Media and Muse

Aligarh (2016)

 

I’m tad late down the line, when I successfully punch down the words that, this movie has moved me.

It has moved many and that is something to say, especially from where I come from. While being late in an opinion article on a movie released in early 2016 is indeed a shortcoming– but on the brighter-side, it does offers you a kind of long-drawn perspective into what people actually think about homosexuality in India.

‘Oh this is the movie about homosexuals’, straight people who have no objection regarding homosexual orientation whatsoever, will remark and turn away, busying themselves into other ‘important stuff of their lives’. Also, it is because love outside paper, is never really important. But hey, some would say, ‘isn’t it better than open condemnation of homosexuality? Fair bargain!’ But I’m sorry to say, for me this bargain is as fair as having to choose between Trump and Clinton for Presidential Elections 2016. (Somewhere in their graves, Plato and Machiavelli sigh together).

But I’m not here to complain about heterosexuals as to why they are so selfish and wouldn’t bother to care about others because that’s just real capitalist world and I am no naive. Here is my perspective though, when you see gay prides, movies, campaigns, there is a constant ‘othering’ going on. In doing so, you’re again out-casting these people but let’s say, in a more tolerant manner under which you don’t come with your burning sticks on their doorsteps but you contain it to a level where just thinking bad thoughts about them on a deep personal level is okay enough for ‘faggot’ jokes here and there. (Concupiscence much?)

I write to these people (because honestly, with time I’ve guessed, talking to the straightout-condemners is like talking to a cow) because they co-operate but do not fully understand. Hansal Mehta’s Aligarh for one, makes a lot of things clearer on this front. To give you a brief synopsis of the film: it is a true story of a Linguistics Professor in a University which can be best characterized with the word, Past. The university which stirs and scowls when the nostalgia is stripped away, naked into the savage of definition and configurations. Though the political parties that stand like fences to the University, ensure and are often successful in an agenda to drag in all fantastic escapist beings of past, if only to send them off into one final spree from life.

Two reporters break into the house of a reputed professor, find him indecently dressed in bed with an another man. Next, the professor’s colleague barge into the room as if they had been just listening outside the door in order to look at them with faces prepared with shame, pulling off the role of an over-protective father who had just caught his adolescent daughter in the act of sex. Further, the professor is suspended next day and guess, who is not the Department Chairperson anymore. The case moves up to court. Spoiler alert: someone dies.

The professor was an introverted man. He liked listening to Lata Mangeshkar songs and was used to dunk the whole world down, with one glass of gin. Fun Fact: Lata Mangeshkar is one of the most prestigious singers in Indian music industry (if I am allowed to make such a broad categorization) and she is known to refuse songs with indiscreet lyrics; if that helps you peek into the psyche of the man. Now to us modern people-that’s a code for conservationism. ‘Conservative’: I have fought this word the moment I stepped in higher-education. I do understand that this word tends to exist for the greater good but I find it rather blind. Here, you are shy–you are conservative. I mean for the goodness’s sake, it can be the bland old ecstasy of the tough revolutionary bloods who just want to demolish structures and wouldn’t have them lingering. Reminds me of Shelley’s Ode to the west wind. Another Fun fact: I found this brilliant article which interprets Shelley’s west wind as an alternative preserver of older structures rather being the regular sweep-away tide of change. Everything that is old should not die and that includes the men who never understood the freedom of sexuality as we did. And if a man wants privacy, wouldn’t talk about sex, isn’t your regular LGBT activist–he should be left alone to live rather than die. I’m on my own path of being a professor and anyone can tell you that it is often a solitary road that lets you survive as long as it is not stripped off the dignity which defines the path. You are not a teacher if your students don’t see you as one.

I think the man died the moment they  invaded their homes with cameras. If I am to return to my psychoanalytic ways, I’ll say it is a massive attack on the ID.

Have you ever wondered why straight people in Hollywood movies, when walked in on intercourse by outsiders, startle like crazy? If I begin to ask these questions, I’ll end with questions like why are we afraid of each other’s naked bodies and why can’t we walk unclothed? These questions aren’t crazy though, the society decrees you to think that they are crazy questions. For a naked-men society, the clothed men are taboos. The answer is fear. The drive that controls your sexual appetite is the same that control your fear. And now you see the connection. It could have been any heterosexual man who was threatened with a leak of a sex tape in a society which does not tolerate sex outside the confines of marriage, let alone heterosexuality.

