NO MORE HEROES

“Humans are odd. They think order and chaos are somehow opposites and try to control what won’t be. But there is grace in their failings” – Hiral Arora opines about killer robots, wars and humanity, reporting from the United Nations Security Council, SRM MUN 2016.

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Imagine one pet peeve you have and all the dark dead-baby jokes you have heard all your life. Now set your feet in the shoes of a veteran. See from his eyes, how casual causalities are. They are used to blood and pain. They are used to rotting bodies and scavengers.

‘Few beers down and I am ready to work again.’ This routine, this cold heartedness makes a human impervious to brutality. But then you see a dying friend, a dying lover, a dying child, under a pile of debris and you are to live with that image forever. You blame yourself for living through the massacre. You, who thought PTSD is pretentious and you are above it all, you cannot sleep.

You are also the guy who saw a 15 year old child about to shoot you, but was too nervous and kept closing his eyes, his hand shaking and sweaty over the trigger.

You say, ‘Do what you have to goddammit!’

The child trembles and drops the gun and follows it to the floor. You ask him how old he is. You hear out his story, of how we was forced into this war, how his family is being held captive or one of those stories from the pool of background stories of why people are forced into warfare. No one really likes war.

You set him free. You promise to help him. You get him out of danger and make sure he survives, atleast for now.

Second chances. Mercy. Sparing a life.

These are not possible when this decision is made in nano-seconds by a machine which has no option but to follow a set of instructions you feed into it. You feed the entire Humanitarian Law literature into the machine, and still it wouldn’t know.

How heartless.

The lines and lines of code we put, to create a robot in the image of mankind, thinking of ourselves as pseudo gods. Atheism is the reason, one could say, and science is the new religion. Everyone wants to be more powerful than the rest, god resides in all of us, giving us a sense of what is right and what is wrong.

But transferring that sense in the form of laws? The humanity of humans is intangible. We do not understand it perfectly ourselves, look at all our romances, look at all our contradictions.

There needs to be a way to stop wars. Making robots fight instead is not one of them. Call it my pet peeve.

A shoddy Iron-Man plot

(Just the plot summary- Written for SRM MUN 2016 Application)

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Aisha, an Afghani woman seduces a captain of the US Army. At his most vulnerable moment, she asks him a favour. A favour to deliver certain confidential documents to a certain Mr. Stark.

Jamie agrees, even though he the probability of him ending up dead in the course of the mission was very high. Well, it would be ofcourse, if he wasn’t Stark himself.

The documents were what he was after. Turns out he was looking at the wrong place throughout.

Aisha had gained access to these documents accidentally, her husband had been careless. He was a part of the higher ranking Al Queda officials and believed his innocent wife to be a tame household woman. When he spotted her making away with the documents, his colleagues asked him to cut off her nose as a part of his holy duty towards the group, a personal Jihad.

With her nose, went his head too, after he was in deep sleep, and sure his beat up wife was rendered immobile. Except she wasn’t.

Aisha left her house with the documents looking for the right person to deliver it to and the right person who would deliver her to freedom.

Stark. That was the name on every weapon. American. She knew the answer then. She needed to be heard in America.

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Stark followed the trail she had left in the coverstory. It was a call out to him. War on terror, they say. Then he was the biggest terrorist, the biggest profiteer. There can be no truce. There must be more war, and this time a conclusive one. And only one could put an end to it.

Stark came to Afghanistan as an army captain. He saw people being mutilated by rudimentary weapons. His own were merely being used as a means of deterrence. And blown up at regular intervals to keep people on their toes. However, the figures of the dead reported were exaggerated. In a way, the explosions were a way of burning away the already tortured-to-death bodies of the people who had faced Taliban’s judgement.

Stark as usual operated alone, calling on the personnel only when needed. Here, with no means of letting them know who he is, he only had Aisha as his ally. He trained her for two months on the production of weapons in his underground lab that was being maintained by one of his informers in the area. Aisha soon learned how to destabilize the weapons that the enemy had been using. Her anger produced in her a strength that was unmatched by even Stark in his fancy suit. She acted on impulse and was almost always right.

The documents contained a detailed plan of the enemy’s lair and where the details of security measures in place. It also contained a comprehensive list of the top people in the organisation.

