Categories
Creative Writing Horror

Steak Knife

With a bespoke contoured handle that’s made to sit snugly in any hand, the Alethea Steak Knife that measures a convenient 7 1/2 inches was designed to carve through meat, sinew and bone cleanly, swiftly and more importantly — indiscriminately.

Tonight (in Mr. Perera’s hand) it swished through a pretty fine chunk of rump steak that left a dribble of crimson blood dripping on the white floor tiles, which formed a dark red puddle; Talisman, Mr. Perera’s pompous Persian cat, thought this was the ‘purrfect’ appetizer and lapped it all up as he watched his owner go about marinating and roasting his steak.

Talisman recalled with a sense of fondness how the Alethea Steak Knife, which cost a hefty 85 USD, was used by Mr. Perera to draw a fine red line across Mrs. Perera’s pearl necklace-decorated neck; this was a good 3 years ago. Thanks to the use of polyoxymethylene, which has a tighter molecular structure to resist fading and discoloration, the Alethea Steak Knife looked just as sharp and new as it did 4 years ago when it was first purchased.

Talisman also remembered, as he took a heady whiff of the rosemary-tinged aroma that pervaded the kitchen, how Mr. Perera chopped off the hands of Mrs. Perera’s boy toy, Alan, with his favorite steak knife. Talisman recalled reading once that the Alethea Steak Knife utilized Precision Edge Technology, which yields a blade that is 20% sharper with twice the edge retention. Alan, sadly, didn’t stand a chance against such innovative technology.

As the steak was served in a vintage porcelain plate atop the teak table, and a vintage Merlot was popped open, Talisman watched Mr. Perera lovingly clean the Alethea Steak Knife and place it on the fine recesses of the German-built pantry table; he tickled Talisman behind his ears, and settled down for dinner.

As dinner was slowly consumed and the last few dregs of Merlot settled on top of the chewed up rump steak in his stomach, Mr. Perera switched off the kitchen lights.

As the kitchen lights bounced off the shiny carbon stain-free steel of the Alethea Steak Knife, Talisman followed his master to bed only to awaken a few hours later to see Alan’s mother stab Mr. Perera 13 times (“That’s how many times he fucked that bitch of yours!”) with the Alethea Steak Knife; the deed was done swiftly with minimum trouble thanks to the heel bolster of the knife, which provides added balance.

After the woman made a hasty escape, two things occurred to Talisman:

(a.) Mr. Perera’s blood tasted similar to the rump steak, and

(b.) that the Alethea Steak Knife, which protruded from his chest and reflected off the ghostly moonlight, seemed a comfortable fit (Mr. Perera would disagree, he chuckled) and boasted a contemporary and inimitable appearance that unarguably made it the perfect steak knife.

Categories
Creative Writing Horror

Summer

August came and went, but she’ll always remember August, because of what he said:

Give me a kiss and I’ll give you a smile.

Tell me something sweet, and I’ll buy you something nice.

You cover your face like the moon behind a shimmer of clouds.

Tell me you love me, and I’ll see you come around.

Darling, didn’t you know that I’ll pick two stars and put them in your eyes.

If only you’ll be a little less stubborn and learn to offer up a smile.

Three months passed, and it was turning out to be the greatest love story ever told.

They promised each other with the stink of sex between them:

Let’s both hold hands and write this story — our story — together.

Months went past but even as her stomach grew and she grew beautiful still, the theatre of life dimmed.

That’s when she opened her mouth, and an angel with a terrible secret whispered out aloud:

Do you know this little secret I’m about to drop softly into your ear, my love?

Street lights wept as she told him of early dementia. The days passed by, and he saw how thoughts, questions, and sanity itself fell away in her mind.

The only thought that remained in that fine sieve of her brain was a terrifying question:

Who am I?

He thought:

Relationships end because one person loves the other person a little less.

And he slipped a knife through with just a hint of a secret gasp, and she felt the skin, flesh and sinew parting with sympathetic and painful reluctance.

She thought with a last painful breath as the darkness came:

As you can see, even monsters were babies once.

When the world came to see her rest, she heard his Mama admonish him:

What are you doing?

He said with a surprised jolt:

Nothing Ma.

But she saw him as did the red-breasted robin nearby, spitting with glee, spitting with relief, right where she lay, right here among the leaves.

Categories
Creative Writing Love

Algo

I saw you on my Samsung screen.

I swiped right.

You swiped left.

You didn’t want to see me.

Algorithms don’t care about us.

The algorithms don’t care about me loving you.

That’s why I went and held someone else’s lips with mine.

Yesterday’s pleasure, which was designed to forget you, was supposed to be a happy memory.

Yesterday’s pleasure is my regret today.

Categories
Life

Here’s Why I Write Satire

It would be an understatement to say that I love reading, and that I also love writing. This post is about why I write satire and also why satire is important in a free and democratic setting. To put it succinctly, if there’s one regret I have in life is that there’s just not enough time to read all the great books that are out there in the world.

