ARTICLE 19 THE 3RD EDITION
Letter from the Editors
The 3rd Edition of Article19 is out at last! A few years back, Soumya Mishra (2008-2013) and a few of her friends decided that the department is in need of an active, student-run magazine. What followed were two brilliant editions of the magazine along with other activities such as poetry sessions and movie screenings. Yes, the Article19 team have quite a lot going on! The aim of this magazine is to ensure that everybody in this department have the freedom to express themselves and more importantly, to explore their artistic abilities. Therefore, we invite everybody in this department to continue to help us by contributing and to also encourage those who do contribute by ensuring that this magazine remains as vibrant and kaleidoscopic as it has always been. In this edition, we bring to you eleven poems and eight prose pieces written by students of the HSS department. We hope you enjoy reading it as much as we did making it!
Regards, Vanya, Vamsi & Urvi Aditi, Asmita, Arya Prakash, Urmila Aswin, Aparajitha, Sreenidhi, Rukma
Why is it called Article19? In our fourth semester, Akhil, Prasoon and I decided to start a magazine. During one of the constitution classes we had a break for a while and the three of us began discussing about the magazine with regard to its content, its name and so on. All of a sudden, Prasoon sprang up from his seat and began to frantically search for his D D Basu book. He flipped through the pages of the book as Akhil and I listlessly stared at him. We thought that he was trying to figure out something about the class work. Rather, he gleefully pointed at the page on Fundamental Rights and declared ‚ Article19. That’s what we should call it..‛ And all of us thought it was a brilliant idea. It was so clear and obvious in its purpose and yet sent a strong message.
So, that is how we call it Article 19. Soumya Mishra
PROSE 1. I’m Pavin from IIT! 2. Ruby Revelry – Isha 3. The Smell of Turmeric – Veena Mani 4. Akbar - Pushkal 5. Hovering Castles – Asmita 6. Watery Sunshine – Smita 7. Rainbow – Aditi 8. IIT Madras – Vamsi
1. 2. 3. 4.
A Rush - Sahil Karna - Mukesh Urmila – Arya Prakash When the word was not good enough – Dhananjay 5. Shattered Remnants Shilpa
6. I love you like they say it in poems - Urvi 7. Running out of words – Aswin
8. Shangri La – Aparajitha 9. You fought against racism Smruthi
10.Mickey Cohen Replies Vamsi
11.Goodbye - Vanya
About the authors Closing credits
DISCLAIMER: CONSIDERING RECENT CRITICALLY IMPORTANT EVENTS, ALL CHARACTERS AND SITUATIONS MENTIONED IN THIS STORY ARE POORLY PARODIED AND HAVE HORRIBLE JOKES. THEREFORE, IT SHOULD NOT BE READ BY ANYONE (ESPECIALLY MA STUDENTS) AS THEY OVERFLOW WITH AN IMMEASURABLE SENSE OF HUMOUR! I’M PAVIN FROM IIT! -Written by me My name is Pavin Kaadithyan (meaning: the bearer of beauty). One of my friends used to make fun of me saying it’s the weirdest name one could ever have and unfortunately I cannot disagree with him this time (which of course, I always do). To be honest it really worried me a lot in the beginning but not anymore. I’m a Tamil and I’m proud to be a Tamil (the second part was inevitable as we Tamils are supposed to say that, otherwise we become traitors by default considering the recent events happening in Tamil Nadu). And I don't have the slightest clue as to what the purpose of background pics is. Come on seriously, what does a guy smoking pot have to do with my story?!
I’m from Coimbatore, the best place in the whole of Tamil Nadu but all my friends tend to disagree. They say that a person is considered dumb, even if he utters the name Coimbatore and nothing can stop them from saying such things, not even my numerous requests as well as threats. But right now I’m in Chennai the ‚safest city in India‛, (According to ‘The Hindu’ there was a public riot in Chennai last Tuesday which was followed by three brutal murders. I think Chennai got its reputation considering the bad situations prevailing in all other
cities in India) studying in IIT-Madras, one of the most prestigious institutions in the country (the other institutions being the six other IITs) and the reason I call IIT the most prestigious institution is because I’m supposed to. If you ask any parent in India where they want their child to study, without wasting a moment, they’d say IIT. But the student’s version of IIT completely differs from that of the parents. The IITians themselves call IIT as Institute of Infinite Torture. But all this bullshit applies only to those maggus (insti word for people who study, study and study while watching porn) or the ‚engineering students‛. Fortunately, I belong to the HSS (Humanities and Social sciences) department and I’m calling this fortunate not only because of the fact that it is the only course in the whole of India where students are jobless but because it is the one and only department in the whole of the college to have female students in a large proportion. However, that part is still of no use to me because I’m from Coimbatore. Students from every other department in the college hate us for the same reason: HSS has more girls than boys . But none of us gives a damn, after all in a place like IIT who cares for what boys think? Apart from girls, the other things which interest an IITian are late night parties. My classmates and I gather to drink tea and eat samosa in the midnight, because that’s how cool we MA students are! For my first semester my only objective was to get a girlfriend, but whenever I approached a girl and said ‚Hi, I’m Pavin, from Coimbatore‛, she would start shouting ‚SECURITY‛. After reading this, one may come to the conclusion that I’m the only loser in a class of Shakespeares and Platos. I accept this fact like a real man. Having said that, one may like to know how I spend my day in college. And I’m not going to disappoint you. So here we go..
Today I got up around 7.40 for my class at 8.00 and this made me very happy because I woke up early after a very long time; the last time I woke up this early was on the first day of my college. Having spent almost a year here, if there is something that I have learnt not to do, it is not to wake up early because it simply distinguishes you from the other student landing you in a group of students called stud-max (insti word for people who are punctual and good at what they are doing). This was the last thing I wanted to happen (everyone hates stud-max). After brushing my teeth and accidentally taking a bath (a true IITian never bathes in the morning), I left for the cycle- stand only to see that my bicycle's tire was punctured. I didn’t worry about it. Rather, for some reason, I was strangely happy. I reassured myself that ‚at least I didn’t lose my cycle like my friend Vamsi (another loser) who lost his cycle yesterday‛. As usual I skipped my breakfast (If there is something which is common to all IITians then it is breakfast, we all hate breakfast) and reached my class at 7.57. I entered the class hoping that no one would be there, but I found Sahil (stud-max) sitting in the farthest corner and doing something with his laptop; probably studying for tomorrow’s exam. And by the way the end-semester exams start tomorrow. Last week, when a survey was taken on the major head-aches the students face in their college life, the end-semester exams came first followed by the mess-food and the professors.
