Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Lord Of The Rings #LOTRMarathon - Tweet Compilation

Posted by at 1:13 PM

Warner Bros TV India broadcasted the epic LOTR trilogy last night- back to back. And thanks to some fellow tweeps, I got to know about it just in time. I have watched the movies separately before and had heard from friends that watching all  three of them together gives the experience a whole new dimension.

Naturally, I pounced upon the opportunity on a calm, rainy Saturday. As I watched the movies, I kept tweeting (almost live-tweeted) the notable events of the movies. Here's a compilation of all the tweets (except the profane ones which had spurted out of excitement hehe) of #LOTRMarathon last night.








































































All in all there are 72 tweets in total. I also won a WB Slider-speakers set in the process (totally unknowingly), as part of a twitter contest organized by Warner Bros TV India. Cool surprise I'd say.

So it was a good day and well-spent 10 hours. #LOTRMarathon- will do it again in near future.


Monday, June 24, 2013

The Five Haunts: Five Things That Scare Me In Life

Posted by at 9:20 PM
This is an official entry written by me as a member of Team East under the category: Essay-2 in the ongoing Indian Bloggers' League 2.0  tournament. The topic was- Write an essay on 5 things that scare you in life. 
        
                                 
     
"Fear is the reason why we are here."

That rhymed.

As much as I love to make such instant quotes, today I am here to write about the five things that scare me the most:

1. Deadlines

To be frank, this the scariest entity that I have come across in my life. And it keeps coming back over and over again! True that, without a deadline, you cannot achieve targets on time and , you will have no sense of managing your day well, but what happens at the end of the day is: only because of deadlines, we run away from our commitments, and try to finish only the night before the exam, the day before the final presentation  and the moment before the final call.

That is exactly what scares me the most. Because I feel that a human mind is wired to work the most under pressure situations. But what many of us miss is the fact that to cope up with the impending pressure which will come only the day before the deadline, our brain- our lovely, scumbag brain, commands us to stop working on the other days. This is true for most of the population of the world- at least for engineers like me!

Therefore, my hatred for deadlines still stays strong. And my fear for the same stays even stronger.

2. Rituals


Yes I will start my discussion on this with marriages. As much as I love the union of two souls bound by the sacred means, I fear the rituals surrounding the same. Because when it comes to rituals, relatives often pull off things which usually make no sense. Why would they cook this before that? Why would they make us eat that before this? Why this cosmetic treatment right before the marriage? Why would they make the groom as well as the bride feel like a mongolian (the haldi ritual) right before the D-day? Seriously, rituals are scary. And as much as they used to be the means of nifty funny incidents for the guests of a ceremony, they become the reason for some of the most embarrassing experiences when a person is at the receiving end.


I have been subjected to a lot many rituals. No, the marriage part is yet to come but I was subjected to Annaprashan ceremony ( infant being force-fed rice for the first time in front of drooling cousins and stiffening elders) , the Thread ceremony ( the adolescent hipster look attained with a shaven head, a sacred thread around the shoulders and the body , pierced ears and saffron 'wraps'- the worst part of it was that the person subjected to this would not eat a single delicacy from the grand feast at night) and let me tell you, the rituals make me nauseous.

Apart from the cultural rituals, there are social rituals as well. You get into a decent college run by the Govt. and your mother makes it a point to follow the daily ritual of bragging in front of the neighbors. You get placed from campus with a decent package and your father makes it a point to follow the daily ritual of bragging the same in front of his colleagues. The worst part of these episodes- exaggeration. Yes, our parents tend to exaggerate things to such extents that at times it becomes difficult to even remember what they had claimed I was , the last time.

There are certain rituals that even we follow. The ritual to stay up late at night watching movies on your laptop, the ritual to update your  Facebook status at least once a day, the ritual to call your gf/bf  three (?) times a day, and the ritual to post tweets throughout the day.

Apart from the usual humiliating experience, the reason why rituals scare me the most is- what will happen if one day I am asked to come out of them all of a sudden?


