Breathe

Author: Dhruv Yadav

Breathe in
For this moment isn’t going to repeat itself
Breathe in…
this is the best you’re going to get
This has always been what you’ve been waiting for
Breathe in
As this can be your chance, your escape
Your salvation
Your fears have no place here
Nor does your skepticism
They can’t prevail here
nor can they intervene
For this is your place and this is where you ought to be
Breathe in
As the sun is going to rise
Realize it’s warmth on your visage
And it’s glimmer on your path
For those are the things you have craved for so long
Breathe in
And let this glee sleep into your body
Making its way into the darkest of your corners
The world has never been this way before…
For you ought to live in this moment
Just…breathe in

Why SPELLING NAZIS are TEARABLE.

Author: Saumyaa Sinha

They breathe like us, talk like us, and you’d never guess it… they even have the same nocturnal cycle like us! What’s more, they are in disguises we’d never decode, because they blend in with our kind. These lethal creatures are walking free on the face of this Earth. THEY are the cause of our stupefaction. Merciless and heartless as they are, they have even bewitched the technology into shaming us, yes they are the reason behind the squiggly red lines you face each time you make a genuine error. They don’t understand the purity behind our thoughts or the need for an expression. Oh no. The quixotic lot.

So what if in a poem I wrote with all my heart, it says ‘extreamly’ instead of ‘extremely’ or ‘annoynymous’ instead of ‘anoynymous’. No wait I still spelt it wrong. You know how I know? Why, the ever present, almighty Red Squiggle pin points it for me. ‘Today I had a wierd conversation about grammer rules and right from the beggining I argued about how unimportant it is, but we definately did not reach a consensus’. How many of you did NOT understand what I was trying to say. If you found my sentence completely sane, high five! If it slipped from your eyes, I made four squiggles appear in that line. Oh, pardon me if I have offended thou who were stuck on my first mistake, trying to comprehend what ‘wierd’ could mean, because no one could possibly understand my lame attempt to mean ‘weird’. *world’s biggest eye roll*.

Most of the times, when I show my writings to my Mum, my sentences go under major surgery. She’d dissect the words, remove the u’nn’ece’ss’ary  double letters, perhaps insert/glare at me and roll her eyes and replace the ‘e’s and the ‘i’s. But Mother dear, do you not see the pained heart of a poetess? Or the zeal she feels at the moment? Or the fear that numbs her? Do you not see how it is woven together with so many different elements, to present on the paper, the image of her heart and mind? ‘No honey, there’s double ‘n’ here’. Yeah okay. Great. Double N will totally change the way I feel about the love of my life.

Generally, resistance to acceptance to spelling errors show disagree-ability. When people have no arguments left, they pin point spelling errors. It says a lot about the scale of their openness, their background and the attitude they have towards language in general. Now that I’ve vented, time to say some sensible things too. We’re not going to do any good to ourselves if we keep pondering over ways to kill a Grammar Nazi. We must understand why they’re being so. Maybe they genuinely care about you presenting  your works in the best form in a more formal situation (love you Mum) or maybe they were constantly pressurized into being right. I mean, the way we are made up is the result of the stimuli. But if we could think all this through without being downright annoyed in an instant, we wouldn’t be humans. Because it certainly frustrates me when I tell someone to read something with bursting excitement and the first thing they do is point out an error. It totally deflates the purpose.

Pretty much tolerable though, at the end. They always come around to appreciating you, once they’re done with their editing operations and fully comprehended the depths of it. I don’t know if it is their love for the language, or the envy that you are a better writer, but they certainly know their stuff. I may just have hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia, but I’ll survive. God give us strength to ‘bear this torture that is inflicted upon us and may we belevie in oursleves’.

Until an improved grammer my freind,

Ciao!

Fault Lines

Author: Aditi Chandrasekar

We’ve all been witness to at least one or two cases of artists going mainstream, by giving into whatever will please the dominant society, their success measured by the absolute measure of their popularity-rampant in the entertainment industry. There has always been a constant battle between art and its commercial production, and there always will be. It is an effect of a larger issue-the “herd mentality”, which would take pages and pages to fully delve into, but here I would just like to highlight its negative impact on traditional artists. An illustration of this would be the life and death of an exceptionally talented artist named Jangharh Singh Shyam. In July 2001, his untimely death, caused by suicide, in the Mithila museum in Japan was widely reported about. Soon after the shock of the incident wore off, theories surrounding his motive started cropping up, from mainland cities to the most far-flung regions. People wanted answers, and were good at formulating them too. The most accepted one was that he committed suicide due to the pressure put on him by the museum to continuously produce paintings. He reportedly wrote letters filled with frustration to his wife back home, asking her to arrange for his return. A report in The Hindu said his passport had allegedly been withheld by the director of Mithila Museum and his stay extended beyond what was initially agreed upon. This caused wide-spread rage and the museum came under fire. They denied their involvement and refused to pay any compensation which was obviously frowned down upon by everyone. But this brought to the forefront a larger, looming issue- the degradation of art by demand, its corruption by society. Before the unfortunate progression of events that led to his demise, Jangarh Singh Shyam was a genius of sorts. In his birth village of Patangarh in Madhya Pradesh, he was a ‘pardhan’-someone responsible for orally transmitting the Gond way of life. Soon after being discovered by Jagdish Swaminathan, his aptitude for painting became evident. His first solo exhibition at Dhoomimal Gallery in 1984, was poorly attended. However, success soon came to him-that is, if we refer to his popularity as the only measure. His battle against the fault lines between art and dominant society had only just begun. In 1988 he was told at an art gallery that his usual attire of shirt and pants wouldn’t “seem authentic” and was directed to wear a loincloth and turban to more closely resemble the public’s idea of what a tribal would look like. He was frequently seen merely through the lens of his cultural background, and continues to be even after his death. In Jangarh’s life and death, lie several unanswered questions about the wicked, but common, practice of exploiting art for commercial gratification.

SOLOING IT

Author: Nikita Suryawanshi

 

Imagine this scenario: you have a long, nice vacation coming up. You have no deadlines to adhere to, no projects you have to work on, no presentations to make; isn’t that the perfect holiday? Just the idea of taking a break from the daily routine, relaxing and not stressing about work is so tempting that we wish that we had more breaks than working days. And that is what gets all of us excited for vacations and long weekends. And when we think vacations, we tend to think about trips and picnics that we have enjoyed or are planning to undertake.

Trips have this very special quality of making us feel nostalgic whenever we revisit them.  It could be those family trips during the summer, the sudden road trips with your siblings and cousins or that one trip with our friends which was planned but never executed; and for the lucky few, was planned and executed. But among all of these, the one that stands out the most to me is a solo trip. Going on a solo trip is like opening portals for yourself which had been invisible before. Solo travelling, for me, represents freedom and independence. There is so much to see out there and so little time. I personally believe that if your dream is to travel the world, then don’t let the fact that you have no one to go with, stop you from doing so.

Taking a solo trip is daring uncertainty to hit us as hard as it can. And once we have undertaken the challenge, it doesn’t seem as terrifying. Solo trips allow us to spend time with ourselves, to get to know ourselves better, to overcome the fears harboring inside, to let go.  You get to test your own limitations, discover your own powers and the entire process makes us accept and love ourselves. It gives the opportunity to feel and express emotions which we normally wouldn’t have, a chance to interact with strangers, grow with their experiences and live the life of the place we are travelling to. By being forced out of your comfort zone and having to deal with unexpected events and unpredictable experiences, you will learn a lot about yourself. You will come to know yourself intimately whether you want to or not. You won’t need to ask yourself what you would do in a tight spot, or what type of person you are when things happen and you have to deal with them, you will know because you will have been there and done it.

I know it is easier said than done and so I decided to test my own beliefs. I went on a solo trek through a trekking association last summer. I was initially scared, not having done this before, skeptical of the people who will be joining me for ten days. But, looking back at it, I would have regretted not going. I learned so much in those ten days about my potentials and boundaries than I have over my lifetime. I bonded with complete strangers with whom I wouldn’t have met otherwise. I lived their experiences and now have my own to share. Yes, I wanted to give up many times in that duration but no, I wouldn’t allow myself to. The feeling coursing through me at the peak of our summit was unexplainable. Trying to put it into words, I’ll say that I was feeling exhilarated and detached at the same time. At the end of those ten days, I had struck a new friendship with myself.

Taking that solo trip opened a new chapter in my life. I personally believe that everyone should travel solo at least once in their life and rediscover themselves. Travel far enough to meet yourself. As Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. quoted, “A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.”

THE SONY-DISNEY DISPUTE OVER SPIDER-MAN

Author: Rahul Srinivasan

 

Spider-Man is one of the most famous comic characters to make it to the big screens. This character created by the legendary Stan Lee is one to remember. Some of us still remember Tobey Maguire playing Peter Parker while we were in elementary school, Andrew Garfield taking over the role when we were in high school and finally, Tom Holland playing Peter Parker now. And there’s also an animated spider-man movie, “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”.

Even through these reboots, he still has a steady fan base. The character rights for Spider-Man is currently owned by Sony. But Disney made a deal with Sony to include him in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and in return they get 5% of the profits. Recently, after the colossal success of “Spider-Man: Far from home”, Disney knew that the reason was because in the movie, he was a part of the MCU. So, they wanted a larger cut in the profit.

As a result, Disney demanded Sony to give them 50% of the profits. Sony was not ready to sacrifice such a large portion of the cut, and hence the deal between Disney and Sony came to an end. That marked the end of Spider-Man in the MCU. When Stan Lee casted Tom Holland, he commented that when he created the character in comics, he imagined a guy exactly like Tom. So, fans were disappointed to hear that Stan Lee’s favorite character came to an end on screens with the MCU.

Sony, now after closing the deal, have been planning on introducing Spider-Man to the Venom-verse. Sony already has a Venom movie, starring Tom Hardy. Now they are planning on introducing Spider-Man to the Venom sequel. The duo was last seen on 2007 in Sony’s Spider-Man: 3, pitting against each other. This is yet to be confirmed.

As fans were siding with Disney, the wave turned to the other side as Stan Lee’s daughter, Joan Lee sided with Sony. “When my father died, no one from Marvel or Disney reached out to me. From day one, they have commoditised my father’s work and never shown him or his legacy any respect or decency. In the end, no one could have treated my father worse than Marvel and Disney’s executives,” she said.

Amidst all this, Tom Holland posted a picture with Iron Man star, Robert Downey Jr with the caption saying “We did it Mr Stark!” Rumor is that, Disney has somehow struck a new deal with Sony to retain Spider-Man in the MCU, starring Tom Holland. 

Rumor has it that Disney and Sony are going to make a deal with Disney getting 30% of the profits, under the condition that Tom Holland will appear as Spider-Man in at least 7 MCU movies in the future. However, this has not been confirmed yet. 

In other Marvel news, three new TV series- Ms Marvel, She Hulk and Moonknight have been added to the new Disney+ streaming service.  In movies, Black Panther 2 is set to hit the screens in 2022 and Game of thrones star, Kit Harrington has joined the MCU and is set to play the role of Black Knight in the movie Eternals.

Geometric Progression: A Procrastinator’s Story

Author: Saumyaa Sinha

Let me tell you, a simple life is a fool’s paradise. It doesn’t exist. Things, in general, when have to be done are as annoying as ‘that aunt’ calling while you’re in the middle of a T.V show. Like, why? Why now, why ever? But like the persistent pesky flies they are (the work I mean, not the aunts- well them too, but that’s not the point) they just don’t go away. So what do you do? You hand over the phone to your poor Mum. Or in this case, avoid the work. And no, you’re not even badass. Oh no. You’re super sincere, and you’ll tell yourself, I know what I have to do, I’ll finish it by five o clock evening. Later you go on to realise that the five o clock evening you planned for was destined to come at the end of the month.

And then starts the verbal assaults and threat glares. You realise you wasted the month planning to plan to get your work done, and suddenly, its due date. Like how? ‘You’re so unorganised, you don’t pay attention, you don’t take things seriously blah blah blah’. And you’re devastated. It’s tragic really, as tragic as when you’ve been studying the whole day, but the second you touch your phone, PRESENTING THE PARENTS. Complacency is another thing which happens to most of us. When we begin, we’re pumped up with manic-energy which surges through our veins, thus end up doing half of whatever work we were to do, in half the time others would take. But that is the burnout point of our vigour. We (well I) get so puffed up, so self-satisfied, that you fawn upon the glory of having done *spreads arms as wide as possible* SO MUCH WORK…that…well, the other half never really gets done.

And that’s when you realise. You started with one pile, which ‘magically’ doubles and ‘magically’ yet quadruples and you’re going crazy, hair sticking out at odd angles, lips trembling, trying to do a thousand things at once, ink marked hands and thumbs sore with paper cuts, *mother in the background goes “clean up that goddamn table of yours, it should look like it exists”*, you’re trying to complete bits of everything, papers strewn across the floor, your buzzing mind too occupied to pick them up, wishing you were living around a black hole so time could be at its slowest and you push your brain harder, but it can’t process any faster and you’re holding on to too many things at once and you look there, you see the piles rising, you look back here and you’ve lost track, you don’t know what to do, everything becomes nothing…and it finally sinks in. In the blizzard of all your paperwork and mental anxieties you realise you’re trapped. Trapped in a geometric progression of all the things you had to do.

BUTT. I’m kidding, I meant BUT. Procrastination isn’t all that bad. For instance, you have a project submission. You spent your time thinking about how you should make the front cover. You start thinking about what folder you’re going to put it all in. So you go down to the shop, have a look at all them folders, but the procrastinator in you goes to the next level and starts gawking at the stationary. When you come back home you’ve spent your money on things you didn’t really need. Next, you take a bunch of white papers and stack them inside the folder, deciding how you want things to look. You make a list of things you need to write down and start putting pretty colors together. By the end of it you realise you haven’t collected any substance for your project so you write down random shit. You’re also super smart because you know your teacher isn’t going to read every word. When you turn it in, you have an amazing grade! Why? Main points caught the teacher’s eye AND it looked as pretty as Regina Gorge’s Burn Book. And your friends be like, ‘how did you EVER find time to do all that’. *Smirks and bows to the Lord Of Procrastination*.

To delay things we don’t want to do isn’t flatly irrational. Most of the time you find your passion in doing things you do to avoid the things you don’t want to do (I found writing). If you ever have the task of cleaning your room (courtesy: repeated insults thrown at you by Mum, who for one, can not thing of a single reason of your existence to be productive), you start organising things and compartmentalising stuff. Then you think you perhaps need a glass of water, so you go to the kitchen and realise how messy the shelves are, you quickly straighten things out and proceed to your room. On your way, you pass your living room, and the tables all have newspapers thrown across them, so you being such an awesome child, stack them up in a neat pile and place them at the center of the table. You go back to your room and finish cleaning it up. You have hairbands and clips and nail polishes on your table so you take those and head to your dressing table which is a total mess. You quickly put things in drawers and put away your hair brushes into their holders and come back to your room, now as clean as clean can be.

Stop for a second.

You just ended up making the entire house look so much neater. Told you procrastination isn’t so bad.

If you’re the type of person who loves accomplishing things and putting a huge cross on things on your to-do list then here’s what John Perry, Author of DON’T BUY THIS BOOK NOW: Art of Procrastination (no kidding that’s the real name, go buy that book now, its absolutely spiffing) has to say, “Morning To-Do List: 1. Turn off the alarm. 2. Don’t hit the snooze button. 3. Get out of bed. 4. Go to the bathroom. 5. Don’t get back into bed” – five achievements before you’ve made coffee!”. Couldn’t have said it better…

Come on people of Procrasti-Nation! WE CAN DO IT (tomorrow). Let’s change the universal idea of productivity and infuse it with our Art of Procrastination. Because Thomas Edison’s lab burnt down and that’s when he saw the beauty of fire, Archimedes was having a lazy bath with a deadline looming over him (in his case- death) when he shouted Eureka and gave us the Archimedes Principle. And believe me, it is amidst this chaos that some of the world’s masterpieces are created.

PRETIOSM

Author: Saumyaa Sinha

 

I stutter

I forget

I remember

But only bits of it

Almost clawing at my lips

A delicate balance on my waterline

Almost dancing on my finger tips

I call it mine

Effervescence

An illumination, florescent

Like dreams caught in a glass bottle

Brewing silently,

In swirls of thoughts, thick and dense

Living within my soul since ages

Scribbled on the corners of worn out pages

Drift in. Drift out

In surreal phases

I feel its battle of escape

In my triumph, in my disaster

Concealed in the arbitrary shape

Of shyness, rage, despair and a two faced master

I hear it loud and clear, in a silent starless night

Lonely as I or perhaps, as the unfathomable sky

I hear it breathe, oh its divine

Intoxicating, like an ageing wine

A brush against my cheeks,

Result of the o’er whelming embouchure i witness, it peeks

Or the purple-orange stain of the sunset, oh it just wishes to confess!

Until it falls asleep, once more, in the desolate darkness

It smiles through freshly cut flowers

Or the tender dewdrops of early hours

It screams to be let out, free into echoes

Reverberated by grand mountains, lost in solitary meadows

Quivering at the brim, in sadness

And in shattered pride of a soul unblessed

Or in an out of control, ignited passion

And in bone-chilling, fear driven, frissions

Or a euphoric laughter

And to ears of listeners, thereafter

Hush, go to sleep

You’re mine to keep

Until time comes, to give you away

Until time comes, behind my facade you will stay

tangit inanis

Author: Saumyaa Sinha

 

A door creeks open

It’s open now

Go

Don’t stagger on your bare numb feet

Don’t think twice

Don’t blink

For it isn’t to be missed

You look so empty

I can barely hold your eyes

Neither can I sympathise

You look so distant

Almost as if….

