Dunkirk – A masterpiece? **spoilers ahead**

Let’s take a look at a template, shall we.

Minimalist Dialogue + Inspiring Soundtrack + Every Minute Action Plot + Immersive Viewing Experience.

Which movie(s) comes to mind when you think of the above template: GRAVITY, MAD MAX: FURY ROAD and *drum-roll* DUNKIRK.

It is absolutely true that all the movies mentioned above should be experienced in a movie-theatre. Otherwise, you will deprive yourself of something magnificent. The movie’s true wonder cannot be justified on your 6-inch or 14-inch screens.

Only a select few, filmmakers I mean, can muster up a grand experience as the above movies. They just can’t be called movies, they are Experiences.

  • Gravity presented a visceral and aural experience when in Space surviving through debris.
  • Mad-Max: Fury Road presented unstoppable action set-pieces coupled with visceral and aural experience in a post-apocalyptic world where sand/dust/sand-hills are the only terrain.

And now, it is Dunkirk, which is set in the WWII era. No other filmmaker had tried to present WWII in the manner that Nolan have presented. I guess, this puts a lid on all the formulas that can be implemented to present WWII through a movie-viewing experience in its entirety. There is no other way to call the shots to provide a different perspective. Happy to be proven wrong, and call it a masterpiece.

But, is Dunkirk a masterpiece, as mainstream media is calling out to be? More on this, later in the post.

You must have noticed that I had highlighted Nolan have presented above. From now on, I will refer to the works of Christopher Nolan as the exports from his own country – Nolanland. His works do not belong to our mediocre land anymore. It is something greater than what we can perceive of.

What does Nolanland comprises of?

  • Nolanland possesses the unique ability to turn some simple and some highly complex subject-matter and bring it into blockbuster territory. A territory he generally invades on the seventh month of most years.
  • Nolanland is filled with pent-up action, always feeling climactic, non-linear narrative, heightened paranoia, a sense of loss and subtle exuberance.
  • Nolanland always challenges the audience. You need to wear your thinking-cap when you are viewing his cinema.
  • It’s main characters are flawed, to say the least. But it is after undergoing a harrowing journey that they truly become superheroes in their own way.
  • Finally, Nolanland provides a full-rounded movie-viewing experience through traditional means of filmmaking. If David Fincher is all for Digital, then Christopher Nolan is the exact opposite. Both master-supreme of their crafts.

Now, that you are aware of what you are getting into when you are in Nolanland, let’s take a look at his latest export – Dunkirk.

Dunkirk, might be the only movie coming out of his stable that is historical. There is no alternate universe with it. It happened, period. A period which has forever etched in the dark history of mankind, but this one, is the light at the end of the tunnel. A triumphant tale of SURVIVAL.

The narrative is all about Point of View (POV) and how it overlaps to create a non-linear structure in time and person.

The movie is shot in such a way that it feels like the characters are either strapped to a GoPro or Steadicam throughout the entire movie. The tight-on shots from the character’s POV creates this whole immersive feel to the movie. It is as if Nolan had instructed Hoyte van Hoytema to be as close to its characters so that they could feel his breath.

The entire plot is laid out on three platforms: the Mole (Land/Beach), the Sea and the Sky. The genius lies in how these platform intertwines and connects including its characters. Thus, going back and forth, far and wide.

Action is the movie’s heartland. It leaves us breathless. The sound-engineer in Hans Zimmer has successfully pulled off a David Lynchian. The continuous ticking of the clock, like the factory humming noise of Eraserhead, gives us this eerie feeling of time is running out. The countdown of survival. The rampant violin turns into the sound of danger, with enemy jets gushing out torpedos, bombs and bullets aplenty. All that floats is human spirit against all odds.

As the English Channel gobbles up one destroyer after another, it is the survivors who lives through the treacherous water, swimming from one boat to another. With each passing floater, their lives turn bleaker.

The countless dogfights above a calm channel was the ultimate comparison between human’s indecency and mother nature’s warmth and love. I wished there were natural disasters that took lives and not us humans. At least, we would have maintained our decency.

Mark Rylance takes to the sea, Tom Hardy keeps his eyes at the skies, Fionn, Harry, James and Kenneth cower in the land, the beach, the camouflaging sand. Some meet, while most remain forever separated.

Each and every frame is authentic to say the least. The grandeur lies in its details. Like a finely crafted gem, each stage is set. It is epic, it is grand. But is it a masterpiece? Let’s talk about that now.

I maybe a cinephile, or a novice, but I can’t call Dunkirk a masterpiece. Like I have listed the movies above, Dunkirk is a part of a template. A template explored before. Only this time, the template was used to present a WWII movie. It is a movie carefully crafted to heighten realism.

It felt like the troops on the beach were props carefully orchestrated at every turn when danger were lurking in the skies, dropping bombs on them. The emotions and horror were amiss. THE CHAOS FOR SURVIVAL was missing. No one seemed interested in finding cover. They were simply ducking at the sound of danger.

There was a moment in which the challenges of evacuation was explored. But this was presented through exposition, and not action. How ironic? The whole narrative is set in motion through action. A missed opportunity, I suppose. Action would have provided the necessary intrigue.

The overlapping and nonlinear narrative couldn’t be hidden in plain sight to provide mystique. They could be made out long before the scene played out. At least, on my watch.

Finally, the most important question I ask myself after I watch a movie to call it a Masterpiece. Did the experience remain with me or intrigue me even after viewing it some hours/time ago? If the feeling is luke-warm or nil, then I can’t call it a masterpiece. This is my opinion.

