Grandfather Paradox!

The Grandfather Paradox is a well known paradox in which a (presumably) male travels back in time and kills his grandfather; not only he kills the grandfather, but also his kid(s), and in turn, himself. It is also known as The Grandmother Paradox in which a woman travels back in time and kills her grandmother, thus killing herself. To the explain the paradox: (source: Wikipedia)

The grandfather paradox is a proposed paradox of time travel first described by the science fiction writer René Barjavel in his 1943 book Le Voyageur Imprudent (Future Times Three).[1] The paradox is described as following: the time traveler went back in time to the time when his grandfather had not married yet. At that time, the time traveler kills his grandfather, and therefore, the time traveler is never born when he was meant to be.

Here is my take – I don’t know much about time-travelling nor have I done extensive research. I’m merely looking at it from a different perspective. My perspective, so to speak. Many well educated people than I have put in their own input, discussing rationality, implausibility, the consequences, ad infinitum, and so on. What you read below is purely my own!

First off, I don’t believe time travel can ever be possible. It’s one of those things that absolutely cannot happen. I say this from a rational, realistic point of view. Due to the teachings of my faith, I’m inclined to believe it cannot happen because to make it successful (let’s say you’re time-travelling in the past), the citizens of the by-gone era would have to be resurrected, and my faith simply denies that. Resurrection cannot happen. As a follower of the faith, and as a realist, I have reasons to believe that line. But since these paradoxes – no matter how rational or irrational they may seem – get the gears working, it’s always good to dwell on these things from time to time. Plus, these things are more fun than predicting when Lindsay Lohan will be going back to rehab, or who Taylor Swift will be dating next.

2013 – this is your current timeline. You exist here, in the now, in the present. 26th April of 2013 is your present. 25th April of 2013 was your past. 27th April of 2013 is your future.

Now let’s say you were born in 1993 – OK, that’s when I was born. I was born 10th August 1993. You know what, I’ll use myself as the example for the time being. Now, I started existing, started creating an echo of myself from the 10th of August 1993 to this current day. No-one can tell how long will I continue creating that echo, stretching my existence before the string breaks. Suppose I die in 10 years time, or longer, then my timeline will be limited from 1993 to my year of death. I physically existed in that timeline. The ones who were there with me in that timeline will remember my echo, my unphysical being, that will stretch beyond that original timeline, that original frame. To sum it up, I had no timeline of my own prior 10th August 1993, meaning there was a big blank. From my birth to my death I will have existed in an unique timeline that’s entirely my own. From the day of my death onwards I will only exist as an echo, a complete opposite of who / what I’m currently – a physical being. I will have become an unphysical being.

I have no idea what I just explained was something worthy of being read, or something that made sense. Well, that’s for you to decide. Now I’m going to take a fictional example, because I feel too guilty in killing my grandfather – who is still alive, by the way.

John was born in 2000. He is currently 13 years old. For the time being, his timeline is from 2000 to 2013, and who knows how long will it stretch. In his 13 years of existence, he has made a lot of friends, has many cousins / relatives and, of course, a mother and a father. He has associated himself with them and they with him. Let’s say one of his friends thinks back to a happy moment he spent with John 50 years from 2013 – that would be 2063 – he will remember John, who was alive in that time period. John was there physically. He may or may not be alive by 2063 but that’s a different point than what I’m trying to make. The reason John existed because his parents existed and because their parents existed. In short, the string wasn’t interrupted or disrupted in any way.

One day John stumbles upon a time machine, and due to too much time playing violent video games and watching violent movies, decides to go back in time and kill his grandfather. Now, backward time-travel is of high implausibility – actually, this whole thing is of utter nonsense – is because how can someone exist in a time-plane in which he never existed? Nevertheless, John successfully goes back in time and kills his grandfather, thus disrupting the timeline and destroying a generation. He act of killing his grandfather also results in the death of one of his parent and thus, himself.

I believe that as soon as he time-traveled back in time – let’s say 1950, when his grandfather was a young man – he unknowingly created two time-lines: parallel time-lines, so to speak. Not only he exists in the present – 2013 – he now also exists in the past – 1950. He has now created an echo of himself in the past that will be manifested into something / someone physical in the future – meaning present – should he time travel back to the original time-period where he originally started his journey from.

