I want a better body

I am fat, and quite frankly there is nothing to hide about it. Not that looking fat matters that much to me as much as some people tell me, but there are other things that matter.

 

There are the obvious health and fitness concerns. Not only does being obese increase one’s chances of heart attacks, diabetes, and other diseases which will hamper me in the long run, there are also immediate impacts such as going out of breath when I walk fast. I can run little without having to stop to catch my breath. My general body flexibility is lower than normal, and my body spends more time supporting the extra mass than it does doing anything else.

 

My being fat has less to do with my genes and more with my habits. Being the foodie that I am, I enjoy eating a lot. However that also involves a lot of fast food and other unhealthy foods. My physical work is quite low to balance the intake of so much calories. While I have been ‘chubby’ and ‘healthy’ for quite some time now, but it didn’t matter much in the initial days as I used to get at least an hour of volleyball every day apart from the fifteen minute warm up run. With the decline in the amount of time I spent in sports, my fitness levels fell.
Sometime after starting work, I did join a gym. In the few months that I did go to the gym (and did all that the instructor asked me to) there was very little loss in weight. But my fitness improved greatly. The amount of time I could spend on the treadmill and the elliptic trainer without puffing kept increasing steadily. Of course it is poor on me to say that, I haven’t been to a gym since long.

 

Apart from these there are other things to worry about. I will like an outfit, but it won’t be available in my size. It feels cramped while sharing seats on public transport, and in some cases one has to be really careful with old and weak furniture that might collapse.

 

It’s not just a matter of going to the gym or being part of a sports team. Quite a few people I know who can’t make it to the gym as well, but take up cycling or running to improve their health. So I guess it’s not just a better body I want, but better lifestyle choices that will in turn lead to a better body.

Written for Day 4 of the Write Tribe: Festival of words

I want a new gaming device

I enjoy gaming, and by this I mean playing games on the laptop or a console. While I haven’t owned a console since the 8 bit console mom bought me, I have played quite a few games on the computer. When I was younger and didn’t have a console of my own, vacations would start with getting together to play cricket and then video games at a friend’s place. Oh the fun we had playing Super Mario Brothers, Contra and Dragon Ball Z. Hours would go on before a parent of one of us friends would call us for lunch.

 

Mom got me a console when I was in the 9th standard (by when the Playstation was out, but I didn’t interest myself with it). Since I had my own console now, I would try out many more games and Aladdin, Exit Bike and Islander were my new favorites. I even got mom to play with me and she would enjoy Circus Charlie and Duck Hunt. Post-dinner plays on holidays were common with the two of us. A year later, mother got me a computer. The computer my gaming habits a shot in the arm. The amount of time I spent gaming (on it, since the console now lay packed in the storage) was significantly higher.

 

While I started with First Person Shooter games like Medal of Honor, Return to Castle Wolfenstein and Quake 3 Arena, I later dabbled my hand at racing games like Need for Speed. Worms deserves a special mention as it brought quite a few friends together at my place to play that. A friend introduced me to the Playstation 2. Since neither of us has had it, we would save up from our pocket money and play on it at the gaming stations. I don’t know how much time we spent playing WWE (wrestling) and teaming up against the other players who would come there.
All this increased gaming also meant lesser time studying, and it had to be put on the backburner when I had board exams up. The initial years of college saw very little gaming except for the occasional Counter Strike with friends on LAN. It was only when I got a laptop towards the end of the third year that I got back in to gaming, for it to go slow again one I started to work.

 

In the recent times my favorites have been Batman: Arkham Asylum, Portal, Portal 2, and Batman: Arkham City and the lot of Assassin’s Creed (which I have played till Assassin’s Creed 3). One of my memorable moments has been while I was playing Batman: Arkham City when a character says “We have positive ID on Batman. He is kicking all kinds of ass down there” while I was in the middle of fight. It was wonderful.

 

If I think about it, one of the reasons why I do enjoy gaming so much is the escapism it offers. I get so engrossed in the challenges of the game, that I forget everything around me. Now that I have given my laptop to mom, I don’t play that much. I want a new gaming device (console or laptop, but a new laptop mostly) so that I can get back to gaming. 

