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The Editorial I am glad to present to you, an all new issue of the magazine. Festivals are a very important aspect of Indian culture. They remind you to take a pause from your racing life style and meet old friends, reconnect with relatives, and spend some of the money, that you earned putting in all the hardwork and time(and be happy about it!). So, even though you’re probably done bursting crackers and lighting the lamps, I would like to take this opportunity to wish a very Happy Diwali to all our readers. Perfection is an idea, that doesnot exist in reality. There are degrees and closeness of actions to perfection, and though we wouldn’t consider ourselves on the far end of scale, we are learning and improving, just like all of you. So, this may not be the perfect blend of your expectations, but I hope you’ll bear with my newbie writing and turn the pages till the end. I am sure, you’ll find something to bite and nibble, and enjoy the slow taste seeping in with every word, as you read on...

Chinmay Maheshwari


LTGTR|Nov ‘12

Contents 6

Date A Girl Who Explores

8

Maatrabhasha

10

Of Marxist World Domination

12

I’m A Girl And I Love It!

15 16 18

Illusions Diary Of A Teach For India Fellow The Power Of Young India To Educate, And Make A Difference My Journey, So Far

20

Super - Insaans : The Beginning

22

Are You, You?

23

Utopia

24

Blowing Off The Lid : Drug Culture In The Youth

26

Sanity

28

Newton Road

29

Time To Grow - Up? No!

30

Descent To Mediocrity

31

Backwards

32 The Million Dollar Smile ...................................................................................................................................................................................

Credits DESIGN

Chinmay Maheshwari

PHOTOGRAPHS

Kunal Mehta (Cover) Bhaumik Mistry (https://www.facebook.com/bhaumik.artist) Aman Wilson (https://www.facebook.com/amanwilsonphotography) Akhil Pawar (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Flashback-Photography/273344402777548) Vasudhaa Narayan (http://vasudhaanarayanan.tumblr.com/) Kristen Hudman (http://www.flickr.com/photos/kristenhudman/) ................................................................................................................................................................................... If you have any queries, suggestions, feedback, or any thing else that you’d like to communicate with us, feel free to drop a mail to mail.ltgtr@gmail.com. We’ll be happy to hear from you !


LTGTR|Nov ‘12

Date A Girl Who Explores Date her because she is just as passionate about surrealism as she is about street art. She will meet people who have dissimilar interests and ask them a million questions because she is as curious as a colorful wandering butterfly.

By Vasudhaa Narayanan Date a Girl who gets excited at the chance of taking a long walk discovering the tiny alleys of a neighborhood. Date her because she would rather be outside in the scorching heat finding that new bookstore instead of lazing in front of the couch watching “Jersey Shore”. You will find her talking about a new art installation in a tiny gallery that her friends didn’t know existed. Date her because she is just as passionate about surrealism as she is about street art. She will meet people who have dissimilar interests and ask them a million questions because she is as curious as a colorful wandering butterfly. She will take you to the unveiling of a photography display that’s in town for a week; she will beg you to go with her to the new Andy Warhol exhibit even though she has no knowledge about pop art, only because she is enthusiastic to learn. Take her to the Saturday flea market in Brooklyn, or the farmer’s market in Union Square. She will revel at the sight of an old typewriter or a vintage camera. You’ll find her talking to the tomato sellers; asking them about their stories, their families. She will always listen.


You’ll know she has a wandering eye when you’re ranting about your apartment woes and she drifts off mid-conversation pointing at a passing van painted with owls. She will treasure a little postcard over any fancy meal at the best restaurant in town. If you look through her collection of scavenged items, you may find little concert tickets, blue beaded fish bracelets, visiting cards of different cafes, a novel she picked up on the side of an abandoned parking lot, colorful green and red tissue papers, coasters from her favorite bars in different cities, countries even. Her collection is a million little memories that would mean nothing to anyone else but her. When you talk to her, you will know she has a flair for words, as she does for scrabble. You will be consumed, in mind and heart, by her experiences and anecdotes that you can feel the adrenaline gushing through her speech, as she vividly describes her White Rock camping trip in Arkansas or river rafting expeditions in Dandeli. She will relive those memories, in that very moment as her muscles take shape to show her beautiful smile, her pupils dilate in excitement changing the tone of the conversation but forever altering the colors of your sight. She is a people person. She loves meeting new people and making new friends as much as she loves the comfort of her own bed. Whether it’s a 45-year-old Australian couple she met at a rooftop bar, a 40 year old lawyer she met on the Hudson River or a shy 24-year-old American boy she fell for at Fulton Station, she will know what to say and how to say it well enough to leave a trail of her scent behind, making you long for her company just a little whiff longer. Invite her to your city. If she loves you enough, she may even make a secret trip out of it. Watch her peel the layers of emotions, moods and colors as she beautifully captures each street corner or every treetop with her camera in a way that you probably would have never seen it. Allow her to transform your vision, disintegrate your previous reservations and make you fall head over heels in love with the city you used to be in love with, when you first moved there. She appreciates and respects her roots. As much as she enjoys the independence of living alone and traveling the world, she does miss falling asleep on her mother’s lap, her sister’s silly laugh and her father’s big warm hug. She knows that every trip back home is one step farther from her next journey, but one step closer to these strong ties that keep her grounded. She loves her family and friends who have been a

constant reminder of how far she has come; from seeing her as the little girl eating masala dosas in the school canteen to the woman cooking her own meals in a makeshift electric cooker. Talk to her about music. Let her sing you a song or two. Her taste in music is as distinctively different as the changing seasons. She will take you to the cozy café tucked in the heart of Duxton Hill allowing you to discover that new artist you are now talking about on Facebook. Whether it’s a little slow jazz Sinatra song or an amazing guitar solo by John Mayer, she will sing it to you the way the street singer - Jess, sang it to her at Court Sq. station. Go with her on these little journeys; finding new singers, getting lost in transit and she will make you realize that your worries are so little compared to those who have nothing and are so happy with whatever little they make out of their passion for music. Better yet, teach her an instrument. Date her because she is eager to learn. Because she yearns to learn a new language, write a new story, help construct a new Lego set or even paint a new picture. In that process, learn from her how it is always okay to fail and start afresh, start something new, something that is yours. No matter how far she goes to explore the corners of the world, know that you will always be a postcard away. In that way, you are there in spirit; holding her by the waist as you’ll stand on the east river looking at the diminishing skyline, or giving her a hand while hiking the Machu Picchu. No matter whom she meets along the way, she will always be a phone call away for you. Join her when she lies on the green grass and stares into the vast beautiful sky. Allow her to see that in you. To find the depth of your knowledge and the length of your personality and respect you as you are. Make sure you do the same. If she lets you in, you’ll be as happy as a puppy and as content as a sleeping bear. Date a girl who explores because you will always have something to learn from and teach each other. Because life is too short to be selfish about knowledge and too colorful to only see it in black and white. (Have you read Date A Girl Who Reads by Rosmarie Urquico? If you haven’t, please do! My post is a little writing exercise I put myself through and an addition to the “Date A Girl/Boy who..” series! I hope you enjoy it, share it and can identify with it.)


