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N-N-1 October 31, 2017

So we had our N-N-1 challenge again hosted by Barb. This challenge actually drew a lot of people from different places and there were so many contributors. But the one common thing between the pictures was fall/winter! Even the picture from the Southern Hemisphere seemed cool-tinged to me! I noticed that all pictures were suitable winter-hued thanks to the shorter and colder days! Also, Halloween!

The View from a Drawbridge

This was a fun post to write, because it took a village. In an atmosphere of increasing divisiveness, people from all walks of life, from all over the world, got together to do one thing: Take a photograph at 6 pm (their time zone) on the 31st of October. If you’re mathematically inclined, in N-N-1 the first N stands for the number of participants, the second for the number of photos (because those numbers should be the same), and the 1 stands for one time. These photos were sent to me, along with 50-100 words about them, so that we could share them all with you.

What I love most about this project is that we are all seeing different things at the same point in time. The world is so varied and nuanced, as are our lives, and yet we are all part of the human race. Thirteen responses…

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Real costumes for a real Halloween

How many of you have gone through the drills of panicking for a last minute costume on 30th October and deciding that you will be ready way in advance next year? Both of my arms are raised high up.  So far I have been Hermione, Katniss, Minnie Mouse over the years. After dressing up as a minion for the last 2 years, I have decided to mix it up a bit. That remains the plan as of now, but can change depending on the last minute mood and panic. Also I, ideally, do not want to be the most dressed person in a sea of s*xy koalas, rodents and felines.
In my bid to come up with innovative, scary, Halloween-worthy costume ideas, I drew up a list of some potentials for real-life horrors. What is scarier than real life, right? White-walkers have got nothing on seeing the depleting bank account. So. here are some ideas for realistic fearful costumes:

  1. Fund investment sheet: They say adulting is hard. But no part of it is harder than learning where to put your money so that you don’t starve eventually. If you want to spook everyone out, grab a giant sheet of paper and write 401K(Pension plan, if in India) and stick it to yourself, or hang it around your neck. It may also work well, because you will attract some Gujju who will leave you with the best investment advice.
  2. Tax document: After the first costume, how can the taxman stay far behind? You will not only spook yourself out, but also make the group quite nervous. After all, they obviously come after the most hard-working, earnest citizen(me!) right?
  3. Wedding priest: If you are my age, there are chances that you will be around plenty of single people being harassed by their well-meaning family members and friends to get married. If you know you are going to a party with those singles, give them the scare of their life by dressing up as a wedding priest. Just start chanting the words every time you are within an arm’s length from any 2 of them.
  4. Driving License photograph: The internet is full of DIYs on Instagram/Snapchat filter costumes. But we are talking about a spooky Halloween here. What is scarier than a passport or DL picture? The actual answer is my TOEFL id picture, but we will stick to this for now. Pretend that you finally got in front of the camera after 2 hours at the DMV, in the balmy 95 F heat, smelling like a mix of we*d and Walmart perfume, and there you have your shot.
  5. In the name of Starks: Everyone from that family is doomed. For anyone who is not a GOT follower, they are practically the most cursed family(but also the most badass). So you will have a dual nature-ed costume. Nobody would want to be you, but everyone would want to be you.
  6. Stressed Engineer: Welcome to a real life costume of about a majority of 30 year old Desi population. We are a stressed lot, working in stressed environments, to please a stressed boss, and stressing out our stressed minions. We don’t have time for costumes. We are going to get up from our chairs, and go to the bars directly to have a happy Halloween.
  7. FLOTUS: Have you seen her? She looks permanently spooked out! I don’t know whether to feel bad, pity her, or be happy for her. Many local parties have explicitly mentioned not to wear her hub’s costume in fear of igniting violence(against the costumee?). But she isnt any less scary. So, go be her!
If you do end up dressing up for this Halloween, let me know what you went as! I may or may not use that as an inspiration for the next year.
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First World Terrors

She had her perfect Minnie ears and smeared kohl for a scary Minnie Mouse in the house. Her costume had been appreciated at work and the Halloween party had been a success. She stepped out of work to a dark and gloomy sky and walked to the parking lot. It was only 4.45 pm but the overcast skies made it look darker. The area was empty and a little chill crept up her neck as she tugged on her sweater. She got into the car, and got a startle! The radio was accidently set to the max volume. Strange. She never hears music that loud, she thought. She shrugged and drove out. 

She was stressed. And for some reason, she felt frazzled. She was nervous about something, but she couldn’t put her finger on why that was so. She decided that the best way to calm herself down was to haul herself to the gym. She took a turn and drove herself to a work out. After finishing her work out, she stepped out of the gym and shuddered. Was it her imagination, or was it way too chilly and dark? Dementors crept up in her (Potter)head, and she shook herself to push away those thoughts. She did not need anymore negativity than what she already had.

She drove herself to her home. She was listening to the radio to keep her mind in a better place. But it was Halloween and between every two songs, there was a phone call with people reporting in their paranormal experience. She kept shutting off everytime the call was put through. Living alone, such stories were the last thing she wanted to hear.

She got home, finally. She looked at her beautifully carved pumpkin at her doorstep. She got her tealight candle out to light up the Pumpkin for the night. It was glowing beautifully. The darkness in the hallway though was giving her the creeps. Was it her imagination, or was everything just wrong with the night? She whipped out her phone and started to take a picture of the glowing Jack-O-Lantern.

She was not prepared for what happened next!

Her phone said: