Money alone can’t keep you going

Photo by Fabrizio Verrecchia on Unsplash

How do we wring dry monetary potential from every waking second?

Though cliché, “time is money” is the central mantra to twenty/thirty-something-year-old today. We are all capitalists now, whipping ourselves for greater and greater productivity for the sake of early retirement, if not wealth of Amazonian proportions. Yes, we’re capitalists now for the sake of escaping capitalism.

And so, some of us write. Why wouldn’t we? We spent our high school days writing Xanga and Tumblr posts; it’s only natural for us to succumb to the whisper of today: Hey, why not monetize that?

But, in obeying that whisper —…


Fiction Friday

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Cigarette smoke recalled better times. Were he a childless bachelor again, Amin could spend a lifetime at that nameless street, inhaling secondhand smoke and reminiscing about Hasan.

Hasan would smoke in the same manner: always anchored with one foot to the wall behind him. The only difference was that, unlike the stranger before Amin now, Hasan would rather fidget with a lighter than a smartphone, amused by how, with one, seamless motion of the thumb, man could summon fire.

“Isn’t it interesting?” he asked.

“I suppose so. I just never really thought about it,” Amin replied.

“Suppose?” Hasan repeated, “Friend…


It’s all about ‘em data structures

Photo by Pisit Heng on Unsplash

We often automate data verification to increase efficiency and accuracy. This has been the case in my project at least, where, without more sophisticated options, I’m left coding Excel macros to do the job for me and my team, as we engage in system testing and data migration.

If you’re new to VBA, you might think linear search is the only way to get things done. But, if you’re working with spreadsheets, that means you’ll probably be linear searching (or iterating) through rows and columns — that’s already O(n²)!

Truth is: You have better options, fam.

So, sit down, open…


Authenticity requires more than casual cherry-picking

Photo by Yair Mejía on Unsplash

In the Attention Economy, the pen is mightier than the sword. We writers compete for attention, hacking away at our competitors with every piece we publish. Yes, we hack. Volume is more relevant today than quality; the days where we admired the graceful swoops of the sword are long gone. We wield our pens more like axes, and the most prolific of us possess our admiration.

This is not to say that writing a lot and often can’t lead to good writing. But, we’re told not to overthink quality if we hope to survive the long, gruesome battle for a…


Photo by Wim van 't Einde on Unsplash

It was when Miles Miyagi lost his virginity that he also lost all passion for classical music. He described himself to me as a cicada and that moment as his great molting. The boy’s August had come; and alongside naivety, instinct forced him to abandon that musical shell he was born into.

He lay nude, with a mind drunk off the experience. Hither and thither his mind traveled before reaching the dusty corners of his memory. As dusty, in fact, as that closet.

“What are you doing in there!” Miles’s mother exclaimed. “I’ve told you not to open this closet…


Do it right and you might even get a thank you

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You respect your manager. They’re the hardest worker in the room; their work ethic is not only impeccable, but unfathomable to the likes of you. While you sleep cozily after your shift, your manager is out reviewing your work and generating sky-high profits for the company. You wonder how they aren’t CEO already.

The last thing you’d want is to upset your manager. They deserve better than your incompetence. But human nature betrays you: your mind fogs, your fingers trip, until — at last — a mistake rears its hideous head. And, boy, is it a doozy.

$%*@!

You curse…


As told by one of the only two students in the class with an A

Photo by Luca Laurence on Unsplash

Once the usual pleasantries of the first day of class were over, our professor lifted her eyes from the syllabus to reveal a hard truth.

“By the way — and I mean this with all seriousness — I only give out two As per semester.”

Arranged in one large, perhaps Socratic, circle, we looked left, right, and ahead, chuckling amongst each other at the thought. Why, this is Creative Writing 101, lady. You’ve got to be ridiculous if you think we’d fall for that.

But as our chuckles subsided, we began sizing up one another. Every glance exchanged became more…


It’s not a non-negotiable

Photo by Jonathan J. Castellon on Unsplash

Restaurants are a great place to judge a person, especially if you’re vegan. Our favorite appetizer is the question: What will they choose?

“As for the entrée, I’ll have the BLT, hold the B,” I say.

“OK, one BLT, no bacon,” translates the waiter.

“Hold the M too,” I add.

“M?”

“Mayo. I know you guys’ll sneak it in there.”

“Alright, one BLT, no bacon, no mayo,” the waiter recites, unamused by my sass. “And you, ma’am?”

What will she choose?

“I’ll have the chicken parmesan,” she says.

“Alright, just so you know, ma’am, we can’t really get rid of…


Photo by Dawid Zawiła on Unsplash

Those aren’t mines going off, stupid. It’s Diwali.

Sushmita was cognizant of this when she woke up that morning, of course; but the sounds of Saving Private Ryan flung her off the couch at 6:32 P.M, leaving her discombobulated and pissed. Thankfully, at least her Merlot still stood as it should on the table, unfazed by the firecrackers.

She sipped. She sighed.

Oh, the halcyon days of thirty years ago! When white men (and women) would stare at her (and her husband) in the grocery store. …


The fundamentals of confident growth

Photo by ActionVance on Unsplash

I’m a superhero. When clients need code, it’s me they call.

You need to verify a spreadsheet against database records?
Done.
Automate invoice generation?
Done.
Mockup what your early-2000s website could look like with 2020 tech?
Done.

It doesn’t matter whether everyone and their poodle is out there learning to code. Open your window, look out into the night sky. Yeah, you see that funky-shaped floodlight? Yeah, that’s right. That’s my logo, dammit.

But, it’s not like I flew out of the womb wearing a cape (despite what legends say). In fact, my first words were probably something along the…

Rahul D. Ghosal

Japanese-speaking environmentalist and tech nerd. Essays and short stories are my thing.

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