Smart & Like-Minded Followers

Saturday, 27 December 2014

Reflections

Even in our darkest hour,
Shall the good begin to rise?
Shall the mighty set down their weapons and fire bullets of love instead?
Shall we battle till dawn or realize the futility of war?
For every man who dies, another lets the war carry on.
Blood bath may fill these skies, children may weep and cry but why bother when our vices are soaked in sin and hit stronger than a shot of gin.
Shall I be the spark that lit the bonfire?
Should I raise my hand to protect my own?
With a blink of an eye, the world can crumble.
And in these shambles I lay alone and motionless.
For I would never serve in this egoistical war.
Where no victory or prize or money is to be earned.
My faith may have seizures and my choices all wrong.
At least this time the blood on my hands will only be my own.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

The Musical Fox Reviews: Music Albums (October-November 2014 Releases)

My AS boards are finally over! God almighty, it’s been such a stressful two months and I’m sure any day more and I would have officially lost my mind (well, according to my mother I already have). But now that the storm has passed and glorious, sunny days have greeted thy atmosphere (My last paper was English Literature, clearly), I’m going to relax and spend the remainder of me days. I’ve just kicked back and binge downloaded all the latest music releases off the UK & US Charts and I thought about reviewing a few of them on my blog. Mind you, I reviewed these albums putting all prejudices and personal preferences aside. And here it is:

1.   Chapter One- Ella Henderson
 
Ella Henderson was one of the shock exits of X Factor UK last year, even though she was built with enough talent to supply a whole town. Chapter One is undoubtedly the strongest debut album for someone who didn’t even make it to the finals of X Factor. Chapter One has Ryan Tedder stamped all over it, the metaphorical hard-hitting lyrics and that delicacy in rhythm and beat, only the OneRepublic frontman can handle with such tenacity. Ella has done great justice to the old-school british pop but there are strong rock influences that make the album solid gold. The album perfect canvases Ella’s range and gives us music that is both meaningful and easy to listen. Packed with ballads that raise the hair at the back of your neck, to songs that are revolutionary and so catchy that you just want to dance all night long.  Ryan Tedder and Ella Henderson are a winning combination, it’s a brilliant throwback to times where lyrics were poignant, music was beautifully constructed that took you elsewhere.
 
Singles on the charts: Ghost, Glow
Personal Favourites: Hard Work, Pieces, Give Your Heart Away, 1996
Positives: RYAN TEDDER, background score, lyrical content
Negatives: Honestly None
Verdict: 4/5

2.   FOUR- One Direction

Has time suspended where it has passed slowly like when you’re in space because I honest to god don’t know One Direction has grown up so fast and that too within a year! From their rugged rock star appearance to even their music, there is a grittiness to their voice that never existed before. Speaking of which, is there an end to Zayn Malik’s vocal range? He just keeps going up like it’s easy-peasy. FOUR is my favourite One Direction album hands down, I think that this is their best work up till now. It seems like Midnight Memories was a prequel to this intense rock-meets-alternative-but-also-has-an-affair-with-British-pop album, FOUR. Impressive lads. More than anything, I can hear their voices collectively and not just the Harry-Zayn-Liam combination. Louis Tomlinson’s distinctive vocals are finally put to some good use but the surprise of it all was Niall Horan; his vocals are stronger than ever, and if you hear him in Midnight Memories and now in FOUR you’ll see how much depth and grit he has summoned in his voice. The best part in the album (apart from the glorious harmonies) has to be the guitar work. I want an instrumental album of FOUR because I cannot get over the guitar romancing the piano. I think I’m going to cry. To all the ‘directionaters’ (if that’s still a thing) out there, whether you like it or not, One Direction is not a cluster of pretty faces, just listen to FOUR and shut up. I’m just so happy, mainstream rock is coming back! I think I’m going cry again.

Singles on the charts: Steal My Gir, Fireproof
Personal Favourites: 18, Girl Almighty, Night Changes, Spaces
Positives: Old-school Rock, background score, lyrical content
Negatives: Honestly None
Verdict: 4/5

3.   In The Lonely Hour- Sam Smith

This is British invasion all over again. Sam Smith is glorious man-diva and I’m talking about vocals here, otherwise he’s such a respectable young man which makes sense, since he is British. I first heard about him in BBC Radio One Live Lounge and I don’t remember which song he sang but my jaw dropped to the ground the moment he started singing. His vocal range is so bloody crazy, it is driving me crazy, please explain how this man has such a strong falsesetto, he’s like a male version of Mariah Carey. In The Lonely Hour is this angelic man’s debut album that is rising up on the charts due to his hit single Stay With Me (Oh honey, I definitely will). Even though I absolutely love Sam Smith for his individuality and distinct voice, I’m not happy with his album to be very honest. His vocals are consistent throughtout the album and some songs really help display his versitality but other than a few songs, most of the remainder is a bit of a drag. The album is not everyone’s cup of tea, there are power ballads and old-school singing that not everyone in this day and age will actually enjoy. Like I said, there are some songs that are absolutely phenomenal and actually uplift the overall somber mood of the album.