But that doesn’t mean we should forget the homosexuality angle completely. Homosexuality magnifies sex, which heterosexuality has been accustomed to see in a stereotypical old way. When you are raised in a society which teaches you that your very root is a crime, you tend to start believing that you are wrong and not the rule-monster society because how can you fight your own nourishment? So there you have a man, who would not have this rule-monger-er society. He would simply remove himself from the very ‘sign’ and slip into this pre-mirror stage of no signs and no father to speak in true Lacanian terms.

Drag him back into the mirror and the result is always death. Both by society and self.

The last words of the man as in conversation with a colleague, described his plans about shifting to America, where he could ultimately enjoy a life of dignity. This is extremely eerie for someone like me, whose favorite is Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment.Arkady Svidrigailov calls Raskolnikov before shooting himself dead, says he is shifting to America.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Her body without an armor

 

Body without armour is an armour itself.

I have been thinking about it from a long time. Across time and space, in different languages of various literatures, folklore and legends—when a female sheds her armour, the society takes a bow. You might assume, I’ve been writing it all inspired by the Game of thrones episode. You’re right. Emilia Clarke did a great job in being a naked burning, Khaleesi. But Kannagi from Tamil Literature and Kali from Hindu folklore are already her predecessors.

It is also interesting to note that this naked woman, when she is accepted by the society, instantly transforms into a mother figure. The male gaze ceases. It cannot objectify its own mother. It cannot sexualize it. And yet, it is her sexuality that rages when she stands naked as if ‘She eats up men like thin air’ (Plath). Her body naked, hair open, her eyes wide open, and her legs strong. But why must she become so powerful?

I have had the privilege to study a lot of feminist literature this last semester. I wouldn’t say it doesn’t come back to me now. I can make several connections and perhaps draw conclusions from these examples as to understand why female nudity, a taboo and perversion of patriarchal society, can suddenly become a power symbol. I will dissect the very heterosexual intercourse, if I have to, for understanding this.

When a women sheds, she is horrible to some, goddess for others. She is usually angry when she steps out like that and are later tried to be contained by narratives within the patriarchal discourse, in order to make sense of the event. In Mahasweta Devi’s Draupadi, Dopdi—a negated word for ‘Draupadi’, the wife of Pandavas from the Hindu epic Mahabharata—belongs to a lower caste and becomes associated with insurgency in North eastern India. However, she is caught by the Indian military and is in the process, repetitively raped by several men. In the morning, she is told to dress up and show up at the Chief’s tent. In a brave decision, she chooses to walk naked, ‘her blood matted upon her pubic hair’, becoming an unspeakable terror for the men around her. Laughing and slapping her thighs, she asks, ‘are you a man?’ for they could only unclothe her but not the other way around. Kali was Sati before she was Kali. For her husband, she mutilates her father’s party—if you like your mythology in simple happy terms—and literally danced the dance of death (Tandav) until her husband stopped her from destroying the whole wide earth because in Tandav, with each step, you bring forth apocalypse in the world. If you ignore bringing back the Kali into the patriarchal narrative, you’ll see, that her power is the most terrible of all the naked ladies. Her armour (if not clothes) is the collective set of mutilated body parts. Severed hands become her skirt and chopped off heads as her necklace. Yet we exclaim in awe, she is terribly beautiful. Her dance, her tongue, her hair black as the ravenous cloudy night, are also markers of sexuality that does not design itself upon the platform of male desire.

Kannagi comes from ancient Tamil literature and folklore. Like Kali, she is a goddess too, although she was born a human. As a human, Kannagi had a good share of injustice being done to her. Her husband cheats on her and has a kid with another women. Yet she has to leave with him, hoping for his loyalty when he finally decides to switch back to her. But most importantly when things finally start looking up, her husband gets executed on a false conspiracy. Bam—women have limits you know? So she rips off her breast and fire burns the city. Kings die, the empire collapses.

Danny from Game of Thrones, had two naked-power-lady scenes. The first is birth of dragons and the second is burning of several Dothraki men when they threatened to rape her or simply, decide upon her life. Immune to fire, she burns them down and emerges naked, the figure of awe. Her narrative as well is confirmed to the figure of mother.

To move away from mythology, Mario Vargos llosa’s Who killed Palomino Molero, the restaurant keeper’s wife challenges a harassing police officer into ‘raping’ her by undressing and making lewd gestures at him at the end of the novel, in an epic break from submissive-timid persona.

All these women place themselves outside normal structure when they do so. You might as well call them Unconscious personified. I’m not referring to Freud’s sharp division of rational and non-rational, rather, I would like you to read it as categorical (Super-ego) and non-categorical (Unconscious). When she steps out of society’s categories, she can manifest her sexuality beyond male gaze. Now as to why must men be afraid of it? The answer lies in heterosexual intercourse.

Heterosexual intercourse in a patriarchal society is phallocentric. ‘Penetration’, ‘Key’ ‘Digging’, such is the imagery implied in this line under which women are bound to be the object. However, this is inversed when she steps out of this structure. She is a horror show, a freak. Yet people bow to her in fear. This is because of her capability to invert society’s patriarchal taboos (Luce Irigaray actually argues that women do not have a properly developed Superegos in comparison to men who go through castration complexes) and instead of ‘penetrating space’, she becomes the ‘devourer’. Not to put it too poetically, but she is able to suck back men right from the space from where she put them out. Should it then, not turn men into infants, reminded by the astounding power of womb?

Ace.

 

The Faith Question

                                           Sergei Kirillov’s A monk at prayer

I remember arguing with a teacher upon the topic of defense of religion and how one should not be so much against it. It is actually like blaming your parents for everything wrong within your life. But then I also remember being looked down upon as an atheist (which I am not) at home and how I felt alienated from all those people who foolishly sat in front of stone idols, mumbling this and that.

Never was I, a fan of categories but nonetheless, as a project of self-awareness, I am really curious about the set of ideology that I will finally bank upon in the face of calamity. A survey claims, if you cannot challenge God with certain quantity of blasphemous words, you are certainly not an atheist. I say, why does deviation from traditional religious path has to be so violent? Not in my world anyway.

Russian paper for one thing has helped me solved this problem of identity that has started to pinch me lately.

Yesterday I finished Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment. Those who are familiar with the text will know that this is a story about a man (Raskolnikov) and his conception of the idea of murder which, based on sound logical arguments, excuses him from the guilt or responsibility of committing a murder of an old pawn-breaker woman. The argument of this gentleman, apart from his impoverished condition, is that, certain people are above law for they are going to be future law-makers and are hence, allowed to break penal codes as they like, be it in fact a murder. Therefore, the act is done and the blood is let. An innocent is also killed as an accident although not contemplated at all and almost forgotten by the murderer.

Crime is indeed a constructed category by people in the power. But this is not the only message that the novel is trying to impart. In fact, the question is: how is one able to live with crimes and if not, why not?

The answer is as simple as is the difference between theories and practical. Now, you know killing is okay logically (say you firmly believe in Darwinism), yet you can’t live with it at all. One thing this tells us about ourselves is that the mind is not a coherent entity at all. One part wants you to read this essay and the other part wants you to—I don’t know—play video games all day?

So again, you can’t murder someone and live with it. 

 

Blame your parents.

 

I am not even joking. If you are familiar with my old articles or if you are simply familiar with Freud’s ego, superego, and Id, you’ll get my point. When you were busy enjoying your childhood, your parents and other considerable elders, packed their boxes and came to live inside your head. When you grew up, you thought you can move away from them, so you left for a big city (sorry to make it sound so theatrical but it sure is fun to write) so that you can forget all about them and their nasty prejudices. But when self-reflexivity attacks, first to speak inside your head, is your parents. In a war between you and them, it is very seldom that they lose. You say murder is alright but they’ll only cry for Jesus Christ. But you can no longer separate yourself from them and thus your history fails your logic. 

 

And this is why being an atheist is the hardest job in the world. It is a constant inner torment of defying people and betraying people all around you (unless you grew up in a happy circle of atheist people which is rather rare, at least in my country). Then to paraphrase something from Dostoyevsky’s book, you can’t even wait for them to get smarter because religion is anything but intelligent or for the lack of better words, scientific. 

 

But is that all? What if we were to end religion at once and for all. Dostoyevsky very skilfully imagines this very world without any faith and without any  gods to worship & model after. This is done through Raskolnikov’s (the murderer guy) ‘nightmare’ (and man Dostoyevsky is some Stephen King when it comes to writing nightmares). The dream goes as:

Earth is invaded by very intelligent micro-organisms (By the way, this reminds me so much of Stephanie Meyer’s The Host, at least at first glance. Inspiration much?). These micro-organisms then go onto possess all the human beings on the planet and as this ‘infection’ flares up, everyone go on to become intelligent and insane at the same time. Also, every human being develops a personal sense of good and evil which is in disagreement with the sense of good and evil of the other. In other terms, the very gene of ideology ends and anarchy is followed through. (Read up Althusser, this book has so much of lit-theory analysis written all over it). Now that’s not very nice. 

