Apples (short story)

“Here, kid eat this”, Grandma said. This had become an every evening ritual with her. She’d sit by the balcony, not outside on the actual balcony, she was afraid of heights but liked the sunlight. She’d sit there, cut up apples and invite me to eat it, if for some reason I didn’t come she’d eat her half and leave me my half to eat later. 

“Grandma did you have a boyfriend before grandpa?”, I asked as I took one of the apple slices. 

“Of course dear”, she said in the slightly British accent which she never lost despite not being in Britain for at least twenty years, “I didn’t meet him until I was twenty seven, and both me and your grandpa had taken lovers before that but when we met, we knew. We knew that we were supposed to be together. Why do you ask Raj?” 

“Oh it’s just, there’s this girl I’ve been seeing and I think I wanna marry her but you know I’ve never dated anyone else so I don’t know if she’s really the one” 

“Son, if you have to think like that, then she’s not the one.” Grandma said, coolly looking out the balcony. 

“But I love her.” 

“That may be true, but if you have to think twice before marrying someone, you’re not ready yet.” 

And we kept talking for about an hour about love and marriage and somehow gay marriage got into that mix, it always fascinated me how I could talk whatever with her but not with anyone else in the family, not my mother, father not even my grandpa. It was peculiar but that was at the root of our relationship, not holding back on your thoughts and I thoroughly cherished that everyday. 

The next day, as I woke up, it was quite clear to me that I was supposed to marry Simran. I loved her, I had only ever loved her and after my talk with grandma yesterday I didn’t need to think again. 

I skipped lunch that day and went to the jeweler to buy a ring. The prices took me by surprise, I knew it was going to be expensive but this shit was fucking exorbitant! As I was looking through the cheaper options, there was doubt in my mind again. Should the price really matter if I really think she’s the one? Shouldn’t any price be nothing compared to getting to spend the rest of my life with her? I looked and I looked and I looked. And as I looked the doubt didn’t seem to clear itself. I was meeting her tonight, maybe then I’d know? 

As I left office, I texted her, “Hey, I’ve left. How long will you be?”  

It didn’t take long for her to reply, 

“I’ll be there before you. 

I’m wearing your favorite dress 😉 

See you soon! 😙 😙” 

She must be expecting a proposal! This is a nice restaurant we’ve always talked about going there maybe on a special occasion and today would’ve been that special occasion! But goddamit! I couldn’t decide! How could I not be sure about the woman I’ve dated for ten fucking years? Should I really marry her? Am I supposed to marry her? All through the cab ride this kept going through my head. Once the doubt creeps in, it never really goes. I left office early and, in a jiffy, I think I might have forgot to punch out so the boss kept calling me. I really didn’t want to have to deal with it. So, I put my phone on silent and just thought about where did I see myself with her in the next ten years. 

I couldn’t come up with an answer. 

I reached the restaurant and I saw her, that’s when I knew. I knew I wanted to be with her in the next ten years, maybe have a kid? All those doubts seemed pointless now. I was quite sure she is who I wanted to be with for the rest of my life. 

We had dinner and I did propose but without a ring. I saved myself by telling her that I wanted to give her the ring she wanted and we’ll go shop for it together. 

That night, I wanted to come home and tell everything to grandma. I rushed home after the date. Opened the door and shouted, “GRANDMA! I KNOW THE ANSWER!” 

“GRANDMA, WHERE ARE YOU?”, I sang at the top of my lungs with merriment obvious in my voice. 

And mom came out, her face seemed a little pale. I was at the balcony eating the apples grandma left for me as mom broke down. 

That was the last time I ate apples.

Touch (Short Story)

The small town of Lajalu had ancient and rich history. Once the capital of the kingdom, Lajalu’s thousand year old streets had more stories than any other town in the country. The rich history of the town however, was in contrast with the current economic condition. Streets were now rummaging with filth and homeless people and jobs were only to be found to people who didn’t even need the jobs. The stark contrast between the rich and the destitute was uncanny, unprecedented and quite frankly, criminal. 