LTGTR|Nov ‘12

Maatrabhasha By Sahil Mehta It’s been a while since I wrote, so bear with me if I ramble. Or not. Have you ever been jealous of those cool people who always seem to attract everyone towards them? You know, the ones that always know the right thing to say, at the right times. They’ll be charming all the time, cracking wisecracks and sprouting laughter like a fountain! There are always a few like that around you and I just hate it that it comes so naturally to them! The sense of humor, the charm, and the pretty girls they inevitably attract! But they are not the focus point of my post today. So screw you funny guy, go ruin someone else’s chances today! Then there are these few people, very dignified, very measured, who you really want to listen to. Crisp, precise and fluent with their speech. Men and women who can capture the audience moments before they even begin to speak. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting a few such people. And their speech permeates into the rest of them too. They way they carry themselves, the interest they have. Ek akarad hoti hain! And you cant even begrudge them that. And they get girls too, even if it the slightly more intellectual or broody kinds :P Sadly they aren’t the focal point of my extended ramble either. Neither are the girls, just in case you thought I was building up to that. As always I shall take a slight detour here. I have always hated people who talked to me in English. I mean, there’s nothing wrong with talking in English and I can safely say I can understand English passably well. But when you’ve known each other for a while and when you can speak in Hindi then why put all that effort in


Crisp sentences with no slang, no English words. A hello was a pranam or namashkar. Friend was mitr and all exam papers were kathin. And every second day there would be a duvidha. trying to show-off your English to me? Its not like you’re exceptionally good at it, nor do you need to impress me. I always hated such people and I always, and still do, wonder why girls all of a sudden revert to talking in English with each other? Especially in a group! I mean why put up all the pretences of looking all sophisticated and modern and god-knows-whatelse-you-want-to-project! I mean I’d freak out if my friends one fine day decided to start talking English! Jab har time Hindi hi bolte ho, to ab kya deemak lag gaye tumhare bheje main?

Finally you meet people from the central parts of India, from Lucknow and other parts of UP, and from Chattisgarh, MP and you listen to some of them. And they speak with this wonderful endearing dialect that makes you feel like old friends and not acquaintances. Crisp sentences with no slang, no English words. A hello was a pranam or namashkar. Friend was mitr and all exam papers were kathin. And every second day there would be a duvidha. There would be no harsh words like tu aur tera. You always had the respect of an aap.

Anyways, when I went to college, like everyone else I had the pleasure of meeting a variety of people who spoke a variety of dialects. Some people, like Hyderabadi natives, had a very curious and different dialect with words like kaiku and bole-to. It sounds slightly crass at times, but a whole lot of fun to speak if you get the hang of it. Especially if you’re an outsider. Then there are people from Maharashtra side, for whom Hindi isn’t a first language either. And they’d get all messed up with the maatras. The ka would become a ki and so on. And it would still be a lot of fun coz they’d get irritated when you corrected it. Of course, this doesn’t mean that everybody had a problem, but some people did. And then there were the Punjabis and Haryanvis who had a extremely friendly and slightly loud tone, mixed with Punjabi words and their mystical quality.

The vocabulary which is sprinkled with Urdu and Sanskrit words can leave you floundering at first, but it grows on you. It’s polite, with words to express virtually emotion, and if someone speaks it with the slightest of flair, its poetic. And it makes people take you seriously. You can argue to the point of killing someone and not seem rude or angry. It’s a beautiful language, Hindi is. And while English assumes significant importance with respect to formal communication and the work space, Hindi is still the way to go with respect to interpersonal communication.

Then of course there are the people who Bengal with their well documented pronunciation of aa as o and their hums. And don’t even get me started on how different Gujarati Hindi is.

I know how much we take it for granted, but I doubt that we could speak it beyond the very basic needed to get by. If you don’t believe me, try this. Go a day without using an English word in your sentences. I shall bow down to thee, if you can manage it. Or as they would say in Hindi, Prabhu, mujhe aapke charansparsh karne ka saubhagya de! And finally, kuch bhi bolo yaar, doston ko gaali dena ka mazza to sirf Hindi main hi aata hain!


LTGTR|Nov ‘12

Of Marxist World Domination By Hamsini A little sylph sat in a thatched hut, And rocked her babe to sleep, Back and forth she rocked him, Back and forth, back and forth, In hope that when he fell asleep, She could secede to the slumber she deserved. In the stifling heat of dust and poverty, A man sauntered up the path. It’s hard to drag yourself through empty streets With empty stomachs and no sleep. The drunk, in all his coherency would know, All there is to know about poverty.

He walks through the lifeless city, Slumping on the doorstep of a garish building, Painted hurriedly, to disguise the ugliness throughout, The jungle of glass and money could only pleasure provide. The disco lights are set ablaze all over town, Providing release from the pain of existence. The figures, the people, their hearts that beat, They do not beat in unity. When they smile, one cannot sense any enjoyment. But they have money to fill the coiffeurs, for seventeen generations to come. Does that not satiate their thirst for life?


Suddenly the unhappy stillness of the night was broken By a deep voice, which had an edge of steel. It was the voice of a man who had known both fear and hope. On could sense a hint of scorn, a hint of embittered humility It was not his eloquence but the simple truth behind his words That managed to capture his audience’s fancy.

“All you government men say that you’re doing the best you can, You say that free market is profitable and that capitalism is moral. Where is the morality in watching your countrymen starve?

His face was in shadows, he had not touched his drink, His hands seemed rough, like those of a manual labourer’s. He did not speak of pretence and superficial things. He spoke of that which embodies human spirit He spoke of love.

He paused and slowly continued,

“When there were no rains, they asked for more food. I mortgaged my lands, my house, my only possessions. In thanks, they asked for more.

I dream of a place where there is no struggle, no societal dogma, A place where blind faith is not the cause of the loss of millions of lives.

My wife, who works all day, weeps all night. She walks 12 kms so that I can quench my thirst each afternoon. She must resent me for the life we lead. My fellow brothers, my friends and comrades, We’ve lived all our lives in peasant huts, in ghettos and hovels. But we shall step above ourselves, to a better world.” He paused and took a breath.

The rich become richer, the poor become poorer, The middle class wallows in their race for a better life. And you call this development?!”

“I dream of a nation where there are no rich and no poor, A place of contention, of happiness which satisfies one’s innermost needs.

I dream of a place with no God to overrule your own judgement, For God is just an idea that keeps man enslaved to his misery.” A voice spoke so passionately, you could see the fire blazing in his eyes. He spoke for the oppressed who could find no voice. But was anyone listening in the dead night?

“I do not have land to call my own, I do not have cattle that obeys me, I have a shanty which my family calls ‘home’.

His fire wavered; he downed his fourth glass of absinthe Slumped over the wooden counter, he thought, He was young and bored of being young and bored.

I have faded clothes on my back to hide me from my naked monstrosity. I live as the person I am, as the one I learnt to be, From job to job, I moved, penniless as before. All because my family had no land to call their own.”

There was so much to do, so little time and so few people to do it. As he engineered great, global plans on the back of a paper napkin, He fell asleep.

He paused and took a breath.


