The Stream Flow: An Experience With YouTube Addiction

When childhood was lazy and clouds rolled by on beautiful summer days, a 12 year-old girl, like many other preteens of her age, refused to appreciate the beauty of the sky and the trees, and instead gorged on the videos every hour of the day, getting excited for the notifications of the Youtubers she loved watching, and becoming ecstatic out of her wits when her comments hit a 1000+ likes.

Constantly glutting herself with every other comedy video of Zaid Ali or Lilly Singh, or watching and cringing at the Paul Brothers’, she silently and unconsciously slipped into a void of absolute unproductivity and unmotivated studying.

Curled up on her bed with dampened spirit, her fingers slid over the smooth surface of the glass as videos kept on playing on the phone.

This 12 year old was no one but mini me. Mini me stuck in a toxic YouTube addiction. Unmotivated either to play or study while life seemed to spiral out of hands.

Sooner rather than later, I acknowledged myself of what addiction I had set foot onto.  Every dopamine hit provided a stimulation. The moment it goes away, another dose of dopamine is needed.

It had become a cycle of venomous dopamine hits and guilt followed thereafter.

I knew things had to be flipped in order to change.

After constant searches on many websites of how to cure it and to the extent of self regulation by a 14-15 year old me then, many months later, things started to fall in places as I improved and lessened and self controlled the time I used to spend on the app.

During this self improvement journey, a lot was learned while I religiously followed advices from the web or kins striving to accurately apply in my real life. The journey was jolty firsthandedly but month later, I arrived at recovery.

As I learned and grew with this journey, I decided to pen it down by sharing my story and the tips to remove YouTube addiction, if you have been struggling with it as well.

No doubt, I thought the recovery will happen in a fortnight, but unfortunately it did not. In a stretch of few months, little by little, I embarked on the road and arrived to its recovery, finally being a little enlightened by the great fact of life: great changes happen with little steps.

Little steps put one at a time.

During certain weeks, I do not even touch the app. Here’s a stat

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What is YouTube planning against me?

Why is YouTube so addictive? Ever asked that question? In fact, ever tried to find the answer?

YouTube users watch 1 billion hours of videos every single day. Every. Day. That is almost like watching half a million movies on loop. Again, every single day.

It isn’t the case that in the billion hours, videos only are being watched.

In reality, it is actually the time spent on YouTube by global users per day. Count the number of ads you see, count the amount of time you spend scrolling through the comments section, count the amount of minutes you keep scrolling to find the perfect video to suit your mood.

Ah, it’s lot.

But then, it is YouTube’s algorithms. The storage of the content I had last seen to the niches of videos that I see; YouTube, I slowly realised,
somehow seems to know what I like viewing while toxicly invading my privacy the more and more I watch it, just in order to refine the content I see.

Well, curated content is not unlikeable. But, refinement done by YouTube holds another narrative.

Is it not the case when you love to go bananas over Justin Beiber, and your closed ones offer you posters, jackets and diaries featuring him on your special day, you feel a tinge of euphoria?

Same is the case of YouTube, it offers you what you desire, making you feel the tinge of instant gratification minutes after minutes.

But, wait? Is YouTube offering or is it luring me?

It’s the other way round. The more you gorge on the content that you like seeing, the more will Youtube earn it’s bread. Their need to keep you stuck in their vast, pixelated world makes them treat you specially, even if that means your privacy will be at stake.

And, of course, there is the content creator’s knowledge of tapping into your psychology.

Hyper reactive faces in thumbnails and clickbaits in their video names, stimulating all your senses to bait you into watching a video, and the countless ads grasping your attention, YouTube is a goddamn fox at feeding parasitically on your time.

The new comments section shoved cleverly right below the video, just to amuse you to hear human opinions on the content in an otherwise nonhuman world, is slowly becoming their way to arrest your attentiveness, making you lose your valued time right through their drains.

YouTube never fails to bedazzle you to watch useless information countless number of times: just to make you lie in your supine position mindlessly watching videos all day, while outside the sun sets heralding twilight skies.

Now that you know how cunning YouTube is, why don’t you try tapping into YouTube’s Psychology?

