Thursday, September 15, 2016

Featuring: The Hot Revolution

The music industry is as diverse and ever-shifting as it is brutal. As such, there are artists that burst onto the scene with freshness and gusto, only to wither away quicker than a child demolishes a cloud of cotton candy. Most of the time, such artists fade to oblivion, only to resurface years later with renewed resolve. There are also those who stick to themselves the label of 'upcoming artist' to further maintain and justify their mediocrity in most cases. But honestly, you can't be an upcoming artist for 10 years. That's just not right.

The more popular way out for the true hustlers is a little secret called 'featuring'. Yeah, it's actually quite lucrative, by the looks of things. Not only do you remain in the public eye and ear for a considerable period, it demands less work than doing an entire song/album by yourself. So, if you find yourself low on creative juices, just find more hardworking people to let you feature in their songs. But, here's a few things to consider if you intend to feature:

#1. Never ever steal the spotlight from the main artist. Hardworking people don't like to be upstaged, more so if it's their own song. So, don't be yelling your own name mid-song. Trust me, it's a long road, but if you have a distinct featuring style, you'll learn that "less is more" in the field of featuring. Keep your verses and hooks short and simple. Relax, it's easy money and exposure after all.

#2. Consider younger, talented upcoming artists. If it works out, you'll be seen as a visionary artist, capable of recognizing talent early. Plus, you'll give the beginners some much needed exposure, and it still won't cost you much. At this point you'll even look like a consultant. You want to be seen as a consultant, trust me.

#3. Find an artist who compliments your style. If you're a rapper, find an awesome vocalist, and vice versa. History has shown that people like variety within the same song. Look at Moze Radio and Weasel, or Nicki Minaj and Chris Brown, or Tyga and everyone else.

#4. If you can't find an artist to feature you, just find a DJ with sick beats and provide vocals. Much as this is the more annoying side of featuring, it is still useful. It's annoying because you will do all the rapping/singing, but it still won't be your song. Look at (DJ) Calvin Harris for instance. He's managed to work with talented vocalists like Rihanna and Ellie Goulding. Such collaboration has actually worked for both parties. Plus, Ellie seems to have taken to featuring like a duck to water. Guess she accidentally discovered her calling.

#5. Sometimes you're not a good enough artist to wander the musical journey on your own. You'll need to realize that you're meant to be a sidekick. So, the sooner you find a front(wo)man to feature you, the better for your budding musical career. And don't feel bad about it. Teamwork is a good thing, even though solo efforts are often more recognized. But, you don't see Daft Punk complaining, do you? I'm sure most of you have been to a (classy) restaurant before. Some meals require a fork and a knife. I say classy because much as your hands would easily negate the need for cutlery, it isn't exactly appropriate behaviour in such places. Therefore, in some songs, one must be the 'fork' and the other must be the 'knife'.

#6. Enjoy it. You get to meet different artists with different styles and different points of view. Learn from them, adapt and find a middle ground that allows both of you to flourish. A collabo isn't meant to sound like a competition so don't try to outdo each other. Hold hands and make like besties. Sing kumbaya if it helps. Just give us the listeners the best both worlds to offer.

Bonus: To be truthful, some songs are much better when featuring someone. Just look at any Top 10 rankings on any chart. At least half of them feature someone. That simply shows you just how important these collabos are for us listeners.

Since not all the artists can make it big on their own, some of them have to swallow their pride and misconceptions and just tread the acceptable ground of featuring. Pitbull made a career out of it, and so can you. Actually, there's a lot of artists whose careers are solely dependent on featuring, so don't shun it. Strut it!

A final request: Please state, in your own opinion, who you think the greatest 'featurer' is. Thank you.

Friday, August 12, 2016

How to spend your Sunday, according to Facebook timelines.

The subject matter, in most cases. It was either this, or a selfie.

