January 2018

Cover Art by Riya Nagendra, I Year B.A. English
Quote by Madhuri Lalwani, I Year B.A. English

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Movie Recommendations

-Gaayathri Sukantha, I Year B.V.A

Here’s a look back at some of the greatest movies that were released through the years –

Call Me By Your Name (2017)

Set in the summer of 1983 in Northern Italy, the film shows a life-altering romance between 17 year old Elio, and Oliver, an American man working as an intern for Elio’s father. It is based on the book by André Aciman and is the third installment of Luca Guadagnino’s Desire-themed trilogy.

Loving Vincent (2017)

This is the first fully painted animated film centered on the mysterious circumstances of Vincent van Gogh’s death. Every single frame was hand-painted by 125 artists and portrays his days spent in hardship and hard work.

Donnie Darko (2001)

A cult classic, Donnie Darko is about the title character being told by Frank, a figure in a bunny costume seen only by himself, saying that the world is going to end in 28 days, 6 hours, 42 minutes, and 12 seconds. Frank then manipulates Donnie into committing bizarre crimes till the world ends, until he figures out how to save it.

Pulp Fiction (1994)

In pursuit of redemption, this crime thriller weaves together the lives of a pair of hitmen, bandits, a boxer and a gangster’s wife making this a cult classic that remains a favourite in the hearts of many.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)

If you’ve seen or read The Perks of Being A Wallflower, you would have heard of this movie, which showcases a wild tale of the one night Janet and Brad spend in the castle of Dr Frank N Furter, when their tire goes flat on a stormy night.

Padmaavat And The Right To Expression Of Thoughts

-Swetha R, I Year B.A. English

Padmaavat seems to have decided that it wants to break records of all kinds: be it being proclaimed as one of the most successful Bollywood movies or being one of the most controversial movies of this decade. After a lot of controversies and delay in its release date, the movie was finally released on 25th January 2018.  The constant demand of the Karni Sena and other groups calling for a ban on the movie has had quite the opposite effect: the movie is breaking records not only nationally, but also on an international level. When a majority of us were thinking that we could finally move on from this issue, an actress’ review of the movie seemed to have caught the attention of the people who decided that they had to reply to her scalding letter and prolong the long list of controversies surrounding the movie.

Ms.Swara Bhaskar’s letter criticizing the movie was a bit out of context, according to a few netizens, who felt that she was looking at the movie from a modern perspective instead of viewing it from the period in which it had took place. This seems to be a valid point of argument, for if we are going to judge every historic drama for having a regressive line of thought, we can’t make movies depicting whatever happened in the past. We need to accept that these issues existed in the past and be happy that we have managed to break from these backward ideas and come a long way as a nation. That being said, a few crude comments on Ms.Bhaskar’s personal and professional life were uncalled for. Everybody has a right to speak and it is absolutely wrong to harass somebody just because their view points are different from us. Ironically, it also depicts the regressive thoughts that have still not been eliminated from our minds. It points out that, even after all these years, we have not learned to acknowledge the fact that the way each one thinks is different and that it is okay to have opposing viewpoints.

So before we go about commenting about the “wrong viewpoints” of other people, maybe we should pause for a moment and actually put in some thought about whether what we believe to be right is actually right.



-Arsha Mech Vikraman, I Year B.A. English

I wake up bleary-eyed,
so mystified.
I need that cold water to wash over me,
to feel purified.
I require that fluoride to cleanse my mouth,
rinse the inside and wash it all out.
I’ll empty the waste and feel light,
ready for the new day that is bright.

As the cotton gracefully finds its shape against my upper body,
I look at my unsuspecting reflection.
She moves with such conviction,
I don’t feel myself any longer.
She has fooled me into thinking,
I am all I ever want to be.

Unfortunately, I know all her little tricks,
all her clever quirks and quips.
I know that she has weaved a perfect picture,
in which I only feature,
and will broadcast it again tomorrow.


Of Art And Perspective

-Riya Nagendra, I Year B.A. English

The Lit For Life fest, an annual literary festival organised by The Hindu, held this month on 14,15 and 16th January was my first experience at a Lit Fest and turned out to be everything I thought it would be, and more.
I love listening to authors talk about their books, their experiences and the wisdom from their lives that’s gone into their work; assimilating new ideas is what the Lit fest is all about.

