Another Intellectual Being

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Nu Sms Received

I hv nthn left 2 sy
In ths tym of lst wrds so fw
Drms tht exst in spaces so shrt
Tht nthng is inded nu

D wrds r lst, d ltrs gn
Engls is mde anew.
In distnt plms of yng 1s
Shk sprs yng and nu.

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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.

Signed,

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.


What am I doing in Life?

My mom called me a 19 year old kid today, which no doubt I am, but somehow it made me wonder. Am I still a kid? Or is 19 supposed to be grown up?

I sure behave like a grown up. Most of the times atleast.

I’m expected to take responsibilities. I do take them. I’m careless but not by choice, I just tend to forget things sometimes.

I can’t prioritize my list of people or things that I must do. I’m never on time for anything. I mix almost everything up.

I sometimes want to take to the streets. Hum out a song in the silence of deep slumber. I want to do many impossible things. Accomplish many dreams that are mostly foolhardy.

Have I become fake? Have I become another mutation in the cogwork of this great worldly machinery? Who am I?

What is my ailment?

Is this a condition? A dilemna? A disease?


The Self-Titled Photography Syndrome

The Mobile Camera Stud

With the advancement of cellular technology and the mobile camera megapixel race, the odd camera phone has eaten its way through the wallet into our precious behinds. And it is indeed a pain in the ass. And the phone leading the charge is Apple’s iPhone.

Earlier the Juvenile “Photographer” (That’s a polite synonym for Noob, Lame, Hopeless) atleast needed a decent enough point and shoot to be able to boast about his pictures however horrible they may be. Now we get to see blurry, noisy pictures uploaded on websites and now as the trend catches on, even on Facebook and Flickr.

Buying a DSLR and clicking pictures on Auto Mode doesn’t make you a Photographer. All it does is make you a very crappy snapster. And then either you crap or snap, not both.

Anindo Basu, a friend of mine who completed studying photography from the National Photography Academy, Kolkata has the following to say, “I have been trying so hard to overlook it, but cant. The cut in the price of digital camera made every other person a photographer. My say is; It’s good to take pictures of the gala time u had with your friends, but please don’t start bragging about yourself as a photographer then on!”

While Rahul Lal, one of the prominent Concert Photographers of Delhi says ” It’s all BULLSHIT! That’s what i think of all the people opening up self-titled photography pages. If tomorrow you buy a stethoscope, doesn’t mean u become a doctor and open a clinic. Everyone just gets a camera and thinks they are a photographer and they should earn in millions! Complete and utter bullshit!”

:P

Learning about Megapixels or ISO or even knowing the full form of DSLR doesn’t even remotely make you a photographer. It just makes you a camera enthusiast. There is a huge gap between being a camera owner and a photographer.

I don’t understand one thing the most. Canvases, Acrylic Paint and Paintbrushes are even cheaper than cameras. Why don’t all of you buy those and become artists? Its takes guts and skill to paint, as it is an art form, right? Well then I have news for you. Even Photography is an art form. And you can only fool yourself for a very short time by pretending that your photography is art.

In Linchpin, Godin says:

“Art is a personal gift that changes the recipient. An artist is an individual who creates art. The more people you change, the more you change them, the more effective your art is.”

 The Point Shooter

It’s not a crime at all to learn about Photography. Everybody is an amateur at some point of time, but the thing that separates Photographers from Camera Owners is that they don’t boast. No photographer opens up a photography page on facebook or tags everyone in their pictures the day they buy their first camera.

I handled my first SLR way back in 2003 in the jungles of Jim Corbett National Park. I never thought until last year that my photography could get me acclaim and I could pursue it as a profession. I knew a lot about it. I kept reading and reading and reading. Ansel Adams, Daguerette, Henry Cartier Bresson, Chris Walter and so on. I could at their pictures with starry eyes and a wish in my heart. That maybe I could click like them. I don’t know if that would be possible or not but I am trying.

That’s how most photographers come to be. Every Photographer has a story like that behind him. No good photographer will ever tell you “Ohh I decided to buy a camera and then I became a photographer”, simply because the eye for photography is a god given gift. Some people are born with it, and no matter how hard you try you can’t acquire it even with years of fumbling around with cameras.

