Comments on Dance of the Flamingo-Story By Sanku

Sanku
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Re: Dance of the Flamingo_Story by Sanku

Postby Sanku » 22 Jun 2010 21:52

Thanks Tanaji, thanks Bala, thanks RamaY Garu, thanks Pratyush.

Thank JTull, thats very nice, especially coming from you -- the hidden hand did reveal itself just a little bit. Some times drastic measures are needed after all.

And I did invent for Manav a interesting past history and let a few of those moments come through the story, but to spell it out would take away some of edge of the story.

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Re: Dance of the Flamingo_Story by Sanku

Postby chaanakya » 22 Jun 2010 23:59

What a fiery finish to the story. Spellbound.
Sanku you are unmatched in your class. Thanks for your pains.

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Comments on Dance of the Flamingo-Story By Sanku

Postby ramana » 23 Jun 2010 02:53

Will move the comments in this thread.
-Done. And locked the story thread. Comments can continue here.

BTW, note the story is two pages long and comments are five!

Sanku, You were going to comment on how the story unfolded in your mind re my comment of it being quest.

Also note folks you can now merge the story into singlepage format * and make a text file and read on your e-book reader/gadget and sip scotch and mirchi bajji!

It came to 142 pages in MS Word Text file. So if you add some maps and a glossary we can get another twenty pages. And say a few illustrations like the old hand drawn sketches -people, places and things liek Ramson's telecom gear, in Kim or old Raj books

Sankuji you got a winner here.

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Re: Comments on Dance of the Flamingo-Story By Sanku

Postby Dileep » 23 Jun 2010 08:26

Well, it is 2 pages because the forum counts the posts, but not the length of posts.

From a readability (and publishability) perspective, it is always better to have posts in chapter size, ie around 1500-2000 words. But then, maintaining a weekly post (let alone a daily post) is a tough job. So, there is a tradeoff. It is also difficult to compile smaller posts into chapters as I learned the hard way.

I like the way the DoF was structured and presented. It can almost go to press. I would make just one suggestion from the readability perspective. The 'dialogue' portions may be made with paragraph breaks, so that you get the feel of the exchange.

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Re: Comments on Dance of the Flamingo-Story By Sanku

Postby Sanku » 23 Jun 2010 10:45

I agree with you on spreading out the Dialogue bits Dileep, if you see, I did do that in case of some dialogues but some dialogues dont have the spread. The reason for lack of consistency is that in a few cases I knew that its going to be a "dilalogue episode", there were a few cases where I started with the intention of embedding a few dialogues in more of description text, but when I wrote it finally it turned out differently.

The structural trade off between, dialogues and surrounding context has been a tricky spot.

ramana wrote:Sanku, You were going to comment on how the story unfolded in your mind re my comment of it being quest.


Yes Mahodaya; the following are my responses

1) Yes it is a quest, but I did not set out writing a quest, in fact I had not realized that the story has taken the form of quest till your comments came in. So I guess it happened sub-consciously as a result of my personal love of quest themes. :)

2) The other detailed comments are also very accurate in my view, again its surprising given that they were not being *put in* for effect.

3) I basically took a premise, a set of initial conditions and a final possible goal and let the story unroll, trying to keep as real a context as possible. So in my mind, this was essentially a thought experiment where a few extra ingredients were added, the ingredients themselves being close derivate of what I know exists in the real world.

4) The only difference between the comments and the story is on this point
I guess its when Manav the hero figure finds himself and acts on his own and decides the value of the item.


Manav never really knows the real reason, he can not see the bigger picture, however he does make a decision and decides on the value of the item himself, this happens pretty much in the middle of the story itself.

The above is deliberate, I wanted a picture of local optimization impacting global optimization even when the local algorithm is not aware of all the conditions, a real life play of a implementation of greedy algorithm.

The semi-connected play (as opposed to fully connected) between different issues is a departure from the more regular quest themes and is my personal original innovation/improvisation from a story telling perspective.

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Re: Comments on Dance of the Flamingo-Story By Sanku

Postby chaanakya » 23 Jun 2010 18:55

Sanku , please refer to my post earlier, a link to writer software is given. You can use that as it is meant for writing novel. May be little practice is needed. Then covert to e-book and , as raman garu says, you have a winner. And do get a website domain(like blog) etc. It will help in the long run.

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Re: Comments on Dance of the Flamingo-Story By Sanku

Postby ramana » 23 Jun 2010 21:44

Sanku, To be fair I am now dabbling in literary criticism theory to help my son with his Advanced English classes. The crux of the theory is there is only one story that is retold with diverse elements from all the literary heritage available for the writer and the readers. So most hero stories are quests : at the lower level of objects, things or persons and at higher level of human qualities. And this is not limited to Western tradition but all human traditions.