I just can’t call Dunkirk, a masterpiece, because it presented a WWII movie and transported into blockbuster territory, unlike any other movie. I just can’t call Dunkirk, a masterpiece, because it focused on action as the narrative. I just can’t call Dunkirk, a masterpiece, because it provided an immersive viewing experience, like watching a VR movie. I just can’t call Dunkirk, a masterpiece, because it’s sound was forever there in the movie while meshing in the various noises of the machinations and mechanics of its props.

Finally, I just can’t call Dunkirk, a masterpiece, simply because I felt it like an opera orchestrated to provide heightened realism, missing the CHAOS and MADNESS completely.

There isn’t a war without an OUNCE of CHAOS. According to me, the missing ingredient to truly being a MASTERPIECE.

Sneak peek into One Tick Madness

It has been arduous to say the least, crafting One Tick Madness.

More than a year has passed, since I started crafting my first novel. Caring the baby, every single day. Each word, each syllable it said was precisely planted to provide a visceral experience to the readers.

Unlike most novelists, I am not a scholar, neither I majored in Literature, nor a teacher. At best, I am a student who have been busy diving into the literary abyss. With each passing day, I am learning something new which was previously unknown to me. I am like the wide-eyed infant who has viewed a sea of balloons floating in a clear blue sky for the very first time.

While I learn to craft and implement my new-found vocabulary, literary devices, punctuations and prose, I am also betting against the odds of self-publishing my novel without anyone proof-reading it. It’s like releasing a movie without having an editor on board or a marketing team to release the teasers and trailers to excite the audience, in my case, the readers.

It’s not that I am over-confident with my novel, or my writing talent. It’s just the financial resources to hire an editor, that I have none. At this very moment, I am simply a man with limited access to resources. Thus, being limited to thyself. Limited to my own abilities, knowledge, and a yearn to continuously learn.

With this, I hereby present the The Anomaly (within One, but before Chapter 1) of One Tick Madness. And yes, these pages are fully crafted, and they are ready for being in the final ebook.

ONE TICK MADNESS

Stopgap Persuasion

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi aka Father of India, was a big believer of contiguous persuasion. He also advocated Ahimsa (nonviolence) and achieved miracles with his endeavor. This made him one of the greatest in the world. The reason I didn’t label him as Mahatma in the beginning was simply because, I believe, he didn’t alone give India its freedom. He did put the final nail in the coffin of East India Company’s fledgling enterprise, but he alone wasn’t responsible, countless others sacrificed their lives. I am sure historians would agree to this.

I am 27 and there is a vast load of information (past & present) to catch up, but somehow I have been struck by this ‘Stopgap Persuasion’ phenomenon quite often. Initially, it struck me due to sheer laziness of follow-up, but then it became apparent and stood out. You know why? The results were impressive.

Human beings really enjoy the process, but when they taste success, they forget the pleasure of the process. Stopgap Persuasion is an essential part of the process that leads to success. Naysayers would weigh in that Stopgap Persuasion is nothing but a waste of time. But believe me when I say this, we all do it unknowingly. Just like, we have lovingly referred Mr. Gandhi as Mahatma making him the father of our freedom land.  Similarly, we hail our last effort as the most significant before we achieve success.

So, what is Stopgap Persuasion?

The term itself is self-explanatory but, let me still broaden the understanding with an example. Carrie, a homemaker is out bag shopping. She bargains with a vendor to reduce the price. The vendor marginally reduces the price, but not to the extent of Carrie’s desire. She really likes the bag and wants to add it to her collection. She could choose any one of the below approaches:

  • Bargain further. This would just be a waste of time as the vendor was hell-bent of not reducing the price any further.
  • Buy it at the marginally reduced price. This would cause her heartburn as it would not quench her thirst of being a good bargainer.

But Carrie instead, went ahead with the Stop-Gap Persuasion approach, she politely declined the marginally reduced price offered by the vendor and exited his store. She then wandered around the high street buying other stuff and in about 30 mins, she slowly passes by the same bag vendor’s storefront. The vendor notices her and offers her the bag at her desired price.

Now, this was an ideal situation for her because the vendor didn’t have customers flocking at his store. He was experiencing a lull period. Actually, most retailers in the high street were. Carrie was an opportunistic buyer. She had information about the sales downturn on the high street before she even started her first round of bargaining. She didn’t reveal the information because she wanted to create this Stop-Gap situation. She allowed the vendor to realize the opportunity he missed out. So, when the vendor noticed other shopping bags in her hand, he realized that she was a serious buyer and thus, to not lose out on the sale, he concluded it at her price.

Similarly, in our professional and personal lives, we face situations where we can walk away and then come back but we end up compromising on a deal. Our inherent analytical nature makes us constantly seek for data and information to ‘read between the lines’ in an informal setting whereas ‘analyze patterns’ in a formal setting. In most cases, such vast information overload is handled prematurely. We tend to rush through, thinking that the information at hand would become stale and irrelevant. This overbearing burden of processing information at faster speeds should be limited to computers and not human beings.

We should wait for the situation to ripen and then let the information take center stage. The timing can never be perfect, but the feeling should. Think about buying stocks of a company in a single day or buying them over time. It is obvious that the latter would give the best returns because it is a favorable buying strategy. Myriad occurrences affect the information halo surrounding a decision. This is the core nature of Stopgap Persuasion and it takes time.

You basically persuade to turn an unfavorable situation in your favor. But as you are measured by turnaround timelines, you rush into your persuasion which in turn doesn’t allow enough time for the natural occurrence to affect the information halo. You don’t let the situation ripen. Instead, it becomes a tug of war – pull and push which cause breakage or leading to a compromise. With Stopgap Persuasion, you achieve your objective with much more favorable returns.

