Jun 21, 2011

One Day in Heaven

God was taking a rest in heaven. Seeing him unusually despondent, his assistant asked him,

“You look very depressed today; what is it that makes you so much sorrowful and tired?”

With a sigh, God said, “Nothing particular buddy, you know, it was me who created the human beings. But, now they say, I don’t exist!” 

Thoughtfully the assistant replied, “That’s true, many people are nowadays becoming atheists. You created many religions to make the human beings turn towards you. But, what we see is them fighting for religions.”

“I’m totally depressed buddy, now I feel that my decision to create the mankind was wrong,” disheartened the God said.

“Sir, if you sit here without any action, you will be plunged more into sadness. Aren’t you visiting the Earth for your routine rounds?” the assistant queried.

“I’m going. Actually I’m waiting for that young man, who is travelling on his ‘sincere bike’, to pass that traffic block,” pointing to the earth the God said.

Leaning and looking carefully at where the God was pointing, the assistant suddenly exclaimed, “Oh, him? Isn’t him the author of Vanity Moments?”

“You know him? Do you read really the stuff that he writes in the internet?”

“What is this God? I’m his regular follower. It seems that you also read his posts”, the assistant replied.

The God said, “No, Actually I don’t wait for him to publish the posts. I usually read his articles before he writes them”.

“Now, what is with him?” the assistant inquired.

“Nothing! He is basically good. In the beginning, he was attached to me very much. But, now he is slightly becoming an Agnostic. He is doubtful about my existence,” the God said.

“So, what are you going to do today?”  

“His bike is running on reserve, and for the last four days, I made him forget about filling his petrol tank. When he reaches in front of that empty building, his bike will stop. You know, the nearest petrol pump is three kilometers away. He won’t get any auto rickshaw there. Or at least I will not let any taxi pass that way,” the God said with determination.

“Are you going to punish him sir?” sympathetically his assistant asked.

“No, I’m going to help him so that he will never question my existence. Meanwhile, please look after the affairs of the next worlds,” saying so the God disappeared.

Once landed on the earth, he entered the new building of the Deccan Chronicle and waited at the underground parking area with a bike. Before going inside, he did not forget to drop an empty bottle of Sprite at the door step.

As the God had predicted, I reached there with my stalling bike. Cursing my forgetfulness, I tried several times to start the bike and finally got disheartened without even finding a rickshaw to go to the nearest petrol bunk. 

Finding this as the right time, the God in an inadvertent manner, came out from the parking area driving his bike.

“This could be someone who is in charge of the construction works,” I thought and waved at him signaling to stop. He stopped.

“Do you know where the nearest petrol pump is? I’m left with an empty tank. What direction should I take to go to the petrol pump?” I asked him.

He said, “I think you have to travel at least three kilometers.”

I explained to him what happened and in the end I said, “Alright, thank you. I will manage it myself.”

He said, “Do you have a bottle? I could have given you some petrol from my bike’s reserve.”

“No, thank you, don’t worry. I don’t have a bottle,” I said.

He asked the security if he would get a bottle. Meanwhile I made a quick search through the vicinities and found the disfigured Sprite bottle.

I picked it up and called him. He collected some petrol from his tank and helped me to pour it into my bike’s petrol tank.

 In the end I thanked him. When offered him some money as the price of the petrol, he refused it.

I said, “I don’t know if God exists. But in every such critical situation, someone used to appear to help me”.

Smilingly he drove away. While travelling to the nearest petrol station, I thought, “Still I am not sure about the existence of God. God may exist or may not exist. Perhaps, what happened today could be a mere case of coincidences. It may be the curious case of Randomness,”

Back in the heaven, the God was questioned by his assistant.

“Sir, you helped him a lot. But still it seems that he does not care about you. Look what he is thinking!”

The God said, “To tell the truth buddy, I never had a thought even in my wildest dreams to change his mentality”

“What do you mean?” The assistant exclaimed.

“Do you often hear him complaining about the lack of proper subjects to write upon in his blog?” God asked.

“Yeah, so what? He calls it the Blogger’s Block”, the assistant replied.

Smilingly the God said, “Buddy, my aim was to give him a spark for a better blog post, so that he would stop writing his usual craps and start writing some quality posts”.

