house agency

RAVENCLAW: “Books are similarly dangerous. The worst kind can change your life. It was a book that got me to the human world. And it is books that now keep me here. I don’t know how some humans can stand to read so much. How can they bear to continue their dull, normal lives after reading such extraordinary ones?” -Parinita Shetty (Oz: The A-Z Djinn Detective Agency)

Make me live in unlivable conditions? Let's see how that works out for you.

I have been living in my current apartment for about 11 months and a week. My roommate and I were prepared to renew our lease but in this last month the quality of our apartment has fallen off a cliff.

There are several three foot holes cut in the walls of the hallway dripping water filled with black, white and green mold that have been open with no additional repairs for almost a week. Then our hot water went out and after three days of submitting service requests online and calling the front office I finally threatened legal action. Then when the repair guys finally came (at 5pm on a Friday after I had been calling it in since Wednesday morning) the repairman kept bitching and moaning how I was ruining his weekend. And for the week proceeding and following my water heater repair my pipes have intermittently been pumping up brown and yellow water.

I went to my leasing office to complain and tell them about the issues. I brought photos and videos of all the issues and told her about the repair staffs rudeness. Her responses were “My repair guys wouldn’t say that, you’re making it up.” , “It’s just mold it’s not going to kill you and we don’t have to tell you anything about repairs not inside your apartment so why don’t you just mind your business?” and “Yeah, repairs take time, you couldn’t be patient.” and my favorite, “It’s just rust, you’ll be fine.”

She then had the GALL to tell me if we were renewing our rent would be going up. I canceled my lease right then and there. But here is where my true revenge begins.

After signing a new lease at a new apartment building I wrote a six paragraph, scathing account of the incidents including, photo and video. These then went on Yelp, Google, Rent, ApartmentGuide, ApartmentList and every other realty website I could find. I sent copies to their corporate headquarters, the Fair Housing Agency, the Code Enforcement Agency and a lawyer. I’ve already been told that what I went through constitutes ‘inhospitable living conditions’ and that I am not obligated to pay rent while living on these terms.

If they’d just done the repairs, apologized for the delay and left my rent alone they would have had us for another whole year.

Now (thanks to AdWords) every time you google my apartment complex, the first result is my scathing review and pages of photos of brown water, rotting wood and mold.

Romance, Representation And You

So the last post I reblogged got some interesting comments I want to touch on, namely people stating that they don’t dislike Romance because it’s fluffy and feel good, but because it is often sexist, misogynistic, ableist, heteronormative and woefully lacking in diversity, which yes, absolutely, yes. Those are entirely valid criticisms of the genre—indeed I find them to be valid of any genre, whether it’s sci-fi, fantasy, young adult or otherwise. There is a shocking lack of diversity in our fiction and media—and not because people don’t want it or aren’t trying to make it, but because publishing houses and media can’t see the co-relation between what their marketing teams are telling them, and the actual reality that of course straight white stories are selling the best, of course it is, because you won’t sell anything else, that’s why there’s no sales numbers for anything else.

I worked in a romance publishing house for a good few years, I also worked for their erotica team, and do you know, not once did I ever come across a manuscript with a disabled person? Not a single one. There was also never a manuscript that featured a character with mental illness who wasn’t the villain, or whose issues couldn’t be Fixed With Love™(*vomit*). 

The few times a story featured non white characters, it was usually “The Best Friend Who Gives Sassy Real Advice”, or so horrifically racist that our modus operandi was to nuke it from the office servers rather than try and deal with it because how do you politely tell an author, hey, you’re a fetishistic piece of shit please find God and change the entirety of your story so we can print it, (Answer: you don’t there is no polite way to tell someone they are a  fetishistic piece of shit and you never want their work to darken your inbox ever again.) when you can instead say “Sorry, not what we’re looking for a the moment” and retreat to the relative safety of the slushpile where maybe, just maybe, a hidden gem awaits excavation.

And our publishing house prided itself on diversity because we had an LGBT section, and oh boy let me tell you I was so excited when I got moved over onto that side…only to realize, there’s no w/w fiction because “it doesn’t sell well” and 90% of the m/m fiction is being written by women for women and they fired the one gay author cause his work wasn’t “what was selling” and every bisexual character I ever encountered was either Actually Gay/Actually Straight, or surprise! The Evil Greedy Homewrecker who needs to pick a side, booo hiiiiss, grab your pitchforks and burn the witch.

And I remember, I remember looking to my senior editor who was also my friend at the time, a poly bisexual, mentally ill woman and saying “what the fuck Rebecca” (yes, her name was actually Becky) and she looked at me over our skype call and said “You want to keep your job? Deal with it.”

Because you see, Marketing reigns supreme, and Marketing doesn’t give a shit about people like you and me. It doesn’t care if the neurodivergent person wants to see people like them in fiction, it doesn’t care that people of color want to be more than just the friend/villain, they don’t care that there is more to LGBTQIA+ than the L and specifically the G, it doesn’t care if disabled people want to be represented as more than someone ele’s story arc prop. They don’t care they, don’t care, and do you know why so many publishing houses look down on indie publishing and self published authors and try to call them hacks? Because we don’t give a fuck that they don’t care and we’re doing what we want anyway.

Oh sure you get the usual “but the work is so unpolished, no one has vetted it, it’s just bad, this is why we need publishers to stop the crap from rising to the top”—and yet Fifty Shades of Grey still gets a multi-billion dollar production budget and to the top of the best seller list—do you see, where I am going with this? They’re not interested in selling the best they are just interested in selling, and we are living in a society that has a system designed specifically to a quite literally straight and narrow demographic. So of course XYZ stories sell well, of course they do, because that is where the vast majority of marketing goes, to make sure you buy into it. And Romance…Romance is a lucrative industry to be in if you can get the weight of that campaign behind you…but if you can’t? Well, not only do you have to compete with lack of funding and resources, but also the pervasive lie that because you’re not affiliated directly with X Publishing House or Y Agency, you are not good enough, and no one will want to read your story.

And that’s a bunch of baloney. It’s so much baloney you can slap it between two slices of bread and cover it in mustard because the whole thing is a ham.