A persuasion/negotiation is not in your complete control because the other entity or individual would also have to drive it. So, how to put Stopgap Persuasion into effect?

In a Stopgap Persuasive approach, you would probe, show intent, target, then give it time, let the natural occurrences affect the information halo, then again give it time, follow-up/gauge, give it time, again follow-up/gauge, finally come back and close. By then, the person being followed-up would acknowledge the efforts put in by the negotiator, the efforts to rekindle the target. This would lead to the development of an emotional bond, eventually leading to successful closure.

Stop-Gap Persuasion

Commercial Imagination

We all dream, imagine and stress our minds to extract that one thing that would be genre defining, game changing, breaking the stereotype, paradigm shifting and so forth. Many great men and women have managed to extract that one thing from their mind which has shaped and/or reshaped the world’s course of actions. But have you realized that in order to bring about this change they had to face rejection, dejection and demotivation all along the way to their path of glory. They have been a subject to “blown-offs” umpteen number of times before the world understood the importance of their vision and its application. These “blown-offs” wouldn’t have happened if these great men and women could visualize their imagination in a commercial way. Let us acknowledge the fact that these great men and women were not great sales people. It took them years to sell their concept to the world.

There was once this young scientist hailing from West Bengal who developed a gas stove which was very economical (single LPG cylinder lasting for more than 6 months). You are thinking that by now he is a zillionaire. Unfortunately, he couldn’t SELL his prototype in India and ultimately had to migrate to Germany hoping to make breakthrough there. I couldn’t locate or read about him on the internet after zillion searches. I guess he fell into the abyss of oblivion. If he was a skillful SALESMAN then he would’ve been able to attract companies in this burgeoning Indian economy which still uses gas cylinders rampantly. Such a prototype in India would have been a great boost for the common man especially when subsidy on gas cylinders been reduced to just six cylinders a calendar year. Like him, the technology will remain untapped which had the potential to be a game-changer.

In today’s fast paced world, more and more great men and women are becoming effective salesmen/women. Take a cue from the great late Steve Jobs when he introduced upcoming Apple products to the tech bloggers, tech media, app developers in Apple’s WDC conference. His introductory speeches were more like a salesman pitching to the world about the uniqueness of his products though he knew that his team had created highly innovative products that would open up new markets but he didn’t take a back seat. He pitched in aggressively about the uniqueness of his products and created a supreme brand EAGERNESS amongst global consumers. I am switching from Awareness to Eagerness because Awareness is less aggressive than Eagerness. Consumers might be AWARE of products but they might not be EAGER to get their hands onto one. Its the Sales Conversion that matters and not the AWARENESS. EAGERNESS presents you a more realistic picture of your sales status.

For the future set of great people, I would urge you to indulge in COMMERCIAL IMAGINATION because this would enable your ideas to go live at a faster pace. The way the world has already started quantifying the next set of change-agents is on the basis of how much money your vision, innovation, invention make. You might ridicule this article and direct me to the list of Nobel Laureates but believe me 50 years from now becoming a Nobel Laureate would  have less significance and influence as compared to someone who is inventing and innovating new products/technologies/practice that would open up new markets/industries which would ultimately rake in MASSIVE MONEY (A broader perspective of Massive Money in my next post). Till then, indulge in COMMERCIAL IMAGINATION which would make practical (monetary) sense to the world.

It Doesn’t Make Any Sense (Series 1)

The It Doesn’t Make Any Sense  is a Series which provides the canvas to capture random thoughts, lyrics, poems, dialogues, tidbits and every other written creative endeavor formed by me.

Each piece of writing is separated by a block quote. Therefore, not providing the necessary continuity to the reader which would make sense by stringing up the paragraphs together. As and when, these creative thoughts clash with me, they form words and sentences for this Series. I have been capturing them since the last six years. It is only today, that I have found the courage to share it with the world.

No one is holding you back, you can walk away, if It Doesn’t Make Any Sense to you.

****andherewego****

There are a handful of people in this world that do the least, yet finds success the most. We label their endeavors as marinated with LUCK. But for me, LUCK is a derivative term which simplifies a highly complex placement of virtues. Thus, not enabling us to think beyond the term.

A little bit of recognition will lead to a push for glory that isn’t in the subject’s control, yet the subject is made to believe that it is their endeavor which is bringing out this outcome and transformation. Thus, forever making the subject feel good about themselves.

The very essence of consciousness is born from the retention of experiences, and reliving the aspirations from long forgotten dreams. Dreams are the desires or the worries that forms from our experiences. It is a loop that is formed when the unwarranted sights behold our glance forming residual mirages in catatonic states.

Every night we enter into a catatonic state. It is only when we arose the next morning, is when we are alive again.

A comma is given the most importance as it forms before a period. It provides the moment of introspection, suspense without the culmination.

Sometimes life takes a turn which you don’t anticipate. Suddenly you find yourself in the middle of nowhere. You realize that you have been abandoned. You wait for the arrival of your carriage but it’s nowhere to be seen. Hope is lost. Thoughts creep in about pulling the trigger to put you out of your misery. But you stop, hoping to meet your destiny. Hope is regained.

Some of the most complex and complicated things, situations and narrations in life seem so simple. There is no anticipation whatsoever. It seems like I know before even they happen which takes away the surprise factor from it. I question myself, is it my smartness that is playing its tricks or is it God’s greatest gift to me? Only time will tell.

I always wanted a glorified death but I am getting a common one, now. No one will ever come to know about me.

You know what is industrialization?

It is like taking out a boy from a mother’s womb and explaining to him about sexual intercourse so that when he attains puberty he can start reproducing.

