-Image – Illustrated by – Diya Padmakumar, I B.A English and Communication Skills
– Zenia Zuraiq, II BSc. Physics
If you are over the age of 18 – which you probably are – you have lived for over 6570 days. You have experienced over 157,000 hours; nine million minutes; 500 million seconds.
And yet, if I asked you to tell me something interesting from each day of your life, each hour you spent – you probably wouldn’t be able to.
Science has proved that we are not the most accurate at reminiscing our past. The rose-tinted view of the past is often far from the reality of the situation. It has been argued that our memories and the way we remember things follow the so called 80:20 rule.
20% of your life makes up 80% of your memories.
It’s a strange feeling- finding out so much of your life doesn’t matter. So much of who you are will be thrown into a proverbial abyss. So many of the books you read, the shows you watch, the jokes you made have crossed over to unreachable places.
It’s a depressing thought; what was so important to you years before won’t matter a few years from now. The names of the people in your tenth standard class. The landline number of your best friend in fifth grade. The promises you made with your third grade girl gang, “we’ll always stay in touch”. The secrets, the fights, the making up to each other. It just doesn’t matter the way it used to.
It’s existential dread. Why do things only to be forgotten? Who will remember me when I can’t even remember myself? What do I even remember? What can I hold on to? What is important to me?
It’s a sigh of relief. The things that seem like such huge, unsolvable problems aren’t going to seem so in a few years. The heartache, the sadness isn’t going to impact the rest of my life. I have probability on my side?
It’s a human feeling. Trying to hold on as hard as you can even as you can feel yourself letting go. Trying to grasp at the ethereal fairies that are our memories. Trying to make every day, every memory count.
It’s weird – how our brains choose to remember things. At the end of the day, all we can really hope for is our memories – whether we remember them or not – are good ones. Because as Ralph Waldo Emerson puts it, “I cannot remember the books I’ve read any more than the meals I have eaten; even so, they have made me.”
– Grace Roshini , I B.Com
– Varishika, I B.Com
As the academic year kicks in, the Students Union is bracing for a fantastic year ahead. Despite their hectic schedule, they allotted a couple of minutes to answer our questions.
- Why did you choose to take up responsibility and become a union member and who inspired you?
Nora: Ever since the first day, I have always wanted to be involved in college as much as I can. In the first year, I was the class rep and in the second year, I was the secretary of the Western Music Club. So I realised that in the third year, I could be a part of the Union with all that I had learnt in the past two years.
Delna: I wanted to see how it works but honestly I want to become a teacher and I feel like one must be able to lead to be a teacher.
Lynda: The first thing that made me want to be a part of the Union is the realisation that sitting around and waiting isn’t going to change anything. The previous Union was a major part of the process. They have mentored us in so many ways and we can’t thank them enough for that. Plus, the kind of support I got from my closest friend is how I ultimately managed to achieve it. Without them, I wouldn’t be here.
Swathi: For me, being a leader is important because I want to help people around me to work better and hopefully, inspire them to be leaders as well. Each day is different and I look forward to something new happening every day, be it good or bad and that itself is an adventure for me.
Rita: I try my best to reach out to people and being a leader is one way of doing that. My earlier experiences in school and other social groups as a team leader gave me the confidence to be a part of the Union.
Ayesha: First of all, I would say it is God’s plan and I am very grateful to the Lord Almighty for giving me an opportunity to be a leader. Family and friends also played an important role. Even as a child, I’ve been encouraged to help others, and to take up leadership roles or opportunities. Being a captain at school also gave me the confidence to take up this post
2) What kind of image do you have about yourself and what do you want others to have about you?
Nora: Currently, I think I am someone who is learning but not yet fully formed as an individual and I would like to be remembered as someone who is loyal, accountable, straight forward and dependable.
Delna: I want to be remembered as someone who is always hyper-active, cheerful and sweet.
Lynda: The way I look at myself before and after becoming part of the union is completely different. I see myself doing all the things which I thought I couldn’t; things which I previously held back from because of doubts. I’d love for everyone to see me as one of them- just another Stella Marian who grabbed this amazing opportunity offered to her and is trying to make the best of it while discovering a whole new side of her in the process.