Sundays are normally a day for one to kick back and relax after a (usually) stressful week and an energy-sapping Saturday. In fact, if you woke up on Sunday morning with a hangover, you could opt for other ‘civil’ activities that don’t make you feel guilty about not going to church. You know, something to aid you along your sow walk towards the mundane week that looms ahead. But you don’t have to be miserable as you wait for the inevitable. You need to do something to while the time away.  If nothing comes to mind apart from spending the day half-dead, watching a boring series on your laptop between periods of consciousness, you should consider being somewhere other than home. There’s a whole list of places to be but no matter where you are, here’s what you should do:

#1 - Be outdoors. If you can’t find a decent enough compound with plenty of shade, then a balcony will do. Just make sure you’re not surrounded by walls on all sides. There should be a free moving breeze, enough to blow the steam from your cup of tea in wisps. Also, there must be trees and/or flowers within your immediate periphery. Staring at trees in the distance doesn’t cut it.

#2 - Meet good friends. Good friends are those with whom you don’t need loud music to buffer periods of awkward silences. Normally, the quieter the music the better. After all, there’s still that lingering headache from the previous night to take into account. You seriously don’t need any more techno or trap music. Plus, you can talk about anything with good friends when the music is mellow.

#3 - Eat nice food. Chill those things of eating your regular rolex for lunch. That was only tasty last night when you were piss drunk. On Sunday, your appetite and sense of taste have fully returned and thus you must put them to good use. Find a place with gourmet food on some sort of discount, if you don’t have aspiring chefs for friends. If you do, you're in luck. These ones are always on the lookout for guinea pigs for their culinary experiments. And you’ll have little to complain about. You’ll be on the receiving end of some pretty awesome stuff cooked by a (semi)talented cook with a somewhat low self-esteem.

#4 - Drink a little. It could be wine or a bit of the stronger stuff, since you’re an adult. Are you 12 years old? Why are you taking soda on a Sunday afternoon? Take a few shots. You know, just to help with digestion. Not to get drunk. But you have to look civilized. You have to show the world that you are capable of drinking responsibly. Besides, there’s nothing like a little bliss to help take your mind off the stress that’s only a few hours away.

#5 - Make sure you’re with people of the opposite gender. There must be something in your life that doesn’t depict you as a sexist douche-bag who can’t have genuine friends of the opposite gender. Whatever the case, Sunday is not meant for such behaviour. You need to be a well-balanced person. If it’s not family you’re chilling with, it’s most definitely friends. Make sure you talk about that day so much that other friends (and assorted acquaintances) will be asking you (to join them or to join you) for plot next Sunday, seeing as you’re such an active person.

#6 - Take pictures. You’ve got to take plenty of pictures. And then choose a handful of the best ones to post on social media to show your friends how ‘full of life’ you are.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Road To Civil War

Avengers (Dis)Assemble?

The long wait is almost over. The biggest superhero get-together consists of a cast that is only rivalled by Fox’s X-Men. With the exception of Thor and the Hulk, the Avengers find themselves battling their most challenging foe yet; the government.

It’s not about the heroes as much as it is because of the heroes.

The government has always wanted to be at the top of the food chain. It sees itself as the alpha and the omega of human civilization, nay, human existence. It simply can’t bear with the fact that there are beings whose power exceeds their wildest imaginations. They want in on the glory, the power and the action. And what better way to do that than to vilify the very people who save the world.
It is going to be a multi-layered movie. It’s about just one friend (Captain America) doing all he can to protect his friend (Winter Soldier) at the expense of another friend (Iron Man). It’s about the government that wants to ‘control’ these heroes to achieve certain goals for the sake of peace. Call it ‘redistribution of resources’. They call it providing oversight to the heroes’ activities. It’s about a party that intends to destroy the establishment by setting friends against each other. When the dust settles, they will build a new one in the ashes of the old world. 