 

Written for Day 3 of Write Tribe: Festival of words

I want a Kindle and a really big bookshelf

I want a Kindle and a really big book shelf. Why both, do you ask? It is because I love to read (even if it means re-reading some of my favorite books more times than I read new books). There are reasons that I want both though.
Let’s start with the Kindle. The Kindle is an e-reader that was launched by Amazon in 2007. It has evolved over the years (quite like Pokémon) and gotten better. As of now there are two basic versions of Kindle on sale. There is the basic Kindle, which uses E Ink for display of text. It is Wi-Fi enabled and has 2 GB onboard storage. One can use the Wi-Fi capabilities to read books off Amazon’s cloud storage as well. In itself it is a nifty device and one can use its buttons to change pages, books, and navigate.

The advanced form of the Kindle is the Paperwhite (which comes in two variants: Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi + 3G). It has ‘Paperwhite’ built in display which simulates the print on a white paper, and moves on to a touch screen for navigation. It is much better to change pages with the flick of your finger than clicking on a button. It too, has a 2 GB on board storage and access to cloud via Wi-Fi/3G.

One of the key advantages of the Kindles is that you get to carry your library with you. You can easily store about 100 books on them, and access more via the cloud. A number of classics are available to download for free. You can read bits of any of your books as and when you need, or read a book after the other on one of those long trips without having to lug the weight of many books. The Kindles have a wonderful battery life as well, with the Kindle having up to 1 month and the Kindle Paperwhite having up to 8 weeks of battery life.

 

As far as the bookshelf goes, it is part storage for my books and part sentimental value. I have quite a few books which occupy half of my cupboard (since I don’t have a book shelf). Some of them are packed in two layers of polythene and kept on the storage area just below the ceiling. I would like all those books to be released from their confines and spend time in the open. Where I can pick them up at my whims, even the text books which I harbor from my college days. It would be like giving them a proper place (apart from the place they hold inside me). Some of the books are those with which I have a physical memory, of them growing old with the increasing number of times I spent reading them.

 

So there you go, I want a Kindle and a really big book shelf for the practical and sentimental aspects of my love of reading.

 

Written for Day 2 of the Write tribe Festival of words

I want to be able to be a fly on the wall

Seven as Lord Voldemort says, is the most powerfully magical number. It is no surprise that you have the Seven Wonders of the World, the seven seas, the seven continents, the seven octaves in music, Seven color rings of power, and so on.

The idea to use 7 as a prompt came on the Write Tribe Group, where it was proposed to hold a seven day long writing festival called ‘Festival of words’, from the 1st to 7th September. The only prompt was the number 7, and one can have a run with it anyway one wants.

I chose to do 7 things I want. Each day I will write about a thing/aspect that I want, why I want it and what (if anything) I can do about it or am doing.

 

Day 1 – I want to be able to be a fly on the wall.

 

Not a literal fly on the wall, but the proverbial fly on the wall who can secretly observe what is going on at a place .An important aspect would be able to transform back and forth from Human to said fly at will. I don’t want to be stuck as a fly once I transform. What good would all my observations be, if I am stuck in the form of a fly? My life as a human would be gone.

I wouldn’t mind being a literal fly on the wall too, as long as I can be an animagus (like in Harry Potter) but that would still be no guarantee as to which animal I transform into, but at least I would retain my human mental faculties when I transform. This is one of the most important aspects that needs to come along. Of what good would it be if I were to turn into a fly and then be a fly mentally as well? That instead of sitting (or is it sticking?) on the wall and observe the people I want to, I would just buzz around looking for bins and poop to sit on?

No, I need a better method. I remember that Dumbledore and Voldemort can cast dis-ilussionment charms so powerful that they become invisible. This would be wonderful, for I would retain my human form and faculties. However, if I were to get the magical knowledge and power of Dumbledore and/or Voldemort then it would be a different thing entirely. Imagine the possibilities! No looking for things for when I would lose them, I would just Accio them! No spending on transportation, as I would either fly to or just apparate at will wherever I want to. Let me not digress from topic though, If I had to write about all that I could and would if I were a wizard like the Potterverse wizards then I would probably exhaust myself.