 

Actually, the whole book is a very simple lesson in ethics (my favorite sentence to say in almost all blog posts). The question as I read it is: what if crime was not illegal as logically it should be not. The answer then is: society will not be able to exist. Because then everyone can kill everyone. Therefore, in order to preserve itself, society creates certain rules. These rules are fundamentally attached to ‘religion’, ‘conscience’ and ‘fear’ and her hence embedded in your superego. You cannot escape them even if you’ve got the brains. These concepts also preserve us from existential crisis and are helpful in maintaining the harmony of inner self. But it is also true that this is a very temporary harmony and that there is no logical way that you can prove that the reality of after-death or even entities like God exists (never absolutely). This also implies a factual reality that they do not after all exist.

 

Then comes the difficult choice. Can we live with this factual reality? For one thing, believing in this factual reality comes with a consequence of anarchy. I read this quote somewhere, ‘if there is no god, nothing any one does really matters’. I know…I know… good post-structuralism figured it out before me, but I’m just gonna say that I did prove that the machinery of religion is important or at least a structure which is similar to religion and requires blind devotion of the people. 

Leo Tolstoy had similar opinions. Simple faith, however stupid it is, can help both personal and public peace. Walking blindly is sometimes easier. But how long will this last?

 

I dreamt a strange dream during my afternoon slumber (I take my dreams very seriously). A man placed two cut-outs of landscape in front of each other so they looked like a single landscape dowsed in sunset (I think this is inspired by a certain music video of Rihanna and Calvin Harris that I happened to chance upon). An ominous voice preaching a deceased relative of mine in a comical Indian manner loomed inside my head. But the voice said what I myself had predicted, ‘the marriage is no longer the same tied-up knot’. Before judging me for an orthodox, please do go on to read my hypothesis i.e. marriage is the smallest unit of the society. It is disintegrating. This larger message here is that the society itself is disintegrating (and not as a result of the marriage chaos which is but, only a symbol of the whole). So I do wonder where exactly we are heading towards.

My answer is: Nothing is absolute in a time period. There always ought to be odds to cancel out the conception of absolute reality. You will always disagree with your parents.

 

Crimson Peak: A walk into the world of Gothic

What I most admire about the Gothic genre is its reiteration of the concept of polarities.

Guillermo Del Toro of the Pan’s labrynith’s fame, in an interview, talks about his inspiration of the color red. He associate it with M.R. James’s Vignette (1936) where the latter talks about an autobiographical encounter of a ghost which was ‘hot and pink’. A similar exploration of the color red and its association with the afterlife can be seen in Shyamalan’s The Sixth Sense (1999) where the color red appears as a sneaky signature of the fact that Crowe (the psychologist administering to the ghost-sensitive child) is dead. Ironically, in the movie Crimson Peak, the imagery of hot and flowing blood can also be identified with life or at least unrest if put in contrast with the pale whites and the charcoal blacks. While Sharpe’s and his sister’s colors might be the aura of their carefully crafted personalities, as Cushing’s insists–a metaphor does run through these ghosts–the others are not as difficult. Edith Cushing’s mother is a charcoal black. The wives of Sir Thomas Sharpe are clay red. Against them, Thomas Sharpe himself is a pale white with a face marked by a closing scar.

In one of her first close encounters with the ghosts, she rush to ask her husband if any ‘violent deaths’ were witnessed in the mansion. Violent deaths generally succeed with vengeance or unrest. However it is interesting to note that these ghosts do not harm the murderer but are daring enough to scare the gods out of their killer’s next victim with their gaunt smoky figures that remind me of the female ghost of Mama (2013). Perhaps because Javier Botet is acting and supervising the mannerisms of ghosts in both the movies. Apart from Botet, Mama and Crimson Peak also share Jessica Chastain (Annabel and Lady Lucille respectively) who has performed characters of contrasting natures. To put it simply, one is haunted, the other is the haunter (of a serial-killer nature). Lady Lucille does not remind me of moths (as symbolized in the movie) but a meticulous ant. I admit I get this from the scene where she emphasize upon insects eating butterflies, but in the long run, it works well on her character. In that sense, she is rampant with life, standing with porcelain teapots in her antlers to remove whatever must be removed to make way for food and home. To echo the gory sense of the movie, she is eating/collecting the brides to make way for the harsh seasons that have become a familiar situation in the Crimson peak house. However, it does make me wonder if this metaphorical cannibalistic instinct and the occurrence of moths in the movie is yet another tribute–amongst many other tributes to the horror classics–to Silence of the Lambs (1991)? Nonetheless, the Sharpe hunt does not have vigor, at least not outside the house. For Thomas Sharpe, it is a means of sustenance and nothing else. For lady Lucille, ‘it is not sad’ it is the way of seasons and nature. However, within the first few scenes, like ghosts hostile of the new property owners, her reluctance of bringing a new member in the house is all over her face.