Until a few years ago, Lajalu had a mildly successful tourism income. Their major attraction was the statue of the King that was built approximately eight hundred years ago on a steep stony mountain. What made it so amazing was that this statue was carved out of the mountain itself and it looked like it stood over the mountain. This, if the rumours were to be believed, was possible only with magic or if conspiracy theorists were to be believed, aliens. Either way, one belief seemed to be certain that, it’s impossible to climb the mountain and reach the statue due to the stone’s smoothness and the height of the mountain just made it difficult to come back alive even you found a way around the oily smooth surface. 

This gave rise to a very popular belief in the native Lajaluans that if you were to touch the statue’s crown, the kingdom will fall into despair and there will be scenes of doom all around. Although, modern Lajaluans didn’t quite believe it, nobody dared to go there given the life risks. There was also a belief that touching the crown brings you wealth and prosperity but the former one was more widely accepted for some reason. 

“Huh what a load of bullshit”, scoffed Raju. He was a ten year old child from the streets. His hobbies included reading fantasy books and playing cricket on the street. 

“You think all the book stories are true but this you can’t believe? The truth of our own town?”, said Neha. Her father was once a tour guide when the tourism industry was doing well, in the past few years however, they’ve had to live on the streets and eat off the public welfare’s kitchen just like Raju and his family. 

“The books have stories that can back up the scenarios it has created”, said Raju in an argumentative tone, “the way this town looks, somebody has already climbed the mountain and touched the crown.” 

“My father says, nobody has ever touched it since the last masons who built it.” 

“Whatever, I have to go play cricket to escape from your bullshit.” 

But Raju didn’t go and play cricket, he went to the statue observation point. The once glorious statue, now looked withered and crumbling. But still glorious than any other in the country. But due to the conditions of the town nobody came to visit anymore. Raju had read the stories about the statue but never believed it, he often came here and thought about how life sucks and how it would be a lot better if he could just leave the town but he was just a kid and didn’t know the way to another town.  

He spent eight more years on those streets, stealing books and reading and playing cricket. He finally felt like he was done with this place. Others seemed to have accepted their fate, even Neha. Every afternoon she waited at the public welfare’s food hall to receive food. Raju knew he couldn’t do that for the rest of his life. So, he decided to leave. 

But before he left, he decided to look at the statue one last time. This time from closer. He didn’t mean to climb the statue, he knew that was impossible but he had always wondered what it would have looked like from the foot of the mountain.  

As he was walking through the jungle on the foot of the mountain, placing every step carefully to be safe from snakes or any other wild animals that nobody wants to piss off, he felt a strange sensation which he couldn’t quite explain. He kept walking until an accident involving a creeper tripping him sent him under the ground into a cave.  

This place was eerie but brave Raju, looked around found steps and made a rather long climb which undoubtedly was the inside of the statue, he was surprised how nobody knew about this reality but they all talked about the “do not touch” non sense. As Raju, reached the room at the top, he realized not all the rumours were non sense.

” Ah! you have finally arrived.” a voice echoed.

“Who is it?” Raju said with a slight tremor in his voice.

“I’m the caretaker of Lajalu, I have been that for the last forty five years.”

“Well you’ve been doing a shit job Mr. Caretaker”

“And that led you here, I did my job well.”

“What is this place?”

“The statue chambers are a place which you can only enter, if you are pure of heart and never want to return to Lajalu. From here you help the city.”

“How?”

“Figure it out.” the voice faded away.

Death (short story)

He laid flat facedown, like a child in deep sleep. Was he asleep? He couldn’t tell. Finally, he opened his eyes, but he couldn’t see anything, he could only feel asphalt on his left cheek. 

“Come on, Amar. Get up. We have to go”, a voice, soft as silk and soothing as an evening breeze called out to him. 

Amar looked up, there was an unknown old man that was looking at him. Even though the man was a stranger, he felt a strange trust in him. He got up, dusted his clothes off and started to walk towards the man. While walking, he saw something that he hadn’t noticed before, a bright light coming from behind the old man. Oh! so this is a tunnel, he said to himself. 