Since he still hasn’t killed his grandfather, he has the rights to call 2013 as both “future” and “present” and 1950 as both “past” and “present”, because he is currently physically existing in the 1950 time period, but it is not his “original” time period, hence the use of the word “past”. He is merely existing in it, not living in it, because he is currently living in 2013. You can’t be alive in two places at once, can you?

Now let’s say John kills his grandfather in 1950, thus not only killing his – the grandfather’s – child(ren), but also killing their child(ren), which happens to be John – let’s assume he has no siblings. The original timeline of John’s parents has been interrupted. Let’s say they were born to another family. They now exist in an alternative time-line where either John’s parents are complete strangers to each, siblings, or are simply not born at all. In short, their original time-line has now become a different one. Their original friends and everything + everyone they associated themselves with have become vaporized. By this I don’t mean physically. Their – the parents – friends did not blow up or anything, but simply don’t remember and/or associate themselves with the echoes of the parents because now they – the parents – did not even exist to begin with. No existence, no echo. No echo, no association.

The same is true with John and everyone he knew. His friends are now simply denied of his existence because as soon as John killed his grandfather, he erased himself in the present time period – 2013 – both in physical and echo manner.

Over here I believe that John now has only one time-line. Before he killed his grandfather, he had two. After the killing, now he has only one – 1950 to whenever he will die. Now, he cannot classify 2013 as either “present” or “future”, because it wouldn’t be granted to him. 1950 – once classified as both “past” and “present” – is now only “present.”

1950 has become his “present”, because he isn’t alive anywhere else, and the future will be a black-hole, an oblivion, because it hasn’t happened yet. And anyway, how can you “resurrect” someone who hasn’t been born yet? In the killing, he destroyed his time-line, and in that it shifted from 2013 to 1950. I believe that if he attempts to time-travel to anywhere between 2000 and 2013, he will simply die, because he is dead in that period. From his point of view, he killed an echo version of himself right after he murdered his grandfather. But if he time-travels back to that place where he originally started his journey from – 2013 – he will have killed himself (again), but this time physically, because his link has been broken.

You will remember I started off this entry by saying I don’t believe in it. Here’s why: In this theory, this interpretation of mine, I have “proved” that John is now someone without any origin, no one, other than Allah, is without any origin. I didn’t come up with this entry to prove anything that will contradict a fact that’s not only real but something that will contradict a very basic Islamic understanding: Allah is one and without origin. It was not my aim to bring John to the same level. But since somehow I managed to achieve just that, I’m saying this again that it was not my aim, nor had I planned on that. This is my take on what can / could happen should one attempt to time travel and in no way is trying to lay down the rules and/or bring solid evidence. This was all done for fun and entertainment, so treat it like one! Thank you!

*phew* I don’t think I understood it any better myself. Anyway, what does this prove? Is this writing a work of a genius… or a complete buffoon? If this is any of the two, or any other, let me know in the comments section.

Now, excuse me while I go and massage my head!


The Room!

The story goes that a burglar decides to rob the rich-filled, but abandoned and broken-down, Cattum’s Manor. Once he goes in, he sees blinding light coming from the top floor. He decides to investigate and finds the source. An empty room bathed in light so blinding and so powerful that the burglar is unable to see for a few minutes. After when his eyes get accustomed to it, he sees a hundred spirits all around the room. They claim they once lived here and after getting knowledge of the burglar’s intent, they make him their prisoner. Day and night they whisper all of their life story to their victim. His pleas go unnoticed and his prayers fall on deaf ears. Every-time the man ages and is on the verge of death, the spirits put him to sleep and awake him as a new man and continue torturing him. Hundreds of years go by and it seems he is stuck there for eternity.

I’ve borrowed certain elements from the Greek mythology like, the door is always open but whenever he goes out of the room, he is somehow transported back whenever he opens the main door, or any door, or any window. That alludes to the Sisyphus torture. His aging and waking up as a new man and re-living the horrible torture alludes to the punishment of Prometheus. The main DNA is gotten from Home By the Sea by Genesis.  

