Monday, 20 July 2015

Robonomics- The Rise of Robots




It was the 27th of June in Japan (And everywhere else too). Yukirin looked perfect in her white laced wedding gown. It was the happiest day of her life, why, she was going to make history! The very first robot wedding! People talked about inter-religion marriages and same-sex marriages. That was old news. Whoever heard of two robots tying the knot?! The humans had had their share. It was now the robots' turn. 

Most of their species had turned up to Yukirin's delight, though she wished the human lot had been lesser. Many of the humans still saw them as nothing more than 'toys'. It was greatly degrading to the robots, but what did the humans know! Ah well, she hoped that her wedding would be the beginning of the robotic  era, one they all dreamed of! But it still seemed very, very distant.

 She stood there on the stage, which was decorated complete with pretty hearts. The humans were quite a nuisance with their loud chatter. All of a sudden, they fell silent. All cameras shifted towards the aisle. There he came... her to-be husband, her one and only Frois! He hadn't worn a suit like she wanted him to, but at least he had the bow on. She had to admit that it went quite well with his natural red attire. Humans said that his kind looked one and the same, with only differing colours. But she knew that her Frois looked way better than the others!

Frois came and stood next to her. All eyes in the hall were on them. Maywa Denki's too, the one who made this happen! She liked Maywa Denki. He was very nice. He understood the robots, unlike the normal humans. After all, it was he who brought Frois into this world.

'You may now kiss the bride.'
Frois pulled out his 'mouth disk' to kiss her. Too many people watching him obviously made him nervous. Yukirin wished it hadn't been that awkward. There was applause and laughter anyway. And the party began. Frois and Yukirin staccato-danced in synchrony with the orchestra. Cutting the wedding cake was harder than she anticipated. But then, it was done humor the humans...they weren't going to eat it anyway were they? 

Maywa danced with Frois's family. Pepper seemed quite busy with the arrangements. Pepper was being very useful. It was he who officiated the wedding. Atlas and Poppy were trudging to the cake, ignoring iCub. Yuki remembered iCub's 10th birthday party, such a fun time! RoboThespian was on his thing again, interacting with humans in all possible languages. 
"Any repairs or battery refreshments?" it was robot Romeo, being kind as always. Frois conveyed that we couldn't be more charged. They heard a slight commotion. Lexi and Tess , the pole dancing robots were performing. NAO seemed quite interested. Yuki noticed one of the humans acting odd. Oh wait! That was Actroid SIT ! Ahh...she almost looked like a human!

Most of the humans were eating. Yuki couldn't get the idea of stuffing 'food' into the bodies. It seemed so unusual. But then, the humans themselves were unusual. When she stood there, watching the flurry of activities, hope dawned in her. Maybe one day, them robots would begin a revolution to fight for their rights. Maybe one day they will have a say too, and wouldn't have to live their lives like toys. Maywa Denki won't need to spend too much for any more weddings then. Maybe the Robot wedding itself could be legalized! 

Ahh...so many wishes and dreams. The topsy-turvy world needed to be straightened. Some humans say the robots would lead to the demise of human race. It is high time they understood that all they want is to be a part of the world, and be of service to the humans. It wasn't too much to ask for was it? Of course not. And they were a 100 times more efficient than the humans. The humans needed them. Badly. Yes, the time has finally arrived. 

Frois swivelled towards her. Looking at him, Yuki knew, that it wasn't only the beginning for her life. It was the beginning for all the robots that were ever made, and will be made in the future. Yes, it was the beginning of the Robotic Age. Watch out humans. We're coming.



Thursday, 16 July 2015

Melancholia





I watched my sister run around, packing her bag. She was going back to her hostel after a month of holidaying with us. The thought of her leaving unusually scared me. She came and left every time, why did I feel differently all of a sudden? For the first time, I really wished she did not have to leave. Home was so easy when with her. Except for her constant chattering that irritates me to hell, she's the life of our home. 

The train to Trivandrum whistled away from us, taking my sister with it. An uneasiness crept into me. I ignored it on our drive home. The next day in school, I noticed that the uneasiness hadn't left. I wasn't in a mood to talk and laugh. I tried to hide that too, but a few of my friends asked me if I was okay. When I left the classroom, I bumped into someone. Oh hey, that was best friend. She stepped back to have a good look at me. "You're a corpse." she concluded. I grinned at her, feeling light for a second. Before I could have a free conversation with her something came in between. Why was it so difficult for her to find time for me?

