Foreword There are actions that one needs to do to reaffirm one’s existence to the world. The second Issue of The Educrats comes along as one such act, it is more about reminding people that we are not enthusiasts, not show-boaters, not your dial-a-revolutionary wannabes, we are for real. The Educrats is here to be the Outlet, the vent to our deepest held expressions and our aspirations of being heard. With this issue, we launch our permanent columns, Pen Route, column for Original prose and poetry, Culture Vulture which will have write ups on Music, Books, Movies and Tapra Conversations. The Index below will surely help readers pick and choose. Happy Reading! The Editorial Team Guest, The God Have You Attempted Greatness Yet By Yashashwi (IIT-KGP, XLRI, UPSC) Pen Route Black isn’t just Dark Fantasy By Sonia Bhargava An Incident By Shikha Shah Secret Diary By Aniruddh Agrawal Aadhar Project and UIDAI By Atif Tahir Culture Vulture Music Head By Abhishek Verma Tapra Chronicles 2.0
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Guest, The God
Have You Attempted Greatness Yet By Yashashwi (IIT KGP, XLRI, UPSC) I don‟t write this article to make you feel good about your capabilities; I intend to make you ashamed of your mediocre existence in order to exhort you to hunt down greatness. And let‟s be honest here – all of us want greatness; all of us secretly nurture illusions of grandeur. The tragedy of this world is that only a few go for the kill. To put it in your context, I would deem you a mediocre if you are aiming only to clear that so-called-tough exam. You earn my respect only if you are planning to top it. If you look for excuses you will get them in plenty. ‘I was always weak in Maths’. ‘I have studied in Hindi medium’. ‘I have to take care of my family too’. ‘Students from small towns don’t do well in competitive exams’. Such statements characterize the unmotivated, the weak, and the ones that always have an excuse for why they have not yet reached their goals - the ‘could have been’, the „should have been’, the “almost was something for some time” type. Are you one of them? Nothing grand has ever been achieved except by those who dared to believe that something inside them was superior to circumstance.
When I was involved in the pursuits in which you engage now, I had as many doubts as anyone else. Standing on the starting line, we're all cowards. But take my word for it - no one ever drowned in sweat. So sweat it out in the arena of your choice. You are doubtful at the starting line; you will be laughing at your doubts once you hit the finishing rope. Now let‟s leave humility aside for the moment to face the reality. You secretly aspire to play God. You are silently confident that you are the best specimen of species Homo sapiens. When you stop at the traffic light and you look at others in the crowd, you pity others for not being like you. And guess what, you are right! You aren‟t God yet, but you are one in the making. You, the mighty one, can‟t be stopped in your victory march if you use all your might. If that target you are aiming at is an immovable object, then you are the unstoppable force – so why don‟t you tear that target apart? You bet you are capable of not just clearing your exam; you can in-fact tear it apart. You are that silent unassuming student sitting on the last bench of the class, observing everyone from your strategic position and wanting to leave all of them behind. You so badly want to announce your arrival on the grand stage. But you are waiting for the right opportunity. And here you are, with the opportunity you were waiting for. Your great cause has finally arrived and it challenges you to grab it. I envy you - in the next few months you will be looking at destiny straight in the eye, grabbing it in your tight hold. Why did so many million Indians join their freedom struggle before 1947? No, I am sorry to disappoint you, it wasn‟t patriotism. It was a desire to pursue a greater cause. For them the cause was to rid India of British rule. For you the cause is tearing this exam apart. Or maybe you want to prove someone wrong? That someone who says you just can‟t clear this hurdle. He has to be put in place; you have to make him eat his words. O yes, that is driving you forward the desire to see him burn in envy when you perform in your full glory. Or do you want to make the sacrifice of your parents
worthwhile? You want them to tell their neighbors how you cleared the exam to be the first one from your area to study in that elite institute. You know you are only as good as your last achievement. You aren‟t satisfied with your last conquest; so here you are, climbing a bigger mountain.
