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JAN / FEB 2017

YUGEN EDITOR IN CHIEF

/

MANAGING EDITOR ASSOCIATE EDITOR

AKASH RUMADE /

RISHIKESH PANDE

/

COVER PIC DESIGNER

SAUNDARYA JAIN /

ANIKET KHARIWALE

YuGen is a publication under Artists ' Syndicate . All content of this magazine may not be reproduced , duplicated , republished or featured without prior consent from the publishing company . All rights reserved 2017 .


editorial Did I catch your eye? Because if you are reading this then I did. I know how much you don't want to read this and just jump into the pool ahead. But now, since I have successfully been a speed-breaker let's just breathe. Life will be boring if you could just fast-forward and miss those little moments in your life. Editor's note is often skipped. Actually, the note is often meant to welcome you into the journey ahead. But often you as a reader skip it like the movie you never watched or a song you never got on your phone. But we are stubborn too. We love to write these unread letters to you. There is always hope and so I want you to believe too, even in the toughest times. 'YuGen' is not just another drop in the endless sea. Like Frankie said in Bon Jovi's song, we are doing it our way. We have come a long way and are here to stay. With this issue, we bring forward Paresh Tiwari in our Spotlight section. We managed to have a chat with him and were glad to interview him. 'Come Grope Me' is a poignant poem written post-Bengaluru molestation incident. 'What if' throws a light on the Sci-fi and its future. 'No means No', speaks to us about Minal Arora, the character from the Bollywood movie, Pink (2016). Ekta Ray's artwork inspired 3 winning entries in our poetry section. And there's much more for you reader's to munch on. Do look out for our reader's list too. Happy Reading!

Editor-in-Chief, YuGen


IN THIS ISSUE 08

THE ARTIST by Rishikesh Pande

11

CREDENCE by Akash Rumade

14

KADIMAH by Saundarya Jain

19

WHEN HUMOUR MEETS WAR; SO IT GOES... by Anirban Nanda

22

Winning Entries by Anmol Sachdeva, Akshata Mahale and Meena Mishra

27

Magnolia by Pallavi Sareen


IN THIS ISSUE 29

INDIA-A SINGLE TAX MARKET by Mudit Gupta

32

COME GROPE ME by Sneha Pandey

34

FRAME IT RIGHT by Meena Mishra

36

SPOTLIGHT PARESH TIWARI by Anirban Nanda

39

No means No by Ankita Bhujade

41

What If? by Sailesh Mishra


IN THIS ISSUE FAIR DARKNESS

44

by Sneha Pandey

46

TO-READ LIST by Saundarya Jain

50

Haikus by Akash Rumade

You can reach us at Facebook: @ArtistsSyndicate

Instagram: artists.syn

Twitter: @art_syndicate

Email ID: artists.syn@gmail.com


LOST SOULS, MISFITS,NEW KIDS, UNDERDOGS WHO ARE PASSIONATE ABOUT ART, WORDS AND EVERYTHING ABOUT IT! YOU ARE WELCOME!


CONTRIBUTORS

First Row (from left to right)­ Akash Rumade, Rishikesh Pande and Saundarya Jain Second Row (from left to right)­ Meena Mishra, Anirban Nanda and Sailesh Mishra Third Row (from left to right)­ Ankita Bhujade, Sneha Pandey and Anmol Sachdeva Fourth Row ( from left to right)­ Pallavi Sareen, Aniket Khariwale


Fiction

YUGEN ISSUE I | JAN / FEB 2017 19

The Artist by Rishikesh Pande

have had, had it not been for my art. But then a smack on my head woke me up from my reverie. I looked up from my sketchbook and saw my father’s burning eyes looking down on me. His facial expressions made me feel guilty; guilty of drawing

A

nd voila! My finished artwork lies before me.

again. Guilty of feeling divinity; ashamed of my

The overwhelming feeling of ecstasy gripped

blasphemy.

me. A feeling of great accomplishment; the accomplishment of something bigger than myself. So

"You're doing it again. How many times do I have to I

beautiful, the strokes on a piece of paper. Colors so

tell you? There's no career in being an artist. Stop

sharp and crisp. And the messiness; the messiness

wasting your time, Ananya. You know what time it is?

adding perfection to an otherwise imperfect artwork.

You’re late for your classes. Go!"

I feel divine. The artwork before me was divine. The

My feeling of accomplishment turned into guilt and

God himself lies before me. This is where God is, I

shame.

thought to myself. Not in temples, mosques, or churches, but in nature; on a piece of paper. Perhaps

"I'm sorry dad. I won't do it again, I swear."

it's a blasphemy. Or maybe, it is what it is supposed to

"Good girl. Now, throw your sketchbook in garbage

be. My artwork is what gives meaning to my

and study. You're going to be a doctor. You’re

existence. What other meaning my existence would

going to make me proud. You’re going to earn more FICTION | 08


YUGEN ISSUE I | JAN / FEB 2017 19

than Sharma ji’s girl. What’s her name again?"

"What? What do you want? Look, mister, I'm not interested okay? Leave me alone."

“Janaki, dad,” I said. "Hey, I'm just...You dropped this in the class. I just “Oh Yes, Janaki. You’re going to make me proud. You’re going to be a doctor. Doctor, okay? Not an

thought I should give it back to you," saying so he extended his arms.

artist!” And there it was; my artwork. All the pieces of my "Yes, dad. Doctor it is" said I and ran outside the house. I cried all the way through to the tuitions. Looking at the artwork in my hands, I felt sad. But I

artwork, pasted together. Although all crumbled and ruined, colors shining through; I guess you can break a glass but you can never destroy its shine.

felt lucky too; just like last time, at least he hadn’t burnt my sketchbook. Perhaps my art will never give

"Give it to me. Why do you have it?"

me the respect I deserve, I thought. Perhaps I should become a doctor.

"It was…You dropped it in the class. I just thought I should give it back in case you need it."

“Yes, dad! Doctor it is,” I murmured to myself. And, I thought that was the end of it. But when a few days later my father caught me drawing again, he ripped my sketchbook and said,

"I'm never going to need it again." "Really? It's really beautiful. And I just thought you might need it. "

"How many times do I need to tell you, Ananya? You're going to be a doctor. That's it. We have discussed this before, haven't we? Doctor, okay? End

"I won't need it but thanks. Beautiful? Really? Do you really think it's beautiful?” I asked in excitement.

of discussion." “Yeah, the colors are beautiful and strokes carefree. I broke down. Just as the pages of my sketchbook, my heart ripped open and torn apart. I collected all

It's remarkable how imperfection brings perfection to an art."

the pieces of my artwork from the floor, shoved them inside my handbag and ran towards my tuitions. I couldn't focus on the study that day. All I could think

Sensing the familiarity of that thought I said, "Oh! Anyway, thanks, mister."

of was the beautiful colors on the piece of paper, the sharpness of them and the freedom of my strokes.

"Oh, just call me Sid; Short for Siddhartha."

Although confined to a piece of paper, at least my strokes have freedom. Freedom to be careless and still look beautiful and perfect.

"Well, thank you, Sid. I should get back home," saying so I turned around and started walking. But I wanted to ask him something. So I turned back and asked out

That day, while I was returning from long and

loudly,

tiresome tuitions, I heard someone calling me from behind. At first, I ignored it. Just another guy running after me, I thought. But soon I felt him close. He was

"umm, Siddhartha, do you think should I follow my heart or my parents?"

right behind me, calling my name when I snapped, FICTION

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09


YUGEN ISSUE I | JAN / FEB 2017 19

That night, I had dinner, as usual, kissed my parents

written in the tuition earlier. My father will burst into

goodnight and locked myself in my room. I switch off

tears as he will read it. It will read,

the lights, swallowed the pills I had bought earlier and lied down on the bed. Headphones plugged into my ears, I start listening to Queen of Peace by Florence + the Machine. Oh, the king Gone mad within his suffering Called out for relief

I’m sorry dad. I really am. I don’t want to be a doctor. I want to be an artist. I’m leaving behind my art. And this is my art: my body, so peaceful and beautiful. Imperfect, yet beautiful. Don’t worry. I’m not going anywhere. I’ll always be where I always wanted to be: out in nature; free. Now, burn my body just as you have burned my art before. And feel satisfied. I love you very much…

Someone cure him of his grief His only son Cut down, but the battle won

Rishikesh Pande, is a bibliophile, writer, and

Oh, what is it worth

entrepreneur. He is Co-founder of Artists'