Jun 17, 2011

Schindler's List, a Film Shot in Colourless Frames (1993)

Life is generally bitter, so I always try to write about happiness; sometimes by making fun of myself, and some other times by ridiculing others. I always want my writings to be rich and colourful, elegant and fun-filled. But when Indiblogger asks me to write about bringing colour to something which otherwise is colourless, I become confused. That happens most often. It usually requires a lot of extra struggle, if I am asked to do a specific task, which I effortlessly do at other times.

And now, when you ask me to write about a particular thing, which I would like to see taking a flight with colour, what comes to my mind right away is a thing, which I forever want to see colourless, a film made in black and white in this era of sophisticated technology – Schindler’s List

Crafted by the ace film maker, Steven Spielberg, this 1993 drama film introduces to us some rare good characters walked on earth during the catastrophic time of the Holocaust, like Oscar Schindler himself.  The Nazi rulers of the Third Reich decided to keep the purity of mankind; they labeled some as inferior to them. You have the right to live only if you have a harmless physique, and enough health to labour on earth. Otherwise you are a waste, you are useless, better to be destroyed and buried rather than causing unnecessary burden to the country.

Only some people are good, other humans make the human race impure. So, impure parts are to be destroyed. The people who had such a form of belief called themselves Nazis. Handicapped ones, older ones, like many others are shot at point blank in order to make the progress of the country easier. The Nazis hated Jews, and so, millions of Jews were slaughtered like animals in the hideous reign of Adolf Hitler in Germany. Jewish people, women, kids, everyone were asked to leave their home towns and to gather at the Ghettos, where they were asked to perform various manual labours, irrespective of their academic qualification. 

The Jews were mercilessly tortured in such Ghettos, and later at concentration camps and extermination camps, they were killed through suffocation, through several unethical medical experiments. The older males and females were asked to get naked first and then to make rounds running around the stadium to get their capability validated. Only the capable ones were selected, and the others were liquidated. The twin kids became the guinea pigs of the Nazi doctors. They practiced several experiments upon those innocent kids, many of those kids were killed, and those who returned alive became either handicapped or mentally retarded. Extermination through labour was another principle introduced by the Third Reich to demolish the Polish Jews. 

When you are filming these instances, who would like to watch them in colour? Spielberg was wise, so he made the film in black and white, to reduce the adverse effect that such horrific scenes could have imposed into the mind of the spectators. Also, through such colourless visuals, he wanted to generate an effect of timelessness.  

The only thing that you see in colour in the film except the end scenes is the red coat of a small girl, who is shown as walking through the streets along with many other captive Jews. While she is passing the street, we also see a pack of queued up ‘useless Jews’ being shot dead by a Nazi soldier. In some of the later scenes we see the corpse of a girl being carried in a wheel barrow, and we identify her with the same coat, which is faded red in colour. Would you like to see those scenes in violent colours?

We see Oscar Schindler there in the film, who, a Nazi himself, is a manufacturer and trader of war time ammunition. His objective is to make financial profit out of the war. But seeing the miserable condition of the Jews, an instant makeover happens; he is changed as a savior of the Jews. Schindler appoints several Jews in his factory, and even an elder feeble man is presented as an essential worker. A girl child is an essential worker, since only her tiny hands can polish the inside of a 45 millimeter shell casing. Besides all these arguments, many Nazi officers were hugely bribed by Schindler, to save each Jewish worker in his factory. The list of the Jews whom he bought from the officers (saved, in the literary sense) by paying huge price is now known as Schindler’s List, and the same serves as the title to the film. 

Schindler died penniless. The Jews remember him still. At the end of the film, the colours of life come back to the frames. All the Jews alive, who were saved by Schindler at the time of the Holocaust, are shown in the ending scenes as walking to the grave of Oscar Schindler to pay their respect along with the actors who donned the corresponding roles in the film. Actors Liam Neeson as Schindler and Ben Kingsley as his Jewish accountant along with many other important actors and thousands of extras did wonderful jobs to make the visually black and white frames imaginatively colourful. 

