Renesa | Spring Edition 2024

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Spring Edition’24

Faculty messages

It is heartening to witness the continued infusion of creativity into our primarily academic campus in all forms of art, be it performing or literary. This year's edition of the Student magazine, aptly themed "Tone” is a testament to the diverse linguistic talents that thrive within the walls of SVNIT.

Tone possesses the remarkable ability to shape the narrative, sway opinions, and elevate the impact of our words. The pages of this magazine unfold an array of literary pieces that delve into multifaceted dimensions of what seems so commonplace as communication. From the lyrical beauty of poetry, to the immersive world of fiction, from insightful analyses to thoughtful reviews, “Tone” encompasses all.

I wish the best to all the contributors and members of Renesa. The combined efforts of faculty and members continue to play an important role in connecting the diverse student body to the nuanced world around them. Looking forward to yet another engaging edition with the polychromatic tones of language!

Warm wishes,

Dr. Shilpi Gupta Chairperson, Renesa


Despite being an academic institution focused on research and cutting-edge technology, SVNIT has never been short of creative content, thanks to Renesa. This year’s magazine themed Tone is indubitably an engaging read too! In many critical situations, Tone has the power to make or mar a speech. Ingenious literary pieces on this intriguing topic are included here. From Poetry to fiction, Analysis to review, this issue has got it all.

An avid reader usually has a bird’s eye view on most things and is confident. Hence, I’d suggest all the students to read as much as they can. Kudos to you, the reader, for spending your time with this issue. Lastly, I appreciate the Renesa team for bringing out this worthwhile magazine.

I look forward to the upcoming publications. Best wishes to all.

I would like to express my gratitude to the students for their unwavering commitment, making possible a range of events, from technical fests to cultural activities. These noteworthy occasions serve as valuable experiences that we should cherish and draw inspiration from.

As we reflect on the past year, it's heartening to witness the continued vibrancy of Renesa. This magazine, a testament to the talent within SVNIT, allows students to express their thoughts, voice opinions, and showcase creativity. The students' diverse and vibrant perspectives, coupled with tasteful artwork, bring life to the publication.

I look forward to yet another engaging edition and commend the Renesa team for their commitment to excellence.

Warm wishes,


The Editorial

There's a lot to be said about life within the four walls of our sprawling campus. It passes by, fast and ever changing. Seeking balance while it tiptoes around the lurking monotony, searching for that X factor. If one only looked at the end points, then the apparent driving force would be neuroplasticity. Not an uncommon culprit, it does have a significant presence. Yet, to call it the culprit would be a disservice to all of us. Each day, each semester, and each year is shaped by the spectrum of interactions experienced. And one instance of this spectrum would be what we call “tone”. One's tone is more than just a sum of experiences; it encompasses what makes us human.

And bringing our take on this palpable phenomenon to you was the challenge that presented itself to us when we began this magazine. Flip through these pages to dive into this maze of ideas that we as creators have lost ourselves in. Read on and discover how vocations around you are gamified, the tonality of music, the significance of tone in charm and reasoning, how not to lose your individuality, Lehza– for a light and soothing read–and so much more. And for the readers that love to get immersed in stories, keep an eye out for our long-form articles: The Subtle Art of Sarcasm and Not so Awkward. If you want a quicker read, turn to our review section where we've taken apart the mind tingling psychological thriller Burning.

Bringing this project to life was more than just about putting effort and seeing it through, the quirky team here in our dugout put their creativity to the test and delivered their finest yet. Not that we lack modesty, but we do believe this magazine is a work of art, literally. Our design team outdid themselves and you’d be surprised at the details that went into the making of this magazine. We would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to the faculty advisors, who have helped us to make this magazine possible.

Giving reason to rhyme is what you do as you go through our work, and the team here is always grateful to you for the effort you put into our work. We will continue to write in the hopes of getting our work into the hands of curious souls like you. With that, we would like to welcome you to the theme magazine for this academic year, Spring Edition 2024.


05 Messages From Faculty..........................................................................................02 Editorial......................................................................................................................04 Table of Contents.....................................................................................................05 Lost in the Herd........................................................................................................06 Gamification of Work.............................................................................................08 The Subtle Art of Sarcasm....................................................................................10 Centrespread.............................................................................................................14 Burning.......................................................................................................................18 Lehza............................................................................................................................16 Tonality in Music.....................................................................................................20 Tale of Charming Reason......................................................................................22 Not So Awkward......................................................................................................24 I wish it would rain..................................................................................................26 Contributors..............................................................................................................27 Crossword...................................................................................................................13
Table of Contents

Lost in the Herd

Imagine a pack of lions. All golden, majestic, and proud. The pack has rules. All newborns must learn to hunt sometimes after birth. So in order to improve efficiency, three mature lions come together and try to train the lions in hunting. This process happens every time a new cub is born. Then suddenly, one fine day, one lion decides that the previous lessons in hunting are obscure and outdated. He starts to teach the lions to consume decaying, prehunted meat rather than hunt themselves, and calls this process ‘effective hunting’. Most lions are happy that they don't have to run around anymore.

Generations and generations of lions adopt this process, and soon lions are domesticated, thin animals. They are born the size of a cat and wonder what happened to them.