Do you know what I would have loved growing up? (And still would) Stories about girls who liked people regardless of gender—and who wasn’t conflicted over it because people are people and gender is fluid and irrelevant to love. Stories about people with mental health issues, where the person is still loved and shown as functional, with their mental health issues, not despite. Stories about disabled and ill people who have fulfilling lives whose arc doesn’t revolve around being brave for simply existing or how much of a saint their families/loved ones are for putting up with them. And do you know what I get instead, even now as an adult who has worked in the industry that sells these stories? I get things like Fifty Shades of Domestic Abuse, and train wrecks like You Before Me where the death of the disabled person is seen as a romantic gesture of selflessness that sets the love interest free to fully live her life. HOW FUCKING FUCKED UP IS THAT. Oh you can argue with me all you want that wasn’t  Moyes intent when she was writing it, but it damn well was the end result.

Yes, Romance is lacking, and yes it needs revamped, it needs more cultural diversity, it needs more inclusion, it needs so many things—but it also needs for people to not want to not write for it because it’s “fluffy” and cheap, like somehow they are selling their souls away. 

I’ve got friends who have written amazing, diverse stories told from their point of view…but they won’t ever get them published because as soon as you mention self publishing or the Romance industry they turn their noses up. And they’re shooting themselves in the foot in doing so, because there ain’t no way a story about XYZ is going to make it in a sci-fi house, no matter who much tech you add in. On the flipside of that, I’ve also got a friend who has written about her experiences as a Black queer disabled woman and it’s filled with relationships and great life stuff and so funny…but she can’t get it published anywhere because she’s been explicitly made to feel like she doesn’t belong in the genre because her stories are too complex, they’re too different they’re too comedic…too…too…too (the list goes on). And that’s awful because Romance is a genre that is primarily about people and if you as a Romance house are telling me you can’t sell a story about people, boy are we well and truly fucked.

The biggest criticism of the Romance genre shouldn’t be that it’s too damn happy and therefore unrealistic and nothing but fluff. What’s unrealistic is the complete lack of diversity and inclusion in the genre that makes it so alienating that a huge part of our society immediately feels like they don’t belong. 

And that’s a bigger problem than fluff.

So great, yes fine, Romance isn’t for you, you can tell me all the time that you don’t like Romance and I will cheerfully talk to you about literally anything else. But don’t ever tell me you don’t like Romance because it’s simple and fluffy when there’s a whole wealth of actual problematic shit to dislike it for.

And to you, yes you, I’m talking to you. You with the idea in the back of your head and the worry that you’ll never be a Serious Author because all you want to write about is romance and people and angst and fluff and also thinking no one wants to read stories about people like you: take that idea and run with with it, learn from your experiences and keep doing it some more and maybe one day we’ll have the publishing industry we deserve that will acknowledge you. But until then: Rebel and Do It Anyway.

PR and controlling the media - the basics

I’m not going to try and unravel the boys / bands PR, we’ve been trying to do this for years and there’s no reason to think I have all the answers. I will try and explain the different tactics at a PR teams disposal and how much they can (or cannot) control the media. 

PR is not like maths, or science, or grammar, it’s not an exact science. It’s about people, and because of that no two situations will play out in exactly the same way. 

Another thing to remember is that it’s a balancing act. The media need PR people, and PR people need the media. So there is a lot of ‘I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine’ / trading favours / and choosing battles so as not to ruin relationships you may need in the future. 

……

The basics

At the beginning of a ‘campaign’ be it a rebrand, an album launch, a single launch etc the PR team will put together a PR plan (communications plan, whatever you want to call it). This will be lead by the Business Objectives - in a commercial business this is invariably linked to their bottom line (profit/making money). These Business Objectives will be supported by Communications/PR Objectives - what specifically you are trying to achieve through your PR/Communications - these must link directly back to the Business Objectives you are trying to achieve.

You would then look at your Audience (the people you need to connect/engage with to achieve you Communications Objectives), these can be: customers/stakeholders/staff/the media etc. After doing audience segmentation and analysis you would then start to put together a Tactical Plan to reach your Audience>meet you Communications Objectives>meet your Business Objectives.

You would then craft a set/s of Key Messages to use in all of your communications to get across all of the points you want to convey. These will run through all tactics, although they may flex depending on the specific audience you are targeting. 

It is at this point that what we are calling ‘PR’ starts to be seen by us, the rest of it goes on behind the scenes. 

……..

Tactics and control

Advertising / advertorials - This is the only tactic (other than your clients SM) you can have full control over (other than the specific placement in some case). The major downside of this tactic is that they lack credibility as you are paying for them to be included and therefor don’t come through the lens of a third party. 

………..

A proactive press release - These are drafted either in-house or by an agency and are signed off by the client (Harry/Harry’s team  / Louis/Louis’ team etc) They carry all of the key messages you want to get across and traditional each paragraph should be able to stand alone incase the journalist only uses a small section of it. The audience for this is the media, who then in turn reach another audience for you (the public/specific segments of the public if the journalist is from a nice title eg NME/Cosmo etc).

Sometimes journalists are lazy/busy and use the whole of the press release as the article and don’t remove / add anything. In that case, in terms of ‘control’ it’s a big win as they have published exactly what you want to say. 

Sometimes they include their own intro text / exit text / opinion alongside your copy. Depending on your relationship with them and their perception of your client this can be a good thing or a bad thing. 

If they include something that’s factually incorrect eg get the release date wrong, the PR team can get in contact with them and ask them to correct it. They do have to, but if it’s factually incorrect they normally do change it as it could effect their credibility with their readership. If they include something you don’t like but is an opinion / a quote from someone else etc, again you could ask them to remove it, BUT they are unlikely to as why should they? It’s not in their interest. The PR team may be able to persuade them by offering them something in return / threatening to take away from them - eg offer an interview, threaten to take away access to the artist in the future. This is dodgy ground and should only be done if the reach of the title and the damage the wording included warrants it. 

…….

