Sunday, February 28, 2010

Comedy of Terrors

Meatstick was at it again, and Firestone was reaching the end of her tether. She was of a sensitive disposition and as a rule avoided unsavory, threatening scenarios as much as she could.She was merely... skittish. Nothing else.
But that did not mean she would put herself through the test.

"But I don't want to!" she said for the nth time.
"C'mon Stoney, go for it!" said Chew through a mouthful of bread-omelette.
"It's no big deal. Just go ahead and do it." agreed Meatstick warming up to the challenge.
"But I don't want to go ahead and do it!"
"Oh leave her alone Meat," piped up Ant. " If she doesn't want to, she doesn't. Let her be."
Steadily ignoring Ant's feeble attempt at defense, Meatstick went on. "Slick's got it all fixed up, Stoney. Face your fear! Confront it and make fun of it! Freud pointed out that-"
"Please Meat, not Freud! It's 2 in the morning!"
" Ok, ok no Freud. But seriously, try it man- what harm can it do."
"Yeah Stoney," chimed Fashunista, "be strong!"
"Then why don't you do it!"
"Wha-? Ok, pedal back a bit."
Meatstick's face took on a determined cast as he turned to Fashunista and Firestone " Ok, both of you do it!"
"No way, nada,nahi!" interjected Fashunista while Firestone desperately shook her head.
Ignoring these mild intrusions in his declaration Meatstick continued with a flourish,"And Ant will give you company." Promptly sending Ant, who was comfortably nursing a steaming cup of chai, hurtling back into sputtering reality " How did I come into the picture?"
Firestone meanwhile was being persuaded that company may ease the pain.
"C'mon Stoney, Ant and Nista will get your back." assured Chew
"And who'll get ours?" exclaimed Fashunista.
" Well, I'll get yours Nista." He countered, waggling his eyebrows.
While Fashunista mock huffed, Firestone bit her lip in confusion. Next to her, Meatstick leaned in again " Think of it as homeopathy- like cures like. Fear cures fear."
A few tension filled seconds passed. To do or not to do...
Firestone raised her head and squared her shoulders "Ah chuck it! It's only a movie."

And that is how she came to watch Paranormal Activity.
But this is not the story that you have been waiting for. What we are going to see are the repercussions of this phenomenally bad idea.

It was the night after Scare-much, when all through the hostels,
Not a creature was stirring , not even the Construction Workers.
The curtains were flung and the windows were bare
In the vain hope of letting in air.

Firestone couldn't sleep. Every time she closed her eyes, she was afraid to open them. In a rather contradictory bid to save her sanity, she was now determined to not sleep at all. As the reassuringly human face of Tom Welling fighting aliens lent her fortitude, Firestone made the mistake of checking the time. 3:oo am. A shudder went down her spine as she remembered that, 3:00 was the time the demon struck in the movie. And it didn't help that Boro and Slick had recently told her that 3:00 am was the time the Spirits walked the earth. Her panic escalated when she turned and saw the blankets on her bed move of their own volition- just like in the movie! Firestone jumped off her chair making a wild scramble for the door when an ominous 'brrrrr' filled the air: again, just like in the movie! Fear paralysed Firestone as the brrring continued in sharp staccato spikes. Trapped in the liminal space between dead and scared-s***less, she closed her eyes tight against whatever was coming for her, while feeling an incredible annoyance that she was the wimpy first victim in the real life horror movie. And then,just as suddenly as it began, the brrr-ing stopped. Firestone cracked open an eyelid- the room was still, Tom Welling was yelling at the bad guy... and next to her computer her cellphone blinked sleepily. And as she watched, it jumped into life and brrrr-ed.

Feeling like ten different kinds of idiot, she picked up the call.
"Hey Stoney..." quavered Fashunista's uncharacteristically shaky voice.
As it turns out, Firestone had company on Fear Street. Fashunista's spiking adrenalin and racing heartbeats failed to be calmed by switched on lights and loud music. And it did not help that Ant was infuriatingly unspooked. Finding comfort in company, Firestone joined her compatriots in their room (Ant escorted her through the dark corridor) and they proceeded to collectively curse Meatstick and Chew, and Slick as well for giving them the movie in the first place. And as the night passed on, Ant too got a fair share of the hiding since she seemed so unbothered by the previous night's fear fest.