3. Epiphanies

When God made humans, he himself wasn't sure what he had done. My belief is He was probably high when he created us humans- high up in the skies. I know that was a bad one. Anyway, when he ended up making the most perfect creation of his, he decided to put in an ability in them. That ability was- to think. And with thinking, comes a thought-process. With thought processes, comes an epiphany. And they always come unannounced. They'll come at such a point of time when you would be performing a crucial task- taking a decision, taking chances, taking a dump etc. And when epiphanies arrive, they just have to change to you. A while back you'd be thinking of taking a step to improve your performance appraisal, and the next moment you are gleefully drafting away your resignation letter. Most of the time , epiphanies give you a rush to do something unimaginable; but the moment you have done that, *poof* it goes away, leaving you wondering- 'What do I do now? Why didn't I think through to the end of this?' and that's why, I fear epiphanies a lot.  They have the power to turn our world upside down.


4. Algorithms


Algorithms are a logical outlining of a solution to a problem. This fear of mine is completely concerned with my studies, so I guess you, my dear reader, might yawn a bit on this one, so I'll keep this short. Well as much as easy and harmless algorithms appear to be, trust me, for a computer engineer , they are the reason we still bribe the Gods. A code is implemented based on an algorithm, so when after writing thousands of lines of code, you test it and see that the output is as messed up as the curry you cooked last night, you wonder what went wrong even after the algorithm seemed to give the correct output. Naturally, days pass until when you are about to smash your head on your computer screen, you realize that the second-last step in your algorithm is the root cause of all the troubles. Bloody Red-Bull!



5. Misunderstandings

A fight was going on over the phone call. She threatened she would hang up, but she wouldn't do that because she respects you; you continue with your rants because you think you are right and she is acting all wrong. This continues for the next twenty minutes until suddenly the call drops and when you try to dial it again, it won't get connected to her and you conclude that she did it on purpose. She on the other side thinks the same, and a cycle repeats.
At many points in life, we jump to conclusions. Before letting the other person finish, we conclude something that wasn't what he meant at the first place. As it so happens, misunderstandings crop up. They relish the destruction that they bring with them. Their roles are especially damaging in relationships- with your partner, your parents , your friends, and your siblings. I have seen many cases where mere misunderstandings resulted in permanent disconnect between two people. Safe to say that this is one of the most feared things by me in life.


To conclude, we all have different reasons to worry, different conclusions to draw and different means to forget and forgive. Facing our fears is important, not because beyond fears there's win (I just translated that hindi punchline to sound original), but indeed that would solve many problems in life.

On a happier note, if you take the first letter of each of the five fears in order as they are, then you will find what I love the most. Could you see what that is? *winks and plays Gifted Hands by Lynyrd Skynyrd in the background*

Micro Fiction: The Package

Posted by at 6:59 PM
[This was originally submitted as an entry for @islejazz's micro-fiction collection for the theme- Instincts. Check out all the entries of the collection here]

The commotion of the crowd portrayed the onset of a busy day.Asif carried his box of shoe-polish with a strap, hanging on his left shoulder. He rattled it with a metal spool, alerting the people.Some would ask him to  get their shoes polished. Asif loved the business.

He had a job to do today. He was instructed by some people to run an errand. They had promised him five hundred rupees. Greed and need got the better of our 11-year old Asif and he agreed.They handed him a small package, to carry it to the farther side of the station( the busiest platform, that is) . He had to keep the package under the water cooler there and return. Thus he set out.

He reached platform-6, placed the package and waited for a few minutes. People looked at him,yet no one was bothered to ask. Being sure that he did that right, he returned from the platform. 

He waited for some time. The handlers came soon, gave him the 500-rupee note, and bid him goodbye.

"Now we wait." One of them said to the other. 

The day transformed to noon and proceeded to the darkness of night. Asif's handlers went to platform 6, retrieved the package, and three people followed them back. 

" We got the full recording of the day." one of the three responded.
"And?"
"and..many people saw him place the package. Even the guards did. But no one came to inquire about it. You can see the reaction of the people there. Here, take a look." 