Except for the studious guys, no one likes exams. Around 8.05 most of the students came and it was a bit surprising for me to see most of the students turning up for class the day before the exams. Normally every HS student tries to imitate the engg. guys by planning to do group-studying before the day of the
exams. During group-study sessions, people would start studying around 6.00 in the evening, then go on till 6.00 in the morning (performing a night-out in other words). But nobody reveals what they do in these 12 hours and since I took a vow not to hide anything, I’m going to tell you what we do. We start our group-studying session by charting out our study-plans and once we’ve fixed the targets, we take a vow that we will achieve it at any cost. This entire process of planning on what to do will take an hour. So by 7.00 we start our session and at around 7.30 one of the guys would say that he is feeling hungry to which all of us would agree and decide to go to the mess to have dinner which again takes another hour. Once finished, we come back to our room where the same guy who first called out for dinner will again propose for a movie before going back to study as a movie in the middle of a study session can be very refreshing. We all say in unison ‚why not?‛ Then we watch a movie till 12 or 1 depending upon the duration of the movie. Once the movie gets over the same guy who proposed for the movie would say ‚Come on guys, we’re gonna study till 6.00 so we better sleep a little‛ and again we all say in unison ‚why not?‛ The best part of all of these happenings is we never regret our decisions. Having said that, I will come back to where I left off. Our professor was a bit late. I could tell from his face that he was not in a great mood today but nevertheless he is still a cool prof as he never cares about attendance or what people do in the class while he teaches (In IIT, anyone who is not worried about attendance is considered to be a God!!). He started teaching us the last topic of the semester- Hegelian Principles-for about 50 minutes. It was
quite obvious that none of us understood anything and none of us could help it including the professor. I sometimes wonder whether he himself understood it or not, but however that never mattered to us. For us the definition of a professor is someone who talks in other people's sleep. The next period was a free period. Now that’s the best thing about HSS department. We have so much of free time that sometimes we get bored of having so much free time! After the last period I made up my mind on what to do for the rest of the day. Accordingly, I planned to study for about 5-7 hours for the exam which is gonna happen the next day. After I finished studying, I could watch a movie and then go to sleep. All IITians plan well, but when it comes to the execution of that plan, we suck. That’s the reason why we take a vow not to break the promise before every promise. Reaching my room at around 2, I thought of executing my plan, but I didn’t know where to start and more importantly what to start with. And that’s when I realized I didn’t know what exam is gonna be tomorrow! I had a confusion whether it is philosophy or ethics, (now that’s a big problem or I would say a disadvantage with the HSS department. All courses teach the same thing - in Ethics we read what Kant did and in Philosophy we read why he did that). After a couple of phone calls I confirmed that the exam was on German! That was the last thing I really wanted to happen because I suck at German and moreover my Professor hates me. But alas! Nothing is going to stop the exam from happening. Sensing no use in cribbing about it, I felt the need to act fast. I went straight to Sahil’s room (the class topper, I always wanted to know what that guy eats) who is
again doing something with his laptop (he is a mysterious guy, he never reveals what he does with his laptop; probably studying?!). I asked him to teach me something in German because I wanted to pass. Being a good guy he readily accepted and we started at around 3 and by 6, I gained some confidence that I can pass. I then went back to my room and looked for something to eat (IITians are always hungry) but found nothing as usual even though I always knew that I won’t have any food in my room. I still search being a confident young boy. So I go to Vamsi’s room. Now some background about this guy. He is basically a gluttonous loser who spends most of his time eating, eating and eating. He is probably the only guy in the entire college who would never miss his breakfast, lunch, dinner or even his supper! I got some biscuits. After 8, I went to bed after keeping an alarm for 7.15 in the morning since I didn’t want to be late for the exam. I got up at 7.55 since my alarm failed me for the 100th time. I had no time to waste. So I rushed to the bathroom, brushed my teeth, put on my clothes and left the room along with my lucky pad. While crossing the cycle stand I got the shock of my life. I couldn’t see my cycle. Damn!! Someone must have stolen it. But now is not exactly the time to worry about it because it’s already 5 past 8.00 and I have to run to my department where the exam would be going on. at any cost As I ran into the hall, I could see another guy running along with me. It was Vamsi, it was so funny watching him run (fun becomes more fun when it happens amidst chaos). But I was late by 15 minutes (the best and the only good thing about IIT exams are the timings; even if the student reaches the exam hall late, the profs won’t mind. The record for coming late was set by a B/Tech guy who came late to the class by an hour but surprisingly was the first to finish the exam).
With a frown, the invigilator handed me the question paper along with the booklet in which I was supposed to write the answers. Before looking at the question paper, I prayed for some 5 minutes (God plays an important role in our college life only twice, first when we propose a girl and second when we face our exam). Looking into my paper I thought to myself, today must be a day of shockers, first my cycle and now this question paper. I couldn’t understand a bloody thing in it, almost 80% of the questions were asked from the part which I didn’t learn. The more I looked into the paper the more worried I became. I was looking for some miracle to happen; I wanted an earthquake or a disaster of some kind to save me from this exam. But miracles don’t happen. From Plato to Pamela Anderson, lots of random thoughts passed my mind. I considered myself the ‘wisest man’ (Socrates’s famous theory on wisdom: A man who accepts that he knows nothing is the wisest of all). As I was simply sitting playing with my pen, something of a miracle did happen. The invigilator made Sahil who was sitting in his usual farthest corner to sit before me. I don’t have the slightest idea why she did that. I was overjoyed by this incident. Sahil while sitting asked me how the paper was and I lied to him saying ‚It’s great‛. You may really wonder why I lied to him, but my theory behind that lie is ingenious. Normally a studious guy never allows anyone to copy from him. When they suspect that the person sitting nex t is trying to copy, they would certainly go to any extent to prevent him from copying, even if he is their best friend (girl friends are exceptions). So now I can copy some answers from him without his knowledge. By the time he realized that I was copying from him, I was sure I would get 50% marks and that was more than enough for me. By 11..45
I handed the answer sheet to the invigilator. I came out of the exam hall only to see people doing the post-exam discussion. I also joined them and I was very happy that most of the guys didnâ€™t do the exam well. I then went with my friends to the mess where we planned to have a group-study session for the upcoming Philosophy exam. Later, I returned to my room and had a deep sleep with the hope of getting up around 6 in the evening to participate in the group-study session.
- Isha She doesn’t watch horror movies. Says their tendrils burrow into her like little grey drills and leave behind images she doesn’t want to deal with.
She has a morbid imagination nevertheless. When she is bored and her mind stays empty, she creates fantasies of gore. On the bus ride to Andheri, passing a butcher’s shop, she remembers Simic. Wonders what it would be like to be a butcher. Imagines opening a coop - stray feathers, squawks, shit. Gripping a random pair of crimson feet, the swish of air from her fingers brushing past the others like the bell of fate. How do you kill? Her fantasy grows wings drenched in blood. She hefts something that looks like a blunt axe. It is short and very wooden. The tips of her fingers caress the roughness, the depressions, the scars. Something snaps. Inhibitions on violence, sentiments of animal love, traditions, culture, social customs, they all vanish. They are nothing, they never were.
A vicious urge rises up within. She lifts the axe and hacks into the creature hard, fast. The feeling spreads. She lifts it again. And again. Chop. Squelch. Wrench. Wilted feathers fly. Warm droplets on her face, arms, musty apron, axe. They are alive. The air is full of hundreds of tiny tiny rubies, vibrant, coming together. The pool of ruby spills slowly outward and the wings, drenched, stop flapping.
