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Vol. 1 #3

The Green Issue 1/3/2011


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From The Desk We are back, all guns ablaze, with a better website, a new section and with all the improvements that we possibly could make without giving TIME an inferiority complex. 'Change is constant,' said Barack Obama, and that is what we have adhered to. We have experimented, and hopefully for the better. You may notice a resolutely green shade to all of the pages this time, and we initially planned that this would signify the green movement, but as we realized you’ll all be reading this on a computer that contains poisonous levels of mercury, powered by a source of energy that probably involves burning lethal amounts of coal, so we turned a bit green with hypocrisy. So that’s the theme. We are moving further in our plans of world domination, and are conducting experiments on the use of human brains as batteries so we got Kaustubh Shakkarwar to do the job. He does what all HRDirectors do - nothing. We've scrapped the name 'Epibattle' because- well, it’s tacky. And we’re not ashamed of admitting it. The top ten list consists of the best fictional geniuses, or as we prefer genii, across various fields, good and evil, from Shelock to Frankenstein. Geeks looking for inspiration? Ten at your service. We've saved the best for the last. There is now a photography section to delight your eyes. Black and white, widlife, fauna, monuments, people; we've got them all. We just love you, don't we? February has been a short month and the spirits of all the dead


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souls who we ran over in an attempt to complete the issue on time will probably curse us for a life. Or perhaps they won't, because it was all for the greater good. See you around in a month, Epigram Magazine™ Live. Laugh. Love.

A Saahil Dama, Ishan Dabri, Krushna Dande production.

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Contributors 1. 7 Ways to Irritate your Boss Animesh Mishra 2. Valentine’s Day - Saahil Dama 3. Procrasti-station - Sukanya Banerjee

A Saahil Dama, Ishan Dabri, Krushna Dande production.

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7 ways to irritate your boss Everyone hates their bosses. It’s an open secret. But not everyone has the guts to cross their path. Here are a few tips for those brave souls who’re willing to do the daring and cross swords with the Hitler of their lives. Flight method: Take some papers with you when your boss calls for some discussion. While your boss is explaining you the new project, make some airplanes and fly them. Ensure that you imitate the sound of a plane at the same time. When your boss asks you what you are doing; just tell him that you're listening to what he is explaining. Suddenly after some time ask your boss if he can explain it once again as you missed the last point. This one has the full potential to get you a pink slip in no time.

And then you can make a paper plane with it


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Telephonic method: When your boss calls you, ask him to hold and start talking some crap to other colleagues; intentionally keeping your voice so high that your boss on the other hand can hear your entire conversation. To make it even more irritating, keep telling your boss after every two minutes or so;”Boss; just give me two more minutes. We’re almost done.” Dance method: Your boss comes to you and says that I’ve got news for you. Immediately stand up, start dancing vigorously shaking your legs and hips and sing ‘Hips don’t lie’ as loud as you can. Stop only when your boss has asked you to stop at least four times. When he asks why you were dancing, simple tell him, “Boss, I felt like dancing. You can now tell me whatever you were saying.”

The response you’ll get. No guarantees, though. MoM method: This method is used when you're in a meeting with your boss. If you're asked to prepare MoM (Minutes of Meeting), mention every small-small thing like when someone stood, when someone raised his hand, when someone dug his nose, et cetera. But ensure that you do not record any actual minutes. The moment you send this MoM, there are full chances that you'll be able to get a pink slip for your boss as well (you'll get it anyway!)

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Email method: Your boss writes a mail to you, "Dear Drake, go through the doc and send your analysis by today EOD. It's urgent." Reply back to him, "Hang on dude, you just cannot keep sending emails like this and asking to complete it by EOD. I gotta do so many other things, and will do it the first thing when I'm free. You gotta wait till then. Chill dude." Mismatch method: For an important client meeting, wear yellow shirt with pink pants. Ensure that you match it with pink tie and pink socks. To add a more ridiculous appeal, add white shoes to it. The moment you see your boss, just ask him whether it is looking nice or not (in a child-like tone.) Vacation method: When on annual vacation, keep messaging your boss, "Hope everything is fine in my absence." But whenever he calls you, pick-up the phone, start explaining what you did since morning, how the place you're visiting is awesome, what you ate how’s the room, et cetera. At the end, say good-bye and miss you, and disconnect the phone. P.s. I am not to blame for any mishaps. If your boss stabs you through the heart, don’t accuse me, call the ambulance instead. - Animesh Mishra Animesh is also the author of http://animeshkmishra.blogspot.com/

A Saahil Dama, Ishan Dabri, Krushna Dande production.


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Valentine’s Day Being single has its advantages. 'Get embarrassed in public' events like Valentine's Day don't cost you heavy on your pocket, for one. And you can openly laugh at the wannabe Romeos and Juliets who haunt public places, arm-in-arm, and eyes locked and get run over by over speeding trucks or stabbed by disgusted onlookers. Before their untimely 'died-in-each-others'-arms' romantic demise, the places they can be found on such days are: 1. Theatres - Theatres provide the perfect setup for them. Dark and comfortable, with no one paying attention. If you sit close enough to them, managing not to look like a pervert, you can hear them whispering sugary, cheeky love quotes or movie dialogues to each other. The perfect way to catch them in their act would be to turn on the lights suddenly or switch seats with the boyfriend. 2. On hilltops - If you chance to be on a hill on the morning of the fourteenth, you will most certainly see a handful of this category. They will be there on the peak, gazing at the city like two unearthly lovebirds, engulfing their sweat, stinky selves in each others' arms. Pushing them off and singing 'Love is in the air' would just be the perfect Valentine's Day gift for them. 3. Libraries – These people firmly believe in spoiling the sanctity of people who have no interest in all these gimmicks by infiltrating their only safe haven – libraries. Absolutely paranormal behaviour. They’ll murmur soft things or taint Shakespeare’s image by reading his poems aloud to each other. They’ll then tickle each other or worst of all, giggle!

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4. In parks - This will definitely be the most disturbing of the list because it happens in plain sight of everyone. They will be out there, sitting right in the middle of the park, cuddling and caressing like they are the only two people in the world while unsettled onlookers watch with an equal mixture of disgust and apoplexy. Whatever the hell happened to public decency.

We’re so kewl. 5. Near banyan trees - The classic. This is the traditional place where lovers go to seek privacy and peace. Yes, because Hindi movies haven't really taught us that, have they? Like the last place anyone would look to mock two lovers will be under a banyan tree. Or above. Just because Buddha spent a lifetime there doesn't mean that it is still in fashion. Take her home at least, you cheap stake.


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6. Speeding through the city - Straight off the sets of some third grade Tamil movie. Guy with glasses as big as his head, hair longer than the girl's, hunched over a two-wheeled toy tank, with a girl in clothes tight as a straight jacket and her face decorated with ample amount of lipstick cruising through the town at an insane speed of 150 kilometres an hour. Most likely to get hit by a bullock cart or run down an unfortunate pedestrian.

7. Temples – If God really exists, I pity him. But He is to blame Himself since He was the one who iconised love with his Ram-RavannaSita have a threesome tale. Since then, the fourteenth has become a favourite date of Indian couples to visit the temple. He’ll be the doing the Salman Khan wear-no-shirt act and she’ll be wearing a white sari. They’ll step into the temple and he’ll cut his finger on a trident or sword and smear her forehead with his ‘pure’ A+ blood. How holy! Holy shit!

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‘Love is noise,’ say The Verve. Love is noise. Love is disgusting. Love is make-belief. Love is embarrassing. And most of all love is stupid. That is the fact. If you don’t believe me, then you were probably one of the hundred simians hanging under the banyan tree on Valentine’s Day Love and peace. Actually, scratch the love. - Saahil Dama

A Saahil Dama, Ishan Dabri, Krushna Dande production.


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Procrasti-station How good are you at procrastinating? How well do you know your delay tactics? Are you the nightmare of every boss or the angel of submission dates? Find out with this quiz: 1. Lecture in the first period. You: a) Set an alarm, get ready and reach five minutes early for class. b) Somehow manage to scramble and reach for class ten minutes late, walk in and look for a seat towards the back. c) Skip it and contemplate asking a friend to give a proxy. 2. Your mantra in life: a) Discipline is the key to success. b) Just don’t be too late yaar. Bas. c) Meh. Later. 3. You usually recharge your cell: a) ASAP. You never know when you need to make that important call. b) Soon enough. c) You don’t. You wait till your friends get sick and do it for you. 4. On an outing with friends, you: a) Are the first to reach and then call others up to make it fast. b) Arrive with a small group in tow. c) Reach the last. 5. You’ve missed a deadline. a) What? Check your diary. I never miss deadlines. b) Make up an excuse. You’ll get away with it. You’re hardly ever late anyway. c) Yeah. So?

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Results: MOSTLY As: you are always on time. You remind the teacher about all the deadlines and get sadistic pleasure in watching the ordinary kids suffer. Everybody hates you.

MOSTLY Bs: you’re a balanced person. You’re mostly on time but give in to procrastination occasionally. You need to stop being so anxious and practice hard. Someday, surely, you’ll reach the hallowed group of-


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MOSTLY Cs: you’re the god of delaying tactics. Bosses, teachers and even deadlines tremble at the mention of your name. Way to go! P.S: the editor discovered a draft version of this quiz on the writer’s desk…and realized the writer’s answers were all Cs. The writer wishes him a speedy recovery from the panic attack. P.S.S: If you haven’t given the quiz, you’re the real god of procrastinators. The rest of us shall bow down to your glory. In a minute. - Sukanya Banerjee   Sukanya is the author of the blog http://theprocrastinatorsdin. blogspot.com/

A Saahil Dama, Ishan Dabri, Krushna Dande production.