The Man Awakes:

The man opened his eyes. Quickly he got from the floor to sitting position. He looked at his hands and felt his face; He was a young man again. All the wrinkles had gone. Without wasting another second the man got up, reached for the ridiculously low ceiling and with his nail of the index finger, carved a straight line. He saw there were four straight lines. He sighed and carved a diagonal line over them, finishing another set of five. He then wiped his face and laid back on the ground. He noticed there were six sets of five in total. That means he had been driven to old age – wrinkled, crippled and blind – and possibly insane, and then resurrected a new man a total of thirty times. He tried to conjure up a thought but to no avail. His thinking filters had long stopped, as had his prayers, hopes, dreams and pleas – although one of his pleas was fulfilled. That he gets to keep a record of the times he was resurrected. Everytime he woke up – wrinkle-free, no longer blind and able to walk – he would carve a line on the ceiling. Every line was separated by decades, some even longer.

Finally he got up, his head almost touching the ceiling, and saw that the spirits were already hovering above him, their expressions as empty as the blindly lit room. He looked at them, his face transformed into an exact mirror of theirs and, having long run out of tears and bargains, he nodded. Almost instantly the spirits gathered around him and they started: Some yelling, some whispering. He could feel his skin wrinkling already.

The Burglar at the Cattum’s Manor

The Controversial Anti-Islam Film… and a few other things!

On September 11, 2001, Osama Bin Laden, as they say, ordered the attacks on The Twin Towers. More than half of the world thinks he did it, while the remaining thinks he didn’t. Well, what ever the case may be, almost every year on September 11, America has released or done offensive measures against Islam. In 2010, Pastor Terry Jones proposed to burn the Qur’an. They burned 20-or-so copies of the Qur’an, a highly unforgivable act. But this film, released 1 week ago, just took it one step further, and the content inside is even more controversial and unforgivable than the burning. I’m not just gonna talk about this film, but Terrorism and the unfair characterization of us Muslims, and Pakistani’s to an extend!

Now, I’m a Pakistani Muslim. No, by that I do not mean that I have a 6 foot beard, nor do I rock in one place in silence, nor do I have AK-47’s lying in my house and nor do I attend underground terrorist meetings. I get up every morning, make myself noodles and tea, put on a good movie and then do my drawings, or read books. Then my mom calls me to do some house chores and I run off to do that. Such is the full extend of my household activities, and every household in Pakistan or any Muslim-country in the world. If you think we do nothing all day but make plans on how to destroy that building or how to blow oneself up in the public, then you’re in for a very rude awakening. I call that unfair characterization. The Americans, mostly, have unfairly stereotyped us because of just one person: Osama Bin Laden. What he did was good to some, disasterous to many, but what the Americans are doing is disasterous to many, good to nobody. This arrogance and narrow-minded view has led to unfair stereotyping in movies, cartoons, games, TV shows and songs. Many do it reluctantly, some saying “hey, it’s showbiz”, while the others do it willingly and over here America and /or supporters of America declare their narrow weak minds and that a much poisonous hatred is running in their veins. I don’t hate America with a boiling rage inside of me, no, I just don’t like how it has become and how its people have become. Since I’m on the subject of stereotyping, let me continue it further as much as I can: A few months ago, James Holmes, a 20-something adult, opened fire in a movie theatre in Aurora, Colorado. He injured more than 50 and killed 12. He was apparently influenced by The Joker, a character who appears in The Dark Knight, and his twisted, distorted views on life and the world and basically everything. Now, can’t I safely assume that every teenager in America gets immoral thoughts like these by playing games like Doom, Soldier of Fortune, Call of Duty, Mortal Kombat and by watching movies like SAW, Hostel, Dark Knight & A Clockwork Orange? If Osama, somehow to you, represents the whole of Pakistan and Islam, can’t James represent the whole of America and whatever religion he follows? If you think this is not the case then go open YouTube or check out forums where your teenage Americans and other knockheads around the world have hailed him as a hero. More than half of the best known shootings and / or terrorist attacks are from America and done by Americans. So, please America, stop calling yourself perfect, because you’re not. You’re flawed just like the rest of us and you will do better to stop this unfair characterizing and offensive movies.

While I’m at it, a guy like Saif Ali Khan should be beaten out in public for his involvement in Kurbaan, another film that stereotypes Muslims in negative manner. Saif himself is a Muslim and this makes all the more shocking but that’s showbiz, right? Same goes for the TV show 24 for its wrong portrayal of Muslims and… excessive use of torture. Us 90’s kids grew up watching Dexter, Pink Panther & Dora the Explorer and I’m disturbed by the fact that the kids of the now have to grow up watching shitty craps like the above mentioned.