Singles on the charts: Stay With Me, Like I Can
Personal Favourites: Restart, La La La, Leave Your Lover
Positives: Sam Smith’s vocals.
Negatives: A little to drag.
Verdict: 3/5

4.   1989- Taylor Swift

I’m going to be honest that I am not the biggest Taylor Swift fan and I really love her country albums a lot better than her pop-infused ones, however I actually like 1989. I think the album as a whole is a stroke of genius because the production is so good and its got a very early 2000s vibe. Plus we have Imogen Heap and Ryan Tedder working on some of the tracks, so solid gold mate! Nevertheless, there are some tracks that I just don’t care about but this album proves that Taylor Swift is such a brilliant song-writer and her vocals are better than ever. I think it’s good to see her experimenting with her myusical styles and she’s done a good job. I give credit where it’s due and this album really marks Taylor’s departure from the country princess that she used to be. The voice memos in the deluxe version where she talks about her song-writing process and gives snippets of the early stages is actually my favourite part of the track. She’s really talented and so dedicated to her music that I think is something that the haters tend to overlook. This is a lot better vocally speaking as compared to RED. She should really release acoustic versions of her songs. T-Swift strikes again!

Singles on the charts: Shake It Off, Out Of the Woods, Blank Space 
Personal Favourites: Wildest Dreams, I Know Places, You Are in Love, I Wish You Would
Positives: T-Swift’s Voice Memo on the Deluxe Version
Negatives: It’s a little too much production at some places
Verdict: 3.5/5

5.   Talking Dreams- Echosmith

Is it me or did these guys just rip off Aerosmith and called themselves Echosmith? Either way, I love family bands and Echosmith is a band of siblings, aww the feels! More than that, they’re busting the mainstream scene with their runaway hit Cool Kids which is simply amazing since they are an Indie band. I personally love Indie bands because from the production to the lyrics everything is so well thought of that the track is simply phenomenal. Talking Dreams is my favourite Indie album of the month. The album is so fresh and utterly cool that it just make you dance and at the same time kick back and relax. The album is only of 12 songs and 46 minutes long and believe me that it’s time well spent. I love the atmosphere that this album creates, it transports you to the early 2000s where the drum production and electronic keyboards were at a strange high. The music too was very laid back but the beats were clever. A shout out to the clever song-writing which would appeal to all masses regardless of what your favourite genre is. This is some god stuff, so don’t miss out and definitely listen to this new and upcoming band. They’re bloody brilliant.
 
Singles on the charts: Cool Kids        
Personal Favourites: Let’s Love, March Into The Sun, Tell Her You Love Her, Safest Place
Positives: its Indie and rustic
Negatives: I want more tracks!
Verdict: 4.5/5

Cheers x ;)

Monday, 10 November 2014

4 Hours


What is simply so intriguing about life is that, it can come with good tidings, bring joy and happiness but on a flipside it can also bring out the worst in a person, give nothing but sorrow and the world before you know it can topple over and wipe you off the surface of the Earth. Makes you wonder what level of free will does one possess in their lives? Is everything that makes of us a deterministic, pre-planned path controlled by a higher power? Answers are yet to be found but while here we are debating on who hold the reigns of life, far away and deep in trouble was one man who was debating his chances of survival. Who was that man? He was a commoner. Nevertheless, he was noticed and then pulled out of the fringes of his boring, routine based life. The next 4 hours were life-changing, adrenaline pumping and deadly dangerous but he had to risk everything. It’s not like he had a choice in the first place.  

This story is a long one. This man’s tryst with destiny is a strange one. It all began with a single phone call, a few words exchanged followed by an empty silence and a buzzing dialer tone. The call was from a man who identified himself as Nirman Kheda who was the most sought after terrorist after the demise of Osama Bin Laden and the head of the vicious and blood-thirsty so-called vigilante group, ‘The Red Militia’.

Nirman Kheda was the son of corrupt Vatsal Roy Kheda who was a Delhi-based diamond merchant who scammed millions of innocent families into various Ponzi schemes that made the Kheda family extremely rich and eventually powerful. In 2003, Vatsal Roy Kheda funded the Indian Mujahedeen plan of over-throwing the then Indian government and establishing their ideologies on the Indian society. The Indian army managed to mobilise their troops in time and set off on a strong offensive against the terrorists. The Indian government stayed in power and the terrorist forces were pushed back. Vatsal Roy Kheda was caught and found guilty of treason in the court of law. He was hanged for his crimes against the state and his family were forced to seek asylum in China.

Nirman vowed to avenge his father’s death and at the age of 17 he orchestrated 7 mass bombings targeting metropolitan cities like Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata. How Sarthak was connected to Nirman is a mystery to me as well. Sarthak was a regular college-going boy who would have been very young when the bombing occurred. Nirman was 20 years his senior and their interaction was highly unlikely. Why choose Sarthak then? Was he an unfortunate victim of a random attack? Or was he chosen for a specific purpose?

Time was temporarily suspended, every second holding longer than minutes. Sarthak held the phone tightly in his hand, his knuckles turning shock white, his bodily function engaging in a full lock-down. He was pale. Paler than a ghost, the platelets in his blood having lost their rich red colour greeting his skin with a cold dullness that only corpses were well aware of. You could see it in his eyes, in the tight corners around his lips and in the worry lines that ran short and blurry on his forehead. Shock was etched in every nook and corner of his countenance. An artist would have admired the stillness in posture and expression that Sarthak displayed. Such stillness would make it easy to sketch every infinite detail, the difficulty would arise if the artist ever attempted to canvas the raging inferno of anger that ran around in circles inside his head.