When all that's left is hurt

Syndicate and is managing editor at YuGen. He can

Like the stars chase the sun

be reached at pande.rishikesh.met@gmail.com

Over the glowing hill, I will conquer Blood is running deep Some things never sleep Suddenly I'm overcome Dissolving like the setting sun Like a boat into oblivion Cause you're driving me away Now you have me on the run The damage is already done Come on, is this what you want Cause you're driving me away

“Is this what you want, cause you’re driving me away,” I murmured. The next morning, my dad will knock on my door as usual. But it would be too late by then. He will have to knock down the entire door before he will find me, lying on the bed, headphones plugged into my ears, and white froth coming out of my mouth. It won’t be until the doctors in the hospital will confirm my death that my parents will accept it. I will finally be free When they will come back home afterward, they will go through my belongings. They will find a note I had FICTION

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10


Fiction

YUGEN ISSUE I | JAN / FEB 2017 19

Credence by Akash Rumade

He looks up to the sky, blank space stretching infinitely with moon and stars stuck to it randomly. The sight soothed him, the sound of the sea and feel of the wind made him feel happy. His mobile vibrated suggesting another ‘Happy Diwali’ on WhatsApp. He

T

he turbulent waves of sea crashed onto the

hardly cared to reply for now he was enjoying the

rocks in front of Siddhartha as thousand

surreal atmosphere besides him. But enjoying this

thoughts collided onto his mind. Whether any single of

beauty alone might be selfish, so he pings Disha

them resonated with the frequency of his inner soul,

“Where are you still?” She replies she will be there in

he hardly doubts. Few were of good memories, few of

five and told that she was stuck in Diwali rituals.

worries, few of pleasure, likes, dislikes but there wasn’t a single he could concentrate onto. Maybe he

As she decelerated her bike she howled in happiness.

is lazy and wants to keep them aside, stacked, labeled

She then began with “Hi Sid, sorry for being so late.

– ‘To Think List’. Suddenly he is diverted towards the

When did you come?”

cold, comforting sand beside him. Varsoli beach with its beautiful tall casuarinas, cool breeze during night

He replied smiling at her, “Just came an hour go. And

time was what he loved in Alibaug. Picking up a stick

hey I missed you.” They hugged each other Happy

beside him he starts carving his name on sand. He

Diwali and sat there on the beach. She had brought

knows it wouldn’t be there forever, it might get erase

Chaklis and Karanjis along with her for them to eat.

even in an hour when he leaves this place for home.

They exchanged updates on ups and downs of each FICTION | 11


YUGEN ISSUE I | JAN / FEB 2017 19

other’s lives. Suddenly she asked him, “When was the

ways only you have to pay heed” said Disha, as she

last time you prayed from the heart?”

helped herself with another Karanji.

“I don’t quite remember. Seems like ages ago when I

“But what shall I pray for? Are my prayers going to

might have been a kid. Why, what happened?’ he

be answered?” He questioned her.

asked her. “Who said prayers are meant to fulfill only your pleas. “Why, does it feel like childish to pray?” she bombed

You can even pray to God for telling that you are

another question on him. He was interested where

grateful. You needn’t pray the same way every other

this conversation was going to head. The notion of

person does. It could be just your call! Just share

everything that happens has a reason behind it,

whatever you want even if it’s silly. According to me,

made him doubt in existence of God and miracles.

praying to God is like writing in a diary. It lightens you up!” she said.

“I really don’t know about that. I just stopped praying as I grew up. Time might be a reason but to

He didn’t know what to say further. He was still

tell you the truth I usually don’t feel like I am that

engulfed in whatever she had said since she came

type of guy.”

there. They stood up and dusted off the sand on their clothes. As they began to leave, she just whispered,

“You don’t have to be in particular category to pray.

“With faith comes love and with love comes faith. Just

I still remember how you used to sing ‘God’s Love is

Believe.”

so Wonderful’ back in school. You used to love when we sang back then. When did you wander?” she

The words she spoke were going to be the turning

asked.

point of his life. Little did he knew that he was the answer to her prayers?

“Once I went to ‘Urus’”, I took a pause and then continued “A festival back in my Dad’s hometown Roha. As I came out of durgah I saw many beggars

Akash Rumade, is a writer, poet, and a bookworm

sitting outside. My dad handed me few coins and told

from Roha, Maharashtra. He is Editor-in-Chief at

to give each a penny. After a while I was empty-

YuGen. He can be reached at rumadeakash@gmail.com

pocket and still, many beggars remain to help. I felt sad initially that I couldn’t help more but somehow I went to see the fair. Later on, I asked dad “Why did people beg? How God could let this happen!” He couldn’t give me a proper explanation and so I started drifting from the feeling that someone upstairs is looking after us.” He looked at her and said, “You weren’t bored, right? You started this.” “No, you didn’t bore Sid. Sufferings are the part and parcel of everyone’s life. Only the intensity varies. But didn’t you realize that their sufferings brought in the compassionate you? God works in mysterious FICTION

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12


WRITER'S GUIDANCE

Why is Shakespeare said to be the greatest playwright of all times? What has made him different from all other writers after and before him? Why can no one even think of accomplishing the same status as his in English literature let alone try to do it? Being original and different is considered one of the most complex things for a writer. But is it really that complicated? Considering the various myths related to originality and a writing voice, I will debunk what actually is a writer's voice and how to seek it. But first let's find out what has made Shakespeare: Shakespeare. There are many factors leading to it. The way he composed poetry out of prose; his prose alongside free

KADIMAH SAUNDARYA JAIN

verse. Or his application of spellbinding imagery, poignant metaphors; his dexterity with biblical and mythological references. But that's not all to Shakespeare. Besides his style, what has given abundant honor to Shakespearean literature is the way he weaved unforgettable and legendary tragedies, romances, histories, comedies and tragicomedies from the mundane lives of Elizabethan Era.


YUGEN ISSUE I | JAN / FEB 2017 The people of 16th century related to his characters and his references as much as we do today which is to say that not only his style but also his voice appealed to them, his unique untouchable vision of the life around him. With this, let's get one thing straight.Your writing style is not your writer's voice. Although Google says: "The writer’s voice is the individual writing style of an author, a combination of their common usage of syntax, diction, punctuation, character development, dialogue, etc., within a given body of text (or across several works,) that's not all to your voice. Your style is surely a part of your voice but that's not the only thing which makes it. It's the aggregate of your style ( in Shakespeare's case his prose with verse approach and metaphorical abundance) and your distinctness (Shakespeare's approach of the Elizabethan life.) When your words touch the right cords, it's because they have strong emotions in them and those emotions were put in there by you. Whatever adds animation to your words is the product of your writing voice.

Thaisa Frank

WRITER'S GUIDANCE | 15


YUGEN ISSUE I | JAN / FEB 2017 Writing styles across writers can be repetitive but not a voice. Writers can use same devices in their work and still be different. How? We all the see the world differently as diversity pervades human life. Each person has a distinct way of communicating with the world and also a special way of expressing that personal interpretation of the world. That's what a writer's voice is all about. It's your personal expression. It's the most sacred thing you possess as a writer because no one can see the world the way you do. No one has experienced life the way you have and that's your biggest advantage. What makes you different and original as a writer is your own being. Now that you are aware of the difference between your style and your voice, let's get down to know

It isn't easy to discover your writing voice. It's not a

how to discover a writer's voice.

process that will happen over night. You have to write relentlessly through weeks, months and maybe couple

The most important thing you have

of years to find your authentic voice. To conquer this

to remember is to be patient

frustration, you have to be clearheaded about your

because it's going to be painful.

vision and persevere to your core. But why does it take so much time and energy for this?