He passed on the handycam. The first guy saw the recording, and sighed. His instincts were right. Nobody really cared.



He was now assured that his plan would work.



Friday, June 21, 2013

The Untitled Prose part- 2: Amalgamation

Posted by at 11:29 AM
(...continued from part-1)

I find the reasons that guide me here,

in this world, darkened with wrong,
you are the answers to the prayers of mine,
you are the reason the tears will dry.


When the time is scarce, fast and moving,

the window of opportunities, shrinking,
a streak of survival seizes me,
and only that one face I seek divine.




The separation settles the terms of slaughter,

the emotions that frame this mind,
a lonely heart longs for that familiarity,
the hope the dreams that were never blind.


For once the poet feels he is wrong,

the answers he seeks are not to arrive,
instead he amalgamates to her warmth,
their senses, latched and entwined..

(to be continued...)

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Movie Review: Man of Steel

Posted by at 6:57 PM


Blurb: A young itinerant worker is forced to confront his secret extraterrestrial heritage when Earth is invaded by members of his race[IMDB]


Screenplay & Story: David S. Goyer, Christopher Nolan 
Directed By: Zack Snyder 
Stars: Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Russell Crowe

When Warner Bros. decided to reboot the franchise after the disappointing Superman Returns (2006) , much was speculated about the lack of possibilities in the iconic superhero's plotting. Cut to 2011 and Nolan, coupled with screenwriter Goyer decided to give the origin story a fresh look, with few twists here-n-there, and delivering a high-on-action movie. Did they succeed in doing so? I would say, yes. 

The substantiation of the movie was specified to such well extent that the makers ensured the reboot doesn't end up becoming another understatement for our favorite superhero. Where there is plenty of fresh action sequences and CGI ( don't you DARE call it 'set-pieces' ) to keep your adrenalin pumping, there's a brilliant human quotient coupled with a good story, that fortunately NEVER makes you feel- "oh man, when will the next fight sequence follow?" . With direction under "the" Zack Snyder's command, the flow of the movie was well maintained, never getting you off the screen. Kudos to Nolan and Goyer for making a digestible plotline that would make sense and help you accept the dark premises of the movie more. The scenes of planet Krypton was a treat to watch(won't explain more so as to avoid giving out any spoilers) . 


Discussing the cast, I would say, except Fishburne, all the actors were superb in their roles. Henry Cavill has improved a lot from his "Immortals" days, and has convinced the viewers to such an extent that many are calling him "the Superman of the silver screen for the next decade or so". Take a bow. Amy Adams as Lois Lane looked good , was given a more substantial role than the usual Lois Lane we have seen. Michael Shannon as General Zod was a good fit for an antagonist whose intentions were more viable (as to why he attacks Earth, etc. - the story wins again here). Russell Crowe played Jor-El pretty well, giving more power to the character.

About the background score, full marks goes to Hans Zimmer though thanks to the poor editing of the score, the music remained slightly repetitive throughout the movie. The "Ideal of hope" track fully develops only after the climax and through the credits. I would have loved to see that track play in the middle of the movie as well.

In a nutshell, Man of Steel is bigger than you think- it has more in store than what was shown in the trailers, a good back-story and tremendous action that will ensure it forms sets the stage for the upcoming Justice League movie pretty well. Go see it-WITH expectations. 
My rating: 9/10
IMDB rating: 8.4/10
Metascore: 55/100

Friday, June 7, 2013

Micro Fiction:The Competition

Posted by at 10:30 PM


[This was originally submitted as an entry for @islejazz's micro-fiction collection for the theme- Hope. Check out all the entries of the collection here]
"I hope he wins." She prayed.

"I hope she wins." He prayed.

A contract with a popular music studio, two world tours in three years, and a huge cash prize- yes, this is how a dream should begin. For him, it was all about winning for the money , for the fame , for the prosperity that it will bring. He did not care for the art; music and singing came to him naturally, almost as God's gift. She, on the other hand, loved to sing. Music shaped the essence of her livelihood. The recognition was secondary for her.