As if you don’t exist

But you do

Because my heart goes out for you

You’re enervating

You make my knees weak, week by week

You do, because when I see your slumping stature

I quiver

You do, because you’re after all an epiphany

You’re me

You’re an aberration

You

With lipstick replaced by blood bitten lips

And your cold smitten heart drips

Of awe

Of a comfort so divine

Like sweet melody

Of a hollow chime

You

Fingernails beat the keypad

Staccato of sweet outbursts

You

No care in the world of your dust strewn hair

A wreck across your harsh face

A face

Massacred by…

By what?

I can’t place my shaky finger on

And arid eyes

Your uncanny ability to never cry

You shuffle along, lonely paper balls rustle

Expressions lie on the floor

Ephemeral

They remind me of fireflies

Lights abate

Lives abate

All at once, and several

It spins

My head, your defences

Cold prison cell bars give me support

I’m sorry

But, welcome home

Come here

The door has creaked open

My mind, body, heart and soul

It’s open now

Go

Don’t stagger on your bare numb feet

Don’t think twice

Don’t blink

  

Just walk right in

Risking the Chance

Author: Nikita Suryawanshi

 

Chances. A bucket full of chances. Showered on us all throughout our life. It all depends on whether you grab them or not. Maybe you’d like to call it opportunities or open doors, but they are all the same. You never know when life may give you a chance to do something, to be someone. Maybe the lemons we keep talking about life throwing at us are the sour chances that we need to add a little tanginess to our life. But how will know until we take that risk?

Everyone has done at least one thing in their lives that is not familiar to their personality. We have all taken the big risks at some point. But most of life’s greatest achievements require going outside of our comfort zones. Life is a series of calculated risks – nothing more. Everything that you decide to do has a margin of risk. No outcome is ever 100 percent certain and, therefore, any attempt at anything has a chance of complete failure. We risk everything, every day of our lives without knowing it. There is always a chance that walking outside will kill us. There’s a chance that we’ll never make it to our destination, a chance we won’t get to see our loved ones again, a chance that tomorrow will never come. Then why not step out of the box and live while you can.

I know that not all the steps we take end up with a happily ever after. Some things might go wrong. The finale may not turn out as you expected it to be. And when we calculate these consequences, we may let go of the decision of taking that risk. Except how will we know what the results would have been? Our mind exaggerates the consequences of what might happen if it does go wrong. We come up with dire and dramatic worst-case scenario images in our mind’s eye. Maybe things will become a disaster, maybe not. We will cross that bridge when we come to it. We always do.

That is what risks are about-you take some and you avoid others. The life you live depends on the choices you make, the chances you take. Take the risk of choosing the road less traveled by, of failing, of being turned down, of going on that solo trip, of confronting your fears, of breaking the rules, of putting it all on the line. Fear regret more than failure – history has shown that we fail far more from timidity than we do from over daring. So let’s dare, dare to do something unusual because as Jim Rohn says, “If you are not willing to risk the unusual, you have to settle for the ordinary”.

Faith

 

Author- Divyang Arora

There is no liberation, no?
The smoke that surrounds us, with no end.
The pit that we are falling in, with no bottom.
The stink, that no perfume can cover up.
The lock doesn’t have a key
and the prison, it doesn’t have a door
The hope, exists only in our minds.
The saviour, only in our dreams.
The soul stays famished
and the heart, littered.
Not broken. No. Only littered. Spread. Confused. Wild.
There’s a difference.
The mind, it’s not allowed to roam, is it?
The essence of it, wrapped in a bottle
when it should have been the one littered.
The world stands inverted
and the sky, crushing upon me.

But maybe.

Maybe the smoke clouds light
light with age old dust swimming in it, but light indeed.
Light from a hole
and maybe the hole is in a door
Maybe the pit has no bottom
because I am shooting to the sky, amidst stars.
Maybe the stink, is just my nose acting up
Maybe the lock is already open,
and the door is just shut for me to grab the handle.
Maybe I have been standing on the other side of the prison bars,
foolish enough to only look straight.
A lot of maybes they are,
but the hope has a spark of fire to it
hidden in the burnt debris and ashes.
Maybe it’s all in my head,
but why should that mean that it’s not real?
One only needs to stand down with his faith
and remember,
that happiness can be found even in the darkest of times
if one only remembers, to turn on the light.
And maybe, I think as I excite myself,
the saviour is no one but me.