People are more aware about the necessity to create more diverse literary works, and a few of the talks and discussions were about representation in children’s writing and illustrations, political correctness in children’s books and the role of the author beyond fiction. During the course of these discussions, a clash between those who are extremely careful with what they write about and those who write more freely, is inevitable.

On the one hand, you write what you know, which makes it hard to talk about life from a perspective that isn’t yours –  from the perspective of a person of a different class, for example – but on the other hand, how can you write that way if you’ve never experienced those emotions yourself? Isn’t it better to give people from those classes an opportunity to write, rather than to write about their lives yourself? Perhaps it’s better to just write, allowing the reader to take what they will.

The other speakers that I enjoyed listening to were illustrators and children’s writers like Priya Kurian and Larissa Bertonasco (two artists who contributed to the collection of women-centric pieces in The Elephant in the Room), Sandhya Rao, Shailaja Menon, Chetan Sharma and Malavika Nataraj

One of the most interesting speakers I heard was Robert Dessaix, whose words flowed like poetry when he talked about writing and his life. According to him, “if you set out to change the world, you probably won’t”. He went on to say that fiction is about showing how one feels about something, rather than just showing the thing itself, and that makes lying about your life, to enhance that emotion, acceptable – as long as your lies are plausible.


Tête-à-Tête With A DIY Artist

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

Do-It-Yourself (DIY) is the currently trending buzzword among teens, young adults and many older people. As the name suggests, it involves creating new items by yourself, which are often used for decorative purposes. A unique way of expressing your creativity, DIYs are usually made either by using reusable items or by purchasing materials.

Some people like making DIYs and offering them for sale, while the others simply want to work on their creativity, even if it is to relieve their stress. One such person is 19-year-old Vallari Sharma from Noida, who is the proud creator of various decorations and ornaments around her house. Eager to share her passion, she answered a few questions on childhood, her 10-o-clock disease and many more.

 What inspired you to make these DIY items that seem to be different from the rest?

As a child, I remember doing arts and crafts in school. Once, I remember building an entire city just out of waste materials. It was adored by all my teachers and classmates. But my inspiration came about in a very different manner. There were times in my life when I used to feel low and felt that I needed to make something useful out of myself. That is when I started cutting paper, making new shapes and hanging them around my room.

I’m not good at drawing, but I wanted to do something creative, something that would help me relax and at the same time help me have fun while doing them. And so, every night at 10 pm on the dot, I would drop everything I was doing and started making DIY items. My parents called it ‘The 10-o’-clock disease’!

How long have you been making these crafts?

I’ve been making them since I was in the 8th grade. I’m 19 now, so that’s 7 years.

What materials do you use for your DIYs?

Mostly, I make use of items that are inside my house, but are not being used anymore – paper, old wooden parts from furniture, key rings, clothes, etc. I felt that these items would eventually go to waste if they were not going to be used anymore. So these old items, transformed into various different ones, finally land up around the house and make the place look more colorful. Sometimes, I even borrow my family members’ items, like phone cases, and add decorative items to them.

What items have you made so far and which ones would you consider your favorite?

I started small, with pen holders and paper crafts, and moved on to things that can be worn on the head like flower crowns, cat ears etc. I’ve also made rainbow hearts, pocket lockets, key rings, wooden owls, costumes, belts, lava lamps and many other items.

My favorites would probably be the fluttering or rainbow hearts and the dreamcatcher. The fluttering hearts are a string of hearts that are painted and arranged in such a way that they resemble a rainbow.

Have you ever tried to sell your DIYs or make a career out of it?

I don’t really have a plan of selling my DIYs to anyone. It’s just something I do as a hobby. I fear that if I ever were to sell my DIYs, I would let the profit element get to my head and not try to alleviate my stress, instead add to it. I also realised that doing it on a large scale would be more hectic.

Do you provide any tutorials for the people who want to try out your items?

Yes, I do offer tutorials. I either post video tutorials or I photograph them stage by stage, arrange it like a collage and post it on Instagram. In the description, I mention the materials I have used and the procedure to make it. Anyone who has a query can leave a comment and I would answer their queries for them.


Terribly Tiny Tales

-Pooja Krishna H A, III Year B.A. English

‘Don’t go near the fire!’