At the centre of it all is the mysterious absence of Nick Fury. He’s the one who worked tirelessly to keep the Avengers out of the hands of the government. Without him, the sharks are out for blood. They may even orchestrate disasters just to get public sentiment against the heroes.
Why Nick Fury? Because he’s been seeking a means to use their power for the good of the earth from the very beginning, and the council opposed him even then. They didn’t want to have to thank anyone but themselves. They believe that the people should trust their own governments rather than individuals. Hence, they label them ‘vigilantes’. They seemingly operate without any oversight. But that is false from the get-go. Ever since New York, they have operated under Nick Fury’s watchful eye (hehe). With him believed to be dead and SHIELD disbanded, the power vacuum is there for the taking. And Tony Stark wants to fill that void. Now, if there’s anyone that manages to deal with the government, it’s Tony Stark. It’s also an attempt by the government to have someone else to blame for their mistakes. They’re disavowing the people who cleaned up their messes. Remember that they are the ones who wanted to nuke New York while the Avengers were dealing with the Chitauri? Unlike heroes, governments can accept collateral damage. Well, the heroes don’t do it for praises or for ‘ulterior’ motives. They do it because it’s the right thing to do. And they will do whatever it takes to protect their lives and civil rights. No needless sacrifices have to be made. 

Currently, the Avengers are run by Captain America and bankrolled by billionaire Tony Stark. Nick Fury operated in a supervisory capacity, but has gone missing. Obviously, this will be the World Security Council’s chance to override his authority and have superhumans handed over to them directly.
As for our heroes, where are they?

Well, Hulk is AWOL, and Thor is in Asgard investigating the Infinity Stones. But here’s the rest of them:

Iron Man
Reeling from the bittersweet events of Age of Ultron, Tony Stark feels solely responsible for the destruction of Sokovia. In all honesty, it wasn’t entirely his fault. It’s Scarlet Witch’s fault. Let’s not forget that she’s the one who poisoned his mind and assign blame where it’s due. True, he rectified things and got a kick-ass gift in the process (The Vision). He’ll be having nightmares about recklessness for quite a while. In his downtime, he’s been making sick upgrades to all the suits in his keep, including War Machine’s and Falcon’s. If he’s aware of how Ant-Man got into Falcon’s suit the last time, not doubt he’s made his armors ‘ant-proof’.

Captain America
Steve Rogers has spent most of his spare time looking for his long lost buddy, Bucky the Winter Soldier. To this end, he enlisted Sam ‘Falcon’ Wilson. When they found Bucky, he was only recovering from his years of brainwashing. He’s still more or less a shell of what he used to be. Steve is just happy to have his best friend back and catch up on lost time.

Scarlett Witch
Wanda Maximoff has undergone some training under the tutelage of Captain America and Black Widow. She clearly has a better handle on her abilities, but there’s a lot she’s yet to learn about them.

War Machine
James ‘Rhodey’ Rhodes is finally part of a team. Now he’ll have better stories to tell his comrades than those pedestrian ones about threatening arms dealers. Also, he’s long overdue for a race against Falcon, who’s arguably the best flier in the team (even if Rhodey is a decorated USAF pilot). Admittedly, I’m stumped as to which suit offers more maneuverability, so it’s down to the pilot. So far, Sam’s better.

Sam Wilson is more than happy to spend his retirement alongside the Sentinel of Liberty (#Cap). Of course the reappearance of Bucky means his closeness with Steve is questionable. But, now that he’s part of a team, the fight’s never far away. Also, considering the outlandish demands of his new job, Tony Stark was kind enough to give him a brand new suit with advanced capabilities and a remote drone code-named ‘Redwing’ to assist him on missions. His wings are bulletproof now.

Ant Man
The last time out, Scott Lang was introduced to Avenger Falcon, who sent word out to find him and recruit him for the New Avengers. And he’s sporting a new Ant-Man suit! Being such a fanboy, he was more than willing to join the elite group. 

Winter Soldier
James Buchanan ‘Bucky’ Barnes former cold war assassin is just trying to piece his life back together. Good thing he has his best friend Steve to help him that. But it also means that the umbrella that was HYDRA is no longer there to protect him from his enemies. Since SHIELD files were leaked to the public, even the Winter Soldier’s deeds are out in the open, and people are out for blood. He decides to go on the run. It’s not entirely his fault though; he was brainwashed the entire time. 

Black Widow
Natasha Romanoff has been helping Steve train and guide the new team. Obviously she has a score to settle with the Winter Soldier.