Similarly, a third world country is like a virgin territory. You fuck them with anarchy and war and then loan them with your money. Once they start defaulting, you go after their natural resources, minerals, agricultural produce and so forth, completely draining them out. When you are done extracting their natural reserves then you go after their people and make them your mercenaries who would wage a war at the blink of an eye so that you can satisfy your thirst for monopoly over another virgin territory.

Do you know when this ends?

It ends when you are the only one left alive. You are expecting an audience so that you can proudly spit out your monologue “Like I said, I am the most powerful human being.” You stop; you suddenly realize that you are the only one talking while your words echo to you. Nobody is there to acknowledge your achievements and you start drowning in the sea of self-loathe. You start thinking that one day you will be heard, you will have audience; you would have followers/believers/worshippers who would listen to your pompous speech but before the time arrives, Madness would cripple you completely. Your world wouldn’t be your reality anymore.

It is a reverie emanating factuality to meet you now and share these enigmas, who discerns if we will perpetually encounter once more…

While leaving your company, in your going away speech you say that you learnt a lot from the colleagues around you, your bosses and all. But the same did not happen in my going away speech. I started by saying “Rather than me thanking you, you should be thanking me because I taught you guys from the scratch. You didn’t know a shit about how business is done. Earning big bucks would certainly count you amongst the richest but not INFLUENTIAL. In order to be a change-agent, you have to be influential through your thoughts, actions and principles which weren’t evident here. You weigh relationships on the basis of monetary power but you don’t value them. You shout at your employees like they are your dog that is trying to run away from you while you are holding onto their leash. You believe in absolutely secrecy so that no one gets to know your success formula but the fact of the matter is that your business practices are so scandalous that I am very scared to disclose it to the world because then I would become the whistleblower. You would want to scourge me by accessing your dubious contacts. Hey Buddy! I know they are daaangerous.

As a closing statement, I want to say that I am fucking relieved that you have relieved me from my duties.

There was lightning in the cloud

Their noise were so loud

I was so scared

That I went under my bed

I wished, if it could just stop

So that on my bed I could hop

But it rained incessantly, All night long

All I could do is just to pray to god

To make me feel strong

Listen to my song and hear my story.

I always wanted to say, but no one was listening to me.

The words that would come out, from my mouth, today-y-y

Would form my premise till I demise

I was a boy with a broken toy

I felt remorse and no joy.

I grew up listening to Imagine.

Then I fell in love with Evelyn.

One day I find out that she ran away.

I became numb and could not say.

I love you today and everyday.

I started drinking and drowning in my sorrow

For me there was only past and no tomorrow

How would I live without you Evelyn

You are my world, you are my life

Without you, I can’t survive.

You live in my memory

I don’t know why you left me.

And gave me this misery.

I just want you back in my life

I am running out of words, I am running out of breath

This song will come to an end and my life with it.

When you listen to this, I’ll be gone.

I am putting myself out of this misery.

Picture Therapy: It is a therapy by which static images of a certain scenario are projected on a screen for a period of 30 mins for 7 days consecutively. The therapy makes you feel exhausted, nauseated and dizzy. Only feel good pictures are projected but it is not limited to when you consider criminals that can use this therapy to brainwash innocent minds.

You get to know your birth date from others. You don’t know when you arrived.

The time has come for ONE MAN to rule the World and create and implement a peace template which would be used for generations to come. The mind is the key.

In the land of lazy people, Work goes out in the world, so that it can be hired. But no one seems to be interested. No one looks at Work. Then Work plays a trick. It starts writing numbers in multiples of 1, 5, 10, 100 and 500 on rectangle pieces of paper and calls it “Money”. Work announces if it is hired then it would give “Money” to those lazy people that hires it. Lazy people become interested and start hiring Work. Work thinks it has become famous, but then as it delves deeper into the minds of the lazy people. Work realizes that it is given importance because of the rectangle piece of paper. Without Money, Work is Useless.

The tranquilizer has pierced through the heart creating a lifeless soul. A soul which doesn’t feel the pain of its surroundings. It doesn’t have any ambiguities of its future nor any regrets of its past. It wanders around with no hope, no aim and with no path to follow. The journey is simple yet the destiny is unknown. It is just wavering around emotionless walking till the end of infinite time. At times, it stops and looks around to see if it is followed. Slowly but steadily when the sun rises removing the darkness of the night. The lifeless soul realizes that it is not alone. It has a shadow that will live with it forever. It is the only friend that the Lifeless Soul has.

The world wants to notice you

But you want to get lost in the darkness

Life is so beautiful,

You are my love, you’re so precious

Come on, take my hand

I am going to take you far

Relive the moments that we had

Let’s spend the night together

A caricature is not careless cartoon. It is a funny perspective induced with sarcasm.

Do you want to be the everyday man or once in a generation man.

 

We are like the captain of a sinking ship. We know that the outcome is inevitable yet we yearn for miracles to happen.

The sea bed welcomes us with open arms but we strive to stay afloat. The chilling waves catches us off-guard and we nearly drown banishing our existence. Sticking out our nostrils atop the freezing water, we hope to breathe the last whiff of air before we surrender ourselves to the numbness of our limbs and heart.

With the advent of computers and the internet, even the Cloud is up for sale.

 

One-Shot-Hot-Shot: A person who achieves fame for just one project/work/gig.

In the dreams, I see you

Take me with you

The clouds are pink

The sun is green

We are in a flying, automobile

Surrounded by flora and fauna

The earth’s looking so greener

My heart just beats to love songs

We’re just gonna sing along

Hey Oh, Hey Oh, Hey Oh, Hey Oh, O-O-O

Don’t you wake up, don’t you wake up, don’t you wake up, Just Today

This life is a fairytale

I am the Prince and you’re the Princess.