Selling in a story - this is where the PR team specifically contacts a title to offer them a story (normally on an exclusive basis). Although not as ‘formal’ this is unfortunately what we have seen Rusty doing with the Sun. This tactic is normally employed when you want to have more control over how the story spreads than just issuing a press release gives you. It could be to reach a title you particularly want to target - eg one of the boys may want to expand their fanbase and their PR team may then offer the story to a publication they don’t normally work with - for example The Guardian art section / NME. In terms of control - again the journalist can add their own opinion spin, but in the process of selling the story in, you can build in checks and balances - for example the PR having access to it before it is published to approve it. Again this is not black and white, and will need to be negotiated on an individual basis. 

……

Reactive media lines - This is traditionally when ‘something’ has happened and a journalist contacts the PR team and asks for their response on that ‘something’. This tends to be one more contentious / unplanned issues that you can’t get ahead of and do proactive media work on. This is where a team can really get it wrong with the deadly ‘not comment’. Even on a reactive basis your response to the journalist should still cover off as many of you Key Messages as possible. In terms of control, a reactive line is hardly ever published in isolation - it normally sits within a bigger piece where they may have got statements / quotes from other parties, and include a lot of the journalists own opinion. 

…..

A note on corrections

In print - Nine times out of ten it is not worth asking for a correction in a print piece. Invariably the original piece will have been large and read by many, many people. A correction will be tiny and barely read by any one. 

Online - This is more likely to be worth pursuing as the copy will stay on the website indefinitely and can be changed almost immediately. (Please see info above under ‘Proactive press releases’ re: requesting changes, the same caveats apply here.)

……

Shady things

We see more than our fair share of shady goings ons, the best way to differentiate between a ‘above board’ press release and a story that has been ‘sold in’ is to look at which media outlet it is in / how many media outlets it is in simultaneously. 

If a story breaks in one or two outlets only it is likely to have been sold in. (The exception to this would be it a story breaks ONLY in a really obscure title, in which case they are most likely making it up for hits)

If a story breaks in multiple titles simultaneously with pretty much the same core wording, it’s pretty much a sure thing that it’s a press release. 

……

I think that’s pretty much it. This got VERY long :/

  • Some things are shady, some things aren’t. 

  • You have to pick your battles. 

  • And don’t piss off people on your way up that you might need on your way back down. 
Department of Children and Families

Originally posted by ilskan

Between Harry being locked in a cupboard, Tom Riddle in an Orphanage, and Merope Gaunt being raised in squalor and being prepped for a life of incest, HOW THE FUCK DOES THE MINISTRY NOT HAVE A DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILIES?!?!? I mean, if they can have every magical child’s name on a list, shouldn’t someone be checking up on them? Come on Minister Granger. If I heard you’d started a house elf protection agency and not a child wizard protection agency, I’m going to be so disappointed in you. For fucks sake. You have a misuse of Muggle artifacts office but you don’t have child welfare.

So my friend send me this rant about T.O.P’s marijuana scandal:

So, honestly, this whole T.O.P. marijuana scandal sounds like bullshit to me for multiple reasons:

  1. Why are they releasing this now? They claim T.O.P. smoked marijuana on October 2016 (I may be really bad at math, but it’s been 8 months) They tested his hair for marijuana and he allegedly tested positive, but traces of marijuana only last 3 months in hair follicles so if tested recently, it would’ve came back negative.
  2. He’s in the military: If they tested him before entering the military (which he did Feb. 2017) then it would’ve came back positive and he wouldn’t have been allowed to join the military, let alone as a conscripted policeman.    
  3. BigBang has been down this road before: GD had a marijuana scandal back in 2011 and it was “handled”. I highly doubt T.O.P. would be stupid enough to engage in this reckless behavior without at least making sure he’ll pass the drug test.    
  4. A “friend” of T.O.P. claimed he smoked marijuana with him: Nobody knows where this “friend” came from and why he would suddenly confess to doing this, knowing that he will put his “friend’s” career in jeopardy. With friends like this who needs enemies?
  5. The “friend” mysteriously vanished and now a trainee smoked weed with T.O.P. : Choi Seung Hyun WOULD NOT INVITE A FREAKING TRAINEE TO HIS HOUSE! Seriously guys? Agencies wouldn’t allow that. She’s a freaking trainee and is being held under suspicion of drug use? Probably other drugs besides marijuana. If that was the case and she was being held, she was already screwed on her own. Why drag T.O.P. into this? Desperate for attention? Or just a big pile of lies and this trainee doesn’t even exist!
  6. The dates and details keep changing: First, they said he smoked marijuana in June. Then they said it was in October. Second, news say T.O.P. denied using marijuana; 5 minutes  later YGE releases a statement apologizing for the events and claiming he is “deeply regretting his actions.” Third, news say a friend admitted to smoking with T.O.P. then that changed to a trainee, and now it  is being said multiple women were present and they all recently magically tested positive after smoking weed in October (just refreshing your memory: 8 months ago).
  7. Timing is SUPER suspicious: Not  only do they decide to release this waaaaay later than the date when it  would’ve at least been plausible, but a week before GD’s comeback as a solo artist? Probably a sabotage for his comeback or something. And to top  it off, they want to say the government has a financial stake with YGE (which explains why GD and Park Bom were let off the hook) but now that T.O.P. is involved, he no longer has the protection his label mates had.    

Again, I’m not saying he didn’t smoke the freaking pot. Maybe he did, but why release this now?! It makes no sense at all. This is all really sketchy. Theory is: they’re trying to either get lots of attention or covering something way worse than this because that’s just how it goes in Korea. Maybe it’ll clear up soon or maybe we’ll never know the truth, but one thing’s for sure; A LOT of people are lying here. Hopefully this doesn’t affect the other members, since they have no part in this and he’ll get out of this because he did nothing wrong. 

오빠 화이팅!

@seungris-nappeun-gijibae @gdontopunderthesun-vi-d-lighted

4

You guys have no idea how much fun I had drawing their fear faces. 

First real attempt at digtal art too.

