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

Advertisements

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? 

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. 

Rainy Days and Mondays

Author: Afreen Ahmed

 

I can smell the damp timber of the Victorian-style gazebo I sit in, one of the many in these secluded woods. It overlooks a pond adorned by water lilies and filled with fishes tinged with amber and pearl, swimming freely in the crystal clear water. A cool breeze creates rings of ripples on the surface and the sky begins to darken from a beautiful blue to a gravel-grey. I feel the first splatter of rain on my palms as I hold them out and I can hear the musical chime of raindrops drumming on the leaves as they fall in a crescendo. The gazebo still stands, despite its old age, the musty and earthy odor of it giving it away. This mixed with the petrichor from this spell of showers is my favorite smell. It gives me these waves of nostalgia of things I haven’t been through or seen.

These woods have stood for years, untouched and undaunted. The fish swarm towards the crumbs of bread I throw into the pond. In the distance, ducks dunk their heads into the water. I place the bread packet on the bench and take a quick photograph of the scene on my camera. This location is the image of tranquility and my secret place. I come here when I feel like being left alone and to escape the rush of the tireless world.

I cherish the days it pours, and keep a certain fondness for it in a corner of my heart. It rained the first time I rode to school on my new bicycle, after my father’s enthusiastic efforts to teach me how to ride one became a success. The scent of my mother’s soft and chewy brownie cookies, straight out of the oven, would attack my senses on these days. It rained on the day I got into the one of the best universities of art and when I fell in love for the first time. It rained on my 18th birthday when my grandfather gifted me with a Polaroid camera, much too steep for his savings, but still a possession I prize the most.

It rains today with an intensity I would usually appreciate, to an extent where I would expect good things to come my way. I walk out into the downpour, my cornflower-blue dress shirt and formal trousers sticking to my skin. I feel the drops fall onto my face as I step into a muddy puddle, soiling my polished derby shoes and hum a lullaby my mother used to sing to me in the night when I was scared of the dark. I am afraid now. 

I look for solace here after being rejected the seventh time in an interview to hire photographers in globally renowned companies. I had toiled really hard for this and filled my cup until it overflowed. I got onto shaky feet, just to fall again with no one to catch me. I’ve run out of fight and feel helpless and lost. My parents would welcome me back with open arms, but the disappointment in myself hits me in the gut. Where had I gone wrong? 

It gets chilly and I head back into the shelter of the gazebo. My heart clenches and I can feel ice spread over it, cracking it into a million shards. My hands shiver as I blow onto them to keep them warm. I watch as a lone white bird swoops down into this shade to protect itself from the rain. It wistfully looks at the thundering sky as if searching for something it had lost. It then preens its snow-white feathers and I cannot help but stare at it. It looks back at me and out of impulse, I place a few leftover crumbs of bread on the wooden flooring of the structure. It hops over and pecks at the crumbs. I feel slightly amused and chuckle to myself. It chirps loudly in reply and I sit motionless, afraid to scare the bird away. It whistles a sanguine tune, and I wonder if it sings for me. The trills of the bird gives me comfort temporarily until the sun comes out once again. 

Eventually, the noise of the rain lessens and the drops fade into nothing. The sky shines a bright blue and the sunlight gleams through the woodwork of the gazebo, lying on the floor like sweet honey. I close my eyes and feel the warmth of the sun hit me on my face and take it all in. When I open my eyes, I find that, once again, I am alone, and the bird has flown away to join the rest of its flock. Double rainbows decorate the sky and I become aware of the loud chirping of frogs. 

All I wanted was to live out the dream that I dreamt up and become a celebrated photographer. Despite being separated from its family, the bird sang knowing that once the rain had stopped, it could go back to where it came from. I knew then, that I too, could make it out of here, even if it takes a night or a hundred years. Change would come slow but I would just have to wait for the tempest to pass and go back to pursuing exactly what I want. Hope really is the thing with feathers.

I smile to myself and look up at the rainbows. If I followed them, would I find my pot of gold? As I sat dreaming, a sharp ring from my phone pulls me back to reality, a message from a revered wildlife photography firm. I had been called for a personal interview the next Monday, after they glanced through my portfolio and deemed it impressive. I knew this was my last chance, but I was resolved to give my best and walked out of the gazebo. As I trudged over the wet, glistening grass, I realized I would still cherish rainy days for years to come.

Check Your Emotions Before They Checkmate.

It is that time of the year again when almost everyone under 20 is free. Free to walk under the sun, swim in the ocean, sleep under a roof, under a tree, work for some more pocket-money, explore hobbies and interests, to make the most of all the time they have. It is the time to meet your parents, your family, go to your grandparents’ home and enjoy with your cousins, for this is among the last few opportunities to do so. Everyone is going to grow and leave the nest someday.

For me, it is the time just as any other that I spend thinking of a better world. I keep wondering what the human mind can accomplish, given its creative capabilities and destructive tendencies.

