Smart & Like-Minded Followers

Friday, 6 December 2013

The Curious Case of Mr. Lenin Trotsky

Story Corner #1

For Mr. Eriksson Smith, the quality time he will be spending with his daughter is a feeling beyond the unimaginable and an incessant worry that forms a tight knot in his stomach. He is well aware of the strained, wrinkled and fragile bond that he shares with his only daughter. Nevertheless, he tries hard to please his adolescent child who he loves unconditionally. Hence, Mr. Smith decides to treat his daughter with the beauty of the wildlife in the hopes of winning her love back. There is one small problem though... Eriksson Smith has always had a series of rather unfortunate events which always waters his good intentions. Still, he is convinced that there is nothing that can possibly go wrong.

As we return to the present, I shall take a leave and handover the responsibility of the story-telling to Eriksson lovely daughter, Erika. Please ignore the cheeky comments from the adolescent Erika. She’s in that ‘I’m too cool for you phase’, the stereotypical ‘social butterfly’ that I have always loathed. I wonder how such people don’t bang into walls; I mean they are so caught up in their own world... Might as well throw them in a pool filled with snakes and they’ll still take ‘selfies’ with the captions; ‘I’m so wild, chilling with snakes that are going to kill me after I upload this picture’. And this gets like over 10,000 likes.
Never mind, I’m the one from the wrong century. This may not be a ‘blog post’ per se but I decided that I’d entertain my reader with a short story. Yes, it is unusual and maybe a first but why not take the risks, for C’est la vie! Without further ado, here I bestow before you ‘The Curious Case of Mr. Lenin Trotsky.’
“There are definitely no wild animals here”, said my father, as we were setting up our tent in the middle of the woods. “And I believe you, father.” I said aimlessly staring at the glowing screen of my iPad. The sarcasm in my voice goes unnoticed by him. So much for bonding and getting to know each other. All I really care about is not losing network in this wilderness.

Who cares about a bunch of carnivores?

The bushes behind us rustle annoyingly, the endless echoing of silence and fresh air has begun me a headache. I live in the heart of Stockholm; I need incessant honking, phone ringing, loud television noises and pollution in the air for a good night’s sleep. My father unexpectedly pulls me into a bone-crushing hug. “Don’t worry princess! Daddy’s here.” Oh heavens let me breathe, daddy is killing me!  I break away and nurse my swollen arms, what is wrong with this man! I get hives and I’m sure my arms resemble those of 2 hot-air balloons. This man needs to get his priorities sorted, “I’ll protect you; I am fearless, confident and smart!” says my father his chest swelling with pride. Men and their egos!

There is a sudden loud crack that resonates above our heads. The sky darkens, with a streak of lighting shooting across dangerously. I tear my eyes away and raise my eyebrow in confusion; wasn’t my father was here a minute ago. I hear teeth chattering and heavy breathing behind me. I turn around and come face to face with my father- whose face resembles that of a corpse. He tries to look nonchalant and whistles pretentiously. I roll my eyes and tug his arm towards the tent. “Apprehensive, hesitant and stupid!” I mutter under my breathe and pull the sleeping bag over my body whilst filling my ears to the music of Little Mix. I turn my back to my father and shuffle further away from him, I hear him sigh deeply like a wounded animal. Even though it tugs at my heart strings, I strengthen my core and shrug off feeling any pity for my father. “I wasn’t frightened Erika, I was caught by sur-“ I cut him off and say rather curtly, “Save it father.”

After awhile, I rise slowly from my sprawled sleeping position. Eriksson sleeps on his stomach his hands above his head. We sleep the same way but other than my olive green eyes, we have no similarities. My eyes peer at a silhouette of an animal that trudges silently on the grass, outside the tent. 

“Psst... Father, wake up.” I whisper hastily, I throw my shawl over his face but he doesn’t respond. I call out again this time an octave higher and Eriksson turns on his back, my shawl slipping off his face. I feel my body stiffen instinctively; the silhouette’s shadow rises and darkens with his every move. My eyes pop but I stay frozen to my limbs, my mind prepares a countdown to my death in my head and all I can do is glower at Eriksson the sleeping idiot.

I watch the figure slowly push open the tent flap aside and walk in. Eriksson suddenly wakes up and regards me intently, I jerk my head in the direction of the animal but my attempts go in vain. Eriksson begins to get up, my heart jumps and I motion for him to stop, being as smooth as possible. 

