Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Ten Greatest Fictional Universes Ever

Sometimes, this life doesn't feel enough. It's fun, it's beautiful and all that... But once in a while, we wonder if there's a better place, a better life, waiting for us somewhere. Well, I wouldn't trade my life for anything, but these are the ten worlds I'd love to be in. Ten greatest fictional worlds I've come across:

10. BERK:
Who wouldn't want to live with big burly vikings, drink yak milk and pillage villages for fun? Here, I can sail. And I can fly!
"This is Berk. It snows nine months of the year and hails the other three. What little food grows here is tough, and tasteless. The people that grow here, even more so. The only upsides are the pets. While other places have ponies, and parrots, we have dragons!"
Watch the movie.

It's my life's ambition to meet a real-life super-Saiyyan. That, and Piccolo's makankosappo (or Special Beam Cannon) means that Goku, Bulma and company find their place in the list at number nine.
Come get me!!

Yes, more superheroes! While Bruce Wayne's Gotham alone is worth experiencing, one finds the city devoid of The Green Lantern, J'onn J'onzz and The Flash. So yes, wherever the JL go, I'd like to go with them.
Note 1: Superman is gay: the only eyesore in an otherwise perfect universe.
Note 2: More than offsetting this problem, we'll have Wonder Woman. And she is...

7. ARDA:
Being one of the most elaborately designed worlds ever (the Mahabharata isn't really fiction), not wanting to live in Middle Earth and, later, Valinor should be considered a criminal offence! Silmarils, rings and legendary swords... I'm probably doing Tolkien grave injustice by relegating the world to number se7en.

As a matter of policy, I dislike God-interference. Some plots become murkier and murkier until one stage a solution seems impossible, when Presto! An impossible ending is conjured out of nowhere and all is well. These story-lines just don't make sense! However, there are two exceptions to this rule: 1. My life and 2. A Wodehouse novel.
Jeeves is a genius.

Even though I consider Rowling a highly unoriginal author, I'm a sucker for this world. Come on! 'Wands and Wizards' - there's no way in hell I'd say no to that! Besides, house-elves could do all my work.
(For the record, I prefer elves who tall, beautiful warriors to the sycophantic elves.)

Blistering barnacles, of course! Tintin, Snowy and the cap'n almost skipped my mind entirely... I'd love to gallivant Borduria, Sydavia and places as far away as the Moon. This one comes above Wands and Wizards!

Moonface, Silky the fairy, Dame Washalot, Mister Whatizname, Saucepan Man and the Angry Pixie... Need I say more? What worse could happen to me here than missing the hole back to the tree! Enchanting, yes! And one of the happiest worlds I've lived in as a kid.

Light sabers. Need I say more?

There is no emotion, there is peace.
There is no ignorance, there is knowledge.
There is no passion, there is serenity.
There is no death, there is the Force.

A quintessential Friends group and the bittersweet symphony of Life. The most real, happy place I've ever had the fortune of coming across! Thank you, David Crane and Marta Kauffman for redefining happiness and laughter.
I'll be there for you...
'Cuz you're there for me too.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

One Last Breath

Greyness descended upon him even as his vision blurred. Colours seemed to fade away, as grass merged with dusty earth, in a cold steel grey. The pool of blood appeared black from where he stood. Once again, he crouched behind the makeshift wall to protect himself from sheets of savage arrows. Faces in the wall were a grim reminder of the dead who now constituted it: once his comrades and brothers, they now stared back through empty eyes. With swords in arms, they had all perished in the front-lines and now, in death, they protected him. They would not get a decent burial but dishonour and indignity are rarely felt by the dead.

A man enters a battle in fear, charged with adrenalin... but by the end, he is drained of energy and of tears. And he is fueled by unparalleled courage.

From his breastplate, he pulled out the shaft which had sought him out from behind the wall. The arrowhead smelled of his blood. He rubbed his wound; it did not hurt. He was alone and Death was near. He had sliced and cut his way here with his bloody broadsword before he had been sapped of his strength. He was alone in a losing battle now.

What is fear?

He picked up a fallen bow, instantly recognizing it, but thought not of its previous owner. With a final burst of energy, he sprang up from the dirt. With his one bloody shaft, he armed his bow. He could kill one more man. Through a cloud of approaching arrows, he spotted the chariot. A deep breath filled his lungs, as last breaths often do. He steadied his arms and squinted through the blur. The arrows descended upon him and they sliced through his chain-mail. Blood flowed freely now, even as he imagined that they had entirely missed their target.

He managed a final chuckle and let the arrow fly.