I wandered during the lunch break, and met my old gang. But they were preocuppied. I ended up standing among a group I did not belong to. Back in class, there was something to cheer for - my bench-mates had my favourite food. While having those yummy chapathi rolls, someone came by and took away two large ones...and it was all over in an instant. I know it's selfish and irrational, but I was saddened for not getting more chapathi. I was weirder than usual. Annie, where are you?

I hopped off the school bus. It was raining, only to add up to my melancholy mood. My companion and I were quiet on our way home. I recalled the days we couldn't get enough of our hour-long discussions. I raised my arms,  and let the raindrops meet them. "Doesn't it feel depressing?" I finally said. My buddy looked at me in a strange way, "I don't know." she said, "Maybe it's just you...are you depressed?" I said nothing. Did I want someone to say that to me? 

I opened the door to my house. Mom was in her clinic. I was relieved to be on my own. I started talking aloud, asking myself what was wrong. I found my voice breaking. This was insane. I did not even know what I was upset about! I wished I had my bestie next to me. I wished there was someone I could speak to. But I didn't know what about. I collected some home-wear and got in for a shower. I tried to laugh it off. I probably misunderstood myself.  I pictured myself telling my friends about it all, and how we ended up laughing. I laughed myself, and did not notice the silver line that turned the laugh into tears. 

I let them out, the tears that came one after the other, not yet realising the cause. All I did know that I was a little scared. But I don't know of what. I always thought I'd chosen solitude. But the uncommon visitor had showed up, loneliness. 

All fresh and clean, I came out dressed. Mom had returned with a guest. I had to present myself well until they left. By the time they did, I wasn't in the mood to tell mom about my strange experience. We chatted about things in general. Strangely, it cheered me up as if I was fine all day. Home felt better than school to me. That doesn't happen all the time. Well, I guess it isn't so surprising that happiness lies wherein there is love. And love lives wherein there is a family, one where we can call 'Home'.



Monday, 13 July 2015

Are You Happy?




It is just another day when you're in the middle of your daily routine and someone asks you this question, "Are you happy?" What do you answer? Yes? That you couldn't be happier with everything? Or no? That god has spared you from happiness unlike the others?

Let's put this straight. Happiness is relative. If you ask me if I'm happy about the world I am in, I'd say yes considering all the things that make it a beautiful paradise. But I'd say no because I know the world is not even close to a paradise. When I know that there are helpless people out there with not a single penny or grain to live with, and people who live to ascertain their superiority by destructing what little good there is around them, for me to be happy would mean that I am a shameless, selfish jerk.
If you ask me if I'm happy with my life, I would say yes when compared to all the unfortunate sufferers. But I'd say no otherwise for there is so much more that I need to change about it. If I'm content already, then there would be no ups and downs of life. And if I were to be happy all the while, my life story would interest no one, not even me.

And about myself, I'd say I'm happy with what I am. Because I know why I'm the way I am. I understand why it is difficult to overcome my weaknesses, and why it takes so long to develop my strengths. For this very understanding, I like myself. And if liking can be related to happiness, there you go...a big load of happiness lives  within me.

But what is the point in happiness? It isn't the pinnacle of life. It is only a way of life. For many, life is a chase of happiness. But if you can understand wherein happiness lives, and how it can be gained (which many have), then would that mean you've found the key to life? Never. For if you understand happiness, then you shall realize that life is much more than the chase for it.
When you know this, then it wouldn't matter whether you are happy or not, for you will know that it is but a passing season of life like a monsoon that comes every year and goes, but is sure to come back again. You celebrate when it arrives, and whine  when it doesn't.

If all this makes any sense at all to you, then the question seems absurd. For if you say that you are not happy, then it means you are still chasing the wind that halts but occasionally.  And if you say that you are, then it means that you haven't quite understood what it means to be happy, because it doesn't stay. If you think it does, then you are in a world of your own, locked away from all others.  Because if the ones in your vicinity aren't happy, nor can you be. And how often do you find an ever-cheerful atmosphere? Even if you do, what meaning would life have, when the obstacles and struggles itself are what define life, and you have none of them?

So what would you answer to the question? It depends on your perception. Are you still the chaser, or the one in your own world? The truth is, this question seeks no answer. It only asks you to think for yourselves. And that you must. For when you chase the answer to this very question, you shall find yourself answering many other unanswered questions unknowingly. It is not eternal happiness you seek, but an understanding of it. 


Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Risk it. Or Regret it.




You told me one day about your dreams. All that you wished to do. All that you saw what life was capable of. I've heard many talk about it. But for them, it was just a wish. And yet, you spoke with an air of confidence, as if your life was a movie and you were just telling me what's going to happen next. Anyone else would say these dreams don't come true, for such is life. But for you, dreams seemed like the time table of your life that you had to tick off. 

