MESSAGE FROM FACULTY
Renesa is one such student chapter that has managed to capture the ethos of our institution. It has held its own as the manifestation of artistic and literary expression and made its place in our hearts through the years, come hail, snow or a pandemic. This magazine commemorates the long-awaited return of Renesa publications in print, serving as the final sign of normalcy.
The theme of the Spring 2023 edition is segmentation, an issue that is very relevant in today’s world. Although the topic seems trivial at first, segments that join together to form a whole are actually a realistic way of portraying our world, which is continually torn apart by its differences. Individuals come together to form mankind as segments, just as teams compete against one another in a game. Another approach to this topic is to divide anything into segments, such as separating a task into smaller sub-tasks or using the prevalent ‘Divide and Conquer’ technique in technology. All of this has been incorporated into this magazine and beautifully highlights the theme’s significance.Urvashi Kaushal Chairperson, Renesa
Renesa has consistently earned praise for the magazines it produces, and this year is no exception. This year’s magazine, on the theme of Segmentation, has outdone itself in a variety of ways. It covers a wide range of topics, from educational and technical to fiction and philosophy, making it both versatile and engaging. I encourage all students to read the magazine in order to learn about the various topics it covers, and I applaud the creativity of the writers and designers who gave us such an insightful read.
Good wishes always.Subratta Dutta Co-chairperson, Renesa
We take a lot of pride in the students of SVNIT. Resuming college after the pandemic has been a challenging task for everyone, but thanks to the efforts of our students, things have gone smoothly. This semester, a variety of activities were held throughout the campus, and they would not have been possible without the dedication and persistence of our students. Ranging from technical fests to cultural activities, they are all noteworthy events that need to be remembered and learned from.
Among the many clubs on campus, Renesa has consistently been one of the most active and rewarding student chapters. It’s a commendable undertaking to publish a magazine with such high standards for the articles, and I appreciate the efforts put in by all the members.
My warm wishes.Sanjay Tolani Co-chairperson, Renesa
The shape of the Universe is something physicists and astronomers have pondered for a while now. Some say it’s a sphere, and others argue it’s flat; a plane that extends up to infinity. An interesting conclusion to the debate is that the Universe might be a donut. A cylinder that loops back into itself while the surface is constantly spherical. But, what’s more interesting is, what exists outside of it. The universe is the superset of everything that exists, has existed, and will exist. There are no boundaries at the edge of the universe, void on the other side. It is the largest atomic unit; nothing ever segments into the universe.
But if you look inwards, segmentation exists all around us. Everything real - past, present, or future - has been subjected to segmentation(ironic, since we just segmented reality). From humans to every microscopic organism, we all segment our surroundings into categories and classes as we see fit. An animal might divide their resources into what is edible, and what is not. On the other hand, we love to segregate everything in our reach; the clothes we wear, the places we see, the people we meet, etc. In a way, segmentation makes things easier. It makes this vast unknown around us more digestible and familiar, giving us hope that we’ll make it.
Hence, we chose ‘Segmentation’ as our theme for this magazine. An homage to a concept that keeps recurring in our lives. Flip through these pages to dive into the sea of ideas that we as creators have lost ourselves in. Read on and discover the strange economic factors that affect the airline industries, the surprising nature of free markets, and so much more. And for readers that love to get immersed in stories, keep an eye out for our long-form articles And Then There Were Many and South of the Border. If you want a quicker read, turn to our review section where we’ve taken apart the mind-boggling Everything Everywhere All at Once and the weirdly meta anime Eizouken!
This magazine wouldn’t have been possible without our hardworking team of writers and editors. Their efforts reflected on these pages where stories are inked in black and colorful brushstrokes. We would like to extend our gratitude to our faculty advisors, who have helped us at every step of the way to make this edition come to life.
And as always, we would like to thank the reader who took the time to appreciate our efforts. Renesa strives to perpetuate the art of writing and reading, hopefully inspiring others who pick up this copy to pen down their ideas. Without further ado, we finally welcome you to our latest work, Theme Magazine : The Spring Edition 2023.
FACESWritten by Dakshraj Parmar & Muskan Vedi Gamechi
2804 Stratford Drive, Boston, Massachusetts(MA), 02203 511-849-7028
Am I a writer, Adrianna?
Albeit, for the better part of my life, I have been sitting behind a desk, drenching a thousand thoughts in ink, filling up my coffers, immortalizing my name, still, it takes me tremendous effort to pen down this letter.
Tonight, as I mumble into these pages addressed to you Adrianna, I feel a certain kind of heaviness in my chest. As the weight of expectations is pressed upon my body and the undeniable urge to drench this restlessness in ink takes over me, I am reminded of this funny tittle-tattle I wrote- “The Mixed-Up Chameleon”. A tale for those preschool rabble-rousers, to teach them that of all the creatures blessed with life, a chameleon doesn’t have one for itself.
Perhaps, all my life I have been a chameleon.
My existence as an identity is woven of strings, with which I play the finest Cat’s Cradle. I twirl a few here and there, break some knots, tie some knots, spur a few strands, or even break a few just to fashion myself
in every possible manner. I have lived to the whims of this world and so have my words. I have lost my voice in the clamorous applause and stayed estranged from my thoughts, Adrianna.
All strings in me have collapsed. A thousand traitorous convulsions are crawling under my skin and are anchoring me and my thoughts. To my disappointment, these foolish fingers of mine are defying me, they are entangled in the strings of these diabolical puppeteers. Every particular permutation of words doesn’t seem like me. I am a hopeless victim of this horrendous perfidy and I am tired of this.