Sarthak was given specific instructions: Go to his mother’s office and bring the recordings of therapy sessions that his mother had conducted with an influential politician. Don’t go to the police. Bring the recordings to The Kala Ghoda Festival which was going on in South Mumbai. He had only 4 hours to complete the tasks, failure to do so would lead to bomb exploding at the Kala Ghoda Festival which could possibly obliterate the whole of Coloba. It was bad enough that his best-friends and his family had decided to go to the festival. He put up a fuss and decided to stay at home. He couldn’t be the cause of a massacre, he couldn’t…

Sarthak gradually made an attempt to break his paralysed stance. He carefully put the phone on the hook, his movements arduously slow. Time was watching and ticking by, slowly integrating into reality and starting to make its presence known. There were ripples of reality and the urgency in time that destroyed the stillness, realisation hit him like a truck and Sarthak found himself grabbing the keys of his motorcycle and running out of his house straight to the parking lot.

~45 minutes later~

He slid cautiously into his mother’s office and locked the door behind him. A feeling of nausea was swirling inside of him and he tried his best to ignore it. He didn’t want to steal from his mother or let alone help the state’s enemy but it had to be done. He pushed back his fear and started opening draws scanning through the case files…

~35 minutes later~

He found the recordings. His mother had stashed the DVD in a case that read ‘Shilpa’s Yoga Work Out’. Sarthak almost smiled at his mother’s ingenious way of hiding confidential data. His thoughts were interrupted by his phone ringtone suddenly demanding attention. He carefully put the case with the recordings in his bag and walked out of his mother’s office, answering the call simultaneously.

“Hello…”

“Bring the DVD to the Kala Ghoda Festival.”

“Wait bu-”

Line dead…

Like I mentioned earlier, life is unexpected and you never know what kind of surprises it has in store for you. Sarthak was racing down the streets of Mumbai, determined to get to the festival and save his family, friends and the lives of innocent strangers. Time was ticking away way too quickly for Sarthak’s liking, a selfish brute time really is. The endless traffic jams and red signals, were eating away Sarthak’s patience and an old fear was creeping along his back. He abandoned his motorcycle halfway toward Vile Parle and ran to the train station instead. He caught a fast local that was going into the south of the city and he checked his watch obsessively throughout the train ride. He had an hour left and 5 more stations to go. Sarthak couldn’t care less if his incessant foot tapping was irritating nearby commuters, he was under immense pressure, the lives of the innocent people were in danger and terribly enough in his hands.

He tried calling his family, when he reached Marine Lines, who for some annoying reason were not answering their calls. His calls to his friends were coming off as unreachable or network error. He finally reached Churchgate the last stop and glanced at his watch again, he had about 40 minutes left. Without further ado, Sarthak stormed past, commuters ignoring the abuses most of them were hurling at him. He almost tripped but managed to catch himself before he collided with the pavement. He hailed for a cab and got in regardless of the taxi-driver saying no. Sarthak tossed 200 rupees at the taxi driver who stopped complaining and hit the gas.

~30 minutes later~

He ran out of the cab and wondered how on earth he was going to get in through massive crowd that was blocking his entrance. He cleared his mind and pushed through the crowd, not caringly about rules and regulations. He managed to get close enough to the entrance, luckily he had his mother had bought him a pass and he hastily shoved it to the ticket counter who stamped it and handed it back to him. Sarthak rushed inside and his phone started buzzing again. He picked up

“Come to the clearing, where the Pottery Contest in happening.”

Sarthak pushed his bag higher on his shoulder, and made a run for it. He stopped and asked around and got directions towards the clearing. He reached the venue and scanned intently, looking for anyone that might be overly suspicious in their behaviour. His eyes rested on a group of familiar faces and he got distracted for a minute. Those were his friends and far to the extreme right were his family. He felt someone roughly bump his shoulder and walk past him. Sarthak rubbed his shoulder and pulled his bag in front of him, his eyes widened as the bag was ripped open from the zips, he searched the whole bag but couldn’t find the DVD. He started ahead, and recognised the man who had bumped into him, he left his bag on the ground and ran ahead, he caught up to the man and swung him by the arm. The man turned around, his gun pointed straight at Sarthak heart. Suddenly a strong wind blew his hat away, giving Sarthak an unobscured view to the man’s face. Sarthak took a step back, he couldn’t believe it.

“Don’t tell me that it was you all this while, my dear-” The truth died on Sarthak’s lips. Sarthak fell to the ground, blood flowing in ribbons through his chest. People noticed the blood, the fall, the sudden cold lifeless dead body, some screamed, some hid their eyes but no one noticed the shadow of the shooter who quietly made his way through the crowd.
~Blogger's Note~
Okay readers, I have a confession to make, Sarthak is a real person but before you guys start googling him and full on stalking him, he is real but the events that have been depicted are not. Fictional yes. Well, it's his birthday today and I decided to wish him (and also save the expense of buying a gift) by writing a- I think it is sort of a fan fiction (why am I even going to such lengths? (Hell Sarthak I am giving you celebrity treatment)) story. The thing is that Sarthak had mentioned casually that he'd want me to write a story about him and well I took it seriously and wrote one. And today is also his birthday so HAPPY BIRTHDAY SARTHAK! and I hope you enjoy this unwanted attention and countless rough drafts that I have wasted on you. And also before I forget, I definitely don't want you dead, or have you go through what this character went through. Just have an amazing birthday and always be the funny man that you are.
Cheers x