“Father, don’t move… there is a yellow animal covered in black spots, who is fast and ferocious on all fours right behind you.” My voice escalates but Eriksson rolls his eyes. “Erika, I’m daunt-” He turns around and the cheetah is nose to nose with him. “-Oh shit” He completes his voice that resembling a 6 year old. I watch my father falls slowly to the ground and the cheetah towering over his body. Almost eerily, Adele begins to sing Skyfall on my iPod. This is the end, hold your breath and count to 10, feel the earth move and then, here my heart burst again-

“Relax! My name is Lenin Trotsky, I’m Sudeten-German. Hail Hitler!” What! I stop Adele and gaze wide eyed as the cheetah shoots his paw out and accidentally knocks my father’s nose, the latter doesn’t make a move to nurse his bleeding nose. My jaw hits the wet ground, the animal speaks. I’m either dreaming or hallucinating or my brain is trying to make my death more commercialised. “Eh…sorry sir.” Says Lenin apologetically and as for my father, he lives to nod in reply.

The cheetah lifts off my father but takes a seat beside him. Eriksson straightens up precariously his countenance shaken. Lenin takes out a cigarette from his ear and lights it up by striking a match to his backside. The cheetah blows rings of smoke and I watch him dumfounded. He feels my heavy gaze and flashes me a toothy grin. I shiver, gulping whatever little saliva in my mouth. Lenin moves forward and takes my hand into his paw. 

“Fraulein, how did I not notice such a beautiful work of art. Forgive me my lady, these eyes were distracted.” Lenin kisses my hand. Actually more of saliva coating. I take my hand out and wipe it on my sleeves. Eww and phew!

“You must have names.” Lenin props itself on one arm and looks at us expectantly. My father blinks hesitantly but stutters to answers; “I’m Eriksson and this is my daughter Erika.” I give a tight smile and Lenin nods in approval. Never in my wildest dreams would a cheetah be flirting with me. “Lovely name, Lovely girl.” Lenin winks and I change the topic. “How did you stumble onto our tent?"

“Fraulein Erika, you see I was being chased by these cheetahs, vicious creatures with impeccable speed I tell you. I managed to lead them off and circle back here.” Lenin puffs another ring of smoke as if the memory was quite troubling. What is this freaky Friday? “You’re a cheetah.” I say incredulously. He seems offended and he pats my father’s arm as if to say ‘what’s she crazy?’ My poor father jerks quite violently, but luckily Lenin doesn’t notice it. 

“I am not a cheetah! I’m human like you and your father.”
“What nonsense you’re furry.”  Lenin threw his paws in the air and then an arm around my father, who I’m sure nearly died of fright. “I haven’t waxed in ages, there I said it and yes I’m not proud of it.” I pinch myself, this can’t be reality. 

“You have whiskers and a tail!” I counter, my poor father who is drenched with sweat prays for me to stop pestering Lenin. The latter lights another cigarette his arm still slung around my father’s shoulders.

 “I have a thin beard and this is not a tail, it’s actually a-”
“Are you kidding me?” I laugh loudly. 
“You’re insulting me.” Lenin is close enough for me to see the gold flecks in his eyes, I reply calmly, “What are you going to do eat me, but humans don’t eat other humans.”  Lenin sneers and storms off, muttering angrily to himself, “Stupid people, insulting Lenin Trotsky, must be Jews…”

I walk to my father and remove his hand which was covering his eyes. “I could have handled that I just-?”
“Oh, I know daddy you’re the best.” I hug my father and kiss his cheek lightly. Patting his head lightly and helping him into his sleeping bag. My friends will be so over me once I tell them about my curious encounter with Lenin Trotsky the cheetah!
Lenin Trotsky was a victim of an animal experimentation. Lenin was a beautiful cheetah who was caught in the wild and shipped to a lab where a group of scientists altered the genetic code of this poor animal to make him as superior as us humans. The experiment was a success not only could Lenin read and write, he could talk in 7 languages which even included Yiddish. Nevertheless, the scientists also gave Lenin the power to feel and think, so what did Lenin think of his predicament? He was horrified but delighted that he could finally express what he could feel and not be subjected as a pet project for humans. Almost comically, his programming was accidentally set to the 19th century instead of the 21st century, hence making him very ‘backward’ in his view. Lenin was let loose and the scientist who was supposed to remove his vocals never showed up.

Animal experimentation has been haunting our world for decades. Innocent creatures are subjected to not only violence but also to theories that only seem fair on paper. From rats to monkeys, animal experimentation has gone too far. The allowance to live was not given to only us humans; it was given to our Mother Nature, our Solar System and the animals who may not be as superior as us.