True, September 11 cannot be forgotten, it never will, but the least we can do is move on from that step. I’m not saying to apologize and hug and invite all over for tea. I’m saying that stop the things that could lead to bigger things. A big explosion always starts from a small spark. A bloody fight always starts from words. If you think these things don’t matter, they do. They always have. Failing to recognize these things and failing to stop them can bring down a nation in minutes, something none of us wants. So, I suggest that everyone remove the hatred and the anger from their hearts, clear their minds and give the other a chance at redemption for both him and you! Man has always wanted to bring the other down, man still does. Ever since Man learned the true purpose of a stick, Man has used it to kill the other, something we still do, except we do it with modern weapons and in silent ways. Man is still on square one. No, seriously, we haven’t moved, we haven’t evolved one bit. Nada! Dogs have, cats have, nature has, but we haven’t. Millions and millions of years later, we’re still rooted on that very same square. Inventing new weapons to destroy your enemy is not called progress. I refuse to call it that. We’re in fact turning 360-degrees back instead of moving forward. Killing back then had a purpose, a meaning, a sense. Even the September 11 attacks. Now it has almost literally become an amusement past-time, something James and the other rampage killers have proven it to us.

Let’s see if I can exhaust this even further: Many find this an annoying habit and get angry but I’m all with it. What I’m talking about here is when after killers do their business, they usually call out a game, song, movie or a book which influenced them. Many call this unfair, the fans, but I say use this as an example. True, you cannot go around and knock on each and everyone’s house and tell them not to go out and kill the others or otherwise that particular media, book, movie whatever, will forever be associated by that hideous act and will be remembered in history solely for that. True, you cannot do that but by you should know that there are lunatics still living in this world, don’t you? You may be unknowningly igniting the spark and you cannot say which one of your fans would do such an act but you cannot say that you didn’t know that people still do stuff like this. Please, I’ve heard this lame excuse enough! You’re not dumb, deaf or blind and you understand things well just as I do. The finger of blame should be pointed on the guy who released such material. Use the killers’ influences as an example and try to put an end to it, instead of provoking them further and hailing them as heroes.

I hope I have made myself clear and I wish I could’ve presented it in a better way but my thinking goes this much and thus, this is the best I could come up with!

Now, let’s talk about the film. I’ve refused to watch the film and I will not, under any circumstance, allow myself or anyone else to see it. It is a derogatory film made by a third-grade, low-brow person and I have no desire to jump into his mind and see things from his point of view.

I remember seeing a Muslim writing “I’m gonna go see this film” somewhere. Have you no shame? To all Muslims, have you not the least bit of respect for your Prophet? Have you not the least bit of respect for your God? For your religion? For yourselves? You by now know what the film consists of, and yet you still want to see it? Haven’t you any shame, any respect? If you saw the film knowingly, you’re even lower than the person who directed it, Muslim or not. When you yourself don’t have any respect for Muhammad (P.B.U.H), then why are you rioting? Why are you getting angry? On top of all, why are you calling yourself a Muslim? Tut, tut, I thought we were supposed to handle this maturely and in the right way possible. But no, instead we’re flocking over to the nearest cinema or logging in on to YouTube and watching it, thus fulfilling that film’s director’s wish.

Speaking of which, the director just wanted a reaction and we’re giving it to him. Inwardly he is smiling and stupidly we’re making him smile. Whether he did it out of fear or hatred, he just wanted to watch the world burn. So what if he demeans our Prophet Mohammad (P.B.U.H)? We Muslims know very well that he wasn’t. We Muslims very well know what sort of a pious character he was. That being said, why are we consistently proving not the world, but that low-brow, the opposite? It just goes on to show that you have, well I shouldn’t be really saying this, accepted his challenge. Please, stop this voting and supporting nonsense for our Prophet Mohammad (P.B.U.H) is far above than this. He just cannot be bought down to that level but we, and our trash-addled minds, continuously do so, not only him but the other Prophets as well, like Jesus.

