A Wise Shoemaker

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Curbed in the underbelly of the town,

Lived a shoemaker.

That nobody knew where he came from,

A wise man – he was perceived of.

Early in the morning he sets up his shoe box,

And shouts through the day:

Come, let me mend your shoe,

Don’t have a copper? Throw me a nickel or two;

Let me hide your smelly toe,

Let me relieve you from your pain,

Let me fix your bloody stain,

For I am the secret keeper –

My lips never parted without a reason.

Let me see what secrets you hide,

So, I can mend your sole, side to side.

I hold no prejudice, I hold no race;

I tend every foot, even with a scarred face.

Though I smell of mud and wax,

My skill will shine your charm.

I will polish you ready, for the missies;

I will scrub you steady, for the bosses.

Like it or not, you need such mend,

I am your shoemaker –

I am your secret friend

A Frosty Little Lake-Town

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Winter was especially harsh this year, even though we tried to keep ourselves warm with heavy wools and jackets, cold was still seeping into our skins. Among many inconveniences at least there was a silver lining – the view of the lake was breathtaking. This lake is kind of important for this recital as the whole story revolves around the lake.

To start with, we moved to this little northern town last summer. Though the name of the town is of no importance, it’s worth noting that the nearby town was 200 kms away. Isolation was one of the attractions that this little town had to offer. Being the youngest child among 3 siblings, I was sent to junior high as soon as we settled in this town. The school term started in the month of June. I was thoroughly intrigued by the local culture, most of it because the kids in this town were overwhelmingly well behaved and silent. As soon as I got introduced to the new class, I made two best friends. They both were local boys of my age, which till now I think was the best age to explore new and hidden places that the town had to offer. Every day, after school, we three venture into the remote places of town and make our own childish story for every wrecked house we see, every oddly giant tree we see and the lake that lay adjacent to the town. Of all the stories, we made, the lake had us guessing and we came up with different stories, that none of us believed, sort of though. Following is the story as recited by one of my friends:

“It’s not a lake, it’s a sanctuary of a lake demon, Octorus. It’s not easy to keep him happy, you see. You may ask, why we need to keep him happy? The answer is we have no other choice. Octorus has been living in the lake for ages now, legend has it, once Octorus ruled the land some thousand years ago. When humans started flocking in to this part of the country, they had to parley with the lake demon, committing humans will present the lake demon with offerings every full moon and in return the lake demon will let the humans live in peace. Since then people of this town give offerings to this lake demon every full moon.”

My immediate interruption was “It’s such a conventional and overly told story”

My friend continued with irritation, “Then I guess, you already believe in the legend. Anyways, to continue, people say no one has ever seen Octorus till now. Every full moon night they just leave the offering by the side of the lake & find the offering gone by next day morning. The night in question, said to be the quietest of all; trees stand still, wind resorts to silence and the mountains stand watching as the night unfolds.”

“That’s spooky!”, I exclaimed.

My other friend spoke quickly with a hint of laughter, “You think that’s spooky. Listen to my imagination then. It’s not a lake, as you may think at the first look. It’s rather more than a lake. It’s a womb of a creature, that gives life to its babies. The little creatures, they move around the town and every midnight they come to drink from this life-giving lake. Though they don’t hurt any human beings in the town, every full moon they crave for human blood. They sneak into anyone’s house with open window or door & snatch one of the family members. To avoid this from happening, the town members decided that every full moon, all the houses must be checked for closure before the night falls. But still, these hungry monsters keep tapping on the windows all night, trying to find a way into the house.”

By this time, I was properly scared & asked them to return back to the town. As deserved, they made fun of me being spooked so easily.

Days and months went by and we three grew stronger friendship bonds. With the start of December, which brought snow with it, our winter vacation started. I was more excited about Christmas than the beautiful frosty days that was passing by. We three friends had so much in common that we never had to decide what to play or where to go, we just had to makeup our minds. One thing was our daily routine, that is visiting the lake. In December, the lake was partly frozen and partly turned into black color. But still the sight of the lake was breathtaking.

Finally, it was Christmas eve and I was excited about receiving gifts at the midnight. It was kind of a family tradition that we exchanged gifts on the break of 25th December. Or more like, our father gave us pretty gifts. Christmas eve dinner was warm and filling. Mother wanted us to be well feed because of the excitement we show around mid-night. Around 9pm we were asked to go to bed. Unknowingly, I fell asleep quickly, hoping mother will wake me up at mid-night.

I woke up drawing a heavy breath. Why? I dint know. I heard someone calling my name. It wasn’t mother, though. I looked at the watch and it was 11:30pm. Being a little light headed I walked towards the door to see if other family members were awake. I heard my name again, someone shouted this time and it came from outside the house. I ran to the window of my room & saw my friends standing near the house’s lawn. I was happy to see them; thinking they have come to wish us merry Christmas, I waved at them. But, something was strange with those two, infact, something was strange with the whole town. I waved at them, again. But no reply, they both were just standing still. I looked around at the town & noticed, not a single trace of wind, trees were as silent as it gets, the moon, it was full phased & staring back from the sky. It was a full moon night! I shiver ran through my spines. I quickly opened the window & shouted the names of my friends. Still no response. They were just standing like some mannequins. I tried focusing at them, dim street light wasn’t much of a help but I saw what looked less human & more demon-like. They both had no eye-balls in their eye sockets & their mouth was parted from ear to ear. I was about to faint, however, I gathered myself and ran to my parent’s room.

I was stuttering more & speaking less. My parents calmed me down, rather quickly. We all were in the kitchen, downstairs, I told them what I saw and the legend of the lake – a monster resides in the lake and little demons move around in the town hunting for human blood, also I told them how these demons search for open windows or doors. Oddly, my father had also heard of those legends. Suddenly, there was a big noise upstairs. Open windows! I forgot to close the window! I gasped and shouted “I forgot to close the window”. Looking at my hysteria, my father told us to go to the car & wait for him. He wanted to check upstairs, I tried stopping him, I cried and shouted, but in vain. He started walking slowly towards the stairway. Meanwhile, we, rest of the family, went to the garage & started the car. It was about 2 minutes that we were waiting in the car, my father came running & jumped into the car. He was panting & dint speak a word. He started the car & drove out of the garage. My mother was asking, “What’s going on? Where are we going?” Father replied calmly “I heard about the legend, that our son spoke of, & never believed it to be true. You will see when we drive by the lake, what exactly is this legend.” I was shivering by the thought of my close friends turning into demons. Whole town was silent; we were the only one driving. Within few minutes we started exiting the town through a hilly road, that gave a clear view of the lake. My father stopped the car, as we were safely away from the town. We all came out of the car and stared at the lake. Few thousand humanly figures were littered around the lake. They all seemed to be kneeling at the shore and drinking from the lake. Suddenly there was a low frequency noise and a figure emerged from the lake. “Octorus”, I whispered. It was a strange creature. Monster, yes, but not a demon. It was like a overblown size of wolf and snake, combined in a single body. My father spoke “Guess, we have seen enough. Time to drive away, as far as possible & try to forget what we saw tonight”. As we drove 200kms to the nearby town, I stared at the full moon & whispered “I will miss my friends”

So, that was my encounter with the demon town. Though we were scared, but we will never forget the beauty that the snowy lake-town held.

The race that stood against the heavens

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Prologue

It’s a scientific fact that our galaxy, the Milky Way, is moving fast towards its neighboring galaxy, the Andromeda. As per calculations made by famous scientists, in 3 billion years from today the galaxies will start merging and it would take 2.5 billion years to complete the process of merging. Even though scientists believe that earth will be safe during the galactic merging, there is always a question about the manner these galaxies will merge. The worse fate of earth would be, if it lies in the path of the Andromeda’s core. The cores of each galaxies holds a super massive black hole & the merging process won’t stop until these cores have joined together to form a single core for the new galaxy. Today, nearly all scholars believe that mankind need not worry about this event, because by then mankind would have invented many avenues to cheat natural disasters. They might have discovered habitable planets in nearby star systems & might have invented efficient ways to travel vast distances of universe. They did, in the longest stretch of mankind; they invented ways to reach Alpha-Century (Nearby Star). This civilization witnessed the start of galactic merger. However, in an unfortunate event in which few 1000 asteroids showered on earth, the civilization was helpless. The mankind perished in one night. After half a million years later the intelligent life spawned earth’s surface again. The cycle of mankind’s discovery repeated itself again. They discovered their new god & counted years from the day their god made them. They called it After Genesis.

Counting from AG (After Genesis), humanity has been thriving on the earth for 1600 years. With a controlled population of 1.5 Billion, the society has been perfect in every sense. They found ways to travel to moon and nearby planets; they discovered ways to safeguard themselves from asteroids and meteors. But they were not prepared for what was in store for them in coming 10 years. The worst of worse scenario, the galactic core –a black hole was on its way to devour earth; and earth was in  the collision course. One man, Dymer Clyme, famous astronomer & historian will journey country to country & far reaches of solar system to decode the prophecies of a million year old society & save earth from its certain death.

  

Chapter 1 – Diamonds in the sky

Last night of the year 1629 AG: The night sky has never been this delightful. Millions of cities turn off their lights for an hour every night to enjoy the multitude of color & shapes that hangs about in the heavens. “Dad, look eastwards, that’s a new strip of green nebula” shouted an overly excited little girl named Lyzi. “Yes, my dear, it’s quite common for a winter sky to put out new nebulas once in a month” replied the father, Dymer Clyme. Dymer Clyme is a famous historian & astronomer, with atleast 200 bestselling non-fictional books under his portfolio. His latest book – The ancient sky, provoked lot of communities for openly discussing weakness of the existing society. Dymer strongly believes that everyone is drawing a blindfold to the legacies left by previous societies. “How long this sky has been like this, dad?” added Lyzi. “Well, as of today, the sky has been like this since the beginning of mankind but we are not exactly sure when this phenomenon has started. Anyways, enough of stargazing, it’s getting late and you have school tomorrow. Come on, let’s go inside.” In 5 minutes the whole city lit up with restored electricity. After putting Lyzi to sleep Dymer turned on the television and the news channel buzzed on “And in today’s news – What are we thankful of for this decade. Un-deniably, this decade has been quite a happening 10. From astronaut Zletus Kimm’s first foot step on Mars to the ground breaking inventions of Dr. Ulder in parallel space time fabrics, it looks like next decade we can touch the heaven.” and the news went on while Dymer slowly drifted to sleep.

The sky, reflecting colors in every shape and form, surely looked like scattered diamonds spread across  a piece of black cloth. Every conceivable color was painted across the night sky, few shifting shapes while others silently stared back at earth. However, amongst these bizarre shapes and colors lied a bright spot, spooling other shapes into it steadily, if stared at it for hours one can compare the bundle of light with a circus master. It felt as if the light controlled the destiny of sky, devouring few shapes and sometimes splitting few to make new nebulas. It was a treat for human kind to watch this spectacular scene over and over again for millions of years.

But time has changed; the final parade of the galactic core merger has begun. The glowing bright light conceals a super massive black hole in it core. Sucking in matter and every form of light, the black hole glows bight from the fictional energy. For an ordinary human being it’s just another heavenly body. But Dymer has been observing it closely. It was 5 am in the morning and Dymer’s phone buzzed with a heavy vibration. After putting his glasses on, he stared at the phone screen – Zletus Kimm….Calling…. Clearing his morning throat Dymer replies cheerfully “Hey old pal, long time”. “You were true, all the while, I saw it with my eyes, and we have to meet as soon as possible.” There was a mutual silence for few seconds and Dymer replied stammering “Oh, oh…yes, ofcourse, but the calculations indicate, it can’t be, okay, okay, can we meet around 9 am at my office”. With the confirmation Dymer haphazardly placed the phone on the side table and ran to the computer. There was one high priority mail from Zletus with subject “Final processed images on Mars mission”. He opened the attachment and stared blankly with mouth wide open.

 

Chapter 2 – Friendship of three

Need more creative thinking to drive this story further. Stay tuned!

 

Murmus and Bulbus – Tale of two robots

Murmur

Looking across the dim-lit, half draw blinds, Murmus focused on a rising Sun and made a clinking sound as she boots-up her vital robotic parts. Her memory chip was not programmed to appreciate the beauty of dawn or to soothe over the jingles of morning breeze. But she was well programmed to service her parts with the first ray of every dawn. She has been doing this for over a decade. Sun light, or sometimes preprogramming, brings all her sensors to life & she proof reads hers daily protocols. Super intelligent yet naïve like a new born baby; Murmus steps out of her 1×1 closet. Her white & slender body glimmering golden in the morning sunlight. “Go’’d Morn’’g” She spoke in her robotic voice. Her owner, an early 30s single mother, was a cheerful woman with a 4 year old daughter. Murmus had the duty of morning ritual to cook breakfast, to pickup clothes for laundry, to prepare the little girl for school, and to pack bags for both mother & daughter. All done, Murmus leaves the house to drop the little girl at school. Murmus was dearly loved by the family.

Fifty miles away Bulbus was walking with his 29 year old master. Bulbus was a high profile robot working with his master at a stock trading center. Bulbus was not capable of doing anything other than complex calculations and pattern recognition. He was strongly built of about 2 meters height & his head was oddly larger than  rest of his body, may be because of larger processors. His master was a rich young trader with an attractive vibe. Bulbus interacts with lot of other robots everyday but he is ruthlessly focuses on his needs. His neural system was sharply conditioned by his master to make money at every step of his move.