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Movies

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Movies

Contributors 1. Movie of the Month - Anshul Pandey 2. Vintage Movie - YasodaraKarunaratne & Vanditaa Dhoot

A Saahil Dama, Ishan Dabri, Krushna Dande production.

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The King’s Speech Imagine when holding power becomes a curse. When an entire nation looks up to you in the time of need and you just want to wake up hoping that this is all a dream. What kind of job would it be? Better, what kind of life would it be? The King's Speech, a See Saw Films and Bedlam Productions venture, is much more than the breath of fresh air that you expect from British cinema. It feels as if you have been placed in a snowstorm of the finest cinematic experience which leaves you drenched and totally blows out your mind. Tom Hooper, the celebrated British director who charmed us all in his previous film "The Damned United", continues to draw applause and award nominations for The King's Speech. The story is set in the backdrop of the Second World War with King George V at the helm of British Empire and his younger son, Prince Albert, as the Duke of York. Prince Albert (or Bertie as his family members would call him) is suffering from speech impediment and has consulted various doctors and tried numerous therapies but to no avail. Princess Elizabeth (played by the ever-so-charming Helena Bonham Carter), undeterred by the various failures and Prince Albert's wavering confidence, tries to consult an Australian speech therapist, Mr. Lionel Logue (played by Geoffrey Rush), in a last ditch attempt. The unconventional styles of his treatment and out of the box experiments cause many awkward moments for the Prince but despite all the hiccups, the treatment gets underway and in an efficient manner. Meanwhile, with the death of King George V (played by Michael "Dumbledore" Gambon), his eldest son Edward, a womanizer, ascends the throne. King Edward VIII becomes notorious for his relationship with Wallis Simpson (played by Eve Best), a socialite and a divorcee.

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The relationship stretches to the point that the King tries to marry Wallis thus triggering a constitutional crisis since the King, being the head of the church, isn't allowed to marry a divorcee. Prince Albert then tries to persuade King Edward against the marriage but the King mocks him and accuses him of planning to usurp the throne by citing his elocution lessons as a proof. King Edward goes on to abdicate his throne and marry Wallis Simpson thus leaving Prince Albert (now King George VI) as the head of the empire. What unfolds is a dramatic sequence which is worth watching over and over. David Seidler's screenplay comes out with shades of phenomisity and excellence. It really isn't the kind of drama that you expect; slow and patient - bordering on the point of frustrating - but engaging all the while. Logue helps the King get over the hysteria and tension of becoming the king. As World War II breaks out and Prime Minister Baldwin resigns, all hopes get pinned on to the King to deliver a magnificent speech, to be heard all over the world by his subjects, to inspire and instill confidence and boost morale of his troops. The King, with the help of his friend Lionel Logue, rises to the occasion and delivers a speech - without stammering - which leaves even his elder brother stunned. What makes the film click in the audience's mind is not the royal scenery or the periodic backdrop. Rather, it is the relationship between the two individuals, one royal and affluent and other just a common man, which keeps the viewer hooked on to the screen. The performances of Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush are par excellence and have been amply rewarded with a rich dose of award nominations. Helena Bonham Carter slips gently into the persona of Queen Elizabeth and delivers a performance worthy of rivaling that of Helen Miller's on any fine day. Guy Pearce deserves a special


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Movies

mention as it is his character that ads all the more complexity in the already complicated matters of the Royal Family. Michael Gambon and Derek Jacobi are as charming as ever. With 14 BAFTA Nominations and 12 Oscar nominations, one can hardly afford to miss the movie. A must-watch for laymen and experts alike.

- Anshul Pandey

Anshul is the author of http://stirrupking.blogspot. com/

A Saahil Dama, Ishan Dabri, Krushna Dande production.

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Vintage Movie They say boys are not true men until they have watched The Godfather and nothing ever could have been said in truer words. Explosives, knives, machine guns, pistols, uppercuts, raw fighting, sexy men in tuxedos - you name it, we guarantee that it’s there in this movie. For countless years after its release, hordes and hordes of mafia films of all cultures have flooded the film industry upon which they have always been consciously or unconsciously compared to The Godfather: an unfair comparison most would say as only the sequels have been able to outrun The Godfather. Directed by Francis Ford Coppola, the plot revolves around the Corleone family of which Don Vito Corleone played by Marlon Brando is the Godfather. It is strongly believed that casting Marlon Brando as the main character was one of the many reasons for the movie’s success due to his unique voice and legendary acting in the movie itself evidently enough to win him the Oscar for Best Actor in a Leading Role. The movie opens up on the day of Vito’s daughter’s (Connie’s) wedding where various big-shots come asking for help from Vito because in Sicilian customs, “no man is to refuse a request for help on the day of his daughter’s wedding”. Among these pleas comes forth a request from Virgil Sollozzo in protecting the Tattaglia family's planned heroin business: a request which Vito declines due to his aversion to the drug industry and due to the potential problems to his influence in politics. However, out of suspicion, Vito has one of his men find out more about Sollozzo which turns out to be unsuccessful as Vito’s man is garrotted to death. This is where the beef starts.

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From this point begins a ruthless and interminable war where all the mob families in New York are convulsed with bloodshed including the Corleone family, at which the audience is greeted with the grand transformation of Michael Corleone played by Al Pacino who transforms (an apparent yet immensely effective and entertaining deus ex machina) from an innocent bystander to a ruthless manipulator, even more callous than Vito ever was. Want to know more? Watch the movie. Many of the issues and themes delineated in the Godfather are all universal in scope. A father’s bequest, dangerous desire for respect and the unscrupulous mastery of power are all complications of everyday life which have been intelligently moulded into this cinematic blender hence appealing to an array of audiences. Its effect on pop culture is herculean in nature as without its significance in crime and family, The Goodfellas and The Sopranos would have not been created. In addition to this, kissing the Don’s ring has now become a tradition amongst mafia families as means of paying respect to the Don and Don Vito's line "I'm going to make him an offer he can't refuse" was voted as the second most memorable line in cinema history. In short, the Godfather has unconsciously helped us to understand the prominence of family whilst being aware of the corruption mastered by power and the hunger for respect.

- Yasodara Karunaratne & Vanditaa Dhoot

A Saahil Dama, Ishan Dabri, Krushna Dande production.


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Poetry

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Contributors Time - Aman Khater The Four Seasons - Meera Kale Whirlpool - Rashmi Jejurikar Nomadic Words - Priyanka Bhowmick Bogeyman - Tejas Kandharkar

A Saahil Dama, Ishan Dabri, Krushna Dande production.


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Poetry

Time Oh you sinister being, Wait for no sorrow, no happiness, Just keep on going, Emotionless. Remorseless. Days come, days go, The sun rises, sets. Many a tide, move to and fro But no mortal hath yet passed your tests. Here we have this man going, And here again new life set. The day we end not knowing, For it is when you shall let. A role in our lives you play prime Many think they have been cheated. This is nothing but a perfect crime, And now the hour is completed.

-Aman Khater

A Saahil Dama, Ishan Dabri, Krushna Dande production.

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Four Seasons The year starts in January It's cold and breezy outside People along the streets hurry Beneath the blankets we hide Goes on for the next two months And suddenly the page turns And spring and summer come bundled together And the hearth-coal no longer burns The trees burst into bloom The weather does not It changes, and soon It's more than sweltering hot

This ends in September But then it gets dry All the glowing ember With the smoke, rises and reaches the sky Then November comes along With it, the frostbitten winter A month for the Christmas song Gloves on to avoid disaster The year begins again Once more it's chilly outside We seek shelter from the cold Beneath the blankets we hide

The year has aged till May-end - Meera Kale The time - it's nothing but gala The new haute couture - the trend Is oh, dear, the umbrella In no time it's watery And stinky and very wet And our clothes are all pottery The mud makes one upset

A Saahil Dama, Ishan Dabri, Krushna Dande production.


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Poetry

Whirpool waves, big waves, bigger waves, sometimes towards the shore, at the next instant away from it, twirling and twisting, gradually at first, then violently, pulling all along with it, destroying everything and then, it all clears out, the sun shines, and it’s quiet, gloomy, but peaceful, and all that remains, is things that have clung on, taking support of anything strong, ready to start a whole new life, only from the remnants of their pre-existence. -Rashmi Jejurikar

A Saahil Dama, Ishan Dabri, Krushna Dande production.

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Nomadic Words They gaze at the rovings of mind Their home lost, leaving the emptiness behind The leaf void, they stumble upon meaninglessly Hunting a stand they wander around homelessly Their eyes breathing with no senses and feelings Losing the stroke, no chance of healing They come and go leaving their traces veiled Upon the lips they sit remaining sealed No musings, no actions to exhibit the truth Flickers in bewilderment no heart to soothe. -Priyanka Bhowmick Priyanka is the co-founder of Frog Croon Magazine

A Saahil Dama, Ishan Dabri, Krushna Dande production.