"Voice is born from a lot of words and a lot of work — but not just

"Most writers struggle to unearth voice – not only

any words or any work will do. You

because one’s own voice is simply too familiar, but

have to bleed a little. You have to

also because to speak from your voice means

shiver a little. You have to love a

confronting your world, your dreams, and your entire

lot." — Holly Lisle

life raw and unsoftened by explanations." —Thaisa Frank & Dorothy Wall WRITER'S GUIDANCE | 16


YUGEN ISSUE I | JAN / FEB 2017 Self-discovery is the key to authentic

growth but it also has a downside to it:

writing. The core of your writer's voice

cryptomnesia. Cryptomnesia occurs when

lies within you and only if you know

a forgotten memory returns without it

yourself, you will find a sincere writing

being recognized as such by the subject,

voice. The frustration discussed above is

who believes it is something new and

the outcome of lack of self-awareness

original. It is common and it can be easily

because if we aren't being true to

avoided. Learn from other writers, but

ourselves while writing, why will our voice

don't follow them. Like I said, a writing

be true to us? Your fears, inhibitions,

style can be repeated but same writing

challenges, feelings, inspirations and

voice is an outcome of cryptomnesia which

experiences shape you. Be aware of them,

tampers with your growth and originality.

of yourself. Walk on the endless path of discovering yourself because that's how

The simplest way to keep cryptomnesia at

your voice will naturally come to you.

length and to make sure that you're being sincere in your work is by reading your

Also, make journaling a daily chore.

work not as your own but as a reader. Ask

A journal is necessary to become a good

yourself the basic impression you get

writer. Besides building a daily writing

after the first reading. If you feel that

habit, journaling helps us to capture

the feelings evoked by those words are

ourselves in the rawest forms. We all have

your own, then you don't need to worry.

had journals which we hid from our

But in case you experience discomfort, it

parents because they carried our precious

implies you haven't been true to yourself.

little secrets. If you read them today,

When you're comfortable with what you're

you'll be reminded about your state of

writing, you know that your voice is being

mind at that time. While writing in a

authentic. The sentiments that you're

journal, we're candid and that's when our

trying to put are coming out accurately.

writer's voice is the most sincere. It not only allows us to be self aware but help us

Also, in case you're experimenting with

to apply some of that self-talk in our

genres, you might feel uneasy in the

writings. You just might come across a

beginning since, with different genres,

crappy first draft of your next story

y o u r v o i c e m a y v a r y . S oQuoted t h i s s m areferences ll

between its pages.

exercise is applicable to many such

can also be helpful.

situations when you're confused. It's clearly known that to be a good writer, you have to read a lot. The more

References to people can

also be made through the

And finally, the most important thing is to

you read, the better you get, isn't it?

n o t o v e r t h i n k i t . J u s t bwritten e c o m p l aaccounts cent with

Reading your favorite works again can

and y o u r s e l f a s a w r i t e interviews r. It's like Sh i r l e ydebates

help you to realize how your voice wants

K a w a - J u m p s a i d confirming , " W h e n y o u fthe i n d factuality your

to come out and discovering new books

a u t h e n t i c v o i c eof , i the t ' s l iwriter’s k e s t e p p information ing into a

and styles and genres can also help you to

comfortable pair of shoes."

come across more alternatives and be diverse. Writers not only cherish reading but they also learn from it. It adds to their Issue 27 | 234

of

and the reliability of his source. WRITER'S GUIDANCE | 17


YUGEN ISSUE I | JAN / FEB 2017

Saundarya Jain, is a 16-year-old. bibliophile and writer. She is Co-founder of Artists' Syndicate and is associate editor of YuGen. She can be reached at saundarayanovember11@gmail.com

WRITER'S GUIDANCE | 18


Review

YUGEN ISSUE I

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JAN / FEB 2017

When Humour Meets War; So It Goes… A REVIEW OF KURT VONNEGUTS' SLAUGHTERHOUSE FIVE

“People aren’t supposed to look back. I’m certainly not going to do it anymore.” ― Kurt Vonnegut, SlaughterhouseFive

W

hen I bought this thin book little had I expected to be

"It had to be done," Rumfoord told Billy, speaking of the destruction of Dresden. "I know," said Billy. "That's war." "I know. I'm not complaining." The way this story is presented with continuous time traveling back and forth that the whole life of Billy is presented all at once, at every sentence. The absurdity and

bedazzled. But this below 200-page classic does what

illogicality of war is depicted aptly with the introduction of

many books fail to do: to give an idea of a situation where

the theory that nothing is there called free will. This weird

you cannot imagine yourself unless you are there, so absurd

modernist and artistic liberty enabled Vonnegut to tackle

and terrible it is. To present a macabre world in an awfully

the mental condition of Billy with brutal mockery and

casual and indifferent tone. I have never read a book that

compassion; something that is rarely seen in war novels.

mocks value of lives to this level, and that too with a touch

"How—how did I get here?"

of humor.

"It would take another Earthling to explain it to you. Earthlings are the great explainers, explaining why this

Nearly 135000 people were killed in Dresden, Germany (more people than in Hiroshima); a place totally inhabited by civilians with no military or artillery resources what-so-ever. This was a very illogical attack (Logic and war are never together, though.) and was tactically kept away from public so that people don't start hating America.

event is structured as it is, telling how other events may be achieved or avoided. I am a Tralfamadorian, seeing all time as you might see a stretch of the Rocky Mountains. All time is all time. It does not change. It does not lend itself to warnings or explanations.

REVIEW

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It simply is. Take it moment by moment, and you will find

promised to have me killed. He is an old man now, living not

that we are all, as I've said before, bugs in amber."

far from here. He has read all the publicity associated with

"You sound to me as though you don't believe in free will,"

my appearance in your fair city. He is insane. Tonight he will

said Billy Pilgrim.

keep his promise."

"If I hadn't spent so much time studying Earthlings," said the Tralfamadorian, "I wouldn't have any idea what was

There are police around him as he leaves the stage. They

meant by ‘free will.' I've visited thirty-one inhabited planets

are there to protect him from the crush of popularity. No

in the universe, and I have studied reports on one hundred

threats on his life have been made since 1945. The police

more. Only on Earth is there any talk of free will."

offer to stay with him. They are floridly willing to stand in a circle around him all night, with their zap guns drawn.

Billy simply has no control over whatever is happening with his life and that's the sole concept of war, isn't it? And if

"No, no," says Billy serenely. "It is time for you to go home

you can't do anything about it but accept your fate, you

to your wives and children, and it is time for me to be dead

become an instrument for war. To be used. The

for a little while—and then live again." At that moment,

dehumanization of lives is what war does, and this book

Billy's high forehead is in the cross hairs of a high-powered

does the same with its characters.

laser gun. It is aimed at him from the darkened press box.

He declares,

In the next moment, Billy Pilgrim is dead. So it goes.

I, Billy Pilgrim, will die, have died, and always will die on

This casually letting go of lives with "So it goes" is the USP

February thirteenth, 1976.

of this book, showing us how really small and cheap lives

‌

are.

Billy predicts his own death within an hour. He laughs about it, invites the crowd to laugh with him. "It is high time I was

Though the brutality and hard time evoke emotions among

dead," he says. "Many years ago," he said, "a certain man

the characters, their mind-situation is not laid out in open

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than a six-cylinder Chevrolet. … Billy asked them in English what it was they wanted, and they at once scolded him in English for the condition of the When Billy saw the condition of his means of transportation, he burst into tears. He hadn't cried about anything else in the war. All I can say now that, this is the best, best anti-war blackcomedy I have ever read after Catch 22. Oh, I forgot; the author himself was there in Dresden when it was slaughtered. So it goes.

by the author, but rather, he puts forth certain sudden moments with such casual manner that it moves the reader to tears. There were diffident raps on the factory window. Derby was out there, having seen all. He wanted some syrup, too. So Billy made a lollipop for him. He opened the window. He stuck the lollipop into poor old Derby's gaping mouth. A moment passed, and then Derby burst into tears. Billy closed the window and hid the sticky spoon. Somebody was coming. A city (which was one of the most beautiful cities in world)

Anirban Nanda is a student of Electrical Engineering post-

is diminished to mountains of rubble, and Billy is returning

graduation. He has published a few of his stories in

home:

anthologies like ‘Defiant Dreams', ‘When They Spoke' and ‘Mock, Stalk and Quarrel'. He has started working on his

Billy opened his eyes. A middle-aged man and wife were

first novel. He blogs at www.anirbanigp.wordpress.com.

crooning to the horses. They were noticing what the Americans had not noticed—that the horses' mouths were bleeding, gashed by the bits, that the horses' hooves were broken, so that every step meant agony, that the horses were insane with thirst. The Americans had treated their form of transportation as though it were no more sensitive

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AHOY! WINNING ENTRIES, AHEAD! Artists' Syndicate conducted a monthly writing contest in October, 2016, and we had promised to publish winning entries in our upcoming Digital Magazine. So here they are! Meena Mishra is a budding poet and writer. She is relishing the spurt of creativity these days and is loving the positive response from her readers. She can be contacted at: meenamishra2003@gmail.com Anmol Sachdeva can be reached at anmol320sachdeva@gmail.com

Akshata Mahale can be reached at akshatamahale6@gmail.com


Artwork by Ekta Ray


Poetry YUGEN | ISSUE 1

YUGEN ISSUE I

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JAN / FEB 2017

Gloom by Anmol Sachdeva PA O E T Rof Ydarkness stuck to me tinge

when I touched over her palms. She is now made up of melancholy and her heart was once nice and warm. She fears that dark follows her wherever she goes, but darling 'tis darkness that pushes towards the light. It is only in the night that stars twinkle, and we need a candle's flame only when it isn't bright. I see the beauty in the blackness of your locks, and your scars are also black and blue. Embrace the gloom that you have in your share, because permanent things in this life are few.