They had come a long way- from growing up together, attending the same school, sharing a liking for each other but hiding it all the time- yes, the path was never so easy, but the journey made both of them wiser. And then arrived the news- a competition that will blow the senses of the nation away, that would bridge many gaps, and would bring so many new divides. And as the judgment day came closer, the divide between those two became wider.

The night of the finale was here. The two finalists were waiting and in a few moments, their fate would be decided.

"I hope he wins." She prayed.

"I hope she wins." He prayed.

At this moment of immense anxiety,she decided to hold his hand and close her eyes.

"And the winner is- Suhasini Arora!"

Fireworks followed immediately. The outcry of the audience was deafening.He came closer to her and whispered:

"I won it this time."

"You surely did, huh! Okay, my treat, but don't leave a hole in my pocket okay?"

He smiled at her, and they started getting up from their seats.

"And turn the TV off, my head hurts with that stupid Suhasini's singing!" she smirked.


Sunday, June 2, 2013

Micro Fiction- The Gift

Posted by at 6:54 PM
[This was originally submitted as an entry for @islejazz's micro-fiction collection for the theme- Choices. Check out all the entries of the collection here]

"The red one or the green one?" Sam was finding it difficult to choose. He came with his mother to the supermarket , and had saved two weeks of his pocket money for this. He wanted to gift a diary for Gina, the girl in Sam's "study-group"- as he had proudly announced after coming back from school one day. "Yes Ma, Miss Skitters had asked us all to form study-groups to learn team-work!" he had exclaimed.Gina , the smartest girl in Sam's class would often drop by and help Sam with the art n craft assignments. Sam felt glad about it. He loved her handwriting and tried to imitate the same.

"It's getting late Sam!"
"I don't know mom, she likes green, but once she had told me that red is a very cute color!!" Sam was having a real hard time.
"Hey buddy!" he saw his dad, returning from work and taking a detour to join them. "Sammy is having  a tough time choosing a diary for his friend Gina" his mother chirped,stressing on the word 'friend'.
"Well I tell you what, take the red one."
"But Dad, how can you be so sure?"
"Trust me bud. Go for it!"
"Erm...okay."
Sam reached for his pocket for the cash, when his Dad stopped him. "How about we did something with that later? This one's on me." he smiled at his son. "Awesome!!" Sam was elated. He ran towards the toy-zone. His parents exchanged glances.
"Red..remember this, Anna?"
"Yes..."
"Our first date, and the exact same difficulty to choose. When you had philosophized  it, saying 'Green means envy, so I'd go for red instead!' hah!"
"Well you still remember that?!!"
"Yes, I do."
They smiled at each other, and started walking towards the toy-zone.

Jon 'n' Snow: Trippin' Together!

Posted by at 1:19 AM


The constant murmur of her voice startled him. He stared towards his left. There she was- in dazzling red and black clothing, her eyes staring him back with longing and wait.

"I am coming for you my louuuuuuuvvve!" he started running towards her, arms wide-spread, as everything around him started swirling in slow-motion. It appeared as if she was moving away from him."no..no please...don't go, don't go!!" he started panting, as he ran faster. "Babyyyyyyyyy!!!" he cried out loud, and she stopped moving away from him, and in that moment, he forgot everything about his own self.

Soon, he could feel her heavy breath falling on his face, and as soon as he advanced to kiss the love of his life, she purred.


"meaoww"
"Err..babe?"
"meouuwww-" she purred a bit more and slowly started pawing his face. Now it was his turn to run.

Far far away from this land of love, a man in his undies was drooling on his new-found bed, and his cat was pawing him with regularity. The cat was probably famished. And the man- well, he was in his own world , dreaming about his love again. The cat gave one final blow and almost managed to make a D on the man's forehead, and that was enough for him to wake up.

"WHAT DA--"

Jon hurled his cat in a fit, thinking it to be some kind of a ghoul that was trying to tear his soul apart. It went flying across the bed yet it still managed to land on its limbs. In style.