LTGTR|Nov ‘12

I’m A Girl And I Love It ! By Dharna Chauhan I hear my girl-friends complaining constantly about being a girl. From PMS to menopause, from dowry to childbirth, from intricate hair removal to extensive beauty upkeep, from this to that… all they have to say are the negatives of being female! Yet, when a bored friend at a lame game asks us if we’d rather be males, that little voice inside us says, “Nay! We’re way better off like this!” Apart from the obvious reasons of being able to live longer than men, multiple orgasms, getting dibs on the lifeboats, having slumber parties, and the fact that we’re just totally awesome in every way, this is why we love being who we are:


We have cleavage. Okay, maybe not the best one to start with; I’m just going from head to toe. (Don’t worry, it ends at the waist.) Now we may have big breasts, small breasts, medium breaks, or even negligible breasts… whatever! But there’s always a WonderBra that’ll push those babies up and give you the sight that numbs the guys. Flash them, and get anything done. Anything. Plus, as Joey says, it blows his mind that women can look at their breasts anytime they want. Well…

We have a secret tear-button. Yes, we would never admit, but we girls are well aware of the biological phenomenon of producing tears; and we use it when we like, where we like, on whoever we like! Boyfriend ignoring you?—cry! I’ll cut a heavy lock of my hair if he doesn’t text you 17 times the next day. Failing a subject by 2 marks?—cry! Brace yourself for the grace. Don’t have money for the ticket?—cry! The bus conductor will make sure you have the ride of your life. Just getting bored?—cry! People will listen to all the shit you wanna say. Works like a charm—everytime.

We have daddies, not fathers. This one’s my favourite. I have seen my brother getting thrashed for his tiniest mistakes. And me? I get a very loving warning about how my daddy’s little angel is not expected to behave the way I did. And this is followed by a kiss on the forehead. Daddies are the best—and for them, we daughters are their life.

We’re cool if we are open to sex. Now, unless you’re “cool” to the point of being called a slut; you’re just really cool if you’re open to sex and not act like a prudish jerk. Your guy friends will love you for the comfort, and your boyfriend will love you for… you know. All in all, you’re golden!

We’re teary-traditional if we’re reluctant to have sex. There are not very less guys who love the sati-savitri kinda girl. They admire you. They respect you. They long for you. They wait for you. They’ll give you all the attention and will really hang around long enough before you decide to put out, if you ever do, that is. They might even just marry you to sleep with you. But hey, again, you’re golden!

We can do whatever the heck we want while we are pregnant, and it’ll be excused. Now I haven’t gotten pregnant ever—thank God for that—but I have seen nagging wives become naggy-ier when their hormones go haywire! And well, it’s “ALLOWED”!!! • “I want freshly beaten coffee with aloo paratha and salsa sauce... Now!!!” “On the way, honey!” and kisses on the head. • “I think we should go to the Netherlands for our vacation.” “Is it okay if I book the tickets by tomorrow, sweetheart?” and kisses on the head. • “Aren’t you getting a little too cozy with that Mrs. Chadda of yours?!” “I just touched my grandmother’s feet, for God’s sake! Oh, I’m sorry, sugar…” and kisses on the head.


LTGTR|Nov ‘12

We get to be brides. Yes! We, at least once for sure, get to be the most beautiful and important person in the room for a day. People do things for us. We get to be all dolled up. We can pose for those perfect pictures. And be promised to be taken care of by the one person we’re— hopefully—so hopelessly in love with. Everyone wants a picture with us. Everyone tells us how angelic we look. Everyone adores us. Nobody gives a damn about the groom. That’s just our day and we love it!

If we’re working, we’re highly respected; unlike the guys who do ‘nothing extraordinary’. If we are paying our own bills, we are looked upon as strong, independent women. People respect us. Kidgirls idolize us. And we know we really don’t do a lot of work around. (No offence to those who really do bust their asses.) We’re so appreciated if we can somehow juggle our family and work smoothly. And the money we earn is mostly earmarked for us and whatever we wanna do with it. Guys, on the other hand, have to earn not just for the themselves, but to support an entire family and college funds and marriage funds and health insurances. And God forbid they spend even 5K on that Golf Club membership they always wanted—“so irresponsible and naïve!!! Disgraceful.”

Guys don’t abuse in front of us. That makes us feel SUPERIOR somehow! Well, not that we are against abusing—come on, for some it’s a very natural reaction, much like a reflex. We could make peace with you “MF”ing your ‘bros’… but the moment you start cursing in Hindi, it is a total turn off! Now I love Hindi and all, but there is just something about BC, MC etc that creeps us out a little. Guys know how the sophisticated ones behave… and they take care. It leaves them feeling restricted in some ways, but then, aren’t we just totally worth it?

We “Awww”. We can go “Awww…!!!” with the head tilt for any freaking thing on this earth. Some say it’s an annoying habit, we say it’s an innate talent. Deal with it. Also, the girls on F.R.I.E.N.D.S had the larger apartment with the purple walls and the large window. Plus, all of them got to kiss, and one of the married, the most adorable man on TV—Chandler Bing! Well, there. Being a girl is hands down better than being anything else.

Our friends don’t kick our asses on our birthday. You’re a girl and it’s your birthday today? And you live in a hostel? WOW! You’re going to get some yummy cake, a decked up celebration room, people waiting to surprise you with their wishes; and really, the worst that would happen to you would be a little cake-smearing, which is easily preventable with a sincere request. Yes, we’re that considerate. Guys would kill for our worst. Getting kicked in the butt is not anyone’s idea of a perfect birthday… and you’re really lucky if you do get a cake from your friends. Poor guy is scared if they found out it was his girlfriend’s birthday—God bless the butt.

We can hold our bestie’s hand in public without being labeled ‘gay’! We’re shopping; we hold hands. We’re strolling; we hold hands. We’re simply waiting for the bus; and yes, we hold hands! And none of you would think of anything but deep friendship and that we’re just inseparables… and everyone thinks it’s sweet. But the moment a guy holds his best friend’s hand—GAY ALERT! It’s nothing personal; just that the society is not used to seeing the union of two man-hands for longer than a handshake. Well, pity you guys!


Illusions However, despite all of this, illusions present a world where right and wrong are distinct, where cancer has a cure and finally where Liverpool has a trophy. They offer everything that our ordinary lives do not, they represent the hunger and the desire of the human race to reach immortality, they offer total control and yet absolutely no control.

