Wednesday, September 14, 2005

55 words only? Are you sure?

Megha tagged me for the 55 word story. First, an explanation of the tag. When tagged, a blogger is supposed to somehow, rather magically, find talent and narrate a story in 55 words or less. You know what I think? I'll tell you what I think. I was the original inspiration for Beatles' beautiful song The long and winding road. I have never been able to do anything succinctly. In my halcyon days, if, for example, my English teacher (yes, I was formally instructed in the language, contrary to popular belief) asked me to write a precis of a complex poem (Jack and Jill), my version routinely turned out to be longer than the original source. See, I have done it again! Instead of saying that I can't convey a message in anything that consumes less space than a whole CD-ROM, I came out all words.

But I do know two very short stories, which I will narrate shortly. But first, a small detour.

Senthil, a dear friend, a co-cynic, and a person who I regularly go for a pint with (and get him drunk enough to make him pay for mine as well), pointed me to this website. You enter your name, and the Cyborg name generator tells you what would you have been called had you been a Cyborg, or if your parents had been doing industrial strength hemp when they named you. Here are some samples (Gina, Kakkar and Shrik are other co-cynics of mine):

SENTHIL - Synthetic Electronic Neohuman Trained for Hazardous Infiltration and Learning
GINA - Galactic Infiltration and Nullification Android
KAKKAR - Kinetic Android Keen on Killing and Accurate Repair
SHRIK - Synthetic Humanoid Responsible for Infiltration and Killing
ANURAG - Artificial Networked Unit Responsible for Accurate Gratification

Back to short stories. My favourite is the one which describes a whole scenario in 11 words:

"Whiskey bottles, brand new car. Oak tree, you're in my way!"

This is a line from one of the best songs, That smell, by the great band Lynyrd Skynyrd. The song is based on a true incident when the lead guitarist Gray Rossington, driving drunk, lost control of his new car and smashed through a parking lot into an old oak tree. For me, this is the ultimate short story.

My second favourite short story is from the song Down to the waterline by Dire Straits. I consider it to be one of the most romantic songs composed by the group. These lines represent the art of imagery not usually associated with rock music:

No money in our pockets and our jeans are torn...
Your hands are cold, but your lips are warm.

This, ladies and gentlemen, are two most romantic lines I have ever heard crooned. A whole story presented in 19 words!

An now, my own attempt at this ridiculous thing:

"I know it was the easy way out, but I would have lost to him in the finals anyway. Have you noticed how he dominates everyone? We also have feelings!"
"I understand, Andy. Remember, America still loves you. I would love to talk more, but our time's up."
"Thanks, doc. I'll see you next Monday."

There, in 55 words!


At 1:47 AM, Blogger Senthil said...

Heh, heh... good thing you rubbed the background for the story into my thick skull... now I can lie back and wonder who Andy is... (perk up my ears, listening carefully for sharp intake of breath)

Oh, and I kind of prefer S.E.N.T.I.: Synthetic Electronic Nocturnal Troubleshooting Individual

More apt, eh? ;)

At 3:07 AM, Blogger whitelight said...

Could not agree more. Lynyrd Skynyrd, they have sung so many stories (not songs).

The genesis of the song, however, was an education.

At 6:43 AM, Blogger Vignesh said...

When you say, I have crooned, I take it to mean that you have actually sung that out to someone, in public ?

Wow. No guts, no glory huh ? :)

At 3:48 PM, Blogger s said...

Hey there .. just dropped in ..
Nice blog u got here ...

wats the story with the fountain? hope i aint hitting u hard in ur stomach! ? ;)

At 3:46 AM, Blogger Anurag said...

Senti: Yes, the new Android name is apt. Andy is Andy Roddick - he is basketball player from Austria.

Whitelight: Welcome. I checked out your blog, and you seem to be a real music buff.

Vignesh: I actually wrote "heard it crooned", but let me check and make sure. I definitely won't be able to do justice to this song. Or any song, for that matter.

s: Welcome. Fountain story? It's a long one, for a later post. :)

At 6:00 AM, Blogger Mint Chutney said...

Very clever story Mr Anurag. Very clever.

"GINA - Galactic Infiltration and Nullification Android"

That is the coolest one I've heard so far.

At 9:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cybernetic Hazardous Assassination and Repair Unit - That's mine! You know who I am, don't you? Thank goodness you still have anonymous comments enabled :D

At 11:02 PM, Anonymous Shami said...

Heh. I would have never thought the never ending search for my true identity would end with the title of Synthetic Handcrafted Android Manufactured for Infiltration.

At 12:35 AM, Anonymous ayesha said...

lol... "whiskey bottles,...." very funny.
Someone explain to me how though do u ppl (read bloggers of the world web) remember all this stuff... i mean iv heard a lot of music iv loved and smiled or smirked at in passing but i can never remember it!!
Do u guys like mentain a life reference encyclopedia of some sort..? like note all interesting things for future reference??? ... how do u do it!!!

At 2:33 AM, Anonymous Anirudh said...

Maja came.

At 3:19 PM, Blogger said...

Loved the Lynyrd Skynyrd line. Perfect for the job.

At 4:11 AM, Blogger whitelight said...


"music buff". now, that is an understatement. it has become a sickness now. draining me of my resources. but i could not care less.

by the way, nice choice of music. Hancock, wow. i like that.

At 4:17 AM, Blogger whitelight said...

Chick Corea.

At 6:18 PM, Blogger Vishnupriya said...


At 10:18 AM, Blogger Ashu M said...

Nicely done! Poor Andy ... Not!


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