Now that you have got the idea of how YouTube works to lasso your attention, to feed parasitically on your procrastination, let’s sharpen the knife on how to cut ties with uninformative craps floating on YouTube.

° Are you watching content that is stimulating your senses providing immediate gratification, but feels short of what was to be delivered?

Cut it. Unsubscribe the content that promises you oranges and offers you apples. There are millions of channels  with nil knowledge or information trying to be in your screen, donning themselves to be entertainment of all sorts.

° Whenever, you are about to watch a video, immediately flip it over to arrive at a full-screen, so that you aren’t beguiled by the opunions (pun intended) desperate to catch your eye.

° If really needed, open a new gmail account, in order to start afresh and subscribe to channels that really add value to your daily life. Be it some spiritual talks or humorous contents that lift you up when you are low, or graphic infotainment that adds richness to your knowledge or eye-opening documentaries changing your perspectives, subscribe to such contents.

° Do not cut on the entertainment that you watch but try harder to watch entertainment that you do not have to follow after. In other words, controversies of influencers that never seem to halt or keeping up with the useless trends and the subsequent humour circling around it, snap it off.

° Train your mind to spot and filter what you need to see. Really ask yourself, “Will the girl crying for her missed prom add anything to my brain?”

° Is the Youtuber relying more on the thumbnail to attract my senses than delivering what the person had promised?


1. Indetify and Acknowledge

At the outset, getting rid of addiction is very hard. The basic step needed to remove it is first identifying whether you have it. If the situation is so, it takes the arduous process of acknowledging it just to take the step of removing it or controlling it.

This was the basic step I had tried to take. I have constantly muttered this in my mind so many a time: I control what I see.

YouTube may now know openly and clearly identify that I love Owl City’s songs, recommending me that or know that I laugh out loud watching SlayyPoint. But, no matter how YouTube might be expert at my likes and dislikes, I still control what I see.

No matter the glittering thumbnails and the controversial video titles (I shaved my whole head. Okay, cool. No more crying for clips and rubberbands being lost, I will utter.), I control what I see.

2. Time Limiting

Time limiting. It can be done in either of the two ways: either you can fix that you will watch 1 hour worth of videos or you can set a time, say 5 pm to 6 pm to watch YouTube.

Because, reiterating again, YouTube parasitically feeds on your valued time.

The repurcusions when I watched YouTube videos on repeat is that I have faced attention deficiency to the limit of a gold fish. Became fidgety if no stimulation in terms of graphic imagery appeared

Not proclaiming tall tales, but with controlling what I see has helped me immensely to be more present in reality. I wish I could have highlighted that I got good grades or with extra time in my pocket I have used it benefittingly to create masterpieces or somewhat but that isn’t true.

My achievements aren’t glorious at all. Yet, I would have trailed off in my secondary academic years due to this single, innocent app that mysteriously would have entranced me to watch useless knowledge, leaving me with sore eyes and screen tears, added with a chronic sleep deprivation.

3. Valuable

I subscribe to personally valuable content.

Be it YouTube or Social Media apps, the flow information never ends, it’s a tunnel of mind-blasting information having no light at its end.

Infographic shows or short films, or channels that cover my boards and syllabus, or some entertainment channels that do not fail to arouse me, I subscribe to such channels.

And, so should you. Because apart from the entertainment channels that maybe I can go gaga over, I do not necessarily invest my time on the other topics because the content creator and runner of the channels do not either show their faces or comes up with changing people thus limiting myself to form a cult/fandom (kind of) around any person or celebrities.

Getting rid of YouTube addiction was personally hard. As ridiculous and hilarious as it may sound of being a slave to an app, but in this day and age of massive technological change and contents pouring from multiple gaps in a stretched out and still stretching cyberspace, it is not something to sneer at; addictions to virtual content is real.

And, it’s tragic.

But the power to work upon it still lies in your own hand.

I hope my article provided you some incentive or even a slight nudge to identify, acknowledge and realise if you have YouTube addiction too. Or if possible and hopefully, some tips to work upon it.