OMG I HAVE WANTED TO DO THIS DRAWING MEME AND I FIND THE HAUNTED HOUSE REACTIONS THING SO FUNNY. I didn’t know what characters to do it with at first, BUT BUNGOU STRAY DOGS IS MY LIFE RIGhT NOw and then that above happened. haha.

anonymous asked:

Wouldn't it be kinda racist that one of hermiones most memorable actions is literally freeing the slaves at hogwarts? (if she's cannon black)

…(-_\)

ok 4 things

1) I am not making the argument that Hermione is canonically black, and I sincerely doubt that any of the people who also interpret her that way are, either. There is a very notable difference in something being your personal headcanon and the author explicitly saying something is that way. And since JK Rowling most likely didn’t write Hermione canonically as black, then when she wrote Goblet of Fire I doubt she was considering how Hermione’s racial identity and corresponding experiences might directly affect her views and actions in regards to house elf slavery as a parallel to race based slavery.

So the answer to your questions is that it’s a non-issue, because Hermione was never written to explicitly and canonically be black.

(Also, historically not all instances of slavery have been race based, so your questions is also moon because it’s possible to address the themes and issues surrounding slavery without bringing race into it)

2) Beyond house elves being unpaid servants to wizards, there actually isn’t that much of a parallel to the real world kidnapping and forced slavery of Africans by Europeans? I mean, the most obvious difference between the two is that house elves enjoy their slavery: they’re deeply loyal to their masters, take pride in serving their masters, and will get offended if you try to compensate them for their work.

That alone I think renders the analogy to black slaves completely ineffectual; one involves depriving black people of their freedom, agency, and personhood, while Hermione’s storyline with SPEW involves learning to actually allow house elves the agency to decide for themselves how they want to live their lives (with many of them willingly preferring unpaid servitude), regardless of whether their choice is in direct contradiction of her own narrative of how the world works and her idea of how those house elves should live their lives.

(ahem ahem)

3) Even IF Hermione was written as canonically black and even IF you could make the argument that house elf slavery is very specifically a parallel to race based slavery, writing people of color dealing with issues that are historically linked with race isn’t racist in and of itself???

As a caveat, yes, it’s going to be dependent on the quality of writing and the amount of research and work the author puts into it, so yes, it does have the potential to be problematic, much in the same way an author trying to write in the voice of a different race and culture can potentially be problematic and constitute cultural appropriation if that author doesn’t do that character their due diligence.

But there’s nothing intrinsically racist about having a character of color openly discussing/addressing race and issues centered on race. That argument to me is akin to “YOU’RE the racist for pointing out the racist thing I did!!” Being willing to openly acknowledge and address issues of race is in no way, shape, or form racism in and of itself.

I always find it frustrating that people are so squeamish and so uncomfortable talking about race that the mere mention of it reads the same as racism itself to them. (◞‸◟;)

and finally

4) What’s up with the constant need by people to nitpick at other people’s personal interpretations of a character and to try to dismantle those preferred characterizations based on pedantics?

Both the argument presented here and the “Harry is white on the book covers” argument from another ask I got just feel petty. It reeks of nitpicking so you can prove that you are right and thus have a superior interpretation of the character to someone else.

I mean yeah, if you have an interpretation of a character that lies outside of canon then there are potentially going be instances in the text that contradict your interpretation.

But the great thing about fiction books is that they’re meant to be an exercise in imagination. People will read these books for different reasons, get different things out of the same books, and value these same books in different ways.

When people that are different than you read the same book with the same character, they might value and prioritize things about that character that you don’t. I think it’s a safe assumption to say that what a lot of people value the most about Hermione is her intelligence, resourcefulness, and willingness to stand by her beliefs. Her race, for a lot of people, is going to be incidental to those qualities, so if they want to imagine her in a skin tone that reflects their own and allows them to connect with her better, let them. It doesn’t change the core qualities of what makes Hermione Hermione, and how someone else sees a character also doesn’t have to change how you see that character.

To throw in people’s face that NO, she’s absolutely white, and that they HAVE to prioritize her whiteness in the same way that you do is just so self-important and petty

DAY 3392

Jalsa, Mumbai                  July 11/12,  2017                Tue/Wed  12:40 AM




Your own efficiency may not necessarily be the reason for deliverance as per taste .. the taste you work for, could be and must be different on the palette of another .. a by stander, or perhaps one involved .. be not then of alarm when corrected .. they that do so, do so on their own merits .. merits have measure .. a measure not often of your liking or standard .. be that as it may, what then shall be the yardstick for the delivery .. ?

You can believe in the self .. but the self may not be the belief of another .. would then there be a conflict .. a conflict of thoughts and ideas .. thoughts and ideas have a funny way of conflicting with each other .. at times within your own system .. what then ..?

What then, is to succumb ..? or to be in adamancy ..? succumbed translates weakness .. the other, arrogance and displeasure .. for the making of displeasure one would want adamancy, at the risk of arrogance .. and that would register for the longest in the mind of just not the self but the many other ..

If there is power of presence and place and degree .. adamancy is the prescribed formulae .. if not bend .. bend in servility and face the arrows that flow out in a stream of penetration of the self ..

I am self … I am in adamancy .. I am also in servility, servile and submissive .. submissive for the general good .. do I then loose .. loose to them that challenged .. challenged the self, in all its professional galaxy .. !!!

The answer my friends is ‘not written in the wind’ .. it is written .. but I am not willing to reveal where .. !!!!





I stagger about on the set of the film on work - ‘102 Not Out’ and dive thrusting towards this of me on the wall of the set to give the household that I inhabit, a sense of reality .. they get this from the net .. no surprise .. is there any in the world that can not be available on the ‘googlaid’ ..

The age on the above be about 1962 or 1963 .. my attempts to be, in look at least, the so called executive, working in a British Managing Agency house .. very ‘burra sahib’ and ‘pucca’ .. suite and tie to work, breaks of a cigarette, a lunch laced with clients and seniors in the office canteen - God bless them for this - for that was the only meal I could afford - for it was free for the staff and employees .. and often at a nearby restaurant where the delicate gimlet, was the order .. 5 pm was the closing hour, a quick rush to the Squash Club for a game, a sweet lime soda .. back to the rented quarters with 6 others, a review of the day and then .. on to the favourite evening night life of the City of Hope, Calcutta and Park Street … 

Carefree .. independent .. no worries of reporting at home in time before the street lights came on ..living on self earnings .. at time on the generosity of friends .. but happy and content .. without a care of what the morrow shall be ..