''A cat has nine lives'' Snow purred to himself. "Why do you always have to mess with my face, of all the other parts of my body?" Jon screamed. "Yea right, feed me or next time I will mess with the appropriate parts of your body you useless scum!" Snow purred. Jon sighed , while trying to rub the scratchy D off his forehead. "I know buddy, I am of no good. Not in a place like this, where everything is so different. I want to go home!" Jon yelled and dropped back, his eyes red, not because he was crying.

                                                    *                     *                        *

Things were not this different for Jon & Snow. They too had a great life to live-girls, booze, TV , their Wii and most importantly, the huge farmhouse their eccentric uncle had left for them. Eccentric to the world, but a genius to Jon. He worshiped the man. "One day, I will take you to places where you will be the King!" his uncle would tell him when Jon was young. Jon did not know that his uncle was up to something- for real.

It was Saturday night. Jon's buddies went off to catch the latest adult movie that was a rage in town-Wife of Pi. They said it has got some never-seen-before scenes - with a Tigress in water and what not. Damn tempting it would seem. But Jon decided to stay back with Snow and do things that he always enjoyed doing when he was alone. It required skillful use of his left hand, sometimes the right, some screwing-unscrewing and the likes.

Yes you got it right, he would roll fat joints and toke with Snow. Snow would just stare at him, usually unable to decipher things that would follow -a night full of deep, philosophical ramblings, a night devoted to ruthless gorging.

    But that night , Jon had other plans as well. Ever since they had moved to his uncle's farmhouse, they had not really explored the place properly. His uncle once decided to go off to an expedition and never returned. Soon afterwards he was declared dead. Jon couldn't make it to the funeral, but he wished he could see him off one last time. "Remember Jonny boy!" he would tell Jon.  "The world is ruthless, the world is crazy! They call me mad, you know why? Because I am doing exactly what will make them run for their money."

Jon's uncle was an Experimental Physicist who also had a cool sci-fi blog. "One day, Jonny boy, you'll see! You will be the King!" he would declare Jon king almost every time Jon visited him.


So where were we? Ah yes, Saturday night. As Jon had moved to this new place, he learned that the place is a child's dream. There were so many stuffs- gadgets, books, instruments, more books and a great stock supply of binge food. Jon was intrigued by the fact that his uncle managed to put all this up together. He was a bit proud as well.

The place was huge- it was enough for at least 20 people to live together. Snow would as usual play with his ball of wool. Jon did not really worry much about Snow. To him , he was quite a smart cat who would give zero fucks as long as he was well fed and had a ball of something to play with.

"What's this?" Jon exclaimed as he came across a door leading to an entrance, hideously covered with a drape. Almost as if somebody wanted him to find it.

At the top of the door, there was a sign that looked suspiciously  similar to Jon's favorite hand gesture. Yes you guessed it right again- it looked like a namaste . "Wonder when did uncle take fancy on Indian mannerisms huh!!?" he thought. He figured that the door was locked. He started ramming the lock but it wasn't giving away. It added dirt on his tee, though.

Irritated, he went back a few feet and with his left forearm nudged forward, he started running towards the door. Only this time as he was about to hit the shackles of the door, Snow, his so-called 'smart cat' pounced on him from one side, trying to catch its flying ball of wool, and off they went  crashing on the door as it surprisingly opened normally. Jon had heard a brief *beep* sound while they crashed the door.

"Snow you stupid cat! Owww my back hurts."

Jon managed to sit up and took a look at his surroundings. It was full of shady posters of movies he had never seen before. Chicks in skimpy clothes, fat women with guns on them, hooligans groping  women- they all were there. "What the hell are these movies?" he wondered. A typical poster of a man in disco suits caught his eyes. "Disco Dancer..hmm..who is this actor?" he tried to recall.

 Suddenly, a voice came cracking from the ceiling.

"HAH HAH HAH HAH HAH!"

It was his uncle's voice. Jon was startled.