There’s no escape because a man like me walks on this fine line between being themselves or not, like a drunk clown at the circus. So, answer this, Adrianna, am I?
2909 Parrish Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts(MA), 02204
What’s life if not an elaborate circus, Dimitri? And all men bequeath its providence.
For a chameleon resting on a leaf, the leaf becomes a part of it equally as much as the chameleon becomes an extension of the tree. While the chameleon does so to blend in, the leaf becomes the center of admiring eyes.
In my admittedly limited experience, people are like wine, and our relationships with them are shaped by the different glasses we pour this wine in. By pouring them into these containers, the containers take on different meanings and become a part of who they are, and who we are to them.
After Harry Styles, you’re no good alone. Why are you sittin’ at home on the floor? Dimitri, the thing that makes us all so special, is the bonds we have with one another- the way in which we share stories and jokes, wound memories together like beads around our neck chasing away bad omens. How we shield each other on rainy days or rejoice when the sky seems clear. That’s what makes us human. Defining oneself
just as oneself is, in and of itself, a selfish act, as who we are today are the accumulated bits of the many many people we know of, who’ve been a part of our lives, however large or small.
When Sagan said “ We are made of star stuff” or when Amie said “The same fragments of stardust and yet you are all so different”. What they meant was that we’re made of the same things, you and I, and like Cat’s Cradle strings being twirled around, broken and fixed, we’re all just a little more of each other and a little less of only ourselves. And isn’t that such a beautiful way to live?
At the end of the day, this is what keeps us rooted, my dear Dimitri, knowing that even when it’s just us, we are never alone.
AND THEN THERE WERE MANYWritten by Karthik Sunil & Krishna Shreeram Illustration by Nistha Gamechi
Jay Patel: A twenty-seven year old brown male. After graduating with an MBA, he works as a consultant down at Bradford. He has a rather mundane life with his 9-5 job and non-existent hobbies. He is the guy who owns a minivan and likes to think of himself as the epitome of a model citizen.
Tony Giovinazzi: A nineteen year old Italian male. Knows his way around situations, pretty street smart as he grew up in foster homes and orphanages. Not really educated and is currently unemployed. Pretty nonchalant and carefree.
Karen Miles: A thirty-five year old white American woman. Works as a journalist/reporter for a renowned publication. Full of pride and ego. Always on the edge and can be triggered easily. Very defensive in nature.
Nellie: A local nurse who lives in a quaint town on the expressway that connects Ireland and England. She lives alone in the quiet town and is shrouded in mystery.
This weird mix of Jay, Karen, and Tony met at a rave years back and have stayed in touch since then. They reside in London and decide to go on a road trip to Ireland to blow off some steam over the holidays. Their 68’ BMW E21 breaks down on a secluded road on the outskirts of Ireland around 9:43 pm.
Enter Jay, Karen and Tony.
Jay (in panic) - Oh man, this… this wasn’t supposed to happen.
Karen - Oh my god, is this for real? Why is this happening to us?
Tony (annoyed at the whole situation) - Ugh can you guys not? For once. It might just be a minor issue with the radiator. Let me have a look.
Karen - Sure, you always seem to know it all.
Tony (opens the bonnet and takes a peek inside) - Yeah so this seems to be more than just a cooling issue. Gotta call
for a mechanic.
Karen - Just a minor issue, my ass.
Jay (timidly) - Oh no. Umm. There…
Karen - What? Just say it already.
Jay (concerned ) - There isn’t any network here. What do we… what do we do now?
Karen (bickering)- Great! Great! Greaaaat! That’s just fantastic, isn’t it?
Tony - Shut up. Now, does anyone have any ideas on how to get us home?
A Chevrolet Corvette comes to a stop just ahead of them and a young blonde woman in her 20s jumps out of it. She looks at Tony and walks straight toward him.
Nellie ( flirtily) - Hi, I am Nellie. (Extends her arm. She scans the car beside the road) Looks like you could use some help.
Tony - (He shakes her hand ) Um, yeah, yeah maybe we could use some help.
Nellie - So, how have you been? Been wanting to meet you for a while now Tony (she looks at Tony dreamily)
Tony (confused ) - Um sorry? What?
A brief moment of awkward silence fills the atmosphere before a large truck passes by, bringing everyone back to reality.
Nellie - You know what? It’s way too late now, you won’t get a mechanic till morning. You should come crash at my place, it’s in this town nearby. I bet you will like it.
Tony - Um, I guess that’s the only op…
Jay (anxiously) - No… no wait.
Nellie (confused at Tony’s behavior) - Um what?
Tony - Give me a moment, please. I will be back.
Tony trails off into the distance, down the road, into a dark pathway through the trees where she couldn’t hear or see them.
Tony - Why’d you interrupt me?
Jay - She seems way too friendly. Something doesn’t smell right. We can’t just trust her like that.
Tony - I mean, we have no other option.
Tony (suddenly realizing what’s going on) - Holy cow! How did she know my name? I never told her. I just shook her hand.
Karen (surprised ) - Oh my god, she’s been following us for a while then. The whole driving past was just an act. Bet she caused this whole fiasco!
Tony( panicking) - Okay this is serious, we need to find a way out. What do we do? What do we do?
Karen - These genz’s keep surprising me. The extent they go to, just to get laid. (shaking her head in disappointment)
Tony ( frustrated ) - Aahhh, think people. Think goddammit!
Nellie (sneaking up behind them) - So you like talking to yourself huh?
Tony (surprised ) - What the hell? Why? Why would you do that? You scared the shit out of me. And no, no I don’t.
