Skip to main content

Elements of a Story: The Whispers

I'm compelled to begin each post with a meta. That way, my blog posts seem less like essays or dissertations, and more like diary entries, or web logs. So here goes...

I started this blog a little over a year ago. The main purpose of this blog was to experiment with styles of writing, and find an effective outlet for all the subjects I wish to rant about; saving my classmates the agony of having to listen to them. As I wrote this blog, I've experimented with so many styles, and have received comments claiming that my work is a shameless copy greatly inspired by so-and-so author/work. Fact is that I simply chanced upon that style. I read, so obviously, my work shall reflect the styles of those I admire, but I've worked out so many styles without even knowing that they exist, only to be informed of them later.

Recently, I've been struck with the seeming absence of whispers as an element of a story. The more I've thought of the subject, the more I've been convinced that they would make a great story. Of course, ill-fated as I am to be denied any recognition in the literary field, I am sure that some person, fortunate enough to be born before one as talented as I, has already used the whispers to his advantage.

Think about it. A whisper. An anonymous message, a rumour. A suggestion, a hint of schizophrenia. The murderers ultimate defence. A slight nudge to the plot, impunity from falsehoods. The potential of the whisper is amazing!

Yet, I have not invented the concept of the whisper. It's something I borrowed from real life. The whisper, a source of all information, correct as well as incorrect, plays a massive role in our everyday lives. How many times have you listened to the whispers? Think about it. Almost all the important decisions in your life have been because of the whispers, things that you may have heard or read at some point of time in your life; something you may have paid scant regard to at the time you found out about it, but which has since influenced a large part of your life.

Think about it: how many times have we come across information that is nothing more than a rumour, and yet believed it to be true? How many times have we shared this with others. Don't believe me? Have a look at all the emails which are forwarded daily, to such numbers which would put a spammer to shame. Think of all the posts on Facebook, which are re-shared faster than a virus can grow.

Us weaklings are not the only ones affected by the whispers. The whispers have, in the past made or broken presidential elections, sent a man on the moon, got him back from the moon to a desert in the USA, fought nuclear wars, developed technology that people could only dream of. Yet, for all the whispers do, we have never given them the true recognition they deserve. Instead, we attribute their actions to other factors, leaving the whispers as a non-entity.

Perhaps this is how the whispers work. They like to work behind the scenes, shaping and changing the world, and yet remaining unknown. If we were really aware of the presence of the whispers, perhaps their power would end. Well, not their power, but they would change from whispers to blowhorns.

It will be an interesting story surely, one that recognizes and awards the whispers their true place.

Popular posts from this blog

Progressive Snapshot: Is it worth it?

I turned 25 last year, which in the highly mathematical and calculating eyes of the US insurance industry meant that I had suddenly matured into a much more responsible driver than I was at 24 years and 364 days of age. As a result, I expected my insurance rates to go down. Imagine my surprise when my insurance renewal notice from GEICO actually quoted a $50 increase in my insurance rates. To me, this was a clear signal that it was time to switch companies.Typically, I score really high on brand loyalty. I tend to stick with a brand for as long as possible, unless they really mess up. This qualified as a major mess up. As a result, I started shopping for insurance quotes.Two companies that quoted me significantly lower rates (30%–40% lower) were Progressive and Allstate. Both had an optional programme that could give me further discounts based on my consenting to the companies tracking my driving habits. Now, I am a careful driver – I hardly ever accelerate hard. I hate using the brak…

Cornell Graduate Students United: At What Cost?

On Monday and Tuesday, we graduate students at Cornell will be voting on whether or not we want to unionise. Actually, scratch that, only graduate students who hold a TA, RA, or GRA appointment can unionise.This is a shitty arrangement, and I will be voting against it.For those of you who are not aware of how graduate school works at Cornell, you could be on one of many appointments.FellowshipA graduate student on a fellowship gets a stipend and tuition paid without associated teaching or research opportunities. Graduate students on a fellowship typically work towards their own theses, but will be excluded from the unionGraduate research assistantshipsA GRA gives a graduate student stipend and tuition without teaching responsibilities. However, this money comes out of a specific project grant, and the students typically work on their own theses. Students on GRAs magically qualify to join the union, whereas there is virtually no difference between a GRA and a fellowship for the most pa…

Reading List, April 2017

Adam Carroll, When money isn’t real: The $10,000 experiment, in TEDxLondonBusinessSchool, 9 July 2015. [Online]: Carroll presents an interesting point – we have abstracted away money through the use of a number of instruments, such as credit and debit cards, NFC payment systems on our phones, and in-app purchases, when we don’t realise how much we are actually spending. Carroll spends some time showing how his kids, aged 7–11 played monopoly differently when they were playing with real money. He goes on to lay his premise, that financial literacy must be taught to children at a young age, when they should be allowed to fail and learn from their failures at a small scale, not at the hundreds of thousands of dollars when they are in student loan debt and just out of college.Carroll’s talk hit a lot of notes with my own experiences with money, and I’m sure that it would resonate with your experiences as well.Brett Scott, If plastic replaces cash, much tha…