Writing Prompt: The bizarro world

April 20:
The bizarro world - In the DC comics universe, a planet called “Htrae” (“Earth” spelled backwards) is populated with bizarre versions of superheroes. A Seinfeld episode made the idea of this Bizarro World popular, where the characters encountered their opposite selves. Craft a scene in which you meet an opposite version of yourself – or a story in a bizarre, backwards world.

Rustic was quietly scouring the joint. There was much to observe before action could be taken. He inched stealthily against the walls, making sure to remain hidden in the shadows. He watched the lady in the blue-winged tee-shirt make her way across the street. He scrutinised the book shop, where the old man in the bowler hat always visited in the morning before he got his standard croissant breakfast. Nothing had changed; it seemed like it would be another day without progress.

But something unusual was happening today. A flamboyant character was parading down the street, waving to passer-bys and speaking excessively. “Citsur in the house tonight, my friends! Good morning to you!” he hollered heartily. Rustic rolled his eyes, but noticed that Citsur didn’t seem to be as easygoing as he had portrayed himself to be. Citsur was taking notes of his surroundings, as if drawing a mental note of the location. Just then, Rustic began to realise that the character who had introduced himself as Citsur, was heading right over to his hiding place!

“Hey, I saw you outta the corner of my eyes. Whatcha up to?” Citsur whispered loudly as he blocked Rustic’s line of sight. Flustered, Rustic nudged the stranger slightly. There was a peculiar connection. “C’mon mate, I know what you’re up to. Lemme guess, we’re on the same mission, aren’t we?” Citsur probed. Rustic stopped. How could he have known that there was a mission too?

As if sensing the gears whirring in Rustic’s mind, Citsur spoke again. “We’ll play a game – I’ll start. I’ll tell you everything I am and what I like. If you disagree with every statement I say, you’ll have to be my sidekick in this mission.” Rustic turned to look at the corner of the walls, but the silence was a clear sign of consent.

“I am the centre of attention. I like to be in crowds. I need a lot of sleep. I need to hang out with my pals all the time. I can crack jokes easily. I am forgiving and forgetful. I don’t take things too seriously. I like mornings. I like summers. I can always speak about what I feel – and you don’t. That makes me a happier person than you.”

Rustic wanted to refute; but kept silent… he had lost the game.

looking up from a well

looking up from a well,
for help, you yell.
but they glance and turn away.

laughter and smiles abound,
in pain you’re bound.
their joy is all but betray.

Life hasn’t been kind. But it hadn’t promised it ever would be. So why should anyone hold such expectations?

A slew of difficult situations have deprived me of decent sleep and the time to write. I began to contemplate how life is presented from the perspective of the ‘victors’ – those who have not been hindered; those who have not faltered; those have had a smooth-sailing journey. Social norms dictate our actions; public opinion weighs more than personal choice. Yet when you’re stuck in a rut, which of these voices shall be responsible for your fate?

The feeling was like being stuck in a well and which had walls pressing in. The fear of losing those we care was enough to crush a soul. In desperation, calls for help were greeted with disappointment. I wondered how people could take, but never give; how they could share your laughter, but never your sorrows.

Maybe as George Carlin puts it, “Scratch any cynic and you will find a disappointed idealist”. Who is to blame then, but the faith we had once put in Man?

create art

I’ll love to create art.
But how?

I love to write. But it’s not poetry in motion.
I love to sketch. But it’s falls far from beauty.
I love to create digital posters. But it’s never billboard standards.

How can I start to create art, when I haven’t gotten close to defining it?

Writing Prompt: Back to the Future

March 1:
Back to the future - A service has been invented through which you can send messages to people in the future. To whom would you send something, and what would you write?

Dear Rustic of the Future,
How is the world like forty, maybe fifty years from where this letter originates?
Do you remember those days when you typed away on the black keyboard?
Do you recognize the ones who have once hurt you?
Do you recall the times when you drank late into the nights, and woke in dawn to down another glass of whisky?

Where you are, are those words that sprawled across the screen now worth a thing?
Where you are, did those people who have upset you been out to harm you again?
Where you are, is your liver dying from the abuse, or are you still fine and continuing your mindless drinking?

I wish you could write me a note to tell me too, what life had been. Maybe I’ll stop making those mistakes; maybe I could arrest the agony.
Or maybe, it’s too late…

North Holland, The Netherlands

Typical of a visitor to The Netherlands, I thought it was necessary to visit a fishing village of this famous trading nation. What better place to visit than Volendam?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Volendam sits in North Holland, with many old fishing boats and where the town still boasts of inhabitants who wear traditional Dutch costumes. There is a small museum at Volendam that features the costumes and history of the town. I was however, attracted to the cheese shop and its demonstration at the basement! OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I later headed to check out the historic windmills of the Netherlands, at Zaanse Schans. The windmills are each named and process different items – there are sawmills, oilmills among many others.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

There was so much to look at in each place, I wished I had more time at each location! Next time when I stopover in the Netherlands, I’ll be sure to extend my stay!

Het Scheepvaartmuseum, The Netherlands

The National Maritime Museum in Amsterdam was one of the best parts of my trip to The Netherlands.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Located off the centre of Amsterdam, the National Maritime Museum sat at the old harbour and is housed in a former naval storehouse. Dedicated to the maritime history of the Netherlands, museum told several stories of voyages, life on ships, and even has a replica of the Amsterdam vessel berthed outside! You can get on the ship to check out the quarters too! OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The museum has four wings, each dedicated to a different experience related to the maritime history of the Netherlands. It was a wonderful experience for me, and the once-architectural wonder of building it on an artificial island in the harbour captivates me. Even though it isn’t widely promoted as a tourist place and not exactly along the tourist bus routes, don’t miss a visit to the Het Scheepvaartmuseum!

Amsterdam and its museums, The Netherlands

I stopped by Amsterdam briefly during the very same trip to France and Germany, and to my delight, I saw a huge variety of Dutch cheese all around!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

But of course, typical of my travels, I decide to spend a fair bit of time at the Museum quarter of Amsterdam. The Rijksmuseum (State Museum), which had been recently renovated, showed an impressive collection of the nation’s famous works. It houses the popular Dutch Delftware, artefacts, paintings, fashion evolution and more. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
But the museum’s collections wasn’t the only impressive thing – its outdoors were equally beautiful. The gardens had various sculptures that told a story of its own. I liked the cold natural air and preferred to take my breaks outside. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Within the vicinity was also the Van Gogh Museum, where one could admire the Dutch Master’s artworks as well as that of his contemporaries! I took a brief visit there; but again, in part due to time constraint and in part out of disinterest, I had to skip the nearby Stedelijk Museum of Modern Art.

Amsterdam’s Museumplein, with its major museums housed there, is definitely a must-visit for the art lovers! Just a note – there is also a Hermitage in Amsterdam; in my opinion, not comparable to the actual one in Russia, but out of ease of traveling and if you really wish to look at the Russian and French arts, drop by the one in Amsterdam! And for the history folks, keep a look out on my next post about the maritime museum!