Competiting Jesus against drug-abusers as The Beatles? Competiting a pious and honest person such as Mohammad (P.B.U.H) against an immature, immoral person as Madonna? It can be either one of two things: Either you have elevated these so-called “demi-god celebrities” to the status of Prophets, or you have debased the value and respect of the former and have lowered them down to as nothing more than everyday celebrities. It can be only one and both correctly show how immature our minds have become and how, in front of our eyes, everything looks the same. You wouldn’t compare your mom to a dog, would you? Yes, over here you show rationality and scoff at the very idea of it. Comparing your mom to a dog is not acceptable but comparing a Prophet to a woman who strips at the very chance she gets is acceptable? I just don’t believe it! I truly don’t!

So, you’re telling me, no listen to this, you’re telling me that should Madonna recieve 10 votes and a Prophet 5 votes, Madonna’s value and status automatically becomes more valuable and important than a Prophet? Jesus, or any other Prophet, becomes second to her? Do you, after reading these humiliating polls and surveys, dust your hands and accept the fact that you lost, that a Prophet’s status is nothing in front of Madonna, is that what you’re saying? You know what you’ve proven: That you’re a jerk. You have absolutely no respect or regard for anything. To you everything is a joke. Isn’t it funny that you Christians mock Jesus the whole year and then cry out to him when you’re sick or in great peril? Isn’t it? All-Forgiving,  yes, but if you have knowledge of this and are taking advantage of this, then it should’ve been you on that giant cross, extremely sorry to say that.

From a person who degrades his own Prophet, this was to be expected but this extreme… no-one could’ve guessed.

Regarding the film, I believe I have made it clear that I haven’t seen the film, nor do I plan to, in any time. I respect myself, my religion, Allah, our Prophet Mohammad (P.B.U.H) and I respect them, follow them and I look him up as the greatest leader and person ever to walk the earth, and I’m not going to let a third-grade scumbag show me otherwise, even if he is a close friend or my own father. What I know of the film is from the newspapers and TV talk shows.

This is directed straight at the director: It was, as you believe, Osama who disrupted your peace back in 2001. I ask you, what has our Prophet got to do with it?

This is directed straight at YouTube: Please delete, don’t ban, delete the video entirely because it is sensitive and has bordered out of your little laws and guidelines. You have the power to do so, so do it! Apparently to YouTube a woman shaking her ass is sensitive, a back-masked song is sensitive but this video is not. Am I crazy or YouTube?

On a closing note, all I have to say is this: Earthly justice is rarely done. And when it is, it is always targeted on the wrong people. Innocent people. The thieving scumbags, the rapists, the serial killers, they all somehow evade the long hand of the law. They somehow run free. How is that possible? How should I know, I’m just a 19 year old!

But what I do know that, as a Muslim, I have a consolation, a last laugh, a “go-home” line: We believe in Allah and we believe that nothing, absolutely nothing, can escape Him and neither ever will. The director, and people like Terry Jones, can evade the earthly law and live like kings but Allah will take care of them once they die. That’s the only consolation I have. The only thing that prevents me from personally wringing their necks.

Now comes the waiting game!

The Carlo Complex

On page 586 of Dan Brown’s Angels & Demons, there is a paragraph that pretty much sums up the character of the main antagonist of the novel, Carlo Ventresca, after whom this Complex is named after. It is as follows:

It was Mortarti who broke the spell. “The preferiti”, he said in a horrified whisper. “Baggia and the others. Please tell me you did not…”

The camerlengo turned to him, surprised by the pain in his voice. Certainly Mortarti could understand. Headlines carried science’s miracles every day. How long had it been for religion? Centuries? Religion needed a miracle! Something to awaken a sleeping world. Bring them back to the path of righteousness. Restore faith. The preferiti were not leaders anyway, they were transformers – liberals prepared to embrace the new world and abandon the old ways! This was the only way. A new leader. Young. Powerful. Vibrant. Miraculous. The preferiti served the church far more effectively in death than they could alive. Horror and Hope. Offer four souls to save millions. The world would remember them forever as martyrs. The church would raise glorious tribute to their names. How many thousands have died for the glory of God? They are only four.

OK, I haven’t taken a crash-course in Psychology nor am I the young and future Einstein or Jung. I’m just a 19 year-old kid who experiences a lot of epiphany and likes to read psychology based articles and books and entries. I also like reading different Complex’s and Thought Experiments but somehow they don’t seem to baffle me. It’s like I already know the stuff. It’s like as if I helped them write that article or thought or whatever. This interest, or fascination, started only a week ago and I’m already able to come up with my own theories and answers but of course, I have no idea how many rules I’m breaking, or making, along the way. Thinking and reading about the human mind is much better than daydreaming about being a rock-star or a celebrity. That’s for losers!