Nellie (squinting) - Don’t act like you don’t know what I am talking about. I’ve been observing you for a while
Tony (worried ) - I…
Nellie (in a comforting tone) - That’s okay. We all have our little habits and amusements. I was getting restless and wanted to check in. So, let’s get going then, shall we?
Tony (more concerned than usual ) - Umm… I was thinking, maybe you can drop me by a hotel in the town.
Nellie (casually) - This town doesn’t do hotels. (she inspects her nails)
Jay (looking at Nellie with doubt) - There should be some sort of lodging available.
Nellie (confidently) - No, there isn’t. Your best bet is the bench at the park with a discarded rug.
Tony (with hope) - Then, the bench it is.
Nellie - Oh no, I wouldn’t suggest that. Small town but weird people. I would never step out after dark. (Nellie holds Jay’s hand and looks him in the eye with warmth). You don’t need to worry about anything, you will be much more comfortable on my linen bedding.,
Jay- (He pulls his hand away with deep concern) My car… I can sleep in my car.
Nellie ( frustrated, but resilient) - Okay, how about we
just go have a drink? That’s all. I can’t let my guests go without at least a drink. If you don’t like the place, I’ll drop you back here okay? Come, now.
Tony (with unsurety) - Umm, fine.
Nellie (enthusiastically) - Great!
They drive for another excruciating five minutes before they reach Nellie’s house. A decent condo with a couch, TV, suspiciously neat kitchen, and a room that seems to be the bedroom. The room smells oddly fresh. Nellie goes to fetch the wine from the kitchen.
Tony - Did you guys see it waving in your faces?
Karen - What?
Tony - A huge red flag. We gotta run.
Karen - The drink might be a trap.
Tony - Ah, right. Don’t worry, I will switch it without her noticing. I have some experience in this field.
Karen (shushes the rest) - She’s back.
Nellie returns with two identical glasses filled with red wine.
Nellie - Here is the finest wine… that I can afford. (She hands Tony a glass)
Tony (accepts the glass of wine and sits back) - Thank you. ( The room gets uncomfortably quiet) It’s kinda quiet in here, can you turn on the TV?
Nellie - Oh, sure.
As Nellie looks around to find the remote, Tony swiftly swaps the glasses in front of them. He hopes for the best.
Tony (more relaxed ) - So, tell me about yourself. What do you do?
Nellie - Well, I’m a practicing nurse at a small clinic nearby. I’ve studied surgery but I haven’t gotten to it in a while.
Tony (surprised ) - Oh. Why?
Nellie (sipping her wine) - Oh, I lost my medical license a few years ago. A silly mistake during an operation. Nothing serious.
Tony (distressed ) - Uh…uh.
The conversation continued for a while as they drank more.
Tony was getting more uncomfortable by the second, even alcohol couldn’t help. He comes up with an excuse to get away from her and recalculate their plan.
Tony (interrupts Nellie) - Hey, can I use your restroom?
Nellie - Sure thing baby. It’s right down the hall, to the left.
Tony gets up eagerly and shuffles to the bathroom down the hall. He is welcomed by an ultra clean bathroom with too many candles, scented and otherwise.
Jay (a little calmer than before) - That was one weird and scary conversation.
Tony - It really was. (realizing their situation) God she is going to kill us.
Jay (looking at the rest) - We have to somehow end this.
Tony - Yeah, she could be dangerous. She could have a knife or something.
Jay - Let’s just run for the door or search for a back entrance.
Tony - These condos don’t have a back entrance. We gotta make a run for the door.
Karen - What if she has a gun? What then?
Tony (eyes glowing up with excitement) - I think we should strangle her.
Jay - What?!
Tony - I mean, just enough to knock her out, so we can escape.
Karen - Yeah, that makes sense I guess.
Tony (disregarding Jay’s concerns) - Fine. So, here is the plan. We quietly sneak behind her and strangle her with this hand towel. (he picks up the towel hanging by the washbasin and tucks it behind his jeans)
Karen - Okay, sounds good.
Tony (staring at himself in the mirror. His eyes glowing with an eerie passion) - There is nothing further to discuss I suppose. Let’s do this. We’ll finish it off quickly, get away from this damned place, get back to Winchester and get a nice cold pint and forget about all this.
Tony walks out of the bathroom and shuts the door behind him. He takes a deep breath and turns around the corner, towards the sound of an Irish soap on TV. He walks into the living room to find Nellie unconscious on the couch with her empty wine
glass in her hand. Her jeans are wet with wine and it slowly drips down the couch to the rug below
Karen (in relief ) - Ah! Told you to watch out for the wine.
Tony - We got her good.
Jay (lets out a loud sigh) - That’s good… that’s good. Let’s leave then. We will be long gone before she wakes up.
Tony (with the same eerie passion in his eyes) - Well, that’s true but what’s the fun in that?
Jay (assertive) - What? What do you mean by fun in that?
Karen - I agree with Tony. This girl deserves it. Who knows she might’ve hurt other men and women after drugging them like this. That (she points to the unconscious Nellie) could’ve been US!
Tony - Exactly. Let’s put an end to her.
Jay (startled ) - What?! We can’t just put an “end” to a person. We aren’t savages.
Karen - But…
Jay - No. Listen. All of you. Shut up. Just… Just because I don’t speak up normally, doesn’t mean I can’t. This is enough. I got a missed call from the mechanic. Maybe they found someone who’s nearby. We’re gonna call them back and go, get our car fixed.
Karen - No. You listen to US today! We have had enough of you. You have been suppressing us for way too long now. Limiting our potential and hindering our beliefs and plans. Just because we don’t have bodies of our own, doesn’t mean we aren’t separate individuals. We have our own thoughts, ideologies, and desires. You are done controlling us. We are taking over.