UNLIKE .. today !!

When seemingly there is more than before .. but less than the carefree of the before .. less is more, or is more less .. !!???

I often wonder ..


Amitabh Bachchan 

Broken (SherlockxReader)

Broken (SherlockxReader)

Request: Hello ! May I request a Sherlock x Reader where they were in a relationship before he faked his death, and, just like John, she didn’t know he was alive. So could you maybe write about how he tells her and her reaction, please ? - anonymous

Author: Nyla (i-had-a-halo-once)

Words: 2639

Warnings: Cursing

Pairings: SherlockxReader (romantic), LestradexReader (platonic), slight JohnxReader (platonic)

A/N: I totally fell in love with this request. As it so happens, I was listening to a song that fits this oneshot pretty well, but I hesitated in adding the lyrics to the story. So the song is called “Oh My Love” by Silver Trees. Anyway, I hope you enjoy it! - Nyla

___________

Two years. It had been two years since the day your world shattered and you couldn’t quite piece it back together. Two years. And everything — oh, God, everything had changed.

Outwardly, however, you were an impressive detective whose future certainly held promotions and awards. For you had chosen to continue pursue law enforcement after that tragic day, convinced it was somehow all your own fault that Sherlock Holmes had chosen to jump off a roof and end his own life. Worst of all, he had called John, and then you, begging for forgiveness for what he was about to do.

You still had nightmares of that fatal phone call and the events following it.

And you were haunted by a ghost no one else still saw.

So when you came striding into your office after chasing down another false lead on a murder case, you wore a mask of calm. “Hey, Y/N,” came the voice of your partner, none other than Greg Lestrade. You nodded at him in acknowledgement.

“Anything new on that missing persons case?” You questioned, sitting down. You noticed a coffee cup in front of you and carefully tasted the coffee. Hot, but not too hot. And, of course, the way you liked it.

“We have about a million of those,” Greg answered. “Care to elaborate?”

“You know. Young girl. Teens. Tourist?” You prompted, raising an eyebrow. He shot you a smirk, and you rolled your eyes at him. He was teasing you, as usual. You knew it, and smiled faintly.

“Nope. You know how these things go, Y/N.”

And it was true. You did. Only one out of ten missing persons cases usually ended up getting solved. The other nine… Well, you could only guess what happened to those poor souls. And it wasn’t a pleasant thought.

“Hmm. What about that murder case with the silver knife?” You asked absentmindedly, checking your work email briefly. No updates.

“Nothing. The forensic team is still analyzing the evidence.”

“Mmm,” came your distracted response. You had turned to the mess that was stacks of unread papers on your desk, and was rifling through it, looking for something specific, when a quiet sigh caught your attention. You glanced up at your partner, seeing his hesitant, but thoughtful, expression. You knew exactly what, or who, was causing that sigh, and you didn’t really want to ask, but you couldn’t help yourself. “Let me guess. Anderson?” You asked quietly, resisting the urge to kick yourself. You knew bringing up Anderson was effectively to bringing up him, but you still asked anyhow.

Greg caught your look, but nodded anyway. “It was a new theory today. You know, it wasn’t that insane when you think it through, Y/N.”

“We all know what happened,” you replied shortly, avoiding his eyes. “No amount of theories or regrets will bring him back.” Your tone had a dangerous edge to it, and Greg acknowledged the hinted warning.

Sherlock had been everything to you, and about a year after your fateful meeting, a relationship had slowly developed. Neither of you had really acknowledged it, preferring to dance around any mention of liking each other, until Sherlock had simply demanded to know if you were free at a given date to go with him on a date. Startled, you had questioned him, and he had looked up at you, and said, “A date. Which is what people do when they like each other, is it not?“ Laughing, you agreed to go with him. After that first “date”, you two had become a couple, albeit unofficially. And you hid the relationship from the public — Sherlock refused to risk your reputation as a good person. Perhaps he knew what had been coming, because shortly thereafter, the media deemed anyone with a close relationship to him “dangerous” and a “potential criminal”.

And then, ever since his death, you refused to talk about him. It was just easier not to. And then your changed personality drove even John away. While he didn’t talk about Sherlock to anyone but his therapist, you had shut yourself off from him. You slowly stopped picking up his calls and answering his texts, and eventually, they stopped coming.

That was six months ago.

“Y/N,” Greg continued in a gentle tone, “you of all people knew Sherlock—”

“Don’t!” You snapped, slamming shut the file you had open and looking at him. “Sherlock Holmes is dead, and God willing he will stay dead. And so will everything concerning him. And tell Anderson that too. It may not be Anderson’s fault, but he still has no right stirring up things that affect other people too. So good fucking riddance to that bastard to John Watson, and to that fool Anderson.” You took a deep breath, trying to regain your calm and composure, your eyes fluttering shut with the effort.

Silence hung heavy in the air with Greg watching you cautiously. You slumped back into your chair, suddenly ashamed of your outburst. Greg wasn’t Anderson, and he had been so supportive of you and helpful. He didn’t deserve the way you had just yelled at him.

You swallowed, and looked up. “Greg, I’m sorry,” you finally whispered. “I just… It wasn’t directed at you. I just need to let him go. Sometimes I wish I never had met him.”

“Take a break, Y/N.” Greg said softly. “You need it. Come back tomorrow if you feel like it, but don’t force yourself to.”

“But the murder case—”

“—can and will wait,” he cut you off. “Yes, I need my partner, the best goddamn detective in this agency I know of, but not when she’s distracted by the grief she’s been suppressing over the death of the man she loved. So go home, go to a therapist, or whatever the hell you need to do to cope, but take care of yourself, Y/N. And when you’ve managed to pull yourself back together, come back here.”

Greg’s gaze was hard, but truthful, and after a brief but silent battle of wills, your eyes finally dropped to your desk. “Alright, fine,” you conceded with a mumble and a heavy sigh that indicted you knew who was in the right here and it wasn’t you, and you rose to your feet. You picked up your long trench coat, flipping your computer off and grabbing your phone before moving for the door.