POETRY | 6

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YUGEN ISSUE I

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Time for me to fly by Akshata Mahale

With a broken heart and smeared kohl, I think hard and wonder; what feeds the soul, fantasy or reality? The nights make me a Rumi; I romance with everything around me and with a little bit of you. This room, me and the bed decorating a fantasy... It's the day I run away from, for reality hits and I am back in my role from a Shakespeares' tragedy. You see love, this is how you live in me. In this game of day and night. Of loving and unloving you,waiting and unwaiting, fantasies and realities. I prefer the nights, less painful, while we still make love under the starry sky. And then there are long intervals of absolute solidarity. Evenings! Orphaned by day and night, it's the evenings which paint my canvas and fills the ink in the pot to guide my quill. This is when I write to you and you become my poetry. My gorgeous man, with your honey brown eyes, I write to you about love and longings. I write to you letters hoping you will read them someday. Sitting in the comforts of your room on some cold moonlit night, your fingers will caress the ink I smeared with my words. Someday you will breathe in my words, soak in my emotions and bathe in my madness. Every new verse will carry you to the peak of your reality and maybe, just maybe then you will find me there, next to you where I always belong, in your fantasy. This is how we will meet again. Until then, its time for me to fly... POETRY | 7

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Binding the butterflies by Meena Mishra

As a youthful youngster, my friends and I, Used to run after the fireflies. One of us would clutch a thread, And bind their fragile tails in red. Tracking them was a real fun, He would grab it, who could fastest run. And then approached the time of enjoyment, That would make us leap in merriment. The buzzing sounds of their flapping feelers, Would bring a sense of softness in the jailors. Some of us would feel really sad. Why slay them? Are we mad? These days they have transformed into butterflies. Symbolising violence, cruelty, treachery and lies. To take vengeance, they are all set to attack. So have I watchfully, fixed them on my back.

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Fiction

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Magnolia by Pallavi Sareen

M

rs Benway was walking home from school as usual. These daily walks were as much a part of her life as being a teacher. She could’ve easily driven but like she used to teach her students, It does one well to stay connected with the world. Moreover, she saw so many new faces during this regular walk, a couple walking, a kid playing with a dog and of course some old ones like Grandma Paleface, who waved and smiled and the postman who acknowledge her with a head tilt. Life was good, until later that day when her daughter found her dead in her room. Brienna was an artist. No matter what her uptight parents said, trying to demean her art, she believed in it and so would the world someday. She would sit on the streets laying out all her paintings in sight and her heart would flutter every time someone stopped to admire it. She wasn’t after money, heaven knew her trust fund had plenty, she didn’t want recognition either. Her parents would like that, all the more reason for why she wouldn’t. A man stopped to

look at Magnolia, her best work to date. When police found her body, only that painting was missing. Benedict was tired of this. Working for 8 hours, typing and emailing, designing websites. Is that what his life had reduced to? He barely got any time for himself. The only relief these days was his penpal Jeremiah who wrote about his lavish adventures. Benedict felt a little jealous sometimes, other times he was busy admiring Jeremiah’s brave free soul and felt like he was on those adventures himself. Those letters did things to his heart that he could never fully comprehend. He never knew that the letter in his hands would be his last one. His blood stain was darker than the ink. Brandon relished the beauty before him. Blood-stained walls, a picture hanging on it, trophies of his accomplishment. The best part about being a loner, no one bothers with what you do in your home. Part-time postman and full-time killer, he lived for the moments of recognition in his victim’s eyes. They had seen

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him plenty of times before, but this last time was the only one that mattered. This is where they saw his true form. And it terrified them as much as it exalted him. Inspector Birmingham had solved cases that were hard to crack but this one killer had been evading him for months. He knew he was missing some essential clue, it was right there in front of his eyes, only hard to see. It was then that he repeated the footage. The same man had met all three of the victims on that day. A postman, of course, he had been overlooked. Those damned people were everywhere! He decided to check it out and what he saw was horror. Finding the address had been a piece of cake, stomaching the sight in front of him, now that was a whole different story.

Pallavi Sareen is an eighteen-year old author from Jammu. Currently a student, she has already contributed to an anthology called “Turning Point of Life� and dabbles in poetry. She is a book blogger and an avid reader who spends most of her time indulged in fictional worlds. A lover of old music who is socially awkward in real life, she finds sanctuary in her work. She is an art-lover and big fan of Vincent Van Gogh. She believes that literature has the ability to open up minds and that every person should have a habit of reading.

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Essay

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India - A Single Tax Market by Mudit Gupta

T

he Constitution of India prescribes a FEDERAL structure

along with a 0.5% Swachh Bharat Cess and a 0.5% of Krishi

for the country. Schedule 7 demonstrates this Federal

Kalyan Cess thus summing the rate of Service Tax to 15%.

nature of the Republic by dividing the subjects of legislation under 3 heads viz Union List, State List, and the Concurrent

2. Central Sales Tax(CST) = It is a tax levied on the inter-state

List. Following this Federal fabric of the nation, both states as

transactions. Even though it is collected by the center, the entire

well as the center, are empowered to levy taxes on various

mopped up revenue is transferred to the manufacturing state.

goods and services.

Earlier it was the tune of 4%, but it was reduced to 2% in a phased manner.

Currently, the center has the power to levy the following major taxes:

3. Excise Duty = It is a tax levied on the manufactured goods by

1. Service Tax = It was introduced in 1994 by the then Finance

the central government. It is also known as CENVAT (Central

Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh. This tax is levied and collected

Value Added Tax) because it is levied on the basis of value

by the center on all the services provided in the country,

addition done at each stage. The current CENVAT rate is 12.36%.

except a few given in the NEGATIVE LIST OF SERVICES which includes health, education, and other essential public

4. Custom Duty = It is a tax levied on the import and export of

services. The current rate of Service tax in the country is 14%

goods. It includes countervailing duty, additional countervailing

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duty, additional countervailing duty & anti-dumping duty

the manufacturing states(CST revenues used to go to the

among the many others.

manufacturing states).To allay the fears of the states, Center has proposed to compensate for any revenue loss for the

Since the aforesaid indirect taxes are levied by the Central

period of 5 years. Also, making the single-point nature of this

Government, they have a uniform rate throughout the

indirect tax implies that all the burden of the taxes would be

territory of India. Diverting attention towards the other organ

transferred to the consumers.

of the federation, some of the taxes levied by the State Governments are:

3. This value added tax is expected to promote the initiative of Make-in-India as well. Currently, the Indian exporters have to

1. VAT = Earlier known as the Sales Tax, VAT (Value Added

pay a considerable amount of duties on their exports. Once GST

Tax) is levied by the State Governments on the sale of goods.

is implemented, all the export duties, some of which are

Each state of India is empowered to have its own rate of VAT.

cascading in nature, would be removed. This would bring down

Even though this empowerment of states to set their own rates

the cost of exports and make Indian goods more competitive at

is in line with the principle of COOPERATIVE FEDERALISM, it

the global level. Moreover, the imported goods are given duty

creates a heterogeneity in the Indian market. The result being,

exemptions at different stages. With the roll-out of GST, all the

the same good has different prices across different states.

imported good would be faced with a uniform tax net, thus making our imports costlier. This would promote the use of

2. Octroi = It is a tax levied on the entry of good in the states.

domestic goods, giving a boost to the domestic industry.