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Poetry

Bogeyman

In the desolated depths of perilous place The bogeyman lurks with a snarl on his face. Never dare, never dare to approach his dark lair He is waiting in the shadows, tugging at your hair. Oh, he is just waiting, just waiting to get you. He's wild in his search for a tender, delectable child With his slavery jaws and a smile so wild Oh he is just waiting, just waiting to get you. Many have entered his dreary den But not even one has been heard from again. They make a great feast for the butchering beast He is just waiting for his feast Oh, he is just waiting, just waiting to get you. In that scary sunless and sinister place He’ll crumple your bones in his boogey embrace. Never go near if you hold your life dear For he'll fill your heart with fear. Oh, he is just waiting, just waiting to get you. But with the light on, it's bright as day The bogeyman slowly fades away -Tejas Kandharkar A Saahil Dama, Ishan Dabri, Krushna Dande production.

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Top 10 List

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Top Ten Fictional Geniuses


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Contributors 10. Victor Frankenstein - Pranav Shinde 9. Hermione Granger - Rohan Kulkarni 8. Phineas and Ferb - Ryan Shah 7. Daniel Ocean - Kartik Iyer 6. Jeeves - Sushrut Munje 5. Hercule Poirot - Aman Khater 4. Sheldon Cooper - Bhargav Vyas 3. Doc Brown - Nikhil Mane 2. Artemis Fowl - Krushna Dande 1. Sherlock Holmes - Saahil Dama

A Saahil Dama, Ishan Dabri, Krushna Dande production.

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10. Victor Frankenstein Genius is a very absolute concept in fiction. They are always either good or evil. Every one of these geniuses we present has a specific category: good and evil. However, Mary Shelley’s seminal work, written when she was all of nineteen years old, contains a genius who does great evil, not for evil, but for other reasons: Frankenstein. No, not the bumbling green monster with screws jutting out of his head who looks like a lobotomy gone wrong, but the scientist whose name was lost in the creation that he made. Frankenstein recounts the story, and it is about how he built the monster, and why he has no run away into a glacier bank from the monster he has made. The story goes something like this: Victor is a lowly science student with great ambitions. He wants to create life through science. He


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prepares a vat of chemicals, which are described in the book with all the accuracy of a nonprofessional saying science words, and realizes he needs a mass of cells to grow a human being. Therefore, in a manner quite reminiscent of Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice he is forced to cut a pound of flesh from his own body and throws it into the chemicals. As he returns after a week, he finds the monster waiting within the vat. Disgusted and surprised, he turns this creature away and drives him out, treating him like an animal rather than the thinking being he is. His life slowly becomes torturous as the monster goes on a rampage and later returns only to demand that Viktor make him a bride. Seeing the horrible creation before him, he refuses. Frankenstein is different as a genius, since he is vilified because of his creation in spite of his intellect. When you read about him, you can’t help but think how different his life would have been if some (at the time) inconsequential decisions were made differently. So, to recap: the man created a monster, then didn’t create him a bride. Not a very smart thing to do, eh? Why is he a genius, then? For one reason: babies are annoying enough already. And no good can come of a Frankenbaby. - Pranav Shinde

A Saahil Dama, Ishan Dabri, Krushna Dande production.

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9. Hermione Granger

"I hope you're pleased with yourselves. We could have been all killed -or worse, expelled." Just reading that line lets you know: whoever said it was a stuck up, study centered megalomaniac, who probably wouldn’t care less if Armageddon happened and she got an A+ on the test. But then, as the series goes on, the characters grow and change. Harry isn’t the naïve child, Ron isn’t the sidekick and Hermione isn’t just a token brain character. And unlike most other geniuses in history, this one actually changes. Introduced in the first book as one of the three main characters, Hermione was essentially a walking deus ex machina, present just for solving the various puzzles that Voldemort set for the trio. But, by the end of the book it’s clear how much change has occurred in her mindset.


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She’s always ready with the answer to any question posed by a teacher and very inflexible when it comes to breaking school rules. Her answer to every query is sneaked in as a trip to the library, and by the end of the book that’s what saves the day. No one can deny that almost all the magical prowess contained in the group lies with her. Based on J.K. Rowling as a child, one would expect her to be a flawless character, as most author insertions are, but immaculate she is not. Her vanity surfaces in the middle of the series, and so does her tendency to cryand being envious. There is a lot of insecurity and a great fear of failure underneath the surface of her character. And you’ve got to admit: having a huge intellect balanced with a complete lack of social understanding is pretty hard. But pulling it off is something that Hermoine seems to have the knack of. If her character portrait is a brain, throughout the series a heart grows along with it. And as she said close to the end of the first book: "Books! And cleverness! There are more important things -- friendship and bravery." And she has all three. - Rohan Kulkarni

A Saahil Dama, Ishan Dabri, Krushna Dande production.

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The Green Issue

8. Phineas and Ferb “Candace, we are just kids.� The irony of that. If there is a show that diligently holds up the torch lit by Dexter, it ought to be Phineas and Ferb. The show about the dynamic duo not only makes you laugh, but also makes you marvel at the intelligence of two kids. Yes, kids. The show follows a specific pattern. Phineas and Ferb come up with a brainwave to make something stupendous every time their parents are away from home or even if they are simply getting bored. They are left in the care of their sister, Candice, who often tries to bust the boys and their schemes by telling their mother of their innovations. But before that can happen, an accident takes place which entirely demolishes their creation and things return to normalcy before anyone is any wiser. Simple. Brilliant.


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The two step brothers have very distinctive personalities. Phineas is the more active and amiable of the two while Ferb likes to keep to himself and hardly talks. Yet, they are united by the fact that they both are always in the lookout for an opportunity to create something extraordinary. They have done various things like make music videos, created a beach in their backyard, make a roller coaster, added their sister's face on Mt. Rushmore and even repaired a broken time machine. Such actions aptly put them under the genius section, because while kids today can't crap straight in the toilet, Phineas and Ferb make history. Phineas if the more optimistic and creative of the two. He is often over half the mastermind in the duo's ideas. Ferb on the other hand is quite the contrary. A tad more laconic, Ferb is the the buildingmachine. He is a technical genius and along with his stepbrother has built things ranging from a pocket robot to battling tree houses. Though they are merely kids, they testify that geniuses do not always have to be weird or evil. Besides their creative streaks, they also lead a normal life, having their crushes, playing with their platypus and finding lost cities and creatures like Atlantis and the LakeNose monster. They are highly adept at music and have made many music videos too. 21st century Renaissance men? Roger that. The kids and their antics are a delight to watch. They are intellectual aficionados with a passion for thinking out of the box and doing things seemingly impossible. Cool. Insane. Genius. - Ryan Shah

A Saahil Dama, Ishan Dabri, Krushna Dande production.

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The Green Issue

7. Daniel Ocean Who hasn't heard of Daniel Ocean, the mastermind of the heists cooked up in the Ocean's Trilogy? This fictional genius is a cool con artist, an excellent gambler and has experience in the fields of theft, business scams, and counterfeit schemes. He has a charming and captivating personality, and is a very sociable person. He appears impeccable and highly fashionable. Having excellent communication skills, he is also a master of reverse psychology. Teamed up with his best friend Rusty, he gathers a team of 11 people, each the best at what they do. Together, they plan and execute the triple heist of the Bellagio, the Mirage and the MGM Grand casinos, owned by a man called Terry Benedict. With the panache and brilliant mind of Danny, the eleven successfully accomplish the seemingly impossible task of robbing the casinos. They accomplish it in such a unique way that their getaway itself was facilitated by


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the person they were robbing. This is what Danny is known for, detailed planning coupled with a professional team, and this is what makes every heist of his a great success. Three years hence, Danny is approached by Terry, demanding the cash stolen by him plus the interest. Thus he is forced to regroup others for this. They find out that they are way too short of the required sum. So they gear up yet again, to do a little bad for the apparently greater good. They head for Amsterdam, where Ocean pulls off feats like raising the elevation of a building just to take a crossbow shot (amazing, eh?) and more of the kind, only to meet his match in the Nightfox, the guy who spilled the beans about their casino heist, and is willing to pay off the debt, if they successfully beat him in a race to obtain the Coronation Egg. With sheer brilliance, Ocean successfully beats his rival, which is a delight to watch. Ocean is well settled and is leading a good, happy life. But he decides to come out of retirement for one last time, on account of Reuben, the initial financer of his work who is betrayed by his own business partner. Danny is thirsty for vendetta and the team reunites for one final showdown. This time though, he takes the help of Terry Benedict for the financial assistance who accepts to reduce competition. Using fine management of resources and a well architectured plan, they manage to plunder the casino on the very night of its opening. What do you get when every table is a lucky one? A ruined casino. This is Daniel Ocean. Simple, but smart. Silent, but effective. A gentleman, yet lethal. The man who makes incredible plan executes them with unbelievable ingenuity. - Kartik Iyer

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6. Jeeves

I recently realized that Stephen Fry has quite a few fans in the circle of humans I’m fond of. So, coming straight to the pointlike a Goth facing Romans willI’ll take the liberty to quote Stephen Fry here and there. “What a very, very lucky person you are. Spread out before you are the finest and funniest words from the finest and funniest writer the past century ever knew.” And that applies to each and every P.G.Wodehouse book. He painted colorful pictures of the British countryside, quite often creating characters from the Aristocracy. One of them is Jeeves, a brilliant young valet (not a butler) to Bertie Wooster, a British gentleman. “Much has been written about Jeeves. His imperturbability, his omniscience, his unruffled insight, his orotund speech, his infallible way with a quotation.. in short, his perfection.” He is known to get Bertie out of tight spots, that usually involve his many overwhelming aunts, beautiful women to whom he somehow ends up being engaged and a certain policeman who likes holding a grudge against ol’ Bertram Wooster. Being excessively sweet-natured but not particularly smart, Bertie often misses how Jeeves manages to manipulate the environment all for his better good. No wonder Jeeves is called upon every time there is a crisis. And that has the reader in splits. For it is a Wodehouse book you are reading.