But mere desire will take you nowhere. Fierce discipline is required too. You have to exhaust yourself completely. Wake up early or sleep really late – the choice is yours. But you have to lose some sleep. Write the mock tests and feel really ashamed if you don‟t do well. Lock yourself in the bathroom and cry. Then pick up your books and study the night out. And you need to be consistent. I can only provoke you to give your best for a few days. Beyond that you have to pull yourself, on a daily basis. There are no overnight success stories. All those successful people work for months, to become an overnight celebrity. Shake yourself out of your comfort zone. For the next few months, you are only a robot which responds to just one command – „win at any cost‟. Your will-power shall shape your future. Whether you fail or succeed shall be no man's doing but your own. You are the force; you can clear any obstacle or you can just sit dreaming about clearing obstacles. Whatever course you choose, it‟s your choice; your responsibility; win or lose, only you hold the key to your destiny. When I was preparing for IIT, there was one problem in Mathematics which was haunting me. I just couldn‟t get it out of my head. I took it on my ego – thought about it all the time. For me that one problem became the key to IIT JEE. One morning I woke up, took a pen and paper and solved it. I went on to solve much tougher problems after that. But that was the problem which gave me the required confidence. ‘Congrats, they just can’t stop you now‟, I wrote on that sheet. They couldn‟t stop me. What I am suggesting is that you have to take it on your ego. Noone defeats you in the game you choose to play. This is your game. You have to give it all you have. And you have quite a lot. If you are sleeping soundly and wandering pleasantly through your customized dreamland, wake up. Become a maniac, take pleasure in torturing yourself for the cause you have undertaken. Sleep can wait. Your girlfriend can wait. The world will have to wait. For the next few months, it‟s just you and your target. But that's alright because you are just passing through... on your way to something bigger. So tell me now, have you attempted greatness yet? If you aim for anything less than that, you become an object of disgust. I won‟t buy it if you tell me that you want a mediocre life – graduate from xyz College, live in xyz lane and work in xyz company. Then you should rather rename yourself as xyz. You are designed for greatness, you know it, and it haunts you that you haven‟t done anything about it yet. Maybe now is the time? Will a hungry predator not pounce on its prey when it sees one? Will you not attempt greatness when you can? Of-course you will summon all your primal instincts to do it. Just imagine it – there is one object of prey named „greatness‟ running out of your reach, there are other fierce predators also chasing it, you have to reach it before others do. And you will, if your survival depends on it. Catching this prey is a matter of your survival. You, the mighty one, are the crusher of mediocrity. You have had enough. People will want to knock you down. Temptations will try to hold you back. Obstacles will stand in your way. But now you are determined to smash your way through them. So you begin tomorrow. Six months in your lonely study room. 180 days of pain. 4320 hours of hunger and desire. You will be counting the minutes, the seconds. When it's over, you‟ll step into the light. You will come out with your captured prey and how splendid would that scene be truly great!
Black isn’t just Dark Fantasy
By Sonia Bhargava
By Shikha Shah
The familiar street food bhel is one thing my sister needs on a daily basis. More often than not, my role is limited to accompanying her to the stall. But once I was made to perform the chore while she was busy with her phone. In the process, I caught sight of a pair of strikingly unusual eyes, unique in their own way. The neatly applied kajal was barely a part of virtues that defined them. And their beholder was an equally beautiful visage of a girl in the epitome of her beauty. They disapproved of the way to eke out a living under the supervision of her handicapped father reclining on a chair beside her. The yearning to enjoy life like other girls of her age vindicated her melancholy. While handling me the concoction she strangely stared at my black nail paint. That she hated it was evident from the spontaneous fit of disgust that aroused on her face. Perhaps it raked up some unpleasant, pinching memories. Black is my favorite color, due to reasons I thought were legitimate enough. Life for me is as simple as the black carbon that forms it. For her it‟s complex as the compounds of carbon. I like the color of an infinite, invincible night- sky that boasts the stars and the moon, somewhere tacitly justifying itself as the most fitting background for them. But she has to know her limits, though hopes are endless. Black clouds for me herald new vistas. They have the power and magic to create the colors of a rainbow. For her they are no different from the pall of smoke, dust and dejection that is present before and after the promising monsoon, all round the year. A sorrow entrenched so deeply that the clear water from clouds cannot clean it, that they can‟t make her life fecund for sprawling green. For me black is the glamour of a black sedan and a blackberry, for her it‟s the squalor of her vicinity. It‟s a byword for her perpetrators, those who renege on their promises soon after they win the elections. For me it‟s the fun and innocence of the darkness in hiding in cupboards while playing hide and seek. For her it‟s the desire to be free from the darkness in the dungeons of poverty. Something ironically evident from the way she kept the black in her locks from flowing by pulling them tightly together. As if imposing the same punishment on them under which various laws had hemmed her in. Perhaps now the reasons why she despised black aren‟t as inexplicable. And now I understand why all my efforts to elicit a smile out of her ended as futile attempts. It was the constant despair in those eyes, which kept me from asking her name, they blamed you even though they know you aren‟t the guilty. I could however have done more than that, but it didn‟t occur to me before she disappeared from that place. And I was somehow relieved that those eyes won‟t watch me when I cross the place again.