Friday, 7 November 2014

5 Things Students Do to Beat Traffic (in association with Traffline Campus Ambassadors)

1.    Leave your house or workplace earlier than schedule. Best to be early than be embarrassingly late.
2.    Main roads and intersections are almost always subjected to bottle neck situations, where the traffic jam is endless. You could cheat your way out of this by taking the shortest legal route to your destination. You could use a GPS system (some cars have it built-in) or download an app like ‘Taffline’ on your mobile phones.
3.    You could also avoid leaving your house or workplace during peak hours. If you are living in a metropolitan city like Mumbai, then consider yourself very unlucky in you are out on the streets during 7-9:30 pm.
4.    Try to make use of public transports, like Trains, Buses etc than driving in your own cars.
5.    If your distance is short then you might as well walk it out than take out your car. You’ll only be wasting your time, hunting for a parking space. And it’s good exercise too to walk around, get some fresh air.
There is a unanimous hatred for traffic. There is no one is the world who has ever willingly wanted to be stuck in traffic. Well, unless you are riding in a car with Benedict Cumberbatch or Ewan McGregor then by all means, pray that the traffic jam lasts for an eternity. Chances are that once the traffic eases, you may experience extreme side-effects since you CumberSat for such a long time. Symptoms, include spells of dizziness, wedding hallucinations, hearing only Benedict’s gravel husky voice in your head, disoriented senses, audible sighing and well there’s a lot more.  However, since the latter scenario is far more unlikely to happen than you winning the lottery, I decided to take a more realistic approach. I decided to do some research and see if there were any good applications that can help faster navigation of routes etc. One application that stood out in terms of reliability, responsiveness and also was very user-friendly was ‘Traffline’.
You get real-time traffic updates from Traffline which is a social app. This app brings you accurate information about traffic jams on major roads and secondary roads in metro cities of India like Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru etc. Moreover it is a free application that is available on the play store and on the apple store for download. I personally recommend this app, because it’s highly accurate, in fact it gives detailed and updated maps, roads, routes regardless of which city you are in, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Pune, you name it. The GPS and navigation system is extremely easy to operate and they aren’t any technicality that you need to master to use it.
 If you are someone who has always been an unfortunate victim to ‘The Terrible Traffic Issue’ then you need to be spared. For more information you could check out ‘Traffline’ in the links that I have provided below.
Download the app on:
goo.gl/7rBtmv
Check out their Website:
Like them on:
Follow them on:

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Going Rouge- A Radio Script

Blogger's Note:
Well... This is unlike anything that I have ever posted on this blog but then again, my content is absolutely removed from logic at times but well, I break the rules as I go. Do you follow what I am trying to say? Wow, I'm lost about my own thoughts now. Jeez, what am I even writing. Okay let's focus and I'll give you a quick bit of background. So, my English Teacher was teaching us a new concept which was introduced in our portion (AS Level Portion is already so vast -_-) and that was writing for Radios, Plays, Documentaries and Voice Overs. It's a lot of fun writing because you have to get involved in every intricate details and your settings and directions are the backbone of your plot. Also I am not a professional script-writer. I just write. My teacher told us to write an opening for a radio drama so well I wrote. Anyway, she really liked this one (which you will read once you're done reading this) and I decided that I would publish this because this has to be the most fun piece I've ever had writing. Jeeeeez, I sound like I am already famous and someone is interviewing me. Ignore me, but do read this and I mean no disrespect to anyone. I love you world even though you're weird, slightly prejudiced and still renewing seasons for Keeping up with the Kardashians but but but you are quite nice too.
So long!
 ~
 
CHARACTERS :( IN ORDER OF APPEARANCE)

DR. MISHRA- A THERAPISTS SPECIALISING IN PATIENTS WITH TERMINAL DISEASES (INDIAN).
FELICITY: A CRIMINAL (AFRICAN-AMERICAN)
DINAH: AN IMMIGRANT (LATINO)
KALLEN: A GRADUATE FROM YALE UNIVERSITY (JAPANESE)
~
SCENE 1
LOW DRUM BETS AND STACCATO NOTES PLAYED ON A GUITAR. DRAMA FOR A NEW SOAP OPERA SHOW ON A POPULAR RADIO CHANNEL.

FELICITY: I am dying of disease, thank you very much. Cancer is going to eat up my uterus and later consume my soul for dessert. It is terminal, I will be a dead body lying in my fully-furnished Oakwood casket which will be bought by myself. I am 36 with no family left to survive me. I a dying. I don’t need therapy. I need a miracle, a cure for my cancer.
DR. MISHRA: (CONDESCENDING TONE) Now now FELICITY; must you always be so bitter about life? Yes, you’re young and I understand your anger but holding so much resentment in your heart, not healthy.
FELICITY: Cancer is not healthy, doctor.

SILENCE FOR APPROXIMATELY 2-3 SECONDS

CONT’D DR. MISHRA: How about you DINAH? Would you like to talk today? Anything that is on your mind?
DINAH:     You live. My lungs drown in water. You have a family. I have cancer. Want me to talk more shrink? I am 48 years old and on my own. Never married, never any money. All my partners left me and stole my happiness along the way. Don’t ask me what’s on my mind, doctor you know zilch!
DR. MISHRA: Ladies, please count to ten… (SOUND OF INHALING)… (SOUND OF EXHALING). Now, take a sip of water and swallow your anger, take another sip and swallow your pain, yes… now feel your heartbeat… good. That’s much better, do you feel better?
FELICITY AND DINAH: (IN A HONEYCOMB VOICE) yes, doctor.
FELICITY: KALLEN, do you have anything to say to this kind, honest and healthy- was talking about you paunch, doctor?
KALLEN:  (CLAPS HER HANDS IN A SARCASTIC MANNER) I was born to die doctor, but no worries. I’ll die happily because cancer the sweetest thing that the lord has bestowed upon me. (SARDONICALLY) Yay! Such a wonderful life!
DR. MISHRA: KALLEN, you must not be so unhappy. Live in the moments. The present can be made fruitful, you future is uncertain...
FELICITY: (ANGRILIY) and you are so optimistic about our present, that…
DINAH: (MOCKINGLY) that it’s suffocating and you are, by the grace of the lord healthy and with a family but…
KALLEN: (DRAMATICALLY) you won’t die for another twenty years. I am twenty-six, a graduate from Yale University and I will never be able to…
FELICITY:  (COLDLY) have a life, have a child, have a home! Or…
ALL THREE OF THEM TOGETHER: Catch a good night’s sleep!