By Jibran Anand No matter how great the truth is or how good reality can be, the true ecstasy of life resides in illusions. Existent in all shapes and forms, illusions represent a paradox and present perhaps the greatest contrast known to mankind. They represent every positive thing in life, peace and calm, hopes and dreams. For a split second, they allow the person experiencing them to reach the penultimate state of their life, which is quite simply, what each individual aspires for. It gives the person a place of solace, a niche of their own where nobody can entreat or invade; it is the epitome of privacy. Perhaps some would argue that living in a world of illusions could blur the line between reality and imagination. That some get so engrossed in their illusions that they lose track of what really matters, life, love, friendship and so on. However, I strongly disagree. Yes perhaps extensive illusions could lead to this, and often people waste their lives chasing futile things which are the products of their imaginations or rather illusions. However, despite all of this, illusions present a world where right and wrong are distinct, where cancer has a cure and finally where Liverpool has a trophy. They offer everything that our ordinary lives do not, they

represent the hunger and the desire of the human race to reach immortality, they offer total control and yet absolutely no control. Illusions give an opportunity for people to not only get lost in their imaginations and their dreams but also in themselves. They allow the person experiencing them to reach a state beyond the ordinary human capacity, where everything becomes possible, where the control and the power lies in our hands. And yet, despite all of this, they also represent total chaos. They portray a world where nothing is under the individual’s control. Where at the flick of a wrist, the illusion might change into something deeper and darker or might even extinguish itself. People say that our world is full of paradoxes and without contrasts in our lives, there would be absolutely no conflict or interest. They say that if our world was filled with answers instead of questions, we would be robots. If everything was so simple, we wouldn’t be so complex, so loveable and yet so detestable. We wouldn’t be such fascinating yet completely distasteful creatures!


LTGTR|Nov ‘12

The Power Of Young India To Educate, And Make A Difference

By Pranav Sukhija Fellow, Teach for India In a country where education is free and compulsory for kids, the problems of rampant illiteracy and poor educational facilities are not just shameful, but also tragic. The government has invested so much for designing new models of education, building social and economic infrastructure to facilitate learning, and hiring and training manpower to spread the wonderful and life-transforming gift of knowledge. However, there is no doubt that we, as a nation, have failed in this endeavor, and have therefore failed our children, and are still failing them by depriving them of their birth right and their passport to success and happiness in life : education. One visit to a government school or any under-resourced private school in any part of the country will give you an idea about the kind of learning which takes place in these institutes. Indifferent teachers spending the whole day in the staff room gossiping or doing some manual paper work is a sight that you are most likely to encounter. Children sitting idle in their classrooms, clueless of what they should be doing, feeling completely left out and neglected is, sadly, another common sight. It is evident that some of the major impediments in the education system of our country are poor implementation of government policies and violation of educational standards at the grassroots level. The greatest and the most noble service which the young generation of the country, at this juncture, can offer is its


Diary Of A Teach For India Fellow

Indifferent teachers spending the whole day in the staff room gossiping or doing some manual paper work is a sight that you are most likely to encounter. Children sitting idle in their classrooms, clueless of what they should be doing, feeling completely left out and neglected is, sadly, another common sight.

ability to teach and inspire billions of children so as to add colours and sparks into their lives, and promote their healthy growth and development. In today’s fast-paced world, where most people just care about wealth, power and fame, I feel glad that so many of the country’s brightest and most enthusiastic young men and women are channelizing their energies and resources to fight against educational inequity, which is highly endemic in our country, by working as primary and secondary school teachers in the most under-resourced schools of the country as fellows with Teach for India.. The fact that the youth feels so much our country, and understands that the key to economic development is educational equity deserves great appreciation and respect. This highlights the passion, the motivation, and the dedication of young India. Till some time back, I used to think that schoolteachers lead an uncomplicated and relatively relaxed life. I was of this wrong notion that all they did in a day was go to school in the morning, come back by the afternoon, and then enjoy in the evening. However, now that I have been a schoolteacher for more than a year, and have committed to transform the lives of the forty-five children in my classroom of an MCD school in New Delhi, I have realised that teaching is one of the most challenging, difficult, stressful, but at the same time, fulfilling and rewarding jobs in the world. Since I teach in a school which caters to the needs of poor and under-privileged families, teaching such children is a much bigger challenge than teaching kids in affluent public and private schools. As the parents of these children cannot afford to provide the best learning environments and resources to their children, I have to take up that responsibility for the children, at least in the classroom. Sometimes, I am also posed with unexpected and unpredictable challenges like children getting beaten up by their parents before being sent to study in the school. A lot of times my

kids complain of sickness and hunger. Since most of the parents are uneducated, they often don’t realise the value of investing in their children and it becomes quite a challenge to make them understand why they should invest in their children’s education, health and upbringing. I strive hard to make my classroom a happy and safe place for my kids, where they love reading, thinking, learning, problem-solving, playing and discovering. My classroom has its own theme- ‘Smart Citizens’, I teach using the most innovative and interactive methods and techniques, and constantly engage my kids by offering them different experiences and opportunities, thereby making learning fun for them. But doing that is just not enough. I have to regularly invest in all the stakeholders that impact the kids, including their parents, such as the school principal, other teachers in school, community members and even their tuition teachers. All this requires a lot of grit, diligence and patience. As leaders in the classroom, teachers have the great power to transform their children’s lives and turn them into more positive, joyous and successful human beings by propagating the right knowledge, moral values and skills and by modelling excellent behaviour and character traits. And if you also strongly believe in TFI’s mission to transform the country by eliminating educational inequity, and have a genuine love for kids and want to see them grow as responsible students, team-workers, managers and individuals, this could be the right profession for you. To know more about Teach for India, please visit www. teachforindia.org. If you are interested in helping us in any manner, please contact me at pranav.sukhija2011@ teachforindia.org


LTGTR|Nov ‘12

My Journey, So Far By Pranav Sukhija Fellow, Teach for India There is a lot to be angry about, and a lot that will get you inspired. When you visit a low-income school in any part of India, there is a lot you will see that will make you really angry and a lot that will make you really, really inspired. You will feel angry when you see students studying in dire conditions, available resources not being put to their best use, real teaching never happening in the classrooms, and innocent dreams of children getting crushed each day. And these are the same sorts of things that will inspire you to put your foot down and say, “enough is enough, I have to take a stand. These children deserve a better education and I will provide it to them. ”

Well begun is half done These were my thoughts as well when I joined the Teach for India fellowship programme 16 months ago. My passion to serve the children of the nation got me into FLAME, Pune where I met hundreds of young men and women, who were just as passionate about this cause. Some of these people had left their well-paying jobs to serve this cause, while others, like me, opted for the fellowship after their graduation. We were taught how to teach, and we practiced by teaching for a month in low-income schools in Pune. Each day and each night, we worked relentlessly hard to plan lessons and activities for our children, teaching them to do well in their end of unit assessments, and doing a showcase event of all that they learned over four weeks. The training programme of the fellowship was exhilarating.

The Shock, and what followed afterwards After bidding farewell to my friends and colleagues from Pune and Mumbai, I came back to Delhi and started teaching in my placement school, an allgirls’ Municipal school. I became a teacher of class

3 and was given an English-medium class. I was in for a rough shock. Unlike my students in Pune, these children knew no English and for the first few days, I don’t think they understood anything about the things I was telling them. It took time, perseverance, relentless hard work, reflection, more learning, unlearning and a never-say-die spirit to reach a point where I concluded that all my children were following me. But that was not enough. I wanted them to communicate with me, not just orally, prove that they were learning and understanding, which took more time. With a little help of my friends, and the support of my managers in the organization, I finished off my first year of teaching successfully in March, earlier this year.