THE SMELL OF TURMERIC
I imagined this in a very different way. I thought I will love marriage. After all I was brought up in the discourse of grihasthashrama, saptapati, sumangali and nirvana. There was not an idea of a happy marriage because it was a value-neutral natural thing you do when you grow up. Wait! When did I grow up? I was woken up at 5.30. Athai gave me manjal and nallennai for the elaborate pre-wedding bath. I love the smell of turmeric. It reminds me of our snake grove we had at our backyard. We had to remove it. They said we cannot keep it as we were not those who did poojas. I used to pray in front of snake images when I was little. I prayed that Appa would not cut my hair this time. I wanted to keep it long. Like women do. My beautician and camera man had a tug of war on me. She needed more time and so did he. Athai and Ammamma wanted me to fall at the endless line of family elders. Everyone was fighting
for my time while I was not given any. I was thinking about the old tamarind tree
when I got in my brother-in-lawâ€™s car. He and my sister were asked to take me to the mandapam. They were instructed to stop nowhere on the way (I was wearing tonnes of jewels!) but only at the temple for the last pranam as a maiden. The stage was filled with smoke from the holy agni. I scanned the audience to see whether any of my friends turned out. We used to gather around at the back of the hall at weddings and comment on each and everything. I wanted to tell them it is not really that fun when it is you who is getting married. It is a dull thing and all you want is to get done with it. Athai reminded me to keep my head bent down. My literary mind laughed at the unintended pun. I had to change four sets of saris before it got over. Nobody cried as I expected. I thought people cried at weddings. Isnâ€™t it there something like I am not belonged to my own house anymore but to a different family? Maybe it is a natural parting that happens when you grow up. Wait! When did I grow up? Veena Mani
AKBAR Earlier this year, the Time magazine named Akbar as one of top 25 political icons of all times. It said, ‚At his capital city of Fatehpur Sikri, which he built according to astronomical coordinates, he championed a melding of Hinduism and Islam known as the din-i-ilahi or the ‘d ivine faith.’ While the creed no longer lingers, the ethos of pluralism and tolerance that defined Akbar's age underlies the values of the modern republic of India.‛ Akbar did not imbibe the ethos of pluralism and tolerance suddenly. He confessed, ‚We by fear and force compelled many believers in the Brahmin religion to adopt the faith of our ancestors‛. He made another confession, this time with a sense of remorse: ‚Formerly I used force upon men to conform to my faith and deemed it Islam. As my knowledge grew, I felt ashamed of my deed. Not being a Muslim myself, it was unfair to compel others to become such. What constancy might one expect from those who converted under duress?‛ Akbar did not shift to rationalism immediately. It was a gradual process which culminated during 1578-82, characterizing these years as a period of transition.
Islamic theology was an important source of legitimacy for Muslim rulers. Given the role of the Ulema in the administration, Akbar had to demonstrate to them that religion, as interpreted by them, was the source of his policies. He could hardly outgrow their influence. Out of devotion and faith, Akbar believed in the interpretations and decisions of
the venal Sadr Abdu-n Nabi. The emperor’s reverence put the Sadr above the law. Akbar used to bring and unlace the shoes and took lessons from him in the Quran. Under the influence of Abdu-n Nabi, Akbar grew intolerant and gave orders for murder of the unbelievers. Thus Akbar became a ‚silent or active‛ party to persecution until the Mahzar of 1579 rid him from the shackles of the orthodox elements. The conquest of the Rajput fortress of Chittor in 1568 was proclaimed as victory of Islam over infidels and Akbar killed thousands of peasants along with their families while practicing the ‘Chingisid Code’ of massacring or enslaving all the inhabitants of a conquered territory. During the same period a farman of Akbar directs Qazi Abdul Samad, the muhtasib of a town called Bilgram, and other officials of the town ‚to prevent the Hindus of that pargana from practicing idol-worship and take such other steps as might help in eradicating the manifestations of heresy and deviation from that pargana.‛ After its temporary suspension for a period of ten years in 1565, the Jiziya was reimposed in 1575. Given Akbar’s policies during the period being referred to here, it is not hard to explain the re-imposition of Jiziya. Again, it was finally abolished only in 1579-80. To explain the developments during this period of transition (1578-82), it’s important to trace the origins of Akbar’s outlook. Akbar was born in a Hindu household while his father Humayun was on the run. His lineage can be traced to the two greatest houses of Central Asia, that of Chengiz Khan and Timur-Lang.
He imbibed the qualities of his ancestors. Chengiz Khan ‚believed in God and not in Dogma, respected all religions and was often present at all religious ceremonies of his subjects, for, from the state point of view, he found it useful that the people under his authority should give evidence of their faith in God.‛ The Timurid cultural ethos, which did not favour religious bigotry, also contributed to the development of Akbar’s outlook. The climate of religious tolerance in Timurid polity persisted down to the time when Akbar came to the throne. During the second battle of Panipat, Bairam Khan presented to Akbar the wounded general Hemu: ‚This is your first war: prove your sword on this infidel , for it will be a meritorious deed.‛ The young emperor refused to do so saying, ‚He is now no better than a dead man; how can I strike him? If he had sense and strength I would try my sword.‛ Although Akbar was unlettered (possibly due to dyslexia), a tutor had left a deep imprint on his thinking. The name of the tutor was Mir Abdul Latif Qazwini. He was a man of liberal outlook and was influenced by Sufi ideas. Under his tutelage Akbar studied the work of Persian poet Maulana Rumi one of which especially appealed to him. According to it, God told the Prophet Moses that he had been sent to unite mankind and not divide it. Akbar was also deeply influenced by the poetry of Hafiz which reflected a liberal outlook. The foundations of the concept of Sulh-i-kul (absolute peace) were laid during these times. Another great influence on Akbar was of Shaikh Mubarak and his sons Shaikh Faizi and Abu-l-Fazl. The buildings of Ibadat-khanah or ‚Hall of Worship‛ at
Fatehpur Sikri were completed in 1575. Over the last few years Akbar had expanded his empire with remarkable victories. ‚He had taken a liking for the society of ascetics‛ and spent much time in discussing ‚the Word of God and the sayings of the Prophet, likewise devoting his attention to problems of Sufism, science, philosophy, law and similar matters.‛ Sitting alone on the stone bench near the palace, Akbar used to spend the early hours of dawn in meditation. Akbar is reported to have suffered from occasional fits of depression and melancholy down to 1578. The last fit of such nature came during a hunting expedition when it seemed as if he was dying. However, such fits are not reported after crystallization of Akbar’s world view identified with Sulh-i-kul. The first phase of discussions in the Hall of Worship or the Ibadat-khanah was confined only to the shaikhs, Ulama and Sayids of the Sunni creed. It was only after the second phase of discussions, when Shias were included, in the Ibadatkhanah that the place was opened to intellectuals from across the different sects and religions. The discussions radically altered Akbar’s world-view. In Muntakhab-al-Tawarikh Abdul Qadir Badauni writes about Akbar, ‚Doubt accumulated upon doubt and the object of his search was lost. The ramparts of the law and of the true faith were broken down, and in the course of five or six years not a single trace of Islam was left behind in him.‛ However, Badauni’s work surfaced after Akbar’s death and, being an orthodox Muslim, he pandered to the interests prevailing at that time. The development of Akbar’s world view had begun by around 1571 by his exposure to the pantheistic Sufi documents. Some time after 1575, Akbar even tried to learn the art of concentrating on God while suspended head down in a well for forty days and forty nights.
