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

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

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”.

Reborn

Author: Janani Ramachandran


Dewdrops slid down her body
As the snow began to thaw
Uncovering her buried form
That lost its way in the expanse of the perfect white
The sunlight reflecting in her ebony irises for the first time in a long time

One could say she was lifeless
But one look closer
One could feel the slight ministrations of her uncertain breath
Slight yet steady
Like the stream opening to a mighty river
Her ebony irises
Like the inky starless night sky
That conceals a million behind its inky curtains

Her pale arms scratched with blood red scars
Her soft flesh pierced by rough wood and dirt
The fair mixed with the brown
Giving rise to a new hue
The colour of her cocoon
That would give rise to the new her

Her colourless lips encrusted with dried blood
New Ebony hair peeking out from a mass of lifeless strands
Her fat eaten by the ice
Stripping her to her bones
Yet she looked full
In complete harmony with the ice complementing her starved form

They called her a miracle
When they felt a slight twitch in her cold wrist
They had thought that she would’ve snapped
Like the great trees amputated by winter
They’re great arms twisted by the unforgiving cold
Yet there she lay
A subtle pulse in her lifeless form

It should’ve frozen her heart
Crushed her bones
Sucked the life out of her lungs
Iced her blood to bed her in a coffin of ice
There was an endless list of what should have happened
But nothing of what had happened was found in the pieces of parchment

She was alive
Her blood gushing into her veins
Stronger than ever
Her breath like the beginning of a hurricane
The colour returning to her pallid body
Gasps of awe as they watched her arms twitch
Yet what almost everyone missed
Was the drops of liquid lining her closed eyes

Dawn had arrived
The first beam of sunlight hit her heart
A reminder that the wait was over
As her eyes opened
There was a certain light in them
Like a falling star in the inky night sky
That commanded attention and respect
But most importantly fulfilled a wish
It fulfilled hers
She had been reborn

Unsolved-The arrow of Time

Author: By Aditi Chandrasekar 

I had been reading a book by Brian Greene a few weeks ago, titled “The Fabric of the cosmos”. While the entire book was filled with revelations and existential puzzles, one specific part stuck with me for a few days after I returned the book to the library. It talked about a concept that was first put into words by a Sir Arthur Eddington-the ‘arrow of time’. This basically refers to the characteristic of time that it is directed forward. Somehow, we are all inherently aware of this dogma of time-that the past is behind us and the future is ahead. When I first came across this, it seemed obvious to me that it should be dismissed as a subjective matter. I formulated this “arrow of time” as just a sort of fulcrum of our perception of the world. But when I started contemplating the objectivity of ordinary incidents and their asymmetrical nature-for example, a glass window shattering, a sandwich being eaten, and even extraordinary processes like the journey of a star from dust to a white dwarf, my mind begged to have a substantive answer to the question-Why does time never go backward? In Sir Arthur Eddington’s book “The Nature of the physical world” published in 1928, he first addresses the concept in a part that goes: 

‘The great thing about time is that it goes on. But this is an aspect of it which the physicist sometimes seems inclined to neglect. In the four-dimensional world . . . the events past and future lie spread out before us as in a map. The events are there in their proper spatial and temporal relation ; but there is no indication that they undergo what has been described as “the formality of taking place” and the question of their doing or undoing does not arise.’ 

As the world started coming to terms with Eddington’s stuff, there was an increased pressure on physics for an explanation as it had realized that there is a deep puzzle behind familiar phenomena. Many advances have been made but the conundrum is far from solved. To distinguish the past and the future, the arrow was defined as the direction in which entropy or disorder increases. Classifications were made-the thermodynamic arrow of time, cosmological arrow of time, quantum mechanical arrow of time, psychological arrow of time etc, Intriguing possibilities were contemplated-worlds not within the constraints of entropy gradient in which we are born, new physical models which conflict with our ordinary asymmetric perspective. But the long years coupled with the minimal progress, beg the question-have we simply hit an impenetrable barrier of the universe? 

City Lights

Author: Divyang Arora

 

These globs, seem like ghosts
apparitions I need to get away from,
to somewhere where they are further off the ground
a place where they are pure and white
a haven where they form a roof over my head
not a display below my apartment.