The morning dawned with the women ready to commit murder. But they had to hold out when they took a look at their comrades. Meatstick and Chew had obviously not slept the night as well. A little interrogation brought out the story. Meatstick had been disappointed by the fear fix and wanted his adrenalin spike. He spent the rest of the evening watching Ju'on and Grudge trailers and fell asleep content in the belief that he was neither shaken nor stirred, just mildly entertained. Somewhere in the middle of the night he awoke to the sight of long locks of hair hanging above his face. He jumped up in fright seeing all 23yrs of his life flash before his terrified eyes and then realised that the 'hanging hair' was actually the straps of his shoulder bag hanging off the side of the of his cupboard. Sheepishness did not negate the fact that he was now undeniable spooked and could no longer go back to sleep. Chew's story was similar: only in his case he thought the pile of clothes on his chair was a monster.

"I don't know why you guys are getting so spooked." Shrugged Ant, oblivious to the dirty looks thrown her way. "I mean it's just a mov-gaaak!"
"What happened Ant? You look like you saw a ghost!" exclaimed the concerned Firestone.
"Yeah. You ok?" added Meatstick.
Fashunista quickly fished out a bottle of water as Chew looked on worriedly.

Meanwhile Ant had recovered and was now letting out sheepish giggles.

"Heh heh heh, I thought that heh heh lady in the Burkha was a heh heh heh... you know..."

While the others did a quarter-hearted job of not looking smug, a motion was passed to avoid horror movies for a while: after all they had enough abnormal activity to contend with, minus the paranormal activity. The lights remained switched on all night for a while longer, though.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Dr.Ames' Inventory of New Age Diseases-4

Welcome to the latest edition of Dr.Ames's inventory. Our research team has compiled four of the most rampant and often incurable diseases plaguing the New Age. The good doctor urges the avid readers to formulate possible cures for the the latter category.

1)Whine-flu: A chronic illness that is known to be more devastating to the bystanders than the patients, whine-flu is a terribly debilitating disease which once acquired is almost impossible to be rid off. It generally manifests as an infection in the ENT circuit, resulting in the generation of high-frequency nasal sound-emissions. These emissions, much like second-hand smoke, are more detrimental to those around the patient.Excessive exposure to Whine-flu patients have often known to result in extreme aggression and use of force on the patient.The patients themselves are usually oblivious to the effect of their emissions and their condition is uncommonly contagious. The Doctor advices immediate quarantining of the affected individuals, coupled with the judicious use of duct tape and/or straitjacket. As for treatment of the patients, the Doctor advices steady doses of Ignoredol by inoculated/inured practitioners.

2)Sighnessitis: A strange cardiac malady that culminates into a respiratory disorder, Sighnessistis is a universal ill. The disease manifests in the form of extended exhales which may go on for anywhere ranging from a minute to an hour depending upon the stimuli. Much like an allergy, the virulence of the disease is greatly dependent upon the strength of the allergen. Allergens may include malfunctioning technology, sentimental scenes, poetry,certain types of music, particularly beautiful and equally unattainable face(s), enlarging waistline,photographs etc. The Cure is largely subjective, but a double dose of the miracle drug Snapoutofit is known to be effective.

3)Brawn-chitis: Generally considered to be a male malediction, this is a psychological disorder triggered by physical causes. The malediction is usually characterized by excessive growth of musculature that consequently cuts of the air and blood supply to the cranial area rendering the patient with more brawn than brain and a growing obsession with biceps, triceps, abs and the like to the point of complete neglect of general life. A growing menace of the modern age, scientists and researchers are frantically searching for a cure to this debilitating disease.

