Drawing strength as if
It were a regenerative orb
We built that bridge
No one can tear down.
Infuse new meaning in
Blind faith, we did.
For belief in one another’s
Character as we ought.
But what doubles our
Longevity, be it our
Initiatives or unweathered
When annoyance and
Indifference crawled onto us
Did we, like any other,
Pass this test?
Like a ruffling tree is
I hope our failures
Don’t corroborate our
A Friend Who Intends To Pass The Test.
Occasionally I browse the app store in search of some mind games (not what it sounds like). Just puzzles or word games that help jog your brain and many a times I come across really good ones. Cross Fingers is one such puzzler that requires you to fit different shaped pieces into a certain silhouette/blank background.
A product of Mobigame, Cross Fingers has a puzzle mode and an arcade mode. In the puzzle mode you get to choose Easy, Hard, Pro, Normal and multiple such categories. When you select a category, there are several levels to be completed chronologically. But if you are more adventurous then you can choose the Arcade mode and “race against time”. Its not mind boggling in the least, extremely fun to do. The user interface is rather simple – easy to navigate. Just like its name, you do end up with your fingers crossed over one another quite often.
The color tones used to build the game are shades of brown and beige, to give a woody look. Something you need to keep in mind before playing this game is that if your phone’s touch screen doesn’t function very well then its better to stay away from it, cause it makes use of multiple touch in the later levels. As in you need to be moving blocks around using 2-3 fingers simultaneously. So bad touch sensor = no game. For every level you complete, you get a star and you can use these stars to skip a level if need be. But what confuses me is the system or technique of how the stars are accumulated. I have finished around 20-25 levels and earned stars for all but I don’t see 20-25 stars. I only have like 8 stars. So that is a bummer!
Nevertheless its a really interesting game and works as a sort of stress reliever. You can play tons of levels at a time.
You grow up. You hope to be the person that you are now. But along the way you pick up new ways and drop irrelevant ones. Looking back, this may bother you. Sometimes, I wonder what I would be like, had I done things differently. But you have to know, there is no constant to be found in being the same. Anything that is out there, existing as an entity, is subject to change and so are we. Then why do we seek only that which guarantees stability? Why look for a future, a friend or a hobby that will for the longest time give you a pillar to lean on. I think life has a lot to offer, if only you look for it. There is no reason we must hold onto a single thing and build our image around it. I have dabbled in five different fields and mastered maybe none. But that is fine, because during each of those phases, I was happy doing it to my best. And I don’t expect it to stay with me forever.
I hope, as I leave my teens behind and grow “older”, I don’t remain this way. I hope for a better change – one that takes me by surprise but fits undoubtedly like a snug pair of shorts. I have been submissive, strong, emotional, indifferent and tons of other binary pairs (precisely, each part of the pair) but I haven’t been only that way for long. Whether its a matter of growing up/changing/evolving into a more personalized sense of self – it is in my disposition to accept it all. I don’t fear the change, rather, I await it. I find it thrilling. Having moved from place to place all my life, the probability that a “new me” may surface is just as exhilarating as meeting new people or discovering new places. No, I don’t have multiple personality disorder. This is more of finding new character traits I never thought I’d have.
My inability to stick to one thing has irked not only others, but sometimes me too. However come to think of it, when our language is so vast, our options so abundant and our limits so mere, why must I stick to one thing? My drive to be content ought to be the only stable factor in life. I think different and perhaps behave that way too. A little out of the box, a little in the box. But I don’t have a problem with it. And I’m happy. So..
Battle Royale is a manga series that follows a bunch of Grade 9 students who are tricked into participating in The Program which compels them to kill each other in order to survive on the island they have been sent to. They are each given a bag with the necessities like a weapon, a map, water, food etc. But just enough to keep them going for a while, after which they have to resort to other means. Spanning over fifteen volumes, the manga explores how negative circumstances bring out the worst in people. Yet many of them are alight with hope and faith in the humaneness of their fellow classmates.
Shuuya, Mimura, Kawada, Noriko and Sugimura are the main characters who influence others and try to rebel against the Program. Flash backs help us understand who these students were and what they are forced to become in order to live. A majority of the characters are killed off in the first ten volumes until only the main ones are left. Every few hours or so, certain sections of the island are made danger zones which ensures that inactivity is just not an option. In a scenario where even the minutest of movements by one has an impact on the life of another, these barely grown ups loose every sense of childhood and become endangered by the demon within. A journey that captures loss & suffering and how people cope with them, marks this series of brutality, love and camaraderie.
I loved Hunger Games when it came out. And what drew me to this manga is that. But unlike Hunger Games, there is way to much of character overload in this series. Many a times it was difficult to keep track of who died, who killed whom. And the switch between flash backs to present wasn’t an easy transition – maybe because this is my second manga series and I am not used to reading it. I really adored Shuuya, Mimura and Sugimura’s trio. They are good friends even in school and have always stood up for what’s right. Despite the extreme violent conditions on the island, we are privy to some lovey-dovey scenes between a few couples. It may seem insensitive or wrongly place but what better time to realize/express one’s love for another than when they are surely about to die.
I felt that the detailing or graphic content was too overwhelming at times – gory to be specific – complete with the split gut, blood pouring, beheaded scenes. I don’t mind some violence but almost all the volumes were filled with such bloody depictions. There is some sexual content in there too. Overall, this manga is not subtle in any way. Its a very open, straightforward portrayal of the fear and wrath that engulfs people when they are pushed beyond their limits. The story is reasonably good (in an infuriating way), dialogues are simple and well thought out. The sketches were the only major thing I had some problem with. The climax and the twist towards the end are good but not brilliant. I feel quite a lot of people could have been saved had they been given a thought. If ninth graders can wield a machine gun then they can think sensibly too. Overwhelming is not a good enough word for this manga. But if you are into Hunger Games + a lot of gore, then give it a try.