Clint Barton retired to the family life. After Sokovia, he’s more than happy to never see the battlefield again. But, as they always say, you can’t keep a good man down.

The Vision
The ‘android designed by a robot’ is taking time to understand what human life is all about. Being the custodian of the powerful Mind Stone is serious business. And he’s taking his responsibilities seriously.

First hinted about in Ant-Man (reports about a guy in New York who swings around and walks on walls), teenager Peter Parker is doing rounds as a rookie crime fighter. Tony Stark takes the young science protégé under his wing and he’s ready to kick ass.

Black Panther
The enigmatic leader of Wakanda gets involved in matters for personal reasons. T’Challa is grieving his recently deceased dad, T’Chaka, and is hunting for those responsible. At the same time, he has to take over the mantle of the Black Panther from his father and look out for his country’s interests. Along the way, he meets Tony Stark, whom he considers a peer in the science and technology world. At least Tony has someone to talk science to in the absence of Dr. Bruce Banner.

Allegiances will be questioned, loyalties will shift, individual beliefs will be shaken to the very core. But who is the man holding the strings? I won't be surprised if it's a certain 'Dell Rusk'.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Permission To Speak Freely?

Coutesy of

What is freedom? What good is freedom if it’s not to make lives better? What good will it do us if we can’t make an impact to those that look up to the information we are capable of providing? Why should we see injustices and not speak up? Why should we see the tears of the downtrodden and the devastated and the confused and not spread the word? There is an adage that goes like this,  "If you have a problem, speak up. The people you intended to tell may not be able to help, but among those who hear you will be people who have been waiting for such an opportunity to help." People may like, hate, criticize, encourage, but they should not be silenced. 

Freedom of speech is a grand privilege. It is this privilege that allows people to know where traffic jam is the thickest, so that commuters can know which routes to avoid. It is this privilege that allows people to be aware of an accident on a highway and who’s responsible. It is this privilege that lets us know the deplorable state of our health centres and hospitals. It’s through such people that we are instantly made aware of injustices that are going on around us. It’s how we know which restaurant is offering a discount and which fuel stations have the cheapest fuel. 

Freedom of speech, like any other privilege, must not be misused or taken for granted. We live in an era where everyone with a smartphone can be our eyes and ears. There’s a wealth of resources at our disposal to inform more people in a much shorter time. We get to know events in occurrence way before the evening news. Why then must we stay silent?

Admittedly, there’s going to be problems with everyone fancying themselves the voice of the people. A lot of truths will get distorted in the mad scramble for recognition and bloated sense of importance. But there is a grain of truth in all that noise. There’s a reason for the uprising and the chants and the demonstrations. There’s a reason for the exposés and the interviews. There’s a reason for the reports and the analysis. There is a message, and the message should be more important than the messenger. You know the saying ‘Don’t shoot the messenger’. We are but conduits, storytellers at best. We mash, season, bake and grill the facts and present them in a form that’s palatable and unforgettable. And as the masses wipe the corners of their mouths after a sumptuous meal of truth, they can belch and tell everyone about it. We are the voice, and the voice shall not be muffled. It will ring clear off the walls, streets, mountains and valleys. It will be whispered in the playgrounds and the halls. It will be shouted from the rooftops and the fields. It is for all to hear. It is all inclusive. It doesn’t discriminate. It doesn’t excommunicate. It is for those who can listen and read. It seeks only to impart knowledge. And hopefully, that knowledge will inspire action of some sort; the sort that doesn’t endanger needlessly. As the pioneers tell the natives, “We come in peace,” but without the backstabbing that’s known to follow suit.

What is freedom? Freedom is the license to do what one is supposed to do. Freedom to speak out on matters that cannot be kept silent. For to deny the existence of a situation is not to erase the reality. Freedom might be expensive, but it is meant for all. It’s meant to be shared, and it is meant to be enjoyed responsibly. For if we betray people’s trust, if we misuse the freedom that we have been given, what then do we have? Freedom of speech is a gift, very much like the air we breathe. And such freedom should not be suffocated.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Dawn of Justice...

Clash of the Titans?