Swathi: For me, self-confidence and self-respect are things one should never compromise on. I think they walk hand in hand. I want people around me to also be the same way because I want to influence them to think along the same lines.
Rita: I consider myself an empathetic and a positive person and would like to be remembered as a Good Samaritan.
Ayesha: I am a friendly and a cheerful person who does not like any negative emotions. Yeah, I just am a happy person. I want to stay grounded no matter how many feathers are added to my cap.
– Anton Josemiya, I B.A. English
– Shruthi , I B.A. English
We have picked four of our favourite films, all from different film industries in an attempt to somewhat do justice to the beauty that is movies.
1.Kushi (Tamil- Kollywood)
Kushi is a classic romantic comedy movie that released in 2000. The movie stars Vijay and Jyothika who play the lead, along with Vivek playing the role of a comedian.This movie embodies the quote -’’What is meant for you will reach you even if it’s beneath the mountains’’, perfectly. Despite being 2 states apart, the two get into the same college and befriend each other, and after a series of arguments and fights, they realize their love for each other and get together.
2.Oopiri (Telugu- Tollywood)
This story is about a quadriplegic billionaire Vikramadithya (Nagarjuna) and Seenu (Karthi) who assists him. The two go on different adventures together, late night bike rides, parties, and eventually become very close to each other. Vikram helps Seenu out during a difficult phase in his life, this strengthens their bond. The movie showcases the friendship between two completely different people, will make you cry, laugh and root for the characters.
3.Maine Pyar Kiya (Hindi – Bollywood)
Maine Pyar Kiya was Salman Khan’s debut movie and is considered a classic. It is a 1989 Indian musical romance film, directed by Sooraj R. Barjatya and written by Barjatya with M. Ahale. It is the story of 2 friends and their children, who fall in love with each other.It would probably be considered a bad movie by today’s standards (Ae Dil Hai Mushkil levels of awful) but was the movie that shot Salman Khan to fame.
4.Blade (English – Hollywood)
Blade is a 1998 American superhero horror film directed by Stephen Norrington, written by David S. Goyer and is based on a Marvel Comic character. In the film, Blade is a ‘Dhampir’ (the union of a vampire and a human, otherwise called a ‘Vampire’s son’) , he is part-vampire part-mortal, and protects the human race from vampires. One of the first superhero movies of all time, it kicked off the MCU universe that we all know and love and is an entertaining film.
-N. Pushpamithra, II B.A. English
The morning was cold
and so was he.
His voice which brought warmth to our hearts;
could be heard no more.
Like the angel he was;
he ascended the stairway to heaven.
Leaving us crying and our paths diverging.
Everyday spent with him
there was laughter everywhere,
but now it feels like even the wind is still.
Not wanting to forget him;
Not wanting to let him go;
Made us wonder,
will we ever be able to get over him?
-Nikhita U, I Year B.Com and Divya Mahesh, II Year B.Sc Mathematics
Love – the very word sends people crazy at times, but as we mature, we pull ourselves out of a world we once thought couldn’t get any better, and instead, search for one that’s more promising. Maturity sometimes dawns in the form of questioning the ideal of a perfect someone, and why it means/ meant so much. It also comes with the realization that one’s idea of who they’d like to be with, is bound to change with time.
From just looking at all the kids our age as potential friends to asking ourselves if one of them was something more, we all discover the first stage, what we all called ‘crushes’. The secret conversations with friends, adding that extra oomph to your conventional self, hoping your special someone would notice. Though unreciprocated, crushes ingrain in us the desire to be the best version of ourselves; a head start to self-admiration.
Some of us were probably lucky enough to have our own puppy love story, our ‘first’ significant other. Looking back on all the firsts, the amount of naivety in what we were looking for and what we thought was perfect can baffle anyone; imagining our future with someone, a future completely different from the one we see now, and somehow believing it would all be with someone we now see in a completely different light.
As we grow up and out of these, blame it on the more active hormones or the increased exposure to the ‘signs of true love’ articles online, as teens, we end up feeling like we’ve finally found ‘the one’; someone we presume we’d never have to get over, because every cell within is screaming that we are ‘star crossed’. But this time, our approach is more conscious, or at least we convince ourselves that we have ‘thought things out’.