“I’m doing this for you, Y/N,” Greg called after you. You turned your head to glance at him, knowing he was sincere. “I want what’s best for you, but throwing yourself into this type of work without a clear mind isn’t it. Not when you need a clear head to stay alive.”

You nodded silently, then pushed open the door your hand was resting on and navigating a path through the maze of desks placed in your way. Though you felt eyes following you, you never looked back.

Your neutral expression you fought so hard to keep was cracking.

Just a little bit.

___________

Nighttime had claimed the city for its own when you left the shiny building housing the government agency you had found your calling in. After Sherlock had…left…you had continued on your chosen career path. Despite the many arguments you and the sociopathic genius had gotten into over it, you had decided to continue being a cop. Maybe it was to atone for the sin of never suspecting Sherlock was suicidal that you did so.

The streets were emptying, now mostly filled with giggling young couples who were filled with a couple too many drinks making their way home. Young, like you and he had been the night you met. Naïve, like you had been when you had fallen for him. Happy, like you two had been together.

A quiet sob escaped from your unsuspecting lips. The tears that stung your eyes simply refused to go, and you had given up trying to wipe them away. Maybe Greg was right; maybe you really did need to just let yourself grieve. To let yourself shed the tears that hadn’t been shed at his funeral, or the endless times you had found yourself staring at the shiny black headstone that marked the place where he rested.

Sherlock hadn’t taken many things with him when he fell, not even his cellphone. Like so many other things, such as the thoughts and feelings of others in his life, he had discarded his phone on the rooftop. He had also left behind John’s heart to heal, at least.

But not yours. No, Sherlock Holmes had taken your heart with him when he fell. And you had never gotten it back.

Your hand was already rising to cover your mouth as more sobs found their escape into the cold, wet air of night-ruled downtown London. You had chosen to leave your car behind and take a night walk, feeling relatively safe since your gold DI-in scripted badge marked you as someone to leave alone, despite your gender. And if the badge wasn’t warning enough, then the black gun hanging in full view at your hip certainly was.

You fought the urge to scream and cry like a little girl. After two years, your bottled-up emotions refused to be repressed any longer and struggled to escape through the trembling fingers pressed over your mouth to silence yourself once again. Tears ran freely down your cheeks, however, and you couldn’t stop those even if you had tried.

Maybe a drink was what you needed right now. You made a beeline for the bar you had spotted just now, your footsteps slightly more hurried once they had an actual destination to carry you to. You found yourself opening the door a minute later, and noticed a little table in a corner overlaid with heavy shadows, and immediately headed for it. Not five minutes later, the waiter came with a question and left with your answer.

The first drink was emptied quickly. You were one of three patrons gracing the bar with their presence, and was grateful that their attention was captured by the telly. You didn’t want anyone privy to the drowning of your grief in a drink or two.

Halfway through the second drink, when you were still completely sober, footsteps drawing near caught your attention. It was most likely your waiter.

“I hope you’re planning to remain sober, Y/N, otherwise this conversation will be harder.”

Every fiber of your being froze. You knew that voice, you heard it every night in your nightmares. And you had heard it for real two years ago when it apologized for the following actions of its owner.

Slowly, you overcame your paralysis, raising your head. Your eyes traced his shoes up to his hands and his shoulders, and then, finally….

“My God,” you whispered as your eyes met a supposedly dead man’s for the first time in two years. A small — and was it nervous? — smile played on his lips as Sherlock met your gaze evenly.

And behind him — the man you blamed for his death, his expression far more nervous than Sherlock’s. John didn’t smile.

“So you’re still a cop.” Sherlock stated quietly. Almost judgmentally.

You slowly rose to your feet, cold fury seeping through your body and freezing your gaze. Both men took an involuntary step back at your look. “How dare you, Sherlock Holmes, come marching in here all high and mighty and judge me for what I’ve done instead of explaining what you did. To me. To all of us.” You took a deep breath, fighting back the almost overwhelming urge to scream and rage at him.

“Y/N, I will explain. I swear,” he answered immediately, all traces of humor gone. Then, hearing your strange wording, frowned a little in the adorable way you had originally fallen for— No. There was no way you were going to let yourself fall for him again. “All of us?” He questioned.

“Like bloody hell you will. And yes, William Sherlock Scott Holmes, all of us.” You threw money down on the table, and pointed to the door. “Outside. Now.” Your furious gaze would not be questioned, and the two men, both of whom were known for being independent and unable to be intimidated, knew their best plan would be to follow your orders without question. A criminal was one thing, but a pissed off girlfriend and best friend was a different matter entirely.

So they followed your orders quickly. You followed them, and let the door slam behind all three of you. “Alleyway.” You snapped, and seeing John about to protest, diverted your cold glare to him. “Or we can easily make this a very public scene.”

John kept his mouth shut.

The minute you were all hidden from prying eyes, you forced yourself to take a deep breath. Sherlock started to talk, but you whirled on your heel and the ringing sound of a slap echoed in the alley. Tears were threatening to make their sequel appearance, and this time, you didn’t fight it. “I loved you, Sherlock!” You cried, but your tone now held deep seated grief that was only just starting to reveal itself and anger. But most of all, your voice contained bitterness. Bitterness and utter heartbreak. For a split second, your hands came forward, as though you wanted to touch his but couldn’t quite bring yourself to. “I thought you were dead, and I blamed myself! For two years, I’ve grieved the man who I thought I failed to save when he needed it the most! And you know what that’s done to me?” You cried again, tears starting to find paths down your face.

Sherlock opened his mouth to answer, but you beat him to it, your hands dropping. “It broke me, Sherlock. I have been going insane, and I can’t hide it anymore. Greg all but fired me because he told me I needed to move on. And Anderson, that heartless bastard, he plagued me. He followed me around every day if he saw me, until I stopped going near that street unless I had to, sprouting theories about how you were still alive. About how you were coming back for me. And, by God, I almost believed him.” You shook your head helplessly. “Then the memory of your broken and bruised body, or what I thought was your body, would flash into my mind and I would know — you were gone. The love of my life was gone and I, a law enforcement officer, failed at my duty to both my job and my heart. I failed you.”

