Short Story: The Prototype

Heuristic programming

A branch of artificial intelligence, which uses heuristics — common-sense rules drawn from experience — to solve problems. This is in contrast to algorithmic programming, which is based on mathematically provable procedures. Heuristic programming is characterized by programs that are self-learning; they get better with experience. Heuristic programs do not always reach the very best result but usually produce a good result. Many expert systems use heuristic programming.

A definition from Webopedia

The corridors of National Academy of Robotics (NAR) were slowly getting empty. The night was setting in. Everyone was strolling towards the car parking along with their co-associates. Students were excited as they were returning back to their hostels. It was an exciting day as the national conference on Heuristics just ended in a happy valedictory ceremony.

Students and research scholars from various universities and research centres were a part of this conference. Hundreds of real working models of robots were displayed and the functionalities were show cased. The conference hall was gleaming with flash lights, exemplary technology and scientists.

“Am I the only one working today in the lab?” thought myself. It was so much tiring today. I’m the Junior Heuristic Engineer working in the robot programming wing RPW-954A of the NAR. Everyone was busy with the conference. I had to work today as well. I haven’t taken a break in the last three hours.

Heuristic programming was little tiring for me. I was staring at the monitor breaking my head into the small piece of code that was supposed to be programmed into the brain chip of the nHR305 robot.

This code was pretty complex as I had to deal with Hex values. I was stuck in one of the conditional operation.

Life was pretty hectic, I was getting drained out. I needed proper rest. But I wanted to complete this module by today so that I can start with fabrication of ICs into the boards. I’m still in simulation phase.

“You, still here?  Its almost 12.00 mid night,” asked one the phase engineer who just came in.

“Yes, Malcolm, I’m working on something. It will take some time, you carry on” I replied.

I started working on the code again.

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Natasha was very much happy. She was the young Indian technical heuristic developer to have made the world’s first working prototype of the Heuristic Robot. She was all in cloud nine. More than she was happy, she was hungry too.

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Short Story: The Bet

“Bet is a bet and you have to do it,” snapped Abraham.

“Yes, you are doing it Peter, there is no second thought about it. This time we will be the spectators!” joined Bharat, Kamal and Vaishali.

“But why it is me? I’m not doing it,” I replied.

“We all have done this many times and this is your turn to do this. Come on be a man”

I was very much speculative about this idea. I had no intentions to do this. When it comes to friends, we always have to obey group etiquettes. So I agreed.

“So who is going to come tonight?” I asked.

“Anjali” came the swift reply from Vaishali.

“Time……”

“12.00 Midnight sharp,” we overheard them from the hostel balcony.

“OMG!!! So you people have been there to the girl’s hostel, haven’t you guys?” I was awestruck.

“No, Vaishali was there in the hostel balcony and overheard them,” replied Kamal.

“Yes, I was just taking stroll in the balcony.” Vaishali was excited, “though I don’t stay anymore there. But I like sneaking into the hostel balcony when the lady warden is fast asleep”

So Anjali is today’s scapegoat for the girls! I quickly looked at my watch. It was already quarter to 12.00. Night was chill. The thick marshy area followed by the sparsely grown trees behind the hostel gave a perfect pseudo setting of a forest. I was wondering why did the college authorities chose such a place to build the girls hostel. I quickly changed to my jeans and Tees.

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Short Story: Deadlock

She was confused. Her parents have finalized with the alliance that they have been looking for. She has to tell Karthik about this. She can’t go against her parents. She can’t tell them about Karthik and her love. She cannot turn down their parents. So she has taken the deadliest decision of breaking up with Karthik.

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Clilck link below to read more…….

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Short Story: The untold tale of the nerd and the needle

The monitor in his desk was displaying chunks of code. He was staring at the ceiling in an utmost glee. His code has got implemented last night and was running without any issues. This time his promotion was confirmed. He was working today to provide support to the implemented code. He leaned back in his chair to stretch his spine and broke the knuckles and started staring at the vent in the ceiling. He hasn’t slept for the past twelve hours. His eyes were experiencing a slight dizziness which called him for a quick nap. But he was not supposed to sleep.

*blip* came the pop up in his desktop from his MS outlook mail client with the subject “FW: Awesome Website – Don’t miss it”. He opened the new message and clicked the link which was found in the page.

It was an awesome flash website. The home page was dark and creepy with a single white text box asking him to enter his name. After some thought he entered the following text in the textbox

NERD

He moved his mouse and pressed the GET-IN button below the Story Mode textbox and lo!!

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Click the link below to read further….

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Short Story: It happens again

“Dad, Tushar uncle has come” the voice from the hall disturbed my morning newspaper reading routine. It was my daughter Kalpana.  I was surprised to see Tushar at the door after a long time. We have been childhood friends and we discuss everything under the sky right from the school days.

“So tell me Tushar, what brought you today in this morning to me?

“Nothing special, just wanted to pay you a visit and enquire about your well being.”

“Oh, thank you very much for your kindness. By the way, I smell something curious in your face. You never pay sudden visits, that too in this morning. Tell me what is that I can do for you?” I wanted to know his purpose of visit. May be he is planning for his son’s marriage.