Since someone did it for me in my almamater, I have to do it for the children in my school I knew from day one that the fellowship was going to be hard. Year one was a real struggle as I hadn’t taught before and teaching isn’t the easiest of jobs in the world. Year two posed its own major challenges because the organization requires its fellows to not only teach with the same rigor and enthusiasm as in first year, but simultaneously do a project in their schools which impact and benefit ALL children, and not just those in their classes. And so I began planning for my BTCP (Be The Change Project). I spoke to the teachers in my school about this and they gave me their ideas. I compared the facilities and experiences I received in my alma-mater with what this school had to offer its students. By this time, I had also formed my definition for an excellent education. “An excellent education is a combination of various favorable factors for a child, including academics, non-academics, values and mindsets, sports, socialconsciousness and spirituality. All these factors plus a


Diary Of A Teach For India Fellow

healthy and joyous environment at home and school, exposure to the world around to promote the learning and development of a child.� I finally planned my project and began working on it. It was difficult to convince all stakeholders but somehow I managed. My project is titled The Smart Student Project and is about offering different experiences and exposures to all children of my school, in the form of workshops, competitions, music and dance activities, sports, promotion of reading, playing indoor and outdoor games, and learning beyond the classroom. The overall objective is to make the schooling years of all the children joyous and fun, and I have already started to see a difference.

Thinking about the impact I am making I am aware of the fact that my kids have learned and been exposed to tremendous amounts of new things ever since I started teaching them. They have bigger and more beautiful aspirations in life and I know for sure that many of them will attend college and work afterwards. This definitely puts them in a better position than their peers in school and community. By getting them to lead their own teams, work in pairs and groups, solve their problems themselves, speak

in public, write well, listen to everyone, be respectful, feel great and confident about themselves, they are learning some of the most important values, mindsets and skills needed to be successful in life.

What’s in it for you? The Teach for India fellowship is NOT meant for everyone. Out of every 100 applicants, only 7 get selected. We are looking for people who have the passion to serve, willingness to work hard in extremely challenging conditions, demonstrate strong values and mindsets, and want to see ALL children progressing. The fellowship is not a teaching programme; it’s a leadership programme as we believe teachers apply the same skills in their classrooms and schools as leaders do in firms. Besides, the fellows need to be adaptable, problem-solvers, reflective and positive. If you think you fit the bill, apply to be a fellow today. To know more about Teach for India, please visit www. teachforindia.org. If you are interested in helping us in any manner, please contact me at pranav.sukhija2011@ teachforindia.org


LTGTR|Nov ‘12

Super - Insaans : The Beginning The grapevine had that Brush Banner had given many tips to Lara about expeditions, mysteries and tomb raiding (Coming from a family of the many grave diggers and treasure hunters she had to fall for it). The entire scheme of affairs was being closely looked at by a senior named Joe Kar, loved to make people laugh - by hook or by crook.

By Pragyananda Mishra Born in a small village of Smashpur, Brush Banner was just the quintessential simpleton next door. Spending his childhood among explosives, science and medicine he developed flair in the art of experimentation. The name ‘Brush’ was a result of his peculiar practice of brushing with a green paste 3 times a day (some even say this was a result of a failed attempt to impress a girl by using green oil painting!!). In the village of Smashpur, the richest man was Pogambo - who amassed massive wealth from his battery of hooligans and vandals. Pogambo was blessed with a son named Mogambo, who had a mutated laugh gene from birth which made him to utter “Mogambo khush hua” at every drop of a hat! Being school mates, Brush Banner and Mogambo were as different as fire and ice but still managed to get together well on their various journeys and expeditions through the woods, jungles and zoos. Things went on very smoothly till the 5th

of November - the day was special in a way that Smashpur was celebrating its centennial Durga Puja celebration but little did the denizens knew that this day would scar them forever - especially of the two bosom friends. The school play was a very integral feature of the RamLeela done as a part of the festivities. As with kids, ecstasy just failed to leave Brush Banner and Mogambo as it was a hard earned victory in the battle of the countless auditions and hour of rehearsals. To make matters a tad interesting the school’s cynosure, the beauty Lara Kofta was to don the clothes of Sita. Although Mogambo had tried to woo her with gifts, chocolates and myriad flowers, Lara never had a soft corner for him. She always was interested in the reticent and meticulous Brush Banner. The grapevine had that Brush Banner had given many


tips to Lara about expeditions, mysteries and tomb raiding (Coming from a family of the many grave diggers and treasure hunters she had to fall for it). The entire scheme of affairs was being closely looked at by a senior named Joe Kar, loved to make people laugh - by hook or by crook. He was also behind those tens of “Please-Like-for-a-Competition” chats send across to class mates. Obviously many agreed and helped him, but Brush Banner and Lara were two of those who stood out and firmly objected to this system of forcing people to oblige. He hatched a plot to scar these two rebels for ever. His nefarious brain thought of replacing the crown of Lord Rama (the role to be played by Brush Banner) by a chemical which itches and leaves permanent marks, and for the fate of Sita (the role to be played by Lara Kofta) he thought of placing a poisonous flower which could make her temporarily insane! The school’s principal was an ardent drama enthusiast Mr. Sher Lok Homes, who was a dignitary in the village given that he was a landlord and offered condominiums in the posh area called Lok Street. He, among other things was a brute taskmaster and was seen smoking a pipe and having the assistance of Dr. What Son when it came to important affairs. The play began among thunderous applause and cheering. Mogambo was at his vociferous best with the utterances of his catchphrase while fitting into the role of the imposing Ravana and Brush Banner carried the stature of Lord Ram in a manner which was never seen before. To complete the story, Lara Kofta was delightfully witty and at her gracious best as Sita. It was the 23rd minute when after a barrage of arrows and vociferous dialogues that Ram entered the battle with the Ravan. After some spellbinding exchanges, Joe Kar found the opportune moment to unleash his

demonic ideas into practice and sprayed the chemical on Brush Banner’s crown and planted the flower in Lara Kofta’s wig. Banner, nonchalantly put on his crown for the next act and suddenly felt the influences as he scratched all over accidentally spilling a green chemical on himself in the process (Later it was found that the chemical was brought by the ever so forgetful Mr. Been) - the Smashpur residents watched with horror as Brush Banner transformed into a monster, a grotesque green form smashing furniture and screaming at the top of his voice. It was only a Lara Kofta’s touch and comforting voice which brought back the monster to a human form - Brush Banner had got an evil twin - a Howlk. Time passed and these little friends and enemies entered manhood and settled into different roles. Lara Kofta became an avid Tomb Raider, Mogambo took help of minions and build a gang of hooligans who helped him to be the emperor of the world, Brush Banner/Howlk was a scientist during the daytime at the Smashpur academy of sciences and Mr Sher Lok Homes became one of the largest retail estate behemoths of the country. Mr Been grew to be a charming TV personality, making children roll to his comic histrionics. The world never knew of Joe Kar after that, it was said that he left Smashpur as he was interested more in meeting an unstoppable force - The Batmanav! Lots more on the next story…..


LTGTR|Nov ‘12

Are You, You?