For the first time in two years, you allowed yourself to fully break down. Your shaking hand covered your mouth and you sobbed. You cried for everything you had lost, and now you cried for the pain of being lied to and deceived about the worst event you had ever faced.

“I loved you, you bloody fool!” You managed to choke out. “And you — you betrayed me.”

“Y/N, I did it to protect you,” Sherlock answered softly. “If I hadn’t faked my own death, than you and John and everyone else we cared about would be dead.” He pulled you into his arms, and you resisted.

“Anderson may be a fool, but he was right about one thing,” Sherlock continued. You pulled back to look up at him, confusion dancing across your features. Still, to him, you looked beautiful. “I came back for you. And John. You two are my family.”

“Sherlock…” You whispered, and he pulled your now-unresisting form into his in a comforting, strong embrace.

All the same, a small part of your mind wondered if it really was coincidence that led to his return at the same time you were investigating a murder that clearly had Moriarty written all over it.

For now, you were just glad Sherlock was back.

Even if you knew he wasn’t being entirely honest about his reasons for returning.

DAY 3363

Malta                         June 12,  2017                  Mon 10:15 PM local time






Birthday - EF - Tatiana Saavick , MRD Patel        Tue, June 13 .. wishes for the birthday to the two Tatiana and MRD .. have a wonderful day and may it be sprinkled with love and happiness always .. your Ef



The chai ka adda at the set of ‘Kala Patthar’ .. a set put up on Raj ji’s ( Raj Kapoor ) farm near Pune .. we were to go to the actual coal mines in Asansol and Dhanbad, but logistics of work and ease of work, made us think again .. and at the farm it was just ideal for working conditions ..

I worked in my first job in Calcutta at Bird & Co., , actually Bird Heilgers & Co., in the Coal Dept., and we were sent as part of our training to the Coal mines managed by the Co., .. the Company was a Managing Agency house, a prominent entity in the Calcutta of the 1960′s .. cast and crew stayed at the Blue Diamond Hotel, perhaps the only recognised one at the time .. now of course many elegant and 5 star ones are up ..

The Hotel had many visits .. we shot EkNazar, Don, Zameer, Major Saheb, Kala Pathar, AAA, and now forgetting the countless number of times we stayed there during the shootings of our films ..

Rajneesh’s Ashram, Osho was just next door and throughout the day we had many saffron, or a muddy saffron coloured outfitted disciples from the Ashram at the Hotel, by the swimming pool .. perhaps it was the only common pool in the vicinity  .. Ma Babuji accompanied us on most of these shoots and would visit the Ashram .. 

Rajneesh had been an admirer of Babuji’s works, and during his discourses he would often quote from his works  .. Babuji would often visit the Ashram unannounced and sit at the back during these discourses ..

I would often ask him why he went there and his terse reply was : “ Just to check whether he is quoting me correctly “ !!

Babuji had had several meetings with him, before he became Bhagwan Rajnish, and then he had stopped those meetings .. he would often respond to that and say “ it’s a little unsettling to keep meeting God so often “ .. his satire and tongue firmly in his cheek ..

Maaji went along with him on an occasion and came back very annoyed and disillusioned  .. Rajnish had a dictat that no perfume was to be used by those that entered the Ashram, perhaps he was allergic to them .. there used to be a security check at the entrances to the discourses .. a smell test really .. and she failed that and was asked to leave .. she lost interest in him and the Ashram .. but Babuji used to read and listen to Rajnish’s commentary .. during his last years, he would often put his tapes on at night before going to sleep and on being asked why another terse one came : “it puts me to better sleep” !!

After Rajnish’s passing I did visit the Ashram out of curiosity .. it was extremely serene and well maintained .. in the middle of the hustle and bustle of a crowded and noisy city, it was remarkable how quiet and peaceful the atmosphere inside the Ashram was ..

It was a heady culture in those times .. and some of his lectures and discourses were quite inspiring .. many a times I would find prominent star actors and celebrities from the Western film world at the Ashram - they all came for their meals at the Blue Diamond or a swim ..


But back to KP .. many of the incidents in the scripting were stories that I had narrated to Salim-Javed at the time of its writing .. the coal mine area is a fascinating region .. some very poignant moments were experienced by me personally .. and I shall refrain from mentioning them for they are not very pleasant to read or talk about .. mostly about the nature of accidents that take place in a mine, an example of which was incorporated in the film and many others which I do not wish to write about ..

But the coal mine experience was first introduced to me by that great artist Utpal Dutt .. he came from the stage from Bengal before his illustrious career in film .. I saw a play of his called ‘Angar’ in Bengali at the AIFACS theatre in Delhi .. it was so dramatic and so well executed .. and yes it dealt with a disaster that occurs in a mine ..

Coal mines catch fire often and it is a colossal task to control them .. indeed near Asansol there is an entire region over several acres, which is still on fire .. when I was there it was and had been burning for almost 35 years .. and I have met certain people from the region who say that the fire is still burning .. I went in the 60′s .. !! Despite the tragedy of the fire, it has become a tourist site, for the flames of the fire are a beautiful blue colour and the site actually looks rather beautiful at night .. a burning blue earth !! Fascinating !!

The interior of the mines were shot on a set at Film City in Mumbai .. the flooding sequence being conducted by a special technical group that came from Los Angeles and Hollywood .. a few incidents happened there as well .. but it all turned out good in the end ..

Working with Yash ji was always a picnic .. informal, relaxed and filed with humour and eating delicious food .. he encouraged the families of artists to accompany them at the shoot destination .. whether it was Pune or Kashmir or Amsterdam or Delhi it was always the same .. evenings were spent not in our respective Hotel rooms, but at a common place where we chatted, played games and enjoyed each others’ company .. ‘ antakshari’ was the favourite .. along with ‘dumb charades’  .. haha ..  what wonderful moments shared .. !!

Shootings in Kashmir and Srinagar was a delight .. after pack up, we would all migrate to the Dal Lake, where several ‘donga’s’ - boat platforms - would be tied together to make one floating large boat and all of us would spend the evening, moving about in the lake, eating singing ..  music by local folk musicians , until the late hours..  