There had always been one problem in my life, Punctuality! It is the key to Success they say, but in my case it is the key to troubles. This Ghost has always followed me wherever I have gone and has always been the epicenter of my problems. Whether it‟s my missing the train or any appointment or about my irresponsible behaviour at school. This ghost has always made me suffer. It‟s not always my fault, as no matter how hard I try, something or someone always comes up at the end moment which makes me late. Well, somehow I was managing things pretty well until my “ultimate” physics classes were not scheduled in the early hours of the day and that too at 5 am!! Initially I was opposed to the very idea but after my Dad‟s monologue about “IITs and sacrifices”, I succumbed under the pressure & reluctantly agreed. I thought that I would soon acclimatize to the new routine but as always I was wrong! Gosh! It soon turned out to be my worst punishment. I have always been a late sleeper & getting up early was no less than “climbing the Himalayas” for me and that too everyday! And to add to my misery, my Cleric physics tutor was more than punctual. His clock was 15 mins fast so all his activities including the class, started according to it! It used to start at sharp 5 am, „by his watch‟, making him a real tyrant in my eyes. My day started with the continuous nags n “kich-kich”of my mum and eventually I made my way towards the “monstrous” classes. Every day it was my alarm clock or my damn physics copy which made me late. I often toddled to the class at around 5:15 am (by my watch) i.e. around 35 minutes late! He used to give me a very indifferent look and I settled on the farthest chair I could find to complete my “good night”sleep. Whatever, I even hate to recall those days! But among those days one day still injects shiver to my spines! Let me caution my readers that it didn‟t happen in the class, but on the way to it. I still remember the day with date-5th nov 2008.To begin with, the day was normal and even a miracle happened, I was up early. I got ready, this time exceptionally early only to discover the front tube of my scooty as punctured. ‟Again late” was the first thing that popped in my head. I pulled out my brother‟s bicycle & set-off for the tiring journey without even a faintest idea about the “horrendous” thing awaiting me. Cycling and that too at 5 Am in the morning was the last thing I could ask for making my day bad! In a very bad mood I was pacing towards the classes accusing my lovely monster teacher at every breath for putting me through such an ordeal, with only one consoling thought- “getting a good sleep”after coming back. Lost in my own world I was slowly advancing when I suddenly heard a trembling voice behind me, “Beti kahan jar hi ho,ruko na 2 min”. When I turned, I froze at what I saw .There, in the twilight of stars, was standing a lady, probably in her mid 30‟s, looking strikingly beautiful in a red Banarasi saree with a noticeable garland around her untied hairs, holding some bags. As she was coming towards me, I started noticing her other features as well, such as a very dark red lipstick and her heavy
jewellery. She was walking in unusually and seeing me, she smiled revealing her pearly white teeth. Overall there was something uneasy about her which I could feel in the air. She didn‟t look like an ordinary lady but looked as if she was from some other planet. Well, this was the moment my nerves started giving up and I was finding it difficult to hold the ground .Her smile forced my thoughts to wander in the old stories of beautiful ladies, suddenly appearing in the middle of the streets, asking for lifts and finally vanishing with the victims to the “No Man‟s Land” .I half imagined her to bounce on me and start sucking my blood. My chain of thoughts was interrupted by her sudden fall. The instant rush of adrenaline in my veins warned me to run & I ran for my life with my head over my heels (actually, wheels!;P) without even bothering to ride my bicycle occasionally feeling her running after me shouting, “Kutti , Kamini!!kahan ja rahi hai ruk ja ,nahi to!!” thankfully she didn‟t glide all the way at full speed to punish me. It wasn‟t until I reached my classes I stopped. Phew! I had never been so happy before seeing the hoarding of my classes and for a change my physics tutor too at his usual place teaching normally. It was after a long time I became normal after being satisfied that the world was still there behaving normally. It‟s been a long time since this incident happened but the memory of that day still haunts me. I sometimes, see the same lady in my dreams smiling at me and asking for help and myself running like a coward. My heart still goes back to that deserted road and I feel very guilty about abandoning her in the shivering cold. I have talked about this with many friends, who in no dilemma supported my action. One even called me “insane” for stopping. What if she was really in desperate need and had landed in some sort of trouble. My running away just doomed her last ray of hope. But maybe what I did was right. Only God knows!!