PAUSE

DR. MISHRA:  We are done for the day ladies. I see you tomorrow at six o’clock in the evening. I have a meeting to attend, you may feel free to leave whenever you like… I wish you well.
 
DOOR CREAKS OPEN AND SHUTS QUICKLY BEHIND THE DOCTOR.

FELICITY:  Squid, he does not understand! To think that the man has done a PHD in Psychology.
KALLEN: (HUFFS ANGRILIY) The world is full of hypocrites.
DINAH:  (KISSES HER SMALL STATUE OF JESUS CHRIST) May the lord bless him never, my statue of Jesus may protect him never.
FELICITY: There really ain’t anything in this world that truly save us, for the world we are literally dying ducks who are swimming in the shallow waters of death. They can only watch from afar and sympathise, it’s not like they want to be in our shoes.

KALLEN: (CHUCKLES) Woman that was very intellectual for um… a woman of your caliber.
FELICITY: (ANGER RISING IN TONE) excuse me, what you just say?

KALLEN: You heard me, chocolate.
FELICITY: Aren’t all Asians supposed to be smart and not racist? (CRACKING KNUCKLES MENACINGLY)
KALLEN: Oh, I am all for breaking the stereotypes. Just like you.
DINAH: (GRUNTS) forget it FELICITY, don’t waste your breath over KALLEN. She’s always been like this. Pushing her weight around, lashing out her bitterness out on other people so that she can feel better about herself.
KALLEN: (CHILDISHLY) don’t you psycho-analyse me, Freud. You don’t know me better than Chapman.
DINAH: (SIGHS IMPATIENTLY) you know FELICITY, this Asian Kid and I have been visiting DR. MISHRA for 3 months now and you’ve really been through nothing. Two weeks don’t cut the amount of psycho-babble we had to go through. Help me god, cause I don’t know why we are forced to come here.
FELICITY:  The government is actually concerned about our mental stability in heath. Its election season, so I’m sure that a mentally deranged cancerous woman is the last thing the world needs.
KALLEN: The last thing the world needs is that Canadian half-man singer Beaver.
FELICITY: You mean B-
KALLEN: (INERJECTS) I do not seem to care anymore man. Even cancer has gotten mainstream. Hell, we have a popular romantic comedy movie which- guess what? Features two sickly cancer-stocked teenagers who fall in love and one dies. That stuff don’t happen. We die and love dies along with us.
DINAH: I agree with you kid. Here we are rotting in our own flesh and world outside doesn’t give foxes’ tails about us. Turn to God kid. My Jesus, My Saviour, all I give I give unto you.
KALLEN: (MOCKINGLY) Jesus has other work man. I’m not sure that he can hear you.  Even flashing the ‘Cancer Alert’ siren won’t help.
DINAH: (OFFENDED) Have a little faith kid. Believe in something.
KALLEN: The only thing I believe in is my death, which is inevitable. I am going to die and leave this Earth and no one will ever know that I ever walked this earth.
DINAH: Jesus-
FELICITY: (FORCEFUL TONE) Can wait for now DINAH. You’re right KALLEN, we are going to face oblivion but before we do, I at least feel that we should go out with a bang. Do all the things that (SLAMS THE TABLE) we have always wanted to do.
KALLEN: What are you implying?
DINAH: Like a bucket list?
FELICITY: No that’s the crux of every adventurous life-changing filled with juicy cancer bits movie. I’m thinking of the next level, something dangerous and thrilling.
KALLEN:  What is more dangerous than cancer? I’m living right off the edge as you can see. (MURMURS SARCASTICALLY) dying of disease.
FELICITY:  You don’t understand.
KALLEN:  Oh, I have an idea! Let’s rob a bank! How’s that for thrill?
FELICITY: Perfect!
KALLEN & DINAH: What?!
FELICITY: Think about it. I have connections, KALLEN you are the brains of the operations and DINAH… well you can be the ‘priest’ of the operations.
DINAH: Jesus Christ, you are crazy woman!
FELICITY: Think about it guys. We did what was expected of us. We played safe all these years and look where that got us. Let us rebel and alter our fate’s design to some degree.
KALLEN: Sure, I see the papers carrying the headlines already: THREE CANCER-STRICKEN WOMEN ROB A BANK. How deadly.
FELICITY: Think it through.
KALLEN: I’m leaving. DINAH let’s go before the cancer begins to eat away our logic too.
FELICITY: No, wait. (DOOR SHUTS BEHIND KALLEN AND DINAH)
 
END OF SCENE ONE

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Summer in Hogwarts- A Harry Potter Short Story

Author's Note:
I miss Harry Potter. The nagging pain wouldn't ebb away so I decided to write this short story on Severus and Lily (featuring James). I think from all the love stories that I have read and take into account also classics- Romeo and Juliet etc, my heart really goes out for Severus. It wasn't a love story because Lily never saw Severus the same way, but he loved her with every ounce of emotion in him, even when it broke his heart and even when Harry was nothing but a painful reminder of Lily. My heart swells for Severus Snape because he was the most realistic character in the whole of the Harry Potter Universe. True love is not just making promises to love till death do you part. True love is the art of letting go, the sacrifice and sometimes realising that you may never get that ;Happy Ending' maybe because reality doesn't will it. Because of this I respect Severus Snape because he loved unconditionally but despite his forced reality. 
~