By Jatin Adlakha We, humans are social animals. We are spared two moments alone, once when we arrive at this theater and then again, when we depart for the adventures of afterlife. What we are surrounded by for the rest of the time (i.e. our entire lives!) is termed Society, a dogging binding force. Binding, because every individual belonging to it adheres to a certain protocol, which ultimately becomes its existential identifier. Binding, because it ensures that no element in its set ever succeeds in getting away, in crossing its domain and declaring itself a different one. If ever succeeded, it tries its best to lure it to rejoin, to submit itself before the strong one, to condemn and disgrace it for its actions and finally break it, deny any reference (let alone equity) and refuse to believe its existence itself. We, the members of this society, designed (and programmed) it to serve this purpose. And, we did so for all the good reasons: to blend in to avoid being exposed, to feel safe in not being unaccompanied, and to define ourselves.We create(d) this force for our defense, to conceal and befog our shortcomings, and enjoy being the comfort of a second-hander. (A second-hander as Ayn Rand says places relations first, needs others to feed him. He is a parasite!)

Blending in Being the first one, standing out, raising our own

point, expressing our own views, standing up to ourselves do not occur naturally to us.(We are genetically programmed to surrender!) Even if we do try, we end up compromising and submitting before the majority, the society, the herd to avoid getting embarrassed, being declared lunatic, different or simply absurd. We blend in to hide our inabilities and settle with the sub-standard class, exactly what our society is, the sub-standard version of the capabilities of each and every individual who is a part of it, created to be lived in avoiding the thoughts of what could be done. We “live in the time”, “follow the trend” only to avoid being called “an old-fashioned out-of-the-game oddball”. We thrive to be different (from the rest), try to find how are we different or how can we be unlike others. But, we never wonder that the need would not have arisen in the first place had we followed our predilections and continued with what we originally were. (Now, here, if we blame to the fact that we didn’t know since beginning about what we had an orientation for, then, we should leave ourselves nothing but repentance.)

Feeling Safe How normal does it feel to be normal? How much okay it is if it’s the case with every one? We let go off


the will to fight, the desire to express the contrary once we acknowledge anything as a solidified norm, a product of the past, only to fend off the wrath of the religious outrage against self. We instead feel safe to be a part of it. We feel safe to be a rat inside a giant cage crowded by many other rats breathing only each other. Those who can’t breathe this air or refuse to, better be dead as this system does not let adversaries dwell. We feel safe, because we get to survive and we thus, never try to find any other way out. We reject to recognize the hand of history upon our shoulder.

Defining ourselves Our life has our own objectives, set of goals. Our life, sometimes, even has a set of our own defined principles we live by. Really? Our own? Are they not in compliance with the thought process of our society? Do they not fulfill what others expect? Do they not reflect the image of a false you you wish to pose before others? Were they not designed befitting the entire situation? Or, they just happened to do so? Are you now trying to convince yourself that that is not true? Or maybe finding the answers to: What if it is true? Is that wrong? Why? My friend, there was, is and will never be anything wrong so long as you don’t find a need to justify yourself. Introspection is the name of the algorithm that yields answers! Consider as an example: L1: Is our society ever constructive? Is it possible to be self? Is it possible to avoid the probable? If yes, when? how? If no, jump back to L1. Fix it! Get the answers! With this, I conclude marking this as the beginning of a chapter where we answer the unusual and discover ourselves! I lift my pen now leaving you with a question to answer:

“Whose life is it that you are living?”

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Utopia By Harsh Joshi

Amidst the sky, the tree and leaves Beyond the mountain that grieves In the shade of the mighty sun From the fire of which no mortal can run. Lies to that side the purity I crave The truth I wish where man is brave Under the light of the moon and stars, Where wonder, love and wisdom start. To that abode may my soul drift That single dune out of tons that shift Where time has stopped its movement And places are forever in the same moment. Where power, money and fame are stale Where darkness and hatred are frail At this place may my soul rest, Where all virtues and sins are put to test. I wish mankind would stop this race And live their lives in this heavenly place Where happiness reins forever And man is never sad, never ever.


LTGTR|Nov ‘12

Blowing Off The Lid : Drug Culture In The Youth By Hamsini In India, our society seems to have a pact of not discussing things that everyone knows. Either the society closes its eyes and ignores these problems, refusing to acknowledge its presence or it rages against it, deeming the topic impure. One of the major problems that we face in India is that of drugs and while the youth (who are caught up in this racket) know all about it, no mention of it will be made to their orthodox parents. “It’s just a reaction to be counter culture and a means of satisfaction towards achieving a realization that we are too afraid to embrace in reality. And of course, it being a subversive “wannabeness” to assimilate into some commercialized, Satan worshipping, uber cool culture” says Rahul*, a student speaking about drug culture in India. Today’s youth accept the little white powders as a normal trend akin to doing assignments. A large proportion of these students, educated and aware as they are, consume these drugs. Common narcotics used by these youngsters include weed, hashish, pot (marijuana), crack (cocaine), bhaang (cannabis) and ganja (all of these substances are banned and possession of the same could lead to jail terms).


Popular culture seems to be a testament to the fact. All the greatest musicians did it : Lennon, Dylan, Madonna, Cobain, Keidis, Elton John, Ozzy Osbourne and countless others. Many feel that smoking up for artistic inspiration seems justified just because some legends in the field have done so.

The “Why factor” is a question that can be answered in different ways. Aditya, an engineering student, sums up the entire situation, “We all have different reasons. I simply enjoy being better than what I normally am. The other guys do it because they adhere to social etiquette much more pointlessly. So, abandoning it becomes all the more important for them, and what better excuse than being under the influence? Another group do it because they intend to escape their life, their worries, their sorrows; to stop all the thoughts they have when they are normal, to just be themselves, and not worry about the life they seem to have trapped themselves in. Yet another group do it consciously, either to destroy their life, or because they hate their normal selves.” Where do they get these drugs from and from whom? Of course, the latter part of the question silences most of the people. The first part of the question seems to be common knowledge though. “All you have to do is go stand on select roads in Shivaji Nagar with a cigarette and right people will approach you on their own. Auto drivers will also be able to tell you where and whom to buy it from if you know how to approach them” Says Krishna*, a student nonchalantly. You could mistake his tone of voice for directions to the shop with the best misal pav in the city. The “high” that one gets on drugs is said to be unparalleled. Aditya, elaborates: “It’s abandon. Abandoning all the conscious make up you put on, in the name of society. Your subconscious takes over, and you are truly who you are. Medically, that’s because of an increase in the amine (I think Dopamine) that’s responsible for nerve responses, making your thoughts fire at a rate ten times higher than normal. At our worst, thoughts appear in our head in comic frames. So, basically, a high feels like exactly that- a higher level of consciousness and clarity.” A common perception amongst students is that one will be at the heights of his creativity when he is

high. Popular culture seems to be a testament to the fact. All the greatest musicians did it : Lennon, Dylan, Madonna, Cobain, Keidis, Elton John, Ozzy Osbourne and countless others. Many feel that smoking up for artistic inspiration seems justified just because some legends in the field have done so. But what cost would one pay for inspiration? Aditya answers, “It’s a grey area. Drugs are artificial stimulants, accelerators of all creative action. It isn’t exactly illegal, but it is cheating yourself. You can use steroids to build a good body, but that’s insulting the hard work of all the people who did it clean, and also succumbing to the fact that you aren’t as great as them, to do it with aid. The moment you turn to drugs to pull off a good work of art, it’s like you have accepted that you want to be something better than you are, effectively confirming that you aren’t pleased with who you are. There’ll always be the niggling doubt that the work you produced wasn’t “your” work. You will never completely own it; never completely deserve the title of being the creator, the mother of this work. It is a massive price to pay, and any who so desire to produce something wonderful at such a heavy price may do so at their own discretion.” This is a price that many choose to pay. Drug addiction is a serious concern, the overdose of which could lead to death. Its detrimental side effects ruin relationships and the life of the addict. At the end of the day, drugs exist. There’s no fighting that fact. So do painkillers. The judicious usage of these products is left to the conscience of the users. But the other users are to bear responsibility for their stupid, mindless actions.

