August 2017

 

Cover Art by Riya Nagendra, I Year B.A. English
Quote by Pooja Krishna H A, III Year B.A. English

Editorial 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22

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Seventy Years: A Short Story

-Krishna J Nair, I Year B.A. English

 

The first day I saw all the medals arranged neatly on the mahogany shelf, I wondered whose they were. The hometown was distant and mythical to my little brain, but the sight of it lulled me into a land of wild imaginations. The stories that died here, the smallest mischief, the greatest mishap. The mightiest man in the village with the thickest moustache had a story to tell. It was the glory of the hometown. It was the story, always.

The only trophy I had earned was for lip-syncing to a group song; standing beside a dance group, shyly shaking my hands and legs while others committed to it. Looking at it (even now, after lord-knows-how-long) brings the largest brightest smile on  my face, thinking about the things that had to be done to win as much trophies as there were in the mahogany shelf.

“It was your Grandpa’s,” my mother told me that day. “He fought for our country’s freedom a long time ago.”

Until the day that my mother told me about my Grandpa, until it set off a new path for me, my dream had been to become a truck driver. What he earned was to be kept safe, to be never let go of. In the album, he looked sharp in his uniform, the upper part of his lips lonely and his hair shaved off, making his head a barren land. In his eyes, a light that set me free; in his posture, a dream set to motion. From that day, playing shooting games turned from a hobby to a passion; solving puzzles turned from a dead game to the top of the list.

Now, the train is moving many miles per hour. Each passing tree reminds me of the days I never spent at home, in my room. Then I see the smile on people’s face, the calmness reflected on their face. Their days rejoiced with happiness, freedom and of course, a story. “Remember the time…” said one, while “I miss being in…” said another. For all I knew, what I missed was home, where a soldier was born.

The train halts at a station, and soon enough kids rush by the window holding the plastic cut-outs of national flag. The newborns are attracted to the orange, white and green sections with a blue wheel at the center, while those who learnt about the struggles and sacrifices hush them away while muttering about their disturbance. The siren howls again, and the little men run back to their positions like trained soldiers, waiting for the next train to approach; waiting for the next batch to hush them away.

 

I divert my eyes from them and to the fellow passengers, the ones holding their smartphones upright to their face. Their eyes reflect the colour of the nation’s flag, and I realise, they are forwarding their wishes to their friends.

Mylapore Food Walk

-Gaayathri Sukantha, I Year B.A. Fine Arts

 

As part of the celebrations for Madras Week, the Mylapore Food Walk was held with Sridhar Venkataraman being the host for the Food Walk. With typical South Indian snacks and sweets, Mylapore drew in a large crowd and this specific area was chosen for the walk due its historical significance.

People started arriving gradually as the event was about to begin, with the starting point being Indian Bank. The first place we visited was Selvi Stores, but it was closed for the day. Here, you can find differently flavored sevai, idlis with their special idli powder, and kozhukkattais (modhaks) – all ready to eat and freshly made everyday.
Our next stop was Nithya Amirtham, which is similar to Saravana Bhavan or other restaurants that serve typical South Indian food (idlis, dosas, etc.) A little way onwards came Senthil Softy Zone. As the name suggests, you can get Softys here along with a variety of other bakery items such as puffs and cakes.

We walked for another 10 minutes to reach Thirumayilai Varukadalai Nilayam, where they sold peanuts. Next, we went to Sri Annapoorani Sweets, famous for their Medhu Pakoda. Bharathy Mess, another place that sells South Indian food, was taken a glance at as there were several more places ahead of us.
Near the Kapaleeswarar temple, is the famous Jannal Kadai. It’s a window through which Bajjis and Bondas are sold. Right opposite that was another branch of the sevai store; Here, they also had moru koozhu, which is a savory dish made of curd and rice flour, with fried dried curd chillies (more milagai). After that came the famous Mami Tiffen Stall which, yet again, sold South Indian tiffin food. Kaalathi Seidhiththal Kadai was our next stop, near Chitrakulam. This newspaper shop is known for their Rose Milk and Paneer Soda. The walk ended at Ganapathy’s, a sweet shop, also near Chitrakulam.

With interestingly named shops, and small tiffin stalls serving just what the proud Chennaites need, the aim of the Mylapore Food Walk was not only to educate the people on the history of the area, but to also find inexpensive food stalls in Mylapore, around the temple and temple tank, and satisfy the hunger of many.

TV Show Review: BoJack Horseman

-Zenia Zuraiq, I Year B.Sc Physics

 

Looking for a new show to watch? Want a show that will make you laugh with dumb animal puns but also has lots of existentialist philosophy? Look no further than Netflix’s BoJack Horseman.

BoJack Horseman takes place in a bizarre version of our own universe, where half-animal, half-human hybrids are totally normal. This allows for the dumb animal puns I mentioned earlier, while also providing an absurdist landscape for the philosophy of the same name.