For example the Illiad is not really about the Torjan war but the parallel stories of two abductions. The Greek one is that of Achilles who has to give up his war spoils to Agememnon and does not fight in the war (Karna like) till his best friend is killed and then rampages against the Trojans and loses his life. On the Trojan side, the real story is about Hector and his greatness in defending the indefensible act of Paris abducting Helen. In this defence all is lost for Illium or Troy. The other characters Ajax, Agememnon, Ulysses and all are sideshows.

I am going to re-read the entire story now and see my responses.

My current quibble is that while the ending is spectacular it does not connect to the quest theme. Unless the real quest is the destruction of terrorist camps in Af-Pak in this case by a Bhasmasura/self goal action by a too clever player in the Great Game. So if you weren't going to let me see the hero obtain his quest why did you take me on the journey? 8)

Or are you traversing a post-Modern path!

By this I mean while 90 % of the story is the quest we suddenly see the real hero is the RM, a politician where as we expect it to be a military figure. I guess the ending appeals for we fianlly see all is well as the leaders realize what they have to do and do it! So here we fit the Bharata Muni's precept in Natya Sastra, about ending all plays (stories too) in a good manner such that there is no distaste.

BTW, these are all quibbles/responses and not really valid "criticisms". Once you wrote the story it acquires a life of its own and should remain as it is.

There is Delhi Uty Prof who wrote a beautiful book on Literary Criticism Theory from an Indian English point of view. Will try to dig it up one of these days.

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Re: Comments on Dance of the Flamingo-Story By Sanku

Postby ManuJ » 23 Jun 2010 22:53

Not sure if Sanku's story fits into the quest mold, though it has shades of it. Imho, an adventure qualifies as a quest if the hero has an overwhelming desire (maybe driven by a great need) to obtain something precious. Manav, on the other hand, is thrust into the role of a negotiator, which he wants to fulfill to the best of his ability. He just wants to perform his duty, and in his own mind is not looking to obtain anything precious. There are larger strategic games being played, and Manav is one part of the larger picture. If Manav (and for that matter, the RM) has any overriding 'quest', it is to serve his country honestly and with utmost dedication. This deep sense of patriotism is what drives these men, and what gives them great strength.

I really liked the way Manav's story was gradually but loosely linked to the other parallel story about Kashmir, and the grand strategic picture slowly emerged. Though as a reader identifying with the hero (Manav), I would have loved it if it was emphatically 'proved' that his success had inadvertently thwarted the enemy's grander plans. But I guess reality is not so neat and clean, and kudos to the writer for keeping the story realistic, and yet satisfying in the end. Not an easy task, but well executed!

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Re: Comments on Dance of the Flamingo-Story By Sanku

Postby Avarachan » 24 Jun 2010 08:44

Sanku, fantastic work. I really enjoyed this story. I do have a question about the ending, though. If Donald Ramson wanted to wipe out all traces of his work, would he really have triggered a tactical nuclear weapon? Wouldn't that bring in a lot of international attention? Setting off a beacon for an airstrike would seem more plausible to me. But, then again, it's your story. Congratulations on a great job.

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Re: Comments on Dance of the Flamingo-Story By Sanku

Postby Sanku » 24 Jun 2010 12:28

Thanks Chaankya, I will work on using the software you pointed to, to convert it into a ebook format.

Ramana Sir/ManuJ -- I will agree with ManuJ; this was precisely what I was trying to do in my mind, I dont know if it mean "post-modern" but it was a try and make a story with multiple layers, and no clear cut "hero" figure. The hero figure if any is the group which always remains in the back ground, I tried to hint at their involvement with the endgame too, but very subtly so it would be for the reader to "see" and not for me to "tell".
So if we are looking for a "hero" to feel good about -- it will be the "kindred spirits"

Ramana Sir, I also disagree with the literary theory, there are other ways at looking at it, including the Nav rasas, the quest being the primary theme is a very western theme. In India it could be a repeat play of prior events and what not.

Avarachan -- its a really, really tiny Nuclear device in the middle of nowhere in Waziristan/Afghanistan border The idea is to remove all traces of Ramsons work. A airstrike leaves behind shreds of metal et al which points to "who done it". And who is going to notice, US and Munna's will but they wont talk about it. India will but it is playing a different game. Russia maybe, but then...

The way to cause confusion is to boldly do the obvious.

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Re: Comments on Dance of the Flamingo-Story By Sanku

Postby JTull » 24 Jun 2010 13:20

But ramana has a good point, why keep focus on Manav when the ending has nothing to do with his deeds. What is the intention of villain to Kill Manav or stop import of 5G plane technology (which will take years to process) when their immediate (short-term) goal is the invasion with irregulars and to realign the map to save them trouble in AfPak?

And I've several queries about the tactical nuke. Why bring it to a very volatile region in NW Pak where it could easily fall into the hands of a jihadi. No individual is important enough to be just given a nuke. Moreover, from the perspective of the scenario, it is crazy to comprehend it just after the Indian pre-emptive attack. What is preventing Pak and rest of the world from concluding that India just nuked a part of Pakistan and the start of a full scale nuclear war.