Even though most of the states have abolished it, some states like Maharashtra and Gujarat still continue to fill their coffers

4. The implementation of GST would create a uniform market,

with this impending levy

reducing the disparities among the states. As a result of this

.

uniform tax market, the cost of goods and services would be at

3. Miscellaneous Taxes = Other taxes such as Entertainment

par across the states. This reduced disparity would go a long

tax, luxury tax etc. are also levied by states.

way in easing the tax structure and adding to the EASE OF DOING BUSINESS in the country.

Owing to the complexity, non-uniformity, and heterogeneity in the current indirect tax regime of the country, the

5. Currently, the Indian trucks travel a distance of 280km/day.

Government of India proposed to subsume all the INDIRECT

On the other hand, trucks in advanced economies like the USA

TAXES with a single tax known as GOODS AND SERVICE

travel at a speed of 800km/day. This impeded speed adds to

TAX (GST).

the cost of the transaction and reduces the speed of the economy. One of the factors responsible for this reduced speed

GST: FEATURES AND ADVANTAGES

is long queues for inter-state taxes, octroi, and chungis. Rollout of GST would subsume all such taxes.

1. GST is expected to give a fillip to the GDP to the tune of 12%. With an efficient tax system in place, based on the method

6. Implementation of GST would bring about an overall change

of VALUE ADDITION, the tax base of the country is

in the way tax governance is carried out in the country. This

expected to see an upward growth. Since it is a tax based on

would be done in the following 2 ways:

Value Addition, it is expected to put a halt on cascading effect of taxes (Tax on tax). This reduced cascading effect is

(a) In order to claim a tax credit from the Government, dealers

expected to decay the inflationary pressure created by means

would have to ask for documentation from the previous level in

of inefficient taxation and thus increasing the tax compliance

the supply chain. This would induce the mechanism of self-

among the traders.

policing and would compel the players in the supply chain to adhere to the norms.

2. Being a consumption based tax, all the taxes would be collected in the consuming states.This essentially means putting an end to the CST and a consequent revenue loss for

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(b) Since GST would be implemented by the center as well as the states, there would be a double verification of the supply chains. If authority at one level fails to catch tax evasion, the

Mudit Gupta can be contacted at his email id muditgupta17.5@gmail.com

other authority may prevent such base erosion. GST: THE FLIP SIDE The purpose of GST has been to achieve STANDARDIZATION. Apart from the standardization across the country, GST attempts to achieve uniformity between goods and services as well. Currently, the tax on services is pegged at around 15% whereas, on goods, the cumulative tax comes out to be around 25-26%. The common GST rate would eliminate the gap between the cost of goods and services. However, some commodities such as alcohol, petroleum, aviation turbine fuel and tobacco have been kept out of the GST net. Keeping them out of the GST net would lead to their variable pricing across the states.Also, these commodities are a major source of revenue for the states and, in the time of contingencies like natural calamities, states can target these tools to meet their additional financial needs. But the GST Council should be cautious enough to prevent any more exemptions from the GST net as it would essentially defeat the objective of achieving a UNIFORM ECONOMY. More are the number of exemptions from the GST net, more would be the non-uniformity in the economy. Arvind Subramanian led committee has suggested a revenue neutral GST rate of 18%. The GST council should refrain from the temptation of setting a higher GST rate due to the following 2 reasons: A higher GST rate would add inflationary pressure in the economy owing to the enhanced cost of Services. (The cost of goods would come down because the GST rate would, in any case, be less than the cumulative tax on goods of about 25%). A higher GST rate signals inefficiency of the tax authorities and a consequent reduced tax buoyancy to the global community which would be a blot on India’s emerging image. Even though GST rate and a list of exempted items remain to be decided, it can be safely asserted that the Indian legislators have attempted to craft a neutral GST regime that is neither dominated by the center nor tilted in favor of the states. It perfectly suits the Federal Fabric of the country!

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Poetry

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Come Grope Me by Sneha Pandey Come grope me! Come grope me, Pinch my nipples Rub your penis, trying to lift my skirt and get under Hold my ass and call it a mistake Stare at me with hunger. Come grope me, Twist my arm backward Slip that hand inside Snap the strap of my bra. Come grope me, And wave your penis for ‘Hello’ Ruin my image, if I say no. Come grope me, Call out names for me Allure me with your whistles Pull or push me like your private property. Come grope me, Refuse my denial Throw acid at me When I put your ego at fire. Come grope me, Widen my legs apart Bite my thighs and satisfy your desire. Come grope me, But be prepared for my rage I will drive the dagger POETRY

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Won’t play the silent game. Come grope me, I will show you how it feels Will kick your balls Slap to give you publicity. Come grope me, And try to show me your game But stay afar or I will tell you how it’s played. Come grope me, I promise to satisfy Will hold your penis in my hand Snip it off with the knife. Come grope me, I will give you all that need Thrash you hard And will kill you to satisfy your greed.

Sneha Pandey is a 21-year-old graduate in Arts. She is a trained RJ too. She began writing at the age of 8 and never looked back since then. She prefers writing tragic stories and poems that leave people awestruck. She is currently pursuing her Master's and stands by the classic dialogue, 'Zindagi badhi honi chahiye, lambi nahi', from the movie Anand.

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Fiction

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Frame It Right by Meena Mishra

I

t was a customary day. Til went to school as usual. But the scenario was absolutely altered when she returned home. The first astonishment was to find the door ajar. There was an alarming stillness in the house. Mother was sniveling.Father was sitting on the couch, a telegram with his hands covering his face trying to hide his feelings. Something had gone terribly off beam. But what? Mother handed over the telegram to her that read ‘Mother died come soon’. Those were the days when the telephone was not a commonplace miracle. Receiving a telegram meant that the unpleasant incident must have taken place three days back. Til’s father was the eldest son of the family. If there was one person his mother could rely upon, it was him. He was not by his mother’s side when she breathed her last. It was saddening beyond belief.

tucked in the heart of Mithila. Her siblings were fed. Rest of the cooked meal, milk, and vegetables were given to the immediate neighbor. There was no need of withdrawing money from the bank as the neighbors had already pooled in cash that they had at home. Til always wondered how all her neighbors managed to throng in and offer help in times of difficulty. They had already arranged for a car and a driver for her family; waiting for the bus was futile. The entire neighborhood was sad. They knew how attached her father was, to her granny. Even Til was close to her grandmother. Til’s mother packed some faded color sarees and a handful of simple dresses for the other family members. In a gloomy silence, the family set out on a journey. After a long and exhausting journey, they reached their native place. The news of their arrival in a car had spread throughout the entire village. The villagers were not accustomed to this public display of luxury.

It was an unexpected blow for the family. They had to set on a journey to their native place, Pindaruch a small village

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Til and her family were so sad that the unruffled and tranquil surrounding filled with greenery, the fields filled with paddy crops, the twittering of the birds, the village folks moving towards mango orchard with their fellow friends, the children carrying thick roti (bread) with salt and chilies tied in a piece. Some family members were standing at dalaan (portico), with a lota filled with water which would be used for washing their feet before entering the Pooja Room. It was a daily routine before entering the room where they had to bow before the deity. Only then they entered their house. The car was parked at dalaan ( portico). Til’s father was the first one to alight. And to everybody’s surprise, the person standing there with water was none other than granny. The expression that she observed on her father’s face was not easy to explain. It was a mixed feeling of joy, wonder, amazement, bewilderment, and surprise. He hugged his mother and burst into tears. Her granny was perplexed, quite unaware of the situation and didn’t know how to react. Later on, the family was informed that the sender of the telegram (who was her father’s cousin) had lost his mother. Only if the telegram would have been framed as, ‘My mother died, come soon’, this entire episode of confusion and slipup could have been avoided.

Meena Mishra is a budding poet and writer. She is relishing the spurt of creativity these days and is loving the positive response from her readers. She can be contacted at: meenamishra2003@gmail.com

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Spotlight

Paresh Tiwari Tell us something about yourself. I was born in . . . No. Scratch that. I do not know where I was born or when. That's always acquired . . . a planted memory. My earliest memories are those of being bathed in a small plastic tub by a well-meaning stranger. The memories thereon are like snapshots wallowing in the residue of time. Time which is sticky and thick like glue left out far too long in sun. There's that slant of rain on mud-baked shingles. The ripple of a brown-orange dog's fur. The morning adhaan floating down an onion domed mosque. The tinkle of temple bells riding the

How do you Work? What is your process?

string of a kite-let-loose. No wonder I turned into a painter. Anyone who would

Absorption. Everything happening to me, around me.

have grown up in Lucknow in those years would have. I

Everything that has happened and by extension may

turned to writing much later in life, I have tried writing

happen is fodder for my paintings and my words. So,

free verse, haiku, tanka, haibun, and short fiction in

absorption followed by regurgitation and editing.

multiple genres.