4)Snoriasis:It is often confused with the Sleeping Sickness spread by the intrepid tse-tse fly in the jungle reaches of the Congo. Snoriasis is a much more widespread, broad-based disease. It is generally characterized by recurrent rashes of death-like sleep often accompanied by earth/eardrum shattering snores. Trying to rouse the patient in the midst of these spells is often fruitless. However, the doctor advices the use of cold water or sharp movement as possible modes of awakening. This is a disease where prevention is infinitely more possible than cure. Intake of coffee, pepsi and other glucose enriched, highly caffeinated substances are known to be effective methods of preventions, as is exercise and light entertainment. A good horror movie usually does the trick.

That's all for this edition, new additions will be added- as always- when the good doctor feels like it. Until then, stay healthy.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Minutes of A Class

The minute hand climbed lugubriously up the melting face of the clock in a cruel parody of the sweat crawling down her back. Afternoon classes were probably created by the remarkably inventive Chinese as a follow up to their delightful, world-famous, torture techniques.

Around her,fellow students stewed in their own personal nadirs of despair.Some stared blankly at the paragraph they had been asked to edit, and some stared fascinated by the hypnotizing rotations of the ceiling fan. And still others, like her, wondered what misplaced dream had made them opt to sit in class when their very essences called out for release.


As the word took form in her congealed mind, a partially awake compatriot decided to participate in class, bringing a few of the others into guilty life. But neither guilt nor duty, nor sheer desperation could resurrect her from her ennui. The words 'paragraph rules' filter through her cobwebbed temporal lobe. Memories of a forgettable neurolinguistics class, embroidered by the reminiscences of the smiling faces of linguistically inclined friends throw a shaft of dusty sunlight into her Broca's Area. Or was it Wernicke's Area? No, it wasn't either of them... Ah whichever. As far as she was concerned, her brain was dying an ignominious death minus even the dubious honour of Yeats' Irish airman. The educational embalming of the lazy Friday afternoon guaranteed that. If Ginsberg wrote today, he'd have found the best minds of the generation rotting away in a classroom.Not that she had any delusions of grandeur, but she knew that around her sat some of the greatest minds of her age.


the word brings her back to the static classroom. Release came in the form of a future trial. Ah but that comes as no surprise. After all, freedom is never free now, is it? Grab it while you can and face the consequences when you have to. A test is nothing.

She grabs her satchel and makes a break for the open door, the strings of the ended class trailing behind her flying feet until they catch on to the hinges of the next door closing behind her.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Writers Block

The page is my enemy. It stares at me in blank indifference, scoffing at my desperate need for recognition. It tells me nothing to soothe my questions, merely taking everything I throw at it with impartial disinterest. I rail at it wildly, filling it with words that refuse to stick to it. And when they do, the page seems to look askance at them, as if their presence was mere sufferance. The futility of this exercise frustrates me with its one-sidedness. Why are you being like this? Can’t you feel like me and open up your arms to my weary pen for once. Why must we always engage in this strange dance of domination? Why must it always be a tussle between the two of us? Tempestuous relationships are all well and good in the sharp-edged turns of plot. But between the two of us it is merely a cruel game.

Why don’t you relent, why can’t we play nice: just for once? I’m too weary of witty repartee and I am not equipped with the charm to artfully win you over. Wouldn’t it be so much easier if you let these words bloom magically on your pristine body rather than cling precariously, desperate for absolution. As I try in vain to reach you, you throw spider webs in my path so I am caught up trying to extricate myself from their invisible strands. And as I twist and contort in vain, you stare at me with complete indifference: not even amusement at the sorry state of this writer.

Ah cruel, cruel page. It is not fair, this utter lack of feeling. Doesn’t it make a difference to you, that I burn with the dream of setting you afire with my inspiration? Obviously not. Why would it, anyway? I know you don’t care. There are so many greater minds paying greater homage to your exalted self. Yet, I try once again to bedeck you in my fancy: fool that I am. And again I look at you with hopeless hope that you will accept the meagre gift of my thoughts. You shrug and gather up the words, putting them up on the dusty showcase full of other tribute. And again I am driven by the insane urge to be the one to create that perfect tribute that will finally light up your dull, pale visage with glowing beauty. Determination rings like a hammer on the anvil of my soul and you stare back stonily at the fires of inspiration in my eyes burning the last failure to prepare space for another attempt... I will conquer you cold page. And you will carry my love with love.

"The triumph of hope over experience."