The Mahzar of 1579 elevated Akbar to the position of the Imam-i-Adil or Lordjust and in case of a difference of opinions among the mujtahids, he can select any one opinion. Even Badauni, Abdu-n Nabi and Abdullah Sultanpuri signed it. The Ulamas agreed that ‚the rank of Sultan-i-Adil is higher in the eyes of God than the rank of Mujtahid (jurist).‛ The document was also a challenge to the Ottoman pretensions. ‚Akbar did not want to admit the legal supremacy of the Ottoman sultans, nor was he willing to permit his own Muslim subjects to owe an allegiance to anyone but himself and especially not to a rival sultan‛ The document released Akbar from the shackles of sectarianism and lent to the Mughal empire an attraction which would draw intellectuals throughout the world of Islam. The Mahzar of 1579 was one of the factors which established Akbar as ‚Akbar the Great‛. Moreover, Akbar’s uniqueness stems from the fact that he succeeded in making his subjects feel that they were an integral part of his empire. His own personality played a vital role in that process. Pushkal
Her kohl-lined eyes stared at the window every few seconds, excitement too obviously plastered upon her face. She tried to contain the hysterical laughter than bubbled up within her ever so often, but couldn’t; and after a while, she didn’t bother trying. Screw caution. She’d spent enough of the last two years worrying, worrying about the slightest bit of good fortune or luck that came upon her. She had this theory, you see. She believed that the smallest piece of happiness, the tiniest bit of good luck, would be recompensed soon enough with some minor grief. So she didn’t allow herself to dream of better days, didn’t build gorgeous white castles miles high in the air where she would live the perfect life. She stored up her happiness deep inside her where she couldn’t reach it – bottling it in for the day where she would be allowed to dance around in joy with no qualms, when misfortune didn’t seem to hover in the future at every step, as it did now. And today was it. Today, in a few hours, she would be happier than she had ever been before – she could hardly believe the day was finally here. All those years of prudence in emotion, they’d paid off! She tried going about her everyday chores, as usual; but it wouldn’t work. The house was spotless, she’d been over it twice, attacking every speck of dirt she could find. The cutlery gleamed on the perfectly set table, the napkins folded into pristine triangles. The honey-glazed chicken, the one she loved, sat bubbling in the pot in the kitchen. She’d planned the day down to its minutest detail – from the CD that they would dance to after lunch to the scented candles in the bedroom to
where she would lead him later. It had been so long, she wondered if she even remembered all the things that he loved. Hell, she wondered if she remembered the things that she loved.
She wandered about the house, impatience etched on every step she took – bouncy and carefree. Happy sighs punctuated the silence of the house, silent because she had wanted it to be. Jerry had called yesterday, she remembered dimly, at the break of dawn, as usual. He wanted to have a barbeque, like the old times. Lila and him, Tommy and her. Maybe call around a few of the neighbours if she wanted a crowd. But then the four of them had always been happier amongst themselves. She remembered the early days, both couples so in love. Then things turned sour, Lila moved out; and things had been awkward for a while. But Jeremy was willing to reconcile for a couple of hours, just for ol’ Tom’s sake. ‚Let’s throw him a party to remember, eh Annie?‛ But she’d refused. No. This day was to be hers, and hers alone. Barbeques were for tomorrow, or the week after. One exclusive day was all she yearned for. Her restive steps found her at the landing, and here she paused briefly. Pictures dotted the wall, but she focused on only one. Her in her creamy ivory, the lacy veil thrown back in a mirthful laugh; him in his resplendent uniform, shiny medals dotting his breast, standing straight as a rod as only a soldier would, looking at her with an expression of wonder. Every time she glanced at this picture, she wondered what he had been thinking about whilst looking at her like that. Every time she asked him this, he claimed that he could not remember, but he must have been marveling at her beauty. She would scoff at this, calling him an
irrepressible flirt, using compliments to aid him where his memory wouldn’t. That picture was four years old. How much had changed since then, she wondered. How many more medals would he don after this stint? With a flush of shame she realized she had never asked him too much of his military escapades. But he’d never dwelled on them either; she supposed that both of them knew that it would only add to the worry. His letters had always been light-hearted, coming once a week nearly like clockwork. Jokes the boys shared, slip-ups during drill, these were the only sides of Iraq that she knew, apart from the bombing, the constant bombing she would read about in the papers. But sometimes his letters were serious; sometimes he couldn’t help but admit that he was scared. She never overreacted when these little confessions were made, or else she knew he would stop making them. Tom was a private kind of guy, he didn’t confide in too many people. She was sure that it was only to her that he even spoke of these things, and he needed her to be strong.
She had kept every one of his letters. She shuddered to think it, but they could be the only remembrance she would have of him if her worst fears came to pass. Those worn letters contained the very essence of Tommy, or what his essence had dwindled to over the last two years. There were the hastily scribbled notes – I’m okay, love you. –Tommy. There were ones that traversed pages, where his feelings overflowed with surprising eloquence on the page, where he spoke of happier memories, whether for her sake or his, she knew not. There were the ones that were nearly illegible now, his slanting writing smudged where both his tears and hers had mingled over the ink. And then, there was the last one. The one that she clutched in her hand right now, its creases worn thin with the number of times
she’d read and reread it, folded and unfolded it, in her irrepressible excitement.
Babe, Don’t want to excite you too much, but I’m coming home next week. Probably will land up in front of you next Tuesday, so you better have my chicken ready for me! Gotta go now, but I’ll see you soon! I love you. Tom. She remembered reading it for the first time (oh, it seemed like such a distant memory now!) and just staring at it in disbelief, not comprehending the magnitude of his words. It took two, three, four subsequent readings for it to finally sink in that he was actually, finally, coming home! The week had passed by in a combination of agonizing impatience, and crazed excitement; and the day was finally here. It was nearly three in the afternoon. What was taking so long? Anne went into the kitchen to check on the chicken. It looked delicious. She had just stuck a spoon in to taste, when she heard the bell ring. So many emotions rushed through her at once, that she couldn’t decide which one she would let overwhelm the others. Calm down, she told herself, as she patted her skirt and put the spoon away. She walked towards the door, checking her hair as she did so. Anticipation rose up within her like bile, and she opened the door.
There were two men in uniform outside her door, not one. She didn’t understand. What? They carried a box between them and laid it on the porch. ‚Mrs. Cooper?‛ Yes, that was she. Where was Tommy? ‚We’re ex tremely sorry ma’am.‛ The world began to dim around Anne. She tried to stop listening, but couldn’t block out some of their quiet, steady words… sudden scrimmage… totally unexpected… grenade. No, it couldn’t be true. No! Anne dropped to her knees as the tears began to form, and her hovering castles came crashing down.
