Acrostic Poem: Apathy

*Featured image is an allusion to Naruto (anime) where kakashi is always late -I haven’t posted in a while- and explains his tardiness with that selfsame quote.

Before Eid -a week or so beforehand- it is common for people to buy new apparel. On my way to the shoe store known as BATA I encountered a man with no arms or legs.

He had been in an accident involving a train which did not have a trained safety instructor looking into its many defects, consequently leading to the man’s present state.

My cognitive backlog had built up from hours of ruminating and reading the newspaper for a trace of good news -which still eludes me to this day- but the somber sight of the man with his winning smile in the wake of a life that had known so much defeat jolted me to my senses.

It was then that I observed scores of shoppers vacuously perusing the contents of the shoe store but paying no heed to the lame man. After a good fifteen minutes of silent observation had passed, I paid the man all I had to offer, which to me seemed to be a better investment than a new pair of shoes I would only wear on weekends- most of which I spend indoors, reading or playing co-op games on steam.

*First letter of each line spells apathy…

Appreciation of the simple things of life

Perchance, a feeling lost to man

As it stands, it’s inconsequential to be able to walk or talk

Taken for granted are the things we can do

Have we not chased the appearance of things long enough?

Yearning for this not to be true

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Rebirth

 

My rebirth

January 27 2016, I still remembered that day. I was a lonely human with no purpose or meaning in my life (or so I thought) wandering through the sea of darkness helplessly trying to find the light.

No matter how much I ran, it was always like an endless road, soon my strength ebbed away from me and I was lying still with a shattered soul.

Who was I, I couldn’t say, I had lost my personal identity.

My eyes were blinded by hatred; the truth was shrouded in darkness.

I was dead inside.

 

“Enough is enough!” I said to myself. I was driven by insanity, I was burning in anguish.  That fateful decision was  made quickly before time ran out, I knew my days were numbered. I was walking down the path that almost led to my destruction! My fate was sealed.

 

But one day, two angels descended from the Kingdom of light in the form of a human being. Their hearts were clear as a mirror, eyes full of hope. An aura of love surrounded their body. They used the holy light to open my eyes; I could now finally see the truth, even though I am limited in my physical body, I must soar higher in the sky and break every barrier that comes my way.

My world was covered in light once again…

 

*Note: There is no honor in taking your life, always remember this “Live with honor, fight with honor and die with honor”.

Contributed by:

Raihan Musa, a man who doesn’t let limits differentiate him from others, but uses them to illustrate to others that the only one that can set a limit is the individual.

Pythagorean Cup

 

What if happiness is contained inside a Pythagorean cup? Overflowing happiness would then simply drain away and empty the cup completely. This is why it is important to listen to Mr. Micawber’s advice and live within our means.

Similarly, if we apply the same concept to knowledge, it would be difficult to learn if one were to be satisfied with a certain level of knowledge or overestimate themselves. According to the Dunning-Kruger effect relatively unskilled persons suffer from an illusory superiority as a result of a meta-cognitive inability to recognize their own ineptitude and evaluate their ability accordingly instead of letting ideas/perceptions stagnate.

Zugzwang

At the end of the game, both King and Pawn go back into the same box. It is there they await the next battle until which a tentative truce is in place between opposing sides. I’m here to tell you that life is a lot like a match of chess, at least more than meets the eye that is.

It would be nice to pick a neutral stance all the time wouldn’t it? I wish that was possible, however, to do nothing is a choice in itself. On the surface it may appear that as long as you don’t choose everything remains possible but the truth is time will wait for no one. We must acknowledge that there are time constraints which factor into the equation and that each and every choice is just as meaningful as the other.

Instead of fence sitting why not try divergent thinking? Brainstorm! So many possibilities are likely to rush into our minds all at once, precisely why we must filter those thoughts and switch to convergent thinking; at which point it is necessary to narrow down the options leaving only the best ones.

Chess is all about sacrifice: each move has an opportunity cost. The King must be protected at all costs while every other piece is dispensable. Think for a minute, do you not have something you treasure above all else? It could be your calling, a lifelong friendship, and even weekend trips to the local arcade. Whatever it was that came to mind is sure to be something you’re not willing to part with, which makes it your metaphorical “King”.

