A Writer Robot

You, Robot

Congrats — you’ve been handed a robot whose sole job is to relieve you of one chore, job, or responsibility you particularly hate. What is it? – Daily Prompt by The Daily Post.


 

I am currently facing what you can call a typical ‘Chartered Accountant’s Busy Work Season’. Loads of audits and assignments in progress and quite tight deadlines to meet. Travelling , meetings, working, reviewing, reporting – that’s  how my days are passing for last few weeks. Moreover, the current political circus, rather chaos, takes up what ever free time I get.

It has been quite a while I have not written a post. In fact I am responding to Daily Prompt after five weeks approximately. And this is how it’s going to remain for coming few weeks as well.

I don’t hate my responsibilities. I am by nature a very determined person and like to accept challenges. So there’s is not any particular responsibility, chore or job which I hate. However, I would surely like to get some help in activities I like to do and writing is one of it.

So if I am handed over a robot, I would like it to blog / write for me. I would just give it the topic and all the research, reading and writing will be done by it, particularly my favourite topics of politics, history and sports. Writing an article for newspaper or blogging site requires some real effort as it involves reading and researching in order to ensure one produces correct facts. A robot will certainly help me in doing this task and make available some precious time in which I can pursue my other passions and activities.

 

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Full Disclosure – A dialogue with a mad scientist friend

A mad scientist friend offers you a chip that would allow you to know what the people you’re talking to are thinking. The catch: you can’t turn it off. Do you accept the chip? – Daily Prompt by The Daily Post.


 

Fazal knocks the door of the house. Andrew opens the door.

“Hey bro! Great to see you! Come on in.” Andrew embraces Fazal and invites him inside the house.

Andrew and Fazal have been fast friends since childhood. Andrew went on to do doctorate in Sciences from one of the best universities in the world. He is a successful scientist and an inventor of many modern gadgets. 

Fazal is a Chartered Accountant. He is currently working at one of the biggest firms of the world.

“How is life? What are you up to these days? You mad scientist! ” Fazal asks Andrew while punching him lightly on his belly.

Andrew chuckles.

“Well my boring accountant friend, I have a surprise for you. This insane scientist has made an insane invention.” Andrew tells Fazal while pouring the drink in glasses.

“Ah! Not another one!” jokes Fazal and grabs the glass. “What crazy invention have you made now?”

“Cheers!” exclaim both Andrew and Fazal while clinking their glasses.

“Relax my dumb friend. It will soon be unveiled to you. After all its you on whom I am going to try it.” says Andrew with a cunning smile.

Fazal leans back on the sofa. “No way! Keep me away from your crazy world.”

“It will make your head explode.. I am telling you.” remarks Andrew.

Fazal shrugs his shoulders. “Whatever!”

“Come! Let me show it to you.” Andrew asks Fazal.

Both Andrew and Fazal go downstairs towards the lab. Andrew opens the drawer of a long table in centre of the lab and takes out a chip. He shows the chip to Fazal while holding it with his thumb and index figure. Andrew’s beaming face tells the story.

“This is just a chip. What so great about it? You dumbo!” says Fazal with a sarcastic smile.

“This is not an ordinary chip man. This is a revolution!” asserts Andrew. “This chip will fit right in your head that would allow you to know what the people you’re talking to are thinking.”

“What?” exclaims Fazal.”You got to be kidding.”

“No my friend I am not.” replies Andrew. “I told you it will make your head explode”

“If that’s true, this is an amazing work. Congrats! You crazy head!” Fazal gives a high five to Andrew.

“Are you ready?” Andrew asks Fazal. “I am going to fit it in your head. Your world will change now. You will know what others are thinking about you” Andrew explains. “But there is just one problem. You cannot turn it off ever.”

“I respect you and your work my friend. You are simply brilliant. Sorry! I can’t and I don’t want to use this” replies Fazal.

“Why? What’s the problem?” asks Andrew.

“Why should I be concerned about what others think of me?” Fazal asks Andrew and leans back on the chair. “I mean why should I be living a life that follows the ideal notions of what other people think. I am not really bothered about what other people think about me. This chip is just going to make my life difficult for me.”

“Hmmmm… You make sense. I thought it will help you. It will let you know what others are thinking about you. You can unearth the hypocrisy of people. Thinking something else and talking completely opposite.” Andrew replies.

Fazal walks to Andrew and places his hand on his shoulder.

” Well! That’s what really troubles me my friend. I may be able to identify hypocrites but it is really going to take a toll on my life. At some point it is going to affect me. What pants should I wear? How should I eat? Should I laugh or not?… I mean ultimately this all is going to creep in my mind. I will not be able to live normally.” replies Fazal.

Andrew nods. “I respect your views. You sound right!”

Fazal leans back to the chair again. “It’s impossible to live up to everyone’s expectations. There will always be people , no matter what we say or how we treat them,  that will judge us. Whether you’re at the gym, at work, at restaurant or even playing sports. You will never be able to stop people from judging you, but you can stop it from affecting you. I am a simple person and want to live a simple life.” Fazal explains.