We may not know it, but as things stand, we university students are similar to these newborn cubs. A look at human nature easily reveals this truth. Just as hunting is integral to a lion’s survival and flourishing, critical thinking is integral to our survival and flourishing. The current, potent flaw in our education system is the loss, ridicule, and volitional destruction of critical thinking. Like a product on a conveyor belt, a student enters school, just to be made into another cog in the wheel.

Struggling to make sense of the chaos, vying to find himself, his curiosity dies a silent death. Concretebased, abstraction-hating learning, delivered halfinterestedly is what the student finds. Unquestioned acceptance is expected, required, and praised. Individual curiosity dies a sorry death.

The average Asian student will find these points highly relatable, but they are not limited in their scope to an Eastern context. Equipped with multiple selfdevelopment programs, the ability to flexibly choose majors, and even the mobility to change them later, one would expect Western students to ideally be more clear-headed and thoughtful. We find that this is not the case. The primary motivator for people to choose a university major is not interest, but rather a job or ‘prestige’. It is not independent choice that motivates them, it is silent conformity or reactionary contrarianism, both of which are ultimately conformity in different guises.

If we still find countries like America, Switzerland, Germany, or other parts of Europe producing quality academics, entrepreneurs, or leaders, it is despite pedagogy rather than because of it .


In cultures inherently respecting individualism, outliers are expected, and if successful, admired. Not that universities do not have an effect on culture, they are rather in a symbiotic relationship with it. In societal structures of nonthinking masses, it is the dissenting individual who influences culture. Lost in blind submission to the herd is the inherent  value of allowing dissent itself. Even a poor idea, in order to be evaluated as poor, needs to be heard. The free exchange of thought is what propels innovation. Universities, which are supposed to be centres of this exchange, instead push for all thought to bundle up in one conformist agglomerate.

A deeper look at the current situation shows that what we saw is only the trunk of the problem. The root is childhood pedagogy itself. Uniformity in dress and behaviour, which is so encouraged at this tender age, stems from a philosophy that encourages uniformity in thought. This inhibits them from moving towards self-actualization which shows its insidious effects over time. Children become conditioned to seek external validation in the form of grades, praise, or rewards rather than deriving intrinsic satisfaction through learning and personal growth.

The effects of the antiindividual nature of early schooling are long-lasting and pervasive. So, what’s the solution? One alternative that has emerged over the past century is the Montessori method. Developed by Dr. Maria Montessori, this educational philosophy aims at developing a child’s innate curiosity, independence, and love of learning. It encourages individual exploration and self-directed learning from an early age.

The Montessori method encourages students to build a sound foundation of knowledge and selfconfidence as individuals prior to partaking in any collaborative efforts. One of the key ways it does so is personal time. Every so often children are allowed an hour of unstructured freedom, devoid of any compulsions. Children are supervised by thoughtful adults, who try to create an environment conducive to growth. Habits like reading aren’t taught, rather attractive-looking books are kept nearby so children themselves will read them playfully. Teachers aren't a early schooling are long-lasting and pervasive but helpful guides. This system doesn’t claim to produce geniuses like Newton or Einstein, but it does provide a platform for individuals to reach the zenith of their potential

trusting the natural curiosity and capacity for learning that all children and all individuals possess. This personal time inculcates the much-needed habit of self-reflection, wherein pupils are thoughtful and introspective, as has been observed over several years of study. It enables the much-needed growth of the self-esteem of the studentswhere students can fully appreciate the value of a particular decision they made out of volition, as opposed to fear or societal shaming.

If a knight’s king attacked him for fighting too valiantly or if a ship’s captain attacked his oarsmen for rowing too skillfully, everyone would be up in arms, but when it comes to teaching humankind we have not only silently accepted this process but instead glorified it. A populace of domesticated minds is much easier to control, therefore no call for action will ever come from above. The sole potential for meaningful change resides within individuals themselves. To all the inheritors of humanity’s future, this is a calling. A calling to reclaim what is theirs. To seek and find the individuality they lost in the herd.


Gamification of Work

From rock-paper-scissors to World Cups, games have always found a way to have a grip on the human psyche. It might be because of a redirection of focus or just a case of misdirection, but it is an undeniable fact that they are effective. And depending on intent, it can lead to rather surprising outcomes. When the idea of Pokemon was conceived, Satoshi Tajiri wanted to revive an interest in collecting bugs and insects. (Is that why there are so many bug pokemon?). Over the past few decades, the elements of games, which have proven to be so effective at holding our attention, have diffused into our lives. Take social media for example. All of these platforms use likes, shares, and view counts to keep us immersed in their augmented experiences. Fitness apps reward us with badges for hitting our health goals. And there are even apps that turn your tasks into RPG-style quests to level up your virtual character. This phenomenon of gamification has truly transcended past the realm of games and remains ever pervasive in today’s time.

One such place where gamification has established a strong foothold is the workforce.