- Smita I never really understood the meaning of the term 'sun kissed'. To personify a large helium ball and then imagine it pouting and leaning towards the earth is a scary thought, if you ask me. But then one day, on a road trip from Jabalpur to Mumbai, I finally got it. While the car threaded through the forest, the late December view on the other side of the window was simply beautiful. The trees looked happy and the sun shone off of them. It was exactly the right amount of sun anyone would want.
This was the sight I had in mind as I looked out the classroom door. But the scene that met my eyes was in loud conflict with the one in my head. The Sun was not just kissing the Earth, she was forcing herself on her. Violently, brutally, and mercilessly raping her. And the Earth offered no resistance. It was as if she had already accepted defeat. And where could she have gone? Who could she have run to? Everyone in the fucking 'solar' system was tied to the Sun, depended on her. The Earth had no tears left to cry. Her body was bruised and scarred. She was dying, bit by bit, but the sun would not let her. The Sun, a sadistic goddess, nurtured life as much as she drained the Earth of it. Maybe it is the fault of mankind. Stripping the Earth naked of herself and provoking the Sun to attack. Provoking, hmph! As if it was the Earth's fault she was getting assaulted. Thinking of the injustices heaped upon the ear th was so much more engaging than the class I found myself in. It wasn't a far fetched thought, really, because I felt I was equally victimized. I am a winter lover, and the summer has never been
kind to me. It is a cruel joke indeed that I find myself destined to spend five years of my life in Chennai. March and April are absolutely wicked months to spend here for someone like me. I would not be exaggerating if I told you I start melting every time I step out in the heat. The sweat snake slithering down my spine was spoiling my already sour mood with its poison. Now, the mind likes to repress bad experiences. Psychology 101. And so my mind refused to let me suffer the pain that was beating down its door. I could not bear to think of the heat anymore. My mind drew me to cooler places, happier times. Why I could not remember snow covered mountains is beyond me; maybe the Sun had my mind on a leash and would not let it stray far from where I was. Sadist, like I said. And that is when my mind tiptoed away to the beach, taking in the salt and sand, and the inviting smell of something I could not correctly put my finger on.
I guess Chennai's only saving grace is the beach. Perpetually pleasant weather. There is the added advantage of finding absolute privacy in a thoroughly crowded place. I think it is the water. I know the beach symbolizes stability for many, but for me, it means change. Nothing remains the same. Everything gets washed away, and everything changes. There is always another chance, another day. Sometimes, I like knowing that I'm nothing more than a miniscule speck in this whole wide, what shall I say, world? And one day, I will get washed away too. Takes away from the dull heaviness of life. Everyone makes mistakes, but they can all be washed away. After all, mistakes only lie in memories, and memories are only too easily erased.
I think the Ocean has seen something in me that I have never seen in myself. And he has shown it to me. He has taught me that everything can change, I can change. He has taught me to let go. To hold on. To love. To live. Maybe I am partial to him. Perhaps, it is because no one has ever made me feel the way he does. I talk as if I have lived near the water all my life. I never have. And yet, I feel somehow deeply connected to the ocean, to the waves that come and go. I always feel that they are coming for me. I think water has the power to cool everyone, everything and every situation. That is, of course, the reason I am drawn to it. If the Sun is a sadistic torturer, the Ocean is where I get my justice. Hmm. I felt better. Thinking of the Ocean, the water, made my mind fluid like the water itself. It was dissolving in the water. Being led to happier memories. Memories of the water. Now it was the Ocean showing me its memories of me. We had been sitting at the water's edge for an indefinitely long time, staring at the moon on the water, like cheese spread on bread. Every wave upon the sand soothed my troubled mind as much as the beach itself. I do not know when, or how, we had moved so close. Maybe there is something in those laws of gravity. Our fingers sought and found each other in the sand. I nestled my head upon his shoulder. It came so naturally, as if that was how it was always meant to be. There we were, two specks of nothingness, but it meant so much more than nothing. I found it funny and it made me laugh. Only the Ocean knew why I laughed.
It’s five o’clock in the morning and already you are wide awake. The first thing you do as you leap out of bed is put on some music. It’s a new day and you must make good use of it. You waltz to the music as you go in to brush your teeth and bathe. You glance at her once to see if the music has disturbed her sleep, but her face smiles at some unseen fantasy. The cold shower jolts your body awake and your mind starts whirring. Lists are being formed and churned out already. All the reports you have to submit, the gift you have prepared, the people you must call to check on the status of your request for a confession, one by one you file them away in your mind in little drawers labeled ‚important‛. Coming out of the shower, you look at her again. You wonder if you can wake her. The clock tells you it’s only 5.45 a.m. You are tempted to risk it and wake her anyway. The hour is early and the sky dark outside. You would enjoy her banter, the warm comfort of her company as the cold world awakens. For in this unending solitude all you have is her and all she has is you. But the sight of the guard outside makes you restrain yourself. She is better off not facing the truth for some more time.
Truth: hard--‐boned and fleshless, taking no pity and giving no comfort. Even you who stood up for truth were not its own. It was truth that brought you here, under house arrest.
You glance at the time. It is now 6:15 a.m. approaching the time for the change in the shift of the guards. Time to wake her up. She doesn’t wake easily, but as you whisper with urgency into her ears she bolts out of bed. She blinks in surprise at her surroundings then she sees you and smiles. Getting ready quickly, she kisses you and then hugs you hard. She gets ready to leave with the CD you have prepared. You sneak her out through the secret hatch under the kitchen window. Just as the guards are changing, she emerges from the other side of the outer wall of the house and continues down the road, unnoticed. You stare after her from the window long after she has disappeared, your mind bursting with inadequate things you could have said. As you get busy with the day’s chores, memories flash through your mind. The revolution began with the public meetings, the denouncement of the Party politicians, the spreading of news across the nation and the gathering of the youth, all done peacefully. You think back to how you met her during one such meeting. Both of you were just getting to know the ways of the revolutionary youth. Both of you had lost someone to the Par ty and you were determined to make sure it didn’t happen again. You smile to yourself at the memory of the fire that crept into her eyes every time she talked of the cause. How she would stand up and clench her fists declaiming to the world what she would do to the Party leadership if only she had the chance. And then you would collapse in laughter at her mimicry of the Generals. Those were the golden days, when the revolution was blossoming and the promise of a future reborn twinkled in every eye. Then the blow back began
and the Party started employing clandestine methods of silencing the revolution. Gone were the tear gas and the water hosing of marching protesters. Now there were infiltrators and secret kidnappings. Establishments known to hold meetings were shut down. People turned on each other, told on each other till the revolution fizzled and gurgled and drew its last breath. Then for many years there was silence.
Silence: That’s what drove you to do what you did. To write that book and record the workings of the Party. Then you shattered the long held Silence and the world began to stir awake again. They clamped down on all publications immediately but they did not know about the video. They had not found it.
You finish putting together breakfast and decide to wait. It will happen anytime now. You switch on the television. You don’t look for signs of the revolution stirring again, hidden in the censored news, anymore. You don’t strain to see faces you knew, in the crowds interviewed. You no longer care about catching the /glimpses of the rainbow colors – the hallmark of the revolution. The dreary crowds in grey coveralls trudge to their workplaces as the news anchor sporting a grey jacket reports on a fire in some remote corner of the city. You eat your cereal slowly. Spooning in one mouthful after another. The milk sliding over your tongue. Your ears tuned to the door. There comes a loud rapping and the bell is rung furiously. Indistinct voices shout your name. You smile. Your request got through.
On screen a breaking news bulletin flashes and all news feed is replaced with the face of a beautiful woman. She has thick brown hair that is curt short to her shoulders and is wearing a bright rainbow colored dress with a bright pink ear rings dangling from her ears. Her face belies her age which is actually fifty. But the most striking thing about her is her eyes – one grey and the other brown. She stares into the camera intently and begins ‚I am here to confess my crimes. My
crimes against the citizens of this country. My crimes against the Revolution.‛
The pounding on the door grows louder, till you hear a splintering and know that they have broken through. They come storming in just as the woman on screen tells viewers about the atrocities committed by Party officials in the villages and the hidden labour camps in prisons. The woman’s face disappears and other faces come on screen, recordings of Party officials in their private rooms, of undisclosed hangings and political arrests, of millions siphoned of the taxpayer’s money. Soldiers march in, in crisp grey uniforms, with the Chief General leading them. They grab hold of your arms and lift you up. Someone hits your face. Someone else reads you your crimes against the government and humanity. Treason….sedition……traitor…the words roll off you but they don’t notice. They don’t see your face. Someone hands you a pen. They thrust a paper in front of you. You sign but in your head you remember a different day. Your first victory.
The crowd cheers you on as you step on the podium, your victory soaring in the skies above you. Banners wave your ascendancy as the first woman Premier of the Party. Your smile widens as your mismatched eyes â€“ one grey and one brown -â€? take in the loving crowds. Your last thought is of the woman you love, the woman with the video and the one in whose hand the new born future will begin. Your face flickers of the screen. There are other images flashing across it now. As they drag you away you take a last look back, at the inferno of rainbow flames enveloping the grey buildings of Power on screen. Redemption is yours at last.
The first time you enter the college, you have this sudden rush of excitement. Your heart starts beating faster and you are overwhelmed by a myriad of emotions. That is when it finally sinks in. That you have made it after all. Even as you enter IIT a second or a third time, you feel small and have a sense of reverence towards the campus. As time passes, your eyes now search for the deeper and subtler beauties of the woods. Deer running around and dogs chasing them don’t make you stop in your trail anymore. But sometimes, you stand still to take a look at a creature jumping around or ambling aimlessly. They symbolize the serene and laid-back environs of the campus. The cool breeze flowing around keeps you calm when Chennai is virtually burning outside. The banyan trees give you a sense of safety when rains and the occasional cyclone threaten to break the city apart. The never-ending corridors of each department building give you time enough to muse about life, grades and girls instead of rushing from one class to another. The staff at Tiffanys, Campus Café, Gurunath and Zaitoon work quietly while you have a laugh with your friends and discuss the latest fads over some yummy food. The buses may not be punctual but then you have all the time in the world and wouldn’t really mind squeezing yourself in when you can see the greenery rushing past for those few lazy minutes. The sprawling Himalaya mess is hardly seen by you for breakfast but you climb its stairs often enough to stay alive. Standing in the line for food can be a pain in the neck but then, whoever said insti is just sweet memories all along? You wish you had gotten residence in one of those old hostels bursting with life and teeming with sports, arts and what not! Your new
hostel doesn’t have a quadrangle but then you don’t really bother after some time. You go out when you feel like playing in the open grounds full of cricket-mad students. Whoever thought of an air-conditioned SAC was a genius. You can’t but admire its structure and facilities for any activity. When the weekend finally rolls in, you don’t have the need to go out of campus to watch the latest movie. You have Open Air Theatre. You wouldn’t really mind sitting in its gallery and catching your favourite hero on the big screen. You have probably never seen the doors of the library but you hear it is awesome with AC halls, great many books and reading rooms. Café Coffee Day, 10 metres from the library, is where you go once in a while to indulge yourself. At the end of it all, you feel small again and pass up a thanks-giving to the elements for being a student of IIT Madras.
And swoosh! It whizzes past Itâ€™s all a blur Before you can twist and crane your neck Before you can swivel your feet Before you can flick your wrist And not long after, your eyes coalesce and gaze At that little speck of imagination Wondering wondering how it would be To actually be inside it To discover its contours and its exquisite design A genetic ensemble of traits powered with German engineering Man-made combined with man-and-woman-made! People say time flies, but I beg to disagree Time is rooted and the world flies The birds fly the trees flutter And your heart flies away far away When you see them racing at the speed of light Ears bursting with the speed of sound The continuous battle rages on The constant perspiration tries to trickle down But is rudely thrown off its path down the sideburn! Only to form an irritating droplet on the pursuing driverâ€™s helmet visor
Lap after lap, battle after battle, the marvel manoeuvres and meanders Monza chicanes, a left and a right Eau Rouge undulations, an up and a down History meets modernity on the playing field of champions Yet it all seems beyond reach In a realm of its own of power, money and fame But the latest addition to the niche of the ĂŠlite? It has finally come closer where we can all see it! The stage set for splendour and glitz and glamour The whoâ€™s who of India bringing flickering eyelids to life So close yet so far My dream remains unfulfilled Maybe next year, maybe after that Maybe on facing the reality the unknown might cease to hold Such suspense and curiosity It might all slowly fritter away The hope is not in vain The thought is not forlorn One day! One day I will I surely will Watch the Formula One Grand Prix of India. Live.
Karna, I grow weary by the day, by the blood drop that soaks the dead, butchered earth, by the tear drop from every mother’s defeated eyes They think it’s me, I am the one responsible for this butchery. Am I? I want to be remembered. Not in the sands of time, to be washed away by the murky tides of change. I want to be engraved on every mind, etched on every tongue, like the black stones that glint when washed by cold waves. Black! Remembered; that there was Suyodhana, one who destroyed the wicked All I ask for is love. The hollow thoughts that plague me, ambition, they all conspire to erode the bedrock of my soul. I don’t know if Abhimanyu deserved to be a victim of my cowardice: But it wasn’t in my hands, I couldn’t do anything. I want to win. Draupadi you say, was it not she who ridiculed me by cheap trickery? Humiliated me in front of whores who decorate her hallways, Don’t I deserve better? The Prince of the Empire, Pride of the Kurus.
Who are we Karna, but lost sailors wandering in empty oceans of futile thought? Now we leach on to broken images of what was everything, what we were.