The old man held out his hand for him to hold. He had kind eyes and a smile that made Amar feel at peace. He looked a lot like Santa Claus, except that he wasn’t wearing the costume. 

“Who are you?”, Amar asked with intrigue. 

“Why, I’m Death of course.” 

“Death? Does that mean-” he stopped mid-sentence and remembered how he got here. 

It was a particularly sad night, he again didn’t feel like living, like ending it all and starting over in a new place. Maybe in a different city, where not everyone was out to get you. Nobody liked him here, that’s what he thought. Otherwise, why would he be, 40, still single with no friends and not able to maintain a single job? He couldn’t even keep the same psychiatrist to treat his depression, they either died, or moved cities. In truth, he had only ever seen two psychiatrists and one of them died and the other moved cities. The one who moved cities recommended him to the one who died and after his second psychiatrist died, he also felt like dying. It was the perfect option. No debts to repay, no coming back to an empty apartment after a mind-numbingly boring dead-end minimum wage job. Just like being asleep with no responsibilities. He often thought, what was the purpose of living anyway, he was nothing but dead weight on this planet, might as well just be dead. No real contributions to the society, no loved ones to care about. Nothing but dead weight. Nobody would even miss him if he died, except maybe the psychiatrist because then it would hurt his income but now even he was dead. 

So, Amar went to the roof of his building and jumped down. No suicide note or anything. 

“Yeah, that does mean” said the Death. 

“I always thought Death must be a woman.” 

“You read a lot of comic books, that’s why”, Death laughed and continued, “The truth is, I do not have a gender, I just manifest in whatever form feels the most comfortable to you.” 

As Death said that, he realized that he was looking up at Death, despite being a six feet tall adult, his hand was holding Death above his head like a seven year old child holding his grandpa’s hand as they pass a busy market. 

“Oh alright. I guess I did like being with my grandpa but it was so long ago, I had forgotten about him completely” 

“So Amar, do you want to tell me why you killed yourself?” 

“I didn’t really want to die to be honest. I just wanted to live again”, Amar said 

“You will.” said Death as they walked into the light. 

Blank (short story)

Tirth was freaking out. His elocution competition was coming close and he had nothing prepared. The topic was “Give your views on climate change”. The topic seemed fairly simple to his friend Ninad, well nothing ever seemed difficult to him, he never took anything seriously. Tirth on the other hand was the exact opposite. 

“If ya were gonna freakout like that ya shouldn’t’ve participated dude.” Ninad said. 

“I didn’t have a choice alright! The class teacher himself picked me! I couldn’t have said no!” replied Tirth in a panicked state. There was frustration in his voice. This wasn’t new for Ninad, he had seen Tirth freak out for a lot less, this wasn’t even in the top ten but then again, the competition was still ten days away and Tirth probably thought he will have something by then. 

Tirth went home and started looking up facts about climate change. All of these facts were alarming and didn’t help his anxious state of mind. But he kept looking, thinking he will stumble on to something for a speech that’s supposed to be at least five minutes long.  

Seven days went by and he couldn’t find anything that wasn’t already said about climate change, thanks to Greta! At this point Tirth seemed to have lost his sanity, he would breakdown at the smallest of inconveniences and Ninad thought that he should back out of the competition for his own sake. This made Tirth angry but he did think that there might be some sense to what Ninad said. But he wasn’t someone who backed down. He never went back on his word and the kid prided himself in that. 

“Ninad I got nothing. Nada. Zip! What do I do? WHAT DO I DO???”, he was about to have one more breakdown. But this Ninad was having none of his shit, he was done with his laid-back attitude to try and get Tirth to calm down. 

“Shut up T! You’re overreacting ya dumass. The teach picked you right! He picked you outta all the students at our school! So clearly, you’ve got it in ya man! It’s not like you’ve not done this before. You’ve given speeches. And ya really just have to speak about your views! Stop lookin at the internet for facts!” he snapped at Tirth and he could’ve cried but instead he felt inspired. 

