The Vision

on Posted by Rajesh J Advani
He woke up screaming.

He'd had a vision, and somehow he was sure that it would come true. The world was going to end. In less than three hours.

He had to tell someone. They had to try to stop it. He ran out into the street, and tried to grab the arm of someone who was passing by. But his arms refused to react. He tried to shout, but no voice came from his throat. He tried to write on the ground with a piece of chalk, but his arms wouldn't move. It was as if the universe didn't want him to interfere. He walked around the town trying to talk to people, to warn them. They stared at him, but never reacted, never interrupted what they were doing.

Time passed, but he couldn't seem to do anything to prevent the doom that he was certain was coming. Every minute, he grew more desperate.

He came to an open space where a crowd had gathered. A man was holding a gun to another, and shouting something about avenging the death of a loved one.

He wanted to jump in the middle of the crowd and make them listen. The world was going to end! Couldn't they feel it? But he couldn't even move anymore. He could only watch. He watched like everyone else, as the man with the gun shouted. He watched as he pulled the trigger. He watched as the bullet struck, and the victim fell to the ground. He was sure, like he knew everyone else in the crowd was sure, that the man deserved it.

The world started to grow dark. This was it, he knew. And he'd been unable to stop it. It was noon, but the sky had turned gray. Even the sun seemed no brighter than a dim lamp. It wasn't just becoming dark, he realized. The world was turning black. All the colors were fading away into nothingness. And just like in his vision, the message appeared in the sky. Glowing white letters on black. In a language known to no one. Two words that meant the end of the world, the end of life, the end of everything.

"Okay," I said, shaking him by the shoulder. "You can get up now. It's over."


I pointed at the screen, which now said The End in large bold letters.

"Oh. Good. Hope you enjoyed it.

"It was nice. You should have watched."

"What's to watch? If the bad guy kills the good guy's girlfriend in the beginning of the movie, then in the end, the good guy must kill the bad guy. In between, you throw in a few songs, some fight scenes, and you have a three hour Hindi movie."

"Okay, so it was predictable. But it was still a nice movie. They made it pretty well. And there was some good acting."

"If you say so."

"You know towards the end, in the crowd surrounding the good guy and the bad guy, there was this man..."

"What about him?"

"I don't know. He didn't seem part of the movie. It was almost as if... as if he was more real than the other characters."

"More real? Like he was about to jump out of the screen?"

I grinned even though that's exactly what I'd thought. Hearing the words said out loud made the idea seem absurd. "Nah," I replied. "He was probably an extra who was trying to get noticed."

On the screen, the The End sign slowly faded away.

New Look: Ice Mountain

on Posted by Rajesh J Advani
As you might have noticed, I've made another update to the template of this blog. This is my fifth Blogger template, the third one for the new Blogger, and the third update on this blog. The image in the background is that of a glacier in Greenland. I got it from Wikimedia Commons. Image manipulation was done using The GIMP as usual.

One of the other templates I created, works on the new Blogger and can be downloaded for free, at City in Paint. It's based on an OSWD design, though I made some minor modifications to the look, and some major modifications to the HTML to get it to work with Blogger.

I'll be offering this one for download too, once I complete a few finishing touches.

Do let me know what you think about the new look. I'm hoping the (mostly) white background and the bigger text makes it easier on your eyes. The blog should look okay on Firefox, Opera, and IE 6 and 7. If you're among the less than 1% of readers who use a version of IE older than 6, then you might see some weird JavaScript errors. But those are from Blogger, and I can't really do much about them. Of course, if you are still using that ancient browser, you should really consider getting Firefox.