Tony - Yeah exactly, can’t you see what we are and what we can become? We can defy and rise beyond the normal conventions of physiological and psychological
capabilities of a single being since we aren’t a single person. We’re many within one ( Tony lightens up with pride)
Karen (as she picks up a kitchen knife) - Tony is right. We are capable of much more but you keep limiting us. (Irritated ) Do you have any idea how it feels to be stuck in the passenger seat of your own car? This time, we’re doing what we want Jay. You’re gonna sit back and watch.
Jay (worried and scared out of his mind ) - No no no, don’t do this. We can just…
Before Jay could complete his sentence, Karen had the knife over Nellie’s throat. And with one swift movement, spurting blood. The coffee table is quickly splattered with deep red colors. Nellie wakes up in shock and starts trying to stop the bleeding with her hand.
She looks at Karen in terror and tries to speak but the blood clogs her vocal chords, resulting in her coughing out spouts of blood. She leans forward and falls on the coffee table, struggling with all her might. Her body twitches violently. Karen takes another step back and wipes the knife’s handle with the towel behind her jeans.
After a long three minutes, Nellie’s body twitches for one last time on the coffee table. Her lifeless body rests in a pool of her own blood, which trickles down the table slowly. Karen washes her face in the kitchen and casually walks out of the room, slowly closing the door behind her.
Karen (relieved as if she just had a therapeutic experience) - So where were we? You told the mechanic called yeah? Let’s go check that out.
They walk down the stairs slowly. They exit the building and start walking toward the car. The streets are still quiet and dark. Everyone is fast asleep in this small town, nothing seems to have changed. Eventually, someone will check up on Nellie when the nurse doesn’t show up for a few days. But till then, nothing’s changed in this old Irish town.
SOUTH OF THE BORDERWritten by Jayesh Pandey & Geetanjali Ghatak Illustrations by Divyansh Verma
CHAPTER 1: THE DAY I DIED
“I am not sure if this is a good idea,” mumbled Ishmael.
“Even after all we’ve heard about Joffrey and Amazone? We live in this pile of garbage, even after decades of promises all we got was more and more labor,” I replied.
“Fine. You’re right,” Ishmael exhaled.
We were standing near the only monument in the Adanisea. The area almost spanned across a quarter of a continent, but it was ridden with nothing but poverty. The supreme authority of the zone, Adani, was drowning in debt and every citizen in Adanisea was forced to work for long hours. Even the infants born in the zone had to show up to work twenty days after their birth. Opting otherwise would result in exile for the entire family.
I had seen it all in this zone—Its flaming glory when we got two hours of extra rest a day, to the extreme conditions when we did not sleep for ten days in a row.
One of the fruits of our labor was this monument—The Equality Statue, Adani Cares Incorp.
It was a great location for shade, and even better when we needed to peek into the Amazone. And right now we were looking directly into the eye of the dragon.
The border between Amazone and Adanisea was clear—No guards, No Alexa bots, No cops of MOD-The special elite forces of Adanisea. Although in my opinion, they were complete idiots. They were meant to be these forces hiding in the shadows but bound by some agreement, they always wore orange and they could be spotted from fifteen miles.
“Alright then, I’ll jump and give you the signal, and then you can follow me. If I say RUN, YOU RUN. Do you understand?” blurted Ishmael.
“Yes sir,” I promptly replied.
A howling wind blazed across the field, and within a moment Ishmael was standing on the other side of the border. He took a quick look and signaled me to follow
him. This was our moment of getting a peek into a better reality.
But what we found was not even close to something anyone can call ‘better’.
We wished to find dreams, hopes, or a future. All we saw was despair.
The conditions in the Amazone were far worse—Humans were rounded up like animals and forced into collar pads constantly under the scrutiny of Alexa bots. If Adanisea was a festering wound, Amazon was a fatal one.
We pulled a hasty retreat, but before we could cross back, an Alexa bot found us.
Dread and fear took control of our bodies. I tried to run, but my body did not respond—my legs turned to jelly, and my head started to swim. Ishmael was bolder than me; he dragged me along with him, but it only slowed him down—and it was my fault that we ended up being locked in an Amazonian prison for two years.
When we finally emerged, only to find the world had not changed except for one thing—Adanisea was wiped out of existence. It was the decision of a single man— Joffrey. We were lucky enough to be entrapped in hell, but our families weren’t. Now only dust resides over the place we called Adanisea, and skeletons of our families hurl in the strong winds.
And now my ghost must walk in the halls of the man who killed my family. I only had one wish—To end Joffrey, I wish I had poison for him. I’d gladly give my life to watch him swallow it.
CHAPTER 2: THE UNDERGROUND MAN
Thunder pierced through my dreams, and the smoke of my past dissipated into the night sky. I heard a loud buzz and the Underground Man began speaking.
“So that’s all you have to do. I’ll summarise it for the final time—Place the bombs where the locations are marked, and then don’t even dare to look back. Just run, is that clear?” asked the Underground man.
Faint cries of the Amazone anthem coiled around my ears and distracted me from the Underground man’s commands. It went something like this…
“CEO, entrepreneur, Born in 1964
Joffrey, Joffrey Bezoz
CEO, entrepreneur, Born in 1964
Joffrey, Joffrey Bezoz
Come on, Joffrey, you can do it…”
The Amazone anthem was always played every fifteen days. And I remember almost two months ago, during the celebrations of the “great achievements” of our beloved Joffrey when Ishmael and I found the Underground Man.