Companies are increasingly using gamified methods to upskill and motivate their employees. Employees no longer simply do their best at the job, they also have to compete with their peers for the elusive employee of the month, the lucrative bonus, the long-awaited promotion. Though, at the onset, this may lead to rapid growth and a sense of healthy competition, it doesn’t take much for trouble to start brewing. An essential part of the gamification recipe is its reward-punishment nature. It tends to show results in the short run and in select niche, clearly emphasizing results over the process. This particular pitfall is something most industries have experienced at some point, be it the renowned Wells Fargo's sales initiative or the numbers crunch in the academic world. The method might work at some level but for work that requires thinking or creativity, it leads to a massive decrease in the quality of work.


Beginning a vicious cycle of degrading morale and decreasing quality. Rather counteractive when you realize that the initial purpose of gamification was to raise morale. Another place where gamification tends to be more of a hindrance is the transport industry. Gamified systems have made it easier for customers to travel in and around cities at seemingly more transparent prices but the same system works with a different policy on the driver’s end. Drivers are tracked on the number of instances of travel, which does not take into account distance or time spent. The driver does not retain the entire earnings from an instance (i.e. the amount we pay), rather a part of it goes to the company itself. The  company implements systems that expect the driver to be committed to the system itself, yet the driver is just a “user” of the system and not an “employee” where the company owes some minimal responsibility to them.

Everything the system does in its effort to make finding work easier is negated and more often than not, offset by the policies of the system.  Gamified systems tend to induce a feeling that there exists a flawless equation between success and worth. As students vie for white collared jobs, we tend to lose objectivity and perspective when faced with income and big brand MNCs.

But no industry is just management and white collared jobs, is it? In the intricate web of the economy, work conditions are rarely fair to the employee. The long documented case of the middle man getting paid the big bucks, while workers that slave at mere paise per crop is but one of the most trivial examples of the system being set up wrong, and how impact and worth are measured so lopsidedly by gamified practices.

Though incentive based systems have existed since a time when game meant hunting for sport, now they’ve become tools that can be deftly used to extract nonvolitional work. Modern day practices like Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) that seem like they have “goodwill” and how much an employee “cares” about the company as its motive but in essence is volunteer work with the only incentive being something akin to ‘rapport’ or ‘cred’.

Tying in this cred to the progress a person makes at said company makes it all the more compelling for the employee to volunteer and compete against fellow employees. Research papers on CSR often define this as “employee engagement” and is often used as a loose benchmark for the commitment of an employee to the company.

Consider the company Salesforce’s “1-1-1” model which founded the pledge 1% model, an example of how employees are involved in the initiatives of their company.

In the end, gamification comes full circle to bite itself with irony. What it risks injuring the most is what was supposed to be its primary benefactee, morale itself. The numbers crunch nature of gamification works as a task tracker, sapping away the joy of the process and working as a double edged tool of transparency to both the employer and the employee. Initiatives like CSR usually fall out of working hours and dip into the personal time of an employee. Extensive studies conducted on the nature of gamification have shown that it is generally forced upon the employee rather than something the employee actively takes part in, showing the rather thinly veiled and shoddy attempts at enhancing work.

What we see is that gamification is an attempt at changing the tone with which work is perceived. But the results of these harm both the employer and the employee. Acknowledging the system and being aware of it helps change the perspective an employee holds towards the work but employers need to acknowledge that work itself isn’t always play.


The Subtle Art Of Sarcasm

Marlin glared at his laptop, unperturbed by the harsh blue lights, as he cradled a cold cup of coffee in his hands. He noticed the loud whir from the laptop as he came out of a reverie. It had taken him 3 full days, 18 visits to Stack Overflow, and 50 mental breakdowns, but he had done it! He’d finally made a sentiment analysis bot-his baby whom he fondly called N.E.M.O.

Now all that remained was testing it. The YouTube video he’d been following said it should have a 60% accuracy, and it did within the testing set.

But he still wasn’t satisfied. Why stop at 60? He decided to use another dataset, to see if it could improve the model's performance. He landed upon a git repo with comments from a fan cover of a Mariah Carey album. As N.E.M.O. processed the data, Marlin skimmed through the dataset.

“She really thought she ate and left no crumbs.”

“Oh, my ears!”

“This is why aliens don’t come near Earth.”

“I played this at night and my mum thought there was a banshee.”

“Becky thought she finna did something.”

“I would rather listen to Justin Beiber scratching nails on a chalkboard,”

The repo said that the comments had a 20% rating however, N.E.M.O. 's estimate was a high 52% instead.

He was flabbergasted when he realized that neither he nor his ‘brainchild’ N.E.M.O could detect sarcasm.

“It’s not your fault.” He said, patting the laptop affectionately, “It happens to the best of us.”

He marched up to his ‘friend’, Ayumi, and said, “How do I teach my bot to detect sarcasm?”

“Hello to you too! Glad you're still alive”  ”What do you mean? Why would I be dead?”

“Could you be any stupider? I was being sarcastic duh.” Ayumi replied, rolling her eyes, “Honestly, how can you teach something you don’t understand?”


“Well excuse me for not being a smartass like you.”

“You are excused. Since I’m a very good friend, I’ll kindly introduce you to the subtle art of sarcasm. Firstly, sarcasm isn’t one of those things you can compute into a formula. It’s very… dynamic. A lot of it depends on context. Sarcasm can simply be saying the opposite of what you mean or even just exaggerating.”

“So… you’re saying I should just give up?”

