THE PACKAGE

Author: Rahul Srinivas

 “So that’s how I end huh. Never imagined I’d go out this way. Well, I should’ve seen this coming, I suppose, given my condition.”, Trevor thought to himself as he was on his knees and a could feel the hand from behind, holding the sharp knife near his neck, ready to slice him up any second. 

Trevor developed a condition since his small ages. Being an orphan, alone in the streets, he used to get lonely. A child with no companion, nobody to play with. This loneliness had caused him to develop an imaginary friend with whom he could play, talk and share things. He always knew that Joshua was just a fragment of his imagination. But for Trevor, he was real. He was an escape from the cruel world. 

Not long after this, he was found by a nun and was taken to an orphanage. Here, he grew up with other kids, laughing and playing, like the child that he was. But never once did he forget Joshua. Even though he was just an imagination, Joshua was there for him when he needed him and he did not want him to feel alone like he once did. So he grew up with Joshua. 

He was happy to be more fortunate than some other street kids who were guided into wrong paths. He grew up in a loving place, with friends who became a family. He left the orphanage at the age of 17, for his studies. He graduated and became an electrical engineer.

Throughout all this, he always continued talking with Joshua. Joshua even helped out Trevor at times. Whenever Trevor forgot the answer to a question, or got nervous on a date or was having any problem, Joshua would come to him and help him out and would pat on his right shoulder and say “Don’t think too much.”, and walk away.

 

2 DAYS EARLIER:

 

The notification sound on Trevor’s phone went off. He opened the message just to see a random number send a location to him. He dismissed it thinking it’s a wrong number. He switches off the phone and sees the time. 14:00 displayed the phone’s clock. “Another three long hours. I am already sleepy.”, he said to himself as he got back to work. 

After a long day’s work, Trevor goes back to his home and sleeps.

 

SAME NIGHT, 21:30 HOURS

Trevor wakes up and opens the message of the location. 

“That idiot! Trevor opened the message. I asked him specifically, not to text me before eleven!”, said Joshua to himself, as he left the house.

 

00:30 HOURS

“I told you not to text me. What were you thinking?!”, shouted Joshua.

“You know the location of the pickup point changes every night.”

“And the pickup does not happen before one. Can’t you text me two hours before?”

“Jeez, sorry man. It won’t happen again. What’s the big deal though?”

“That’s none of your business. You work for me. Now give the package and bounce.”

“Whatever, man”, said Dev to Joshua, as he gave the package to him. Then Joshua delivered the package to another guy and went back to Trevor’s home. 

“Better delete this.”, said Joshua as he deleted the message of the location, before going to sleep.

 

THE NEXT DAY:

Trevor wakes up and goes through his daily morning routine. He checks his phone. 13:50 displayed the phone’s clock. 

“Three more hours”, Trevor said to himself as he let out a big yawn. He opened his messages.

“That’ weird. I remember it being there yesterday.”, Trevor thought to himself as he saw that the message of the location was deleted. 

Right then, Joshua comes to him and says “Don’t think too much”, and tapped on his left shoulder.

 

That night, Trevor goes to his home and decides not to sleep. At 11’o clock, he got a message of a location in his phone and decides to go to that location.

“Don’t go there. Trust me you don’t want to”, said Joshua to Trevor as he was about to leave.

“I knew you were upto something! You always taped my right shoulder. But today, you taped the left. You panicked. What’s there? What is in that place? What are you doing with my body?!” shouted Trevor.

“I can’t tell you”, said Joshua.

“Then I guess I just have to find it out myself huh” said Trevor as he walked away, and left his home.

 

PRESENT DAY, 00:20 HOURS:

“Here’s your package man”, said Dev to Trevor, thinking he was Joshua.

“Package? What package? What’s in this?”

“What do you mean what’s in this man? It’s the stuff. The whole drug chain?”

“Drug chain?”

“Yeah man. Did you forget? I coo. You transport. Your guys distribute?”

“WHAT?!”

“It was all your idea man. What happened? You alright?”

“Listen up. I don’t know who the heck you are, but if you don’t leave this place now, you’re gonna be in trouble. I called the cops and they’ll be here any minute.”

“Joshua, you did what?”

“I’m not bluffing. And don’t ever call me Joshua again.”

“You’re crazy man”, said Dev as he ran away.

 

Trevor sat on the side of the road as Joshua came and sat next to him.

“I know the cop thing was a bluff”, said Joshua.

“Well, you know everything about me. Same doesn’t go for me does it?”

“Told you you didn’t wanna know”

“When did you do all this? How long has this been going for? How did I never know about this?”

“Well, it started long back and I’ve been working on this in the nights. Ever wondered why you always felt so tired in the afternoons?”