It's almost here! One of the most anticipated movies in history. The showdown of the century. The battle of the braves! It's... Batman vs Superman! Or is it Superman vs Batman (following normal sporting conventions where the home side is mentioned first, this title would be more accurate)? Yes, I'm making the guess that the battle takes place in the ruins of Metropolis, as opposed to Crime Alley in Gotham as in Return of the Dark Knight.

As usual, this is a post for those people who tend to want to ask questions during an epic movie, preventing their neighbours from following plot points as they unfold. Therefore, you should (get them to) read this, so they'll pay attention.

When someone 'respectable' asks you a stupid question...

When 'respectable' person gets an answer that highlights his own stupidity.

It's been almost 2 years since the events of 'Man of Steel'. The world's population is divided. Some are galvanized by the thought of having a saviour. Others are afraid of him. What if he decides to take to politics? What if he interferes with government? How does he decide whom to save and whom to abandon? What does he do in his spare time? Can his blood cure cancer? How would they know if they can't even draw blood from him? Who's to stop such a powerful being from doing whatever he wants? There are entire committees and military branches geared towards studying this individual, but so far, their efforts have yielded no ways to keep the Man of Steel in check. The next logical step for them is to meet him directly and talk to him. He has been avoiding the press. He prefers to go about his heroic business as he sees fit. But world leaders are restless. They need to know whose side he's on.

He's aware that the world is uncertain of him. And why wouldn't they? They see him as this all-powerful being who can do incredible things. As much as he wants to solve all the worlds problems, he needs to have the people on his side. They need to trust him. That's why he never wears a mask. If the world sees his face, they can probably rest easier. Politics and government are murky waters that he'd rather not trudge in at them moment. He decides to stick to the regular saving lives protocol. Rescues mainly. However, he's still labeled a vigilante. And there's a vigilante that's painting a bad picture for others out there. Since Superman is all about good PR at this moment, dealing with a rogue like Batman is a good step forward. he thinks that terror is the wrong way to go in inspiring public confidence. Someone should step up and give the Batman a piece of their mind. And who better to do it than someone who's invincible, right?

"If I wanted it, you'd be dead already!" #alphamale

The terror of the Gotham criminal underworld. He's a nightmare for the wrongdoers. He's feared more than he's loved. He doesn't mind it. He was the king of the jungle until an alien showed up, whose might far exceeded his own. Now he has to contemplate, like the authorities, whose side he's on. He doesn't know that the authorities are thinking the same thing about him, and constantly trying to devise the means to keep him in check. However, unlike them, there's no red tape with him. He also has the brilliance and the resources to set in motion his own contingency plans. But, like any good contingency, it starts with research. He (most likely) installs appropriate tracking software in his personal satellites to follow the Man of Steel around and try to figure him out. The first thing he learns is that, Superman neither kills nor maims. That is something he intends to use in his favour. He doesn't like surprises, so he studies his opponent as much as he can. But how can he hope to go toe to toe with the Man of Steel? Batman's world is filling up with powerful beings that cannot be controlled. What is their agenda? What if they intend to destroy his home? How will he be able to stop them?

Fake it until you make it?

Wonder Woman
This powerhouse demigoddess, the patron saint of women emancipation, has to keep the egotistical Batman and the overconfident but naive Superman in check. She represents the best of both. She has the dark, gritty character and the unbelievable strength to make the boys scratch their cleft chins. At least they both notice at once that she's not your average woman. She doesn't mind standing by their side, but she's neither to be belittled nor underestimated. Make no mistake, she can hold her own (I'll personally be disappointed if she whimpers for help). They don't call her the Warrior Princess of Themyscira just to make her happy.

The fists of justice are unisex.

There you have it, folks. Now you can concentrate on events as they unfold without wearing that confused look. Only tap your neighbours if they are excited by the same thing, not to ask them, "How come she punched that guy and he flew thoooooose ends?"

Friday, March 11, 2016

Of Lady Strange and Irish Coffee...