Humans are social creatures. We have evolved to create communities. An urge to be in the good books of people around us is instinctive. Such behaviour is a result of the idea that weaklings can be victors as well, using the strength of unity. Unfortunately, this urge has taken away the angelic side from most of the people. We lie, cheat, and betray to be on the side preferred by the stronger person. This led me to think, what if we lost all our emotions altogether. This mental experiment can take many forms. There are plethora of films and other forms of art that have experimented with the concept.

PK, the Bollywood film, where we see a humanoid alien coming from a similar type of planet. He is naïve, always misunderstood, and pays a hefty price learning our twisted methods of living. We can also think of “The Purge” concept, where humans live peacefully except one night a year, when they murder and rape each other. The “Saw” series takes its audience through a journey that teaches how life can be lived with our moral values intact but with big stakes.

There are many ways to tell a story, and not all of them have to imply to the lesson directly. In “A town without me”, popularly known as “Erased”, we learn directly that fighting alone might not solve your problems. However, if you muster up enough courage, it resonates with others. Another lesson I saw in it, is speaking up can solve problems right in their roots. “Your Lie in April” and “Anohana” explore these concepts as well, where just speaking or accepting the truth, when and where it mattered, could have solved everything. Obviously, truth is the bitter pill to swallow most of the times but is always better than living diseased with a pretentious personality, separately for each individual you encounter in your life.

In a world where humans are always honest, we would still encounter the seven sins. In that world, even petty criminals would need severe punishments to keep the latent criminals in check. This somehow paints a picture of a communist dictatorship, where everyone is equal, and crime is crime. Honesty is honesty and not hate speech.

A robotic society, where there is no leader, no religion and people follow their will based on logic alone for instance, a society where you pull the lever and let one die to save five. Heaven in its true senses. There is no bond or relationship and we go by our lives in an orderly fashion, doing what we must do to survive. When trivial situations, mishaps and accidents happen, only logic solves them finding optimal solution for the future. This would deny human rights and would be highly apathetic. On the contrary, it compels me all the way more to make and live in a world like that.

Our world is plagued with problems; women do not get equal treatment. It will be different in my world; a human would be a human. Pay grades would exist; however, there would be no discrimination based on gender, race, cast or other reasons. There will be no poor because job requirements will control population, using brutal ways if need be. Road rage in that world would be consigned to oblivion; people will follow rules, understanding the gravity of the consequences of breaking them and not in their fear.

A world of that type would take away the humane part of us. It only seems fair to run it as an experiment and apply partial results to our real lives. This makes us realise that honesty and a life of high morale comes with a cost. You have to like others less to have a favourite. Equality is a tool mostly used by people for their own comfort just like concepts of feminism and right to live. Hope is just a boost of adrenaline that makes us jump into fire.  Nevertheless, these parts of us make us human. Life finds its meaning in between survival and ensuring longevity of its species, but is definitely not constricted merely by these concepts. We are the masters of our own life. Masquerading as the good guy would definitely be tough, consequently, you will get angry, feel hurt, and get envious. However, you must bear it alone and be the stronger person. Fight for all you deserve but not get greedy or proud of it. You define your life. Will you make it a good one?

CLUMSY

img_4124While all the girls walked with grace,

I spent my time falling on my face

And when I landed in the muck,

I would blame my stupid luck

Slipping and sliding, I was a mess

Always the damsel in distress

Because I didn’t know left from my right,

Sports would give me such a fright

Walking into poles seemed like an obsession,

Maybe there was something wrong with my vision?

I would always laugh it all away and

Secretly hoped I would grow up to be okay

Been a few years, I’m still the same

I have a few more mishaps to my name

Now I look into the mirror and smile

I know I’m clumsy and that’s just fine.

 

– Sonal Mahanta

Pretiosum

I stutter

I forgot

I remember

But only bits of it

Almost clawing at my lips

A delicate balance on my waterline

Almost dancing on my fingertips

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

I hear it breathe, oh it’s 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 the 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 fissions

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 façade you will stay.

-Saumyaa Sinha

Train of Thought

I sit in my AI class
On a dull Tuesday noon
My mind is lost
in Byzantine thought
So I write this poem,
‘cuz why the heck not.

I notice this reddish stain
Under my teacher’s collar
You know what else is red?
My mind started to figure
The Nazi flag with the swastika
That reminds me of Hitler!

Stalin was Hitler’s coeval
He domineered Soviet Russia,
The home of icy vodka.
Vodka in any form
Will make your vision blurred
Might as well suit up and ask
For it to be shaken and not stirred.

007 is British
And so was Captain Russell
The ball that he caught
Was declared a six.
He was deported to Africa!
What unfortunate politics!

Politics in the real world
Is all about the moolah
If I had all that money
Instead of the crooks, they murky
I’d get something so very cool
Like a sweet-ass dune buggy.

Dubai has extensive dunes
And also no income tax
Just like booze in modern Pondi,
Where VITians go to relax.

Pondi is in Tamil Nadu
Famous for Dosa and sambar
Looks like we’ve reached the destination,
That stain was probably sambar.