Now all forgotten .. and in memories .. sad .. !!

Time waits for no one .. and neither must we ..


Love 

Amitabh Bachchan

Today in Black History for February 11th
  1. 1990 - Nelson Mandela is released
    Nelson Mandela’s greatest pleasure, his most private moment, is watching the sun set with the music of Handel or Tchaikovsky playing. Locked up in his cell during daylight hours, deprived of music, both these simple pleasures were denied him for decades. With his fellow prisoners, concerts were organized when possible, particularly at Christmas time, where they would sing. Nelson Mandela finds music very uplifting, and takes a keen interest not only in European classical music but also in African choral music and the many talents in South African music. But one voice stands out above all - that of Paul Robeson, whom he describes as our hero. The years in jail reinforced habits that were already entrenched: the disciplined eating regime of an athlete began in the 1940s, as did the early morning exercise. Still today Nelson Mandela is up by 4.30am, irrespective of how late he has worked the previous evening. By 5am he has begun his exercise routine that lasts at least an hour. Breakfast is by 6.30, when the days newspapers are read. The day s work has begun. With a standard working day of at least 12 hours, time management is critical and Nelson Mandela is extremely impatient with unpunctuality, regarding it as insulting to those you are dealing with. When speaking of the extensive traveling he has undertaken since his release from prison, Nelson Mandela says: I was helped when preparing for my release by the biography of Pandit Nehru, who wrote of what happens when you leave jail. My daughter Zinzi says that she grew up without a father, who, when he returned, became a father of the nation. This has placed a great responsibility of my shoulders. And wherever I travel, I immediately begin to miss the familiar - the mine dumps, the colour and smell that is uniquely South African, and, above all, the people. I do not like to be away for any length of time. For me, there is no place like home. Mandela accepted the Nobel Peace Prize as an accolade to all people who have worked for peace and stood against racism. It was as much an award to his person as it was to the ANC and all South Africa s people. In particular, he regards it as a tribute to the people of Norway who stood against apartheid while many in the world were silent. We know it was Norway that provided resources for farming; thereby enabling us to grow food; resources for education and vocational training and the provision of accommodation over the years in exile. The reward for all this sacrifice will be the attainment of freedom and democracy in South Africa, in an open society which respects the rights of all individuals. That goal is now in sight, and we have to thank the people and governments of Norway and Sweden for the tremendous role they played. Personal Tastes Breakfast of plain porridge, with fresh fruit and fresh milk. A favourite is the traditionally prepared meat of a freshly slaughtered sheep, and the delicacy Amarhewu (fermented corn-meal).

  2. 1989 - Penn’s 1996 Baccalaureate Speaker is The Right Reverend Barbara Clementine Harris, a Philadelphian who was the first woman ever to become a bishop in the Anglican Communion. Bishop Harris entered the priesthood after a long and successful career in public and community relations in Philadelphia between 1949 and 1977. On graduation from the Charles Morris Price School she joined Joseph V. Baker Associates Inc and rose to president. She also held senior posts with the Sun Company from 1968 until 1977, when she began her theological studies at Villanova University. Studying later at the Urban Theology Unit in Sheffield, England, she then graduated from the Pennsylvania Foundation for Pastoral Counseling, and was ordained a deacon in 1979 and a priest in 1980. Before she was consecrated a bishop in 1989, she had been Priest-in-Charge of St. Augustine of Hippo in Norristown, serving also as as a prison chaplain and as counsel to industrial corporations for public policy issues and social concerns. Named executive director of the Episcopal Church Publishing Company in 1984, she was also publisher of The Witness, and she held the additional post of interim rector of Philadelphia’s Church of the Advocate in 1988. Bishop Harris is a member of the Union of Black Episcopalians, and among other activities she represents the national Episcopal Church on the board of the Prisoner Visitation and Support Committee, and is vice president of Episcopal City Mission of the Diocese of Massachusetts.

  3. 1976 - Clifford Alexander Jr
    Clifford Alexander, Jr. is confirmed as the first African American Secretary of the Army. He will hold the position until the end of President Jimmy Carter’s term.

  4. 1971 - Whitney Young Jr., National Urban League director
    Whitney M. Young, Jr. was Executive Director of the National Urban League from 1961 until his tragic, untimely death in 1971. He worked tireless to bring the races together, and joined the tenets of social work, of which he was an outstanding practitioner, to the social activism that brought the Urban League into the forefront of the civil rights arena. Whitney was constantly in search of solutions to the racism that plagued Americans and caused black Americans to be regulated to second-class citizenship in the land they fought and died for. A relentless advocate for the poor, he visited rural and urban communities and advocated their cause to the nation. He was a close adviser to Presidents Kennedy and Johnson, and conferred with President Nixon; helping to shape the policies of three administrations and playing a major role in the development of the War on Poverty. He was a key figure in bringing the now-legendary 1963 March on Washington to fruition; and was a major force in bringing black leadership together in a united front for progress. Whitney’s eloquent testimony before Congressional committees and his powerful appeals to business, professional and civic leaders helped create an environment in which African Americans forged ahead to win new opportunities.

  5. 1961 - February 11, Robert Weaver sworn in as administrator of the Housing and Home Finance Agency, highest federal post to date by a Black American.

  6. 1898 - Owen L. W. Smith of North Carolina, AME Zion minister and educator, named minister to Liberia.

  7. 1783 - Jarena Lee was born
    The daughter of former slaves, born in Cape May, New Jersey. Jarena Lee is the considered the first female preacher in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. In 1836, she published her autobiography, THe Life and Religious Experiences, of Jarena Lee, a Coloured Lady, Giving an Account of Her Call to Preach the Gospel. Her maiden name is unknown and the year of her death is uncertain. She married Joseph Lee, a minister of a Black church in Snow Hill (Lawnside - about 6 miles from Philadelphia) in 1811.

  8. 1644 - First Black legal protest in America pressed by eleven Blacks who petitioned for freedom in New Netherlands (New York). Council of New Netherlands freed the eleven petitioners because they had “served the Company seventeen or eighteen years” and had been “long since promised their freedom on the same footing as other free people in New Netherlands.”