“No, I’m saying it's nowhere near as simple as you think. You’d have to study sarcasm and find patterns and how to distinguish it from normal speech. Honestly, if you manage to do it, you’ll probably get a Nobel Prize.”

“Ahh.” Marlin sighed in disappointment. “I’m never getting 69% accuracy.”

“Well,” Ayumi swiveled around in her chair. “I suppose it’s worth a shot.”

Marlin sat on a chair beside her pulling at his hair.

“There are some general patterns that are followed in sarcasm. There's what I like to call an Obvious Lie, which is pretty selfexplanatory. You say something so farfetched that it can’t possibly be true so it's obvious that you’re being sarcastic.”

“That makes sense.”

“Very good, you just won a trip to Jamaica.” Marlin’s face lit up seconds before he realized that he’d been had.

“Then there’s Opposite speech. Which is saying the opposite of what you mean. Like saying ‘Could this day get any better?’ After having a bad day.”

Ayumi continued, “There are many more ways but they depend on context really. There are infinite ways you can be sarcastic at any given instance, it is experience that teaches you what to say and when to say it before you start getting the hang of it.”

“How do you know you’re good at it?”

“That’s what she said,” Ayumi giggled as Marlin rolled his eyes in disdain. “Good sarcasm is hard to distinguish from normal speech. It should sound natural and fit in smoothly with the conversation, and of course, convey your point.”

“The more you talk about it, the more it sounds like lying.”

“I suppose you could think of sarcasm as spicy lies.” Ayumi choked out between peals of laughter. She composed herself and turned her laptop screen over to him.

“Meet Kitschy Ruly Intelligent System, aka K.R.I.S. my latest project,” She said proudly “I’ve been teaching it sarcasm.” “Are you sure it has learned well?” asked Marlin skeptically.

“Why don’t you figure it out yourself?” Ayumi said, turning the laptop towards him.

M: hi.

K: Yo! You sound like you’re in a greaat mood. Wassup?

M: im having trouble with my project

K: So? Do you think you should be consoled? You got no chill.

M: that’s rude

K: Never said it wasn’t.


“I’m sold,” said Marlin impressively “I see where you’re going with this, the holy amalgamation of our projects, I like it!”

“Go ahead, use my data to make your bot more accurate, but I’ll warn you that could end up with a lot of ambiguities due to the overlaps between sarcasm and sincere text. Good luck though!”

Thus began Marlin’s attempts to integrate K.R.I.S’s data to match it with N.E.M.O’s while trying to minimize ambiguity.

Five hours of frustration and three cups of caffeine later, he began to see light at the end of the tunnel. He could feel victory in the air as he imagined a 90% accuracy. With high hopes, Marlin sanguinely ran his first trial.

Six painfully anticipative seconds later, the screen read, “Result: …”

The screen kept buffering for 10 minutes before a new text appeared “Error: Fatal error”.

The screen went blank after that and the laptop automatically shut down. Marlin restarted the laptop and everything seemed to be working fine except, no matter how hard he tried, Marlin could never find N.E.M.O on his laptop again.




2. Visual nostalgia maker of the campus

6. Pioneering younglings currently meet Newton and Einstein here

8. Young nightingales of Mother Teresa once lived in the abode of this older one

10. The old home of books, the new home of dreams

11. The Elusive Jackson in Blue and Green

12. In pairs I come, in females you see, grade of the ones in a malady


1. The first doctor from the campus was a doctor of ______

3. Guide for hungry souls

4. The hydrous clump of fun and laughter

5. What is the price of the stress buster for college students?

7. Fire at ____________ Ice at Amul

9. Banners I hold, the fun I see rooted to one place, with arms that are free



-mukhauton ki salaami-

wo udaas hai magar khush wo naraz magar hamesha haazir   wo mile to kehna

mukhauto ki aur se salaam hai

“She grins in sorrow's company, Present even with anger's plea. If you meet her, please convey, The world of masks, as taught, prevails today.

-kaisa insaaf-

Do kaag Ek shaakh Ek muqadma Ek raat ek shaam ek nagma Sheereen zuban ka ek parda Ab insaaf kone me ro raha hai

“Two friends one lie one crime One evening one tale one sale A veil put up by sugar-coated words  Lead justice to grieve in a nook”

-mai aur mera khauf-

Khayalat ke daayre me khauf ka saya hai

Aaj mera wajood khud se milne aaya hai

Tanz ki boli ise khoob aati hai

Khauf chhene neend, Khwaab to mera hi lehza

chheente aaya hai


“Within the realm of dreams, fear casts its shade, Today, my essence converges with itself, a meeting displayed.

Silent eloquence weaves a taunting rhyme, Tones of dreams pilfer sleep from anxiety's chime.

-alag qalam-

Alfaaz rahe wahi  bas qalam alag ho gaye Log rahe wahi  Bas qaafilo me bat gaye

“Same words they ordain, Just different quills inscribe the tale. Same souls they retain, Yet in separate folds, woes prevail.”

-lafzo ki gehrai

Ruh ka mukalma rakhta tartib poshida to nahi Andaz hi dekh lijiye

Lafz to na qabile anjaam hai Lehza hi samajh lijiye

“In the soul's language, ciphers entwine, Yet unseen, the unfolding design. Words don't conclude, Slifer's might, The tone reveals their depth, in the silent night.