Recall that scene from Harry Potter & The Philosopher’s Stone when Ron sacrifices his own well being so his friends can carry on to the next room? In a similar fashion it is important to weigh the importance of hobbies, friends, among other things in one’s life to ensure that only the essential remains after we’re through with the game.

With that being said, it must be noted that there are moments in our life when we are faced with impossible decisions; during which we are made to choose between two things we hold dear. No matter how much we want to sit it out, we have to do something as it is our “turn”, hence the “Zugzwang”- German for ‘compulsion to move’- situation is established and either way we are at a decisive disadvantage. Trade offs are inevitable and it is something have to reconcile ourselves with.

Søren Kierkegaard was known to say “Life can only be understood backwards but it must be lived forwards.” The only thing certain about the future is that it is uncertain, and there is always a flip side to our current situation yet to be determined. In hindsight every choice has helped shape who you are and what you believe in. Keeping this in mind, regardless of the decision tree that led you to where you are now, this life you are living is just as meaningful as all of the infinite other lives you could have been living had you chosen differently.

Fickle Flash Fiction

 

Fans of the superhero Flash I regret to inform you that flash fiction does not necessarily deal with your favorite comic book hero 😦

 

AN: this writing… clearly is not flash fiction, I apologize if the title appears to be misleading… the choice of words was deliberate in that today I was thinking about how little time we allocate to understanding others relative to the time we make snap judgments about their character… if we’re going to interpret/characterize someone’s life story… might as well do it right…please note that it is not my intention to suggest in any capacity that flash fiction is bad…it’s not my call to make after all…

 

“Say has Ahmed called in sick? It’s not like him to be tardy”

“Don’t expect to hear from him anytime soon, he’s standing in line collecting the wages of sin as we speak, and it’s a lamentably long line for a sum that’s as paltry as the poultry we eat once a fortnight.”

“What on Earth are you insinuating? Pray tell!”

“I see. You’ve not heard then. He got the axe for duplicating receipts and charging customers more than the service fee so he could pocket the extra. “

“That doesn’t sound like the Ahmed we know. Polite, patient, pensive, he’s not a man to make rash decisions that jeopardizes a job he’s held for so long.”

“Can you blame him really? He’s worked for the organization longer than all of us put together, and yet what did he have to show for his input, the sweat above his brow perhaps. Years of backbreaking work translated into cries of woe at the sight of the proverbial stork…”

“Surely that doesn’t excuse him from the moral imperative of ethical conduct at work. Yes, the utility bills add up, and our line of work leaves little time for much else, still it’s honest work and what more does a man need?”

“The ability to pay his child’s tuition, methinks. It’s every parent’s dream to see their child pursuing the dreams that they themselves were unable to fulfill.”

“Nonsense, what with all these state funded schools, there’s no necessity for a lot of money.”

“Sure, provided that you win the lottery of birth. The kids who don’t have to juggle part time jobs with their studies have a comparative advantage and it shows in the CGPA.”

“Well when you put it that way although I will stick to my viewpoint that his actions were immoral to say the least, I do concede that his intention was not inherently wrong in that he was doing it for someone else’s sake. I only wish that he had more faith in his progeny.”

“Yes, it’s best to not let emotions cloud our better judgement, but to be completely devoid of any and all emotion is the height of folly. Just look at Spock or Gregor Samsa, work can be dehumanizing… however, that’s only the case if one lets it be… and with that I take my leave.”

“Until next time. Oh, and would that be leave with or without pay?”

 “How very droll, well you know what I mean, no need to read too deeply into it.”

ASK FM

I found myself logging into ask fm today after what seems to have been a year. Here are some of the more interesting replies I may have given in response to questions by anonymous individuals.

Why do zombies attack?

To gain xp

You’re an interviewer. Your job is plain and simple(theoretically). All you have to do is pick 1 person from 3 “equally qualified” individuals to work for the firm. The first man is poor, the second was rich until only recently but now he is the unhappiest and the third is chronically ill.

Firstly this is a normative question. It is outside my professional capacity when I start thinking about how things “should be”.