– NSVR

MIGHTY TEARS

MIGHTY TEARS

“Creativity doesn’t flow when tears roll down your cheeks”, consoled my roommate, as I sat bogged down with a last-minute English assignment. It might be weird, but I cry under pressure. My face turns red, eyes well up, legs fidget and hands shake, not letting me be myself. A tear-drenched visage is not what I would like to sleep with, nor do I like waking up with puffy eyes.

 

Ever since I was a child, I was known for being distant and aloof. Maybe it’s in my stars.

But a tweak in hormones brought a sea of change in me. I became aware of my emotions, and sensitive to people and their words. I might look tough-skinned, when in reality I am soft as sponge. Laughing comes to me spontaneously; I can laugh even at the silliest and the most un-laughed things ever, but that applies for crying too.

 

Although I was determined, somewhere in my heart, that I wouldn’t shed a drop of tear when I leave home for college, the events turned out against me. There I was,teary-eyed, waving to my mom, as if I were to never see her again. The funniest part is, it feels silly when you cherish those memories. Well, this might seem pretty normal in a teen girl’s life, but this is not all.

 

Crying could be emotional, reflexive, or out of shock, frustration and/or anger. Turns out, that my whole life, I’ve cried out of anger and stress more than I’ve cried out of sadness. Maybe it is because I’m a bit too hard on myself; trying to be a perfectionist, trying to gain respect in everyone’s eyes. Somehow, subconsciously, I take my responsibilities too seriously, and never shirk from them.

sadness-e1465863096276 Sometimes you just want to shut yourself up in darkness and cry your heart out…it relieves you of your bottled-up feelings. You feel relief in the silence that follows, no words can truly explain it. Don’t you pay heed to those who say “crying is for weaklings”; in fact, people who let their tears out are strong. They confidently stand up for their feelings. They live in the moment. With time I have learnt to become apathetic to things that are irrelevant or not strong enough to break me down. All I now seek is to gain the power and confidence to trudge on the path of exploring my dauntless self every single day.

— Ramyaja Srinivasan

Hey, It’s me!

Dear Reader,

Haven’t you always wondered what it is like to be inside a writer’s head? To understand why they think what they think and how it all works? Maybe you’ve wondered how it is like inside anybody’s head, but ironically, I can only provide you a perspective of what it’s like inside my own head, and I shall do so.

Over the years there have been three things that have intrigued me. One, is how we become the person we are today. Every day we are influenced by the things around us, subconsciously building our perceptions and beliefs based on the things we experience. People talk about individuality, about being yourself and following your own beliefs, and I think of how they do not realize that everything we are is a reaction to everything around. It is not possible to make decisions not affected by anything. Maybe we will know what we truly are if we had been alone, unaffected by everything else but ourselves. However, then we would merely exist and not live.

Knowing this, I sometimes wonder about everything that made me who I am today, and why I behave the way I do. It is as if I am a clay model, and I can be moulded into anything. Sometimes I am moulded and remoulded, different around different people. To the outsider, I seem to be an average person- intelligent, maybe a bit nerdy, with a streak of humour and sarcasm. But what’s more cliché than to try to break stereotypes? I’d like to assume that I am not your average nerd.

I have a lot of choices on who I’d like to be. Like I said, I am different around different people, and it depends on my mood. Sometimes I am the introvert, but sometimes I want to be the life of a room. Sometimes I think being famous and funny and having loads of friends would be nice. Sometimes, I think being sarcastic, having a few good friends and laying low in a crowd of people would suit me better. The more I think about this, the more I am led to believe that completely figuring yourself out is not an easy task. It is a quest of self-discovery. It makes me shudder to think about how people do not actually know themselves.

I am essentially the introvert. I don’t like initiating conversations or having small talk. I take my time trusting people, because the one time I let my guard down and tried being an extrovert, I did not like it. I want to know that people want to talk to me, but I don’t want them to actually come and talk to me because it’s a little unnerving. But when people do approach me, I’m very open if I have material to talk about, like my views on life, or books and character analysis. In a group of people, I’m more of an observer. Trying to find connections, to find the reason behind every little action people take, to give back stories to every other person I see. Why did she say that? What was that flicker in his eyes? Why did he smile? What inspires people to be who they are? I believe there is a story to everything. And writing those stories is what I try to do. I try to be empathetic, to put myself in other people’s shoes and see from their eyes. It gives me a great sense of satisfaction in reading people. For a writer may be a world trapped in a person, but aren’t we all?

The other things that really make me wonder are, firstly, if yawns are contagious, in a class full of sleepy yawning students how does a teacher not yawn? And secondly, if dinosaurs are extinct creatures, how did we find out they roared? For all I know they could be up there in dino heaven, squeaking to each other about how assuming we are.

Now that you have a glimpse of how it is like inside my head, I hope you can relate to me. But if you think I’m entirely crazy, I’ll let you in on a secret. I think I’m entirely crazy too. 

Sincerely,

A Writer.