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“His books mix typical techniques of acutely accurate parody (romantic and detective fiction, grand journalism, the western), comically inappropriate simile, the extravagantly absurd and much else besides.” Jeeves is one of the geniuses we would like you to know about. We want you to grab Wodehouse books and devour them with all that mirth you can gather. And then- he is known for those excellent concoctions he prepares of the alcoholic and the non-alcoholic kind. One of them, I recollect, involves the mixture of Worcestershire sauce, raw egg and red chili. A restorative, no doubt, made to cure hangovers. A restorative, just like all Jeeves stories are. Read them for the author, more than the characters. For it is the language that captivates. Here are some more extracts: “‘Sir Jasper Finch-Farrowmere?’ said Wilfred. ‘ffinch-ffarrowmere,’ corrected the visitor, his sensitive ear detecting the capitals.” “Unlike the male codfish, which, suddenly finding itself the parent of three million five hundred thousand little codfish, cheerfully resolves to love them all, the British aristocracy is apt to look with a somewhat jaundiced eye on its younger sons.” Some comic imagery, what? Wodehouse and his Jeeves are geniuses, no doubt. But it would be wastage of words to describe them more. For it is in the way you read the books. And I suggest you do. What ho! Go now! Read-ho, dear reader! - Sushrut Munje

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5. Hercule Poirot Hercule Poirot is certainly one of the greatest fictional personalities. Poirot was a Belgian police officer and is now a private detective. He is a wealthy person and many of the decisions he makes are not within legal constraints. While most private detectives are intellectual snobs and aren’t liked by people because of their often narcisstic behaviour, Poirot isn’t like one of them. He is very much likeable despite his moral and intellectual greatness. Being a detective, it is surprising that he is overly concerned about his appearance and is distracted by his moustache. Unlike detectives like Holmes and Philip Marlow, Poirot has an interest in woman and is attracted to strong willed British women.


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The Belgian detective states that the greatest tool for crime solving is the mind, thanks to the "little grey cells". He prefers to sit quietly and think when he solves crimes, for he believes that all crimes are psychological and having clues is not everything. There is more to a crime than what the eyes perceive. Although his belief is that crime is not solved on evidence alone, he's not above snooping into others' personal things. He has been known to listen at doors, hide behind curtains, and even dig in women’s underwear drawers. When it’s a quest for truth, decency and chivalry are long forgotten. He finds English habits and humour incomprehensible. However, Poirot has an excellent command of the English language and at times uses his "foreignness" as an advantage. He has a big ego, and always takes for granted that everyone recognizes his name. He doesn't take just any case that comes his way, however, and he freely admits that he's fond of money. He even has a chauffeur, a young man who earns a "handsome salary", who drives Poirot's Messarro Gratz, a large and expensive luxury car. So this detective isn’t what one would expect of a regular fictional detective, he does have an ego and is full of himself, but he also enjoys the lighter side of life and loves his luxury, he knows what it is to live in style. He is a great fictional character and his character, the complexity, brilliance and the unnaturalness is what makes Christie’s novels a great read.

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4. Sheldon Cooper If there is anything better than a genius, it is a genius who makes you laugh. Sheldon Cooper doesn't fit your stereotypical tab of a genius. He doesn't wear telescopic spectacles, doesn't jump naked out of bathtubs screaming eureka and doesn't spend his spare time plotting world domination. At first glance he just looks like the ordinary kid next door. But when he opens his mouth, the tirade of heavy, intelligent words that fall on your ears can knock you out like a blow from a hammer. Sheldon is a theoretical physicist. He is supposed to have earned his first graduate degree with highest honours at the age of fourteen. As a kid he also wanted to make and is said to have, things ranging from an armed robot to a nuclear reactor. Modern day Einstein for you, without the weird hairdo.


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Sheldon also has an eidetic memory. He remembers stuff that most people tend to forget in the passing second with utmost precision. He is also scientifically inclined and is also fond of comics, video games and science fiction movies. He is often shown playing Klingon Bobble and sporting a Flash costume. He believes that people of his intellect are beyond relationships and love, but life takes a drastic turn when his colleagues find him an ‘alien match’ on a dating website – Shamy. He calls her his friend who is a girl and not his girlfriend. Yet he wants her to be the mother of his child as they both have a high IQ and together can gift humanity a savior of mankind, which he wants to accomplish by test tube babies since he despises any kind of physical contact. But underneath the IQ that ‘humanity cannot measure’ and truckloads of qualifications, Sheldon is also portrayed to have a childlike innocence about him, which, as fans speculate, may also be a result of Asperger Syndrome. He walks with a different gait, if afraid of travelling in buses because they don't have seatbelts and has trouble understanding sarcasm. He wants people to sing to him when he is unwell and follows a strict time table. Geniuses are often marked by their arrogance and since Sheldon is no exception, these characteristics only prove that besides nearly being a robot, he also has an amiable side. Eccentric, genius, Star Wars, Star Trek and LOTR fan, a social oddball and smart enough to be termed as a human Cyborg, Sheldon Cooper is the perfect geek icon for the world. - Bhargav Vyas

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3. Doc Brown

Back when you couldn’t download movies (yes, I am that old) and movie stores was something of a euphemism for you-know-what, I couldn’t get enough of this movie. Now you kids may ask what is so great about it. It is an all around fantastic movie. It is funny, exciting, and assuming time travel were actually possible, the causality paradoxes are somewhat, realistic? Back to the Future is one of the greatest films ever made and spawned a really good mind-bending sequel and a mediocre finale. After spending time with my nephew who is in the third grade, watching all 3 movies, I realized something. Something troubling. Marty McFly is a typical 80s teen who just wants to play guitar, take his girl to the lake, and avoid his mom. The problem isn’t with Marty, or his hapless loser dad George, or even the bully Biff. It’s the lovable, absent-minded, eccentric genius, the puppet master of this whole time-bending charade: Dr. Emmett “Doc” Brown.


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Doc is the one who slips in his bathroom, bangs his head, and thinks up the Flux Capacitor, a Y-shaped component enabling time travel. From there he spends 30 years and his entire family fortune trying to achieve his one goal. But, why does he even want to travel through time? He says he wants to look beyond his years and “get a clear perception of humanity, where we’ve been, where we’re going, the pitfalls, the possibilities, the perils and the promise. Perhaps even an answer to that universal question: Why?” But to what lengths will he go? Without really knowing it, Doc Brown shows some of those evil genius traits, very well: He is a Terrorist It’s hard to call a lovable character from my childhood a terrorist, but he was. The DeLorean was electric but he needed a nuclear kick to generate the 1.21 GIGAWATTS to shoot through time. Since you can’t buy plutonium at the corner drugstore he had to steal it from Libyan terrorists. He takes the toxic and deadly substance for his own personal use and makes a bomb for the Libyans out of used pinball machine parts. He gets shot later. That’s what happens when you deal with terrorists. They kill you. Plutonium is nothing when compared with a machine that could take over the world. Yes, he builds that in one of the sequels. He Unnecessarily Puts His Dog’s Life At Risk When he first tests the machine he puts his Dog ‘Einstein’ (If Einstein was Indian there would be a lot of Indian Cultural Guards after the Doc.) in the DeLorean with a stopwatch around his neck. He then sends the poor pooch one minute into the future. He is Selfish Near the end of the 1st movie, Doc rips up a letter where Marty tells him about his destiny.

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He says no man should know his own destiny, space-time-continuum, blah, blah, blah. But he does tape the letter back together sometime between. (This however can be attributed to the Hollywood effect.) When Marty asks about the whole destroying the universe thing Doc responds: “I figured, what the hell.” He Destroyed The Space Time Continuum He ruined time. He takes no responsibility over his unholy invention. He proclaims over and over again that it was a mistake and must be destroyed, but he kept on using it. Like a junkie who’s always prepared to quit tomorrow. The Back to the Future logic says time is not set in stone, or self-correcting, and the future can be changed. With each trip they make, he destroys time even more. Even when he goes into the future to save Marty’s kids in the sequel, he could have done more harm than good. When he goes toying around in the old west he invents items that should not be in existence yet. We’re not saying Doc is responsible for global warming, but it’s a definite possibility. He’s a Big, Fat Liar Who Plays God How many times does Doc say once they get back to 1985 they have to “destroy this infernal thing” referring to the time machine? At least twice. He also says he wishes he never invented it. Yet, when the DeLorean is destroyed in the third movie, he makes a time machine out of a big old west steam train. But somewhere, shooting through time, is Doc, addicted to the power of controlling the universe, wielding his infinite power over three hostages he calls family.


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Doc Brown <see cute picture below> is not inherently evil. He is just human. An unreasonable one at that.

