Arrow

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Roads

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Two roads diverged

and I met someone at the crossroads,

the meeting fleeting

like the flash of headlights

of a car passing;

And  my dilemma

was no longer about the path

that I have to take

but the person I encountered.

 

Two roads diverged

And I met someone at the crossroads,

the meeting fleeting

like the flash of headlights

of a car passing;

Among the  blood-soaked leaves

my voice box lay out of place-

The mouth organ that cannot play.

 

Two roads diverged

And I met someone at the crossroads,

the meeting fleeting,

the flash of headlights

of a car passing;

And I was nearly killed

by someone I love.

Review of ‘Lexicon’ by Max Barry

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Lexicon by Max Barry is a disappointing novel.

Max Barry builds on an interesting premise but fails to create a convincing dystopian landscape. The novel is about an organization of “poets”, master manipulators who use words to warp others to their will. The members of the organization are given the names of famous writers such as Bronte, Eliot; to conceal their true identities. According to the novel, a person’s personality can be classified into one of 228 psychographic categories, depending on which they could be compromised or controlled by using category-specific words. The conflict emerges when a deadly word is unleashed, a word whose power is fatal to humanity. The novel begins on a promising note but ends with the “love solves everything” cliché. And even the love that suddenly blossoms between Emily and Harry seems contrived. I wouldn’t call this a hardcore science fiction novel compared to novels like The Martian by Andy Weir and Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. I wish that author had included more details about the organization, the psychographic segments, and the intricacies of what they learn and do.

Moving onto the characters, none of the characters are memorable:

Emily Ruff is not a likeable. Sure, she makes mistakes which is normal; but what I despise is her predatory behaviour, this coming from someone who was victimized herself is alarming.

Harry Wilson/Wil Parke is an interesting character, who initially appears to be baffled but later rises to the catastrophic event that was unfolding. His understanding of the organization and the “Poets” grows leaps and bounds once he gets into a conversation with Eliot. The sudden onset of this understanding is not believable.

Eliot, Emily Ruff’s mentor, is yet another cold and unfeeling poet who finally reveals his ability to emote. (SPOILER ALERT: His death beyond the obvious sacrificial role appears to be more pathetic than tragic.)

What is most intriguing about this novel is its examination of privacy issues which is an integral part of our life today. Max Barry made me think of the real intent of the numerous surveys and the polls one comes across on a daily basis and the dangers of revealing too much about oneself.

Lexicon’ is essentially a novel about the powers of persuasion and sadly nothing could persuade me to give it a favourable review.

Skydance

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There is something tranquil about staring at old derelict buildings while listening to music. I drench myself in the rain of music, soaking in the tunes until my heart beats in rhythm and my soul waltzes in the fading blue sky. I love the view from above but sometimes I wish someone would join me on my mid-air dance.

Secrets

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She broke the news, I was surprised.

I didn’t feel betrayed, but detached,

as if I were staring at her through a glass wall.

I should have known that with each passing second

secrets are formed, locked, and buried

only to surface like corpses washed ashore.

 

It was a happy occasion but I was morose,

I had to grudgingly admit that

One could never really know a person,

And that everything I didn’t know

And would never know would only grow

like weeds amidst pasture.

Diary Entry Of An Amateur Pessimist

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Another year is about to dawn and I don’t know what I am supposed to feel, hopeful? Optimistic?

I don’t think I can get myself to feel hopeful about the future if everybody  is only going to grow old and die. It is rather childish, me wallowing about the inevitable. Growing up means shouldering responsibilities, seeing the world stripped off its glitter and glamour, and plodding on even when others fade and disappear from your life. The necessity of moving on eludes me, the future looms like a frightening storm, I can spot flashes of lightning revealing the purple blackness of the clouds. I sit shivering as I look at the approaching storm, I want to flee, find shelter from the storm, but I realize that there is no escape. I have to brave the storm, let the rain lash me mercilessly. I am not in control, I never was.

Noontime Story

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It was noon and a steady stream of college girls hurried to the bus stop through the slippery, water-filled potholed road. It was the second spell of summer rains and underneath her faded red umbrella thronged a crowd of girls. She giggled at their muttered excuses glad to have their company.

The next day was an uninterrupted day of summer and light breeze and she looked around hopefully for company, for one of the girls she had offered shelter to exchange niceties, but nobody stopped underneath her red umbrella. She let her eyes wander and they paused on a hole filled with dirty water at the side of the road, a thin green branch floated on it, its scattered tiny yellow and green leaves forming a floating halo around it, the lone branch looked beautiful despite being torn away from its tree, from the crowd of sister-branches.

She realized that she had to learn to understand the delights of involuntary solitude.