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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

VSS 016: Reader's Block


Reader’s Block

 
Very Short Story (VSS) 016

 

The writer’s block is common. As a writer, you just cannot write. Your brain feels jammed and it positively hurts to think about writing.

Ever heard of Reader’s Block.

Yeah. It exists and is equally painful.

When you suffer from it, no matter what you read, it hurts your head and feels totally uninteresting. You want to give up reading. You want to read no more.

Have you ever suffered from it?

I have suffered. Those were the worst times of my life - It was crazy and my Mind was in chaos. I couldn’t find solace in books.

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Quick Note: Very Short Stories are approx./max. 99 word stories that i am going to write through the year. These very short stories are part of my writing resolutions of 2017. My target is to write at least 50 VSS this year which is about 12-13 every quarter. Currently I am behind my target by a few stories but gradually cathing up :-)

Sunday, May 14, 2017

VSS 015: Untill I Met Her


Until I Met Her

 
Very Short Story (VSS) 015

 
Consulting is not as glamorous as it was made out to be during the campus placement talk. They said you will travel and see the world.

They deliberately left out the detail that you will end up seeing only the airport, the hotel and the client office.

I hated my job but still persisted … until I met her.

She was a victim of overbooking. Wanted to join her friends for a Himalayan trek but airlines declined boarding.

Something stirred inside me. I talked to the airline and offered my seat to her.

I sent my resignation via blackberry.

 
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Quick Note: Very Short Stories are approx./max. 99 word stories that i am going to write through the year. These very short stories are part of my writing resolutions of 2017. My target is to write at least 50 VSS this year which is about 4 per month or 13 per quarter. Currently I am behind my target but cathing up :-(

Friday, May 12, 2017

VSS 014: Spy Chase


Spy Chase

 

Very Short Story (VSS) 014

 

Trust Me. Spying isn’t as glamorous as James Bond makes it look like. And the chase is highly unglamorous as compared to what Hollywood shows. It is downright dangerous.

And more often than not, the chase ends in the criminal escaping and you tearing your hair out.

Every once in a while, the chase ends up bad for you … the one doing the chasing.

Today is one such day.

I am chasing. And I can see that I am heading for a head-on collision with a wall.

And I can’t do anything to prevent it.



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Quick Note: Very Short Stories are approx./max. 99 word stories that i am going to write through the year. These very short stories are part of my writing resolutions of 2017. My target is to write at least 50 VSS this year which is about 4 per month or 13 per quarter. Currently I am behind my target but cathing up :-(

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

VSS 013: Worlds Colliding

 
Worlds Colliding
 

Very Short Story (VSS) 013
 

Arriving at the coffee shop before time to meet her was part luck part chance. And there she was, parting with someone she was already meeting.

I saw them parting and froze in my tracks as I saw them kiss good bye.

I felt betrayed. How could she do this to me.

She was my best friend and I was hers. I was supposed to be the first person to know about him … even before him.  

But then the guy turned and I got a jolt.

How could my very own brother not tell me?

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Quick Note: Very Short Stories are approx./max. 99 word stories that i am going to write through the year. These very short stories are part of my writing resolutions of 2017. My target is to write at least 50 VSS this year which is about 4 per month or 13 per quarter. Currently I am behind my target but cathing up :-( 

Monday, May 08, 2017

VSS 012: The Delayed Flight


The Delayed Flight

 

Very Short Story (VSS) 012

 

Airports can be as interesting or as boring as you want them to be. I always found them boring and hence was always submerged in a book. But that one journey changed everything.

We were on the same flight that got delayed. Held up in the airport for over 6 hours, we got talking.

We talked over coffee & sandwiches and then continued in-flight. We talked literally non-stop for over 12 hours as if we would never talk again and had to finish every thread we started.

By the time we landed, I knew I had found my soulmate.

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Quick Note: Very Short Stories are approx./max. 99 word stories that i am going to write through the year. These very short stories are part of my writing resolutions of 2017. My target is to write at least 50 VSS this year which is about 4 per month or 13 per quarter. Currently I am behind my target but cathing up :-(

Friday, May 05, 2017

Book Review: Eating Robots and Other Stories by Stephen Oram


Eating Robots and Other Stories by Stephen Oram

  
The cover of the book says “Nudge The Future Volume 1” and it makes sense once you have read the book. This is unlike any other sci-fi short stories book that I have ever read.

While the total count is 30 stories spanning 125 pages, the fact is that there are only a few ‘stories’. Others are ‘situations’ of a future world. These so called stories are just about a few page in which Stephen introduces a futuristic real-world very-believable situation to you.

Having read the short story, you pause, close the book and think about it. Think about the implications and the consequences. Think about how could humans end up in a situation like that and what will it lead to in further future. Often asking the questions … “How could we mess up so royally?”

The stories in the book are meant to make you think. They are not entertainment but fodder for the fertile and intellectual mind to question and think. The thought provoking stories are in effect, a social commentary on the pace and direction of technology.

The author has taken up various advances in science & technology and extrapolated them into their future shape. Then he created a situation of amusement, horror and even despair as a result of that technology.

The common theme is technology and how it is invading human beings and taking on more and more tasks that humans were doing. As this encroachment increases, will there be anything for the humans to do other than exist?

Will that be in a way ‘machines overtaking humans’ since everything that needs to be done is being done by machines and there is nothing the humans have to do. Won’t the humans die of lethargy and become suicidal due to inactivity … or replace their real life activities with virtual activities … a la Matrix.

I will easily recommend this collection of stories to anyone interested in future tech and sci-fo genre of books. I would even recommend this book to those interested in philosophy – they are sure to find some interesting angles in there.

I would easily rate this book 4/5

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Book Review: The 365 Days by Nikhil Ramteke


 
The 365 Days by Nikhil Ramteke

Not an easy book to review for multiple reasons.

It is a story, fiction essentially BUT it is so close to reality that it is more like reading a documentary rather than reading a story/fiction.

I have lived in Dubai around the timeline the story is taking place and even right now living here. While I could identify the storytelling, i could also easily point out (and be irritated about) the error in the storytelling - factual errors. There were one or two times, when i felt the author was making self-contradictory statements thro the protagonist which kind of disturbed the reading flow. BUT those are minor things. Important is how the book was written and did it achieve its objective of creating awareness.

Overall, the book is an insight into the ugly dark world of the laborers life in Dubai. While Dubai is enjoyed and toured by the rich, it has been built by the labor of the huge labor population which remains out of sight. The average well-to-do resident ignores their existence normally and the tourist hardly encounters them.

They have a tough life (And that is an understatement). The subject has been raised in local as well as international media several times - the conditions of the labor camps and the life of the laborer in Middle East (not just particularly in UAE/Dubai).

The author makes a good attempt at describing the plight of the average laborers and their daily struggles. Its a good documentary. Commendable.

I assume, the book's objective is to raise awareness. Which will happen as more and more people read the book. BUT people don't read documentaries. They will read an interesting story with twists and turns and surprises; even if it is a sad one. I personally feel that the story could have been made more interesting increasing the chances that it would be picked up by an average reader.

With the documentary approach, the readership is limited.

I am not saying, that the book is not written in story format and is purely documentary. Its just that there needed to be more of story telling while retaining the pain and hardships - which I must say, the author has captured beautifully. Once again, I would congratulate the author for doing a good job of capturing the underlying sentiment ... besides the conditions of the laborers. The average laborer is not afraid of hardships. They are demoralized by the treatment they receive.

I will rate this book at 3/5