The cute picture

George Bernard Shaw said, "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.'' Great Scott, indeed. - Nikhil Mane

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2. Artemis Fowl ‘Hello there, young man. Would you like to see the children’s menu?’ ‘No, Mademoiselle, I would not like to see the children’s menu. I have no doubt that the children’s menu itself tastes better than the meals on it.’ -The Eternity Code Geniuses are inherently a much more interesting race when evil. Using vast brainpower for saving a box of kittens is gratifying, no doubt, but using the same to build a slow moving trap to crush Batman to death is far more interesting. Boy geniuses are traditionally good, because the shows and books are written and financed by adults, a class of people that are deluded enough to think that children are anything but the rude snot trags that they are. However, as it has been said in the first book of the magnificent Artemis Fowl Se-


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ries, Artemis is not a chip off the old block; he is a whole new block. Being rude is an occupational hazard when you are aware you are being patronized by someone far stupider than you. It is also a lot of fun. However, doing so in real life would get you ostracized from society. Unfortunately, in the real world, there are no genius sons of European crime lords. In Artemis Fowl’s, though, there is one. And he doesn’t have to fear retribution; he is, after all, guarded by a six foot tall Eurasian, named Butler. Artemis Fowl started his career as a criminal mastermind at the age of twelve, when he kidnapped a fairy officer named Holly Short for a ransom of a ton of gold. After his first successful scheme, his dealings with the fairy people continued, as did his intellect. He is shown as a complete loner, believing (rightly) that any conversation he can have with another human being would leave said human being utterly lost and confused. He’s portrayed as humourless, but the various aliases he uses when publishing his scientific studies prove otherwise; for example a paper on Einsteinian Physics in the name of Emmsey Squire and a psychological study by C. Niall DeMencha. His character starts out at the end of the evil spectrum, seven books in he is a much more benevolent character in all. His plans are audacious, his suavity is constant, and he is usually eight or nine steps ahead of everyone else. And he’s always wearing a black tuxedo. What other reason do we need? - Krushna Dande

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1. Sherlock Holmes â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;I had no idea that such individuals exist outside of stories.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; Dr. Watson about Holmes. There are geniuses and then there is Sherlock Holmes. Sherlock Holmes was more than merely a genius. To call him intelligent would be a a sacrilege. The man was much more. I never guess. It is a shocking habit â&#x20AC;&#x201D; destructive to the logical faculty. Sherlock Holmes was a man of logic. Astute logical reasoning and creative hyperanalysis formed the crux of his intelligence. He had an eye for the slightest of detail and his clairvoyancy allowed him reached conclusions before most men could even fathom what had happened. How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?


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The hunt for the truth was Holmes's driving force. He wouldn't give his little grey cells a rest until the truth, however impossible or ridiculous it seemed, was found. For what is a detective if not for his thirst for veracity. At all costs, justice had to be done. You know my methods. Apply them. Not always the most conventional of methods, he preferred treading off the well beaten path. There is a thin line between genius and insanity and Holmes wasn't afraid to cross that it. Eccentric, nuts and totally off the hook at times, yet Sherlock Holmes was brilliant all the way through. I have my plans. The first thing is to exaggerate my injuries. If there is a word that describes Holmes besides a genius it ought to be demented. He led a Bohemian life-style. Erratic eating habits, self starvation in an attempt stimulate the brain, intentional use of addictive drugs due to a lack of cases, fits of self-destruction and apoplexy and periods of isolation; the man makes one question his sanity. But, being a genius, everything goes. "I followed you." "I saw no one." "That is what you may expect to see when I follow you." Besides being a man of high intellect, Holmes provided us with a fair bit of action too. He was adept at handling guns and physical fights and was also trained in Baritsu or Japanese wrestling. He was also a adroit at acting and wearing disguises. You see, but you do not observe. The distinction is clear. Obervation powers were clearly the man's forte. His conclusions are often based on the seemingly most trivial observations, rang-

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ing from a man's walking style to a broken collar button. Everything leaves a mark. Holmes only collects them. I am not the law, but I represent justice so far as my feeble powers go. Honesty and justice were what Sherlock Holmes strived for. Couple that with sheer brilliance, high eccentricity and a caustic sense of humour, and you've got a real genius on your hands. That's Sherlock Holmes for you.

- Saahil Dama

A Saahil Dama, Ishan Dabri, Krushna Dande production.


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Contributors 1. Person - Sweta Vasu 2. Phenomenon - Srimanta Mitra 3. Band - Saahil Dama 4. Book - Priya Dabak

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Charlie Chaplin When we mention a diminutive man with a toothbrush moustache and dark hair, half of you scream Hitler, and the other half scream Chaplin. And no, you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t necessarily have to be schizophrenic for that. A child prodigy, Charles Spencer Chaplin, better known as Charlie Chaplin, carved a niche for himself as a comedian in the hearts of millions of people throughout the world. The story of his life is worth a narration, for every bit of it is inspiring and motivating. It is the story of a man who rose to become one of the greatest entertainers ever in the history of mankind through his bold, yet a humorous take towards life. Charlie Chaplin was born on April 16, 1889, to Charles Chaplin, Sr., and Hannah Hill who were both music hall entertainers. Abandoned by his father, a compulsive drunkard and caring for his mother who suffered from bouts of mental illness, Chaplin took to stage at a very young age to support his family. He replaced his mother on a show when he was just five years old, thus making his debut. He was a complete entertainer on stage, charming his audience with his timely humor. At the age of eight, he performed the "Eight Lancashireâ&#x20AC;? act as a part of the clog dancing troupe, which became an instant hit with the audience. By the age of ten, Charlie Chaplin was a child superstar with his brother acting as his agent. Belief can move mountains and it was true in the life of Charlie Chaplin, who firmly believed that he would be a famous person in the world. With just two years of formal education he rose to become a legend through sheer perseverance and hard work. He had a very clear vision of his goal, and even while working as printer, toymaker, newsvendor and doctor's boy, he never let his focus slip


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from that of becoming an actor. His personal encounters in life often found space on screen too. During his stint at the barbershop where he worked to meet the ends, he learnt the tricks of the trade which were portrayed in his work, “The Great Dictator”, years later. His first real taste of acting began in a production of Sherlock Holmes, where he played the role of a pageboy. Later, he managed to master the art of miming during his association with a vaudeville outfit named Casey’s court Circus and Fred Karno’s pantomime troupe. This opened opportunities for him in the United States where his work impressed film producers who signed him for various contracts. There was no looking back for Chaplin after his debut feature film, Making a Living. The world got a glimpse of the ‘Little Tramp’, a character played by Chaplin in his movie ‘The Kid’ where he teamed up with Jackie Coogan. The movie, a medley of high emotion and comedy was an enormous success. The little tramp made a mark for himself through his body language and pantomime. Charlie Chaplin is remembered even today for his adorable role of the tramp - a man with a penguin-like walk, small moustache and a cane subtly signifying dignity. Charlie Chaplin’s talent was not confined to acting and directing. He also had a multi-talented persona and tried his hand at writing and music. To quote the man himself, he was ‘a tramp, a gentleman, a poet, a dreamer, a lonely fellow, always hopeful of romance and adventure’. He wrote all his scripts and at least four books - “My Autobiography”, “A Comedian Sees the World”, “My Life in Pictures”, “My Trip Abroad”. He also composed music for his films and played multiple instruments. Some of his compositions include “Sing a Song”; “There’s Always One You Can’t Forget”; and “With You Dear in Bombay”. He composed the background score for some of his films, too. The enigma was not just an actor, but also a writer, director and music composer, all in one.

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He's the man who popularised the hat and cane style, the man who proved that all you need to rise from rags to riches is a genuine talent. He's the original success story. “Some men are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.” Chaplin was a man who achieved greatness. His humour was a service to mankind, especially during the troubled times of the World Wars. His parody of the second World War 'The Great Dictator" where Chaplin plays a double role as a Jewish barber and the Dictator Hynkel who are mistaken for each other was a bold movie considering it was released during the War. He brought a whole new perspective to the way people looked at things around them and added vibrancy to their lives through his comical takes. He put the troubles of his personal life in the backburner and unleashed his creativity to the maximum extent possible. He was a dedicated artist and a pure genius by all standards. If laughter is the best medicine, Charlie Chaplin undoubtedly put all the doctors in the world out of business. He was laid to rest on the Christmas Day of 1977, but his works continue to entertain us. “A day without laughter is a day wasted!” Charlie Chaplin lives forever in our hearts through his evergreen works which never cease to invoke laughter. So one of these days do yourself a favour: pop in a Charlie Chaplin CD and lose yourself in the simple charms of the waistcoat clad buffoon before you. -Swetha Vasu Swetha is the author of http://www.apeironinfinity.blogspot.com/

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Invention of the Telephone "Mr. Watson, come here, I want to see you." Those were the first words ever spoken into a phone. On March 10 1876, the inventor of the telephone, Alexander Graham Bell, spoke these words into his experimental telephone, and down the hall his assistant Thomas Watson heard these words. I'd have preferred saying something like, "Holy crap! This shit works!" or maybe paraded naked down the street screaming Eureka!, but that's just me. There's more to the story behind the telephone, though. After Bell got his patent issued, he and his partners went to the Western Union and offered to sell them the patent for $100,000. The president of the company refused, and stated that the telephone was nothing more than a toy. The dumb blokes didn't realize then that some toys were freaking awesome. And like every hero who's ever rejected a heroine, they had an epiphany, and two years later told the colleagues that he'd consider it a bargain if he got the patent for $25 million. And unlike every rejected heroine, Bell and his pals spat on the face of the hero, and said that they had no intentions of selling the patent whatsoever. They created the Bell Telephone Company in 1877, and by 1886, over 150,000 people in the U.S. owned telephones. Thomas Alva Edison made further improvements which no longer made it mandatory to shout to be heard on the other end, which sadly, quite a few people still take time to resolve in.