Here's to that someone I know, whom I see with nothing but wonder, but whom I fail to understand. You have your own ways, and claim to have things in mind. But to me, it  seems blank. You're only crafting your plan on the way. Isn't that how life must be? You choose your next step. When you're there, you choose the next. For only then do you see what's in there, only then can you choose the better. 

We have these dreams right now, everyone has them at some point in their lives. But once the obstructions stream in, we stay put on the comfy zone. With time, we loose sight of the dreams. We know the  few ones who manage to stick to them, however impossible that it might seem. Yeah, they're those whom we call 'successful'. They chose to be different, while we prefer to move along with the tide, not wanting to be a rebel, not wanting to be unaccepted. 

Ah well, we are all more similar to each other than different. But the differences do exist, however small they might be. We all know them, and the most of us decide to keep them hidden. After all, it keeps things simple, why complicate it when you have the choice otherwise?

Even if you do decide to be different at some point, the feeling eventually vanishes. And now I come back to that someone I know, who has chosen to be different. Maybe everyone doesn't see it. But I do. Because like no one else did, you made me think about myself. And I began a whole new adventure of discovering myself. My third eye opened. Everything seemed way different from what it used to be. Something new was born within me. A thrill to live.

I'm reminded of the many times we roll our eyes when elders say its an 'age' thing...why, then it means as long as the thrill lives, you shall not age! Georgina Harwood of South Africa celebrated her 100th birthday with a sky-dive and shark-cage dive. 90 year old Ilse Telesmanich sprained her ankle hiking. And she says she got 'very good at hopping on one foot' because of the sprain.

No, I'm not saying we live to take part in adventure sports, and all the other small pleasures that we seek. We live to work for it, whatever our pleasures might be. And if you ask me what brings happiness in life. I wouldn't say success in career, not even the small dreams coming true. Happiness sets in only when you have true relationships. When you have that someone who would be there to listen to all your brilliant and stupid tales alike, that someone who's happy to see you live your dreams, or perhaps live it with you, then you have everything that one can possibly have in life. 

The rest of the world may tell you to stay in the good books and flow along with the stream. They may say it's best to be on the safe side. But I'm telling you, you'd miss out on the best experiences of life by doing so. You wanna live a life worth remembering? You risk it. Or regret it. 

That's what you've taught me. Unfathomably bizarre that you are, you have your self esteem. By being yourself, and not what others want you to be, I noticed what little I knew of myself. Like I said, I started to think. Believe me, life gets interesting. 
Our voice is meant to be heard, not hushed up. Life is meant for taking risks. Make the best of it when you still can! YOLO!

P.S-listen to Emeli Sande's 'Read All About it' song..you'll love it ;)



Sunday, 14 June 2015

When the heart speaks

This would be the poetic version of the article 'When the heart speaks'



I woke up today
My mind was still astray.
No life breaking plans,
No answers came on call...
Life was same old crazy
It's purpose, vague and hazy.

Long, did I journey through
Along with the wind that blew.
I finally reached the fork
I'm afraid, it's time to choose.

Must I follow Robert Frost?
Would the untaken road cost?
Which way led me to my dream?
Which road gave a purpose to life?
And yet, no clues paved way.
My mind had nothing to say.

In the ides of sweet sixteen,
In here, I laughed and loved.
In time, I smiled and cried,
In crowds I whiled and sighed.
The junction seemed so far,
And now I'm not up to par.
Why did my mind not speak?
Why did it not keep still?
Why was it still locked?
Why was it's key lost?

And then, as silence swarmed,
I listened to all else.
A whisper, I could hear..
A whisper, soft and dear...
Oh yes, it now made sense!
I knew what path to choose!
The veil was now unleashed.
My mind was now unlocked.
For whisper, did my heart.
My heart who held the key.
My heart, whom I failed to heed;
My mind, I searched in need.

The tedious day was done
Way longer than the years.
No more was the path a blur.
The purpose of life was clear.
For now, my mind could see!
'Cuz my heart was now set free.

(presented at #open sky slam, calicut # https://m.facebook.com/events/741548702634617/?ref=br_rs)


Friday, 12 June 2015

Being a lone wolf



 I crossed the road and stood with the many others in the quarters, waiting for the school bus. My interaction with the fellow-waiters was limited. Somehow, I felt as if I wasn't entirely a part of the group. Our yellow bus honked its way towards us. As we all climbed on, I looked around for my old friend. Nope, she wasn't there that day either. Finding an empty seat next to a little boy, I sat down. He gave me no more than a second glance. 5 years in a row, and I still did not fit in with any gang in the bus either. So that made me a loner.