"Lehza" lays bare the elusive dance of one's own psyche, where fear masquerades seamlessly as the internal voice. Amidst this journey, the essence of "Lehza" unfolds not as a direct discourse but as a shared venture into the concealed truths of our existence.

Within the labyrinth of translation, fragments vanish like whispers in the wind, as the mind treads a concealed tightrope, delicately balancing between the original musings and the emergence of new constructs. Yet, does not this tightrope, woven from threads obscured by my words, carry an elusive resonance? Does the shadow still cast its veil upon the essence of this narrative? The decision now lies entirely within the realm of your contemplation.



“Dying is too scary, but I wish I could disappear like I had never existed.” - Haemi, Burning

These words reflect the intricate and slightly contradictory nature of us humans. We grapple with the fear of death yet wish for a form of escape. In the context of the movie Burning, this quote captures the underlying theme quite accurately. It resonates with the characters’ struggles and the subtle overarching theme of the movie- that is seeking meaning and recognition while dealing with the uncertainties of life.

Burning is a South-Korean language film by Lee Chang- dong inspired by the short story Barn Burning by Haruki Murakami, but with its own flair. At its core, it is a psychological thriller but to limit it to just that would be injustice. It is rather an intricate and profound exploration of the human psyche that transcends genre conventions.

As we step into the world of Burning, we find ourselves enveloped in a narrative woven through the eyes of Jong-su, an aspiring writer working odd jobs to make a living. His chance encounter with Hae-mi, a childhood friend, initially paints the picture of a light-hearted romantic comedy. Their

relationship unfolds like a delicate dance, drawing us into their world with its warmth and charm.

But then, like a shadow creeping in from the periphery, a mysterious figure named Ben enters the scene. With a demeanor that is both charming yet disconcerting at the same time, he disrupts the harmony of Jong-su and Haemi's connection. This and Ben’s beguiling nature immensely bothers Jong-su and he begins to suspect that Ben is not who he claims to be. As the film progresses, Jong-su's suspicions grow stronger, and he becomes increasingly obsessed with uncovering Ben's secrets. The moment that triggers his suspicion and makes the movie take a strange turn unfolds in the twilight hours of a hazy evening, amidst the intoxicating fumes of a shared joint. Jong-su recalls the day his mother abandoned the family. “I burned all her clothes,” Jong-su says, laughing. To which Ben replies, “Sometimes, I burn down barns” while Hae-mi, the


common object of affection, is sleeping in the house behind them. He explains it with an unsettling calmness like he is talking about something as trivial as the weather or what he had for breakfast this morning. He relates it to nature's whims, like rain falling without any judgment, causing rivers to swell and flood, sweeping lives away. He almost makes you feel that it does make sense to burn down barns.

From this moment onwards Burning transcends mere storytelling and transforms into a tapestry filled with ambiguity and symbolism. As the film progresses, the air grows increasingly eerie, and the line between reality and illusion blurs as we begin to question the authenticity of Jongsu’s experiences. The barns, we begin to realize, might be more than just structures in this tale. As the film progresses, we witness a series of arcane moments, such as Hae-mi's inexplicable disappearance and her enigmatic cat.

Each scene, whether it's a simple conversation or a glance into the vast, open fields, is imbued with a sense of impending revelation.

The film's rural setting, masterfully crafted, with its wide expanses of farmland, evokes a sense of isolation, intensifying the emotional depth of the characters. The juxtaposition of the tranquil landscape, expertly captured by the cinematography, with the characters' inner turmoil, skillfully portrayed by the actors, beautifully creates an unsettling atmosphere.

While its deliberate pacing and openended nature might present a seemingly convoluted plot, with a little patience and attention to detail you can come to appreciate what a truly rewarding movie Burning really is. It is a film that will linger in your thoughts long after you have watched it.


Tonality in Music

It is 1984 and you’ve just finished placing your order for a brand-new Contessa. You’re lying on your armchair, relaxing after a satisfactory purchase, enjoying a good tape. It wasn’t an easy task to gain cassette player rights from your father, and you weren’t about to let them go in vain. You deliberate on your song choices, from Kishore Kumar to Nazia Hassan, and finally decide on playing a song by neither. It was a beautiful sunny afternoon, and all you could think about was holding on to it close and tight, which made you choose Lag Jaa Gale by the quintessential Lata Mangeshkar. As the heart-wrenching lyrics leave the confines of the tape and fill the air, you sit back and wonder “What makes Lata Mangeshkar, Lata Mangeshkar?”

You’re probably not the first to be amazed at the way she keeps hold of a song and plays it to her whims, and you probably won’t be the last. But it doesn’t stop you from getting lost in

translations or that one lazy afternoon. You hear Lataji say,

and wonder what is it in music itself, that gives it such dimension, surpassing space and time? You recall your father telling you the origin of theatrical music to have started in the 17th century, with the featuring of The Black Crook at a theatre in New York, but you know that music itself goes way back. We probably had stone age men banging around sticks on hollow tree trunks, creating nameless tunes and calling it a day. While music did have a deep history and its meaning has kept changing through the eras, what stayed constant was the fact that the tones it carried, if used the right way, gave expression to the most mundane of things. This tonality of music is what has shaped a lot of other art forms including dance, theatre, and storytelling.