If I employed the poor man, I would help someone who has worked hard to raise the value of his human capital when he could have spent his meager resources to subsist without any ambition. Someone who needs that one shot in life will work harder than anyone else to keep it, which will work in favor of the company by boosting productivity. This will likely improve his financial status and standard of living for his kids and so on.

(re-allocation of resources)

Arguably the second man is the least desirable candidate as he has been happy before and received many privileges the other two candidates could not have even dreamed of but he is not to blame for that. I don’t know how many of you are acquainted with the story “Happy Prince” by Oscar Wilde…but from what I can tell, those who have not come face to face with poverty cannot handle it so well. Furthermore, everything starting from your accent, rigid behavior and formal attitude will mark you- which only makes it harder to deal with. Let’s be honest, this guy got the least sympathy. He’d be the happiest if someone assisted him. How many of you would discard your pride and turn from prince to pauper willingly? With that being said, men of means tend to have contacts so that may come in handy. However, it can be disputed that if he had useful contacts he wouldn’t be looking for a job.

(highest net gain in happiness)

Personally I’d choose the third as someone who is chronically ill will have medical expenses and that will weigh down on their standard of living. Alleviating the pain through treatment is vital and to those saying that unhealthy people won’t contribute to the workforce properly, I’ll simply say though your argument has merit, these human beings are not going to stand down and just take charity you know? Also, chronic means a constant pain and not terminal illness which threatens the life at any moment.

(pride and independence)

Do you think there is life on other planets?

I don’t think there is life on this planet. We’re all zombies being told how to live.

What music are you listening to right now?

In bloom by nirvana.. it’s about Kurt’s fans not understanding his music and how that depressed him

In three words, how would you describe your best friend?

“me”, “myself”, and “I”.

Who are you?

A man of many masks, yet one who wears none.

Digital Amnesia

Fragments of remembrance

are like a poem learned in childhood by rote

a novel line or two I wrote

 the rest being largely contributed by others

starting from memories with brothers and grandmothers

while accessing all those micro magical moments

not once did I let antipathy foment

knowing full well

nostalgia’s spell

lasts only so long

but broken bonds still stay strong

I learned without appreciating fully

just how incredibly insipid instants could pass me by dully

though I may suffer from digital amnesia

black and white pictures color outside the lines

memoirs with its concomitant hardcover book spines

perennial pages perused in the market place of ideas

act as  an alternative analogue ambrosia

an advanced age

of 128 gigabyte solid state drives package deals

come along with  2 bit hearts

Technology changes the way memories are formed. You can always google the birthday of your friend -that is if you don’t wait for facebook to send you a notification- among other things. There are interesting tools available such as that of the website Future Me where you can address an e-mail to yourself in the future. I’ve met people who go to exclusive places just to take selfies and post it on the internet. Since when did experience make room for what others thought of the experience and get ranked accordingly? When I hear people say “Live a little” I don’t assume they mean on the internet! Not that netizens are not entitled to their memories on mmorgps or internet relay chats, it’s just that those should not be a replacement for off-screen memories but rather a complement.

Velleity

I would passionately paint a proper picture of the context

but what’s the point?

They’d just as soon accuse me of  pretext

and also assume I’m guilty as charged

School why do you try

to play me for a fool?

Whenever I asked a question to learn

A slap on the wrist was my reward

for speaking out of turn!

So many times I was made to stand

because I wanted to better understand

what it was of me that you demand

isn’t school life just grand?

While you were busy conveniently turning a blind eye

for anyone rich enough to hail from Versailles

 the rest of us had to fend for ourselves

borrowing whatever books we could from the library shelves

Ten years worth of tension

 a decadent decade of condescension

waking up to apprehension

you were never my ikigai

yet I managed to get by

volition lost to velleity

has been killing me

now by my own decree

I will not return to the pursuit of a degree

but of knowledge itself

so I can better understand myself

Fortius Quo Fidelius

Fortius Quo Fidelius: Strength Through Loyalty.

This is the motto of the Gringotts Wizarding Bank in  J.K Rowling’s Harry Potter Universe.

Do the Goblins in Gringotts grin?

GringottsLogoDH

Loyalty!

one word is all you ask of me?

betrayal of trust is murder in the first degree

 obituary of integrity

heartfelt fealty

lack thereof

Guilty