Editing. Editing. Editing.

What is your educational background? And how or why

What motivates you for your art?

you became an artist? Life. In its entirety. In its complex mundanity. Its I am an Engineer by education. I have always believed

heartbreaking tragedy and its disarming humour.

that in its most elemental and its most elevated form science is but an art form. I could never think of not

What influenced you to take up art? Do you have any

painting and now not-writing. It’s the only way I know

idols or influential people in your life who inspired you?

how to live.

If any, please mention them. My earliest idol was my mother. She is a wizard with brush and paint. As I grew up, I loved Van Gogh, Michelangelo and Da Vinci.

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I also love Salvador Dali for the exquisite surrealism he

What role does the artist have in society? How does

brings to the canvas, but I would like to think that what

your work impacts on social economic and political

I create is uniquely personal and different.

structure of the society?

What's integral to the work of an artist?

Some of the best works (and by that, I mean the ones that have the deepest impacts) in art and literature

The Self. I feel it is necessary to have a part of you in

have been created either in times of strife or are

each work you create. If that does not happen you are

created by those times. A true work of art is never too

not being true to yourself and the world and whatever

removed from the society. In either the macro or the

you create would not ring true.

micro, it comments upon the socio-political structure of the society. It must, for what is the relevance of art if not that. And then there’s the whole conspiracy of curbing voices, ideas and dissent. Some people believe we are all similar and should sing in one voice, but that’s ridiculous, to say the least. I believe the more an organisation (government or otherwise) will try to silence dissent, the louder it will get. What is your favourite artwork and why? Van Gogh’s ‘The Starry Night’. Apparently, it is a painting of the night sky filled with swirling clouds, stars ablaze with their own luminescence, and a bright crescent moon, but to me, it is the portrait of a lover. There is such intimate immediacy in this painting that I could look at it for hours and not get tired. I have even written a prose poem on the artist and this painting plays a very important role in shaping that piece. How is your personality reflected in your artwork?

War and Peace (Beyond Tolstoy) I think I am still finding my voice. I am a chameleon of sorts, I become a part of what I create and the work becomes a part of me.

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Paresh Tiwari is a writer, poet, illustrator and a cartoonist in the body of an Electrical Engineer. He has been widely published, especially in the sub-genre of Japanese poetry. The first collection of his haiku and haibun, 'An inch of Sky' was published in winter of 2014. Paresh has won peer-reviewed haiku competitions multiple times over and his haiku have been recognised in various contests and reviews, the most notable being a short-list for ‘The touchstone award’, ‘Skylark award’, a third prize in the Summer World Haiku Review - 2014 and an honourable mention at the Mumbai Tata How do you overcome creative blocks?

Literature Live, Autumn Rain Contest 2014. His haibun won the Wordweavers 2014 Flash Fiction contest.

By plowing through it. By acknowledging it and

He is currently the resident cartoonist for Cattails, a

accepting it as part of who I am. As a writer and a

journal by United haiku and tanka society, USA. He was

painter, I constantly am afraid that the next work won’t

also commissioned for thirty five illustrations for the Dec

come through or that it wouldn’t be as good as my last

16 edition of Frameless Sky.

piece. I accept the fears for that gives me the strength to create more.

Paresh has been invited to read his works at various literature festivals including the Goa Art and Lit Fest –

Any advice or message for upcoming artists?

2016 and has conducted haiku and haibun workshops at Hyderabad International Literature Festival – 2014,

Be yourself. Write, paint, sing, create but also observe, read and listen. There are no shortcuts to creation. And

SIES College Mumbai and British Council Library, Mumbai.

most of all never be satisfied. Thank you!

He can be contacted at paresh1118@gmail.com

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Review

YUGEN ISSUE I | JAN / FEB 2017 19

No means No by Ankita Bhujade

M

inal Arora is everything our parents warn their daughters not to be like as they grow up. But there is no wrong in being the urban woman rebellious to the rules of the bygone era. 'Pink', a courtroom drama film is about an incident involving molestation of the protagonist and her friends which set off a vicious circle of events. The story revolves around 3 girls Minal Arora, Falak Ali and Andrea Tariang who live in South Delhi. They are framed up by Rajveer Singh and his friends on the grounds of prostitution in spite of being taken advantage by them. Acknowledging their trauma and helplessness, Deepak Sehgal, a retired lawyer comes voluntarily out of retirement to become their savior. Minal Arora is played by Taapsee Pannu and Deepak Sehgal is portrayed by Amitabh Bachchan. The movie was inspired by the 1988 film, 'The Accused' starring Jodie Foster and Kelly McGillis. The Hollywood movie was loosely based on the 1983 gangrape case of Cheryl Araujo and her trial.

Minal Arora is the perfect epitome of the Statue of Liberty with a malfunctioned torch. Pink was the need of the hour. A brilliant attempt to spread the message of, 'No means No'. A film much needed to make the masses think about how a woman could be at fault for the choice made by her rapist. So, let's begin the analysis of the character Minal Arora to understand her more. Spoilers ahead for those who came in late.in spite of being victims of attempted rape. She is the one with the firm hand in the group with a good presence of mind. Identify Minal Arora- Taapsee Pannu stepped into her shoes and was able to bear the herculean task of leaving us spellbound. Minal Arora is accused of attempted murder along with her two friends; in spite of being victims of attempted rape. She is the one with the firm hand in the group with a good presence of mind.

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Describe Minal Arora is the kind of woman everyone needs in their group. Strong, rebellious and liberal; her tattoo on the neck flying birds hints her urge towards the pursuit of happiness. She is the ultimate city girl who chooses to live in an apartment with her friends away from her parents although they lived in the same town. It seems that she believes in her gut instinct but her strength is eventually tested in the course of events. She seems strong enough to laugh in times of adversity as seen on the next day post traumatic incident. Explain

Conclusion

Minal Arora is the perfect epitome of the Statue of Liberty with a malfunctioned torch. 'tu aarti ki lau nahi tu krodh ki mashaal hai' - these words are from a poem written by Tanveer Ghazi and recited by Amitabh Bachchan during the end credits of the film.and recited by Amitabh Bachchan during the end credits of the film.

According to the National Crime Records Bureau 2013 annual report, 24,923 rape cases were reported across India in 2012. Out of these, 24,470 were committed by someone known to the victim (98% of the cases). A video, #DontBeAMannequin illustrating the horrific New Year incident in Bengaluru, has gone big online, with over 547,000 views. "Negative elements in society will continue to exist, the only way to make the country better is not to be a mannequin", said Anusha Shetty, CEO of the ad agency that made the video. Time is nigh for women to rise up and men to be the good men! Minal Arora inspires every woman to never back down in the case of adversities although the road seems a little bumpy. On a lighter note, men should comply with the lyrics of Meghan Trainor's 'No'!

It translates to, 'you aren't the holy flame of worship, but a fire of anger'. aptly suits Minal Arora and seems to have forgotten when she is harassed by the unending questions doubting her character. Her judgment about people seems clouded post incident at the resort. She starts believing in that all men are same as she is helplessly left stared at in the society she lives or the park where she goes for jogging. As the film proceeds, her strength descends to rock bottom. She is almost left completely broken and loses hope at one point when her friend Falak Ali portrayed by Kirti Kulhari almost caves into the accusation made by the prosecution on the trio. Post declaration of the sentence in her favor, she overcomes the traumatic experience and learns to smile again with a clean slate along with her friends.

Ankita Bhujade, a 19-year-old belongs to a small town of Roha, Maharashtra.She is currently pursuing a degree in Bachelor of Mass Media.