Now, let’s get on with the topic: The Carlo Complex!

I’ve observed in a-many books, cartoons, movies and in real-life that a person who considers himself perfect for the job will go as far as killing his opponents and/or people who have a better chance in succeeding for that job, usually a higher rank as President, or in the case of Carlo, The Holy Pope, a ranking he wants but cannot get, so he sets about killing the 4 who are likely to succeed and plays with the minds of the people.

One thing to bear in mind is that there is an important distinction between The Carlo Complex and Megalomania.

A megalomaniac considers himself higher than the law and Important, whereas a Carlo might think of themselves as Perfect. I think there is a difference between the two. A good example of a megalomaniac is Officer Frank Tenpenny from Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. He is the law, but considers himself even higher. He does as he pleases, kills mercilessly and manipulates others to help move shit from one side to the other. A megalomaniac might want to rule the world, or a majority, with an iron fist whereas a Carlo wants to rule just as it is. He insists on him being the one doing it.

If you look at this way, both use violent actions or measures to achieve that status or rank but in the case of a megalomaniac, it’s an everyday thing, whereas for a Carlo, it’s for a very brief period. He might or might not continue it in the future.

The reason why I came up with this Complex is because I’ve seen many fictional characters and real-life persons show signs (I’m forgetting names at the moment, apologies) so I thought it would be a good idea to give it a name, or anything, just to get the ball rolling!

I’m sorry I couldn’t explain it in an impressive or wide manner but my thinking goes this much. True, many things come to mind, like The Trolley Situation and other psychological theories and thoughts but I don’t wanna go that deep either. Remember, this is written by a person who has just recently taken an interest, so be nice!

I would love your feedback on this! Thanks!

The 2009 Attack on the Sri-Lanka National Cricket Team… Happened in Front of our School!

On March 3rd, 2009, I hear bullets for the first time in my life. They’re so unlike the ones in movies. They’re much scarier in real-life. Our school, LGS (Lahore Grammar School) is situated on Main Boulevard Gulberg Road. The infamous attack on the Sri-Lanka National Cricket Team happens so close in proximity that you’d think the Terrorists have taken over the school. Our left-side of the room is made of a one-way glass. We can see out, but no-one can see in. Despite the fact that we can oversee the whole school, and beyond, we usually get annoyed because the trees obscure a-lot of the view. But on this day we’re glad they’re obscuring it. The first wave of bullets ends and another starts, this time with more aggression and we all jump out of our seats and start calling our parents. Even though bringing phones to school is a big no-no, the rule breaking proves its worth today and I’m glad I’ve bought mine with me today. I call my Mom and explain her the situation. She quickly arranges for a rickshaw and assures me she will be there in 20 minutes.

By this time our class has become a silent orgy of prayers. Outside, the firing has increased and refuses to end. After what seems like ages, the firing slowly dies down and our principal comes up and slowly escorts us down to the big classroom on the right of the school. Parents are coming and going, taking their children with them. My Mother finally arrives, her expression is like as if I’ve just come back from winning a war. The principal accompanies me and my Mother to our rickshaw and tells us to go quickly. Instead of taking the opposite route, we take the roundabout where the shooting has just taken place. I can still see the smoke and people running in a daze.

Subhanallah, nothing serious happens to us, or the school, and we all arrive safely, with me a little shaken by the incident.

Anyway, a lot of good people were killed and my condolences are with them and for their family. When will Terrorism stop, I have no idea.

He thinks everything inside him is worthless and embarrassing!

These are the words that were spoken by Mr. John Keating to describe Todd Anderson to the class in Dead Poets Society.

They were also spoken by my English sir (who shall remain unnamed) when I failed in to report my essay.

Our topic was painfully simple: Write a horror story. 300 words maximum. By that time, I was around 13, I hadn’t seen many horror movies but I had a good idea on how they were like: Blood, sex, masks, weapons, screaming and the like.  We were given 2 days to write the essay and that was enough time for me. Within 30 minutes I’d written a very gory story about a man who kills a woman and spills out all her entrails “which fell on the ground with a sickening sound”. Edgar Allen Poe would’ve been so proud.