My brothers-fools lost in lust and the morass of power. Shakuni-trust him not, there is more that drives him than ambition, something sick, beastly; that inhuman sociopath. My father, the fountain of my blood, loves not me but my bastard cousins for whom a wife is a fruit, an object to gamble, whose vices will make even a chandal feel like a sanctum of morality, and yet, why am I the villain? The more I wish to be like water, pure, clear and good, the more I become a prism; my actions become what they are not meant to be. The colours blind my eyes and influence peopleâ€™s hearts. The gods have taken their sides. Why donâ€™t they see me like you do? And yet, my sole confidante is to be prey to this unjust war. Hear hear! The conch of the battle cries like my poor heart, this brass armour, a burden on my pulpy weak flesh; almost like a foetus Look there Karna! In the horizon, where the hills seem to kiss the skies like the silhouette of violent lovers sketched on a violet canvas. I miss what I never had!
- Arya Prakash
Hiding behind the melancholy veil of sky, Poornima was; The grey of despair embraced her. I sensed her craving to come out, to smile and shine. She mirrored me. The vermillion hue of the incarnadine Kumkum adorns my forehead, bloody hymen they imply, destined of married life. Urmila, my name, in shadows was my life, engulfed by the grief of lost love. The grief masqueraded by palace luxuries. Sacrifices were Sita's, for Ram, for Ayodhya, Sacrifice for Ram, I was, for my love, The doomed and unseen sacrifices for everyone were mine. When the fire of desires slithered across my bloomed body, I turned the fire into ice, ice of salty streams that gushed from my eyes, eyes that still searched my beau.
When the word was not good enough
And when all my life's worth, All my savings, Hours of unrest, Fitful, furtive moments snatched From steadily striking Time â€“ When all the products of my vanity, All my share of humanity, I broke: To give wings to my masterpiece, The song I would be remembered by â€“ Loose change struck my outstretched palms And hard metal broke the roof of my world And shattered shards remained After the tear-drops dried: To sparkle in my face, To taunt, to tease.
In the car, on the way home, with the smell of smoke and incense from the pooja clinging to our clothes and the cloying sweetness of the payasam drying up our throats. My aunt, explaining to me -in a lilting tone worn smooth by a million retellings-The timeless codes that guided the rituals. These elders-I envied them for their luxury of a choice between the world of burnt-tyre smells; of legless beggars, crawling across the muddy streets, and the world of gods in aery palaces. When one fails them, there's always solace to be sought in the other.
Not for us, though; we've burnt the bridges that beckoned us backward (onward?) and cut slack the chains that tethered (secured?). And so, I stared out the window (thefilthecrowdsthenoisethelightsthemptiness) as the shattered remnants of a glass-case of illusions lay around me; as hazy images of apsarasses and rakshasans swirled into nothingness like incense smoke.
I love you like they say it in poems We will add to each others miseries We will love each other more that we can We will hate each other more than we should We will drown in our madness And when I try to swim to the shore You will pull me back so fast that I won't have time to call for help We will make our own stories Add a different ending every time We will make sand castles And then destroy them We will fight for the cherries on the cake We will fight so much that we can make love later So that I know the difference between love and hate peace and war With you and without you And every time I threaten to leave you You will just look into my eyes
Give me a glimpse of all those memories I have lived with you by my side I will run back to you like a child And when you are sad, I will crack lame jokes I will put your hand against mine Count our fingers together 10, I will say they are just 10 together.
And when you'll lie on the bed with your head against the pillow the hair against the soft cloth I will put my hand through it I will bring you closer My skin against yours My life against yours My love against yours My heart against yours I will hit you. So that I can feel the life in you I will let my tears drop on your face.
I will let my breath seep into your skin I will hold you so tight that you know that I need you I am not weak. No i am not My need for you love makes me stronger Stronger to live through another day Live through this shit hole they call life This life is not easy Not for me. I don't want to put on a brave face everyday. I can't. There are days when I just want to cry on your shoulders And nothing you say will set it right But your shoulder, is what I need that night I love you. But not like they say it in movies Or in colleges In gardens behind bushes I love you. Not like they sing it in songs Or in schools
In dark rooms with no windows I love you. Like they say it in poems In ways which no one will understand I love you. Like they say it in coffee stained letters. Like on long walks on the beach. In grave yards. Like the roses that he leaves behind for her. I love you. And not because I want to but because I don't know what else to do.
Running out of words
Running out of words to write is the death of a poet. The death of one who never lived is celebrated with pomp. The poet, who never lived and never wanted to, died. A crooked smile on the ugly face of his. Died, looking as ridiculous as he always did. His death, as unbearable as his poems. An assortment of terribly irrelevant words. Stinking of brilliance and obscurity. Not worth your time. Nor your opinion. Worth nothing. Nothing.
Walking under the dark cloudy sky, I was fomented by the worldly ties. By dragging my love-wrought soul, the limbs locomoted through the myrtle maze, in search of nothing but serendipity. Will the sun stretch its amiable arms to clear my thoughts with its golden glow? Will the deep and dark blue Neptune waters flow through me to quench my quest? Will the audacity of the pale moon augur my fragile and freaking foes? Where in the world is such a place? How in this turmoil will I reach there? Oh miracle voice, I plead thee, to present me the artery to paradise. Conceal thy magical powers in me! At once I heard the musical tone. The spirit to heal my lesion it had. My cochlea vibrated slowly and steadily. Joie de vivre, Shangri La.
YOU FOUGHT AGAINST RACISM.
But, What did you do with my chocolate? bean ate tree powder ate bean butter ate powder sugar ate butter milk ate sugar and you report the milk back. So is this all about just being milk? Oh, I thought you thought you wanted chocolate.
Mickey Cohen Replies (Inspired by Gangster Squad trailer) - Vamsi You wanted war I'll give you more! You want me dead? Please.. take your time. Bring all your men I will be ready. Bring on the army I will be waiting!
I'll be your dread haunting you... to the ends of hell. No hero great ever escaped his fate. Nothing in reality has a fairy-tale ending. What are we but gentlemen? We canâ€™t be battering rams-
hitting and pounding the other with arms. I will not touch you I will not shoot you It’s too gentle and too sudden a way to die. From what ensues, there ain’t no retreat or redemption for us. The world will watch as I break you apartinch by bloody inch, every passing minute worse than the last. God won’t be looking The devil wouldn’t care. This isn’t the bible! This isn’t good This isn’t bad It’s just you and me
It’s just our blood Red as wrath, dark as passion, hungry for vengeance.
Mine bays for yours. Mine longs for vendetta! You’re gonna be begging for a bullet before it’s over.. It would be my pleasure in doing an encore!
GOODBYE I really will not know what to do If I find you lying dead on the couch The bits and pieces of your body Strewn around. Perhaps, I'd take a walk, Down to the grocer's shop, Ask him for some red, juicy beetroots, Come back, cook them and eat them.