The show is named after the protagonist, BoJack Horseman (voiced by Will Arnett of Lego Batman fame), a half horse, half human, washed out reality star. Once the star of a popular 90s sitcom, Horsing Around, BoJack’s glory days are far from over. 18 years from the show’s cancellation, BoJack decides to make a comeback – and stop the spiral of self-loathing and booze addiction he’s found himself in. It is here we join BoJack as he attempts to fill the void left behind in his soul by plunging himself back into his “Hollywoo” life, a challenge much more difficult than he anticipates.

Along for the ride is Todd Chavez, BoJack’s human roommate, his feline workaholic agent – Princess Carolyn, Diane Nguyen, a human writer who BoJack hires to write his memoirs, and Mr. Peanutbutter, the ever optimistic and happy dog, a star of his own sitcom, Mr. Peanutbutter’s house, a rip-off of BoJack’s own show.

Bojack is a show that isn’t afraid to go dark and philosophical. Through Bojack attempting to get his star status back, we see a problem of identity and defining the self – a universal problem. It is a show that is extremely nihilist, discarding the notion of a firm place in the universe, and a show that perfectly captures the war between one’s true self and societal perceptions of the same

BoJack Horseman is a show that is often classified as a comedy, but is so much more than that. What followed a first season that opened to lukewarm reviews were the brilliantly crafted, and universally acclaimed seasons 2 and 3. If you’re a fan of Rick and Morty, and are looking for something similarly philosophical, but with much more character emphasis and development, BoJack is the show for you.

So grab a bunch of tissues, as you prepare to laugh, cry and question existence with a humanoid horse.

Bojack Horseman Season 4 comes out September 8 on Netflix.

Book Recommendation: See You in The Cosmos

-Nevedetha Swaminathan, II Year B.Com (A&F)

“Love is friendship that has caught fire. It is quiet understanding, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection and makes allowances for human weaknesses.”
– Ann Landers

A book that really changed my outlook on friendship was ‘See you in the Cosmos’ by Jack Cheng. I was amazed at how much an 11-year-old boy could accomplish at such a young age. Coming from a family with a deceased father, schizophrenic mother and a workaholic older brother, Alex Petroski had only one source of comfort – his dog Carl Sagan. He had a dream of launching his iPod into space with recordings about Earth for aliens. He goes to New Mexico for an event called SHARF and makes new friends called Zed and Steve. After unsuccessfully launching his rocket, he wants to return home, but a message about his dead father directs him to Las Vegas. There, his dog goes missing and he is further dejected. He approaches someone called Terra, who is actually his half sister. Zed, Steve and Terra help Alex look for Carl Sagan, who is soon found. In the process of looking for Carl Sagan, Zed breaks his vow of silence to comfort an upset Alex and a usually impatient Steve learns to be a little bit more patient with him.

When Alex goes back home, he climbs his roof to look at the stars, but has a terrible accident and ends up in the hospital. His friends look after him tirelessly until he is well, but soon come to know that his schizophrenic mother has also been taken to a rehabilitation centre. They guide him through it and help him forge a stronger relationship with his brother. Alex, in the end, understands that he has achieved a lot more than he hoped for. In spite of not being able to launch his rocket into space, he was able to develop a strong friendship with those who really cared for him, even animals, and supported him through his highs and lows.

Is Friendship The Only Ship?

-Kavyashree P & Swetha R, I Year B.A. English

 

There is a fine line between friendship and co-dependence. When you are friends with someone, you enjoy their presence, you share a good laugh, you’re also there for each other when the need be. But when you are co-dependent, you can’t survive without each other. You need to have the person around you all the time to function properly.

Not only is this type of a relationship unhealthy, but it is also unrealistic. Nobody can be there for someone else all the time. They have their own stuff to do and their own problems to deal with. No one is that selfless. But there are a few rare cases where such selfless people do exist. And everything seems fine in the beginning – you go crying to said person, they solve your problem for you, you’re happy. But a time will come when you are faced with a problem that no one else can solve except you. What will you do then?

We have all heard things like, “Friendship is the best ship” and “Nobody loves us like our friends do.”
We are so deeply invested in such thoughts that if our friends point out our mistakes or make us solve our problems by ourselves, we immediately assume that they don’t love us enough and that the relationship we share with them isn’t “actual friendship.” We are highly dependent on our friends that we actually forget that they have a life apart from us and that their world doesn’t come to a standstill just because we are facing a crisis.

Yes, we can expect our friend to be there for us when we are having problems but there is an extent up to which we can depend on them. When your friend asks you to solve a problem by yourself and takes a step back and lets you deal with it, feel proud that you have actually have earned a true friend who is making you better.

Always remember this: The only friend who is always going to face and solve your problems for you is YOU.

Irrespective of how close you are to a person, there will be some details about you that nobody knows except you. You have unlimited power over yourself to steer yourself in any direction you want. Any advice or suggestion given to you, you take the final decision whether to follow it or not. Treat people in your life for what they actually are, people. They’re not a vital organ in your body that you can’t function without them.

As in the words of Lilly Singh, “People are not in your life to fulfil your every need….People are bonuses to what already should be a great life you’ve created for yourself.”