Summer greeted Hogwarts like an old friend. The stately castle stood with grace and timeless beauty, a joyous radiance ejaculating from every sun-kissed brick. Even the shadows danced gleefully, a sense of bubbling happiness was found in every nook and corner of the castle. Students were filling up the grounds of the school draping the warm grass with colourful sheets and mats. Some were gathered for a good ol' picnic, where the delicious aroma of The Three Broomsticks’ Jam Tarts Specials filled the humidity in the air and not to forget one could hear the opening of bottles and glasses being filled of chilled butter beer. The atmosphere was light-hearted and care-free, one could hear a group laughing over Rita Skeeter’s latest fashion editorial in The Daily Prophet's Summer Special Edition. 

“Blimey” said one Ravenclaw fourth-year, “Perhaps wearing floral printed robes is the worst possible idea.” “Yeah” commented another fellow fourth-year Ravenclaw, “Millie Morgenstern from Hufflepuff was seen wearing this printed bright yellow dandelions robes to Potions class and apparently Professor Slughorn was so scandalized by her rather ‘bold move’ that he added too much moonshine into Millie potion batch and the whole cauldron exploded.” The former Ravenclaw chuckled and drowned her glass of butter beer with a satisfied smirk, “I believe this is what the muggles call a ‘fashion disaster’.”

Obscured from public view and very much away from the much talked ‘fashion drama’ and the music and dance that the students were engaging themselves in to, one student sat under the shade of a giant oak tree and indulged himself in a bit of reading. He was tall for his age with an average build and an equally average porcelain face. His long greasy jet black hair was swept back for today, though a few disobedient strands fell on his face and every few minutes he would push them back. You could say he was a bit of a loner, or rather he preferred to keep to himself, people either kept their distance from him or frequently bullied him. Basking under the sun, drinking, eating and singing songs off the Daily Prophet Pop Charts wasn't something Severus Snape was into. 

“Such a complete waste of time, how utterly annoying,” he would often say. Right now he was engrossed in A History of Magic, in the midst of a very interesting passage on Diricawls:

‘Little could be heard over the squawking of the Diricawls, the moaning of the Augureys, and the relentless, piercing song of the Fwoopers. As wizards and witches attempted to consult the papers before them, sundry pixies and fairies whirled around their heads, giggling and jabbering. A dozen or so trolls began to smash apart the chamber with their clubs, while hags glided about the place in search of children to eat. The Council Chief stood up to open the meeting, slipped on a pile of Porlock dung and ran cursing from the hall…’

He felt his eyes water, he could see the text of the book were blurry lines that seemed to merge altogether. He shut the book and stuffed it into his brown-leather satchel. All his classes were done for the day and he felt a sense of lassitude overcoming his senses. Severus stifled a yawn and blinked multiple times trying to shake off the weariness he was feeling. He could go to the Slytherin Dorm room and catch some sleep but the afternoon was lazy and the idea of getting up from his comfortable position seemed ridiculous. He relaxed into a sleeping position and set his satchel as a makeshift pillow for his head. He looked up and stared at the sky that was partially shrouded by the leaves of the giant oak tree. His thoughts directed him to another memory where he was lying in a grass field when he heard two female voices arguing.

"I'm not a freak. That's a horrible thing to say, Petunia."

“You’re a freak Lily! You’re a freak Lily! I don’t talk to freaks!”

He must have been around ten when he first saw the ginger-head girl sitting and sulking down by the riverbed. Even then Severus was a shy boy, but he mustered up enough courage to make his presence known. He tapped her shoulder and she turned to him, he was enamored. She had a lovely set of emerald green eyes, he couldn't help but stare into her eyes, he wasn't accustomed to seeing so much beauty and depth in a person’s eyes. His own were dull boring black. He sat down beside her and she smiled shyly and extended her hand towards him, “Lily Evans, the freak” he hesitated but took her hand, “Severus Snape, also a freak” he said softly. 

From that day on, they became the best of friends, he told her about all about the magical world and that it didn’t matter that she was a muggle, “You have magic blood in your veins. You’re special.” She would blush and say, “You are special too Severus.” 

Present day Severus felt a small smile form on his lips, Lily always had that effect on him. He felt his heart beat resounding clearly in his ears. Even though she ended up in Gryffindor and he in Slytherin, she was still nice to him but it always angered him when he saw her hanging out with that brash kid, James Potter and his posse. He sighed deeply, his heart sinking in his chest. Lucius Malfoy had heard rumours that Lily and James were a couple now, of course Malfoy relayed this news to Severus out of ‘concern’. Severus said nothing though a part of him died a little. Love as an emotion was something that he had no idea about. He never experienced love as a child and he never gave love otherwise but with Lily it was different. She was nice to him, she was kind to him and he for the first time opened up to someone. Severus always had a special corner for Lily in his heart and as the years passed by, that special corner burst into a blooming flower of love. Before Severus knew, he had fallen in love with Lily Evans, but she was apparently in love with someone else.