We will live forever, to tell this tale

Showering love on people near us

Let’s make sense in a nonsense world.

 

I come in droplets putting a smile on your face. While you look up in the sky I kiss your face. You pray for me when you face the heat. Your prayers are answered… At last, HERE I AM….

Man evolved from Stone-Age, then experienced Iron-Age and now we are in Garb-Age

What is Success? Success is when your signature becomes an autograph…

If guns kill people, then pencils misspell words, cars make people drive drunk, and spoons make people fat. Not everyone is perfect.

When you fail to deliver and people around you are angry with you then you know in your heart that their anger is not towards your failure but it’s more to do with you failing to match your true and hidden potential. They know you can perform much better. But when they feel pity then you know that you are done and over because they have given up on you and know there is no potential left in you. Anger is always better than pity.

 

Ideas should be shared and grown democratically and not patented.

You are in the middle of the action. Enjoy it live rather than reliving it through recorded versions of it. I command you to put back the 5inches and 6inches in your pockets where it came from. You don’t buy a ticket for a live event to record it. The TV producers does a much better job than you. Enjoy every moment of you being in the action.

“You have so many contradictions in your statement

When you say ‘LOVE IS GREAT’ but do not believe its testament.

Whenever you talk about ‘LOVE’ it makes me think

That are you the same person who said ‘LOVE’; stink

Oh! I forgot that you were betrayed in Love

Hence you started believing that there was NO HEAVEN ABOVE

When you saw me, you said to yourself ‘I May Be Wrong’

This world still has emotions left for you which you couldn’t feel all along

Maybe, I am the next Lover in your story

Life isn’t always fill with sadness, baby

Because; We all have a heart to LOVE AND BE LOVED

Until the time you receive widespread acclaim, you are a nobody.

Widespread acclaim basically signifies that you have inspired people with something novel

So work, produce and showcase endlessly

Let the world judge and take notice of your efforts

What would seem ordinary to you may end up becoming a masterpiece or masterstroke

Nobody really knows the way the world is tickled and coerced

People who say they have cracked this code are people who aren’t dreaming.

They are the same people who would say that you don’t stand a chance.

Demotivation is like a pill that will reduce your chance of dreaming.

Dreaming something great.

So, I beg you not to take the pill.

Please go to sleep and dream, will you.

Dreaming is the first step to something extremely important which you shouldn’t deprive yourself of.

The simplest indication of time travel is when an empty road in which the journey is normally completed in 10mins takes an instant. The space between spaces becomes constricted and the distance becomes shorter.

 

As a salesman, every closed door is an opportunity. Because the salesman gets to knock on them.

When you can’t sell a product. Donate it. Create Evangelists. – by #SalesmanUnableToMeetTargets

Always try to be the opposite person. If the other person is boisterous then you be the calm one. Do it vice versa.

Make it difficult for someone to achieve their desirous want.  When they receive it, they would be more protective of it due to the fear of losing it.

 

Planning is crucial. Executing as planned is essential.

A group of geeks involved in machine learning algorithms, holographic projections and roboanimatronics have developed the “Respect Button”. They say the objective of this button is to provide users an understanding towards the cognitive function of the act of “Respect”. Why users “Respect” certain living things, objects and so forth. This button is critical into understanding the vast synapses of the brain impulses. According to these geeks, “Respect” is better than “Like” as it enhances the aspirational status of anything. It has a more serious connect amongst human. Facebook, Twitter and Google are in the race to acquire this technology for a whopping sum of $4 billion dollars. The tech giants state that the acquisition would give them competitive edge and also help them understand why humans “Respect” anything. – Myversionoffakenews Reports

Through a baby’s eyes, the world is so beautiful

Through a boy’s eyes, the world is filled with enthusiasm

Through a teen’s eyes, the world is filled with so much excitement

Through a man’s eyes, the world is scary and so irresponsible

Perception changes with increased awareness. Don’t look at the shell and determine its beauty. Try and learn about what’s inside.

In order to avoid criticism, I don’t share my literary works with the public. People are judgmental and they don’t have the sense of appreciation. All they try to do is find faults. If they are more open-minded then the world would have been a much more conducive environment for sharing and inspiring.

I have an expensive phone but no one to call

No one to pick up, when I drop my ball

I have an expensive bike but no one to pillion ride

I am all alone and I have no one in my stride 

People say life is wonderful but for me it is misery

Glory seems far-fetched and luck never favors me

I look at a moving train hoping to board it

Life is colorless and I am bored of it

I walk the path alone hoping that someone would hold my hands

Someone would tuck me in and caress my hair strands

Comforting me when I am in distress

Motivate me during my stress

These are thoughts and not horses galloping

All I can do is lay back and just keep hoping

Just keep hoping, just keep hoping

Get up, someone shouts from behind

I look around, he smiles and it was well-timed

He hugs and tells me, this is not the end

I was always here for you, you never noticed me, my friend

Like I shadow, I followed you everywhere

But your eyes were rolling around, looking elsewhere

Yet you don’t notice me in reality

Even when I am in your proximity

You have no right to sit and sulk

Because you are not a mere mortal, you are HULK.

Then why are you in my head and not here.

I am multi-dimensional, I can be

Because I am Professor Charles Xavier

“The roads are long and curvy. Nightfall makes me nervy” said the dude while Siri helped him post it on Facebook. He misses the light, he misses the sunshine. It was already morning as they drove past the meadows during springtime. It wasn’t him, it was Google, driving.

Rapturous soul,

Bold and old.

Murdered by its sins.

The circle of lie,

Here be told.

Till our putrefied rupture begins.

Mocking the past,

As we lay in our present.

Shocked and aghast,

We were hell-bent.

The future which was once so bright.