Live and Let Live. Take a stand and protect the wildlife from extinction, from torture and from the demons in all of us. Until we find our humanity and learn to see beyond ourselves, we shall never prosper but keep taking 10 steps backwards when we were supposed to take 10 steps forward.

~Injustice is anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere~

Friday, 29 November 2013

Internet Dating!

I don’t understand internet dating. Like seriously, if you want to kiss your boyfriend are you going to Facebook him a ‘kiss’ chat emotion. If you are angry at him for not coming online at a given time (times zones are such bullies), will you yell at him over Skype! ‘Love over the internet’… Give me a break. There is no intimacy, nothing tangible between you and your internet lover other than your laptop or your computer. And, even if you do meet up regularly over Skype is there are certain things needs that have to be fulfilled. Like, playing Outlast together or going shopping or watching movies… Wait! What were you guys thinking? Right that… well, if you have enough knowledge- which shall be helpful in the future, you should be well aware about the workings of nature and how certain things or rather ‘functions’ cannot be exactly- how should I put this, exercised effectively if well your medium is through the internet.

Moving on from the previous awkward paragraph… I don’t get it how two strangers decide to open up their lives to someone who you know next to nothing about. How can you let that person see your pictures, your statuses, your work place and credentials, your family and your unhealthy obsession with a certain boy band! (Maybe the last one is just for me...?)

Nevertheless, most relationships are made on the internet. I don’t understand how there is so much trust involved because you are not ‘with’ your boyfriend/girlfriend, how do you know if he/she is not cheating on you. How can you tell if this person if serious with you or if you’re just a past time? Basically, if you can buy shoes and clothes on the internet, you can even get a ready-made husband/boy friend from anywhere around the world!

I have heard so many cases where internet Prince Charming turned Internet Jack the ripper. Let’s refresh our Word-Meaning knowledge and for the last time understand the true meaning of love, the significance of love, the purity in the word ‘love’.

Love noun \ˈləv\
: A feeling of strong or constant affection for a person
: Attraction that includes sexual desire: the strong affection felt by people who have a romantic relationship
: A person you love in a romantic way

Yes, I’m serious; ‘Love’ is the most overrated and abused word used by this generation. Do I really have to explain myself?
Yes, I have too... 

You see no matter how ‘modern’ you think you are when it comes to love; deep down we all have our ‘dream love’ and yes we want the ‘happy endings’ the ‘sappy love stories’ because we are human and we humans “are all a little weird and life's a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love." -Robert Fulghum

See the thing is that, when you are older and wiser and stronger you’ll be able to differentiate between the right and the wrong. I’m not saying that Internet Dating is absolutely horrid, all I’m saying is that in our quest to find ‘true love’; is it worth being in a relationship with someone who isn’t here right now with you. Is it worth loving a person, whose condolences will be given over the phone? Is it worth waiting and talking and falling and loving with someone who you may or may never meet?
Maybe, you will work it out. Maybe there is a proverbial silver lining to this quirky relationship and yes there are many cases of happy endings. Therefore I ask you again, if you have such a strong desire to be loved and respected, why would you trick yourself into believing an irrational phantasm?

I have heard cute stories of how an ‘accidental friend request’ got two lovers together. How a ‘Facebook picture’ changed a person’s life. You will not believe it, I know this girl who found the ‘perfect guy’ over the internet and they have been together for over a year now.

PS: We live in the 21st Century where relationship breakdown faster than Maruti 800s so when I hear a relationship that has even lasted for more than a month... It’s miracle!
Internet Dating is a fad which will (hopefully) fade away. It sure has its risks but I think that what most people say right: 
‘Take a leap of faith because your love is among 100,000 of people who use social-networking sites. You’ll find him/her, refreshing or re-tweeting one another’. And, there starts your love story, ‘How I Found Your Mother on Tumblr! 

And finally, here is a beginner's guide to Internet Dating and I hope it serves you well and that you do find someone your relationship sails like the Titanic greatest ship!


Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Same Love

"Brief is life but love is long."- Alfred Lord Tennyson

After hits like 'Thrift Shop' and 'Can’t Hold Us', you would expect indie rapper and producer Macklemore & Ryan Lewis to come out with something fun and refreshing. You would expect them to rap about their popularity and new-found fame, the standard base for almost all rap songs. The 'depth' of most rap songs are descriptions of women to objects such as 'jugs' and 'cars you want to ride in'. Or lyrically sometimes about the 'hard-life' and 'swagger' that most people lack.
So even though I am a huge Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' fan, I somehow fell under the impression that their next single would have to be about their new found success. I was in for a bit of a wake-up call that I guess I wasn't ready for. So you might wonder what does the rags to riches artist-producer release as their next single? It is a song on support for LGBT - Lesbians, Gays, Bi-sexual, and Transgenders.