He went home with new found confidence in himself and took out a blank paper and a pen and sat down to write his own views. But as soon as his pen reached the paper, he went blank. What did he think about climate change? He hadn’t thought about his own views even though it was clearly mentioned in the topic, how could he have overlooked such a conspicuous detail! Did he really deserve to be the school’s first choice? Did he even have it in himself to go up to the stage and talk about climate change? And just like that, all his anxiety was back and he went to sleep. The next two days he spent wallowing and trying to overcome his anxiety. Ninad didn’t disturb thinking that the twinkle he saw in Tirth’s eye the last time would help him come through, little did he know that the twinkle barely lasted an hour. 

On the day of the competition Ninad saw him outside the 2000-seater school auditorium and Tirth looked visibly freaked out with a page in his hand. Tirth gave him a weak smile and Ninad went inside the auditorium to find the best seats. 

Tirth went backstage still with nothing written. People went up and talked about all the topics that they were asked to talk about so eloquently and he couldn’t go past “Good evening ladies and gentleman.” 

His name was called, he went up with his head hanging low, as slowly as he could, trying to think of something, anything! As he reached the center of the stage he looked up and the number of people in crown hit him hard. He was used to performing in this auditorium but it was never jam-packed at full capacity. I guess that’s what happens when it’s city wide competition, he thought. The stakes were high, his school’s reputation was on the line more so than the others because they were hosting. 

He started speaking, “Good evening ladies and gentlemen, I am here today to speak about climate change.” he took a pause and he doesn’t remember anything after that, except that he was outside the auditorium greeted by a smiling Ninad and his parents who looked proud and a lot of his classmates and everyone was happy. Why was everyone happy? He thought. He had absolutely wrecked the speech. He didn’t remember anything except sweating and the occasional overwhelming urge to breakdown while looking at the blank paper he was holding in his hand. 

Finally, he broke away from the crowd as Ninad approached him. 

“Yo T! Show me that paper of yours dude that’s-” he snatched the paper out of Tirth’s hand and was shocked. “What the fuck? This is blank. What were ya lookin at during the speech man?” 

“I have no clue what I have said, I went blank as soon as I finished saying the pleasantries.” 

Spring (short story)

“Police believes this is the work of the serial killer AKA The Spring Killer that has often struck his blows around this time of the year for the past four years, they have not found any evidence except that the victim was killed with the same modus operandi as the suspected killer, the online fan base of the serial killer says this is a fake one….” 

“Oh come on Dad change the channel already! You know this is just dumb clickbait-y news! They are citing an online message board as their source for God sakes!”, Vasant snapped at his father but his father didn’t reply he was too engrossed in the news. This was just one of those snippets of the case, there will be other news which his father wanted to watch but for some reason he just never liked this lady who reported the news. 

Her name was Lavinia, and she had covered the first time this serial killer appeared in the spring of 2016, she was the one who had dubbed him as The Spring Killer. Vasant followed this news for a long time owing to his obsession with serial killers and true crime podcasts as well as shows. This was the first time it was happening in real life so he was excited to solve the case but he never really got any leads, turns out being a detective is actually really hard work and requires a lot of brains which Vasant had learned he didn’t possess. This dejection had turned Lavinia’s voice into an ugly unmelodious crow’s caw. She always reported with a sly smile as if she knew something he didn’t and it made his stomach squirm. So, he stopped looking at the news. 

“Fuck this”, he muttered under his breath and followed it up with a loud, “I’m going out. I need some air.” 

Vasant said that he had given up on this thing but it never really left him, why did the killer always strike during spring time? How has he never left any trace of evidence whatsoever? Why does he only kill men? Is it really a he? It could be a woman! Nobody really addresses that part except the online fan forum that Lavinia was talking about. This forum was actually pretty good when the killer had first appeared but as the website grew these “fans” made up a personality of the alleged killer and Vasant knew full well that in all possibilities he or she isn’t going to be the way these teenagers make her out to be.

The very first murder was a sloppy job in his opinion and he could tell from all the podcasts he had watched, that was probably the best time to catch her. He was somehow sure after the first murder that it was a woman who did it. The background of the victim was sketchy, he was publicly misogynistic, sexist and a real piece of shit when it came to respecting women. The police never thought of this as a possible motive for murder because all of these qualities very layered and he was a minor politician. In his opinion, the first murder was because the politician had pissed the woman off and the following were just a rush that she enjoyed as serial killers often do. But none of his conjectures seemed to point out why did all the murders happen in the spring.  