"JONNY BOY! YOU MADE IT IN HERE!" the voice screamed.

"If you are hearing this recording, then it means I have left this world for the place beyond the imagination of the people of this world! Yes my boy you are right! I have found the place- the place where you will be the king and I will be your guardian! WE WILL RULE THE LAND TOGETHER! HA HA HA HA!"

Jon looked at Snow. "Tell me Snow," he asked. " Are my eyes red?"

"purrr..."

"Am I high?"

"purrr...."

"I am asking questions to my cat. I am definitely high." Jon sighed. "But I don't remember smoking up! When did--" he was cut short by the recording.

" Time to join me, Jonny Boy! 3! 2! 1!"

And the next moment, Jon saw the walls of the room rattle. They started folding up like window blinds and the shady movie posters started mixing up to ghastly red hues everywhere. "What da--?" he exclaimed, and before he knew it, he felt a massive push on his shoulders and he went flying towards the wall that had that 'Disco Dancer' poster. He could hear Snow purring madly alongside him and in the next moment , the poster in from of him vanished to nothingness. It was replaced by darkness ahead, as they kept getting pushed in the forward direction. Suddenly the force behind them stopped pushing. Jon panicked. He was panting heavily and looked at his cat.

"Mew.."

Snow's pointy whiskers indicated he was scared to death. And just then, the ceiling below them gave way and they started falling.



"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA"

Jon was laughing, crying, puking, and sweating at the same time. He even farted a little. Snow was vigorously  throwing his limbs in every direction it could. Suddenly they landed on a base full of trash- in a conveniently slow motion.

They woke up after a few hours. Jon got up, he was shocked. He looked around. It was night time. The place looked funny. The littered roads, the smelly alleys- there was a strange harmony of filth in the air. He could not locate Snow anywhere. He started getting up and walking towards what seemed like a bar nearby.

The bar was shadier than he had expected. It seemed to be full of potheads. 'I am a disco dancer!' a song was playing in full volume, though he couldn't figure out the rest of the lyrics. And then he saw something that blew his balls away.

Snow was sitting on a high dais on what seemed to be like a richly decorated throne. There were a gazillions of attendants around him  , taking care of his whiskers like a newly crowned king. All of a sudden, Snow's attention went towards Jon. "Mew!!!" it shrieked and started moving its paws in Jon's direction.Everyone turned their heads towards Jon's direction.

"OUR KING HAS DESCENDED!" they all cried in unison. They got hold of Jon , took him up on their shoulders and placed him on an even bigger throne next to Snow. Jon got confused. But then he saw two pretty ladies who were apparently the king's official escorts, and all his confusion faded away.

"Welcome to Merrytopia, my King! I am BS,your humble Prime Minister" a middle-aged man appeared from the crowd.

"Err..Hello BS.." Jon was finding it hard to control his laughter. "H-how are you?"
"Finest as an old wine, your Majesty!"
"Good good. Er..do you know anything about my uncle?"
"I do, your Majesty!"
"Well then take me to him! Can you take me to him?"
"I would and I can, your Majesty. But first I must lay down the rules of this land that a King must follow."

BS took out a scroll, opened it, plucked out a USB drive that was taped at the center of the scroll, dropped the scroll on the ground, took out his tablet from his robe, and plugged the USB in.


"(ahem).. O King of Merrytopia,
Live Long and Prosper! (brief applause followed)
Merrytopia is the land of awesome, it plays songs in the key of awesome. Everything here is merry, everyone here is merry. There is so much merry here that the system runs all by itself. The King doesn't need to bother about anything at all, the King inherits the rule and that's it, life goes on, no trouble, no damn given, no damn taken, everybody stays merry, tokes merry and sleeps merry."

"For the sake of taking over as the King of this land, a King must follow the Golden Rule: Impose one law on this land. Only after that will he be able to rule Merrytopia."

"And what if I don't follow the orders?" Jon quipped.
"You cannot do that your Majesty.." BS said calmly.
"Why not? I can just refuse to do this! Coming here was not my choice at the first place!" Jon protested with made-up effort.