Secret Diary of Roger Federer By Aniruddh Agrawal
When I was a kid growing up in South Africa, I always wondered how it would feel like to be like McEnroe or Connors or Edberg, to be standing with that golden gleaming trophy on the lush green grass in the hallowed Center Court at Wimbledon. Childhood Fantasies rarely come true, and therefore I consider myself to be extremely lucky to have lived mine and continue to live it. Wimbledon has been a beautiful tournament for me, not this time around though. As I am typing this, I can almost feel other keyboards being frantically hit all over the world declaiming, announcing my defeat to Tsonga in the quarters. The evening is slowly turning into night here in London, and the typical English weather has set in with drizzles suffusing the weather with gentle warmth that I have grown to adore but sadly I won‟t be here to enjoy it for another week, seems like an unusual feeling, for I can‟t remember the last time that I wasn‟t in the last week of Wimbledon. But that is sport, right? You can‟t win all the time. Tsonga played well and as much as I felt sad at seeing him dance around in his typical style, I didn‟t weep. I held those tears back as I walked off the Court 1 waving those lovely spectators goodbye. I don‟t know who‟s going to win it this time around but I hope it is not Rafa. I really want Joker, Nole or whatever you may wanna call him to really stop joking around and show something real, win something because hey! Let‟s face it, until you really perform on the biggest stage, the 40 match winning streaks and all the Masters tournaments and the no.2 seeds don‟t really count ( as miss Wozniacki found out this time and Safina before that). But Rafa, he shouldn‟t win this time around, for I don‟t want him to bloody bite on
that trophy again, posing and smiling and speaking with that heavy Spanish accent. He has no Class, no Rolex to show off, no stylish custom made Pull-Over to pull on after the match and really take the win as a gentleman. I am the Poetry In Motion and he‟s just the rustic Spanish Bull. But I know he‟s coming after me, after that magic number 16. I am not sure for how long will I be able to hold him off. Let‟s hope the Flushing Meadows at New York give me what the grass of Wimbledon couldn‟t, that wonderful No.17. Fingers crossed and my mind made up, I am off. My Rolex tells me it is midnight; I should be off to bed. My little girls are waiting.
Aadhar project and UIDAI By Atif Tahir The concept of “a ubiquitous magic plastic” that bring out the unique in a living person has caught the fascination of most of us. An unpopular government sees in it the ability of cutting a long red tape short to correctly identify the genuine citizens in need. The agonized cops of India see in it a great ally to apprehend the muchwanted terrorists, whose biometric data could now be verified with existing records, as and when these come into existence, before he commits another heinous crime. These expectations are fair. But, the fumes of fire cooking such recipes are rising from unforeseen quarters, which must raise serious concerns in India. All kinds of supposedly secure databases/Web sites, including those of India's defence ministry and the Pentagon, have been hacked. Data theft and transfer to intelligence agencies or corporations have potentially horrendous consequences. That is one reason why many countries including the UK, US and Australia have abandoned national ID.Another is the high cost. UID numbers are being rolled out even before the relevant bill is tabled in Parliament. The present exercise of taking Biometric Details of Indians is simply “Unconstitutional”. A Project and Authority without any Legal Sanction and Parliamentary Oversight cannot indulge in these activities on such a mass scale. The process is profoundly undemocratic and the project thoroughly misconceived. The UID project is going to do almost exactly the same thing, which the predecessors of Hitler did, else how is it that Germany always had the lists of Jewish names even prior to the arrival of the Nazis? The Nazis got these lists with the help of IBM, which was in the 'census' business that included racial census that entailed not only count the Jews but also identifying them. At the United States Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC, there is an exhibit of an IBM Hollerith D-11 card-sorting machine that was responsible for organizing the census of 1933 that first identified the Jews. The UID number will only guarantee identity, not rights, benefits or entitlements. The Aadhaar project has grave civil liberty implications. It will enable the government to profile citizens and track their movements and transactions. There is no guarantee that intimately personal details, pre-existing illnesses, romantic relationships, and anonymous donations won't be shared with other agencies. The designated registrars include private operators as well as state governments, the Life Insurance Corporation and banks. Also involved are multinational firms like Ernst and Young and Accenture. Already, Apollo Hospital has applied for managing the health records in the Aadhaar database. That is not all. The draft NIAI Bill says the authority will maintain details of every request for identity authentication and that identity information may be disclosed in the interests of 'national security'. These clauses permit the tracking of citizens. Experience shows that whenever the government gets excessive authority, it is misused. That is what happened with our anti-terrorism acts and is happening with the Armed Forces Special Powers Act and Public Safety Act in numerous states. The government's identification exercise follows the path of the Information Technology Act 2000 that was enacted in the absence of no data or privacy protection legislation. The UID project is a blatant case of infringement of civil liberties. Aadhar project and UIDAI are hiding truth from Indians. While Nandan Nilekani is portraying Aadhar project as beneficial and a welfare scheme, it is nothing but an evil design to indulge in illegal and unconstitutional e-surveillance upon Indians.