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Re: Comments on Dance of the Flamingo-Story By Sanku

Postby Sanku » 24 Jun 2010 14:23

Fair questions, and of course I have ideas and answers in my head, a lot of those answers are embedded in the story too.

I also disagree that the ending (or story II) has nothing to do with Manav's story. It has everything to do with it, that is why they are there.

I can "lay the above out" in detail but that will spoil the fun and remove the structure of the story that I has been deliberately put in.

I was hoping that the story will push (by the virtue of being interesting) the reader to find his own ways of connecting the dots, they may come to same picture I had in my head, another picture or no picture, and the story will be different for everyone based on how they did the above.

And yes, I completely agree that there is nothing to prevent anyone from thinking that India just nuked a part of Pakistan and react accordingly.

Fun no......
:twisted:

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Re: Comments on Dance of the Flamingo-Story By Sanku

Postby Atri » 24 Jun 2010 20:39

I find myself agreeing with Ramanaji, but only during the epilogue. I was hoping that the "precious" find of Major parameshwaran was may be leaked out design plans of FGFA or some critical component of FGFA or something to do with it. In other words something precious which threatened Ruskies to do what they did to Manav. Something which compelled the Indian clandestine agency (MI or RAW or something higher) to get involved so deeply. Something which compelled the CIA to keep tabs on Manav in Moscow. Something which made the guy with nuke in NWFP know about Manav. Something which compelled Air Commodore to come to Manav's room secretly and beg him to underperform. Something which was compelling enough for the PMO to override everybody's opinion in meeting and ask Manav to indulge in Chai-Biskoot with Russians. That something could have been elaborated more.. in the final post.. Personally, I was waiting for the revelation of that "something"...

Of course, if we do not consider it as a "quest" story then I can understand and imagine the parallel story lines which are vaguely connected to each other in spirit. But one gets to know that it is NOT a "quest" story only after everything is over.. so, while reading and viewing the scenes in mind, one is expecting that revelation (at least at that moment). IMHO, sankuji should have elaborated the parallel threads a bit more, to make the reader and the view understand that this is not a quest story.

Sanku ji, Your imagination, description and style is vivid, graphic and hauntingly beautiful. kudos for such an engaging story.

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Re: Comments on Dance of the Flamingo-Story By Sanku

Postby chaanakya » 24 Jun 2010 21:13

I can understand that there is no quest in the story, as such. There are several protagonists, of which, role of manav is under focus. The whole canvas is very wide. This is a ongoing process, and not a case to be solved. Manav acts on his free will with some gentle/not so gentle prodding. A lot is left to imagination of readers to connect the dots and get a larger picture. , The one team, one encounter or once accident in a larger scheme has only so much impact and not more. The outcome is also not fixed. In fact there is no pre-fixed outcome here as there is no quest. Several influences/interests work in the setup and loss of some is not the victory of others while gain by some could be temporary.

Overall , it was a tight story. One needs to tie loose ends oneself. That makes the story interesting and each reader has his own idea. Of course one is left with the feeling to know the end. May be when we get FGFA or otherwise we would know exactly how it transpired. After all Manav episode is but one in a long series of such episodes in this programme. I found PMO representatives role intriguing. Do we have a mole?? such insinuations have been made in the past and in another story just unfolding, here. So one can understand how each one can take story forward in his mind.

Good, very good, no, its an excellent work.

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Re: Comments on Dance of the Flamingo-Story By Sanku

Postby Sanku » 24 Jun 2010 21:32

Thanks again gentlemen.

Atri Mahodaya, what do you think Major P found? Remember the circumstances they found it in? The stories are linked, finding it did cause focus on Manav

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Re: Comments on Dance of the Flamingo-Story By Sanku

Postby ramana » 24 Jun 2010 22:02

Fair enough. There are multiple quests going on simultaneously (Russkies, US, jihadis, Indian side: Manav, guiders, babufate, political class) and Sanku alludes to that. And in the end one thwarted quest turns Af-Pak into Fak-Ap. And thats a sobering reality.

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Re: Comments on Dance of the Flamingo-Story By Sanku

Postby ParGha » 20 Jul 2010 19:14

OT and only tangentially related: Me is thinking of some blatant plagarization and MKI-zation of certain authors' short stories, possibly of interest to a certain class of jingos... would someone recommend a blog host with clean, easy interface to start writing in? TIA.

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Re: Comments on Dance of the Flamingo-Story By Sanku

Postby negi » 20 Jul 2010 19:17

Blogspot and Wordpress come to my mind, former is linked to your gmail account (assuming you have one).

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Re: Dance of the Flamingo_Story by Sanku

Postby chaanakya » 01 Jan 2013 20:20

chaanakya wrote:Where Art Thou? Sankuji

Getting withdrawal symptoms, hurry please. :evil:

And Sanku san needs to start a New Story. Long Overdue.


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