"What's done is done. You must follow the rules. That's how Merrytopia works. If you fail to do so, you shall be put to the dungeons where you would be made to watch Ram Gopal Verma movies."

The crowd let out a long gasp in unison, upon hearing this.

"Who the hell is Ram Gopal Verma?"

The whole crowd gasped in unison on hearing this.

"You don't know RGV? You don't know nothing about Bollywood?!!!" BS asked.

"Err..I know Hollywood..where is Bollywood?"

The whole crowd gasped in unison, once again.

"Bollywood! The Hindi Film Industry! That's in India! They make the coolest of movies! We survive on their songs, their dances are our folk dances, their tragedies is the reason for our grief..BOLLYWOOD IS THE WAY OF OUR LIVES!" BS was almost choking with emotions.

"Ha ha. What crap.." Jon murmured.

"WHAT DID YOU SAY YOUR MAJESTY?!!" BS exclaimed while stopping the crowd with his hand, before they could begin gasping in unison.

"I said where's the CLAP!" Jon was beginning to understand those shady posters at his uncle's room now. He saw that playing along was the only way out.

"Alright, if I must follow the rule, then very well."

The crowd became expectant, this time in near-perfect unison.

"So tell me O Wise King, what law would you impose on us?" BS was excited.

Jon cleared his throat, looked around, and smiled.

"The law that I shall pass is: Legalize Marijuana!"

The crowd was puzzled. Snow gave a brief "mew" while looking at Jon.

                                                        *                     *                        *

Weeks passed. The people embraced the new law. Now what happened is that people started getting high all the time. They stopped giving a shit about anything in their world except arranging for weed and rolling the joints. Philosophical opinions started flooding everywhere. Some would agree on to an opinion and the next moment an outsider would come and oppose, and suddenly everyone would start agreeing with the him.

Jon observed that administration was getting out of hand. Even BS would now talk nothing but BS. Jon couldn't believe that even Snow would show up with red eyes at times. Weed used to be Jon's way of life but now, it seemed that his law was not fully accurate. He needed to do something about it.

"I want to change the law."  he called BS for a counsel one day.

"You..haha how do I put it..heeh..cannot!" BS had already stopped adding 'Your Majesty' a few days back.

"Are you high, as we speak?"

"No no Jonny Boy I am not!"

"Then why would you-- wait what did you call me?!"

"Jonny Boy!"

Jon was surprised and confused. He had his doubts initially about BS but power, freedom and the immense amount of smoke in Merrytopia had blinded him. BS gave out a crackle of laughter, a loud and wide laughter. A familiar laughter.

"This is why I had to create this world of mine! Our world would not take me, so I wanted to escape!" BS began his tale , which you all must be dying to know by now.

"On my journey with my experiments, I had finally found a way to a parallel universe. Only that it was in ruins, as if it was abandoned by its people. I was happy to find the resources of this world-all at my disposal, but after a while, I started getting bored. Bored because, I missed conversations with another human being. I was upset about this, and realized something should be done! Then I thought , why not get some people from our world, who wanted to escape , to break free, and to live as equals, without caring much for survival.

 And I knew just the people to pick. I took up all the slum-dwellers of every populated countries of the world. This might sound outrageous , Jonny Boy, but trust me, nobody cares if a certain amount of these people suddenly disappear from the face of the Earth! My plan was perfect- I was to give these people a new place to live, a new world where they would face no limitations, and of course I planned to rule this world along with you."

Jon did not know what to say. Snow purred a little to give a fitting background effect as BS' words sank around them.

"Why do you look so startled? Did you not always want to live in a place like this?!!!"

"NO Uncle! I have my friends back home! I have a life that's full of excitement!"

"Oh c'mon, your life blows. I have seen how you live- borrowing cash from your friends, roaming here n there, trying to be with a chick but ending up with your cat at the end of the day. You call that an exciting life. Hah, your life blows--" he concluded with a raspberry blow.