Francis drops this

There’s just one book I have given up on reading and that was 13 Reasons Why. I felt guilty doing so since it would be a waste not to read. It was a good call, though. (Francis Bacon would nod in agreement.) That book is a waste of pages. I realized that it’s better to give up reading a book if you don’t connect with it since you’re just wasting precious time.

But, Why Satire?

Like I said I love writing, and that alone should offer you an indication as to why I write satire. There’s this excellent article I read called 30 Year Thinking by Nat Eliason. It’s a great article about investing time and effort into skills that you know you’d never give up on, and what you’d like doing for the vast majority of your life. Writing and reading are free, and have a great deal of benefits, which go beyond cognitive and artistic benefits.

Growing up, I recall how writing along with art was, at one time, regarded as a dead-end job. Science was regarded highly. It’s great to see that this perspective has changed. I never chose writing as a profession because it would be lucrative, but, in this era, it has become exactly that. Just like anything in life, you need to practice and practice away at your craft, so that you’re good at it.

George Orwell uses satire to address the subject of the Russian revolution

So, why satire? Well, because it just goes beyond the creative aspect of writing. Satire is used to point at the stupidity of the world. It is a tool to help the reader analyse their own human nature and know where they have erred.

The novel Gulliver’s Travels written by Jonathan Swift was a satirical piece aimed at tackling the nature of humans. One of the most famous scenes in the story is when the main character interacts with the tiny people of Lilliput, satire is used here in the height of the heels worn by the men as a way to mock the Whigs and Tories of the British government.

Jonathan Swift uses satire to take about the nature of humans

In Animal Farm written by George Orwell, satire is used as a way of addressing the subject of the Russian revolution, this is perhaps one of the most famous examples of satirical literature in the world. In Catch 22 written by Joseph Heller, there are plenty of examples of satire throughout the piece. One of the most notable is the general ideal of the Catch 22, which the writer uses as a way to talk about the lack of logic often seen in bureaucracy.

Enter The Sunday Morning

I spent a great many years working at some of the top advertising agencies in Sri Lanka. It was a great time, and I managed to work with some excellent brands. But, in terms of having a rewarding experience I would think that it was working as a feature journalist and editor at a lifestyle magazine that made me most content. Covid-19 did away with the publishing industry, and I transitioned into the tech industry.

Feminism is not a man-hating hobby

The tech industry is proving to be a completely different ball game altogether; however, it is something that I’m enthusiastic about when it comes to learning. Life is short, and learning transcends the excitement that power and money can extend to you. That said I missed creative writing, which is why I was excited when I was invited to have my own column at one of Sri Lanka’s best newspapers.

Satire on the privilege of the patriarchy and the archaic roles that women have to adhere to

I may have started out as a creative writer, but I wanted to move onto other types of writing as well. I’ve done business writing and technical writing. I just want to have the bragging rights knowing that I can do it all. Writing is an experience, and it’s important to me that I can experience it all.

Satire on elitism, the rich and the new rich

This was why I jumped at the invitation to have my own column on The Sunday Morning called Colombo Confessions. It’s a column that has a light-hearted and satirical view of Colombo and it’s denizens. I admit that at times, it does take on a very caustic viewpoint, but then the subject matter happens to be rather heavy, too. How else is one supposed to talk about sexual harassment, elitism and sexual intrigue?

Satire on how a privileged few with their toxic masculinity use both men and women as objects of sexual gratification

Satire, I’ll admit, is not everyone’s cup of tea, but what a brew it is, and that alone is a good enough reason to write satire. Call it a curse or a blessing, but the fact is that writers are empathetic creatures. We observe and we feel. And most of the time, we feel too much. This desire to feel and extend our feelings onto paper is like consuming alcohol. There is that initial high which segues into a feeling of satiation that lulls you into a sense of bliss. This is another reason why I write satire. I’ve never done drugs (except for alcohol, which technically, is a drug) and never will, but, I guess, there is a thrill in chasing that high quite like chasing the dragon.

Satire Is Necessary

Remember that in a world where there is not much choice, to even think beyond the cookie-cutter norms that have been set up by the status quo is an act of revolution per se. Your voice matters as do your own individuality. This is why it is important to express generously. In what is supposedly regarded as a free and democratic world, our way of expressing is the ultimate challenge of the status quo.

Why I write satire is because satire is great in the sense that it has a complete lack of boring and reasonable moderation, and with the subject matter that is addressed, there is no other option either. As an empathetic writer who does possess a certain degree of sensitivity, the pen is that almighty tool used to create awareness of issues and disparities in society. Satirical literature calls attention to these issues and can make readers aware of something they had not been previously considered or understood.

Categories
Tech

Life With A Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite

As per biologist E. O. Wilson: In ancient history and prehistory, tribes gained visceral comfort and pride from familiar fellowship, and a way to defend the group enthusiastically against rival groups. It gave people a name in addition to their own and social meaning in a chaotic world. It made the environment less disorienting and dangerous.