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Essay YUGEN ISSUE I | JAN / FEB 2017 19 19

What if? by Sailesh Mishra

I

t is often that we marvel at how the comic book cum movie character Tony Stark designs his super efficient powerful alloy based multi-purpose bad boy battle suits. It is even more interesting when we are left clueless in the climax of the famous Christopher Nolan directed films like Interstellar and the unforgettable Inception. well, even if we let go of these Hollywood pieces of work and move to a bit more Desi pieces, we see that films like the Krrish trilogy, Enthiran, Mr. India and the Tamil movie 24 never fail to amaze us. Science fiction is one of those toughest genres of storytelling which always believe on expanding the horizons of a person’s approach to reality. But here we are not going to talk about movies, are we? Now let's proceed to the reason why you came here for. How can we define science fiction? Believe it or not, science fiction has one of the widest range of definitions if we begin defining them on the basis

In the simplest of terms, I would prefer defining science fiction as anything which answers the question ‘What if?’. They explain the possibilities which vaguely affect our perception of the world we live in. of the possibilities they cover. Call it futuristic gadgets, future battles, mythological events explained scientifically, aliens, super humans, paranormal events and occurrences, super villains, the list goes on and on. In the simplest of terms, I would prefer defining science fiction as anything which answers the question ‘What if?’. They explain the possibilities which vaguely affect our perception of the world we live in. The stories under this genre have their plot based on some concept. A theory utilized in real life which usually turns out to be the reason for a pretty interesting phenomenon. Remember ‘The Invisible Man’ which has been a book certified under the English subject in the CBSE syllabus? You are welcome.

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The genre of science fiction or the so-called Sci-fi isn’t a new concept. People have been excited and anticipated and even predicted the future in different stories in their books and articulate them under the name of science fiction. Several situations get depicted and the response of the characters of that story gets recorded. That is what comprises of a typical sci-fi book. The soul of the book is the bridge which links the innovative concept introduced to reality and the manner in which it is applied and used in the plot. Moreover, just like any other genre of fiction, the basic purpose of the writer is to blow in life to the characters it is comprised of by doing justice to their actions and the role they serve in. This works in a simple construction.

Now, let's assume a story as a building. So the plot can be compared with the actual plot(the story). The base is to be the concept or the idea(foundation) on which the story lies. The characters are going to be the iron rods, the bricks, the concrete and the sand and the gravel chips(the building blocks of the book). But do you think the building is complete yet? That is right. We need polishing, interior designing, and decoration, furniture, coloring et cetra. That's what constitutes in this case as well. The scenes depicted, the phenomenon sequences, the descriptions, the teeny-tiny detailing of objects, places, and situations, the origins of characters, the chemistry between them, every single thing matters.

I mean, we are writers, not scientists. All we have to focus on is how to expand our perception on the basis of a certain idea and push it further. Personally speaking, I myself am working on a science fiction trilogy. And for the first book itself it took me four months of research itself. But that doesn’t mean that I am working on a powerpoint presentation or a thesis of several papers which will nominate me for the Nobel Prize on any branch of science. No, it won't. Once we lay our hands on the basic concept, we can work on expanding its horizons as far as our imagination takes us. The only thing we must be concerned about is the limit we put to our imagination. Sounds like a paradox. Doesn’t it. In layman terms, know your limits and keep exploring every single inch within them. Besides that, focusing on the basic idea entirely and neglecting the storyline is sure to get catastrophic. No matter how unique and how much realistic your idea can be, even if it's eligible for a Nobel. If not implemented properly through its storyline and the characters, then nobody would pay any profitable attention to it. That is the symbol of a master storyteller.

Some famous names on the hall of fame 1 Isaac Asimov- Undoubtedly one of the best authors in this genre, Mr. Asimov was a prolific American professor as well. Considered as a master of hard science fiction writer, he has written books like The Robots of Dawn and Nemesis have been claimed as historic best-sellers. 2-Herbert Hugh Wells- The creator of masterpieces which were way ahead of its time like The Invisible Man, The Time Machine and The War of the Worlds, Mr. H.G. Wells is often coined as the father of science fiction.

One of the toughest pieces of cake I would like to come back to my previous statement about this particular genre being one of the toughest genres to work on. Stories of this kind require something that we call feasibility. It requires a logical proof of any occurrence which is out of the box. “That dude can fly” How? “Those aliens don’t need oxygen to survive” Why? “I am dating a zombie” wait, What? These are the norms required to be fulfilled while working on a science fiction. In this genre imagination is necessary, but a logical explanation to that is even more necessary. But on the other hand, we would not want it to make it a thesis of a theory, right?

3-Jules Verne- How can we forget the writer of magical pieces like Around The World In Eighty Days, The Mysterious Island, Journey to the Centre Of the Earth and The Journey from the Earth To The Moon. Many of his books have been successfully adapted into Hollywood films. India has also produced some fine science fiction writers like Sumit Basu, Laxman Londhe, Anil Menon, Vandana Singh, Satyajit Ray and Kumudini Mohapatra to name

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Their books like the Game World Trilogy (Sumit Shah), The Beast With Nine Billion Feet (Anil Menon) have been setting up milestones in the name of Sci-Fi genre.

Craze of Sci-Fi in India In a nation with a majority of its youth obsessed with teenage love stories and Social workpieces, the roots of this genre have been developing, but slower than expected. There is a special section of science fiction readers in the Indian section which results in the somewhat lower commercialization of the books in this genre. But the craze of science fiction among its selected group of readers is way over the top. Almost every science magazine has a separate section reserved for a piece of Science fiction stories. In an overall context, we are able to see a remarkable increase in Science Fiction conferences among authors, science congresses and many events and fests all around the country. Masterpieces like The Womb Of Brahma (By Dr.Mithin Aachi) is taking the markets by storm and stretching the excellence of this genre in India to a whole new level. The craze for this genre is achieving new heights in a nation of 1.3 billion.

they deserve for sure in the upcoming future. Personal Views (Conclusion) It all depends on the perception. All that matters is the how we see things. We find maximum bestsellers in our country under the romance genre. Some famous publishers even commented on been approached by me in conferences that India is not that advanced for the thriving of science fiction in the market. But I would strongly agree to disagree this statement. I would rather prefer to believe on the possibility that very soon this authentic genre of storytelling would surpass all other genres within a few decades and grow up to be the creator of world-renowned authors of Indian origin. Being an avid reader of multiple genres, I have been quite a spectator for the rising interest of people in this genre. I see the youth gaining more and more interest in this genre of storytelling and witnessed the mass appreciation of science fiction writers. So no doubt in the fact that it is soon going to take over the market and

produce the finest authors in our publication industry.

The Future One of the chief reasons for the increase in the interest of the readers in this country is the portrayal of more and more movies in this genre. I personally feel that a need to get on par with the technologically advanced countries in every aspect which also includes literature and entertainment has raised the bar higher here. Now superheroes are not blessed with powers from Gods but they do have some sort of a logical and scientific explanation behind their abilities. People are now getting more and more intrigued towards phenomena like alien invasions, time travel, intergalactic odysseys and interdimensional theories. More than the concept, it is the consequences which attract the masses and the readers. And in a country of numerous issues, controversies and scams on any line of work, it is a personal opinion of mine that scientific possibilities are going to get the reputation

Sailesh Mishra is a resident of the small hilly town of Dhenkanal situated in Odisha. Beginning his writing career as a co-author of the book named The Iridescence, Sailesh aims at achieving glory in more sensible genres of writing which include social issues, science fiction, suspense thrillers et cetra. He aims to create characters which will be known forever. He is currently working on the first book of his Sci-fi trilogy 'The Cerebral Saga'. Contact at saileshsmssm@gmail.com

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Fiction

YUGEN ISSUE I

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JAN / FEB 2017

Fair Darkness by Sneha Pandey

S

" orry, madamji!" The man instantly apologized as he accidentally bumped into a lady who herself had been ignorant of his presence. She turned around and looked at the man dressed in awkwardly loose clothes with charming looks but a tongue dipped in folklore. He picked up her file and held it in front of her to take it while she kept analyzing him.

"I know what I see. And I see a show stopper in you. Take my card and walk in whenever you feel like."

"You are pretty good looking. What do you do?"

"Beta, samjho baat ko ab tumhaari padhai ka kharch nahi sambhal sakte, koi naukari dhundh lo." Daksh had already byhearted every line of the discussion that had been going on since five years everyday but things appeared different this time. He was tired and thought to himself, ‘This time I will return home only after getting a job.' and he made his thought audible to his parents and went out of the house. His mind travelled to the possible places he could be hired in and finding the mind busy the legs directed themselves to the bridge. His thoughts and legs halted together as soon as he reached his spot on the bridge. "I won't even get a job in call centre because of my English." He spoke to the river.