The boy next to me was avoiding all possibilities for a conversation to spark up. That suited with me. The constant chatter within the walls of the bus was strangely soothing. I looked around for more of my kind. There sure were a few, seated quietly far in the front. I wondered what went on inside their minds.

I was feeling strangely lonely. One would think I'd gotten used to the daily 15 minute journey to school. But I began questioning my solitude. Was it something bad? Will it do me good to make small talk with people I just know? Solitude was so much easier! And yet, I wished some random chatterbox came up to me for a chat. I realized that I was missing someone. Maybe more than just a someone.

Melancholic as it was, I began thinking about what they say about lone wolves. They're the introverts who prefer working on their own, who choose to be alone, who enjoy being with themselves. I don't recall making such a preference. But  rather have somehow ended up this way.

"If you meet a loner, no matter what they tell you, it's not because they enjoy solitude. It's because they have tried to blend into the world before, and people continue to disappoint them." ~ Jodi Picoult 'My Sister's Keeper' ( http://lonerwolf.com/solitude-quotes/)

Aftter reading this, I've seen how we end up this way. In fact, I'd disagree with not enjoying solitude. Company of your very self can be much greater than anyone else's. Because not another soul will understand you the way you understand yourself. And now, I've come to admire the lone wolves. They refuse to mingle, because they refuse to be like the rest. They are those brave, independent ones who stand up on their shoes. They ought to embrace their eccentricity that makes them introvert. They aren't one among the millions of simpletons, they are different. We needn't try so hard to fit in if we stand out among the rest.

So if ever you feel isolated, and if ever loneliness creeps in involuntarily, remember that it is because you are one of a kind.





Sunday, 7 June 2015

8th August, 2085



"I'm confused grandma!" she said, looking at me through Skype. After all these years, the app for video chatting had gotten a hundred times better. I smiled back at my worried little granddaughter. I saw a lot of me in her, especially since she was born on the same date as mine. My little angel is turning 21 today, and it's time for her to fill up the citizen's form. This is the form of freedom, the form of choosing what you wish to be for the rest of your life.

I smiled at her. "What if I choose something only to regret it later on?" she questioned,, "Oh grandma...how did you make such a decision when it was your time?" I laughed, recalling the time I was 21. "I never had to do that sweety." I told her, "In my time, the world was in chaos, where the crazy people gathered to fight for their rights and tried ever so hard to fit in." She nodded, "I can't believe people were actually considered rebels for wanting to live differently!" She looked down at her form, and read out the the next column, "'Gender: 1. Boy, 2. Girl, 3. Transgender' I think I'll stay as a girl for this life, what do you think gran?" I only smiled. Gender conversion at present is as common as getting a plastic surgery, which by the way is done a lot nowadays. My little girl ticked the square next to the 'Girl' option and continued. "Religion? I do wish to learn about all of 'em gran! But I think I'll go for 'no religion'. "  I peered at my angel, "You don't believe in god dear?"
She looked up from her form, "I don't know." she said,
"I'm not an atheist gran. I guess I'm the same as you...what was that word again?"
"Agnostic" I said, "One who claims to not know about the existence of god.-"
"-But neither denies that God might exist."
"Yes."

70 years ago, if I were given the citizen's form, I would've laughed at it, never understanding its relevance. Today, this very form is the doorway to a complete independent life crafted entirely by your own. Back then, all I was worried about at the age of 18 was about the field of studies to pursue ahead. But that option is way down in the priority list today. What's important is the way you want to lead your life. You can no more blame the circumstances around you for what you are, because you choose the atmosphere yourself. This form is one that let's you choose your culture, your gender,your citizenship, your preference, your very life!

When one becomes 21 years of age, he or she is said to have  a basic knowledge of her society, with which she has the freedom to choose the way she wishes to live. Ah well, but it isn't like the world is devoid of all problems. But at least no one stops you from wanting to be yourself.

"Grandma...I'm still scared!" my little girl whined, "What if at some point in the future, I wish otherwise? What if I regret my choices? What if they are wrong?..."
I start to wonder if she is my re-incarnation. She sounds so much like me. That time came back to me, when the very same what-if's haunted me for years. Those days of utter confusion...my mind being bizarrely unreachable. And then I slowly understood how very simple it all was. How the complications were nothing but an illusion.
"There is no right and wrong in making a choice dear." I said. An age old saying popped in my head. 70 long and tedious years did not hinder the righteousness of the saying, which always helped me move ahead in life. It only seemed apt for the moment, so I told my little angel the same...

"Don't believe in taking the right decisions. Take decisions and make them right."




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