Do remember, my tried and tested advices are in vain if it’s never worked upon. Initially, the first week would be full of blunders; it is understandable you would be fidgety restricting a habit that you have cultivated over time.

In case you tend to feel bored and prefer to watch some entertainment videos, DO NOT. Adhere to the fixed routine you will have scheduled now and try to live mindfully, enjoy the curtain of silence draping over you.

Go, hear the birds sing their melody, or see the sky tranforms it’s colours in the sunset hues. Be present in reality and enjoy all the little things life will offer you because, afterall, life is just way too wonderful and beautiful to be wasted away.


Love, It Is – Story

pt. 2

Head over here for part 1: Love, Is It?

“Oh, the doves!” pointed Ana, with amusement in her eyes. Frank, suddenly taken aback, looked at her in surprise, “Ahah! You remember them?”

She nodded her head agreeing.”How will I forget them, Frank?” she smiled at him, and then abruptly shifted her focus on the willow tree.

“Did I ever tell you, back in the 50s,” said Ana, suddenly taken back through the time tunnel, blankly unbothered about the surroundings. “In a beautiful evening, I was sitting under this very tree with Michael by my side.”

“I can precisely recall, 15th October. A Monday it was .”

Weeping Willow Trees City Park Iowa City IA Photograph by ...
P.c: Graham Bell

“The Pharmaceuticals paid him like a miser, Frank. He didn’t even have the money to buy a decent car to go to the office, let alone buy some unnecessary pieces of jewelry to profess love!” she grinned.

“And still on that day when he put the ring on my finger, Frank, I felt so sorry for the extra spendings of these materialistic stuff people gotta buy to show romance. God!” she laughed, clutching her stomach too.

And then soon slipped back into being solemn, the sorrows engulfing again. “In all truthfulness, I wanted to pity him. I honestly wanted to.”

A soft smile crept up on her face as she let out a deep breath. “But then, I don’t know what hit my brain, or my heart precisely. But with this…this fearless,” she paused, and then continued with much emphasization, “this colour blind love we had, all I could feel that day, after enduring so much with our rule-breaking, unacceptable love of ours, was the courage he had for me.”  She waited, “And the immense respect I truly held for him.”

“When on that special moment he put the ring on my finger and came close to plant the sincerest kiss on my lips, I kept thinking if I was to cry or smile, or like everyone else just close my eyes, as in some cliched movies being shot under the tree,” Ana snorted a laugh, rolling her eyes at the same time.

A long silence followed, the old lady now lowered her head in dismay. Some yards away, the ducks paddled trailing a symmetrical V on the gleaming sunlit surface.

P.c IamNasheer

The brimming tears, that had been covered up with her crinkled eyes of her roundabout laughter, for so long, threatened  to cascade down any moment from now. And the more relentlessly she tried to bore them, more did the tears pierce her eyes, in return.

“Did he really do a crime loving me?” Ana choked on the words, as she quickly turned her head, looking at Frank quizzically. “When love doesn’t match people’s black and white world, do the just feel their prejudice boiling? Is that why they complain to authorities?”

And then the tears burst out; her frail body shuddering violently when she struggled to mouth her inner trepidation after so long.

“Frank, what a nuisance I must have been to you for the past years, haven’t I? I wish I-, ” her voice drowned in her own pool of tears. “I can’t help it. Every moment, I could still see him dragged by the police. And, whether our love was a crime or not, I still couldn’t help feeling so pathetic about being lucky for the skin I had, feeling so immensely guilty for the job Daddy held.”

Ana struggling to breathe, took in large dollops of air, her weak body trembling along at the same time.

“Truth be told,” she went on. “We were quite lucky. Quite lucky. Never discussed about having kids. Lord! what a burden the world would have been on them.”

She halted for a bit. The tears unstoppable in their streams, made hey eyes bloodshot staining her face pink, “I still can’t let go of the pain in my heart, Frank. It’s till now holding onto the biggest grief I feel.”

As though going to shake the burden on her heart with the air, she exhaled heavily, staring at the other end of the lake, her eyes now dewy, “The grief , the gulit of never imploring the court about what happened to him, never even tying to find out; it haunts me.”