In short, it’s all in the mind, truly. *Names changed on request


LTGTR|Nov ‘12

Sanity By Bhagyashree Deshmankar Turning back the pages of life today I landed to that beautiful reign, When confidence and courage filled by being, Enthusiastic me when proudly dwelled in childhood lane…

Time flew quickly And youth knocked my doors, It was my turn to step out now, To enter the real world and discover distant shores…


With stories of fair world in my mind I moved ahead on my way, But the steps grew harder and heavier As I confronted with evil world each day… Lie, corruption, terror and lust The real world was covered with this unhealthy rust…

And then I turn to see terrorists Being cared with millions behind the jails…

But No!!! I’ll bring the change I thought bravely as I headed. One can meliorate the society I believed, Only a determined will was needed…

My sanity shatters when my fellow medico commits suicide, And then I see illiterate men enjoying political powers on the other side. When still many children have no access to education and play, It laments seeing child labors still miles away from bright sunray…

I was nihilistic and skeptic Towards all mal traditions, Thus started the obnoxious journey Of this sparrow in abattoir like conditions...

My sanity shrivels seeing my army-men die Due to import of poor quality weapons, When those death dealers move proud and free It weeps seeing my nation’s condition…

Wounds covered my torso And soon my wings were slashed. Still trudging forward This spirit was continuously bashed

My sanity mocks my being When citizen’s voice has no weight in my democratic nation, When tyrant rulers forget common man’s agitations And remember them only during election… My sanity drops a silent tear When still in my nation women are harassed, When culprits move free, unpunished And victims in my country are abased…

Seeing my pitiful condition A well-wisher said it to me, Your obstinacy to bring the change Is only jeopardizing your life don’t you see??? No one in this world respects what is right, Here moving against the current only decreases your might. You can enjoy riches and success only if you get colored in their way, Principles, values and truth in today’s world have no say… Please forget these unyielding desires, And stop suffering this pain. Your deeds in this world would only be mocked At last you would only be called insane… I know my efforts may never find their goal, My struggle may see fiasco and only gift torments to my soul. But neither can I live with peace seeing this evil play, Let me better live out free and follow my inner- self’s say… For my sanity questions my existence When I see my countrymen die when monsoon fails,

My sanity mourns when I realize That even a small job in my country requires greenback under table, Yes, it cries when opposing this ritual Leaves my job undone and my position unstable… Forgive me but I don’t understand This witty world and its way, Silent complains where integrally lay But no one comes forward to say… My arcane thoughts though not gifting me roses But give me a great deal of satisfaction, My small protests make my living worthwhile And gradually I believe would ignite each soul of this nation… Yes I know I am nothing more than a man of straw But my struggles would continue till the last blood drop in my vein, If sanity means being mum spectator to this evil play Then please let me better be called insane…


LTGTR|Nov ‘12

Newton Road

By Vasudhaa Narayanan I walk along the same path everyday different people, the red building stands still. too many fallen leaves; brown faded skins

long bodies and ripe hands making a web of silhouettes for themselves in-between its branches and the vast blue sky

Working parents drive-in; dropping off their kids, hurrying their goodbyes oblivious of the orange sun, the pink shadows at their feet. while their kids, donning green hats and checkered shirts wave back generously, with big round eyes and silent giggles only to see the black car zoom off into the traffic

Cobblestones and broken footpaths A tiny bridge stands in front of me A little stream of water running underneath concrete separates me from that water, from these trees I’m reminded of other alleys, other streets The smell of the wet mud tingles my senses yet, my feet are stuck in their momentum. it’s not as glamorous as Monet’s garden but its pretty enough for me

The old school peon in a white shirt and a broomstick at hand his wrinkles make me want to ask about his stories, his Young men ride past travels ringing their bicycle bells flashing his crooked teeth, we steal a smile temporarily snapping me back to reality until their tiny figures vanish into the horizon The rising sun catches up on me chasing my footsteps in-between the crevices of tiny I arrive at constructed lanes and tin sheets alleys welcomed by slight drizzles orange shadows and baby blue skies the droplets get caught in the loose strands of my hair making the over-bridge pillars look beautiful tickling my scalp, waiting for me to shake it off as I bask in the beauty of this Monday morning. I look up at the palm trees, losing track of my feet


Time To Grow - Up? No! There were times when the separation from home seemed insufferable and the lack of home cooked food made me cry but I dealt with it because I was told it was all a part of a little something called ‘growing-up’.

By Meera I was 17 when I left home for college. Never having stayed away from my family, this was going to be a major change in my lifestyle. But I had studied for 2 years to get into a good college and when I got admission into a decent college in Hyderabad, I didn’t think twice before accepting it. My mother came with me to drop me to this alien world called a college campus and after living in a house with four people, I was asked to live in a room, all by myself. The first time I ate in the mess, some girl sitting on my table saw the food and started crying and I thought to myself maybe I’m not alone here; others are just as miserable as me! “Home, home again. I like to be here when I can; when I come home cold and tired, it’s good to warm my bones beside the fire.” There were times when the separation from home seemed insufferable and the lack of home cooked food made me cry but I dealt with it because I was told it was all a part of a little something called ‘growing-up’. And then there were times when I felt at home both at home and in the campus, those were probably the moments of warmth and bliss hermits preach of.

But now, as college is about to end and I’ve to go for a job even farther away from home, I wonder is it all worth it ? For how long can I stay away from home ? Do I even want to stay away from home ? And NO, I refuse to accept it all as a part of growing up. I always agreed with Dominique Francon more than Howard Roark and I understand that there are certain ways in which the world functions. Yes, I have accepted the rules of the world but I will not believe that there can ever be a time when my home will be a place without my mother; those buildings will just be temporary places to rest in. The point of this whole article ? Growing up does not mean you have to lose the relationships you cherished for the initial 17 years of your life , it means preserving them in your heart like an old wine and enjoying it as the love become as sweet as wine!


LTGTR|Nov ‘12

Descent To Mediocrity No, the mediocre have been cursed, to live in this world, of unparalleled beauty and unequaled horror, and yet, to go through life, either content in their ignorance, or suffering in the eternal torment of yearning to listen, not hear. To surrender, not understand.

By Kartheik G Iyer The thing with beauty; true, untarnished beauty, resplendent in its own glory,is that she can not be appreciated fully by the mediocre, and doesn’t care a damn about it. Whereas the truly perfect is naught but an abomination, bringing destruction upon itself and its maker, in the manner of Athena and Arachne, beauty, as humans perceive it, is chaotic, mesmerizing in its asymmetry, which, while not immediately apparent, forms an inherent feature of its appeal.