Music is an inherently natural phenomenon, vocalizations of animals which are a composition of sounds to us , but the only means of communication for most inhabitants of natural world.

Tonality is a fundamental concept referring to the organization of pitch and their relationships within any composition, musical or artistic. The number of notes in a scale influences how a particular kind of music sounds. An easier way to understand this complex arrangement is with a set of coloured pens and markers. The finer the tip size of a green marker is, the higher pitched the note is, compared to a red marker with the same tip size. Now a thicker marker would mean a broader line and a lower pitched note.

Draw a rainbow with the different colors of the same tip sized markers, and there you have a musical scale with seven notes, called the Heptatonic Scale and is the most commonly used all around the world. Some of these musical rainbows have only 5 colors in the scale, called the Pentatonic Scale, which has a more bluesy, soulful quality to the music drawn with these colors, much like a sketch of a moonlight beach, with only whites, grays, blues, blacks and the occasional dark green of the seaweed.

“हम को ली हैंआ येघ ड़ि न सी से ”

If we switch to pens, we’re switching whole instrument of drawing. Combine paints, markers, pens, and pencils to get your final piece of musical art, be it listening to Latin prayers while admiring the frescoes of the Sistine Chapel, or mouthing the lyrics to Pehla Nasha while munching down on some good old bhel puri.

Indian and most eastern music styles, however, incorporate a lot more than just a single name for the expression of life in a song. Swaras (Notes), Shruti (Microtones), Raga (Melodic Framework), Taal (Rhythmic Cycle), Alankara (Ornamentation) and Gamakas (Ornamental Oscillations) are just the beginning of the composition of a song. You might've heard your father engrossed in hearing Zakir Hussains old tabla composition on a calm monsoon evening, the birds singing their last song of the day, and the sun shining shyly behind the clouds. The familiar rhythm of a tabla behind any classical Indian piece combines mathematics and emotion into tones that endure the sands of time. Indian music tends to be an actual appreciation of the verses sung and the acknowledgement of the singer’s ability as well: Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and his version of “Saason ki Mala Pe” will always be the benchmark of Sufi music. Contrasting in its nature, but only so much, Western music often combines the restful ambience of Sufi music played in a 5-chord scale, and the deep pain depicted in

the voice of Fateh Ali Khan, all in one piece. Consider the analogy of the markers againmaking a rainbow with thin pens of the same width gives it a certain dimension (like a song based on a minor chord entirely), while making it with broad markers lends it a broader structure (similar to a song in a major chord), but say you combine the two and make a single rainbow with both pens and markers together- what then? That’s exactly how a lot of Western classical pieces work.

Let’s take the ever-famous Bohemian Rhapsody itself- while it starts from an upbeat Eb major chord, the entire dynamic of the song changes between the 4th and 5th minute, when it takes a complete turn and starts playing in a C minor, creating an element of surprise for the listeners. First-time listeners are often baffled by the sudden change in the tone, and consider it to be different songs forged into one, which is slightly understandable considering that it was indeed, inspired from 3 previously written songs, but an incorrect depiction nevertheless.

On similar terms is Beethoven's Symphony Number 5- a part of the Classic Era of music, and an introduction to the Romantic Era, and Chopin’s Nocturne in C minor- which defies its very name to include a 30 second section of a major tune right after the first 1.5 minutes. Both these show sudden transitions between majors and minors,

alternating the moods from inherent grief to maddening hope and back, making it a rollercoaster ride to witness. Such sudden tonality changes are also observed in modernday orchestral pieces such as John Williams’ Theme from Schindler's List.

These tonality changes are an essential element in most Western music, including modern-day pop, the only difference being that it often goes unnoticed due to the strong base present in all EDMs. While they might sound disturbing for the first time, especially in classical pieces, it is these tonality differences that give music expression. Music itself is meant to depict the entire spectrum of the human emotions and with classical pieces, it’s never a surprise when a composition goes from a melancholy serenade, to a happy, sunny overture, all within its 6 minutes of spotlight.

You hear a sharp high-pitched sound and snap out of your self-contained monologue, to see the tape almost completed. It was evening, and the sky had just a slight tinge of orange to ornate itself with, and the last song played slow and steady as a wave of calmness engulfed you. It was the last bit of your day, and the words of Kishore Kumar- your favourite artist right after Lataji floated through the air, captivating you, and you did nothing to resist. hvhkvdfxb dfndfnnfnfn

शाम म स्ता नी, म हो ए ”

Tale of Charming Reason

Some remarkable features of Man’s existence have puzzled philosophers since time immemorial. The ability of man to survive, to persist, to succeed in times of inexplicable hardship without being brutish is one of the most prominent puzzles. What makes this possible? It is an aspect that many individuals overlook; the underlying, discrete, sometimes indirect role of charming reason, i.e., when men of impeccable brilliance achieve watershed success through wit, persuasion, and clarity of thought. The tale of colonial America, fighting for independence against seemingly omnipotent Britain, is direct proof of this fact.