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For the last time, I do not want a free enema! But, was Alexander Graham Bell the first person to invent the telephone? In 1861, German teacher and physicist Johann Philipp Reis said into his invented telephone, "The horse does not eat cucumber salad." His reason for choosing such a queer sentence was to make sure that it would be understood word for word, without the listener guessing what the sentence meant. But in 1861, his invention was considered sheer lunacy. Maybe the folks back then just couldn't accept the fact that there was a guy who could invent something that could transfer speech electrically. Or maybe they couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t because he said things like "The horse does not eat cucumber salad." An Italian American named Antonio Meucci had engaged himself in the inventing something that would transfer speech electrically as early as 1857. He'd applied for a patent in 1871, but due to the lack of patronage and support, he couldn't afford to pay the $250 required for getting the patent. A legal battle ensued between

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him and Bell, which declared, of course, that Bell owned the rights and the patent for the discovery of the telephone. Bell had admitted though, that Meucci was indeed the first man ever to transmit speech electrically. Is there a lesson to be learnt? Yes. Before inventing something, get loaded on cash. And get an assistant, too. All that being said, none of us can deny the fact that the telephone was one of those inventions that changed our lives drastically. Had it not been for the telephone, we wouldn't have been able to do things that we now take for granted. Can we imagine our lives today without telephones? No sir, we cannot. He had once said,"I believe in the future wires will unite the head offices of telephone companies in different cities, and a man in one part of the country may communicate by word of mouth with another in a distant place." And this is a salute to the man that he was and the thing he made. -Srimanta Mitra

Srimanta is the author of http://inside-of-outside.blogspot.com/

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Weird Al Yankovic There are musicians and then there are squealing pigs.

The difference It's good to be weird. It's good to be something different. It's good to be the fresh gust of wind in an industry that reeks of plagiarism. It's good to be the one-man army leading a revolution. It's good to be insane. It's good to stand up in what you believe, even if you are termed borderline retarded for it. It's good to stand apart from the crowd. It's good to be yourself. It's better to be Weird Al Yankovic. The weirdness begins right from the name - Alfred Matthew "Weird Al" Yankovic. Who for the sake of Christ has a name that stretches nine syllables across? Wait till you here more. Weird Al Yankovic is a musician, with a sense of much needed and appreciated humour. While the music industry lay rotting away in grunge, 'why-did-you-leave-me-now-let-me-die' songs, bands that


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sound like dogs howling, and disasters like Montana and Bieber, Weird Al became the redeemer - the redeemer of lost pride, esteem and of course, of the almighty, music. Al's creations are sheer genius and this statement can be justified by multiple reasons. Simple, yet complex. Funny, yet not gross. Witty, yet for the common masses. While some bands scream… well, just scream something at the top of their lungs, others try to disguise their hideous voice in heavy techno-beats and some others brood over how hopeless their life, Weird Al makes you laugh and he does it well. His music is fresh, alive and proves that it’s good to be insane. You don’t need to drink or get loaded to go nuts. Try the Weird Al way. He has a song on everything – Germs, Gandhi, horoscopes, 2000 inch televisions – absolutely everything. Weird Al’s songs can be classified into two types: original and parodies. His songs tell stories better than most authors today. With titles like ‘The Night Santa Went Crazy’, ‘Attack of the Radioactive Hamsters from a Planet near Mars’, ‘Polkamon’, lyrics that do justice to the song names and music that fits wonderfully into the insanity, this shit can make a person standing on the edge of a cliff reconsider jumping to his death. Because life is happy, that’s what Weird Al says. And the cliff doesn’t have a soft landing. One has to be brilliantly daedal to create a masterpiece and even more so to replicate it so adroitly that it stands in the ranks of the original. Add to that Weird Al’s near demented persona, his imitation of the vocals and his buffoonish yet intelligent lyrics, and boy oh boy, we’re talking a big hit here. Make that hits. Weird Al renditioned the song that shot Eminem to glory ‘Lose Yourself’ to ‘Couch Potato’ where he raps about, well, a couch potato almost better than the rapper himself. He took Avril Lavigne’s ‘Complicated’ and metamorphed it into ‘A Complicated Song’ about constipation, dating your sister and not standing on roller coasters. Don Mclean’s classic hit

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‘American pie’ was made into ‘The Saga Begins,’ a story about Star Wars. He also made a more pleasing version of James Blunt’s I-stalkpretty-girls song ‘You’re Beautiful’ into ‘You’re Pitiful’ which he was not allowed to release and hence put it up for free download on his website in a million different places. And that is just the tip of the awesome, musical and hilarious iceberg that Weird Al Yankovic is.

Listen to him not because of his music or lyrics, but when you are in despair or realize that you are a hopeless jerk after all, Weird Al will give you hope and happiness. He’ll make you want to sing, dance, laugh and stab people in the face. Craziness is permitted by law and it’s quite simple going wacky. Listen to Al, live life, go bonkers and let the world call you whatever they want to because weirdness will always prevail. And so will Weird Al.

- Saahil Dama

Saahil is the author of http://sadamned.blogspot.com/ A Saahil Dama, Ishan Dabri, Krushna Dande production.


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Dracula "No man knows till he has suffered from the night how sweet and dear to his heart and eye the morning can be." -Bram Stoker, Dracula (1897) A small law firm sends one of their agents, Jonathan Harker, somewhere in the middle of nowhere to manage the finances of a certain Count Dracula. After a long and mysterious journey, Harker arrives at an enormous castle where he is warmly invited in by his host; a polite yet strangely eerie man. He stays suspicious of his host and his strange ways; and it soon becomes clear to a very terrified Jonathan, that he is living a nightmare, trapped in the castle with not only a vampire for a host, but the other demonic residents of the house as well. His only way out might just be death. Meanwhile, the Count sets off to England, a place where he plans to fulfill his dream of creating a race of vampires to replace humans on the top rung of the food chain, turning humans into mere animals; a world where vampires rule. It is now up to vampire expert, Professor Van Helsing, and a number of others to save the human race from this gruesome fate. It is a powerful journey, a fight between good and evil. And more importantly, it is worth reading about four hundred pages in tiny script to find out, that ultimately, good always wins! It was in 1897 that Irish author Bram Stoker wrote this timeless classic. After over a century, the novel is read and loved by millions all over the world. The main antagonist, Count Dracula, is probably the most famous character in popular culture, with many future movies, books and television series featuring him. Bram Stoker is supposed to have taken the inspiration for this legendary character from the 15th Century Prince Vlad Drakulya (Vlad III the Impaler) of Wallachia.


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Epigram Salutes

The Count is far different from the 'vampires' in today's literature; the mysteriously attractive ‘creatures of the night’, with ladies swooning over them left, right and center. In fact, it is actually implied time and again that Dracula might be gay. There is nothing remotely attractive about the Count; he is like a wild animal, he’s a monster. He is thin, with sharp ears, pointed teeth and hairy palms. He is also supposed to be strikingly cruel looking. "I saw... Count Dracula... with red light of triumph in his eyes, and with a smile that Judas in hell might be proud of”, writes Jonathan Harker, in his journal. Dracula can shift shape into a number of animals, most famously, a bat. Exposure to sunlight isn't fatal to him, but he is much less powerful during the day. And of course, like most 'vampires' he cannot enter a house unless invited. Dracula is a wonderful character, scary and fascinating at the same time. There are times in the book where you feel hypnotized by him, as if you were truly under the influence of his vampire like charms. The novel is supposed to be a compilation of the journal entries of all the main protagonists and a bunch of letters and news clippings. This leaves a lot to the imagination and leaves many unfilled gaps; gaps that you have to fill in yourself, making the book very personal. You can identify with and experience the story from every character’s point of view, except Dracula, of course. The book is very emotional, even without any drama or dialogue about the emotions. Every character’s experience touches some place deep within you, and makes you put yourself in that position and wonder what you would do. At the same time, the writing is very eerie and exciting. While it is not like reading a horror book, there are times when you shiver with excitement or have chills down your spine. The descriptions are detailed and often very gruesome. Each of the characters has a life outside of the story. The story doesn’t revolve only around vampires, and how awesome and/scary they are, like most vampire literature. There is also a lot about the characters’ comparatively mundane, mortal lives. It makes you believe

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that you’re actually reading people’s personal diaries. Every character is well defined and well described. What I like is how every person writes differently and the author has captured that defining style for everyone. Van Helsing seems exactly like the smart, slightly eccentric scientist-philosopher he is supposed to be, with that ironic sense of humour, and the iron nerve. The story also has many sub-plots, which may confuse you at times, but they ultimately bind the book together, with nothing that can be called unnecessary. The story is full of symbolism, much deeper than the good versus evil plot. The book has tons of unwritten meanings and hidden implications. A study of the book will lead you to many underlying themes such as sexual liberation or a protest against the Victorian society. It is about the dominance of men over women, and in turn about the need for freedom, for both women and other minorities. It is about having an open mind, exploring all possibilities and modernity, which is why the man who is the ‘vampire expert’ is a practical man, a scientist. The book has been analyzed more than thousands of times, over the years. And yet, what I love the most, is that it is none of those themes that kept me so involved in that book. The story, the plot and the writing leave you so spellbound, that all these could just be called ‘added advantages’! While it wasn’t Bram Stoker who first introduced vampires in literature, let alone come up with the concept of ‘vampires’, it is still the name ‘Dracula’ that is synonymous with the word ‘vampire’ today. And no matter how much we have to suffer through the Cullens, we forgive Mr. Stoker, because this book is truly a work of genius. - Priya Dabak Priya is the author of http://peskypiksipesternomi.blogspot.com/

A Saahil Dama, Ishan Dabri, Krushna Dande production.