Dear stranger,

I don't mean to sound strange, but I must compliment you on how delightful you are to look at. The high stool that you're sitting on is doing wonders. Even the semi-bright backdrop of the gardens works in your favour, because you are an exquisite silhouette. You hold your head straight, supported by an elegant slim neck, flowing downwards to the neat arc of your back, rounding off at the seat in your subtle but well shaped derriere. Whoever invented those 'pencil skirts' did us a huge favour. Even while sitting, the skirt terminates right above your knees, caressing that tender flesh like butter on bread. You've rested your heel on the foot-rest of the stool, with the stilletto heel dangling in the air. You rock your foot back and forth, highlighting toned calf muscles. You must be taking good care of yourself, girl. Good for you indeed.  You sit there, with your dainty little fingers gently stroking the screen of your phone, prompting a few laughs from you time and again. It's not a boisterous laugh. It's more like a chuckle, with your wonderful white teeth flashing and your mouth just barely open. They must have trained you on how to be polite and carry yourself with class.

I know we've never met, but you've been alive in my mind for the whole time you've been sipping on your Sprite. I saw the frustration on your face when the waiter initially brought you a Krest. I would have been disappointed too. It's not like you had asked him to bring a 'soda in a green bottle'. But, people make mistakes and you realized that mid-rant. It's one of the things I've liked about you. Your big, kind eyes are not just for occasionally stopping my heart. Your full and vivacious eyelashes are not just to send waves of desire in my direction. I've been enjoying watching how you delicately flick your hair to the side while you prepare to take your numerous selfies. Oh wait, I didn't accidentally appear in the background of one of them, did I?

It's almost unfair for someone to look as remarkable as you do. But hey, if the Irish coffee has already kicked in, you might be a figment of my imagination. Lo, just as I'm about to pinch myself, you ease off the stool, whisper something to the waiter next to you, and start walking towards me.

When you spin and walk, it's like time around me has slowed down tremendously. You're surprisingly light on your feet and comfortable in heels. As you sashay towards me, I feel like my heart has stopped and I'm staring at an angel. You cast a glance at me, over your shoulder as you walk by, and I can see the mesmerizing splendour in your eyes.

You glide past me like the total stranger that I am, but before my shoulders can fall with resignation, the calming scent of jasmine wafting in the slipstream of your path lifts me right up. I almost absentmindedly rise out of my seat to glide along with you. I'm stopped in my tracks by the sudden clatter of crockery as I accidentally bumped the table on my way up. Thankfully, by that time you've disappeared around the corner and I have little embarrassment to concern myself with.

I come to my senses eventually, and realize that your table is empty. The waiter even took away the Sprite bottle and is now preparing the table for another customer. I cannot afford to have my memory tainted.

I'm glad to have spent the afternoon basking in your delightful company. Now that my coffee's done, I can leave, hoping to see you again one day. Maybe then I'll actually talk to you instead of playing out scenarios in my mind. If not, at least I'll have this blog post to remember you by.

Monday, March 7, 2016


"Where are you now that I need you?"

He becomes aware of Justin Bieber crooning from the speakers. He mutters under his breath at his disappointment for leaving the laptop on overnight for the umpteenth time. 'It's not as bad as sleeping with earphones on,' he consoles himself. Something about bacteria building up ridiculously fast in your ear the longer you leave earphones on. He fears bacteria.

He opens his eyes suddenly, but has to close them again as they are bombarded by the sunrise. He shields his eyes and gradually his eyesight clears. Clears to the sight of highway in the distance beginning to fill up with commuters. He catches the gentle touch of the morning breeze and sighs pleasantly. Then the smile turns into a frown upon realizing that the window must have been open all night long. He checks his arms and runs his finger across his face, looking for telltale signs of swelling. There are none. The mosquitoes must be having an off-season. On any other day, they would have punished him for such an error. The recent heatwave has made sleeping under a mosquito net untenable. So it is with much relief that he throws his head back on the pillow.

He rolls over to the left and spies a glass with a finger of colourless liquid. That explains his black out. His favourite poison, gin and tonic. He reaches over to the glass and takes in a generous whiff of the gin, catching along with it the sweet remnants of an apple-scented shisha stem on the table beside the gin. 'It must have been an eventful night,' he thinks to himself. His mind is still fuzzy and in no mood to put together the pieces.

