Down the Aisle

Down the aisle I walk
on destiny’s door I knock-
Inhaling the sweet summer day,
lay a path, leading me astray.

Poised my mind, shrouded in sorrow,
looking forth to a better morrow
paused I all of a sudden-
greets me, a sight of the fallen.

Sullen stood the man, his eyes teary,
years of service leaving him weary;
Shrunken lay the woman of old,
her beauty to time forever sold.

Strolled past a man unsighted,
his days nevermore delighted;
The light of his life, lost to fate,
memories no longer his to create.

Hard to hear the shrieks of silence,
hard to find the tears of rage;
Frail their hearts, frail their resistance
evermore consigned to reality’s cage.

Why do we grieve?
Why do we cry?
The future- ours to weave,
is life not worth a try?

For we’re the fortunate,
we are the blessed-
life in our hearts,
fire in our veins-
emerge we unscathed,
break we free of our chains.

Eyes to see, tongue to speak,
of luck and privilege I reek;
Not a moment would I forsake,
for destiny is mine to make.

By Prajesh Dey

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Thank you

I was in my room scrolling through my camera roll yesterday, when I stumbled upon this crazy picture. My hair was a mess and my face sweaty, while you looked tired and horribly sun tanned. We had nefarious grins on our faces, each with an ice lolly in hand. I smiled at that thought remembering how guilty I had felt at that moment for lying to my parents. After all I had snuck out of my house telling them I was going to the grocery store. I believe you had just finished your tuition at a building which was conveniently close to mine and you were waiting for your mum to come pick you up. You had asked me to come ‘chill’ with you at the grill nearby. We took the picture right as your mum pulled up in front of your tuition building while we tried to stay ‘hidden’ behind a bark on the footpath.
I chuckled quietly to myself thinking of the good old times during our high school years. We were from different schools with our tuition centre being the only thing common between us yet we bonded so well. Our conversations were primarily made of insult based humour, memes, and discussions on how similar our lives were. Albeit we didn’t talk every day but whenever we did, it was like we hadn’t even been apart. I recalled our chats about our future and how we planned to go to university and live together, only to realise how far we had deviated from our original plan. Life and our different ambitions had led us far away from each other leaving merely the internet as our medium of communication.
Scrolling through our pictures made me fall into a deeper pool of emotions as it slowly dawned on me that our lives may not go back to the way they were 2 years ago. You’ll move on to become a successful surgeon someday, while I may be sitting in an office for 10 hours a day working for my boss in a buzzing city. For all you know, we could be positioned in such situations in the future where we wouldn’t even have time to text a simple ‘hi’ to each other. The mere thought scared me slightly for I couldn’t imagine a future where you weren’t there to listen to everything I say. I decided to construct a little message on my notepad which would hopefully make you realise how thankful I was for having you in my life.
“Dear Chicken Nugget,” I typed. “I don’t know if you’ll read this entire passage or not, but I’ll express it either way. Thank you. Thank you for tolerating me and my random mood swings. Thank you for accepting my weirdness and joining in on it as well and never ever judging me for it. You’re the only person I’ve released all my bottled-up emotions to without any prior thoughts or hesitation. You’ve always been there for me no matter what the circumstances were, supporting me through thick and thin. You’ve always been the advice guru, helping me pave my destination to a better version of myself. I cannot express my admiration for you in words as it would exceed the word limit of this text box.”
“We are literally in two different continents as I type this, with you pursuing your medical degree away in Europe, while I trod hastily through my engineering life. Our lives have changed drastically since we parted ways for higher education. After all movement is a part of life. But I vouch to believe that our love and friendship has and will always remain the same no matter what. I know that sounds extremely cheesy but you know it’s true. We are, nonetheless, the ‘married couple’ the entire tuition centre knew us as.”
“You’re the best friend I’m the most thankful for because without you, I don’t know how I would’ve survived until now. I miss you dearly.”
I re-read the entire paragraph I had constructed swiftly, then pressed ‘backspace’ and deleted the whole passage. I then proceeded to type something that would convey my message clearly, which was something I knew you would appreciate a lot more too.
“Just saw a pigeon pecking on a half-eaten biscuit this morning. Oddly reminded me of you and your popcorn bucket every time we watched a movie together,” I typed, smiling satisfactorily right before I hit ‘send’.