These prehistoric proclivities have migrated onto modern life, and now, it does more harm than good. Let’s discuss lies, and how they are related to the forever argument of whether Android or iOS is better.

Lie Number 1: Apple/iOS is the best.

Lie Number 2: Samsung/Android is the best.

Your purchase depends on the narrative that you choose to believe, you see. Sadly, in society you need to subscribe to one or the other. Like most things that make up society whether it be religion, food or a university/school, you are compelled to choose. Or, your circle of influence (think parents, friends, religious leaders et al.) will embrace you into their fold and hammer their beliefs into you.

But, it is all a lie. Anyone who has read Sapiens will know that we choose the narrative we want to believe based on the stories around it. That sense of community created by brands (because, they all are brands, aren’t they?) is the glue that builds camaraderie.

Android and iOS both fulfill a function, but most audiences prefer to snuggle in a rabbit hole of arguments and dysfunction. Rather see a product for what it is, which is to cater to a requirement, and make whatever inconveniences redundant. The problem with any circle of influence is the set of beliefs they instill in you.

Thus begins my justification of the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite — (sometimes) referred to as Lite hereonafter. Whatever you assimilate today make sure you ponder the contents of this article before you make a purchase decision. Full disclaimer: I’m comparing the Lite to an iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus running on iOS 14.

Productivity and Word Consumption is Better on the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite

The stylus on this Lite for some strange reason helps the sinuosity of my sentences. Maybe because it is a novel experience or maybe because the user experience is conducive to creativity. Either way this is a great addition and it makes the Lite a fantastic smartphone.

The stylus on the Note was a game changer and continues to be one

Since I’m a writer by profession, the varying keyboards that you can draw up are helpful. I usually shift between the Samsung Keyboard, Gboard and the Microsoft SwiftKey Keyboard. The whole experience of collating, curating and fleshing out data is a joy on this device.

Who needs a laptop?

Although I want to try Stencil as a design tool, I have decided to stick with Canva since I have a Pro Version of it, and working on it via the Lite is an absolute breeze. Collaborating via the Google Workspace and using apps like Ahrefs is convenient.

Ted Chiang is an inspiration

The Kindle app works great on the Lite, and reading is a rewarding journey on this device. Of course, there’s nothing like a book as far as the writer in me is concerned. But this works well and the reading experience is fantastic.

Samsung Health is Better than Apple Health

My weight loss journey is documented on this blog, and I used Apple Health to document the distance of my daily walks. I knew that there is assured to be some disparity with regard to the accuracy of the distance covered. But what I realized is that some measure was better than nothing.

Apple Health was generous with clocking in the distance on the 20th of October

Enter the Lite. I was curious to see what was actually better when comparing Samsung Health vs. Apple Health, and so decided to do my morning walk with both devices.

On the 20th of October, Samsung Health said I’ve walked less compared to Apple Health

The Lite said that I’ve done less when it came to the distance covered. And based on the app reviews present, I think I will believe the data generated by Samsung Health simply because there is proof.

Netflix and Apple Music is Better on the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite

Who would have thought that Apple apps work better on an Android? Without diving into the whole mechanics of what is under the hood, it makes sense to remember that it is the experience that matters. The Note 2 that I had promised a lot in the way of specifications but ANY iPhone would have put it to shame.

This is my jam and Doja Cat is the bomb

And then there’s Netflix on Android, which offers a fantastic viewing experience, too. This is largely thanks to a 6.7 inch screen that is Super AMOLED. Running on Android 10 with One UI 2.5 the user experience on this Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite is far better that iOS 14 and that truly is just my opinion.

Deadly Class is a great watch on Netflix and I really think that Tarantino actually made this

Let’s also consider sound when it comes to the listening experience. The Lite features a 3.5mm audio jack and Dolby Atmos surround sound technology. The sound experience on this device offers one eargasm after the next.

Dolby Atmos on and Dark Mode off

I use JBL earphones when walking and the Samsung earphones when listening to media. Both are great, but, as you would expect, the JBL noisemakers are better.

Battery Life is Seriously Good on the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite

Everything works seamlessly in one cohesive team powered with a 4500 mAh battery pack. The Lite has lasted more than 1.5 days on a full charge.

4500 mAh worth of power

This efficiency will reduce as time goes on. But with 4 months on the clock, there’s no visible sign of the battery losing its glimmer. The Lite has a Snapdragon 855 processor, which is a flagship phone processor, and that’s quite a good reason to go for it. The processor is one generation old compared to what is powering the Note 20, but the Lite is great as it is.

What Should You Buy?

It’s a good rule of thumb to skip the first generation of any product since there will be teething issues. This is why I researched thoroughly before deciding on the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite.

Additionally the whole concept of marketing is done in such a way that you would always opt for the flashiest and newest iteration of whatever product. And, this is a surefire way to ensure that you end up burning a hole in your pocket.

Rather choose a product based on your requirement; this video shows why a Samsung Note 10 Lite is enough compared to a Samsung Note 20.