"I don't care! However bad it is, it is MY life! I can choose how to lead it, how to run it, how to mess it up!"

His uncle remained quiet for a while, before he spoke.

"Well, now that you are here, you cannot go back. Because I haven't yet designed a way to get back to the other side..."

Jon wanted to punch his uncle on throat.

".... and since you have revolted, it is important that you are put away somewhere, where you cannot create any problems..." BS smirked.

" You cannot do that! And wait a minute, why could I not recognize you all this while? Why not on the day I came here?"

BS smiled.

"Because, I had mixed a 'synthesized' form of weed in the air of my farmhouse by the vents. You see I got inspired from that 'Balam Pichkari' song from that  latest Bollywood movie. So anyone who entered that place would unknowingly get high and stay that way. I had developed the specimen in such a way that it would not interfere with your day-to-day functioning, but if you encountered any illusion, your mind would go on a heavy trip. The illusions would work as a trigger. Hence I had them put in place when you had entered the 'Portal Room' . Those Bollywood movie posters, they have immense effect on getting you baked you see!"

"Stop with your Bollywood references already!" Jon was angered. Suddenly, he saw Snow pouncing towards his uncle. This is it. He had to make a run for it. As BS fell on the ground, Jon grabbed Snow under his arm and ran away from the bar that now masqueraded as a fully functional Palace.

Now you'd wonder, 'Dude! That's bullcrap! How could he run away so easily? Why would BS not do something to make things difficult for Jon and Snow so that they couldn't escape? What BS are you feeding us!', or you might tell yourself - 'Whatever this dude is toking, I need some of that.' Either way, ain't leavin' ye until we are done!

Thus, Jon & Snow ran . They tried to hide, to stay in disguise for days. They begged, borrowed, stole, and tried doing whatever they could from getting caught. This is how they landed in a single-room apartment.

*back to the present*

 "...IWANNAGOHOMMMMMMMMMMME!" Jon sobbed. He knew his efforts were futile. The only thing that he failed to understand is that his uncle had elaborated everything in detail, except for the Portal Room. Could it be because it was a weak link? The Achilles' Heel of his uncle's plan?

"What a madman.." he murmured. Suddenly he realized, he wasn't high anymore. He checked Snow's eyes. They weren't red as well. This actually gave him some motivation. "Perhaps the hunger...tones down the effects ?" he wondered. " I don't believe the fact that uncle has not developed a way back to our world. He is crazy but he is not impractical for all I know, Snow."

"purrr.."

"And so, the portal to the other side has to be here somewhere! THAT'S IT! We have to find the portal, Snow!"

"purrr.."

"Yeah I know I  am in my undies. Let's get covered up and start searching." Jon was determined. And in few minutes, they took off.

Jon roamed on the streets of Merrytopia. The streets looked highly under-developed. Obviously, the people here did not care how they lived, where they lived. They just wanted to live as equals, get their hands on day-to-day resources and stay merry. Also, the whole city looked extremely bland, except the bar-cum-Palace areas. They looked -how to put it- very colorful. Almost like those posters that he had seen earlier.

And he failed to understand when did his uncle pick up this liking for Bollywood movies. "Could be when he went to Asia to collect people.." he kept wondering as it suddenly struck him. He had seen a poster of Disco Dancer, the one similar to the poster in the Portal Room. Only that this poster was there at a public theater- which would remain jam-packed day and night.  "They screen the same movie everyday, yet these weirdos keep visiting the place again and again." He tried to test his theory. With a convincing disguise( he did not need much work as the guards were stoned out of their minds) , he entered the movie theater premises. Snow was tucked inside his robes, and he pushed the swarm of potheads as he inched closer to the poster.

He was blinded with hope so much so that he failed to notice that it is getting too easy for him and Snow to escape.

Back in our world, in the farmhouse, Jon's friends were trying hard to get him back from his 'trip'. Jon was drooling and murmuring gibberish in his sleep, as Snow kept purring and pawing him for food.

                                            

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