Tushar spoke after a small pause, “I happen to hear things from your daughter yesterday. Sounds ridiculous, Roy! You seem to have grown old and you need to take rest from this headmaster job, you do in the local school.”

“Rest!! I need one, but I’m perfectly fine. But what did you hear from her?” I enquired. I knew about what he is going to ask.

“Kalpana told me that you talk to her about your past…” He stopped abruptly.

I guessed right. She has told this to Tushar. Now I cannot hide things from him. He would not rest in peace without knowing things from me. I’ve been discussing this only with my daughter. Now time has come to tell this to my friend as well.

“Yes Tushar,” I spoke, “I started remembering my previous birth.”

“What?” He stared at me in bewilderment.

“I saw my death. I wanted to discuss this with someone. Someone, who can understand me better, so I’m telling this to you,” I said.

“Roy, trust me as how you trusted me before. Tell me what happened to you. I’ll try to help you any time.”

“I see my past. My memory registers feeble scenes from my previous birth. I was a human being. I remember myself sitting in an old hall with people sitting in their chairs and tables. The walls are not white washed recently. The dried stains of dirty rain water mixed with dust remained unwashed.”

“Oh that sounds like an office, then…”

“An old clock was ticking and the pendulum oscillating left and right. I sit in a small counter and dispensing small sheets of colorful paper bits. I see crowd. They always come to me asking for this. I give them for money.”

“I see. This sounds strange!” He replied.

“I remember the building. It is kind of very old. Not properly maintained. Something like that of very old government building.”

“So you must have been working in some government office, I guess” He said.

“May be, I guess”

“So what happened then?”

“Actually it’s not a sequence of events. They are randomly scattered events. I remember them here and there.”

“Hmmm…so tell me, what else do you remember from your previous birth?” Tushar became interested.

“I went to meet my friend; he was working in some local school”

“Uncle Coffee…” Kalpana interrupted.

“Thanks…” Tushar picked the tumbler from the plate and both of us again became serious in the discussion.

“You went to meet your friend?” Tushar linked my previous statement.

“Yes, I went to meet him. Just then I was about to leave, I remember giving him something.” I said sipping the coffee from the ‘ever silver’ tumbler.

“Sounds interesting!!”

“I gave him something and when I came out of the house, he came running towards me and said something. I have no clue on what he said.”

“That’s so sad Roy. You should recollect things better.”

“But you know what happened after that? It is important.” I said.

“Tell me quick. I got to go.”

“I died. I died of heart attack. May be due to the information he said about me.”

“About you?” Tushar looked puzzled, and he took something out of his bag and said, “Roy, this thing I want to give you. I just came for this as well”

“What is that?” I asked looking at the small parcel.

“Money Order” He answered, “I saw this money order and your address in the envelope. I thought I can take this opportunity to come and meet you.”

“Oh, thanks a lot. My brother has sent this.  He owes me this amount sometime back. Now he is returning this to me.” I was happy.

“Well then, I have to go. I have work in the office. I’ll come in the evening and will discuss the rest of your story.” Tushar was in hurry to leave.

“Okay, thanks for dropping by. I’ll recollect more and let you know much more details.” I said and he left my room.

“Bye uncle. Do come when you are free in the evening. My father would be happy to spend time with you.” I could hear Kalpana’s voice from the hall.

I wanted to sink again in the newspaper, but something struck me suddenly. I dashed towards the door and called “Tushaaaar……..”

He looked back.

“I remember something now.” I said in a hurry.

“What?” Tushar looked confused standing outside the house.

“I went to meet my friend who was working in the school” I said.

“Roy, you said this already, I have to leave now.”

“Yes, I do remember that. But I didn’t tell you what he was.”

Tushar looked irritated, “Okay tell me what he was”

“He was the headmaster of the school” I said.

“But what significance it has with you now. Good that you remembered now. Shall I leave? I have to be in my seat in another fifteen minutes. I’ve to dispense….”

Before Tushar could complete, I couldn’t control my curiosity to tell him this thing, “I remember one more thing now” I said in hurry without letting him speak.

“Roy, you are confused. Go and take some rest. I’ll be back in the evening and let us discuss this in leisure, I have to….”

I interrupted him, “In my last birth, I was working in the post office in the stamp dispensing counter” I blasted.

On hearing these words from my mouth, Tushar stood still as if hit by a high voltage surge and dropped in the floor, holding his chest and writhing and squiggling on the sandy road outside. A crowd gathered in the street lifting him and leading him to the nearby hospital. I couldn’t see the sight of my friend in that state and I ran towards the crowd.

Before anything could be done, he was no more. Doctor informed us that he passed away due to heart attack.

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The next day morning, I was reading the newspaper. My heart stopped for a second, reading the headlines in the local column of the page. The small rectangular piece of column bore these words in black and bold

“Family & Friends offers condolences to Tushar, a resident of Ramnagar, who was working in the local post office in the stamp dispensing counter attained almighty’s abode.

May God give him eternal rest and may his soul rest in peace.”

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P.S:- It happens again!

THE END