The condition of colonial America waging its war of independence was dismal. A ragtag army of peasants, farmers, and blacksmiths, up in arms against the mighty British Empire. As conditions were, doom was imminent. America needed to act.

In utter desperation, America tried to seek the help of France, the arch-rival of Britain, sending two representatives; a Harvard- trained, supremely talented lawyer from Massachusetts, and the other a former postmaster.

And in France, one of them received a welcome that would make a modern-day rockstar seethe in envy-the postmaster, whereas the Harvard lawyer was disliked by many in his visiting country. What motivated the monarchist French to look beyond one’s professional background? A careful observation ought to help. Benjamin Franklin, the former postmaster, and polymath, with very little formal education, was famed throughout the world for having discovered electricity.

On the other hand, John Adams was one of the writers of the state’s constitution, who fought against slavery from as early as the 1750s. Both of them had impeccable backgrounds that separated them from the vast majority. They were both geniuses who embodied the Enlightenment heroes, and whose ideas are relevant even today. Albeit Adams was a conventional genius, and Franklin an outlier. Then how was their reputation so radically different?

Studying both of their characters closely may make things clearer. It was how they carefully used their talents, which created one of the greatest conundrums in American history. It exemplified the power of thought and careful consideration, appropriately channeled.

John Adams was a strict Puritan, who shunned alcohol and dancing, rarely trusted people, and was short-tempered. Not that he wasn’t well-meaning, but he was like the strict teacher all can relate to. A clearly strict, yet genius teacher. Known for being a talented lawyer, diction and comprehension were his key strengths, and after a close look, one could see the magnitude of genius underlying a coarse outward appearance. Punctual, simply dressed, and serious, Adams was determinedly solemn. His persona and character sat very differently from that of Franklin.

But it is erroneous to consider Franklin a good-looking simpleton.

He was the epitome of the man of charming reason. Ben Franklin, the epitome of the self-made man, and representative of the Enlightenment, was the most famous American in France. His charm and popularity were such that Franklin’s choice of clothes became French fashion in no time. Franklin had made a rule for himself, he never spoke anything bad about a man, no matter how much he deserved it.


These well-cultivated traits of both these men were to be immensely exploited for decisive events.  Franklin used his fame to gain decisive leverage in negotiations with the French ministers. He had strong political connections, and very famous people were wooed by his charm, including Voltaire, Adam Smith, and even the French royalty. The French king was known to give Franklin’s portrait to some of his courtiers.  These efforts resulted in a grand alliance between France, America, and Spain, which defeated Britain in one decisive war, although Franklin and Adam’s genius did not stop there.

After the majestic victory of the American and French alliance against Britain, it was Adams who emerged popular and reasonable Before the war, the French had one prerequisite for the alliance, that the Americans do not make separate peace with Britain.

And as one might come to think, a new nation founded upon Democratic principles, would not sit so well with a monarchy. This is where Adams and Franklin diverged.

In times of hardship, a true genius is dauntless and rational, not haphazard and disconnected. John Adams embodied a true rational man, and saved America, and in turn the modern Western world from enormous pain. Franklin, the ever-idealist, wanted to go as per the prerequisite of the alliance, whereas Adams thought it prudent to a separate peace with Britain.

He specifically portrayed France as a power-hungry monarchy (in front of the American politicians) to further his noble cause, America established terms of peace with Britain separately, and France was informed later.

Of course, this enraged the French ministers, but Franklin’s charm could quell even fire. The American public realised the severity of this decision when France broke out into a complete, bloody civil war.

So what caused the success of these men in times of enormous hardship? Even though the journey of Franklin and Adams is particular, the underlying essence is general. One can see it, the masterful combination of wit, presence of mind, and reason. This remarkable combination can bring down empires of tyranny, in matter and spirit.

Aristotle rightfully said, “Man is a social animal.” When the individual uses thought to act out of volition, in the appropriate amount for the context, mankind makes gigantic strides. The case of Franklin and Adams is a proud testament to this fact.


Not So Awkward

“Buzzz…..” The ringing in her ears got louder as the seconds ticked by. “I’m Ami, from Mumbai and I love reading books,” rehearsed a nervous Ami for the hundredth time in her head. Her hands were clammy, she was fidgeting and faintly blushing. She stood up with a hammering heart and got over with the Herculean task by incoherently mumbling her grammatically incorrect introduction in a shaky voice.

It earned her a compassionate or rather sympathetic smile from her professor. The meet and greet activity suggested by the bubbly Humanities professor was her worst nightmare come true. She wasn't even remotely prepared for this much attention on the first day of her new semester.

The rest of the day  went on sluggishly with one boring lecture after the other. After the final Economics lecture at 5 pm, Ami promptly plugged in her earphones and started walking towards the hostel slowly. On her way, she noticed her roommate walking in the opposite direction and sincerely prayed to go unnoticed. But the oblivious roommate looked at her directly. After a ferocious internal battle about whether to smile politely or pretend to be lost in her music; there was an expression that was somewhere between a grin or a grimace plastered on her face. She continued walking, kicking pebbles on her way, and mentally making a to-do list.

Contrary to her super productive to-do list, Ami ended up dilly-dallying till

supper like most undergrads. After a not-so-tasty meal, she finally laid on her mattress with a sigh only to let the should-haves and could-haves churn her mind and slowly fell into a deep slumber.