“And, even though I could have ended up this past ugly days  today with a genuine apology to you,” she gasped for air again. “But, I won’t.”

“For all the times I have contemplated ending my life this day or that, Frank, the love that you hold for me, I see them in the morning cups of tea, sense it in the silent long stares each morning. It’s all for you, Frank, that I tell myself suicide’s not worth the pain I’ll pass on to somebody else. Atleast, never to you.”

“I can not say sorry, Frank. That’s such a pointless and worthless thing to say,” she halted. ” It’s thank you. For coming into my life when I needed you the most, for bearing the sack of burden that I am, for accepting me even when I absolutely loathed myself failing to suicide 3 times since the last two years.”

And then she ended there. Abruptly. The past spread out in front.

All the grief that she had been holding on for so long flowed. The pain vented out.

Old Frank, with his fingers squeezing his eyes, and gut wrenched, as he now gaped for air, hearing the first time his wife’s attempted suicide failures,  found difficulty in breathing.

A stillnes settled in the atmosphere; the quiteness making the kids’ laughter, the dogs’ ecstatic barks echoing all around; eventually being broken by those doves of the willow tree, ruffling their grey-browm plumage, preparing for shooting into the sky again, soon flying away to their distant locations.

“Oh, Ana” he quivered, his shakiness, remembering the bygone case of Michael Custody Brutality, the infamous death of a Michael, a black man tied in a felonious interracial marriage in the 50s U.S, now apparent.

The horror of retracing the “Police murdered Michael” rally in his small town, the horror of hearing for the first time his own wife’s failed suicidal attempts, left him covering his wide open mouth with his hands.
The terror visible in the bloodshot eyes.
It took a long, drudging minute to finally break the void that had suddenly entered the conversation. Frank being the one breaking the melancholic silence, slowly filling the air.

As he curled his hand around Ana’s, hinting at his promise  he wasn’t leaving her so soon, he uttered, “Gone is the dead, Ana. Gone in somewhere faraway land.” His, raspy voice now becoming deep, his attention matching eye to eye with his wife “But, don’t you dare go away leaving me alone, Ana.” “Not so soon, please.”

And then he pulled her closer, kissing her forehead fervently, both of them breaking down together, before releasing her from his embrace.

“Or, maybe,” he said, softly beaming at her moist face now cupped in his hands, “Not before me. Alright, love?”

Love, Is It? – Story

Pt. 1

The grey dawn paved the way to a rosy morning as the light creeping through the windows touched Frank’s face. Shuffling from the creaky bed, his head and spine drooping as he seated himself on the edge, Frank let out a large yawn, trying to soak in the morning light of the day. Outside the birds, chirruping their daily melodies, seem to sparkle up a life in the dying garden.

Beside him was his wife huddled in the cushions and the blanket, still deep in her sleep, unaware of the light creeping up on her face by now.

Moved by the calm atmosphere that reigned, the innocence of the scene in front, Frank couldn’t help but to smile to himself.

Looking at his grown-up cherub, her wispy white curls sprawled on her fair forehead; the world seemed so angelic each moment he stares at her sleeping face; the every day mundane problems vanishing into thin air, the memories of their young days, those long drives in the highways, the wine glasses they clanked in their Saturday picnics near the cliffs, all of those reviving again.

And then all of a sudden, out of the blue, kicked in the present scenario, just like reality tries to break the castle of your daydreams.

The reality that rang like the morning bell of the church nearby. Chronic depression it was. The anti-hero straining the moments they shared, the marriage that tied, the future they envisaged. And even though, depression could have been the villain, the antagonist painted in all of the wrong, depressing, melancholic colours but it wasn’t. It couldn’t be.

For all the time Frank has been frustruted at her fatigued soul, fed up of the daily chores, the everyday chaperoning of his wife, a tiresome job he found himself into, the more his heart liquified.

The young love, the joys of it, all the memories recollected flooded inside him. He felt in in the core of his heart; no matter how many tragedies that could appear, it falls short when juxtaposed to all the troubles that they have weathered through their strong 30 years of togetherness.