However this first love happens to be a major plot point. If it succeeds, we’d have one hell of a story to tell our kids. But, sadly, the timeline of firsts would cease to exist without heartbreaks. When somebody walks away from your life for the very first time, you invariably concede into your own translucent bubble. It takes several attempts from people to weed you out of your shell and to re-establish the confidence and validation you never realized you lost. And even when you finally seem to be over it, they don’t cease to be a part of you.
In the end, no love is less, no love is more. It is not measured by looks, by the admirers, by arguments or by differences. It only matters if it is understanding and accepting enough to help you grow together instead of growing apart even when a million uncertainties are thrown your way; if it grows stronger or weaker with time. Time gives legitimacy to its existence. Time is the only true unit of measure.
-Akchayaa, II Year B.A. English
Childhood is the period of time where choosing between Rocky Road and Mint Oreo or deciding between Oswald and Noddy were the only difficult decisions to make. They are the formative years of one’s life, as what a child witnesses or listens to affects the person he/she turns out to be. Young children come into contact with gender stereotypes and it is not long before they start acting according to them.
Right from the time a baby’s sex is determined, parents start ‘preparing’ the baby to take up gender roles. As they grow, these little children believe that boys and girls cannot have similar interests or hobbies and must be confined to the boundaries set by society. Families are the greatest agents of these stereotypes and children learn by example. Children observe what they see in and around their homes and try to emulate them in the form of role plays and games, where the girl cooks and cleans up while the boy who does not help with the chores is lovingly waved off to work by his ‘pretend wife’. Isn’t that the current scenario in most homes?
Children’s books given by schools, as well as other picture books, are also culprits in this propaganda. In the books given by schools, various pictures of daily activities show the woman in the kitchen while the man reads a newspaper or works on the computer. Pictures showcasing professions are another can of worms. Professions like teachers and doctors are occupied by women while engineers, pilots and police officers or dominated by men, according to those text books. Other picture books and fairy tales are no better. Every fairy tale ever written follows the same motif: Prince Charming saving the Damsel in Distress and they live happily ever after. Isn’t it high time that we teach our children more realistic tales about courageous women who ran secret underground stations during the independence movement?
As the world moves towards breaking gender binaries, parents have a huge responsibility of teaching their children how men and women are equal and might have similar interests, dreams and hobbies. Apart from teaching them, parents must realise that children learn by observation and ensure that both parents do their share of household chores. Bedtime stories of inspirational men and women can be read out instead of sexist fairy tales. Advertisements that break gender stereotypes must be encouraged because children learn faster from media and television than books. There needs to be a change in children viewing these forms of gender because instead of raising Prince Charmings who kiss beautiful women and Cinderellas who wear excruciatingly painful glass slippers, we ought to raise Prince Consent Matters and Corporatellas who shatter glass ceilings.
Sera Grace John, I Year B.A. English
“Lysa, its reading time! Go read your lessons in the study.”
Mama’s words made her squeal in joy involuntarily. She jumped up from her couch and loped to the study. Lysa, a sun-beamy eight year old, was the daughter of Jacques Pitt, a magistrate at the Crown Court in Sheffield. Being the seed of strict, disciplinarian parents, Lysa was forced to adhere to a timetabled lifestyle. Reclusive and soft-spoken, she was a ‘sloth’ personified, slow and sly. The only time she accelerated her velocity was when it was reading time. That was the only part of the timetable she loved.
“Be back by eleven o’clock,” The tail of mama’s command brought a look of uncertainty to her face. But soon, with the ‘every moment counts’ realisation, she quickened her pace. She latched the door to the study with a sly smile and sniffed. Being a bibliomaniac, she enjoyed the smell of books so much that it broadened her straight angle smile to an arc.
The study was a planetarium of books. Books stacked in wooden racks; books of all kinds, books of all shades, books of all sizes. Every shelf had a metal plate with the name of the genre etched on it. Lysa knew very well to which part of the pentagonal paradise she had to go. She went to the House ‘Fairy Tales’ and high-fived at her kins, the books. She pulled out a tall, plump one named the ‘Book of the Untold, Unheard and Unseen.’ This book had been her new companion for quite some time.