“Well, now I know what you do with your mind and my body. All I have to do now is get rid of you.” 

“And how exactly do you plan on doing that?”

“You’re just a fragment of my imagination after all”

“Well, Trevor. Think again”

 

That’s when Trevor realised who he is, and who Joshua really was.

Joshua was a disturbed child who murdered his own parents when he was just 12. He was admitted in a psychiatric ward and tried to convince the people there. But whenever he lied about him changing, the polygraph told the truth. So, in order to convince them , he decided to tell the same lies, but this time he’ll mean it. At least, a part of him will. He created a whole story, a whole new personality, a whole new part of him in his mind- Trevor. He created another orphan just like him and gave him a life and used him whenever he wanted to. He started leading a normal life as Trevor and continued his crime life as Joshua. This had been happening for more than 7 years and now he was no more watched by prying eyes of the state and was free of anymore psychiatric checkups. He had no more use for Trevor.

 

“You are a fragment of my imagination, Trevor. You never really existed. And now, you never will.”, said Joshua as he took a knife and took it near Trevor’s neck.

“So that’s how I end huh. Never imagined I’d go out this way. Well, I should’ve seen this coming, I suppose, given my condition.”, Trevor thought to himself as he was on his knees and could feel the hand from behind, holding the sharp knife near his neck, ready to slice him up any second. 

“Goodbye my friend”, said Joshua as he slice up Trevor and was free, once again.

Train of Thought

I sit in my AI class
On a dull Tuesday noon
My mind is lost
in Byzantine thought
So I write this poem,
‘cuz why the heck not.

I notice this reddish stain
Under my teacher’s collar
You know what else is red?
My mind started to figure
The Nazi flag with the swastika
That reminds me of Hitler!

Stalin was Hitler’s coeval
He domineered Soviet Russia,
The home of icy vodka.
Vodka in any form
Will make your vision blurred
Might as well suit up and ask
For it to be shaken and not stirred.

007 is British
And so was Captain Russell
The ball that he caught
Was declared a six.
He was deported to Africa!
What unfortunate politics!

Politics in the real world
Is all about the moolah
If I had all that money
Instead of the crooks, they murky
I’d get something so very cool
Like a sweet-ass dune buggy.

Dubai has extensive dunes
And also no income tax
Just like booze in modern Pondi,
Where VITians go to relax.

Pondi is in Tamil Nadu
Famous for Dosa and sambar
Looks like we’ve reached the destination,
That stain was probably sambar.

– NSVR

Real sign of intelligence isn’t knowledge, it’s imagination.

What does knowledge stem from?How does it exist?Did we invent it, or simply discover it? There are a number of questions but not many answers. In fact, the basic answer is just one, creativity. It is our very own creativity that has led us to learn, to read, to write, to grow, to dance, to survive, to invent, to discover and to know. And so, it is this very creativity that is responsible for the creation of all knowledge in the world as we know it and so proudly speak of.

Intelligence, however, is of a completely different nature. In a world where intelligence is measured by the shallow reflection of grades on a sheet, or by performance at one entrance exam on one day, we have definitely lost our way. It is difficult to explain what true intelligence consists of, but what we can say with utmost surety that it is not these marks. Then maybe true intelligence is measured by knowledge, by how much one really knows about a particular subject, aspect or field and by how much interest and attention he really pays to seek that knowledge. To some extent, we are right. It is more than justified to say that to be intelligent one must possess knowledge. But to be armed only with knowledge, is that enough?

This is where we are often wrong. Because for most of us, knowledge itself is enough. But in reality, it is not. It is far from enough. What truly shows us that a person is intelligent, what sets them apart is actually the things that they can do armed with all that knowledge. It is the ways they can imagine to use their knowledge to fabricate something that is of actual worth and then give that creation that exists merely in their heads, a living breathing existence in the real world. It is only creativity that can have a true impact on people simply because, the only way to make use of knowledge comes through the filter of creativity.

Thinking in the same old traditional ways never brought any of us far. It is creativity that shines through when people like James Watt decide to see if steam can actually move an engine, or when a college kid, Mark Zuckerberg, decides that the world needs to have a platform where they can connect with one another and keep in touch. A number of people knew that steam was powerful and many people know how develop a site and make platforms, but to use that knowledge in a unique way to transform our lives is creativity. In every step that mankind took and is taking to develop, we see a plethora of novel ideas coming into the picture. All of these are products of creativity and imagination and it would be foolish to assume that just because we know, we are intelligent. Because a lot of people can know, but very few can actually make use of that undoubtedly powerful knowledge.This is what sets these two kinds of people phenomenally apart. And so, our perception of what intelligence is must change and it is these few people that we should pay the respect of calling ‘intelligent’ as it is them who really make a difference.

– Japneet Kaur Saluja