Andrew places the chip on the table and stands up. “I am going to destroy it. I guess it’s going to cause more misery instead of benefits.”

Fazal stands up as well. “No! No! I did not mean that. These are my views. You may find a great no. of people who would really want it and will be really comfortable with it.”

Andrew puts the chip back in the drawer.”Okay! I am going to find volunteers for it and let’s see how does it turn out to be.”

“You are not going to win a Nobel Prize for it.. You crazy head!” Fazal jokes.

“You are just jealous… You dull philosopher!” Andrew remarks sarcastically. “Come! Let’s have another round of drinks”.

Reviving Bricks – A Mansion for my Hobbies

You just inherited a dilapidated, crumbling-down grand mansion in the countryside. Assuming money is no issue, what do you do with it? – Daily Prompt by The Daily Post


Wow, what an incredible stroke of fortune! I have now inherited a dilapidated, crumbling-down grand mansion in the countryside and an illimitable supply of money to renovate it. What would I like to do with it?

I have loads of varied interests and hobbies which include reading, writing and blogging, watching movies and sports, playing sports, listening music and quite recently a renewed interest in drawing and sketching. So its quite obvious what I would like to do with newly inherited mansion. I shall renovate and design it to pursue all of my hobbies. A countryside, grand mansion, tranquillity…it creates a sense of great elation deep down in me.

First of all I shall build a grand library in it. It shall be a pity that I have such a grand mansion of mine and I do not have a library in it. It is time fulfil my passion and love for reading and books. I want to learn so much and it will be perfect reservoir to quench my thirst for knowledge and learning. I particularity love reading history. Along with other genres, I shall stuff my library with all kinds of history books. While writing this post I am already imagining the magnificent sight of my library with a thousand times bigger collection of books than currently I have.

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At the same place I shall polish my writing and blogging skills. With such a treasure of knowledge surrounding me, it will be a delight to write on so many ideas and topics.

An IMAX private theatre…just imagine it. Gives me a sense of euphoria when I think about a cinema of my own in my home. I am an avid viewer of movies. First of all I shall see again all of the top 250 movies by IMDB on big IMAX screen. I shall watch movies of Al Pacino, my favourite actor, again and again. Its gradually turning into a mansion of my dreams.

Music is food for soul. It gives wings to the mind, flight to creativity and imagination, and charm to life. I shall have a music orchestra of my own. I shall built a grand concert hall and enjoy the music from top artists all around the world.

Source: Wikipedia

Source: Wikipedia

 

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How to renovate the basement? Best way I can imagine is to convert it into a grand indoor sports facility. An astro turf shall be installed and basement shall be converted into indoor fields for two of my favourite sports, cricket and football.

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I have always loved arts, drawing and sketching in particular. I think art is a way to feel connected to the world. It’s a language for capturing thoughts, exploring ideas and then spread those ideas. I love meeting and getting to know the artists. I love how artists have the ability to surprise, delight, and sometimes, shock. Through the eyes of an artist we can experience the world in so many different ways, and see different things. So here is the next step – to create an art/drawing studio to pursue my interests in arts. Focus on studies, professional studies in particular, resulted in many of hobbies going behind back drop. Drawing is one of it.

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Garden is a place, if maintained properly, where natural beauty can be enjoyed very well. I am lover of beauty and garden will be one place exhibit the natural beauty. So barren land outside the mansion will be converted into a magnificent garden where I shall spend my mornings and evenings in tranquillity.

facSo this is how I shall turn this dilapidated, crumbling-down grand mansion into a grand mansion of my dreams.

Strike a Chord – Dhol Beats

Do you play an instrument? Is there a musical instrument whose sound you find particularly pleasing? Tell us a story about your experience or relationship with an instrument of your choice. – Daily Prompt by The Daily Post


Although I cannot play any musical instrument, I am an avid music listener. The one music instruments that just makes my spirit to soar is ‘Dhol’.

I go mad and music takes over my soul. The sound of dhol is so load and beautiful, I can feel it in my heart. The dhol rythms of Bhangra, Dhamal and Kaharva takes you to higher levels of of ecstasy. The sound of the Dhol, if you ever hear it, is just insane! It is one of the best sounds ever in the music industry not to mention the sub-continent music industry! In one hand, a pencil-thin stick liberates high-pitched notes from one side of the large drum hanging from the neck of performer while a thicker, hooked one demands a strong pulse from the dagga, or bass side.

The Dhol, a double sided barrel drum, is the most sought after and used instrument in the music industry of sub-continent (Pakistan and India). The Dhol actually dates back to the 15th century, that’s how old it really is! In was used in the Punjab region of Pakistan and India to keep the farmers going to work. 

