Friday, November 16, 2012


“I have to explore this building”, that’s what I thought after seeing it. I had been observing that abandoned building for sometimes. It was the other side of the Lawrence highway. The building architecture is  unique when compared to the surrounding houses. I was an artist; so I could easily identify the artistic sense in any building construction. My name is Aryan and working as senior designer in one of the top advertising company. My job is to design company's brand logos. Most Fortune 500 companies were our clients; I had received a “Innovative design” award last year for my logo design to software company. It was not the first time, earlier to that I got several other awards for my work. However, that was all past. After that, I was running out of ideas. Somehow I was not getting “innovative” thoughts to design the company's brand logos. As per my boss advice I took a long break from work. But still, even after return from vacation, I felt something was missing in me. My 7 years marriage came to end that year, and I got a divorce from my wife. People were saying I got disturbed a lot with that divorce. That was real. I disturbed so much. I felt empty, and my mind was not sharp like before.

I visited many places for inspiration. I studied my previous work and other people's work, but still those things were not ignited the spark in my mind. I knew if I notice something unique and brilliant then If I get inspired, and I’ll be back to normal.

I was working on a project. The company who gave that project decided to renew their company logo as one of their key partner left that company. Earlier logo was used to resemble the culture of both companies, but now they need a new symbol. It was almost 3 months; I couldn’t come up with any satisfactory result.

After noticing that abandoned building, I felt it might have some paintings or something, which might inspire me. In one weekend, I decided to explore it.

It was beautiful and truly innovative construction. Until few years back, caretaker was taking care of that building, heard from one of my colleague. After him, no one was there to take care of it. Govt was thinking to renew it and make it as some kind of tourist place, but those things were never happened. People say they heard weird sounds in that building during night times and some even say they have seen shadows. I didn’t believe those things.

It was quite far from the high-way and located on top of the hill. There was a path to reach that house, but that path was totally deteriorated. Somehow I managed to reach it on my car. I opened the door. There was huge hall inside, and there were many paintings on the wall. I was slowly walking and looking at all the paintings. There was so much creativity on those paintings. I sat on a chair and opened the laptop. There were few designs in my laptop, which I didn’t like at all. I looked at the paintings on the wall to see if any of the paintings would inspire me. In parallel, I was studying about the company again. The more you know about the company then the more you can come up with a simple, yet perfectly suitable logos for them. A company logo should reveal about their culture, work, passion, principals and commitments. I knew the value of the brand names and logos. I spent around 4 hours, but none of the designed logo is satisfactory. Those paintings on the wall were not actually helping me to come up with any idea. People might think the company logos are  straightforward, and it shouldn’t take much time to design. But in reality that’s not correct. One has to spend a lot of time and even months to come up with different designs.

I was frustrated. I felt dead tired as my mind was constantly thinking about it. I slipped into sleep. Once I woke up, I realized that I had slept around 2 hours. I closed laptop and left the building. That day night I emailed a file with that list of drawings to my manager and asked him to submit to client for approval. I knew that they wouldn’t like those, but I didn’t have any option as I had already crossed the deadline long back, so I couldn’t prolong further.

Next day morning I got a call from the manager. The client is in the other side of the globe that means,  it was morning for them when they got the email, and they have reviewed the designs. He said they were extremely pleased with few designs, and they have chosen one for their company logo from it. He said excellent work and disconnected the call. I was surprised as I didn’t expect that response.

I opened outlook and saw an email from client appreciating my work. They have sent the selected designs as an attachment to it. When I opened that attachment, I was shocked as those were not my designs. Those were truly excellent, but those were not mine. I looked at the sent folder and checked the attachment that I send last night. That attachment has these designs along with my other designs. I didn’t know how come those designs came there. The file was in my laptop until yesterday so no one could have updated it. Even if someone, I didn’t think anyone here has that much talent to come up with those designs. It was total puzzle to me how could that happens.

Few days later I got another project. The situation was alike. I struggled to come-up with proper designs. I decided to visit that building and work there. I went again and sat on the same place. It was no use as I couldn’t come up with any new designs. After a while, I slept on that chair. When I woke up, I had observed that my laptop was not closed. I looked at the file, which has my previous designs. The file was supposed to be 5 pages, but it has 15 pages, that means, 10 new designs were added to that file.

Who could have added those designs? A big question mark in my mind. I looked around. I didn’t observe anybody. I recalled the stories about that building that a ghost was wondering in it. I usually don’t believe those stories. But, the question had arisen in my mind again, who did those drawings in my laptop? Defiantly it was not me.

While thinking, I went further inside of that building and noticed a room, which was not locked. It was a library room. No books were in the racks. I reckon those were stolen or sold. There was a large picture on the wall, which I understood could be the owner of that building. Sir Arthur, I read the name on that painting. While I was staring at that painting, all of sudden it fell down. I stumbled for that. I grabbed the painting from the floor and tried to put back on the wall, and then I observed a shelf on the wall, which was kept hidden earlier from that painting. I put the painting on the floor and opened that shelf. There was a dairy inside. Sir Arthur name was written on it. It was a century old book. I opened it. First few pages were empty then onwards it has drawings. I recognized some of the drawings as they were exactly same designs that I found in my laptop. That means …. Did Arthur sketched those designs ? My hands became wet with sweat. I closed that book and ran back to the place where I kept my laptop. I took it and came out of that building.

After reaching home, I was unable to believe what I saw. I double checked those designs in that book. I discussed it with one of my psychology friend. He told it was coincident that those drawings were matched. He also told that I might have drawn the designs unconsciously as it happened to many people. In any case, I was not sure exactly what the truth was. I didn’t visit that building again. But I kept Arthur’s dairy with me as that was my inspiration for all my future designs.

This story is published at

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Must read it

Use plain, simple language, short words and brief sentences. That is
the way to write English -- it is the modern way and the best flowers
way. Stick to it; don't let fluff and verbosity creep in. When you catch an
adjective, kill it. No, I don't mean utterly, but kill most of them -- then
the rest will be valuable. A wordy habit, once fastened upon a person,
is as hard to get rid of as any other vice."
--Mark Twain