Till we lit the matches, and laid the light.

The scattered ashes lay down below.

Our eyes sucked in, and all that remains, was hollow.

War is a diversion to attain a capitalistic harmony, which also is a ceremony, a propaganda, a bunch of hoodlum’s party.

We are living inside a tiny droplet of water, which is sitting atop a tongue of gargantuan being. Don’t tickle its palette, because we are just a swallow from annihilating ourselves.

To hell with paradise.

Money buys a lot of things that can contribute to happiness, but cannot buy happiness in itself.

The number 6 is embedded deeply in the fabric of our cosmos. The number 9 is an upside-down 6, and it is the vital cog that stretches and de-stretches the fabric we call, Life. The Hexagon, a 6-faced shape form the tiny parts of the fabric which isn’t visible to our naked eye. Each thread of this fabric is called the String. Each String has a Hook that rotates to turn the string forming new dimensions, distorting time. Gravity plays an active part in rotating the hook. Thus, depending on the effects of Gravity, the space-time continuum is derived from the rotating shifts in the hook. Once this hook is identified, then it would be much simpler to manipulate it, enabling us to distort time forever. Once we can control the dimension of time, we will be then be able to enter the next phase of evolution.

Do you know, that I am the most in secured man? I am the most paranoid. My eyes are peeled, for I shall not cheat life with death, at the hands of any. Be it an animal, a man, or a maniacal me. I want to finally foretell my destiny. I am always on the lookout, of my end, for I shall try and circumvent. Thus, friends are none, and everyone is a foe. Even my closest ally, and even people I don’t know. I am on the tenterhooks of my morbid life. Each passing day, I kill to survive.

Sparrows and Kittens: The Irony of many Situations

Sometimes I think, I am like a sparrow,
Carelessly, I am flying across the meadow.
I tell you, there ain’t no stop,
Beep beep bop, beep beep bop.
As I speak from my beak.
There ain’t no stop, to my misery.

Helplessly I flap my wings, hoping to cover great distances.
At that very moment, life and its instances,
Make me stop, beep beep bop, beep beep bop.
I look down to find water on the ground,
But hungry kittens are all around.

As I make up mind to remove myself from this predicament,
The sunshine pierces harder, boiling my firmament.
I couldn’t help, but swoop down,
Knowing it to be my end.
But hope is such a feeling, even in your most vulnerable,
You feel there is a glimmer around the bend.

As I came closer to the sparkling water.
The kittens realized that it is now the end of their hunger.
My beak touched the water, the kittens came charging for me.
A big shadow fell on me, it was not the kittens, but a giant bumble bee.
The kittens were adamant to eat me alive.
The bee was ready give its life, before I died.
At that very moment, its eyes fell on a beautiful flower.
It hovered away, to pollinate her.

I had my throats quenched, and promptly darted up, out of the kittens clench.
But as I was up in the sky, I saw a lone wolf nearby.
As they came closer to each other, I realized.
What is life? If its not to save,
Even forever good, you behave,
It’s the life lost which could have been saved.
I swooped down once again, but the kitten jumped high and caught me in its mouth.
As they were ready to tear me apart,
In my last dying breath, I saw the lone wolf standing back.

What’s Around the Bend?

I have been fateful to be in the midst of an unnerving pattern. A pattern which is not only an eye-opener, but highly intriguing as well.

There are these aspects to this pattern:

  • Perceived Disruption
  • Disruption Momentum
  • Reality Check
  • Regression
  • Coexistence

Perceived Disruption: These are the startups who make waves in the market by scoring giant funding rounds. They essentially start positioning themselves as major disruptors, before even they have fared a decent revenue and profitability bull run.

Disruption Momentum: The startups are now funded. I mean, they are now fat with funds. They plough their money into getting expensive offices, lead acquisition, over-blown marketing campaigns. All in the name of staying ahead of everyone else. Gaining the oh-so elusive market share, overnight.

Reality Check: The funders realize that they have burnt too much money in too many bets. They plan to curtail the outflow. They stop participating in follow-on rounds. This not only happens in one, but across most venture capital funds. Thereby, creating a domino effect. The fund crunch gives rise to mark-downs, office space consolidation/contraction, job losses and finally shutting down failed startup enterprises.

Regression: The so-called traditional, archaic companies that were fearing disruption with the advent of startups and their burgeoning funding cycle, now breathe relief. With the fund crunch and tepid investor confidence, these companies start taking advantage of the situation, by better preparing themselves for the future onslaught. With no option left but to perform, they start innovating as well. They become more proactive.

Coexistence: The startups which survive the reality check will slowly become large enterprises in the near future. Essentially, they will coexist with the traditional enterprises. They will become leaner, smarter, and be experienced enough to ascertain the ebb and flow of the market to better prepare themselves. Similarly, the traditional companies rapidly innovates to not get caught like last time, when the startups made serious dent in their businesses.

The ultimate winners are the customers who get to view this epic battle between the startups and traditional companies from their box seats, while the market provides a level-playing field where no one controls monopoly, and is driven by competition. Poor service, complacency becomes feedbacks of the past. Due to the fight for the customer’s wallet-share, the customers end up getting superior products and services.

The Sea of Trees – A grossly misunderstood film by the Critics (Spoilers Warning)

The Sea of Trees is a marvelous movie by the man – Gus Van Sant, who helmed critical darlings such as Goodwill Hunting, Milk, Elephant and many more.

I was glad to watch the movie before going over to Rotten Tomatoes or IMDB. Otherwise, by being a true social conformist, I would have missed a gem.

What is this movie about?

The movie is about the exploration of relationships and its meanings through a journey within and after-life. The movie is true to our present times.