During the celebration, I heard a faint whisper directed toward me—” If you wish for Joffrey’s demise, come to warehouse#187”
It was probably some kind of elaborate trap to eliminate moles, but the mere possibility of Joffrey’s death, the image of his head on a spike, took over my mind. We entered the warehouse cautiously.
The place was empty and it reeked of despair and dread, which was not any different from the outside world. Well except for the silhouette of a man on a large monitor.
“I suppose, our goals align,” said the man on the screen.
No one said a word.
“Well. I’ll take that as a Yes. But first, allow me to introduce myself—I’m the Underground Man,”
Without even a second’s delay, Ishmael roared “WHO?”
“That’s not important for you. But just to establish some sense of trust, you can consider me an outcast amongst the leaders of this world. They threw me out because I was different, they threw me out because I was better than them,” replied the Underground Man
“Alright, Mr. Outcast, what do you want from us?” asked Ishmael
“Nothing much. Just a simple offer. You can either sit here and listen to me, about everything we can do to restore the old world, or you can walk out, and nothing changes for you. But if you walk out, you’ll never be part of this ever-”
“I want in,” I interrupted.
“What are you doing?” Ishmael whispered to me.
“I don’t care if this is a trap. I just want to put an end to Joffrey. If he can help us do it, I’ll do anything it takes,” I replied.
“Boy seems intelligent. But killing Joffrey is not the only thing I’m offering you. We will kill every last one of those animals. And not just that, I’ll tell you about the history of this world as well,” said Underground Man
“What’s in it for you?” asked Ishmael
“Revenge. That’s all I want. Nothing more, nothing less,” said The Underground Man. We both looked at each other, we knew the troubles we had to face every day at the Amazone, but if what this weird character is offering is true, all our misery might evaporate.
“Alright, first tell us the history of this place. How did we come to this?” said Ishmael.
“Well. What do you think these supreme leaders are?” asked Underground Man
“Hmm…Wealthy and powerful men?” I answered.
“Partly right, but how do they get to control you, that is the question. How are they not put in check?” asked Underground Man
I stared at the screen cluelessly for about thirty seconds.
“Well, it was never supposed to be this way. The world was pretty different back then. But the attempt to capture the power of gods got us here. The men who you think are supreme leaders of this world are nothing but brain-dead zombies,” said Underground Man
“What?” Ishmael shouted.
“Yes. Centuries ago, they came to a realization—The time they are left with is not enough. And not for some good deed, these men are the most insecure, vilest creatures known to history. You know about the X Æ A-1153 zone’s leader right?”
“Yeah, Musk? I’ve heard it’s the most developed area, there’s the concept of democracy there, right?” asked Ishmael
“No. They just have a brilliant PR team. Citizens have to pay 99% of their earnings just to stay in that zone, and anyone who even looks mildly similar to Musk is incinerated without any questions. All because even as a zombie, Musk is the most pathetic creature to grace the earth. But anyway, I’m getting side-tracked right now. These men realized they don’t have enough time to rule every one of you, to extract the most out of you—And not enough time to stroke their egos for a longer time. So they made a combined committee to search for a medicine that will make them immortal.” said the Underground Man.
“Immortal? Is that a thing?” I asked.
“It’s all true. Except there was a massive flaw, it made their bodies immortal but their minds were driven to
madness—And in that madness, they used everything in their power to take control, something that was meant to happen gradually gained an accelerated evolution,” the Underground man continued.
“So how do we put an end to their tyranny?” I asked the Underground Man
“You think this guy is making sense? It’s probably a trap” said Ishmael
“I told you, I do not care. I want to see Joffrey burn in hell. I do not care if he’s a zombie or a vampire, or a Frankenstein, I want to see him burn to death. Now tell me, how do we put an end to him,” I asked the Underground Man.
“Well, there’s a small plan…”
A force violently shook my body—It was Ishmael’s hand, forcing me to wake up from my dreams of our first meeting with the Underground Man.
“We need to leave. The Underground Man has ensured everyone will be in position when we reach the border. There’s no room for error. If this goes right, we might put an end to everything.” posed Ishmael.
“Yeah, right. There’s no time for anything else,” I answered as we began walking towards the end of the Amazone border. And on that day, as the Amazone anthem started to blast—We left to execute our work. The last time we will see each other alive.
CHAPTER 3:NEW MANAGEMENT
Five miles south of the X Æ A-1153 zone’s border, grey clouds cover the heavens, like curtains hiding the final act of a theater. I wished for a golden miracle to shimmer in the flint skies—but I knew my fate, and I knew the fate of my comrades.
And I can’t sense any flicker of hope in the eyes of the people around me—and how could there be any?
When a man’s forehead is pressed against the cold end of the shotgun, hope turns into a scream into the great void.
I looked to my right and saw Ishmael, the leader of our small group, glaring down the barrel of the gun aimed at him. Even in the face of death, he was unafraid.
We managed to plant all the bombs successfully but got caught placing the last one in the military camp we were currently in. We managed to disguise ourselves in their uniforms and plant the bomb in the barracks seconds before being discovered- our collars giving us away. It was almost like we were never meant to come out alive.
Ishmael jerked his head up sharply-that was the signal. I dislodged a small pill from the corner of my mouth-a last resort and bit down on it. It burst open like a bubble and a bitter liquid coated my mouth.
It doesn’t matter where it began. All of our struggles end here. This is the moment my life has been leading to.
Something shoved me from behind and I fell over, my mouth emptying its contents. I twisted around and saw that it was Ishmael who had fallen on my back. He jerked around uncontrollably, clutching at his throat. Just then my hands started tingling, which quickly grew into excruciating pain. I screamed in agony as my bones broke and rearranged themselves.