In Pictures: Scenes from Schindler's List

Jun 8, 2011

Shameless Spying

This narrative is not about any well-known person or celebrity. The hero in this tale is just a Blogger or a reader like me or you, who prefers to be an anonymous Blogger, though he maintains a good readable blog with witty and humorous posts, each of which draws not less than fifty comments the first day itself. In Facebook, he had opened a special account to accommodate all the friend requests from his blog readers, and I also was his dedicated friend there following his posts with servitude. According to his Facebook profile information, his real profile has been active with no connection with the blogger’s profile, since he prefers to be an anonymous blogger.
In this narrative, I call him a hero, but if so, the villain of the story is myself. On the contrary, if he is the villain, I am the hero.  But in this case, the best suitable term to describe him will be ‘the prey’, and I’m the hunter. OK, for the sake of this narrative, let the name of the blog be ‘Candid Truth’.

While following the posts of Candid Truth, from the comment of someone among his innumerous fans, who might know the Blogger personally, I found his real name. Let’s call him Saurav. I also noted someone calling him with the letter ‘S’ in her comment, as if she has been insisted by him to not publicize his real name. Anyway, one day in Facebook, I commented to his status message, mentioning his name. Within minutes, he messaged me requesting me to not mention his name, because he prefers to be anonymous. I asked him about his real profile. He replied,

“This is just as real as the other”, and when I visited back his profile, the message which I posted mentioning his name was gone.

So, I decided to hunt his real self. And you know, there are thousands of Saurav’s in Facebook itself. Anyway within half an hour I sorted out the author of the Candid Truth from the thousands of results given by the single search in Facebook using the word Saurav, and friend requested. Within hours, he replied from the profile of Candid Truth, 

“How on earth did you get to my profile?”.

That was actually simple. I made it with the help of his friends. What I did was going to the first-ever post written by him. There I saw his first post itself had collected close to fifty comments. I was almost sure that among those who commented to his first post, a majority would be the ones who knew the blogger personally. 

I searched among the persons who commented him to his first post. Some names with their surnames usually make very unique combination. After collecting a few of such unique names, I searched Facebook with those coinages. It was easy to find out Candid Truth’s exact friends from the results because of those unique names. In some searches, only one person came up, and that was the one whom I was searching for. 

Now you know how did I find the profile of the blogger. I searched their friend lists shamelessly for the name Saurav. All those profiles had a common friend Saurav with his surname. I added him to my network. 

When he asked me how did I got to his profile, I messaged him,

“You know, every criminal leaves a trace. So it wasn’t that much difficult to trace you”

Jun 3, 2011

A Beautiful Quote

During my frail teenage days, in the second year of my college times, when there were some occasional political slogans thrown up on the empty air, when meaningless chit chats, gossips, and some heated discussions about securing the future echoed in the corridors of that multi-storied college building, an anonymous hand wrote the following quote in my Physics text book during the interval:

 - Real beauty is the beauty of soul - 

The quote was wrongly credited to Mahatma Gandhi. But seeing the hand writing, I at once guessed the culprit who wrote this in my text book. It could only be the elder one of the twins, I thought. At lunch time, showing my book wide open, I asked him, “Why did you write this in my book? What do you mean? Does it have any hidden meaning?”

But to my total surprise and embarrassment, he denied his role in writing anything in my textbook. Without believing him, when I compared his handwriting by snatching his notebook with the written thing in my text book, I realized that it could be written by some other one.

The next suspect was another boy in the class, who, to the best of my knowledge, had a crush on the same girl, to whom I had a crush (I’m embarrassed a little to write the word ‘crush’, especially when it has some personal undertones). Finding my interest in that girl, he might be trying to discourage me from chasing her. But when I chanced to check his notebook stealthily, I found that both the handwritings were not matching.

Now who next? The same way a girl can also think. If someone finds me an interesting guy, she can go disheartened knowing my affinity towards another girl. So, she might have written that quote in my book in order to pull me back from going after that girl. If that’s the case, who could be the girl, who has a silent infatuation for me? 

I glanced at the girl who sat in the girls’ row in the same level of my seat. Seeing her artificial innocent look, I was sure about her involvement in writing that quote in my book. How can I ask her if it was done by her? How can I check her notebook, especially when she used to keep her books in the bag? So, I found a small trick.

During the interval, when she was standing very close to a place where we guys were sitting, I said loudly the same quotation, so that she could hear. I was sure that, once she hears the quote, she would shockingly raise her head and would look at me, if it was written by her. In my first attempt, nothing happened. So, I repeated the quote once again. This time I was sure that my voice was audible to her. But, she did not give the slightest response to my voice.

I never found who wrote that quote in my book. But still my hunt for real beauty goes on.

And I believe the search for real beauty is one such of a never ending nature.
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