Matthew McConaughey plays Arthur Brennan who arrives at the Aokigahara Forest also known as the Sea of Trees, located at the base of Mt Fuji in Japan. It is widely regarded that the humans visit this forest to end their life (I am refraining from using the word ‘Suicide’).

What has brought him to this state and what transpires in the Sea of Trees is what this movie is about.

The Movie (Spoilers Ahead)

Arthur is a scientist who now works as a Physics Teacher at a middle school for a paltry annual salary of 20 grands. Arthur’s wife Joan is a functional alcoholic, played by Naomi Watts. She believes that Arthur is not fully realizing his academic prowess and potential to earn a much higher pay-packet. It is her dominant pay cheque that is supporting the family.

In the forest, while Arthur is about to end his life by sipping down a handful of sleeping pills, he hears the cry of a Japanese man, Takumi Nakamura, played by the ever-present Ken Watanabe. Takumi is lost in the jungle and he is bleeding from his wrists. Takumi got demoted in his job, and is hating life because it has reduced to bits and pieces in his perfunctory surroundings.

The main cause of Arthur and Joan’s estranged relationship is when we learn that Arthur had an affair with a fellow colleague in his previous job as a scientist at NorthLabs. Arthur and Joan’s marriage is on the rocks, but a moment of reconciliation presents itself when they are shocked to learn that she is suffering from a brain tumor, which has fifty-fifty chance of survival within and upon surgery. Joan despises dying in a hospital where she is surrounded by strangers who are just there to do their job. She wants Arthur to promise her that he would die in a place unlike hers. This is what brings Arthur to the Sea of Trees, a tranquil environment surrounded by nature.

Initially Arthur was disinterested, not wanting to halt his plans. But later, Arthur becomes determined to help Takumi out of the forest, who is sick and badly hurt. While they were finding their way out of the forest, Arthur injures himself multiple times. Once by falling from a rocky cliff, and then by going into a cave which fills with water from a cloud burst. Arthur notices a beautiful flower amidst his dead surrounding. Takumi tells Arthur that as per Japanese mythic, when a spirit passes by, the flower blooms.

Post-surgery, the doctor tells the reconciled couple that the tumor was non-malignant. This brings relief to the couple, who are now ready to move on with their life by burying their past.

While trailing back, Arthur and Takumi takes the clothes from a corpse hanging from a tree. From another corpse lying in a tent, they take its compass, radio, torch, lighter and the clothes. Arthur tries to contact the local authorities, but doesn’t find signal.

During the night, Arthur breaks down when he tellsTakumi that he was so busy finding faults in his marriage that he never cared to know Joan’s favorite book, season or color. Takumi silently sobs while listening to Arthur.

Takumi tells Arthur that their search for the trail that would lead them out of the woods is like the children’s story Hansel & Gretel. He also shares the names of his daughters – Kiiro & Fuyu.

Joan tells Arthur that she would like to spend the remainder of her life with him in their picturesque lake-house. He gleefully agrees.

While getting transferred from the hospital to a nursing home, Joan gets killed in a fatal crash when a pickup truck collides with her ambulance. Arthur goes into a state of shock when he witnesses the horrific accident. He was following Joan’s ambulance while talking to her on the phone. The couple’s last conversation pertained to their favorites. Joan was unable to share the details of her favorite book, color and season.

Takumi becomes gravely ill and is unable to tag along with Arthur. Arthur leaves him near the tent to find help and a way out of the forest. He wraps Takumi with the jacket gifted to him by Joan. He then reaches a location where is able to make contact with the local authorities. When he reaches the entry point to the forest, he is again injured when he trips over a log. The alerted forest guards finds him lying in the woods and rescues him.

During a post-trauma recovery interview, Arthur asks the Counselor about Takumi whereabouts. She tells him that no one entered the forest on that fateful day, other than him. This fact was corroborated by the CCTV footage which is located at the forest’s entrance.

Arthur later learns that Joan’s favorite book was Hansel & Gretel. He was carrying the package with him when he came to the Sea of Trees. The book was gifted to Joan by her relative.

Two weeks later, after Arthur is fully recovered, he trails back into the forest to search for Takumi. He takes special measures to not lose his way in the forest. He reaches the site where he left an ailing Takumi, but he is not there. Instead, he finds the jacket gifted by Joan covering the flower which he found earlier in the forest. He realizes that Takumi was a wandering spirit, who helped him out of the forest.

Back in his school, a student tells Arthur that Takumi’s children names – Kiiro & Fuyu translates to Yellow and Winter. The favorite color and season of Joan.

Why I find this movie to be great?

In the beginning, when Arthur arrives at the Forest, he is already dead. The act of gulping down the sleeping pills was a mere metaphor of his present state. Once he is out of the Forest, he attains after-life. The old Arthur has died in the forest. This change is reflected in his appearance, when he comes to the forest, he is unshaven, disillusioned, and doesn’t eat the food offered by the flight attendant. But when he attains after-life, he is clean-shaven, has come to terms with Joan’s death, and eats the breakfast offered by the flight attendant.

The movie captures the challenges faced by most present day marriages – money trouble and infidelity. It is the smaller details like the favorite color, the favorite season or the favorite book of a partner, we often tend to miss because we are so caught up with our lives. Marriage of today is the vox populi to avoid social alienation, even though the persons married are leading distant lives while sharing the same bed.

Loss brings us closer to what we dearly miss. It is Joan who realized that Arthur has been silently going through the motions of their marriage, even when she meted out harsh treatments to him. By accepting her harsh treatment and not giving up on their marriage, it was his way of repenting for his infidel past. He didn’t leave her side when she faced a life-threatening situation. It was the ideal opportunity for him to break away from the marriage, but it was his love for her that held him back. When Joan realized this, she forgave him and promised to be with him in life and after-life. Through Takumi, she stopped Arthur from taking his own life.