Before she showed up, spring time was happy time. Playing sports with the friends, video games, going out for the holidays and overall just enjoying the beautiful weather that accompanies the season. But this bitch had single handedly made this beautiful time of the year into an unhealthy obsession which he could never seem to let go of. She really was the spring killer. 

This year he thought might bring some change since the social distancing protocol in effect by majority of the people because of the highly contagious coronavirus might make it hard for her to move about and find victims, but evidently not. She was out there, going about her business as usual and it was bugging him.  

Vasant was taking this virus seriously, he was out wearing a mask and gloves and loaded with a 12oz bottle full of alcohol-based sanitizer. Living near the park made it easy to go out and get some air because that was his favourite place to be ever since he was child. It really calmed his nerves. Today, however there were crows cawing, there was a dead dog in the park and the crows had come to feast. This disturbed his peace a little but he could just walk away to another corner of the park and chill. He sat there for a while, not just thinking about the spring killer but also about what he wanted to do in life, he never really got answers here but this place made it easier to think about the difficult. He got up to leave and again the sight of crows eating the dog made his stomach squirm. 

He felt like someone was following him and he kept looking behind but he couldn’t see anyone but just as he reached a rather desolate corner of the park, he heard a definite laugh. A high-pitched laughter belonging to a woman. 

“Stop boy”, the woman said. 

Vasant froze. He recognized this voice, where had he heard it? 

“Don’t you dare turn around” the voice laughed and the woman grabbed him from behind as she placed a knife on his throat. 

Yes, this was it he thought. She is the one! BUT WHERE THE FUCK HAVE I HEARD THIS HIDEOUS VOICE BEFORE! He couldn’t seem to remember. 

“I know you were after me” she said and it could only remind him of the most infamous batman villain “Why didn’t you look for me this year? It made me sad” 

“HOLY FUCK I KNOW YOU! YOU ARE THE FUCKING RE-” Thud. 

She sliced his throat before he could finish the sentence. She couldn’t let him finish; nobody can say it out loud. She took out his sanitizer bottle poured it all over his clothes and face and wherever she might’ve touched him, took his mask and gloves and silently exited the park as the crows cawed in the distance.

Insomnia (short story)

“Aren’t you gonna sleep?” she texted; it was almost 3 o’clock in the morning. I’m supposed to wake up at 6 so that I can make it to work at 9 which is all the way across the town, she knows this and her question was completely valid. But how could I sleep while I knew she was awake? How could I fall asleep knowing I have more time to spend with her? She’s not going to be available to chat in the morning and even if she is, I still have to make it to work! I think she knows this; that I like her and she likes to tease me like this but then again she might be completely clueless and just honestly wondering why the fuck am I awake when I have to wake up so early in the morning.

“Not yet, I have to finish this presentation I’m working on”, I lied. I’ve liked this girl since I was a wee boy in elementary school. I was a little ball of anxiety then and couldn’t muster up the courage to talk to her. Today however, I am a big ball of anxiety and I still can’t believe I’m talking to her.

After she moved out of the city, I didn’t think I would ever see her again. As I grew up, I forgot she even existed. But then, on that one fated day, I ran into her. Quite literally, I was in a rush because I was late for office but I needed to get my coffee at the local coffee shop and in all of the chaos I didn’t see that someone was walking towards me and I spilled hot scalding coffee all over me and her. What’s funny was we didn’t even recognize each other at first. I was just so angry that I’ll be late for work two days in a row and will have to hear a lecture from boss about punctuality who himself seldom starts meeting on time. What prick that guy is!