Book Review: The Wildings

-Riya Nagendra, I Year B.A. English

Anybody who’s interacted with cats probably knows that the life one sees them lead is a very small part of the life they actually do lead. When I was younger, I had fantastic plans to write a graphic novel about the alternate life of my cat, who I felt was obviously the head of an international secret service. It was around this time that my parents gave me The Wildings for my birthday, with the writing inside, “We know you thought of such a story first, but someone beat you to it. Anyway, enjoy the book!” I was excited – an adventure story based entirely around the secret lives of cats – a dream come true for any cat lover!

Nilanjana Roy’s debut novel certainly didn’t disappoint. Set in Nizamuddin, where the author herself lives, it follows the story of a clan of cats, whose leisurely, very regular (cat-wise) lives of hunting and grooming and napping is interrupted by the arrival of a tiny orange kitten with a very, very loud voice. This terrified furball, a stranger to the clan, is a sender – a cat with the ability to cross acres and acres of land and communicate with her whiskers.

The clan is initially unsure of what they should do, for a sender is a powerful ally, but also a dangerous enemy. Under the guidance of the clan leader, Miao and with the help of the timeless justice system of cats – fighting – to settle things among themselves, they come to a decision. The story revolves around the difficulties of befriending and teaching Mara, the confused little sender who has been adopted by humans (or Bigfeet), how to use and control her powers; as well as how the clan faces the new threat of the feral cats from the Shuttered House – who could, very easily, destroy the peace and the clan’s carefully cultivated relationship with the Bigfeet.

Roy’s representation of the balance between all the creatures, each with their little idiosyncrasies, kindles in the reader a desire to roam the lanes of Nizamuddin and observe them firsthand, while her writing satiates this desire, as she takes you through the winding lanes of the neighbourhood with the clan, and allows you to soar the skies with the cheels.

This novel is filled with hilarious and likeable characters (feline and others), an interesting story and brilliant writing, which, accompanied by the Prabha Mallya’s illustrations, make for a perfect read, especially with a hot cup of tea and (if you can manage it) a contented cat on your lap.

Terribly Tiny Tales

Bharatmatha got her independence in 1947. 70 years later, her daughters are still fighting for it.
– Nikita Joseph, I Year B.Com

 

இராமாயணத்தில், தன் கற்பைக் காக்க சீதை ஒரு முறை தீக்குளித்தாள்.
கலியுகத்தில், தன் கற்பைக் காக்க மடந்தை தினம் தினம் தீக்குளிக்கிறாள்.

Translation: In the Ramayana, Sita walked through the fire once to protect her chastity. In the Kaliyuga, a woman walks through a fire everyday to protect her chastity.
-Pooja Krishna H A, III Year B.A. English

 

Vincit Omnia Veritas.
Truth may conquer all things; but no headstone, no human being, and no painting on the wall will ever narrate the true story; the epic tragedy of you, against the night.
-Krishna J Nair, I Year B.A. English

 

 

Independence Day Celebrations At SMC

-Yashna Tulsiani, II Year B.Sc Psychology
-Image Source Stella Maris College website

Independence day is the one time we recognise the years of struggle and compliance that were spent to gain this unrestricted democracy. Men, women and children gave lives to attain this freedom. In order to respect and show gratitude to everything our ancestors have done to save us from being captive and suppressed to any expression of thought, idea or feeling, we organise flag hoisting ceremonies and cultural programmes in governmental and non-governmental institutions throughout the country.​

​For Stella Marians, though, Stella Maris College’s birthday is another reason as to why August 15th is an important day. Stella Maris was established on 15th, August, 1947. So, the same day India gained her independence, Stella Maris was established.

To celebrate both the important events, the union members of the Stella Maris College organised a very exciting and fun-filled program. This program was mainly done to show us the significance of the two events that helped making the country we live in, a better place. ​

The program started off with settling everyone down in their seats and welcoming the chief guest – a well-known retired I.A.S officer, Sri. S.S Jawahar.

​The program then began with the drill by the N.C.C cadets of Stella Maris College followed by a flag hoisting ceremony. After this, we all joined our hands in prayer to pay our respects. The chief guest was then asked to come forward and share a few words of inspiration. He rightfully did so, by talking about everything our forefathers did to make a better world for us to live in and by speaking about all the diversity and unity in this country and that he was proud of it and we should be too. He also stressed on what we can do to make this country an even better place to live in and what the nation as a whole expects of the younger generation of this country.
In a very motivational way, he spoke about the power of youth. And ended his speech by telling the students to utilise our potential to the best of our ability and work hard and aim at making this country and world a better place.

After his speech, there was a cultural program organised where the light music club inspired us through their voices and songs while the western dance club and the folk dance club showed us, through their dance, the level of cultural diversity we have in this country.
The last event of the program was the Tableau competition where the students were split into groups of the states and union territories in India, and each group was asked to depict the state assigned to them in a creative and unique manner.

Four state groups, namely Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Jammu & Kashmir and West Bengal performed on stage while the other state groups were assigned places all around the campus and the chief guest and the Principal along with a few teachers went around the campus and looked at how creatively each state was depicted.

The nation is proud of its independence, and by the end of this programme, Stella Marians are, as well.

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