As the pain eventually subsided, my senses slowly returned to me. I turned towards Ishmael again but instead saw a huge figure looming over me. I squinted, trying to make out what it was, powerless to do much else. A slim, forked tongue darted out of a protruding jaw. Two black beady eyes stared down at me, in great contrast to the pale green reptilian skin. The creature rose and immediately lunged at the soldiers holding us captive.
Seconds before I was thrown back, just then a huge boom split the air, throwing me back. My body was in excruciating pain, and there was a constant ringing in my ears. I frantically grasped the ground around me, attempting to sit up. I blinked my eyes open, but all I saw were fuzzy shapes. The air smelled like battery smoke with a faint hint of almonds.
I struggled to breathe; my lungs felt like they were made of iron. I felt myself get lifted into the air and flung as if I were a ragdoll. I smacked into the walls of a building and, surprisingly, stayed there. Cautiously,
I retracted my hand from the wall and placed it again. My grip was so firm that it was almost like I’d been glued to the wall.
I looked down and saw an absolute bloodbath-the lizardmen were mercilessly plowing through everything in their path, soldier or civilian. The walls of the camp were reduced to ruins, and beyond them stood an army—millions and millions of giant lizards marching amidst the fog. And amongst them, there was a single tall creature walking; from a distance, he was quite unrecognizable.
The closer he got, the more familiar he looked. The beady eyes, pale skin, and grey shirt-It was Mark Zuckerberg.
I couldn’t understand why a human would lead an army of lizards. And why did he appear unscathed? My blood boiled in anger. All the sacrifices I’d made, my friends, my friends, and my comrades had been in vain. I had helped bring forth the true downfall of humanity.
He came closer still until he was standing a few feet away. I decided I wouldn’t go down yet, not alone at the very least. I jumped down at him, landing directly on his back. I wrapped my arms around his neck as tightly as possible.
Once again, I felt myself flying back; the force of the hit forced all the air out of my lungs, shattering what was left of my ribs. My grip still held firm, clinging to his skin that peeled off, revealing an ugly lizard head.
“Citizens of the world,” a monotonous voice echoed from my collar as I soared through the air. “Welcome to a new era!”
REQUESTING PERMISSION TO TAKE OFF!Written by Varun Modi
India, the land of diversity, the land of kings, this beautiful country has another title attached to it that can give sleepless nights to any CEO. It is called The Graveyard of Airlines. This title is rightly justified by Air Deccan, Jet Airways, Kingfisher Airlines, Sahara Airlines, and many more regional players. Till date, no company can claim to have fully cracked the code of the air travel market in India.
Recently, Boeing India’s President came out with a projection for the Indian Aviation Sector, according to which India is set to see a seven-percent annual growth in its air traffic till 2040, which is the highest for any country in the South-East Asia region. This projection is supported by India’s rising per capita income, which enables more and more people to spend
lavishly on tourism and travel. In 2022, India crossed the mark of 4 lakh passengers who traveled via air daily. The government has also launched several projects to construct new airports and expand existing ones across the country. This includes gigantic international airports like the Jewar International Airport in Noida and the Navi Mumbai International Airport, with the capacity to handle millions of passengers a year. With such optimistic facts, why are Indian Airline companies still tanking?
The one gospel truth about the Indian consumers is that people want to live lavishly but not pay lavishly. This was well understood by the senior management of Indigo, the largest airline in India, with more than half the market cap. The company,Illustration by Jyotiraj Nath
founded in 2006, began to gain profitability through the 2008 financial crisis while all its competitors sunk into debt and some even closed shop. While Jet Airways and Kingfisher pampered their customers with freebies and exclusive reward points programs, out-of-the-box cost-cutting strategies allowed Indigo to keep its ticket prices in check despite the rising fuel prices. And mind you, fuel costs make up to fifty percent of the total operational cost of an aircraft. Another popular airline, Vistara, operates in an entirely different segment. Since its inception, it has always targeted high-paying upper-class travelers and business executives. But unlike Jet Airways and Kingfisher, Vistara never made the mistake of offering freebies to pamper their customers and charged
equally for what they provided. While Indigo offers only those basic amenities required to travel, their aircraft featuring only economy class seats and virtually no entertainment systems except in-flight magazines, Vistara offers business and premium economy seats, inflight entertainment screens, and free meals. But as most Indian flyers come from the middle class, Vistara’s operations have been limited despite offering better services.
Indigo’s operations go as far as 1,500 flights daily. Taking inspiration from the American legend Southwest Airlines and the European legend RyanAir, Indigo decided to operate on the hub and spoke model. This meant Indigo would bring passengers from tier 2 and tier 3 airports to tier 1 airports and then ask them to change aircraft to their destination. Sometimes, the same plane would carry its journey onto a second route. This way, Indigo saved a ton of money on parking charges as they had to pay for it only at the central hub, which was the tier 1 airports. Jet Airways and Kingfisher took a different path. They worked on the pointto-point connectivity model, which provided customers with more comfortable travel without switching flights or spending hours waiting at the airport. Still, at the same time, these airlines required more aircraft, more fuel, and more staff. Also, air travel has always been limited in India due to expensive ticket prices. Thus, finding enough passengers on each route to fill the plane was difficult. As a result, Indigo’s planes were more occupied because passengers traveling to any point traveled to and from the central hub.