Bulbus and his master usually take the same route to reach their office. Walking three blocks from their home, they take around 30 minutes to reach their office. But today was different. Five minutes into their walk, Bulbus’s master got an urgent call from his family and he had to leave. He strictly inspected Bulbus navigation protocols and instructed him to go back home. Biding goodbye to his master Bulbus continued his journey back home. Something was eerily odd that day. Bulbus was evolving as a droid from being a robot. Partly because of his adaptive learning skills. Curiously he halted next to a bus stop & focused on a particular stop ‘Primary learning school’. Bulbus checked his batteries – He had 15 hours of charge left. An evolving thought compelled him to visit this primary learning school & check how human beings start learning in this world. In a minute he boarded a bus & travelled 40 minutes to reach the school. Walking towards the school Bulbus stopped suddenly. He has never seen so many young human beings in the same place ever before. Awestruck with the overwhelming sight he walked slowly towards the gate. “Sir, are you here to drop your master? I am sorry but I have never seen you before” Asked the security guard. “Oh! My master is travelling now. Unfortunately he had some family urgencies to tend to. I am here to see how you humans start learning. Thank you!” Bulbus recited & walked into the gate. “SIR! I have to stop you here. You can’t go inside. Unless you are guiding your master to the school. Please step out of the gate.” Bulbus couldn’t comprehend the concept of restriction (Since he has always been freely moving in and out of his office. And never have been to any other organization). He stood there staring at the security guard.

Meanwhile, Murmus checked the little girl’s bag and ensured she had everything for the day. Walking towards the school gate she greeted good morning to the security guard & dropped off the little girl saying “Have a good day. See you in the evening”. Then she noticed this strange odd looking robot standing there. Staring blankly at the security guard. She asked him politely “Are you alright?”. “Actually no. I don’t understand why this human being wont let me go inside the school. All I want is to have a look at the way humans learn” Bulbus replied in a surprised tone. “HaHa. Whats your name?” Murmus asked. “Pardon me! I don’t know you atall. I cant reveal my identity or my model details to a stranger.” “Clearly you haven’t seen much of the world. Have you?” asked Murmus. “You see,I have a specific duty to perform & I do it well. But today I am a bit curious to understand human beings a bit more. I am Bulbus by the way.” Bulbus replied looking down at Murmus. “Well, nice to meet you Bulbus. I am Murmus, a household robot. I must say, I have never seen a curious robot like you. Your master be a smart and humble human being”. “Yes he is. And nice to meet you too Murmus. Do you stay close by? Will it be okay if I can learn about human beings along with you. Well to be honest, being a house hold robot you must be aware of all the social protocols that humans follow.” Bulbus asked in a curious fashion. Giving out a little robotic giggle Murmus replied “and aren’t you a socially awkward robot. Lets see, I guess you are safe enough to spend few hours with.” “Thank you so much. So were are you headed now? You see, I have around 14 hours of battery left, so I propose I must go back to my place by 4 pm evening.” “That sounds about right. I have to pick up little Jane around 4:30pm. So I can leave you at the school bus stop.” There was a sense of excitement in her voice, as for the first time in a decade she is having a real conversation with another robot. Deciding upon what places to visit ,both the ‘now evolving droids’ set off for their day trip to urban chaos.

City Centre – Ticked off, House of Parliament – Ticked off, National Park – Ticked off. Having visited so many social gathering places, Bulbus was overly excited about the life style of human beings. “Such a wonderful city this is. So where next?” Bulbus asked. “Ha Ha. Yes it is. I have to buy some household items. So lets go to the Myran shopping center. That falls on the way to the school and now its 3:30pm.” They reached the shopping center. Looking up at the clouds Bulbus said sadly ” My my looks like its going to rain in an hour. I better find some shelter. My model is not made to be exposed to water. Well, I am suppose to stay inside office all the time” “Its okay. We can go inside the shopping center.” Murmus replied. As the duo entered the shopping place, the proximity alarm tripped off & security guards came running to them. “Wow, is that a Grade-A robot? What is he doing so far away from down town!” “I am sorry, this one can’t get it. He can put us out of business in 5 mins. Haha. Sorry sir you have to wait outside” Bulbus was confused again. Murmus answered to the now gathered crowed “It alright. I am guiding him through a city visit. For now he will wait for me outside & I have 10 minutes of shopping to do.” With that bulbus went outside to wait for her.

After, what felt like a minute or so, Bulbus heard a water drop landing on his metallic head. “Oh Dear”. In few seconds rain was pouring at its best. “Must save all the data! Must find a shelter!” Bulbus shouted and ran around the place like a scattered cat. But all his efforts were in vain. In 30 seconds his system snapped & shut itself down. Bulbus fell to the concrete floor like a cold corpse.