Yards away, the misty morning shroud unveiled, brightening to a blue-skied morning now.

Straightening up from the bed, Frank ambled towards the kitchen to make the morning cup of tea for both. Bending and raising, rummaging through all the heaps of packets in the drawers, the jars on the slabs, he was struck with a sudden realisation that he was running out of tea bags since yesterday.

“Love,” Frank called to his wife, who has now woken up, her wide eyes afixed to the ceiling. “I guess we shall have to take a walk today for a morning tea. You up?” A question met by a grunt, with no further reply.

A few minutes later, donned in the plain grey clothes, the old couple stepped out of the house; Frank’s hand gripped around Ana’s as if a tragedy may be looming in any second and he couldn’t afford to make it happen. Even though, he knew  those tragedies, those explosions of melancholy inside her will remain unuttered no matter.

On their way, right beside the road, the Alabama Heartland, a small park in the neighbourhood stood, its banner draped by a bougainvillea arch. The blooming pink flowers curved like a bow of mini bursts of colours catching Frank’s eye as he stopped midway, marveling at it.

He asked, turning to his wife, whose uninterested eyes set straight forward on the road, “Mind strolling for a bit, Ana?” A big wide smile cropped up on Frank’s face, “We’ll kind of have our morning walk by today.”

Reckoning her uninterested ” Yeah, alright”, the old woman accompained by her husband walked quitely, each in their own headspace, to the  path leading to the central lake, all the while the husband just beaming to himself, looking around glancing at the young lovers on the park benches, the kids scampering around, the loners invested in thier gadgets.

And, of course the doves on the willow tree.

How would he forget them? The daily spectacle of the Alabama Heartland’s , the birds branching on the willow tree every morning, flying farway to some distant lands at 7 a.m somewhat, in a harmonious symmetry, but unfailing for their theatrical show every morning, as if it had morphed into a ritual of theirs to present itself by the wee hours.

“Oh, the doves!” pointed Ana, with amusement in her eyes. Frank, suddenly taken aback, looked at her in surprise, “Ahah! You remember them?”

Continued here: Love, It Is

Kaahor Bati (Bell Metal Bowl)- A Short Story


“Ma, I don’t get it!” exclaimed Samli, raising her hands in frustruation. “Why do you need to get up from your seat and serve deuta the scoop of rice when the pressure cooker is literally in front of him?”

“Thet, Maajoni,” her mother replied, dismissively. “Passing the food is table manner,” she countered, as she silently put the ladle inside the cooker, while her husband, unbothered about the conversation about him even taking place, smacked onto the daali.

Samli narrowed her eyes in exasperation, frustrated having had her mother shrugging her off again.

Dismissing her as if she had in all these years unable to grasp the minute undertone of this scenario in the dining room happening everyday.

Her mother pushing away from the table, getting up from the seat, serving the food onto her father’s plate, briskly commuting from the kitchen to the fridge. Hearing her husband’s requests for a papad now, a chilli then, perhaps a slice of lime or a cube of onion to crunch on with the dinner.

And, she unrelentingly complying to all of the trivial wishes.

“Samli maajoni,” her mother called, snapping Samli out of her bubble of thoughts. “Please, go fetch the curd from the kitchen, maa,” she said dotingly, as she finally took the seat to carry on finishing her own plate of dinner. “Maybe, Deuta would like having some curd rice now.”

Samli stared at her mother silently, blinking. Her eyes squinted and eyebrows raised in a questioning look. “He hasn’t even asked for it,” she was about to utter in irritance, but then tiredly disregarded it, silently  proceeded towards the kitchen, merely fumbling alone to herself.

Flickering on the lights, she kept her hands on the slab in frustruation, unable to understand why does her muther shrug her off? Pondering upon it, she kept looking in silence at the untensils rack, where all the cutlerys and dishes have been lined up in their respective compartments. The bell metal vessels on one side and the normal, daily-used stainless steel on the other.