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Columns

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Contributors 1. Epifunny - Krushna Dande 2. Monocle - Sushrut Munje 3. Eureka! - Saahil Dama 4. Ionic - Nikhil Mane

A Saahil Dama, Ishan Dabri, Krushna Dande production.


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Epifunny Games At some point of time in the previous month I was attacked by the crushing desire to go retro gameplay wise. Was this because I was tired of the games of today? Well, of course not! After all, the crushing variety we have today is unmatched!

Three different games So I tried to relive fond childhood memories with the cel shaded, 8 bit games of yesteryear. But in every direction I found dejection. I tried Mario, but the ghoulies and beasties of world 8-2 destroyed my little Italian mustachiod plumbing body and sent it to Bowserâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s castle where a nice barbeque was held. I tried pac man, but after the third time I woke up with blood on my hands in a strange hotel room with electronic music playing after

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chomping too many pills I decided that enough was enough. I wandered the streets morose, when suddenly inspiration struck. I remembered PokĂŠmon. First a history lesson to those too unfortunate to have a real childhood: PokĂŠmon were gods on the playground in the early 2000s. It was a franchise owned by the gaming company Nintendo, which is well known today as the company that makes the DS and the Wii, or the two most popular consoles in the history of mankind.

Seriously, everything these guys touch turns to gold Everything there guys touch turns to gold

There was a phase in my life when the furry little creatures manufactured with the expressed intent of being marketable governed everything I did. I say this without any shame or regret, even though I spent about three years in an absolute waste of time, and instead of hating Nintendo for swallowing up an appreciable fraction of my life in a hopeless fad, they planted the tiny seeds of ideas inside my nine year old mind, which grew into trees with multiple ideas of brainwash and world domination. This is because if you can make the children of the world love your two hundred-odd creatures with creepy eyes, I can make them love me. George Orwell also receives further thanks for his novel 1984, Megatron for his idea of building gigantic robots that can crush buildings when they fall, and Stephen King for filling my heart for such hatred of humanity that the only logical op-


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tion in my head was to subjugate it and make it perform my bidding. This franchise also gave me enough fodder to understand obsessions. Entire websites related to them sprang up, seeing eager twelve year olds and creepy forty year olds devoting themselves to finding catch ratios, documenting the attacks of Pidgey until level 99 and drawing up fan art of Professor Oak; all this not for money, mind you, but for simple obsession. Statutory warning: avert your eyes.

Told you. This is the kind of obsession I fully expect from all those minions who live in the bowels of my castle, all writing treatises of praise and songs in my honour. They will love me. (Scared readers: do not panic and tell all your friends about this megalomaniac who runs a magazine. Wait until tomorrow, go to sleep peacefully tonight, because there is no way someone would sneak up on you and suffocate you by pressing a cushion against your paranoid face. Especially not the said megalomaniac running a magazine). Budding world dominators, take out your pencils and start taking notes: These are the things you can learn from Nintendo that you can incorporate in your plot of aforementioned domination: 1. Create mascots. Cute ones. Cute so that the kids will love them, and cute so that adults will feel nauseated and avoid them like hellfire. 2. Gather finances. They say the children are our future. They cer-

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tainly help in mine. Make the little blighters watch your show. Give it a good gimmick, and many merchandisable paraphernalia. Then the rotters will force their parents to pitch in with their paychecks, so your future subjects will finance the takeover themselves. 3 . When the show is so cute that any adults in the room spontaneously fall into piles of gibbering dementia, unleash your plan. During its peak season, when a billion kids are watching it worldwide, make the most fan loved character tell the kids that their parents are in fact ruled by (insert villain name here) and the only way you can free them is by installing the Mind Controlchip® that you bought in the latest soft toy/promotional campaign/trading cards into the small of their backs. Then wait for five minutes as half the world’s population is under your control, and seeing as the kids are watching TV, it is probably the rich half. So now you have a majority of the world’s adult population in the palm of your hand. What do you do? Your choice. The world is your Cloyster.

As in it’s a dark, dark, evil, painful place.

- Krushna Dande

Krushna is also the author of http://loltothegrave.blogspot.com/

A Saahil Dama, Ishan Dabri, Krushna Dande production.


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Monocle Egyptian Curry Like my earlier article in the Blue Issue, I would again like to stress on the global power-play rather than rant about the happenings in Egypt, as if they were an isolated incident. But then, this is a start. The revolution has inspired people of other regime-ruled nations to revolt. Soon, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll witness more governments topple. Why is there no reason to be happy? Toppled governments will result in temporary anarchy. And then the restored governments will be back, working according to the interests of worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s powers. So we had a dictator, removed from power, replaced by another corrupt government which chooses to re-elect itself after regular intervals. Such a wonderful world.

The Devil Reincarnate


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Hosni Mubarak was an air force commander who held the reins of this 3000 year old civilization after the assassination of his predecessor, President Anwar El Sadat. During his 30 year old rule, he is said to have ignored the rise of crises at home; instead preferring to pose with other world leaders, including American presidents & our very own Indira Gandhi. He was finally ousted after continuous protests across the nation. The army stepped in and refused to crack down on the protesters. After Mubarak, the vacuum has been temporarily filled by the army. An army of a nation that has been extravagantly funded by USA. The protests are now spreading to Bahrain, Libya and other similar nations. If successful, they might create power vacuums in the region. Something that can enable a certain world power to support the proxy democratic government and control more reins. Very interesting. As a result of protests, the Egyptian economy lost quite a lot of money as lost revenue, among others. The ruling dictator had made sure, like any other dictator would, to root out possible parallel authorities. Thus, the power vacuum. Can we really afford a power vacuum in all these neighboring countries? Can we, at all, afford weak nations in an area with Iran, Somalia and a prominent â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Al Quaedaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; base? Is there a stage being carefully set, as a part of long-term strategy? We may only wonder. Understand that revolutions across the world, especially in developing countries like Venezuela, have always been planned by external forces- the dominating world powers who are displeased with the present government of the state. Displeased, because the government seeks to please its people instead of the world powers. Thus, they bend the countries into submission using economic sanctions, economic hitmen, revolutions or assassinations of the leaders. This

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has always been the strategy for muscle flexing across the globe. We cannot afford such chaotic revolutions, not when each of these countries face an eminent power vacuum and are already neck-deep in debt. We should learn from the Egyptian Curry, which the world press enjoyed as a delicacy. What we need is a change from these flawed rules that we refuse to look beyond. Liberate your mind and live free. Love and peace.

- Sushrut Munje

Sushrut is also the author of http://sushrutmunje.com

A Saahil Dama, Ishan Dabri, Krushna Dande production.


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Eureka! Apple Humans have a thing about apples. We cook them in about eleven billion ways, we use them to bait pigs which are then roasted with their final meal still in their mouths, and we read books wih their pictures on the cover.

A really lost and unfortunate apple

But apples have been important for mankind in another way: the religious. Remember Adam? Not Adam Gilchrist; the naked Adam. Lone man walking. The one who had it off with Eve. The father of all, Justin Beiber included. He ate an apple and suddenly his own nudity embarrassed him. Quite a shock, it must have come as. You canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t blame the poor fella. Where would he get clothes from, anyway? Must have

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been a turn off for him and Eve. We simply can’t ignore the pivotal role the apple played here. One of eradicating poverty. The noble fruit. Somewhere down the line chugged along the hapless Newton, all with his laws and all. The lucky bastard was only sitting under an apple tree when the red fruit conked him on the head and turned his world around. He became a star overnight, for discovering a thing that was staring in our faces all the while. What about the modest apple? Did anyone pass it a second thought? It deserved credit, not Newton. Clearly no other fruit had the potential to do what it did. Grapes are too low, mangoes are too high and a watermelon could have quite easily killed him. Apple was not only at the right place at the right time, it was also the right thing. Round, fresh and red - simply perfect. So after apple did it, people found their feet. They realized that they weren’t birds after all. They didn’t have beaks and hence couldn’t fly. Some giant sucker kept pulling them down. They jumped, they fell. They tried to be Superman and fell. Yes, gravity, and hence the apple, have been helping these people get out of the gene pool for millenia. At times I wonder where the apple is now. I hope the hungry bastard didn’t it eat.