‘Don’t take the kumkum!’

Were the goddesses restricted, too?


‘We’ve borrowed the future from our children. The least we can do is pass on the present.’ The teacher said, lighting up a cigarette.

Did she mean to pass on pollution, too?


In a room full of strangers she had known for three years, her screams of silence went unheard.


Reality was a slap to the face.

Society was the palm.

She had never felt a sweeter pain.


‘One…Two…Three…’ she high-fived Ana as she counted her ribs.



Strikes And Hikes

-Tanya Mary, I Year B.A. English

The recent strikes by transport workers’ unions left many students stranded without any transport facility. Although the news about the strike was announced on TV the day before, many people were left unaware and bewildered by this sudden change. Many students were seen crowding the bus depots, with no money to pay for alternative means. Private taxi services like Ola and Uber came to the rescue of some students, while many of them had to return home by finding their own mode of transport. It became a big hassle for the daily commuters. People had to turn towards other modes of transport like trains, private transport, etc. resulting in overcrowded vehicles, and this hassle lasted for over a week.

The solution that the government came up with was to increase the fares, and so, they were increased by around 100% in some routes i.e. a Rs.7 ticket costed Rs.14, a Rs.13 ticket costed Rs.25 etc. In other words, a person boarding the digital board 29C bus from Perambur to Stella Maris College or Adyar to Stella Maris College would have to cough up a sum of Rs.100 for a round trip in order to travel for 2 days. Public transport is meant to be cheap and affordable, even for the people in the lower sectors of the society. The lower middle class people and daily wage laborers were badly affected due to this price hike.

After many protests and campaigns by students and some political parties, the price was reduced by a mere Rs.2 in some routes. “Why do we have to suffer for the government’s fault? If public transport is so expensive, how do they expect us to move from one place to another?” laments Kasthuri, a daily wage laborer who travels daily from Kilpauk to Adyar.

“We haven’t been getting our bonuses for over a year. The MTC itself was running at a loss of crores of rupees because of the rising diesel rates and low fare. We have families who depend on us, as well. There’s no other way. The prices have been increased after 6 years. The sad thing is, after the price hike, many people have been caught travelling without tickets. What else can we do about it?” asks a bus conductor.

“Raising the price by Rs.2 or Rs.3, or even Rs.5, is okay. But why did they raise it by Rs.15? It’s unacceptable and illogical!” says a student who travels to college daily by bus.

Now, after 2 weeks, people have started accepting the price hike and the situation is returning to normal. The government has to come up with an alternative solution.


What’s Your Definition Of Love?

-Sai Harshitha, I Year B.A. English
Image Source: http://www.psych2go.net

Now, I don’t know if you have ever felt this, but today, when I threw my old toothbrush which was replaced with a new one, a sudden pang of guilt hit me. I felt sad and when I was pondering why I was feeling this way, I found its analogy with love. I would say love is felt when you become comfortable with something or someone, and you find it exasperating to let go. The bonding or the attachment towards the ‘familiar’ is the key here.

Love can be found anywhere and in anything we do. Without considerable love for his/her work, an artist can never produce anything beautiful. The concept of love has evolved with this vast, growing world and has been reduced to mere lust. Romanticising love and equating it to couples is just another stereotype. Love can happen in various forms, whether it between a parent and a child, between two friends and even between a dog and its owner. It must not be forced. In other words, it is a way of life.

In any relationship, there are a few things which must be adhered to. To me, Honesty and Trust are like the lock and key in a relationship. The bond secured by these two is love.  Even if one of them is missing, nothing can be done about it. People say that finding love in its purest form is difficult. I would say that love in itself is pure. It can never be contaminated by evil thoughts or grotesque intentions. It’s a thin veil separating love and lust. One must know love to understand it the way it comes. Trying to reshape it to fit you and your specifications may not work out.

We, as humans, experience love a lot more often than we think. The cooling showers of the heavens above or the alluring spring with its colourful phases, Nature stands high in the ranking list of the purest form of love. In my life, I connect even the smallest emotions to love. The unbearable tortures of my brother, the constant scolding from my mother or the caring nature of my father. Without love, the world would be as dry as the summer or as lifeless as winter.

Love is all about the journey, not the destination.


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