Breaking the silent atmosphere settling with her infuriation, she mindfully fetching two steel bowls and one bell metal bowl from the rack spooned out the curd from the clay pitcher. As gently as she could, she placed the bowls on the tray and took an attentive glance at the arrangement of the bowls itself for a few moments before eventually proceeding to carry it carefully to the dining room.

With an intent eye kept on the bowls, Samli set the steel ones near her plate and her father’s, right after placing the sole bell metal bowl near her mother’s side.

And then maintaining a still composure while taking her seat, she sipped on to the glass of water waitimg calmly, examining the bowl near her mother’s plate, contemplating her prediction to unfold in reality in a few minutes.

And, then it happened so, just as she had rightfully guessed.

Her mother swiftly placing the spoon in her bell metal bowl, Samli saw what she has been expecting all along. With deft hands, switching the bell metal bowl with her husband’s steel one, in front, a wife finally took to having her dinner once again.

Source:, that’s a bell metal bowl

Cultural notes:

The grandeur of bell Metal plate in the Assamese Culture isn’t always reflected by it’s lustre, the mark of the history of reigning Ahom kings nor the cost of this handicraft piece. Sometimes it can be a blatant reflection of patriarchy itself.

‘Daali’ is dal (pulses), ‘Maajoni/Maa’ means daughter, ‘Ma’ is mother, ‘Deuta’ is father and ‘Thet’ means ‘whatever’, in a scornful manner.

The Farmer’s Plight

It was a warm morning hearlding a clear day, the clouds hanged above lazily and the breeze blew over the tilled and sowed fields. The hillocks the bounded the edges of the paddy acreage stood as a valiant guards, protecting Kisan’s crop from impending danger of God knows what.

But Kisan had been expecting the looming grey clouds across the other side of the sky to bring him the good news of a plentiful shower for the final irrigation of his field. How had he been impatiently waiting for the Rain God to alight on his field, bless it by quenching its thirst. And after this last sprinkling, miser Kisan will make a fair profit of his crop without spending much for its tending and growth.

Yes, it was a sunny morning until it rained and along the overflooded irrigating canals, it brought the endless joy for the farmer.

The weather pleasantly unleashed its offering of the raindrops. But as moments passed by, a loud roar of thunders split from the black clouds and then Krishna smiled to himself, looking at the sea of green in front.

After stealthily drawing the adjacent irritating pipes from the next field to water his own, and now waiting for the nature to show its monsoon grandeur, Kisan had successfully managed to be at the top of misery game.

Only things took an unpredictable turn. The rain transformed to a storm, the water lashed the fields, the canals brimmed. The crops swayed to and fro with the gushing wind. The rain didn’t stop itself. It went on and on, rampaging on the labour of Kisan, on his less of a hard-work and more of his smart-work.

He wondered why had he not trimmed the field before the harvest festival could begin, or why could he not just store the seeds and the crop in the sill and managed to earn a fair profit too.

Not a careful thought struck his head, money muddled his mind. The smart-work seemed to ease his burden of labour, labour he hadn’t done really much except planning when and how he’ll use the water of the next field or shift the bund separating both fields a little or to start a quarrel accusing the other side of unfair playing. His mind worked, but his body did not.

The next morning, the sunrays peeped through the clouds, and this time bringing in the news that one can less expect any storm or shower in the week but bright, clear days. Kisan glanced at the neighbouring field, its paddy harvested and neatly sold to flour factories. But there remained him, reflecting on his bad luck, his head resting on his fisted hand, looking at his devastated field.

Maybe, every creation of God has two sides, but then again karma too exists to teach one a good lesson.

Hill Cut

The sunrays glimmered on the sloping pineapple fields. Men and women abstained from listing out their dreams, and went on doing what their ancestors did and what their children would do- reaping what they had sown and selling it in some dainty markets in Shillong.

The hard workers toil the earth as if it were their own. Neither did they stop to rest nor will they glimpse at the ferocious dark clouds looming on. From somewhere blew a smooth, tangy air enticing their freckled, pinkish skin. But will they rest? Sigh, life goes on just like the wind does.