The Clueless DSLR-ite

Processing a horribly taken picture and adding a million effects to it only shows how shallow you are. If you can indeed click Photographs and not Snaps then your pictures will speak for themselves. Processing to that degree is frowned upon in the photography circuit. More and more Camera Owners are taking away jobs and work from Stock and Art Photographers. They go for family vacations set a camera on auto and click away. And then one day they decide to upload them on a website. Now due to the DSLR and the DSLR alone, the images somehow come out good. Companies looking for stock end up buying these images for cheap and ruining the stock photography industry.

Even in the field of photojournalism there are so many so called photojournalists who just shoot in auto mode and submit their pictures to the magazines and get paid. There is no real need for actual photographers anymore.

Even point and shoot owners click pictures of a girl dressed up and call it fashion photography having no idea what is the deal about fashion photography or know anything about lighting or the camera. It’s all a bloody sham and disgrace to every notable photography legend and every living photographer worth his work.

So it’s a noble request to you all, the unworthy camera owners, be humble, click for fun, don’t try to become famous in a month with your Juvenile photography which even my 10 year old brother can better. Atleast he knows a thing or two about the camera.

There are a lot of things I bet you don’t know about photography or even about your camera. I wish the camera guides came with a Statutory Warning “This camera or the images produced by it does not make you a Photographer.” But I guess that it would be bad for business. At the ending I would very meekly try to define what according to me a Photographer is. And I will follow it with a questionnaire which will help in pointing out to you how it is or what it is in that you’re lacking.

“A photographer plays with light in an educated manner. He has proper knowledge of what he is doing and he knows how a small change in the settings would affect the picture. He should be able to see daily life in the form of still images stitched together. He should be able to love the camera as his worthy equal. And most importantly he should be humble, confident and very artistic. Whilst a camera owner is just a tourist with a good camera. “

 

“Learn the difference between a Picture and a Photograph. A Photographer knows WHY but a camera owner does not.”


The Pleasure Of Pain

 

We walk in endless pathways of silent existence, swim in depthless waters of merciless tears, yes, we often desire to feel pain, to get hurt. We feel happy, we feel hurt. The want to express never goes away. Do we ever feel silence?

The mind plays many games with us. It deceives first; then acts as a friend. And all we do is revel in the hurt and call it our own brilliance. But then when you come to think of it, (Well not you, only I do that) does pain act on its own accord or do we force it on ourselves, like a torn condom?

According to the psychological definition, Pain is defined as an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or described in terms of such damage. People often keep saying that alcohol helps in easing pain, hell since when did alcohol start repairing damaged tissues? It just breaks some more vital ones.

But my post is not about alcoholism. No. It is about the need to feel hurt sometimes. I’ve started believe that pain is something we believe in. Something that we need to revisit once in a while to set things back in motion. Why else would we keep pushing at things till they hurt us?

Sometimes we purposely spoil things or get into arguments that we know would hurt us. And then we sit back and revel in the pleasure of things and look back with a new perspective. We act as if the world has turned against us, we look out windows with anger, and we carry a fire in our eyes. But there’s always a string that roots us to the ground, which brings us back to reality. We keep a check on ourselves, not to improve upon pain, which is the right thing, but rather to antagonize ourselves even more.

In generic human behaviour when we are pissed at someone else, we try as hard as possible to make the other person pissed off too, thus beckoning a round of physical violence. Violence never solved anything, but as for pain, I cannot truly say. It has its benefits.

What then about people with CIP (Congenital Intolerance to Pain)? Don’t they get hurt by anything? Are they always smiling? Laughing? Cheery? I’ll tell you when I meet someone like that. Till then adios.

 


For My Lilypad!

Love is the reason,

The reason I smile,

Love is what happens,

Makes life worthwhile.

 

Love is a feeling,

An untold desire,

Love is a burning,

Passionate fire.

 

Love is a hope,

For kindred spirits,

A shining light,

One of Life’s greatest treats.

 

Still I am,

Not sure anyhow,

What Love is,

Or even how?

 

But when I’m with you,

I feel complete,

You make me think,

Make my heart beat.

 

You give my dreams,

Wings to soar,

And every day,

You love me more.

 

Even one day without you,

Would make me sad,

I love you honestly truly,

My sweet Lilypad!