However, India’s lack of infrastructure played a spoilsport in the hub and spoke strategy. Southwest and RyanAir set up their hubs on tier 2 airports with lower parking charges, but in India, even tier 2 airports were so small then and had no space to offer parking spots. As a result, all airlines had to accommodate their planes in tier 1 airports, gradually
becoming overcrowded, leading to a rise in parking fees. A crisis for one business provided an opportunity for the other. As the demand for parking spots increased, the government struggled to keep up with the expansion of the airports and decided to make the airports go private.
Indigo never really focused on diversifying its business beyond passenger aviation, and the company realized this mistake the hard way in 2020 when another crisis struck the world. Due to the pandemic, the passenger aviation sector was shut entirely, and because Indigo did not have a separate cargo aviation wing, its operations reached a complete standstill. Losses started accumulating for the company, which was otherwise profitable for ten consecutive years. On the other hand, SpiceXpress and Air India Express continued to generate revenue for SpiceJet and Air India by moving medicines, critical medical equipment, and other essential cargo worldwide, thus keeping them afloat through the lockdowns.
This segmented nature of the Indian aviation sector is leading to its downfall despite its immense potential. Indian Aviation Companies need to diversify their business into multiple segments and even other businesses to survive the tough times that frequently occur in the aviation sector. This industry is susceptible to many factors, including fuel prices, pandemics, aircraft safety issues, and international geopolitics. Companies also need to pay close attention to rising new players like Akasa Air, which plan to go further than Indigo into the ultra-low-cost carrier segment. It would also be interesting to watch how the Tata Group manages the three airlines under its umbrella, the debt-ridden Air India, the ailing AirAsia India, and the expensive Vistara. These three companies have the potential to redefine air travel in India only if they are managed and integrated well enough.
DIVIDE & CONQUERWritten by Tanmay Dadhania & Neelav Bhatiya Illustration by Divyansh Verma
The 1930s is an intriguing chapter in European history books, with the devastating impact of the Great Depression and the uprising of Hilter, a lot was going on. But, it is in that timeframe that a far more sinister but relatively obscure event was underway. Holodomor, which directly translates to “to kill by starvation” in Ukrainian, was the name given to a man-made famine caused by the centralization policies of one Joseph Stalin. Death tolls vary considerably but about 5 to 10 million people were killed. Farmland was collectivized and private ownership outlawed. Ukrainian farmers couldn’t even feed their own starving children with the grain that they grew
because the grain belonged to the collective. Neighbors snitched on each other and life was a living hell.
These experiments with central planning were a deliberate attempt to move away from the decentralized and unconscious nature of free markets into something more “equitable”. The Great Chinese Famine is another experiment which was carried out in a similar fashion. The estimates for death toll for China hang around the 50 million mark. The fundamental needs and wants of each individual in a system differs significantly from one another, a central planning agency will always fail to take everything into
account. Free markets excel precisely because of divide and conquer principles. But those words have come to mean a lot of things when it applies to different fields.
Ask any of the wannabe googlers that live on your floor and they may or may not validate the effectiveness of the D&C technique when it comes to competitive programming/algorithmic problems. Take for instance, the problem of searching for a record in a database. Normally, the computation time grows linearly with the growth of the dataset. But, if you can sort the said records according to an underlying criteria, you can prac-
tically access data in constant time by the virtue of dividing the database into manageable sub-sections where the searching can take place. (For all you geeks, google ‘binary search’ :)) At first this task of minimizing the lookup time may seem unnecessary and burdensome. But, when you are searching for your crush’s name on instagram for the 145632th time in a day, the saved microseconds do pile up.
The same idea could even be extended to the working of a corporation where the delegation of work presents itself as another anecdote on D&C technique. However, here is the part where we start playing fast and loose with the definition of a divide and conquer approach. From a top-down level, the organizational goals tend to remain the same. However, work and responsibilities are always further divided into various sub-goals to meet organizational goals. Different companies tend to have varying levels of decentralization when it comes to how they manage their subunits. Further, we can apply the same idea to how different military structures operate. US military structures tend to follow a centralized control and decentralized execution mantra while Russian troops tend to only follow orders. So the fundamental question remains, What warrants the said structure to be deemed as following a divide and conquer approach? The presence of a hierarchy or the implementation features?
Coming back to our initial premise of free markets, to divide and conquer means to let the individuals of the populace dictate their own needs and their own solutions to those needs. By letting different solutions compete against each other, everyone benefits as solutions get better and cheaper. Another salient feature of this setup is that the needs of specific individuals are catered to better, as various different solutions are available in the market, an indi-
vidual can shop around till they find something satisfactory as opposed to a one size fits all solution.
The proof is in the pudding, no instance of a successful implementation of communism or a completely centrally planned economy exists. All the staunch supporters of communist ideologies have over the years gradually moved to liberalize their economies while maintaining the facade of being “communist”. China, Vietnam, Laos are just a few of the regimes that have followed this trend. Centrally planned economies are just never going to be viable on a large scale.
The divide and conquer we Indians were made familiar with in our school days stands beautifully at odds with how the humongous Milton Friedman describes free markets. He goes, “The great virtue of a free market system is that it does not care what color people are; it does not care what their religion is; it only cares whether they can produce something you want to buy. It is the most effective system we have discovered to enable people who hate one another to deal with one another and help one another.”
WHERE ADVENTURE LIESWritten by Tanmay Dhadhania & Himanshu Thakur Kancharapu
One rainy night in some fantastical place, Midori dreamt of adventure. That one day pen, paper, and thought would catapult her from reality onto a wonderful boundless sky. How her imagination would parachute her over uncharted lands; reality and art all melted into one! Boundaries would fall apart and true adventure realized.