Behind the tree stood a tallish hill, what Mathew called ‘the Meghalayan Everest’. If people of Noylingom ever had their piece of rest, it was all devoted to nurturing this hill. Children and old had memories firmly bonded with Everest, perhaps, watching a rainbow, amassing firewoods or recounting the building of the highway winding around the hill.

In the laps of Grandpa, Conrad hears his goodnight stories, not of fairytales and fantasies (that’s for children) but about the building of the highway, about better connectivity and communications. Conrad only gapes at grandpa’s worldly wisdom and his old man’s weak voice quivering big things. One thing for sure is that Conrad didn’t understand Grandpa. Not at all.

But Conrad soon understood what Grandpa meant when he witnessed it one morning. Dozens of bulldozers lined at the foothills of Everest. Days went by and the hill was denuded and stripped, bored and dug until it was no more a hill.

Tugging at the hems of one of the worker’s uniform, Conrad asked, “What are you doing here?” The worker suddenly becoming aware, looked around. Amused by Conrad’s innocence, he crouched down and said, “That’s called development, child.” He smiled looking at the construction site, “Of you, your place. The country’s. Every-”

“No sir,” Conrad interjected, “We don’t need it, thank you.”

In a Virtual World

“Jason Stone, help me!” screamed the lady, mincing her agony somehow. “Hey, Stone!” . She was waving at me trying to beckon me to help her, with background sounds of exploding bombs and Bullet showers repeating uninterruptedly.

Sympathy arising from her pathetic condition, I left the shelter behind the barricades and crawled on all four to her by narrowly missing the bullets.

I reached her and took out my tiny backpack which, quite fascinatingly, carries a huge load of artillery. I scrolled down to see what I needed.

A bullet less pistol? No. Brass knuckles? Perhaps, later. Just as I took out the medical kit, it snapped and disappeared and the lady stood in front of me, magically healed. She was in rugged clothes with a pistol in her hands.No wonder, that’s some chivalry! She was in my bandwagon now.

That is I get to direct her.

I stood there and scanned the place to escape. I am aware that it is always better to give a good fight but not when you have no ammunition.

My new recruit might be immortal with infinite ammo but here I am the hero. Oh, stop judging. That is basically how I was designed.

I glanced thoughtfully at those medical boxes adjoining the wall which leads to an open window of a building. That is my only chance for I got a bullet-less gun. I decided to use my new recruit for this purpose.

I focused on the window and thought ‘D’ to the direct her, but she stood there rooted to the spot. Unnerved, I thought ‘D’ again and there she stood in an akimbo position not giving a damn about it.

I knew by then that some obstacles and levels are for me. I plucked some courage, sprinted towards the boxes, climbed up on the wall and made my way to the window.

And then received a fist of blow on my face. Oh, damn that Russian soldier!

A punch is actually nothing in my world, but then my health rate flickered, the screen became bloody red and I was sucked up into a dystopian but a familiar world again. I looked up to the sky and it read LEVEL1 all over again and then I knew I was dead.

Because someone outside my world screeched such unfamiliar curses, he did not even switch the computer off– he plugged it out and I was blurred to non-existence.

Some teeny-tiny stories

◆ “Thanks, Mom and Dad for being in my hard times…but, the pressure can’t be handled anymore. I am exhausted from life,” read his suicide note.

◆”You are boring. At least, you could try to make me happy,” she screamed out loud, smashing the vase right behind him, on the whitewashed wall. “Honey, you have to understand that that diamond ring is out of my budget, out of my boun…” Yet, the words never reached her ears because she was out of his life anyway.

◆”And, you little naughty brat, why were you causing a disrupt when the national anthem was being sung?” the Principal asked rather strictly. The little boy quivered, with tear-filled eyes, trying to grasp the little amount of air he could, “Ma’am, I just couldn’t control my pee.”

◆I knew there was a spectre gliding along the walls of the caves, a bunch of glimmering threads. It’s only the very next day that I learnt about that little glow worms who scared the daylights out of me.

◆The reporter jostled and pushed to shove the mic right on his face to make the headlines by daybreak. And she did. “Hey, Cuban, how did you feel climbing the Everest?” After a long pause, Jade replied, “Well, I definitely knew that I was on top of the world.”