Hiya Mukherjee was born and brought up in Kolkata. She writes mostly in her mother tongue Bengali. Her work has appeared in Plato’s Caves Online and Friday Flash Fiction. She co-edits a bilingual and bimonthly blogzine called ‘Agony Opera‘.
How to Hover Over a Hackneyed and Hassle-free Armageddon in Scandinavia
The Lumerian Institute for Humphrey Bogart Lookalikes cordially invites all dysfunctional teens with a knack for conspiracy theories and the word ‘bazoongas’ to a glorious summer retreat in the deep underbelly of the Nordic mountains. We are delighted to announce that we have procured a fine specimen of a Scandinavian community cottage near the sea, to carry out a week- long delightful discourse on the topic of ‘Post-apocalyptic Vision of the Culinary Delights’. As we stand at the turning point of the human civilization, rightfully predicted by our sister enterprise, ‘Journal of Ubiquitous and Oblique Findings on the Nature of Doom’, we suspect that the future looks rather bleak regarding the issue of cooked meals, which, although often ignored due to its apparent mundane nature by the head-honchos of the apocalyptic academia, should be one of our primary concerns in the possible scenario of a mass extinction by meteor strike. There are innumerable philosophical debates on the subject. Questions like ‘What do we cook under the assumption that all forms of flora and fauna have been obliterated from the face of the earth?’, ‘Is cannibalism a possible solution to the epidemic of toxic fume inflected diarrhea?’, ‘Can a man survive solely on the diet of radioactive cloud?’ and ‘Will the impending apocalypse finally ensure a downward spiral in the nature of the pompous and highly-overrated French Cuisine?’ demand our immediate attention. The week-long workshop will be accompanied by occasional strolls in groups through the nearby woods when it’s pitch dark, preferably while singing the lines of ‘Couch Potato’ by the Poodle Hat in chorus. There will be occasions of excellent bonfire where participants will be allowed to fry up stale sardines while discussing the myth of the wandering Jesus and similar oddities. The cottage will have no central heating system or running water, but considering the fact that it will be a retreat regarding the apocalypse, the minor inconveniences could possibly champion as a noble shadow practice. Applicants are hereby requested to submit a creative write up on any one of the following topics to ensure their intellectual originality and the capability to grasp the haplessness of the situation –
1. I was once a teenage Pterodactyl and all my friends were dead.
2. The anal benefits of eating plastic.
3. God is a morbidly obese ninja-alien from Neptune who mistook the Earth for a tomato.
Applicants are encouraged to send along a small list of their distinctive childhood traumas regarding the boogeyman and why he was very much real, not exceeding 750 words. All nationalities are welcome, but small-islanders due to their vigorous nature owing to the hardship inflicted on them, leaving them virtually no time to introspect on the nature of the apocalypse and wanna-be communists with their heads full dialectical and diabolic schemes to overthrow the government, even under the possible situation of Armageddon, will be frowned upon. Applicants belonging to the fairer sex are encouraged, but it is also our duty to inform them that doomsday is not an opportunity for them to establish matrilineality or any other absurd ideas of the sort that our over-zealous feminist friends, with their unshaven arm-pits, would like us to believe. Vegans and people who use organic shampoo on a regular basis are not welcome.
Finally, contrary to our general portrayal in mainstream mass media, The Lumerian Institute for Humphrey Bogart Lookalikes is NOT a cult and our patrons do NOT indulge in the heinous act of
glue-sniffing. We would never manipulate our participants into a frenzied mass-suicide by asphyxiation in the likely event of the apocalypse. We tend to scrutinize every historical event through profound rationality and scientific perspective. The best part of our endeavor is that in the very likely event of the giant meteor-strike and the possible phenomenon of mass-extinction, the timing of which has been meticulously calculated to coincide with the workshop, participants get an up-close and front row view of the doomsday from a particularly high cliff near the sea, geographically located at the epicenter of the prophesied crash, and enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime experience in the benign company of his/her fellow enthusiasts.
Seats are limited.
Early birds get a special discount and a signed copy of the bestselling book ‘Do Lizards Takeover the World after we are Struck by Galactic Lightning?’
No refunds in case of total wipeout.