Severus sighed and gathered his satchel, he was about to leave when he heard voices. He stopped, he recognized that voice. It was the saccharine voice of an angel, the girl he was so deeply in love with. It was Lily. He hid behind the Oak tree and watched her quietly skip her way towards the clearing. Severus felt his pulse escalate and he couldn’t stop the wide smile that wore his countenance. Lily was dancing in the sun, a fiery red-headed dame, twirling and exclaiming in glee. Severus was about to step in, when a full bodied figure stepped in and covered her eyes. She squealed and patted the hands, shouting out guesses. Severus sunk against the oak tree and watched James Potter release his hands and take Lily’s hand into his. He twirled her around and lifted her into the air. Not very far away, Severus could feel his heart sinking into a pit of pain. Severus wanted to run away, but his limbs betrayed him and he stayed rooted to the ground. Ahead of him James brushed a lock of Lily’s hair under her ear and their forehead’s met. 

“I love you Lily Evans” he proclaimed. 

Behind the oak tree, Snape had a rising feeling of nausea attacking him, he prayed and silently hoped that Lily wouldn’t say-

“I love you too, James Potter”.

Severus could hear his heart shatter into infinite pieces. He could hear James rejoicing and Lily laughing melodiously. Severus tried to drown their sounds out but they resonated louder and louder in his head. Tears streamed down his face and a symphony of heartbreak and pain preceded, breaking his will and his stability. Severus sat there for a very long time, dwelling in his silent grief. Lily and James were long gone, but the gaping hole in his heart grew expanded, pangs of loneliness wounded him…

Summer in Hogwarts allowed lovers to meet, hearts entwined, friendships cemented and students claimed to have lived the best days of their lives. Away and far away from the contented crowd, one boy, stood alone and watched the woman of his dream from afar. He watched her walk hand in hand with his number one enemy but also the luckiest man in this world. He turned away, a realisation perched atop his broken heart. He would never be able to let her go. He could never fall in love again because Lily was the only woman ever worth loving. He wished for her all the joy and happiness even if she was with James. Even after all these years and even in the years that are yet to come, he would always be in love with Lily Evans.


Always…

Sunday, 26 October 2014

"She's a Weirdo"

This blog post is dedicated to the general public. Specifically to those people who think that I am too absurd to function. I know they in particular might never find themselves reading this post but I think its about time I speak up for myself and say the truth. I am not putting myself up on a pedestal and presenting myself as a victim of social stigma or anything. What I plan to do here, is get honest and real. I can’t wait for someone to take the effort to know my side of the story or even begin to know the person that I am. I’m just going to make it easier on my friends, my family (they won’t be reading this but still) and even to you readers, to get to know the person I really am. Hopefully after this article whether you know me in person or even vaguely you have a clearer picture of what actually goes on in my mind. If you can follow through with this blog post then I think you know who I really am and not the fa├žade people claim I wear.

I am not stupid. I see myself as quite an intelligent person. Math is not my strongest suit and I don’t think that my IQ is low because I am not a science student. You see most of my relatives love pointing out how my ‘lack of aptitude towards science is so unfortunate’. This sort of mentality frustrates me because I work my ass off on a daily basis and just because I am a humanities student that does not mean that I have nothing to do. I love the sciences and I read about of science journals the only difference is that I don’t want to actively pursue it as much as I would love to endorse English Literature. In fact, it is proven by a study that was conducted by Billington, Baron-Cohen et al that our ‘brain type’ can be systemizing or empathizing and accordingly we find ourselves habituated. So science students are systemizing and humanity students are empathizing. Give this study a read by just clicking on the link (it’s a bit heavy loaded with psychological terms but you should be able to get the gist of it). http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3381228/

Ever since I was a kid, everyone in my family saw me as this shy, reserved kid. I wasn’t like other children my age, to some extent I was different to the point where I couldn’t fit in any group or take up the same hobbies as them. I blame my brother. I was too ‘cool’ and mature for my age. My socializing skills were terrible and it also had to do with the fact that I hardly ever spoke and just let my silence do the talking. Even at home, where I should express myself a lot more freely, it was always 40% of my thoughts. For some reason I refrained from sharing and I guess even as kid I was more introspective than expressive. To a certain degree I am still like that. I still hesitate to say how I feel. I can take a stand, I can prove my point, I can fight tooth and nail for myself but for less aggressive emotions like love and trust, I hesitate. Psychologically speaking, I do compartmentalize my feelings and I never ever tell anyone how I actually feel. In fact if you find you find me crying, I’d probably tell you a lie and never the truth. If I began to tell you the truth, at the back of my mind I’d be wondering how much is too much and I’d keep on regretting every syllable that voices out of my mouth. My friends often ask me why I do this, why I hesitate so much to tell them what exactly is wrong with me but the truth is, I’m too scared. I’m scared that if I share my worries and troubles etcetera, they may feel overburdened and that it would end up being troublesome for them. I keep it all in because I don’t want to be mollycoddled and I don’t want to waste anyone’s time. I believe that there are people with way more baggage than I and it would be selfish for me to feel like it’s the end of the world. 

For this reason, most of my relatives thought that I was passive to emotions and a cold-hearted kid. Which I am the exact opposite off. Why haven’t I punched these people’s faces? (I don’t resort to violence-Shocker!) The label stuck for most part of my childhood. Did it hurt? Yes, of course it did. Did I cry over the fact that I was a loner and people kept their distance? Yes, every night. Thankfully, I had my brother and literature to keep me company. Books actually were my best friends, Enid Blyton was like my big sister and her stories and characters were my life. I would pretend to be in her fantasy world where I was friends with Ann, George, Dick, Julian, solving mysteries and sometimes chilling with the secret seven or the O’Sullivan twins.