He's shaken from his bliss by the harsh summoning of the alarm. 07:00 it reads, playing his favourite ringtone. He set his alarm tone the same as his ringtone because he knows a phone call is hard to ignore, unless you're unconscious for real. There's a certain sense of urgency connected to a ringing phone. The brain knows it, and will always react to it as long as it's capable. Even if the body is not willing. He wonders how exactly he managed to wake up before the alarm, but it doesn't matter. He has only an hour to get to work.

He jumps out of bed, but cringes and crumples over as a sharp pain races through his calf. He considers sitting down for a moment to gather himself up, but decides against it. "No one ever said they can't get to work because of an aching calf. Haven't a clue why it's hurting anyway," he remarks.
He presses the power button on his laptop and limps to the bathroom as the music fades in the background.

Several minutes later, he's heading towards the door, looking fresh. But he knows his mind is not up yet. "Why do they call it substance abuse when I'm the one who comes out the worse for it? It should be called human abuse." He stops by the fridge, but is greeted only by a half-empty bottle of tonic and an egg. It's strange that there's only one egg. He ponders the circumstances under which there could only be one egg left, since he tends to prepare them in even numbers. But that's not what's on his mind. He groans at having no water in the fridge, and resolves to boil some when he returns. He remembers something and darts into the bathroom. He glances in the mirror and sees what he's been suspecting all along. A tired face wearing a concerned forehead, a sarcastic eyebrow and a pair of flaming red eyes stare back at him. he considers going to work with sunglasses, but that will only cause people to stare at him the more. The whole 'wearing sunglasses indoors' is for celebs only. Musician celebs. He can't sing to save his life. While he examines each eye he mutters, "Perhaps if I squint, no one will notice."

The harsh wind from the boda ride to work sets his mind straight. He wonders if people know to be vigilant while they ride these traffic-ignorant steeds. He has a habit of telling the boda what to do, in case he has a slight case of indecision. He likes to be taken at a comfortable speed and not be put in unnecessary risky situations. He almost has his shin grazed by a Harrier. As the boda passes by the car, he casts a dirty glance at the driver. She's a well dressed, middle aged woman, fair as the sunset. She's wearing sunglasses. Not surprisingly, she's talking on the phone. She turns to face him in that fleeting moment. It feels like five minutes as their stares meet. He gives her the best stink eye he can muster. She responds with an incredulous eyebrow. He raises his hand with a 'what gives?' motion. She puts her hands together, bowing her head slightly, with a hint of a sheepish smile. He turns away, while giving her a thumbs up. It's too early in the morning to be giving a hapless commuter the middle finger.

He gets to work with 15 minutes to spare. There's that Monday morning status meeting that he usually looks forward to. And if last week was anything to go by, he has nothing to worry about this time. The meeting is lengthy, but it finally comes to an end. Which is a good thing because he's beginning to feel dizzy. He almost collapses from his chair during the meeting. He gets a smirk from the boss and a concerned look from his boss' assistant. He's more concerned about the smirk. It means the boss is going to be keeping an eye on him all day long. He needs to freshen up and keep his act clean. A generous drink of water should help with that. His colleagues thought he was still sleepy but he knows he's dehydrated. The truth is stranger than fiction, so he sheepishly agrees to their suppositions. After the meeting, he makes a beeline for the water dispenser. his eyes widen with disbelief as he notices something wrong with the dispenser. he flipped the valve, but nothing's coming out. Then he looks at it closely. It's a lot shorter than he remembers. So there's something missing. It hits him like a lorry a couple of seconds later. There's no water container on top. He claws his throat as dryness and dizziness begin to overwhelm him. His brain feels like there's heavy duty construction going on; thumping and pounding and drilling. The noise is almost unbearable and his body is beginning to shut down. As he staggers away from the water dispenser towards his cubicle, his mind drifts towards the betrayal he has just been dealt early on a Monday morning.

"Where are you now that I need you?"