The song in fact features Seattle-based singer-songwriter and spoken word artist, Mary Lambert. Lambert herself who grew up with sexuality issues, embraced herself at the age of 17. Lambert is a self-proclaimed femme lesbian and wrote the chorus of the song 'Same Love'.  The 'Same Love' chorus draws on Lambert's experiences as a lesbian growing up in a tumultuous Christian upbringing. In the song Mary Lambert repeats the line, "Not crying on Sundays," for example, echoes the way she felt after leaving Sunday services in the Evangelical Church. She wrote the hook for the song in only 2 hours and for her 'coming out' was the best decision of her life. 

A shocking and a very bold move which you would not expect from this genre of music (Rap/Hip-hop). Sure rap legends like Eminem and Lil Wayne have rapped about their problems and struggles but never on sensitive topics such as sexuality. The reason being that genres such as Rap & Hip-Hop are the self-proclaimed 'cool' genres with 'hard-hitting' lyrics of a woman's body. So why would Ben Haggerty a.k.a Macklemore and his producer Ryan Lewis take such challenge. No matter how much we want to believe that our mindsets are 'modern' and 'different' at the end of the day we all are nothing but a bunch of stereotypes preaching equality but secretly deeming it.

When I heard 'Same Love' for the first time, I didn't know how to react. My body reacted faster than my mind and by the end of the song, I was reduced to tears. But, you see these tears were not out of pity, they were out of sadness. Sadness because we are numb to other people's emotions that we say the ugliest of things without any sort of regard for the after effect. More than sadness, I would say it was guilt for making the word 'gay' such a dirty noun. We crowned the word as a synonym to 'untouchables'. Its in times like this when you question your morals and you wonder how far can your actions be justified. 
From the very traditional starting of piano keys, you would not expect the first line from the song to be ‘When I was in the 3rd grade I thought that I was gay.’ You see that is what separates Macklemore & Ryan Lewis from the conventional group of rappers to the prodigy. They are fearless and yes through music this rap duo questions the norms that our society has been embedded with for generations. And, to be honest no matter how much we believe that our minds has broaden... I'm sorry to say that we are all stuck in the same place. Every time we take 10 steps forwards through innovation and technology, we tend to take 10 steps backwards with our close minded views on 'tradition'.
Tradition in its literal sense means: the handing down of statements, beliefs, legends, customs, information, etc., from generation to generation, especially byword of mouth or by practice

Tradition is not religion because believing in something doesn't mean you have faith in it. You believe in the existence of a democratic and just system but do you have faith in its workings?
Today, you will say that I am young and for me this topic is very sensitive and that this predicament is complicated. If so, then why aren't you doing anything to solve it? Help us understand, this oh so complicated theorem of having feelings for the same sex? Most religious institutions call this 'situation' as unnatural because loving the same sex is a direct unbalance of nature. I understand that by 'unnatural' it refers to the fact that only a man and woman can come together to bear a child and that it is not possible for this to occur within the same sex. However, there are alternatives to this like adoption and surrogacy etc. What I mean to say is that our choices define us and we have the right to make our own decision but more than anything we must learn to also respect other people's decisions. That being said. in the name of religion hate crimes are committed and the word of God is used a defense mechanism to justify the social evils that are done to the LGBT community.
Let me ask you one thing though, what is natural in your definition? Is it mercilessly killing people or committing horrific crimes such as rape and honor killing? For me that is not natural. That is pure evil and that is the imbalance of nature not falling in love with the same sex.
I challenge every institution, every religion, every belief including my own catholic belief. If God really loves us so much then I am sure that he would not differentiate between those who like the same sex. For God so loved the world that he gave his only son. However, to some extent we are guilty too, we have always condemned gays, teased them, hurt them and then expect equal rights for us all.  A bunch of hypocrites we all are. We are narrow-minded and selfish but deep down when songs like ‘Same Love’ play on the radio we find our humanity and our redeeming feature. It hits us because we feel guilty for our actions and then we start to sympathize.
So today let us take a pledge. Let us vow for equality, for justice for same love and no discrimination. Let us vow to be ourselves and help others to be who they are. I would like to conclude with the lyrics from the song itself:
‘I might not be the same, but that is not important
No freedom until we are equal, damn right I support it.'