The sticks that strike the Dhol are made of wood – bamboo wood and cane wood. All Pakistani music songs/tracks consist of the dhol as part of their music madness when assembling the track.  The dhol varies in size and is usually quite large with a strap that will strap around the shoulder.

One of the best dhol performers of Pakistan is Papu Saeen. His talent took him to great levels of fame and is now an international figure. Rani Taj from India is another famous dhol performer.

Enjoy some of the great dhol beats !!


 

Papu Saeen and Overload Collaboration


Dhol mix by Rani Taj


Read here another blog on music I posted today. Coke Studio: My favourite five songs!

 

Back of the Queue – Sketching

Is there something you’ve always wanted to do, but never got around to starting (an activity, a hobby, or anything else, really)? Tell us about it — and tell us about what’s keeping you from doing it. – Daily Prompt by The Daily Post


I have varied interests and set of hobbies. I like reading books, watching movies, listening music, travelling and exploring, watching and playing sports, exercising and recently blogging. But here is this one hobby which I have always wanted to pursue but have not been able to start: the art of sketching.

I was very good at drawing in my school days, particularly until 6th or 7th grade. I won an art competition in my school in 5th grade. I don’t know but somehow I could not continue it. I developed so many interests and hobbies over the course of time in my school and college days. I was good at sports and regularly played cricket and football till 1oth grade. Then I developed interest in scouting and went on to achieve the highest rank in scouting, Quaie-e-Azam Boy Scout. I regularly used to go for and enjoy scouting camps at Murree, a hill station in northern Pakistan. After leaving school many of my hobbies went to backdrop and I started to concentrate more on my studies. It rewarded though, as I topped the intermediate examination and secured gold medal. Post college education, I pursued a tough option of professional studies of Chartered Accountancy and qualified in 2010.

But I always felt something was missing in those six to eight years of education since school. So I started to revive my hobbies. I always try to maintain work-life balance in order to pursue my interests and hobbies; and that one interest I so want to pursue is sketch art.

I have always loved arts. I think art is a way to feel connected to the world. It’s a language for capturing thoughts, exploring ideas and then spread those ideas. I love meeting and getting to know the artists. I love how artists have the ability to surprise, delight, and sometimes, shock. Through the eyes of an artist we can experience the world in so many different ways, and see different things.

I have a particular fascination for sketch art. One does not face hassles of fancy tools, boards, desks and tables for sketch art. With just a pencil and a piece of paper you can unlock a treasure of ideas, emotions, experiences and thoughts at any place and at any time.

So here is the next goal of my life, sketching. I have already started to look for classes and teachers. Although an accountant and creativity do not go well with each other, I hope I shall be able to unlock my artistic instincts soon.


The question is how soon? Well the comment of Kate motivated me to start it from today. So I bought a sketch book and pencils within few hours of posting this blog today. Thanks Kate and The Daily Post !

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Here is my first attempt at drawing… after 17 or 18 years of break. Loads to learn and improve upon …

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My next attempt at making face of Popeye.

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And I have signed up for summer camp short course for drawing starting on July 4, 2014 at National College of Arts, Lahore. Hope to polish the skills and come up with better pieces soon.

A Vending Machine of Advice

Soft drinks, electronics, nutrient-free snacks — you can get all of those from a vending machine. But what type of vending machine is sorely needed but doesn’t exist? Share your automated retail fantasies with us! – Daily Prompt by The Daily Post


No one in this world is self-reliant. One who thinks he can do everything by himself without any help or advice is living in a fool’s paradise. But what are the dilemmas one face when asking for a piece of advice or help from someone? Here are few of them:

Pride and Ego

We all need a healthy ego to provide the fuel and kick to our life. Nothing wrong with this. But, the trick is you have to manage your ego and not let it manage you.Your pride and your ego are the first thing that get in the way. No one wants to admit that they have a problem. No one wants to admit that they need help or advice.

Shame

Often people feel shame in asking for help or advice. Shame, the most toxic feelings of all which stops us to connect with people. What will one think of me? It’s the first question that comes to mind when we try to seek advice or help from some one. It is one of the most common problems at work place.

Expressing your feelings

The next hurdle when asking for advice is to express your problem to others. You have loads of thoughts in your mind and you just want to say it loud and free yourself. But how to communicate? How to let it out? People struggle to express themselves when facing some one.

People will judge

When someone goes to anyone for help or advice, odds are they already feel pretty vulnerable. They are trusting someone to hear them out without being judgemental or condescending. That’s the biggest fear… others will judge when one asks for advice.

 

A Vending Machine of Advice

So here is my idea and solution to above problems. Idea of creating a vending machine of advice. You go, simply put in your money in the machine to listen to your thoughts, feelings, anxieties, problems and then offer you a piece of advice on it. A vending machine that will listen to you without judging. A place where you will not feel any shame. A moment when your ego will not be hurt.

How special would it be to have the comfort of advice for your greatest problems at the insertion of a few coins?

 

“When we ask for advice, we are usually looking for an accomplice.” – Saul Bellow