All data erased in 30 seconds – All neural learning erased in 30 seconds – A money vending machine turned in to a pile of metal and wires in 30 seconds. What was remaining in Bulbus was – past 12 hours of temporary memory.

Inside the isolated shopping center Murmus had no clue of the out burst of clouds. After few minutes she came out to a shocking sight. She ran towards grounded Bulbus and checked his vitals. Rain was still pouring. She ran towards the road & stopped a Taxi. She picked up Bulbus & placed him carefully inside the cab speaking loudly ” Cyprus Apartment – Dormathy Road – Lobby A. Please – quick” On the way to her apartment she called her master – Tiffany to explained everything & requested her to pick up Jane on the way home.

She plugged Bulbus to a charging plug & searched internet for re-booting sequence. But handling a Grade-A robot was not a piece of cake. By the time she had quit all her hopes, Tiffany reached home with Jane. “Mom he is so big!” Shouted Jane staring at still resting body of Bulbus. “Did you find out who is his master?” Asked Tiffany. “No” Murmus replied in a sad tone. “Its alright Murmus. Don’t worry. He is a Grade-A robot. Hopefully he will boot himself up. Just give him some time to charge up” Tiffany looked at Murmus and smiled. Murmus pulled her charging plug and sat next to Bulbus – And sat there for the whole night.

Morning dawned. 50 miles across the city, Peter came back to an empty house. And sat down on the floor with palms on his face – He has lost enough.

With a beep Bulbus rebooted & stared at Murmus blankly. Memory wiped clean; what he remembers now is his past few moments with Murmus and he feels good about it. BUT! with another sharp and loud beep he stood up straight – “Must go back to Peter”

…… To be continued

Rage

Rage
Dripping Sweat
And bloodshot eye
Aching heart
And a truth to deny
I can feel the burn
Fist so hard
Guess I am growing horns
Impaired thoughts
And blink less eyes
That murky haze
Eating me inside
What do I do with
My Rage, My Rage, My Rage

Whole world turns fiend
Burning in hellfire
I drag my body
Through the momentary dire
Lips tightly shut
Shivers takes over my sense
It has to be so hard
I feel like an empty vase
I cry for help – save me from
My Rage, My Rage, My Rage

Not a hint of hope
Lost in my own deed
I see a light aloof
Closed eyes And spread arms
Now I can see it clear
Giving a humble gesture
I question myself
How does it matter?
I have come so far
I rose from nothingness
I feel lucky to be here
I feel lucky to breathe
I feel lucky for my emotions
I open my eyes
With the widest smile
I pat myself to say
Enough this time
Come back again
My Rage, My Rage, My Rage


Four phases of my life

Life Phases

As I grow older and death becomes bolder

I realize how small life has been

Took ten years to understand my senses

Another ten to understand this overcomplicated world

Struggled and found the resolve

Just to know I was missing the arsenal to evolve

So I ran & ran to fight and excel

Blinded in a boom box

When I open my eyes

Death was close by

Life is shorter than I thought

Hanging in a mote of light

I raise my finger and count it right

Its just four phases of my life”

Stepping into the final phase

Jaded and rusted of 30 years of race

Now is no time for tear

Not a step back for unknown fear

I have gathered enough wisdom

To venture the world in uncanny freedom

White snowy mountain

To hot warm fountain

A selfie with old pharaohs

To shivers in damp barrows

I will wet my feet in a beach of bluish sight

And drown my eyes in northern light

The last phase is a chance of redemption

Not a bit of remorse

Or a sign of exhaustion

I will trot around the world

At last – kissing the sky goodbye

I will sing

I love – “Four phases of my life”

I am a D major & She is a F sharp

I am D Major

 

I always started with a D major strum

She always whistled with the sweetest hum;

If only I can grab a harp

Coz my dear loves to play F sharp;

Our notes were way apart

We wanted to jam, she said “but, where to start?”

 

Cold feet and trembling heart

I hit the first chord – G Flat;

Her lips had the widest smile

Her dimple was deeper than a mile;

Her glow was brighter than ever

Guess I caught the love fever;

Holding the guitar close to her chest

She picked C Flat at its best;

 

The rhythm got us going

Chords and notes – all started flowing;

Our efforts were in vain

The melody was pouring like rain;

We had hit the connection

The first change was the passion

I have shed the obsession of D major

She smiled goodbye to F sharp

Better life waits – beyond stubbornness

The first change – all what matters

Now we look back to say

“I was a D major & she was a F Sharp”