Anyway, I looked up after the spill and was taken aback by how beautiful this girl was. Immediately my rage turned into serenity, I had a passing thought, “You really can get away with anything when you’re this pretty huh.” But that wasn’t the only reason I calmed down; she did seem familiar I just couldn’t place her. I offered to buy her a new shirt from the store right across the street (What a dumbass! Who does that?) and to my surprise she agreed, turns out she was heading into an important conference and needed to not have coffee all over her shirt. We talked a bit and I realized who she was but I didn’t blurt it out loud because well like I said, I’m a big ball of anxiety. She took her time to realize that and suddenly there was no hostility between us and it felt like two old friends running into each other, even though we were never friends, we were hardly even acquaintances!

And in the following weeks we got closer, we texted all the time and met every weekend, I didn’t even feel like meeting my friends who by the way have been with me through the worst of times! I would feel guilty about cancelling my plans with them but whenever I was with her, I would forget all about it. It’s not like I never meet them, I just meet them less frequently.

“But you said you weren’t doing anything important like an hour ago!” she pointed out and I felt like a child whose lie was caught, “You know you always do this, I let it go but it’s weird, I don’t like it when you lie to me.”

Should I tell her the truth? My heart is racing faster than Usain Bolt at the mere thought of it. Saying it over text doesn’t seem ideal though. But I don’t think I’d be able to speak coherently in person. So maybe now’s the time.

“I err… I’m up just to talk to you…” I replied and OH MY GOD I THINK MY HEART IS GOING TO FALL OUT OF MY MOUTH.

“oh. Really? Thanks…that makes me feel special…but you know you really should just sleep, it’s not healthy to have such less sleep everyday”

“I guess you are right. Why are you up so late then? I know you have to be up early too…”

“I’m an insomniac! It’s okay for me, I have been sleeping like this all my life.”

“Well then, I too wanna be an insomniac.”

Fox Knight (short story)

Once upon a time, long, long ago there lived, a Fox Knight. He was a very unique creature. He was part fox and part human. Making him the smartest fox and the deadliest human. Despite the powers he had, he strived his entire life to maintain and promote peace. He could master any weapon presented to him in a matter of days. He could also learn any new language in a similar amount of time, and this was the ability that mattered to him the most. He valued his brain over his brawn.
Legend says, a little fox once chased down a rainbow to its origin because he wanted to eat it. The colourful long candy, he thought would be the most delicious thing in the world. His parents tried to stop him but there was no stopping a young fox from achieving something he set his heart on. So he ran, he ran farther from his pack than he ever had. Leaving all of his friends and family behind. He didn’t care, for there was the candy waiting as a reward at the end of the run. He was about to give up when something bright shined in his eyes almost blinding him. With his eyes half open he tried to find the source of the light. He knew it wasn’t sun. Sun was in the other direction. So what was this bright, blinding light? He moved closer. Nobody had come this far in the forest. Not even the king of the forest dared to come here. The little fox went where even the mighty lion feared to tread. He thought, this was it, this has to be the place where the candies come from.

As he got closer, a silhouette began to materialize. It looked like a horse, he thought. A horse had also come this far for the candy but he wanted the whole jar for himself. He thought the horse will be easy to fool given that he himself is the son of the most cunning creature in the wild, the fox. So he went ahead and soon he saw something else in the silhouette, the horse had a pointy protrusion just above his nose. Maybe the horse was in trouble, maybe the horse was dying because of that thing that stuck on his nose. He thought, since horses are foolish the horse might have put his whole mouth in the candy jar and one of it got lodged in his nose. He decided to save the horse and get an extra candy too. So he charged, he charged into the bright light with the intention of eating that candy. He reached the horse. It was a beautiful white horse. He pounced on the candy and the horse screamed in agony. To his horror, there was no candy. Now he was angry at the horse and said to the horse,”Why did you eat all the candy, foolish horse?”

To which the horse replied,”Horse? How dare you mistake me, the mighty unicorn with a foolish and primitive creature like the horse?”

“Don’t lie to me horse! I know there are no such things as unicorns or dragons.”

“Yes there aren’t such things as dragons but I do exist you foolish little child. How dare you bite my horn? Have you no regard for the lord of your forest?”