The mystery also plays a part. We have always been intrigued, awed, frightened by that what we do not know. Figaro, yes. The arms of the Venus de Milo. Mona Lisa’s enigmatic half smile. The crescendo that a concerto rises up to, the percussion beating against our hearts, synchronous in its solid thump, the strings quivering in its high notes, vacillating between ecstasy and torment, while our body responds in a thousand different ways to what we do not understand. The slow rise, followed by the near deafening music, yes, music, not noise, and ye unfaithful be damned. The rapture of rhapsody, the untold words of a picture, the primal attraction of a dance, they speak to the soul, insofar as one exists, in tones of exquisite sensitivity, in a language made up in equal parts of thoughts and silence. But this isn’t for the mediocre. No, the mediocre have been cursed, to live in this world, of unparalleled beauty and unequaled horror, and yet, to go through life, either content in their ignorance, or suffering in the eternal torment of yearning to listen, not hear. To surrender, not understand. In the manner of birds that want to take to the sky, they wish to fly where others shamble along the ground, not looking up, and yet their wings are clipped. And so they live, nudging and shoving, fighting petty squabbles, concerning themselves with trivialities, wishing, but not truly knowing what they’re wishing for. The only thing that is worse, pain beyond all measure, that drives one to the brink of a cliff of sanity, then pushes them off, is the pain of those who have risen above the rest, who have seen, and heard, and felt, something that touched their souls and changed them forever, but lose their ability, either by quirk of a fickle fate, or the premeditated malodorocities of malcontents, and are, like Icarus, thrown down to the ground to live with the heathen, the hoi polloi, to have their thoughts drowned out by the incessant meaningless chatter that is the vox populi. Their silent screams rend the fabric of their existence, in a desperate, last-ditch attempt to push themselves off the ground, to push off themselves the chains of an uncreative gravity that binds them to the maximal plane of the many. What kind of a life is that?

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Backwards By Pritika Magima Naked feet, leaving imprints on the floor, shaking trembling hands, of fear, of ambiguity. Its dark, its unholy, this fake paradise. It leeches onto me, in doom, in vain. Sway, from the inebriation, Torn, by the ambivalence of my own. Its a winding road, this path of success. Unaware, how my own feet travel, How they guide my soul to nowhere. People lost, people found, people betrayed, people won. They swim to the scent of flashy green. Like hounds, they prey, over a meagre voice, they mould, they breed, another of theirs. Its bewildering, this fight for the top. Backwards, I’d rather be. With my feet travelling back, To a meagre voice, but a bold one. To people found, and people who stay. To no scent of green, but the whiff of liberation. To hearts healed, to promises kept. To no soul torn, in misguidance. Its tempting, this distant warmth. I’d walk back to the start, I’d find myself again. I’d dream of us, I’d dream of forever. Confined, yes, that I’d be. Only little, yet lots to see. I’d feel the patter of water beneath, I’d taste the fresh, I’d taste the dawn. I’d let my toes sink in the earth. I’d bind me to my roots, amen. Backwards, I’d rather go. Slow and sane, yet backwards I’d rather be.


LTGTR|Nov ‘12

The Million Dollar Smile All she knows for now is that she is madly in love and she wants to remain that way forever. She goes to bed, holds the pillow to her chest and sleeps with the smile still etched on her face.

By Saloni Mishra *Tring Tring*

be the balance left in your mobile phone!

The phone rings at 2AM in the morning.

After talking for about an hour or so, they finally hang up, not because they wanted to - neither of them have the balance to continue the call.

Getting up from deep sleep, she jumps out of her bed and instead of getting irritated for being disturbed at this time in the night, runs into the corridor, straight towards the window, and answers the call. It’s him; just his name on the screen of her cell phone, lights up her world It is said, when you are in love, you don’t care about anything around you. But an exception to this would

She comes back to her room; everything seems to be beautiful, just perfect. She looks around the room and smiles for no reason. All she knows for now is that she is madly in love and she wants to remain that way forever. She goes to bed, holds the pillow to her chest and sleeps with the smile


The desperation and agony rises. She sits back on the staircase, wondering how only yesterday she was so happy she lets a drop of tear trickle down her cheeks. still etched on her face. Next morning when she wakes up, the first thing that crosses her mind is his face, his smile - which makes the whole world around her, stand still - his hair, his voice, which drives her crazy, and makes her love him all the more.

about his day and him flirting with other girls in his college(Though the flirting part is just a way for him to tease her).They chat about various things for hours together, without getting bored.

She gets up and checks her inbox for messages, if any. With all love, warmth and care, she wishes him a good morning and also lets him know that if he bunked classes again, she would be angry.

But today, she is unable to sleep as she is upset - They had a small fight.

After falling for him, she cares for him, knowing that if left to him, he would not take care of himself. Throughout the day, she thinks of him, and as the time passes, her urge to listen to his voice increases. After the classes for the day finish and she walks back to her hostel along with her friends; talking and laughing - but a part of her mind is still preoccupied with thoughts of him. Suddenly it stats raining and then she notices something - something which makes her miss him even more. She sees a couple crossing the road, with the boy holding the umbrella and the girl leaning on his shoulder. For her, nothing could be more innocently romantic than this. At that moment, all that she wants is to be with him, and enjoy the first shower of the season with him, just like this couple. Her friends’ chatter brings her back to reality and she knows that if not now, her moments will come later. Her coy smile comes back at that thought. At the hostel, she does all the activities attributed to a hostel dweller after which she goes online on Facebook. Every now and then she opens his chat window, eagerly waiting for that little green light near his smiling face to glow. She stares at his profile picture, goes through his timeline again and again. Easily she gets jealous of the other girls on his friend list. She is convulsed by fits of anger when her internet slows down and tells her that her Webpage is not available. She relentlessly refreshes the page until she gets back on to the “Newsfeed” - It is important to mention the role of Facebook in maintaining long distance relationships. Finally, he messages her and ends her self-afflicted torment. They chat

They love each other : truly, madly, deeply.

The thought that he might be hurt does not let her sleep - the insecurity of losing him envelopes her. Every now and then, she checks her mobile for a new message or a missed call. But finding none, she feels low. When it becomes impossible for her to resist, she picks up her mobile, goes out and dials the number. *Tring Tring Tring Tring* - And then a minute later, a voice says “The customer you are trying to speak to, is busy at the moment”. The desperation and agony rises. She sits back on the staircase, wondering how only yesterday she was so happy she lets a drop of tear trickle down her cheeks. She thinks about how much her mood depended on the happiness of one person and how much she stood to lose without him. Upset, she goes to bed, reminiscing about all the good times she spent with him and tries to sleep...Suddenly her mobile starts vibrating. The million dollar smile returns to her face. The same girl, who was upset a few minutes back, is now the happiest person on the planet. They talked as if nothing had ever happened - For love is meant to be patient, and love is to forgive the wrongs. And then, they keep talking till the fated balance gets over. Everything is just like it was before - She blushes and smiles with her million dollar smile.


There There . . .

LTGTR November 2012  

Let The Good Times Roll

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