The thank you came in differently coated words. "Ji?" A frown-faced shot another question, "English nahi aati?" He was taken aback, ‘Why is she asking such questions? Why does she want to know so much about me? Why is she even talking to me, while other girls prefer ignoring me?' "Hello! Modelling karoge?" A shook broke his chain of thoughts and he apologetically replied, "Ma'am, I think you are mistaken. I'm not the person you are looking for. Sorry."

And a card was thrust in his shirt's pocket without his acceptance. "Ma'am, I don't need it. I'm not…" The words disappeared into oblivion just as the lady vanished from the sight.

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YUGEN ISSUE I He stood there as several thoughts flooded in his mind, all in vain. "Bhaiya, ball dena." As usual somebody gatecrashed his private space and he was brought back to senses. He picked up the ball, ‘Stupid boys, can't they see I'm busy thinking and who plays on the bridge?' Something fell from his pocket, he thought probably a note. He threw the ball towards the boys and bent again to pick up the note. He carefully brought it to the readable distance and read- "Stardom Modelling Agency, Patel Road, Azad Nagar, Ahmedabad." "May I come in ma'am?" He carefully chose the words and knocked at the glass door. "Walk in." She slid her glasses an inch on her nose as soon as a figure appeared in front of her. "So, here you are! Finally!" And the sentence ended in an uninvited embrace for Daksh. "Umm…actually ma'am I need a job. A small one would do. Mujhe paiso ki jarrurat hai." The lady loosened her embrace and extended an arm for the formal introduction, "Welcome to Stardom Modelling Agency, I'm Maya. I'll assist you and make you the star of this industry. Just follow my commands and success would lick your shoes." Her sentence ended with handshake and Daksh's eyes glittered. "Ma'am I just want some money to complete my studies and find a government job." A mediocre-traditional-middle class man spoke up, "Government job? Puff!" She dragged herself to her desk in grace, lit a cigarette and dialed a number on the intercom. "Send in the registration forms and the tailor." And a ring of smoke appeared in the room sourced from her lips. Soon there was a knock on the door and the tailor walked in with a lady dressed in western formal, making Daksh uncomfortable with her skirt's hemline. The lady in formals placed a thin file and left the room. The tailor was commanded to take Daksh's measurements. "No! No! Don't you know how to take measurements? Has your age started troubling you? Give me the measuring tape and get lost." The wrinkled face walked out of the room in embarrassment immediately. "Close the door properly." She took the measuring tape and inched closer to Daksh. Daksh stood there staring into nothingness like a guinea pig, imagining his future. ‘Soon I will start earning and then I will help my family, finish my studies and build a house for my parents.' A certain touch of cold broke his chain of thoughts. ‘Wait! Was it her lips that touched my nape and did her hand just come out from my shirt? Should I ask her?' He looked at her, she winked and a faint smile made its way to his lips. She noted the measurements as her lips helped Daksh to build his castle, "You are going to be a star. I'll make you a millionaire within a year. Just follow what I say and trust me you have a long way to go."

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JANUARY 2017

"This is not right ma'am. I'm not comfortable in doing so." Daksh was unsure of taking this decision but he was also influenced by Maya who had stayed true to her words and made him already reach to the Top 10 preferred models in any show. The boy was talented but he had been shaped and molded by Maya and he was grateful to her, not an iota of doubt about it. ‘But was this decision right? Is it actually fair to do anything and everything for success? Is it not questionable? Is it not an unfair mean to reach the top? Is everything really fair in love, war, and modeling? Is this how a boss and employee relationship supposed to be? Is it really okay?' A ton of thoughts bombarded his innocent brain and roamed in it to make it more difficult for him to channelize his thoughts. By the time his mind bounced back to reality things had already slipped out of the debate and for a moment he felt uncomfortably comfortable, peacefully messed up and illegally right. "It's fine. Everybody does this. It's as normal as breathing in this industry. This is the way to success," was scribed on his mind after the brief encounter. One night Daksh decided to tread the way of his old house, after all, it had been a couple of years since he last saw the humble dwelling. Although he would have loved to walk in the bright sunlight but paparazzi won't sanction his desire. He ate a light dinner, lied to his parents about a midnight shoot and stepped out of the lavish building. He walked peacefully smelling the aroma of spring, inhaling peace. An excited chill shivered his spine as soon as he reached the same old bridge which had been the way out of all his troubles throughout his life. The bridge now appeared like an old saint who was now tired of answering questions and resolving mental fights. Daksh stood at his spot and started gazing at the water, the tranquillity of water questioned Daksh's relevance of being there at the moment. Daksh breathed in the purity of the river and there was certain urgency in his brain. A debate to be fought. Questions to be answered. All the questions that he had ever asked himself started being relevant to him. He questioned himself about his life. What state has he come to? Was this he came for? What has he made his life? Why did he let this happen? Why has he always surrendered to things? Why has he acted so helpless? Why is he cheating himself? Daksh stood there peacefully searching a way to make a point, to find a single answer to all the questions. The next day, the front page headline of a leading newspaper read- ‘Show stopper Daksh shall live in our memories forever'

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To Read List

YUGEN ISSUE I | JAN / FEB 2017

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi “[A] moving and penetrating memoir . . . This eloquent, heartfelt meditation on the choices that make life worth living, even as death looms, will prompt readers to contemplate their own values and mortality.” — Booklist

GENRE: MEMOIR PAGES: 256

The Gene: An Intimate History by Siddhartha Mukherjee Physician-scientist Siddhartha Mukherjee's history of the gene is one of the most powerful and accessible books on science this year as well as related to a topic that's increasingly gaining resonance across the world -- mental health." — Huffington Post, India

Genre: Science and Evolution Pages: 592

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YUGEN ISSUE I | JAN / FEB 2017

The Course of Love by Alain de Botton

"Read this book if you are married, plan to marry or, like me, are fascinated by the idea of relating at a profound level to another human being. Entirely quotable and brimming with de Botton’s signature wry humour, there is no way you’ll take nothing out of it." — The Hindu

GENRE: ROMANCE PAGES: 240

An Era of Darkness: The British Empire in India by Shashi Tharoor "In writing this book, it is obvious that instead of being even-handed, Tharoor has chosen to present the arguments against British rule in India with strength and force, and he is right in doing so. Until An Era of Darkness came along, there was no single work that clearly and unambiguously catalogued all the harm done to India under British rule." — The Hindu

Genre: Nonfiction Pages: 360

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YUGEN ISSUE I | JAN / FEB 2017

Odes by Sharon Olds

"Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Sharon Olds’ collection of odes is a brazenly honest, humorous meditation on the body, sex, love, and death.The result is a bold yet charming celebration of both the poetic form and the imperfection of our humanness." — Buzzfeed

GENRE: POETRY PAGES: 118

His Bloody Project by Graeme Macrae Burnet "Booker prize shortlist found a place for Graeme Macrae Burnet’s His Bloody Project (Contraband), a smart amalgam of legal thriller and literary game that reads as if Umberto Eco has been resurrected in the 19th-century Scottish Highlands." — The Guardian

Genre: Thriller Pages: 280

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YUGEN ISSUE I | JAN / FEB 2017

Swing time by Zadie Smith "Cinematic as it is, the novel does what only literature can and what only great literature will: forces us to assess the very vocabulary with which we speak of human experience. Change is a central theme, for on one level Swing Time functions as a classic story of betterment, in which the ability to move, to change, is rendered as a form of power." — The Guardian

GENRE: FICTION PAGES: 453

Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty "It's not often that a book about murder mingled with domestic and sexual violence has you howling with laughter, but Moriarty pulls it off here... Blending romance, comedy and mystery, this is a wonderful book - full of brains, guts and heart." — The Sunday Mirror

Genre: Contemporary Pages: 415

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Poetry

YUGEN ISSUE I

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JAN / FEB 2017

HAIKUS BY AKASH RUMADE

the prettiest girl , who sells veggies in the hills ; never clicks selfies !

monday mornings come with a bowl of excuses and virgin bucketlists !

over the years , she got good at hiding ; and i , got poor at seeking !

the clock ticks inside; while I, I live outside.

once upon a time, earth opened pandora's box, out came sapiens!

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YUGEN ISSUE I | JAN / FEB 2017

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YuGen  

YuGen is a bimonthly magazine under the publication of Artists' Syndicate. It was founded in January, 2017. It provides a platform for fresh...

YuGen  

YuGen is a bimonthly magazine under the publication of Artists' Syndicate. It was founded in January, 2017. It provides a platform for fresh...

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