The whole idea of becoming a fly on the wall came from the Heisenberg Uncertainty people which can be condensed in the line “It is impossible to determine accurately both the position and the direction and speed of a particle at the same instant.” This has also been referred to as the observer’s effect. When someone knows that they are being observed, they don’t act in the normal way and you don’t get to observe them in their natural state.

Of course this leads to the question as to why would I like to be the proverbial fly on the wall and observe in the first place? Because it is wonderful to see people work. When people are lost in nothing but their work and doing what they want, it is simply beautiful to watch them just be.

Written for the Write Tribe Festival of words. Seven blog posts in seven days

 

Chapter 5 – First stroke of luck (Tribe whispers)

We all know about this game called Chinese Whispers in which one person whispers a message to another, which is passed through a line of people until the last player announces the message to the entire group. We at Write Tribe are doing just that but with stories on our blog. One person tells a short story on his/her blog, the next Blogger will continue the story, till it finishes on Blogger no. 9.

Chapter 1 by Richa

Chapter 2 by Shilpa

Chapter 3 by Pixie

Chapter 4 by Pheno

*****

Chapter 5 – First stroke of luck

Ankitha kept staring at the man who sat in front of her. As much as he looked like Shishir, his behavior and mannerisms were totally different. The Shishir she knew carried himself with a sense of certainty, and confidence. The man in front of her was a bumbling man, who was reduced to stammers on being confronted by whom he thought was a stranger. She ignored the phone call she received and kept her attention on him.  He was not taking it well. While he was just stammering before, he seemed a nervous wreck now. Sweat was trickling profusely from his temple, trickling slowly down by his ear and onto his neck. At this pace, he would begin to draw attention from those who sat in the café.

“Why don’t you visit the washroom?”

“I d-d-d-don’t have to.”

“Look at yourself, you’re sweating heavily. Go wash your face.”

Whatever protest he wanted to make, went down in a whimper when he saw the look on her face. He nodded and slowly walked towards the washroom, with his gaze on the floor all this while. She took this window of time to run through the back pack he had on him. There was a laptop and a hard disk in one of the compartments. While the contents of the hard disk interested her, she didn’t have the time to copy the data from it on to the memory cards she carried in her purse. There were some print outs of a project report, of which she quickly took photographs. There was a bunch of pen and pencils in the other along with a few bars of dark chocolate.

He hates dark chocolate, she thought. Why was he carrying a bunch of it then? It could all be part of his cover. That didn’t make any sense to carry so many of them, though. She quickly put a bar in her purse as well. She could hear him fumbling with the door lock to open it. She quickly zipped the bag, and kept it back on the floor. He came back looking refreshed, but still nervous. If this was an undercover mission, it didn’t seem that he was going to tell her about it in public. If he wanted to, he would contact her through the means they had already had in place for times like this.

“What, what d-d-d-oo you want from me?”
“I am sorry, you look a lot like my friend Shishir. He had disappeared six months ago. We are all worried about him.”

“I am sorry, I d-d-d-ont recognize you. My name may b-b-bee Shishir, b-b-but you have mistaken me with someone else.”

“I understand, sorry to have taken your time.”
He got up and walked out of the café, with his gaze down all the time. She didn’t want to follow him now, and arouse suspicion from whoever might be keeping an eye on him. She knew where he worked at , and would trace him from there. All she had were the photographs she had taken and the single bar of dark chocolate. It did not bear the name of any brand or have any distinguishing packaging or logo. Just the words ‘Dark chocolate 3’ were written on the wrapper. She tore open an edge of the wrapping and took a bite. It didn’t taste very different, just had a slightly pleasant after taste. She would get it checked in one of her trusted labs.

She got up and ordered a coffee for herself, and then began to read whatever she had captured in the photographs.

******

I now hand over to Ayush Chauhan to take the story ahead.

Tribe whispers is an idea proposed by Ayush Chauhan in the Write Tribe Group. Members of the group are working together to create a story. Read more here: Tribe whispers at Hundred Works