Stark and Aisha together after a special effects filled duel destroy all enemy weapons, almost avoiding being burnt. It was difficult as the US Army began to attack them on the other end thinking they were Taliban. Aisha then sneaked up-to their headquarters and asked them to stop. Seeing Tony in his Iron Man suit, they halted their attempts to kill him. Tony left the destruction of the last and kept dangerous weapon to Aisha, who saw her husband’s face in it.

After making the situation better, they left it to the US Army to carry on with the leftover mission and reconstruction. Stark donated heavily towards that cause.

Aisha and Tony Stark flew back to the US. She got her nose fixed, making her look a lot less fierce and a lot more beautiful. After a beautiful seaside dinner and drinks, Aisha informed Stark about her decision to go back to Afghanistan and help in the restructuring, she couldn’t leave her people behind. They bid goodbye.

Afterscene: Tony and Pepper have a closing scene in which he acts like nothing ever happened, flirts with Potts, some corny conversation takes place and the scene ends with Jarvis calling Tony an idiot of sorts who expresses less emotions than an AI.

#Now Playing__ 9 Crimes | Damien Rice

Supernatural

Chiraag

I was walking upto school, unaccompanied by my usual escort of five siblings for the first time. I had assured my mother that I was old enough and the journey would be no trouble. Even so, I was extremely wary. It was unbecoming of girls to roam the streets alone in Karachi, the streets too, devoid of their usual commotion. I felt exposed.

Out of nowhere I found myself surrounded by two massive dogs, one jet black and the other shaggy brown. They had such a royal appearance that I recognized them at once.

I had often seen an old man, very frail, come stroll in the garden in front of my house at every full moon. He used to look up and close his eyes standing in front of a particular tree as if in prayer. Four huge dogs would surround him then, and circle him as if they…

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The Difference is You

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“Noone leaves home unless home is the mouth of a shark
You only run for the border when you see your whole city running as well
You have to understand that noone puts children in a boat unless the water is safer than the land.”

If you cannot keep your feet on the firm ground with ease imagine the definition of human rights. Your eyes can only beg for asylum. A street side would be an unimaginable luxury. With thousands of tattered life jackets on the European Coast and boats as far into the horizon as you can see, the multitudes of bodies leaving their homeland pose a sorry picture. This is he worst humanitarian crisis the world is facing today with over 12 million affected people.

The division of limited resources makes even the kindest spirit apprehensive about the degree to which they are willing to sacrifice.  Nemo dat quod non habet. Europe alone cannot take the burden of ensuring refuge to 2.1 million people.

To everyone who questions the whole point of United Nations, and there have been many who casually dismiss it, I must say this is it. One of the major premises for the formation of the UN was to solve the problem of distribution of resources. The law of diminishing marginal utility would force a humanitarian to skip a meal and feed a child.

The inflow  of refugees is such that the World Food Programme had to cut down its supplies to one third. Education among Syrian children has seen the sharpest and most rapid decline, according to UNICEF.

You have the reports here. I hope you can stay true to the spirit of the (mock) UN you all brag so much about winning.

This was my application essay for HLCC MUN’15 (Hope it works!). While writing it I finally got a proper place to answer this question which every MUN enthusiast has faced at some point in time.

#Nowplaying__ I am so Weary – Cliff McAulay

Remembrance

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When three days go by and you have no idea of the sequence of events, things come all at once and then one at a time, like an aftertaste. You try to burp out the tasteful bits to relive them amd remember you had a scrumptious dinner. And then you realize the taste from your mouth will be swept off as soon as you feel hungry again. Eventually you will feel hungry again even if you swear to yourself you want to freeze in that hangover.

Comforting words and loving arms and smiling faces, pretty people paying regards, a thousand of them to attend to and a few to hold close and cherish. Past few months of cheerlessness leading upto this, you should never curse god until he is finished, with everything he had planned. Poor thing, must feel like what I did. I am sorry. I thank you, destiny, because saying god would attract mire.

Oh holy love, don’t confuse me. I love them all but hardly like them at all. I love everything because they make me feel good, what they say and what they do is not of consequence. The vibes have a stronghold in my heart, it knows when to beat faster and when to be calm. But alas, what when both happen with the same person.

I have no object to this flow. I wanted a record of how amazing the time was. This blabber says nothing, brings back no colourful imagery, no happy memory. It is the rant of a mind supressed too long in melancholy. Why am I so depressed? My friend, I am not questioning anything. Life is good again.

#NowPlaying__ Delicate | Damien Rice

The mandatory anniversary post!