“I’m bustling with energy. I’m organizing a college fest and am patiently guiding the heads of various sections. I’m hosting the cultural events and handling the role with grace and charisma. The audience is cheering as the organizing team is posing for snaps. There is thunderous applause all around. People are calling to appreciate me in person. I’m on cloud nine.’’

Ami awoke with a start. “It was too good to be true anyways” she mused. After contemplation and dissection of her dream, she concluded that being more sociable is as necessary as a degree.


Thus, her research on “How to be more sociable” had begun. As she was scrolling through web pages, her mobile pinged with a notification of the first general body meeting of the College Book Club. Thus, the Book Club’s first meet became Ami’s ground for experiment. After the traditional introductory session, they were divided into groups and asked to interact amongst themselves. After a three-minute pep talk and mental boost-up, Ami randomly blurted, “What makes a library so tall?” There was pin-drop silence. After the dramatic pause, she said, “It has many stories” To her utter horror, none of her peers found it funny. She was quiet for the rest of the meet, zoning in and out while cringing internally. As usual, she walked back to the hostel with earphones plugged in.

Being the optimist that she was, she went ahead with trial two at the mess during dinner that night. As she stood in the queue for food (that was not-so-worth the wait), she smiled at the girl behind her and said, “Hey Yo! Which student chapters are you a part of?” The girl gave Ami a weird look and said, ‘Uhm…I’m your senior.’ That left Ami as white as a sheet. She was shocked and dropped the glass of curd she was holding with a bang. The senior struggled to hold her

laughter in; the mess staff gave her the bombastic sideeye as the rest of the people in the mess turned to look at Ami. Ami’s face turned beet red and she fled from the mess mumbling incoherent apologies and internally cursing her guardian angel.

After the walk of shame from the mess to her room, she silently started scrolling through a wiki-how article on “How not to be clumsy” and eventually fell asleep with an empty stomach. The following morning, Ami who was sleep-deprived, dehydrated, and half stomach-full, reluctantly dragged herself towards the department for reasons that all students are familiar with.

“On a sunny Monday morning, I walk into the Indian Institute of Science with a cup of cold coffee and a bunch of research papers in my hand. The moment I step in, I’m appalled to find the entire team goofing around right next to my seat. The guide, on seeing me, says, “The fest was a huge blast last night. It’s a pity that you missed it. I’m sorry for the loss of your pet”

I give him a nervous smile. The next moment, one of my partners says, “Didn’t you say that you were allergic to animals when I invited you to my cat’s birthday paw-ty last week?”

“No, that can’t be true. She pets the street dog almost every day” says another.

I look at all of them like a deer caught in the headlights.”

The frustrated professor threw a piece of chalk at her and screamed, “Ami!” for the umpteenth time. She stood up, staring dazedly at the unfinished SOP mocking her from the mobile hidden in the pages of her notebook. Ami was amazed at her imagination and the new heights her overthinking had reached. While Ami looked around blankly, the professor soberly asked, “Can you say something about our current topic of discussion?”

Needless to say, the headlights remained focused on Ami and she never ceased being the deer.


I wish it would rain

"I wished it would rain, a silent, soothing sigh, To wash away the shadows beneath a gray sky. In quiet moments, I find myself adrift and lost, In search of answers, a life's heavy cost.

Amidst the whispers of raindrops on my skin, I'm swallowed by the echoes of battles fought within, Yearning for connection, a purpose to attain, In the gentle downpour, I hope to find my way."

On a sunday morning I woke, I heard the crackling at the window, There, the raindrops smiling towards me I saw my father making tea for mother, Comes out a utensil and an unexperienced man, Making way for the delicious cuisine, O'Love, What love - makes you do things, They say good things not last long, As he drifted somewhere up in the clouds, I look up at the sky and towards my mother. And I wished it would rain!

Running on heels Like rats on wheels Chasing the dreams Like flowing streams Through busy roads On a dusty ride Over the mud and toads Gushing along the side I ride my bicycle along Listening to my favourite song

Though, I wish it would rain And wash away the pain The thorns that prick Remove them quick Else suffer in silence With a sickening presence Of love and war, may what become of it.

I wish it would rain Few moments of solitude The peace yond I gain

To build up mine own f'rtitude To square whatev'r may cometh To find whatev'r lost may hath

Keep the hope up high Cross the limits of sky Cause O' friend of mine You will live, love and exist in the divine.



Writers and Editors

Anirudh Peri Chief Editor

Geetanjali Ghatak Secretary

Dhruv Kulkarni Correspondent

Krishna Shreeram Chief Editor

Muskan Vedi Junior Editor

Misbah Shaikh Correspondent

Himanshu Thakur Editor-at-Large

Harini Mandapaka Correspondent

Sebastian John Chacko Correspondent


Divyansh Verma Chief Designer

Nidhi Borkar Senior Designer

Shambhavi Shinde Junior Designer

Sauparnika Nair Chief Designer

Anushka Ghushe Junior Designer

Poojita Mukundan Junior Designer

Kancharapu Sai Bhargavi Senior Designer

Varsha Shabolu Junior Designer

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