I bought a high powered pair of binoculars. A friend of mine came home. He is a scientist, you know. People who do what magicians pretend to. He saw the binoculars and asked what I do with them.

I led him out, to the balcony
I told him, I intended to look at the stars
but the stars were no longer ours.
It belongs to the people who have nothing
people who live in forests and mountains
people who don’t have riches and the gift of civilization.

so I was left only with the stars on the ground.

Those globs, their intensity has tales to tell
stories waiting to be discovered.

That huge building that has hundreds of lights on
even at this time? It’s a corporate one.
People who work there work till late at night
and go home to sleeping kids and wife.
They are at home only on Sundays,
a day which is slept sleeping
recovering from the week’s ordeals
And yet, they have achieved what they wanted
or have they?
After all, they have a big house and a lavish car
that’s what they tell people, sir!
with dark circles around their eyes.

There are people who crave for their life
people who are cheerful, relaxed, dissatisfied
men who spend time with their families
but discontent slowly seeps through their mind
creating a riverbed that gnaws at them.
The lights of their workplaces
are switched off much earlier.

Then there is a big house
the house is full of furniture, yet empty
walkways seem devoid of people to walk
the wife sits waiting in her room
the children, in their
there is not much to talk between them
They wait, for the man of the house,
who only comes when they are asleep.
But theirs, sir, is a perfect life!
People pass by, looking at the big house in wonder
grudgingly wishing for a life in it.

There is also a light that comes from a single bulb
and a chulha
the people of this house lead miserable lives in poverty
people feel a deep sadness when they think about it, sir!
But I have seen them laugh
the guy giving up his roti for his sister
her smile filling his stomach.
Together they eat in rusted plates,
but laughter rings from inside the house
as they share their day with each other.

The people from the big house seem so happy
only when they are going out for a party
lavish dinners do for them what stale chappati does in that hat.

The lights in the sky may control destiny
but these lights on the ground
they talk a lot about 
finding solace in that destiny.

ALL STRINGS DETACHED

Author: Nikita Suryawanshi

 

“You only lose what you cling to”-Buddha

While maturing from children to adults, there are many people that we interact with; many things and experiences we come across. A connection to many of these ensues and hence we bind them to ourselves through strings- emotional or mental strings. These attachments are the ones that we carry forward as memories. Some of these strings push you to become a better person but some of them hold you back, not letting you discover your entire potential. However we do not easily let go of them. Call it irrational or melodramatic thinking, all of us have something or someone that is very close to us. Be it that toy from your childhood that you don’t play with any longer, the article of clothing that doesn’t fit you anymore or the friendship which never ended on a good note.

But there is a very unique bliss in the art of detaching the strings. Letting go is a very difficult task, I agree. Yet there is a surreal feeling that follows when you are aloof. I am not saying that we should cut all the baggage that we carry around. No; that’s never going to be possible. But maybe, once in a while, we deserve to give ourselves a break. Why drain the energy out of our minds and bodies for something that may not even be worth it? We have the right to insulate ourselves from things and relationships that are toxic and only bring us distress. 

By letting go, we are freeing ourselves from emotional bondage. We learn to detach from others choices, understanding that their life lessons are not ours to manipulate. Detachment allows us to be in the world but not of it. True detachment is not a separation from life, but the absolute freedom within you to explore living with joy and ease.

Putting it simply: unwind, relax, take that trip you have been planning, complete your bucket list and enjoy doing it. Let your mind be at peace with itself.  When you have loosened the strings pulling you back, you give yourself the liberty of being who you are. You start treating yourself with love and respect, regardless of all expectations and judgments. The only expectations that matter are those that you have from thyself and thy life. When we learn to set intentions with detachment, magical things begin to happen for us. If something still does not work out, then close that door with acceptance and move on into another open door. 

Detachment from this world does not mean that we should own nothing, but that nothing should own us. We give away our power and freedom when we become attached to things, emotions, situations, and people. This does not mean detaching from a person we care about, but from the pain of negative involvement. Detachment gives us wings of freedom to choose our experiences, yet allows us to be present enough to feel deeply and to truly experience living.