Another Intellectual Being

Archive for June, 2012

See How I Make Gold From Stuff

“After many adventures, dangers, and important life lessons Santiago finally reaches the Pyramids. His joy at finally being at journey’s end overwhelms him, and he is grateful that he got the chance to follow his dream.

He begins to dig deep into the sand looking for treasure, but before he can get far a pack of thieves’ shows up, beating and robbing him. They force him to continue digging, and then leave when no treasure is found. One of the thieves, as destiny would have it, tells Santiago an important clue and when they’re gone Santiago can’t help but laugh, because now he knows where his treasure truly lies.

It ends up being right back where his journey began, under the very tree where he had the prophetic dream years before. He digs and finds a beautiful chest full of gold and gems. His next and last journey will be back to the desert to be reunited with the woman he loves.”

The above is the summation of one of my favourite books, The Alchemist but frankly I think Santiago had it too easy for him.

Imagine a situation where a normal person is looking for waylaid treasure in distant lands. He has gone through hell and a lot worse to get there. Yet when he reaches the location of the treasure, the universe conspires to tell him that the treasure is back where he began his journey. What a load of bullshit.

If I were the protagonist of this very story I would have jumped out of the pages and strangles the writer in the temporal form of an ink creature.

Such a scenario in real life either leads to suicide or a case of severe complacency. Either he jumps off from the top of the Pyramid or goes home, digs up the treasure and never leaves his home ever after.

I know that if the writer ever came across this rant he would merely think as to how highly I think of myself but my dear Mr. Coelho it is not about my self esteem it is about your dogged lack of common sense. Yes I used the word dogged, yes I know it belongs to a different context but to write like this one has to be either clearly brainless or has to have a dogged determination to make a fool of himself to the world.

Now let’s see, how would I have ended this.

Oh boy, let’s begin.

*Having journeyed far and wide Santiago finally reached the pyramids in the heart of the desert. He feasts his eyes upon the exotic women and the sights that behold him. Not forgetting his reason for the journey he strides out to find the hidden treasure. He spends half and five days but is unable to find the treasure. However he does find a cold hard unseen rock.

The gods had tricked him he felt. They had used him for their amusement. Santiago marched back to the monastery to steal the Sorcerer’s Stone and reclaiming Fatima settles down in the land of the Pyramids and bountiful harmony.

Plenty years later Fatima finds that same cold rock and manages to drop it. It breaks and inside is a diamond worth the bounty of 20 pirate coves. Santiago buys a couple of Pyramids and lives happily ever after.*

P.S. – The pyramids become a sort of amusement park for him since he is obviously not dead.

Ha-ha. Laughing at my own inside joke. I seem to have gone delirious but frankly here’s what I feel and feel I do.


Paulo Coelho

Archie Misra

Losing Grasp on Reality (Short Story)

My body had been aching from the tiresome day, sitting in a low chair all day and then going around in the bloody heat all across the plaza to submit documents. Respite was a mere glass of coke and a restrictive bite of a sandwich.

A friend promised me a ride home but had a little work beforehand. I went to his office cafeteria and sat down, knowing the fact that a thousand eyes were judging me at that very moment. Who was this shaggy haired, floater wearing badass encroaching upon our office space? Words added to the already visible stares and I decided to walk out.

Standing in the confounded heat I had nowhere to go. I phoned my alternate means of transportation but even that was a long way away. I had no choice but to wait in a desolate landscape. Not a dear soul nearby, just smoke from my lit cigarette. I huffed and puffed and finished a few.

You had been expecting a call for an interview from an associate and were very excited about it. I had already got one but told him to call me later. He delayed calling you too. You forced me to call him and ask him to call you, I did.

Finally my car showed up and hour and twenty minutes later and all this while I was standing in the heat with brazen mosquitoes and disease ridden flies.

I reached home and crashed on the bed, there was just no food in the fridge and the urge to actually warm it up and eat had left my body. You egged me on; I ate a slice of bread and a piece of chicken. Their taste rejected by my mouth in every bite but I wanted to keep your word. I finished the smallish meal and crashed.

I called you, I was feeling horrible. I had just fainted and wanted to throw up. My stomach was churning and my forehead burning with slight fever.

I told you how horrible I felt, “I don’t feel at all good” I said. You blamed me for not taking care of myself anytime; you told me off about how I let myself get into this shape. The phone was slipping from my hand, I needed you.

Someone called you from behind and you responded. I was disgusted by our lack of concern, I told you to go talk to your friends. I did not even say bye. I hung up on you but you never replied back, nor did you call me.

My eyes closed and my body cursed me to sleep. I let go of the phone, I stopped waiting for a call.

That’s was how it was supposed to be. I saw your face in my mind. And silence filled me.

Jodhpur : Sand and Crackers

You get off a rickety Indian Airlines aircraft that is supposedly as old as your younger brother and walk into a quaint Jodhpur Airport that looks nothing bigger than a small-ish hotel.

You wait endlessly by the luggage belt as the IA handlers properly mis-handle your luggage and you cannot do anything as a pane of glass separates you. You could definitely go back through the entry but you may be easily mistaken for a terrorist.

You go out into the heat and find the pleasantness of the car you rented for the day. As you go towards the hotel you pass by various parts of the city. The new city, grand hotels, stone quarries, old city, barracks and then you finally reach your hotel, an oasis of green in the midst of a stone city, the majestic Bal Samand Lake Palace.

You feel almost royal; knowing that you would be the only guests during your entire stay. Yay to proper royal treatment, heck you can even treat it like your own palace. After a short afternoon siesta you head out to the gardens to absorb the abundant greenery surrounding the place. Peacocks roam around a few feet away from you, unperturbed.

Then you climb a steep set of stairs to the porch (If you can call it that. Seems more like a roof.) and the glistening reflection of the setting sun catches your eye. You’re face to face with a beautiful lake. Hills all around, not a single soul in sight, almost like your own personal lake. You order a pot of masala tea and sit down to look at the beauty whilst a flock of pigeons coo on the parapets.

Slowly the sun sets and you feel a little distant, you feel isolated from the world. The thought of being the only people in a huge castle is kind of haunting but you always find ways to cope. A little running on the treadmill and video games never hurt anyone.

The next day you head out to explore the surroundings, Mehrangarh Fort is your first stop. It almost looms over you like figurative image of mount Olympus the home of the Greek gods. You climb up all the way and through its various museums. You pick up a lot of garbled knowledge from the guide, a few overpriced souvenirs and get out of there. The next item on your itinerary is a long drive to Khimsar Fort amidst the bloody heat.

While at Khimsar you have a quiet and peaceful lunch and afterwards you head out to see deer in open jeeps, your absolutely messy long hair slapping your face. You finally reach the areas of the deer and see Neelgai, Black Bucks and the odd Chinkara. You begin to wonder how people could ever kill such wonderful animals. The camera goes click-clickkity-click-click faster than you can see them. Suddenly you look up and realize that the sun is quite low and if you don’t hurry you would miss the sunset over the Khimsar Sand Dunes.

You reach just in time but the climb to the top is akin to climbing a high peak; contribution of the horrible diet you have and your amazingly high centre of gravity. Yet you finally are up and click a beautiful sunset over a few cups of tea. Today was Diwali and you miss not being around your girlfriend, She’s back in your town and you’re in no town. Just to cheer your brother up though, you buy a few local fire crackers and explode them back at the hotel. Diwali seems joyful again, the gloomy feeling is gone.

The next morning you’re up and ready to go back home. This time around you get a better aircraft from Indian Airlines and as you land in Delhi you can see the pollution from miles high in the sky. What a wonderful way the city welcomes you back.