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With everything in my life going all over the place, being dragged into emotional extremes and literally pulled apart by opposite priorities, rights and wrong, ethical conflicts and basically a lot of things that will be termed as ‘a melodramatic phase’ in my life after I graduate and college is just a memory, this one small trophy icon on my WordPress made my day (using wrong errornous sentences, unabashedly)

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Here is a shoutout to everyone who has made my day today

Anirudh, Shrunga, Philip and Jasmine, somehow you guys are my people here. Cue music- We’re all in this together (High School Musical). I can imagine Matam cringe already.

Bhoomik and Neel, for my phone bill. I never thought myself to be able to manage that feat. You two are worth talking to. One round of drinks that day did a lot of good 😀

Priyanka, Sakshi, Kartikeya, Karan, to being there! Anirudh, for joining us. Jemin, for Tayloring his way in too. All of you to be coming here is getting me excited and keeping me going. Alif, bring photos, Karan, get wine. The rest of you can get anything you want :* xD (Sagar, Sam, you shall be missed)

Vipasha you are a darling. And Aparajita, I’ll come get you at Lucknow. Let’s get into a live-in you sexy thing. Ashu, Aditya, Akshay, Anshul, you guys are so dumb. Vipasha is not engaged. Shrivalli you fell for it too, I is disappoint.

Mayu bhai, you’re always there for advise. I feel like a kid again, talking to you (cue music- Innocent-Taylor Swift). And Manik you little dumb wannabe grownup of a brother, thanks for the awesome time turner. I hope your college life goes swell. Nice girlfriends and all you’re making already, ass.

Priya, Amrita, you two are the sweetest ever present entities in life and just your presence can make things feel normal again, against the whole turmoil in my head. Take care, always. And my favourite and hottest junior ever, Dhruv. You’re a darling. Chocolates to you.

And I left my favourite for last. KAM XD
Bro, you have no idea what a support you are sometimes(when you’re awake :P) You know it why I love you so much, I wont go into details because its a lot of details. And even though I don’t show it enough, I love you 😀

Aaaaand. As they say, happiness multiplies, it did so as my smile grew wider with every word. Counting the small things that make you happy can make all problems disappear. I hope I made you smile atleast a bit today( see Aman, your wish fulfilled).

They also say,
When you’re sad, stop being sad and start being awesome instead.

#Lifeontrack

#NowPlaying__ Bailando (This song is makes me cheerful!)

Thinking a lot of things at once

lolSometimes I just drift off, forgetting that a writer is supposed to write. And then suddenly, I remember I have a blog. That other distractions need to be managed. And then I wonder if writing is a distraction too. Running from one distraction to another and ignoring reality, just what everyone is about these days. How to stay awake and aware?

Daydreaming. I have been dropping asleep in classes all the time and today I discovered that I am wide awake when I day dream. In a day dream I know exactly what I want, exactly what would be perfect. Scenes played out of my favourite movie. No distractions.

I opened my notes after I logged in onto my blog, thank god for the remember me option. And this poured out. Doesn’t even make sense. People I have given up on walked past me. I didn’t react, my heart didn’t clench in “hatred” and “betrayal”. Aparajita asked me, “Do they train you in indifference down there?” I think they do. I think that’s the plan. Exams and classes and politics are just distractions. It works like a vaccine against exams and classes and politics. I am indifferent to everything now. Shrugs.

What’s important to me? People go for denial and drugs. People go for an escape and drugs. Where do I go? I live off my head, I live in my head. Everything else is just a backdrop. I think Descartes would be proud of me, I prove his thesis. I’d be one perfect Descartian sculpture, living and breathing.

It would be ideal. I am the only thing that exists and puny humans keep walking around me, I can eliminate them in my head by just choosing to look past. Like a cat. There lies the solution for world peace. Just eliminate people in your head, or play with them like toys if they are agreeable. What a perfect social model!

I want to build my perfect little world. A perfect little corner somewhere which has everything to my liking. Something I always wanted but never hand. Something new everyday. Surrounded by people who like what I like, who are at peace in my world. A place like Disneyland. Yes, I want my own little one in a cozy suburban joint where connoisseurs visit to discuss art. I can’t picture it yet. I can feel the warm guzzling sound of coffee and the mixed aroma of a dozen teas, a tinkering of conversation and the pleasant sound of wind chimes everytime someone enters. Surreal to me, with its peculiar energy, but maybe just another place and just another distraction to others. And one regular customer who will be my soulmate.

#Nowplaying__ Creep- Radiohead