Arthur misunderstood Joan when she wanted him to promise that he wouldn’t die like her in a hospital, a place where strangers are there to do their job. A place so functional that everyone is going through their motions, even life and death. She wanted him to die in the company of their memories – The Lake House, and not the Sea of Trees.

The Sea of Trees was a portal between life and death, where she was able to communicate with Arthur in her after-life, through a fellow spirit – Takumi. When Arthur was sharing his story of Joan, Takumi felt her pain, and thus, he was crying profusely, while Arthur broke down as well.

The Sea of Trees is holding up a mirror and showing us that just like Arthur’s state when he came into the forest, the trees in the forest are slowly going to fade away as we attain further industry. In a few decades, there will no longer be a Sea of Trees only patches of green. But still, we have to move on. The human nature, the law of the land. Like Arthur finally moved on after Joan’s death.

Why I don’t agree with the critics?

Most of them have written that the movie is formulaic, and the plot is jarring, with no build-up to the twists. But hey, so is life. We don’t expect our life to throw up surprises. It is the smaller details that we miss every day. That is what the movie represents and what the critics missed.

Misinformation Paradox: Is it or just a stupid question?

After interviewing 21,000 executives from 21,000 companies, 100% of the candidates corroborated that 50% of all the data shared publicly is to keep an upbeat public mood towards the global state of affairs. Therefore, we have come to this realization that half of the statistical data shared with global populace is fudged. In other words, there is always a deep gorge between the fact and the numbers presented.

The above statement is in itself a paradox. While it claims that 50% of the world’s data is fudged. But it also doesn’t provide clarity that if the data presented above is fudged or not. Therefore, the aforementioned claim can be true and false at once. The answer will remain unfounded because the task to seek authenticity is greater than the claim in itself.

A Sales Professional Moral Dilemma

A morally ethical sales professional haven’t achieved his/her sales quota, risking his/her job. Thereby, putting his/her mortgage payments at risk. A customer who is also a neighbor of the sales professional walks upto to him/her to conclude his/her purchase. The customer once shared his/her dream of buying a house with the sales professional cum neighbor. The sales professional notices that the customer is low on credit, which means that the item purchased by the customer is more than his/her wallet-size. The customer opts for credit to conclude the purchase. By doing this, the credit scores of the customer would dip down to the lowest level, thereby, disbarring the customer to seek a home loan in the near future.

Would it be the sales professional’s fiduciary responsibility to close the sale or inform the customer cum neighbor about his/her credit score which would impact his/her ability to secure the dream house?

What do you think would be the solution considering the present times we live in?

The Journey, thus far – Crafting One Tick Madness

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I completed writing four hundred and sixty pages of One Tick Madness (OTM) on 26th December, 2015. Then, I went through a phase of detoxification – getting rid of all those characters, scenarios, prose, structure, literary devices that had clouded my head. In order to do so, I watched a lot of movies during the period of riddance. It was required, it was important for my well-being, and for the well-being of the One Tick Madness universe.

It took me almost three and a half years to conjure up the universe, part by part. I don’t like to follow a writing schedule, because for me, it is like assembly line ideating. I am more of the experiential kind. Observing my surroundings, faint flashes of fantastical elements, things like that. So, at first, it formed in my head, then I typed and emailed myself the snippets through my iPhone, then I replicated the email on a document, I called ‘Notes_One Tick Madness’, and finally, I stitched it in my first draft. So, to clear my head from all this information, the detoxification was the need of the hour.

After the phase of detoxification, which lasted for four days, I read the first draft in its entirety, which lasted for another period of four days. Yes, four hundred and sixty pages in four days. I would be so engrossed that I wouldn’t notice the world surrounding me. I was engrossed, not because, the first draft was a compelling read, but because, I was meticulously fishing out holes in the structure, prose and grammar, in my head. I didn’t bother to jot down the observations, because I wanted to feel how the whole thing felt, from the start to the end.

A singular word described the wholesome experience of my first draft. It was – MECHANICAL. The whole structure felt mechanical. Though the central plot, sub-plots, and bookends were intriguing, but I hit a new low, as I couldn’t relate or feel ENOUGH. My brother would notice me shaking my head in disgust, as I read my work. He could feel my pent up frustration towards my work. In other words, I was a dissatisfied reader. I needed another phase of detoxification.

During this phase, I read some books, watched a lot of movies, read a lot of articles. Practically, I did things, just to keep myself away from the OTM universe. This lasted for another six days. When I had cleared my head to the point, where I was about to forget how it all began, I dived back into the OTM universe. This time, I was ready. Ready to ditch, scratch, delete any lame prose, grammar, repetitions, nonsensical sub-plots, and most of all, the lack of feeling.

Now, I am in the phase of editing OTM. Well, I don’t like the word editing. I would rather say, Crafting. I am methodically crafting each word, each sentence, each structure that would add the feeling and a sense of relatability to OTM. After each crafting exercise, I use Adobe’s Read Aloud function to hear how it sounds, as if hearing an audio-book, without the stress of emotional parlance.

As I type this post, I have managed to craft and traverse through eighteen pages of the OTM universe in ten days. Four hundred and forty two pages to go. And, it took me just four days to read the whole thing. Such is the level of craftsmanship that I am employing. I must say, it hasn’t been an easy journey, but I have learnt a lot, and now, I write better emails than before. I don’t know how much time it would take to finish crafting OTM, but I know for one, it is going to be a wholesome experience. I am sure that by the end of this experience, the first draft of my next work, would be much better.