By Oeindrila Bairagi

An Indelible Memory

There is a certain memory, of a particular point in my life, that forever stands outside the domain of time. This point in life was the metamorphosis of adolescence, a time when rich, vibrant colors bleed into the grey monotony of childhood, a collection of instants when you are truly able to gaze upon the world unhindered, all the good and the bad.

I knew that something had changed within, a shift, that something had been unlocked, a hyperawareness of my very being. You do not get to pick who you fall in love with in this world and this, this is the memory of my first love. This state of hyperawareness had a will of its own. Subtly sub-consciously it shifted, grew and expanded to envelope within it another person, her. At first, I knew not what had happened. Suddenly my world had narrowed down to hold only her in it. No matter where I looked, my gaze would always find its way back to her. Everything else became inconsequential, the space in which she existed became the only paradise I would ever wish for. The little quirks that made up her being were forevermore, etched onto my memory, the way her lips shaped the most beautiful curve in the universe, the way her laugh lit up my world, the way her eyes would be brimming with life, yet those very eyes would turn into fathomless oceans for me to drown in each time our gazes met. Her beauty seared into my soul, her touch my awakening, she made me want to fly again.

Neither, could deny any longer, the bond that had formed, for there was a way my very soul fit into every contour of hers, the way her hand fit in mine, like it was made just for me, the way words had become obsolete for both knew instinctually, the existence of one was incomplete without the other. We were not two halves of a whole, for there was only one, only together was this existence defined anymore.

I still remember how her hands moved before my own and how I knew her wishes before she realized them herself. Five years later, writing this blog, these emotions bloom once more within me, as fresh and raw as ever, for time shall never ravish, this indelible memory.

-By Tanmay Aggarwal

Placements in Indian Engineering Colleges

Boys and Girls who strolled through the campus wearing the coolest Batman t-shirts yesterday are an army of men and women today, marching down the campus in blue shirts, black trousers and hair-trim and tidy. Some with a bright sheen of confidence, some with a fake one and some with fear too prominent to hide.
Some regret having wasted 4 years of their college life in finding meaning, some in finding peace and others- a partner.
They’ll be placed today, this is their final battle and their lives in an engineering college have come down to this judgement day.
During the noble process of placement, students will be rationally selected by organizations on the basis of their skill sets and strengths which would be put to further use for taking the companies to greater heights.
Sorry, the last line was sheer sarcasm.
The actual process looks quite different in our esteemed engineering colleges.
It’s more like a herd of capable young men and women who dress up fancily for interviews so that they can be enslaved to work in a 9 to 5 job.
According to the HRD ministry, India has 6,214 engineering and technology institutions which enroll 2.9 million students every year. Around 1.5 million engineers are released into the job market every year. More than 60% of engineers graduating from technical institutions across the country every year remain unemployed according to the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE).
This is a potential loss of 20 lakh man days annually.
If such is the scenario, what’s with the saying that every student is unique? And that every student is a gem? Aren’t there enough jobs in the country to house their uniqueness?  How did these despised men who were once the champions of their worlds, who were supposed to accomplish wonders are now nothing but victims of wasted potentials? Engineering is a noble profession and engineers are supposed to lead the world with their creations. That’s why their parents break fixed deposits to send them to big deemed universities with big promises. But what is actually happening inside these deemed universities? And what do these employers actually want?
According to Siddarth Bharwani, Vice President of Jetking Infotrain Limited-“The traditional education sector in India has not evolved at the same pace as the industry. The expectations that the companies have from their candidates and the skills that engineering graduates bring in, do not match”. What’s worth pondering is- if a worthy candidate, according to employers is one with technical skills; why in the four years of college is he made to fill sheets and sheets of papers with pointless thesis and reports?
A very common question during placement is- “Tell us about your strengths and weaknesses?”
How are they supposed to answer that when they have forgotten to take out time for themselves in those 4 years.
And when asked about their dreams and aspirations during interviews, how would they respond ? Because Dreams? That is a far fetched thought! Let’s first mug up the syllabus for tomorrow’s test. So, in the process we become immune to the possibility of a dream.