When I got into the 5th grade my loner status changed. The ‘popular kids’ opened the doors to their clique, in fact all of my classmates started interacting with me. Lunch was now shared, I was invited to birthdays willingly and not because a parent took pity on me. I discovered friendship for the first time and it was beautiful and strangely exciting. This was until I overheard one of my teachers call me ‘The Neglected Child’. I had developed good vocabulary due to my extensive reading so, I knew the meaning of the word and I was upset. Again, I had been labeled, unfairly so! and I kept wondering why or what I had done wrong. Ever since that day, my bubble burst and I withdrew even further into my shell.
The reason why I talk so much is because I never spoke enough as a kid. I’m making up for all the lost phrases and monologues I could have had. If I am loud it’s because the rare moments where I would talk, I would speak in an octave 10 times lower than usual. I didn’t even know what I sounded like and it’s kind of hard to understand the tone of your voice inside your head. I like making people laugh, I like being the reason behind their smile or their good mood. I seek appreciation because I wanted to defy the labels that were put on me as a kid. I wanted to overrule their judgment. Who is to understand all of this? Even jokingly my friends would be like, “don’t be your usual self or attract attention, we know people here”. You have no idea how much that takes a dip in my self-esteem and it is so hard to shake off a comment like that but I smile and wave because I have a show to put on.

A show to put on…

This is why I prefer being alone most of the times. I just like sitting in my room either reading or watching a good anime or a TV show. I like blogging and writing out stories to pass time. Sometimes I take long walks and just observe people and gaugefrom their behavior what their life must be like. I humour myself with skits and situations I design or usually, I just stare out the window and watch strangers go on with their lives. And I like this solidarity. This relationship with myself is less harmful because I won’t attach a label or plan to hurt myself. It is lonely but there are no masks to wear and no touch ups to hide the most obvious flaws.

You often look back to see if there if anyone following you, if there is anyone coming running towards you. We want that, we all do. We want someone coming to check on us and often when you look back you’re disappointed because either you don’t see anyone behind you or the person you expect to see if not there waiting for you. You feel gutted right? Well get used to it.

Don’t keep expectations, it’s the worst. Let life surprise you but don’t expect anything out of it. Friendship, family, love, relationships are institutions but don’t attach expectations to them. You get served what you deserve. Karma and God have one thing in common, they both pass judgments. Our lives are not deterministic, we live and play it out according to our own tunes. We make things happen, we set our lives into motion. That’s why I don’t want to associate myself with these labels. Why should I be known as that ‘weirdo who talks so much’? My name is Evita-Marie Marques and this is my identity. 

I don’t understand why most of us are so quick to judge. We love defining people to a certain category and placing a neat label on them hoping that it will stick forever on them. This label becomes their identity in a social group, this label becomes a representative, a spokesperson to my actual personality, this label, positive or negative attaches to my personality like a tumor. And little by little it begins to grow until I finally accept the fact that this is a part of me. This is when I fulfil that label. This is when I believe every judgment passed about me. I begin to believe that I am ‘annoying’, ‘self-centered’, ‘loud’, ‘brash’, ‘loser’ and ‘stupid’. These labels begin to define me, these label begin to shape up my personality. I question every time I open my mouth to voice out an opinion. Suddenly, my happiness is negated and others’ acceptance is far more important. I am expected to fulfil their labels, I am supposed to ditch my shoes and wear the one they have customized for me. I have to shed my skin to take on a skin that suits their requirements. I have to not be myself, because “She’s a weirdo” and I don’t belong here if I don’t follow the rules.

What am I supposed to do? This is who I am. I come across as delusion, eccentric and intriguing to many people. I am an entertainer, I can draw people in and you can rely on me for a good hearty laugh. For years I have mastered the art of keeping my feelings locked away bolted and shut for eternity. Actually I am a time bomb, ticking away, no idea when I might just set off. I hear it in my head and I hear it with utmost clarity when I am all alone. My tastes are singular and my thinking is too off beat for a 16 year old but this is who I am, I can’t be someone else, even if I tried, even if I wanted to. I can’t give the real me up. 

The real me is shy. The real me is emotional and sometimes just wants a hug or a comforting pat on the back after a long and tiring day. The real me wishes her parents would give her a break and loosen the reins a little. The real me wonders what her friends actually think about her. The real raw me, doesn’t want to share how she feels, because she is scared that it may do more harm than good. She isn’t selfish, she puts others first, even though it may sting at times. She is the person who dreams of publishing her work because she loves writing and she wants to touch and inspire people with her stories. She wants to make a difference and gain respect among her family and her peers. She wants to succeed on her own merit accomplish her goals through her hard work and investment. I want to find happiness so strong that it may drive away my darkest hours. I want to make memories that last and find love that is meaningful and secure not tumultuous and aggressive. And I know that I can still be myself and achieve these goals. I can’t be anyone else, my shades of true me will keep on flooding my canvas. You can’t please everyone, you have to get used to rejection. You can’t love everyone you have to learn to love yourself first. Trust is not elastic, you can’t extend it to a whole crowd.

To every single person in my life who has raised an objection to my character and self-belief you don’t know anything about me to being with. Why? Because I never ever showed you my weakness or my insecurities and if I ever had, you twisted them and drove it straight through my heart. I am weird but what is your definition of normal? Personally, I think I am fantastic. And that’s what matters. So yes quirks and all, I’m good with myself because let’s face it haters’ gonna hate.
Arigato gozimasu
Sayonara


PS: Hai, I know a little Japanese. Sometimes kids, having an anime obsession can lead you to learning a new language. There are perks in your quirks, hon. Don’t give them up ;)