Of course, this desire shared by Midori from the 2020 anime Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken! is not unique to her alone. Most of us have felt the desire to break away and feel the rush of adventure. Midori wanted this too, and she wanted this feeling to stay. So, she decided to put her reveries onto paper, that is, she decided to make art. Creative expression is a potent vehicle for experiencing adventure. It gives the audience an escape from the clutches of reality and blurs the line that segments what is and what isn’t.
Such an adventure is exactly what Midori and her friends find themselves
in right from the beginning. What begins as a lively back-and-forth between two friends passionate about animation becomes a brainstorming session where ideas and imagination fly freely. Seamlessly, we find ourselves in a world of wonder and thoughts. Midori’s prior sketches of a plane in flight manifest into reality. In a dream-like sequence that feels utterly real, they go on an adventure in a world far, far away from theirs. But as they do, you realize that for the past 20-minutes that is exactly what this show has done for you as well.
Such inception-like layering of its narrative is what Eizouken does so well. And in doing that, it saliently highlights the power of the animation medium. The show’s ability to do so is no accident but instead comes from the careful deliberation of its director - Masaaki Yuasa. Made nearly two decades into his long directing career, Eizouken oozes with Yuasa’s love for animation in each frame. An anime on the making of anime, Eizouken is Yuasa’s way of paying homage to the
medium. A love letter to the art form.
That this anime can get us talking about animation as a whole is a testament to how the show speaks for so much beyond itself. This meta-nature is something that is perfectly captured in the brilliantly composed soundtrack by Oorutaichi. Invoking a child-like wonder, the music invites us to revisit what we must have felt as little kids. The playful nature of the score when coupled with characters passionate about things they love gives us an invitation to feel the rush of adventure for our own selves like we once must have.
If you’ve ever missed the bright-eyed gleam of adventure you once might have felt, then let Keep Your Hands Off Eizouken! take you on that ride again. A drop of imagination crystallized into reality, this show will surely reignite some old sparks. So, hop onto a boundless sky, and let this fiction-fueled parachute take you to uncharted lands, where adventure lies.
EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE ALL AT ONCEWritten by Karthik Sunil Illustration by Divyansh Verma
The concept of multiverses and parallel universes isn’t new to cinema. Many have tried to experiment with it, resulting in some interesting pieces of art and others which are better left forgotten. One film that almost nailed this idea is Everything, Everywhere, All at Once (2022) which gives you exactly what the title says.
This flick follows Evelyn Wang, a Chinese immigrant trying her best to make ends meet with a laundromat with her husband, Waymond. Waymond is shown as a timid character who wishes to spend more time with his wife, but her business-first attitude corrodes their marriage. Her relationship with her daughter, Joy is worse off due to her trying to conform Joy to the stereotypical Asian lifestyle with high expectations. Evelyn’s miserable and mundane life takes a wild turn when she meets her husband from a parallel universe. The dull, feeble man she knew was now an intergalactic spy who could take down extraterres -
trial monsters. Evelyn is quickly taught to ‘jump’ multiverses and is given the quintessential responsibility of saving the world(s) from an evil version of her daughter from an alternate reality. What follows is a mashup of realities exploring a series of ‘what if’ questions, resulting in an entertaining flick with bizarre visuals complimented by traditional Chinese music that adds to its flair.
The movie takes you on a roller coaster of emotions as it unravels Evelyn’s relationship with her daughter. As she jumps multiverses, she sees that her controlling nature ruins Joy’s life, not only in her universe but in every reality. This journey of realization is accompanied by wacky action sequences that’ll drop your jaw with their sheer absurdity. Thanks to the classic Jackie Chan-esque cinematography with practical effects and effective wirework, the movie is a refreshing take on an overdone idea. What sets it apart from other attempts like Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of
Madness (2022) are the emotions it’s able to invoke in the viewer. Although the film is a perfect blend of many things, it wasn’t quite able to refine the ending; which might leave you with more questions than you started with. The concept of multiversal travel and its consequences weren’t dumbed down enough to satisfy everyone by the end of the 140 minutes. But, this doesn’t ruin the glamor of the simple, light-hearted movie and is still worth watching.
Overall, Everything, Everywhere, All at Once (2022) is a must-watch film that you can put on with friends or family (if they’re okay with NSFW content). An original film on an unoriginal idea with a well-rounded plot that’ll leave you in tears of sadness and joy. The classic fight choreography, impressive CGI, and extraordinary visuals make this movie a cohesive watch that will surely entertain you.
WINGED PROMETHEUSWritten by Himanshu Thakur Illustration by Bhargavi Kancharapu
From down below I hear a mighty rumbling I am atop the footing made of my parts A moment passes, then a crumbling And all holding me up falls apart
Down, as down could be, I fall The wreckage ‘round me Turns to chains; It grips my all
An eagle’s visage, my own mind’s image It comes flying at me at this unrelenting hour Chained and bound, my useless scrimmage Ends with talons seeped in blood and gall
My screams, my pains, light little cinders My blood tells me of my flaws The damned parts of me I kindled All shed away in this blood-loss
With the tearing apart all done Healing had now time and room My remains – a fuel – had begun To light cinders into bloom
Fire! Fire! The blaze melts the falcon It seeps into me through my wounds I’m emboldened and ablaze And then, born anew
I am become my own opus That burns chains into ash
Rise, rise–Up as up could be I leap and soar Wounds, blood, it all disappears
A thought, an action, an inferno
Hark, hark! Me of the past!
Hark all who’ve listened to the last! In the fire I was lost and found I burn and burn and become unbound From the cinders, I fly on my wings And rise to become my own sovereign king
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