A possibility


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Apples are highly evil and vindictive too, and specially so for doctors. They are utterly destructive for the business of the hard-working, lifesavers of humanity. ‘An apple a day keeps the doctor away-’ that one line has nearly ruined lives of half the doctors, some kind of a wicked euthanasia programme to kick them out of business. Apple is an entirely no-doctor fruit. And if anyone brave soul dared to delve into the murky depths of history, he might find sufficient evidence for this phenomenon. Maybe a doctor accidentally stepped on an apple, or something even more heinous, that gave rise to the bitterness in the apples’ hearts. If things go on as they are going now, apples might soon doom all docs. The frightening fruit even gives Satan a run for his money in being evil. After Newton passed and gravity remained, came Steve Jobs and brought along with him another apple, this time a half-eaten, multinational one. It became a symbol of technological advancement, of advances in fields that were only borderline acceptable. On phones, iMacs, iPods, iPads, iWhat-the-shit-not. However, the apple remained elusive because of the prohibitive prices of the products. A subtle reminder of it being the forbidden fruit, I think. Then came Gates and Windows, Jobs’s and Apples’s competitors. The rest, as we know, is history.

Something lame

Apple!

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Red, curved, sweet, healthy, fresh; the fruit defines us. It has changed our existence. Name your first kid Apple. Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll probably save the world from the 2012 apocalypse. Or wait, was it Applecalypse?

- Saahil Dama

Saahil is also the author of http://sadamned.blogspot.com/

A Saahil Dama, Ishan Dabri, Krushna Dande production.


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IONIC Spain Spain or La Roja, the Reds, as they are popularly known to football fans made history. They went and did the impossible. Football lovers and critics, worldwide, noted that the winners looked a shadow of their older incarnations. The Spanish teams of yore had been divided by geography and socio-economic policies. The team that won on 11th of July, 2010 looked united It will surely take more than a game, though, to settle Spain's internal contradictions. These are similar to the ones in other post-imperial democratic European states like Belgium. The United Kingdom doesn't even manage to field a united national team, let alone a winning one. But Spain's challenges are varied - borders containing people of several different national identities, who speak different languages and operate a variety of autonomous constitutions. The country also has a recent memory of dictatorship, and a nationalist past. All the feelings of resentment are falling away in the triumphant march of the football team. The young Spain wants a united Spain. A united Spain is obviously far stronger on the field than a divided one. With unemployment rising and public spending falling, who can blame them for wanting to spend a Sunday in front of the telly cheering on the lads. The whole of Spain is suffering as la crisis (the credit crunch) bites hard, so why let questions of geography, socio- economics or politics get in the way of having a big fiesta?


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Spain is reeling under economic concerns even as FC Barcelona faces debt troubles and Real Madrid negotiates galactic salaries. The win will certainly be a boost to Catalan pride. Many people in the Basque country and Catalonia would like it. At the weekend, before the final, hundreds of thousands of Catalans marched through Barcelona in protest at a recent Madrid court ruling that declared: "Our constitution recognises no country but Spain." This contradicts Catalan efforts to declare greater autonomy, backed by all the area's major political parties. In the latter half of the 19th century, Catalonia became an industrial center; to this day it remains one of the most industrialized parts of Spain. In the first third of the 20th century, Catalonia gained and lost varying degrees of autonomy several times, receiving its first statute of autonomy during the Second Spanish Republic (1931). This period was marked by political unrest and the preeminence of the Anarchists during the Spanish Civil War (1936â&#x20AC;&#x201C;1939). The Anarchists had been active throughout the early 20th century, achieving the first eighthour workday in the world in 1919. After the defeat of the Republic in the Spanish Civil War (1936â&#x20AC;&#x201C;1939), which brought General Francisco Franco to power, his regime suppressed any kind of public activities associated with Catalan nationalism, Anarchism, Socialism, Democracy or Communism, including the publication of books on those subjects or simply discussion of them in open meetings. As part of this suppression, the use of Catalan in government-run institutions and during public events was banned. After Franco's death (1975) and with the adoption of a democratic Spanish constitution (1978), Catalonia recovered political and cultural autonomy. Today, Catalonia is one of the most economically dynamic regions of Spain. The Catalan capital and largest city, Barcelona, is a major international cultural centre and a major tourist destination. Not to mention, home to 7 of the starting 11 for the La Roja, that won

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the World Cup. And if any Catalans were having trouble finding cause to celebrate, then they might take solace in the fact that the victory had been as much for FC Barcelona as for Spain, both in terms of starting players and tactics used. Any fan of Spanish football must have seen the banners at any Barcelona v Real Madrid match proclaim: "Catalonia is not Spain." Will the magic wand of football glory change that in an instant? I think not. But it might provide Spain with a semblance of stability after decades of internal strife.

- Nikhil Mane

Nikhil is also the author of http://rtcodek.blogspot.com

A Saahil Dama, Ishan Dabri, Krushna Dande production.


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Dreamworks versus Pixar

Dreamworks:

When what you are looking for is a fun family time, the best place to turn to is DreamWorks. The characters appear to have stepped right out of fairy tales; literally so in the case of the Shrek series. It is a world where the land is magical, the heroes are perfect, the villains are buffoons who want to rule the world, and the endings are eternally happy. The studio has released some of the highest grossing animated movies of all time. Their formula for all movies seems to be ‘(genre), but with animals’. This coat fits remarkably well for most of their movies, but little dabs of humanity make it all come alive and shine on the screen, as if some lost remnant of childhood. As for the animation quality, their movies are a sight for sore eyes, especially in this era of Holly wood wherein every single director strives to make his/her movie as dark as humanly possible, filling their and the viewers’ optometrists’ pockets as they do it. Magnificent colours fill every

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scene, and they seem to form an integral part of their movie, transcending the fact that they are but a medium to convey the story. One of the real stand-out movie for this iconic movie making company has been Kung-Fu Panda, a film about a fighting Panda. The action comedy put DreamWorks in an entirely new league. The concept wasn’t original, for we have all seen Bruce Lee kicking arse, but how often does a Panda do it? The animation was ideal, the dialogue hilarious and the characters each stood out like the spikes of a porcupine. But DreamWorks is not all talking animals and evil villains. Often, they also make movies that bring history alive through their various films Joseph: King of Dreams, The Prince of Egypt, The Road E1 Dorado and Sinbad, to name a few, which are an educational and entertaining delight for kids and adults alike. In keeping with their childlike image, all the DreamWorks movies, (most notably Madagascar and Ice Age) have a comedic streak in them that can only be described as slapstick. Granted, DreamWorks does market its photo plays to the younger crowd, but through the extravagant and colourful display a nagging doubt fills your mind, that you would much rather be watching something more cerebral, rather than laughing as a sabre toothed squirrel fails to get an acorn for the eleventy billionth time, raising serious doubts as to his mode of sustenance. But then the aforementioned rodent goes ‘urk’ and disappears under an avalanche of snow, and you laugh again, the feeling forgotten.


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Dreamworks versus Pixar

Pixar:

Animated movies are directorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s greatest tools. He does not have to deal with weather, no special effect is out of his grasp and the blood pressure he saves by not using flesh and blood actors probably adds a year of two to his life. The people at Pixar understand that, and use it to their advantage. Being an animation studio, they are instantly connected to children, and while the animated people look like something a child would draw, the emotions conveyed by those blocks of pixels are far beyond anything conceivable in a human actor. Every Pixar movie has its own grandiose majesty. The Pixar world does not revolve around the main character; they only go to show

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that he, like all of us, has a small story to tell. They do not tell us about the other models of Wall E who go on to clean the planet while humanity is floating to decadence in a ship, or of the countless other toys in countless other homes across the world. The movies have a way of telling stories, which seems almost endearing, and they deal with so many mature subjects in a way that brings a subtle beauty into them. The opening montage of Up, for instance, shows the couple meeting, their marriage and finally the wifeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s death with such masterful strokes of emotion that one has no option but to marvel at the beauty of it all. The visual style of every film is immaculate, with special attention given to small thing that people most likely will not notice, but will remind the users as to how much love was put into making the movies. They serve as small segues into the lives of the people outside of the focus of the story, like the neighbour who harasses his toys in Toy Story 1 or the girl who runs to her window in wonder as the house rises over the city skyline. But most of all, what these movies offer is hope. Hope that you will find what you are looking for. Hope that humanity will get a second chance. Hope that there is light at the end of the tunnel, no matter how long it is. - Krushna Dande

A Saahil Dama, Ishan Dabri, Krushna Dande production.


Contributors 1. Aishwarya Kharade 2. Saurabh Kale 3. Saahil Dama 4. Vanditaa Dhoot 5. Sushrut Karmarkar The copyrights of all the photographs belong to the individual photographers. They cannot be reproduced in any form without permission. A Saahil Dama, Ishan Dabri, Krushna Dande production.


Aishwarya Kharade


Aishwarya Kharade


Aishwarya Kharade


Aishwarya Kharade


Saurabh Kale


Saurabh Kale


Saurabh Kale


Saurabh Kale


Saahil Dama


Saahil Dama


Saahil Dama


Saahil Dama


Vanditaa Dhoot


Vanditaa Dhoot


Vanditaa Dhoot


Vanditaa Dhoot


Sushrut Karmarkar


Sushrut Karmarkar


Sushrut Karmarkar


Sushrut Karmarkar

Combined-Green  

The Green Issue 1/3/2011 Vol. 1 #3 We've scrapped the name 'Epibattle' because- well, it’s tacky. And we’re not ashamed of admitting it. We...