and then touching one whisker and then another, the cat stretched one furry hand towards Chandni the she dog lay, panting furiously, the bushy tail working overtime keeping the flies away. Jabbing furiously in that direction said the yellow cat, “There is your silver fox; isn’t it true that she belongs to the family which hunts in the night and bays at the moon.”

“What about the buttonhole”, I said: Damned if I was going believe that Chandini had anything to do with the making and the unmaking of history: Poor Chandini, wandering aimlessly trailed by a half a dozen pups angry yelping at anything that moved; look at her teats for god sake. “What about her”, the cat spoke, “ did you not notice the button shaped mark, when she rolled in the dust, made half crazy by the heat, all four legs in the air, ears flapping and nose sniffing, sniffing, sniffing.

The cat paused and reflected and I am sure he would have crossed and uncrossed his legs had this been a business meeting. One carefully manicured paw stretched towards the heavens, and he spoke with lots of gravitas,

“Its destined you know
The day of the judgment
When cats of all color rise
And fight mankind for the
Ultimate prized”

“Ah, no alien invasion then, just a mere cat-invasion then; what a funny way to die”, said I. The cat looked displeased, as if he was slightly disappointed in me, maybe he expected me to bring a saucer of milk or a piece of yesterdays fish at least. Looking at me with saucy eyes, it spoke, earnestness shining from its eyes, “laugh all you want, but not a world of this to anyone or another kind will rise” So there was another, huh? Slightly miffed that I was not the supreme one, I asked, “So, who else is there, your highness, and to what greater purpose are we decreed.

“That in time”, and saying that the cat swished its tail, once, twice and thrice and then went its way.

——————————————————————————————————————–

I just lost the thread after the alcohol induced daze had lifted.

Since drinking is a big NO, NO there is no chance of ever resuscitating what my alcohol induced brain conjured. And this is my point- anybody can write an Alice in the wonderland with enough alcohol sloshing around. Hell! it is not creativity. It is the freeing of the mind. Letting naivety fit into words. How else do you imagine something like lying on a rye field and catching kids as they topple off the clips. I tell you that writer was on something stronger than the usual H2O.  .