The fox remained quiet, this wasn’t expected. He came here for the candies. There aren’t any candies over here but instead an angry mythical creature, at least that’s what his mother told him. The little fox was in denial. He thought a horse was trying to get the better of him thinking he was kid. But he knew better. He told the unicorn,”I know unicorns don’t exist. Now give me my candy you foolish horse!”

“You dare call me to horse again?”, replied the unicorn in stupendous anger. The birds from miles away got terrified and flew away. The voice of the unicorn filled the nearby area. The unicorn went on to say,”I, the lord of this forest, curse you little fox, that you will suffer! Until the end of time.”

That is how people remember the legend of the fox knight, the fox later returned to find his pack but they were gone in a fight between them and the humans. Several years went by, the fox adapted itself, he thought if he had to suffer, why not suffer with the smarter species. So, he adapted himself to the human environment but one fine day he realized that humans were just as good as animals when it came to marking their territory. Even worse, perhaps. He fought a lot of wars but peace was never achieved. So, he decided to dedicate his life to making and maintaining peace. That is the story, of the Fox Knight.

AVOID 2

Alright, let’s do this. These are the thoughts that I’ve been having for the past couple of months:

Ever since the dawn of societies, there has been social injustice, this problem has been prevalent across cultures and time despite of absence of any kind of communication between societies whatsoever, there has always been a socially inferior part of a society. It’s not new.

Lately, however, there has been this huge wave of people fighting this injustice, with the advent of social media it has become easy to voice your opinion, unfortunately it has also become easy to spread propaganda and mass hysteria, which is easier to spread than the truth. And with these two kinds of people clashing on the internet and having a go at each other there has been the rise of a third kind of sect on social media. ‘The confused’, is what I’d call them. These people appear reasonable when you talk to them about normal stuff like the weather or how to invest your money but when it comes to politics they seem to always follow a certain tone which is scary, the tone conveys a sort of fear in them about the truth and how the propaganda + mass hysteria has helped them numb their discomfort and in their bubble they feel safe.

Now. I’m not a psychiatrist or anything, not by a long shot but my theory is this happens because they’ve been fed propaganda for too long and when they finally do see the truth to power they are confused and scared. And then the propagandists come with their “truth” and soothe them, they say that the answer is easy, they are wrong, everything they do is wrong, their culture, their thought process, they will be the demise of our beautiful well cultured society where women and people from the lower class are less respected, don’t worry you’re not gonna have to give up your privilege.

Listening to such stuff will understandably make you feel safer because you’ve grown up believing that stuff, back when there wasn’t technology and the only opinions you heard of were of the journalists and politicians who spoke in black and white. But it’s not black and white this stuff has never been black and white, you can’t break the problem of social injustice down to either-or. Your stance can be either-or, but your reasons need to have more meat than “because it’s right”.

As I’m writing this, I’ve realized there is another class of people on social media, “The oblivious”, we will call them. These people mean well but their stance is again in black and white, they are either-or. They don’t have reason, they only have a ‘yes’ and a ‘no’. This is scary because internet allows to have platform, where you can educate yourself and you are willing to just make an opinion based off one tweet or one instagram post and that behavior is just as good the the “The Confused” and you are oblivious to that fact. You have the tools, you have the time, you must gather more information, you must add perspective before forming your opinion. Not because someone might call you out publicly and it’ll be quite embarrassing, really but because you owe it yourself.

The point what I wanted to make when I started writing was, social injustice has prevailed throughout history why is it more important to fight it today than ever? Why can’t we just be getting on with our lives? Why can’t we choose to drown in our pool of privilege anymore? Just because we know of injustice happening does that mean I have to work towards removing it? If so, I have to be at hundreds of places at the same time to work towards that, don’t I? This in part, also abets the oversharing of information/misinformation in the form of tweets because you can’t be at hundreds of places at once other than on social media. Can we however, choose our fight and let the others fight other problems? What if I choose to fight only one cause and I don’t put a lot of effort in fighting the other cause? does that make me a bad person? Does it even matter if others think I’m a bad person if I think I’m doing good? Don’t most criminals think that way too? What’s right? What’s wrong? DO I KNOW?? NOO!!