She somehow managed to keep it upright on the floor and opened the bookmarked page. It read ‘The Land of Quilea.’ Lysa looked at the clock; it was five minutes past nine thirty. Then, she opened the book wide, crouched down to the floor, closed her eyes and crawled into the book. She was soon caught in a squall.
She jerked, her eardrums banged and her feet grew cold. After a minute or so, pristine silence followed. She opened her eyes to find herself squatted on a mow, hay all around.
“Hey! You’re on time. Come, let’s go!” A squeaky voice startled her.
There was Molly, a gay and loquacious girl with a cherubic grin on her face. Her charisma and the fact that her feet didn’t touch the ground made her seem ethereal. She pulled Lysa up and towed her outside. Hand-in-hand, they sojourned the errand. What they came upon first was a suntanned street, as busy as a bumble bee, with toting vendors, bargaining customers and tittering women. Lysa showed them friendly smiles but they sold her cold looks of suspicion. She observed that all people there had their feet off the ground and floated around like mystics. She was fascinated by the halos of different radius and radiance that encircled their visages.
As they neared the end of the street, Molly took her to a shack shaped like a barrel. The aroma of wine was suspended in its very ambience. Different varieties of wine, in different gradients and strengths, seated themselves at the counter. The creepiness augmented by the smell of saccharine wine reminded Lysa of a Yorkshire bar she had visited on a family trip. As she stood there intoxicating herself with every detail she saw, Molly fetched her wine in a mug made of camel skin. She sipped the wine slowly. Every drop seemed a century old and held a stir of strength within.
“This is the most exotic wine in our world,” Molly began.
“It’s called the ‘Wine of the Rhine.’ Made from the virgin water of the Rhine and sour, soaring grapes from the Alps in your land, it is never consumed in your land, and is made only for export. It is ferried by our serfs to our ports where we bury it for a century before using. It is an antidote even to the most lethal poison. Our history says that when your queen Cleopatra was stung by the Egyptian Cobra (The Aspis), a vial of this wine was blessed by our priest and sent to her. But unfortunately, her soul had made it to the Elysium by then. You are lucky enough to taste this which no human has ever tasted.”
Feeling proud to enjoy that privilege, she gulped the liquid heaven down in a jiffy!
They left the shack and moved on to explore the rest of Quilea. They passed on to a green, serene village strewn with thatched huts and bamboo boundaries. In an open ground near one of the houses, she saw a group of urchins sitting on the lemon-green grass and reading, or rather pretending to read from books made of banana leaves. A pot-bellied pedagogue with a panama on his bald head sat on a cactus stool reading a thick book made of reed. Its title was ‘The Book of Baelish.’ His eagle eyes and pointed nose reminded her of the notorious scientist Felonious Gru from Despicable Me. The funny face made her giggle.
“Funny? Come, there are more surprises to behold.”
They trotted along a long, muddy road with straw fields on either side. After about twenty steps, they came to a vast stretch of gleaming blue water with patches of pink and purple popping up here and there. Every time the chrome of the petals faded due to sunlight, they would plunge down into the water and resurface even more brighter.
“Wow!” Lysa’s subconscious mind spurted out the awe she felt.
“This is the ‘Marsh of the Mallow’. The mallows here are in eternal bloom, they never droop. They have no roots, thus people often allude them to independence. They say that one who has no roots and commitments are the most free and happiest! Every time the plant loses sheen, the thallus goes deep down into the water in order to rejuvenate itself.”
“We have no such wonder back in our world,” exclaimed an overwhelmed Lysa.
“Your world is blind to beauty! It fosters only worldly wonders. Well, shall we move on?”
They shuffled towards what seemed like a colosseum, but was actually a sanctuary for the senile. Seven scores of wrinkled faces walked wearily in the lawn that seemed like a carpet to the hospice. Lysa was stifled to see an antipodean to the ergo gay community. But she learned that it was a custom by which parents should depart from their dear ones when they cross the line of half a century and that the old there are never sad and lonely like those in the old age homes in her world. This gave her catharsis. As she observed, Lysa saw that a portion of the lawn was demarcated using white bricks and in it were poppies of different colours- white, yellow, pink, red, blue, purple and black.
Before she could ask what it was for, Molly sensed her thoughts and pointed to a flower.