Tapra Chronicles 2.0
By Abhishek Verma I can't imagine growin' old with anyone Marching to a different drum, I hear a different song I swear I love 'em all, I don't care if they're small I don't care if they're tall, I'd love 'em anyway!
HeMAN – Aur tera newspaper nikla?? Bhangi – Haan newsLETTER ka first issue nikal gaya hai..ab to second issue bhi aane wala hai. HeMAN – MAA KASAM!! Kitne jhoojharu ho be tum log. Itna koi kaise kha sakta hai?? Pehle wala koi dekha bhi hai jo dusra bhi nikal rahe ho??
I call myself a musichead, no labels of any particular genre.
Bhangi – Abe pehle hi din 70 downloads hue. Aur 60 likes mile Educrats ke facebook page pe. Kuch log likh kar padhane se darte nahi hain.
Although metal is my favorite genre of them all, I love many forms of music but a bit too much to just stick with one particular sound.
HeMAN – (seemed offended by the remark) Abe darne ki kya baat hai!!! Apan to praketical me faculty k muh pe gaali dete hain!!
I love hybrids, I love metal with folk, I love metal with classical, I love weird shit being played on the simple guitar, music is just so precociously precious to me it's unbelievable.
Bhangi – Tu bhi kuch likhkar contribute karna kabhi.
The thing I‟m most proud about being a MUSICHEAD is the fact I can open my mind to things, thus people can never place an argument against me saying "I don‟t give things a chance" or "My musical tastes are horrible". I can easily fit into any forum of any genre (except POP or weird genres played in VH1, MTV etc these days). But one thing that I love about my metalhead qualities is my vast database of sub-genre and my uncanny knack of delivering education to younger metalheads, non-metalheads that are stupid, and etc. Another thing; I love looking vicious, and listening to this vicious music, making the people who judge me to quickly stay away (these people are too close-minded and I don't want to meet them), and it makes people who are a bit more accepting take interest in me and try to get to know me better thus i‟ve friends with a similar mentality to mine.
HeMAN – Abe kahan time hi nahi hai..itna bakwas college hai apni branch me assignmaynt bohot dete hain..jaise sala ischool k bachhe hain. HeMAN - (to himself) sala mujhe darpok bolta hai..batata hun isko!! Bhangi – Kuch bola bhai?? HeMAN – Nahi. Chal nikalta hun abhi, fanti k paas jana hai. Milta hun baad me. Bhangi – Chal bye. [The very next day Bhangi‟s facebook account gets hacked and there‟s an offensive post on the Educrats page] HeMAN – Arey mai suna tere aiducrat page per koi kachra kar diya hai?? Bhangi – Haan shayad kisiko apni mardangi dikhani thi to ladki ki profile banakar 1 article post kiya hai.
Anyway back to the topic, the thing I most like about being a "Musichead" is that I am genuinely accepting to all music sometimes it is simple and other times it is quite technical I will go from listening to metal, glam to electro, trance, house, then to blues or country but I really hate POP 'cause i think its less of music by an instrument n more by a 'computer'.
HeMAN – Acha...kya likha hai??
I truly believe there is great music from every Genre and I believe that Metalheads are usually the most accepting to others and that is why I am proud to be in their ranks and not to mention ROCK n Metal Bands have some of the greatest people in music with popular mentions such as Jimmy Page, John Bonham, Slash, Freddie Mercury, Steve Harris, Bono, Ozzy n a lot more. Someone comes up to me and says “give this a listen” or to check out some stuff and I will give it a listen and there will always be a chance that I will like it. One of my really good friends is a great friend just for these reasons……\m/\m/
HeMAN – (to himself) bhag sala.
Bhangi – Apna badbudar experience describe kiya hai. Chalo isi bahane kuch to likha. HeMAN – Tera aikount b hek hua tha?? Bhangi – Haan..per password retrieve ho gaya..
HeMAN – Nahi mujhe aise hi yahin kisine bataya to mai pooch liya..koi dikkat hogi to batana..apan heking ainti-heking ka course kiye the!! Bhangi – Thanks yaar..per facebook pe password reset karne ka option rehta hi hai to koi problem nahi hui. HeMAN – Acha..chal thik hai..milta hun fir.. Bhangi – Ok chal bye...kuch contribute karne ka try karna agar time mile to.
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