I really hope you didn’t read this whole thing to find an answer and at find that load of crap at the end. The truth is that’s all I have really, questions and I avoid these questions.

AVOID

GOD FUCKING DAMN!! I almost started this blog post with a formal salutation and went into ’email mode’ of writing, thanks to the amount of emails I’ve been writing to universities for my big move abroad.

There has never been a particular theme to my blog, it literally is just rants and thoughts that occupy my mind and don’t let me sleep at night. Over the past couple of years however, I’ve developed a very unhealthy coping mechanism in regards to this, I just keep browsing through Instagram or Reddit on my phone and never really leave myself alone with my thoughts. 2019, was a decent enough year for me to not feel motivated to rant about.

I had promised myself I would write a long ‘goodbye’ post once MS Dhoni announces his retirement, but that didn’t happen, I was so sure he was going to do that after the world cup but that didn’t happen. That was a mixed feeling, I love him as a player and as a person but it is about time he hangs his boots, not because there are young players waiting for a chance but because I need at least one retirement of his which I can accept! The retirement from test matches was so sudden and it almost seemed like he was kicked out instead of plain retiring which also kind of seems like the case here, it’s just that this time around he hasn’t announced his retirement.

Except Dhoni there wasn’t anything that I wanted to rant about in the entirety of 2019 but just one month of 2020 has given me loads things to rant about. Global Warming, Radical Right Wing-ism, free-falling economy, to name a few. I was initially following all of the news to stay up-to-date, which adversely affected my mental health, so I’ve limited my exposure to those news. The more I try to learn about it, the more I find myself feeling suffocating under the heavy weight of the responsibility of affecting change in the society and I let myself get crushed under this because, honestly? I’m not motivated enough to do that. I understand that I come from a privileged class which allows me to say and that there are countless others who don’t have the option to choose out of this responsibility because it affects them directly. And then these thoughts keep up at night, is my care for the issues only a facade? Is it that I actually don’t care but I pretend to care because that’s the right thing to do? Did I distance myself from the news because it was affecting my mental health or did I distance myself because it didn’t really affect my existence in my bubble of privilege?

These are the kind of waters my mind wanders to when I’m left alone with my thoughts and it makes me feel like a bad human being and hence, I avoid myself. But today, after reading a particular blogpost by one of my favourite comedians, which even he uploaded after a hiatus of four years, I felt motivated to write something but I didn’t know what. I guess this is a rant/chain of thought that I subject myself to when I leave my mind idle.

Do I end it here or do I write more and let the internet be my therapist? By ‘it’ I meant this article and not life. (Uses humour to hide feelings)

Well, I guess that’s it then.

THE END.

Country; definition.

I love my country. I really do. It’s a very fundamental feeling ever since I was a child and I believe it’s been like that for most of us. But what do we really mean when we say we love our country? What do we love about our country? In fact I have been struggling with the definition a country. What defines a country? The people, the government, or the borders? Is this patriotic feeling only towards the confines of an imaginary line on a land somewhere on the globe?

Or is it towards the government? The government which most of the times is kind of inefficient because the people there want to exploit the power that we’ve put in their hands. Every time the elections arrive we don’t elect the party that’s the best. We elect the party that’s less bad. We have to make a choice between lesser of the evils. We don’t choose the best. This patriotic feeling is definitely not towards the government. Government is made up of people who are there to serve for us and they’re not the best at their jobs. Just wonder if people were slacking off at a private firm as much they do at a government job. They wouldn’t be tolerated as much their employer, would they?

Is the country made up of people living in the country? I guess that can come as close as we can to the real definition of a country. A cluster of people pledging their lives to an entity, to a name and following similar ideologies to make that entity better than it was yesterday. Do I love the people living in this country? Well, not all of them but some people are good. In fact, I believe most people are good. It’s just a few twisted politicians who’ll stop at nothing to stay in power and corrupt other people for their own benefit.

I’d written this whole thing two months ago and I don’t yet have a definition. But I guess I’ll just use the definition that is accepted by the major populous and work towards making it a better place. I suppose that is all we can do. Be better and try to make help others do the same.