“This is the Poppy of Hope. Every new member here is given a poppy seed which they must plant and nurture. The colour the flower would be was an indication of the personality they possessed. On the day an inmate dies, the respective plant droops and crumbles into the ground and will decay along with them.”
Albeit astounded at the whole setup, she was inspired by the grace of the grey folks. By now, the sun, having relished enough of the day, had begun his preparations to retire.
That’s when the duo made it to the seashore. In contrast to the rough seas in her world, Lysa found the seashore exemplarily serene. The tides were high and waves came up to her hips, making her squeal at the wetness and coldness. Every wave brought with it a dozen shells, scallops and oysters. Lysa had a queer fascination towards the sea because the rumbling of the sea made her feel she had someone to talk with, unlike her pensive, aristocratic parents.
”Lysa, collect the shells and open them”. Molly’s demand interrupted Lysa’s silent admiration.
“Open them? But they stink and there are organisms in it!”
“They stink and have life only in your world. Here facts are faceless. Everything is a fantasy, even you and I. Go on”.
Lysa loved fantasies and the fact that she was one filled her with elation. She picked up a brown scallop and opened it. There, to her surprise, she found the letter “Q” written with a gelatine-like substance. She stood and gaped.
“How can this be?” Lysa asked in awe.
“This place where you are is the ‘Littoral of Lits’”. Molly splashed a reply.
“Lore says that there was once, a beautiful mermaid who was very wise and witty. She used to come to the shore and share her knowledge with the folks. Once, an ogre was enticed by her charm and wanted to marry her albeit having a wife. The jealous ogress plotted a plan and befriended the underwater spirits who poisoned the mermaid. An anguished ogre then killed his wife and drowned her in the sea. Since then the mermaid’s spirit writes letters in shells and oysters and sends them up to the humans to educate them. It is also perceived to be epistles of love she sent to the bemoaning ogre”.
Enthralled by the mysterious episode of love, Lysa stared at the horizon where the sun was plunging in the water. She wondered if the sun, like the shells, had a secret message encoded on it by the sky to be sent to her love, the sea.
As dusk gave way to night, it dawned on her that she couldn’t revel in the ethereal bliss of Quilea forever. Every fantasy, howsoever appealing, would once be overshasowed by fact. She turned to Molly, whose halo shone like fire in the unsettling darkness. Molly opened her arms wide and smiled.
“Until we meet again, our facts will be your fantasy!”
“Your facts will be my fantasy!” Lysa replied as they exchanged a warm hug.
As she said those words, she closed her eyes and jumped. She jumped into nowhere. A gush of wind slapped against her as she fell into something which she didn’t know. The fall lasted for a few milliseconds and ‘thud’, she had a safe, rapid landing. She opened her eyes to see her sanctuary- the library. Lysa looked at the clock, ten forty. She chuckled to herself at the thought of how one eventful day in a fun-filled reverie was equal to one trivial, mundane study hour!
She gently pulled out a few souvenirs from the pocket of her peach pinafore. She then went to the edge of the room, removed a tile and pulled out a maroon diary. On it, was embossed in gold letters ‘Musings of a Mysterious Me.’ Three-fourth of the book had been scribbled in. Lysa opened it and turned to a fresh page. With a calligraphy pen, she wrote in big, bold letters ‘Quilea- A Land as Queer as its name!’ on the page on the left side. On the page on the right, she stuck the keepsakes one by one- a portion of wine-stained camel skin, a reed with Baelish’s quote, a purple mallow flower, a petal of the white poppy and a scallop with the letter ‘Q’ on it. Against each of those, she wrote their sources- The Wine of the Rhine, The Book of Baelish, The Marsh of Mallows, The Poppy of Hope and The Littoral of Lits.
The time was ten minutes to eleven by then, and she buried the book back in its bed and sealed the witness to her fantasies with the tile. ‘Phew! Back to normal’ she sighed to herself although she knew that it was just one among her many abnormal adventures!!
“Mama, until I wake up tomorrow, your story will be my dream!”
“My story will be your dream.” Lysa said, as she kissed her son goodnight after narrating to him his bedtime story. Still, her mind was stranded in the queer land of Quilea ; the land she explored with Molly twenty years back…