In short, most engineers are not literally engineers; they could have been great philosophers, great singers and great cricketers. Some of them could have been good lawyers or good business analysts, good guitarists or good speakers, or definitely good writers. But, welcome to India, a place where thousands of dreams die every year, thanks to Sharma Ji and his son’s annual package.
‬⁠

-Shriya Agarwal

The Troll Game

T-R-O-L-L Doesn’t this word sound common nowadays?Well, “this-common-word” is a source of joy for people who live to spice up their miserable lives by unleashing sarcastic comments on an innocent (maybe) by-stander on the internet. The slang dictionary refers to “troll” as the art of deliberately annoying people on the internet. But just talking rudely or maybe using swear words or flaming and even spamming isn’t trolling. To my surprise, trolling too comes with its own technicalities. It’s about choosing a victim and then cleverly convincing them to believe in the truth of what you are speaking, with no regards to how malicious or illogical it is.  In short, it is the art of “pissing people off”. Also, its frequency now a days is so high that it only makes me wonder- how precariously we are using the “Freedom of Speech”?

Let’s look at some examples:

When Priyanka Chopra posted her picture with Narendra Modi on instagram-one in which she was sitting cross-legged wearing a dress which somewhat drew the focus on her legs. Guess what? She was trolled for that and slut-shamed for showing off her legs.

The release of “Befikre” starring Vani Kapoor and Ranveer Singh earned quite a lot of acclaim but Vani Kapoor bagged negative attention for how different she looked after her plastic surgery.     Shah Rukh Khan was trolled for getting detained at the U.S. airport because he looked like a suspicious character.

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan was trolled for her purple lips at the Oscars. Also, not to forget the awesome comebacks these stars had for the people who trolled them. It has mostly become a game (hence the title!). Such trolls are mostly on cosmopolitan sites like “Twitter”, where every Indian personality is more than active. Be it the head of the state, a famous writer or a star of the entertainment world. At this point, I would like to ask- do you know who KRK is? Personally, I think he is the “TROLL STAR” of India.

Whatever it be, he is a genius at trolling people. He can troll people even without any  viable reason, and that sounds like an exceptional talent to me. He has starred in a few  films, acting minor roles, but as a matter of fact he earns more through trolling people as compared to acting because that’s how he mostly keeps himself in the limelight.

Like I have already stated, trolling is not simply being rude. Who hasn’t made fun of their friends on the social media? In fact I never leave out a single chance of doing that. But we are the common people and we have our own version of “trolling”, the subtle and funny one . Besides, it’s okay to make fun of our friends. That’s what friends are for, right?

But what makes me wonder is- why do we always have to comment on what celebrities do? It’s like reviewing their lives. I surely get that their profession has made their lives public but who asked us to comment on that? Did they? Well, freedom of speech is miraculous. Why can’t we respect their choices? Many a time they try something new and if that fails, what is the issue? After all, they are only humans and I guess we tend to forget that every now and then.

So, amidst all of this, let us spare the celebrities and help them lead a troll-free life, at least to an extent. Let them try out black lipstick and then fail at it. Let them wear what they like and show it off. Let’s learn to appreciate their guts rather than demoralising them and if this doesn’t give you a reason good enough then just imagine- someone trolling you for the slippers you wear most of the time and the hairstyle you choose to have, what would your reaction be. What would you tell them?

– Sakshi Ragini