Anyway, the day finally arrived and one by one everyone stepped to the front of the room and started reading their essays. Sitting in the far left end of the room, I started shaking uncontrollably due to two reasons: Lack of confidence. The others really were great and very well written but they were not very horror enough, which made mine look like as if it was written in collaboration with either Clive Barker or George A. Romero. And the second reason: I stutter. That’s right, since the age of 6, it has been going on. Just the thought of going up there and talking aloud in front of the class was enough to make me shiver in my seat. I discreetly hid my essay in my bag and acted that I’d forgotten about it. After two more essays, the English sir called out:

Hamza Ansari!

If you still haven’t guessed, that’s me. Everyone turned around to look at me, some giving me encouraging signals, others indifferent. I started looking around helplessly. Finally I said:

No Sir, I haven’t done my essay

The English sir clicked his tongue and stood up. If I was shaking before, then I was causing a mini-earthquake in my seat. While coming over to me, he addressed the class:

Hamza here thinks that everything inside him is worthless and embarrassing.

Few started to snicker, others not understanding his intentions. He told me to stand up and produce my essay book from my bag and stand in front of the class. I silently obeyed and he sat in my place. Even though I was friends with the whole class, they had suddenly become alien. Complete strangers. When I started speaking, it took me complete 3 minutes just to finish the first line. Not only out of fear, but due to very weak lung power. Stutterers like me will know how it feels like. I painfully read my essay while inwardly cursing my imagination that led me to write 250+ words.

When it was over, it wasn’t greeted with scattering claps like they had done with the others. Instead, I was greeted with silence. Most of them were staring at me with their mouth open as if I’d just come out of the closet.

Then, as if a spell had been lifted off, everyone started clapping and the nearest ones started giving me pats on my back and high-fives. The English sir was visibly impressed and declared it the most violent essay from the class. After when the class ended, everyone snatched the book from me and asked me all sorts of questions and read their favourite lines from the essay. And even though I never got the chance to write another essay (I left school 3 months after that incident) and despite the fact it was all 6 years ago, I still remember it vividly and I like to bring it to the surface time to time, if just in my mind.

This story may seem nondescript in front of other better stories but to me it was an experience. And this is why I connected to that particular scene in Dead Poets Society.

Thank you, Sir, for making me do the one thing that I’ve always declared to be impossible.


Due to the imperfections in the fluids in my eyes, various brown stripes dance before me. They go where my eye goes. They dance relentlessly and unforgivably, with me being the only audience. A reluctant, and quite-possibly, a doomed one.

I’m talking about a phenomenon that occurs when the vitrous humour inside the eyes get filled with Floaters. They’re known by many names but I call them “flying bacteria” because they resemble like one. Harmless they may be, these devilish Floaters can be mischievous at times. Here you are, minding your own business and suddenly something whizzes by by the corner of your eye at close proximity. Your heart jumps to your throat and just when you’re convinced it could’ve been a ghost, an innocent Floater floats into view, settling your heart back to its original place but incuring your wrath.

Who needs horror movies when you have these?

When someone tells you to look up at the clear blue sky, it’s quite-clear that they’re not “suffering” from said phenomenon because when you look up, all you see are disturbing, misshapen “birds” against a clear blue backdrop.

But having them is not wholly bad.

People with an imagination like Amelie can make use of them on a dull, boring Sunday, and how? All you need is a clear background and a-lot of absurd creativity. Remember, you’re playing with your sanity! Well, almost! It could be, let’s say, a War of the Brown Ribbons. Or a re-creation of Star Wars with, of course, Darth Vader as an elongated ribbon, with the rest of the Rebellion Clan reduced to the same level.

Of course, I know it’s not as fun as spotting weird clouds or imaging yourself as a respected and admired rock-star but Floaters don’t go away that easily and how should one go about tackling them? By either using them for weird entertainment (Remember: They may be on your stage but you control them) or having them cured. But what’s the fun in that? It’s these little imperfections that makes Life different, and unique, and weird, and, annoying they may be to some, are just some of the things that are missed by a majority.

In conclusion: Floaters are like relatives: They never leave you, not even while you’re sleeping… and that’s about the extend of it! Sorry to have finished it in such a bittersweet way!


What do you see? I see an S and a musical note.

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