But then, you'll just lie there Watching me, following me Never letting go Even after I bury you, You will cry from under the water Gargling under the salty seasYour hands clinging on I will laugh you offI will choke myself with jokes and That is what will happen If you never let go. Vanya Rachel
About the authors
Shilpa Menon is one of those people who are convinced that they have a wacky sense of humour, but it remains her friends’ painful duty to correct the said assumption. She’s actually so matter-of-fact, you won’t be able to tell the difference between her compliments and insults. She loves movies and pasta and cannot carry off a skirt to save her life. Do not ever make the mistake of asking her how to get to a place- she is incurably direction-dyslexic. Isha Ravi, a self-proclaimed insect stalker-and-photographer, could’ve just stepped out of the manga that she so loves - limpid, huge eyes, tiny lips ... the whole deal. Apart from her unholy fondness for urugasaadam from Andhra Mess, she looks to truckloads of cup noodles for sustenance during those frequent nightouts spent reading Feynman or web-trawling for topics ranging from her muse Cleopatra to weird species of snakes. She also likes listening to classical instrumentals, painting, writing and compulsively shouting out cheery ‘hi’s to all those who cross her path. Dhananjay Rajendran's unique brand of duality is no secret. As Jekyll, he is rational, introverted and blunt in his speech. The antipodean to the above isn’t very pleasant, with him even terrorizing the monkeys in the campus. What sets this Calvin and Hobbes - addict, clad in a lungi, apart, is the eager thespian in him. This Southern siren who is often living his mitty-esque adventures is generally found talking to himself in the department because in his own words "He always needs expert advice".
About the authors
Self-proclaimed feminist, anime aficionado, and Facebook eschewer, Aditi Aggarwal can often be found huffing her way through voice exercises for drams in Sharav quadi. The fact that she wanted to rule the world at five years of age could be a sign of things to come. Aswin Vijayan is witty, wise and warped at the same time. You never know when the guy can save your life with his quips! With the blood of a poet, the laugh of a child and heart of a grand-dad, no one can let him pass. And yes...he doesn't like being shot in the head. If asked why, he'll say with a shrug "...because it kills instantly." Now go figure that out! Asmita Ghosh is a singer, writer and blogger. Known for her bubbling enthusiasm, she can be found singing to herself and swaying to unheard tunes most of the time. At other times she can be seen playing catch-me-if-you-can with her almost kitten Pari. If you see a sleep-deprived zombie-looking man of six feet walking along the insti road at two in the morning, dressed in a wrinkled Fab India kurta, with The Hindu newspaper in one had and a 'chocolate fantasy' from CCD in the other, you are surely talking about Pushkal Shivam! And his idea of yummy food involves weird combos like maggie and haldirams, sambhar rice and chat (which turn out to be delicious, apparently). And among his other favorites are chocolates and flipkart. Word is that quite a few girls swoon over him!
About the authors A passionate student of philosophy, poetry enthusiast and a lover of animated movies and all things that have a riot of colors - these are the attributes that best describe Aparajitha. And watch out, her cheerfulness is highly infectious. There are things that most people know about Arya Prakash. She is bold, beautiful and fiercely passionate. Then there are some things that only a roommate knows. She spends hours on online shopping sites. She makes fancy lists but never works through them. And she absolutely refuses to teach people how to peel an orange! Through chocolate highs and end sem blues, Arya Prakash is a woman of strength and sensitivity. Urvi Shah - the Gujju from Kolkata – a perfect blend of extremes. Astronomer, physicist, heroine, engineer, philosopher - these were some of the careers she was considering before she finally chose to grace the department of HSS. Looking at her innocent face, you wouldn’t believe this was the girl who didn’t mind beating up opponents during her heydays of playing kabaddi. With an obsession for NRI gujjus and an impossible code of ethics, she has many illusions as to her invincibility to the charms of guys hitting on her. Her idea of fun involves sitting in the library and going through the course readings. She writes poetry and claims it’s not good and hums self-composed tunes and claims it’s good *cough*
About the authors
Itâ€™s quite a miracle that Mukesh Manjunath is still alive to write; his achievements in the field of socializing are almost comparable to Burkina Fasoâ€™s in the Olympics. But in his defence, he has got his heart in the right place, he is warm, genuine, incredibly smart, a fantastic actor and writer and (this we vouch for) the funniest guy you will ever meet. Make sure you laugh WITH him though!
Smita Mujumdar is small, noisy, and is the owner of some very big eyes. Her superpowers include talking at the speed of light and sleeping for more than 48 hours at a stretch. Food is her best friend and monkeys feature at the top of her hit-list. Her acting exploits are to watch out for, as is her never-ending list of traits in her perfect guy. Her dream in life is to marry someone in the food industry and kill herself eating. Sahil Mathur wants to be more South Indian than most South Indians. This is particularly interesting considering that he isn't anywhere close to being from these parts. Apart from this crisis of ethnicity, Sahil is more well-informed than the average encyclopedia. If you see him walking towards you with his index finger pointed heavenwards, and if you hear the opening strains of his favorite refrain ("Did you know that.."), flee unless you want to feel like an uneducated ape. His other talents include a mastery over foreign languages, excellent renditions of the Sound of Music songs, and a propensity to intimidate others with his awareness of miscellaneous trivia.
About the authors Popularly known as Ivan the Rachel, Vaanya would have us all believe that she is Russian. Her mother on the other hand doesn’t think so. Her interests include reading anything that sounds remotely Russian, Christian Bale, unheard biology facts, Christian Bale, attempts at learning Hindi and oh … did we mention Christian Bale? If you find this avid music lover walking down the corridors buried deep in a philosophy book, do not disturb her or you might end up with a shuttle on your head. She is a poet, she is a writer, she is a movie buff and a rising star in the Sharav drams scene. A self proclaimed editor and critique, Vamsi Viraj is known for his harshly reviewing term papers/poems and prose of his friends and foes alike. If he doesn't crack IFS, this is his backup option: shredding apart the work of great artists and deriving sadistic pleasure of the same. His admiration for movies does not stem from how good the hero is, but from how cruel the villain his. No doubt, The Godfather tops his list of all time favourites. If you ever enter an ethical dilemma, go to Vamsi. Not only will he redeem you of the dilemma but make sure that you accept that side of the coin which you considered "shady" in insti lingo.
Others When she is not busy tripping on people, Veena Mani passes her time terrorizing her opponents in basketball. As a movie buff who spends so much time watching films, she thought she might as well research on them. That and football catch her attention any day….
Smruthi Bala Kannan (ex-5th year) Jack of all trades and the master of most, she is the humblest artist you would ever meet. She spots the Andromeda in the sky and solves the toughest numericals as easily as she makes the perfect dosa and creates lyrical prose. Also, she is an excellent cartoonist and conversation maker. If you feel that faring badly in the exams qualifies you to write, I, the bearer of beauty, epitomize that. My interests solely come from watching movies all day and critically analyzing them if they are really good (you see, nothing can be analyzed from telugu, hindi or tamil movies). To the great annoyance of my friends, I even boasted about starting a blog for the same, although there was no word of it after a few weeks. To not become mentally deranged as a result of too much time in front of the computer, I engage in the occasional outdoor activity of cricket with my friends (itâ€™s a pity that some of them don't even know how to hold a bat!).
I commend the incredible amount of work put into this magazine. Thank you everyone for making this magazine a huge success (that and for putting my intro in the end as if Iâ€™m some anonymous Tam, Diga or Hari). And I would also like to thank Urvi. She apparently put in so much enthusiasm that she scared the rest of the team. Vamsi was cribbing about it. Vanya was sufficiently impressed and so they are making her the editor for this academic year. God save the magazine!!