The idea of decay, prominent to Yankee Gothic such as Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel The House of Seven Gables (1851) is completely embodied by Lucille. In that sense, she was already a ghost, ghastlier than the actual ones. A foreground that is ensuring the decay which spurts out in every shape and furrow of the hundred year old mansion. Her brother, which is deemed as a ‘parasite’ from the very first utterance of his name sucks at the imagery of decayed living, again. Like Hepzibah and Clifford, the siblings are institutionalized into decay as they are trying to recreate a home which is best only when deranged. This adds a modernist, psychoanalytic touch to the other wise old era. The characters are psychologically deranged because of the prevalent violence that they had grown up with. Therefore, Lucille is both Red or Black as highlighted from the choice of her costume. Nevertheless, it would be wrong to put Thomas Sharpe in the same box.

Many critics mention that Thomas Sharpe is a man who fills in the role of a weak Gothic hero (over brooding ones such as  Bronte’s Rochester) amidst the ongoing female drama. However, Del Toro came out an explained his character as a paradox, a mixture of polarities. On one hand he is not able to look away from the decay of his house and on the other, he is interested in the future and the industrial age. Similarly, Edith, however brave she might seem (as Mary Shelly and not Jane Austen), she is inclined towards ghost stories. Not only this, the very art in the posters (as in the picture above) is invested with Edith’s fire like hair and the cold silhouette of the Crimson Peak mansion. Polarities are very important and integral to the genre of Gothic for they bring out the ambiguity, without which the genre is in complete.

One of the other elements of Gothic that this movie thrives one is that Sublime.The art of this movie is based upon attending to the aesthetic need of the audience towards reaching the feeling awe and terror. However, this is where the movie badly fails. As Romantics have said, this feeling is generated through mind. Mind needs intellectual expansion into mystics or spirituality in order to reach that Ghost dimension which otherwise fall flats. In my opinion, James Wan’s Insidious (2010) came very close to this sense. It first fills you with distant theories and then dramatize them in an unexpected manner in addition to the usual tricks and jump scares. Crimson Peak is rather weak in this build up. It might have tried to prepare for a distant journey to Cumberland, but it never offers us any expectations.

The Children (of Hard Times)

I believe in books that seamlessly melt into the human discourse and after a period of about 100 years, you ought to find them surrounding you, just above your eyelashes–in a very nostalgic way.

For such an excellent film made my Takuya Okada, I find myself gripped by the industrial and capital reality of Dickens’s Hard Times much less towards my own; do we then question the walls surrounding us, enough? And that too, away from the rhetorical fancy manners of our tragically comical life (coming from a poet)?

Takuya Okada’s artistry tells a dark story (in a very literal sense) where an arbitrary game of childishness is played by the society who elicits pride through perfect numbers and shapes which do not have any scope of Odd. Philosophically speaking, when you collect too many Even numbers for yourself, a momentum is set in motion which, like a stream headed upon the face of earth is bound to the ocean–even if its water is destined to turn a puddle of muck under your bathroom sink. This is what you see when the child stamped number 4466 (what a symmetrical number!) had the signs of jumping-out-of-high-storey building liberation set in the motion the moment he saw a hope for himself. Why the dog was black or where did he disappeared after the train went abuzz is as mysterious as the idea of how revolutions takes place and what are the minute things that set in the motion. But for me, the dog and the disappearance of him is the defiance to the very system the revolution was set against.

The end of this short clip might be gory for those who are at rest with a glorious idea of rebellion–with blue skies and lily beds. Yet what the both parties  share (to separate those with the lilies from the common sunken mass), is the sigh of relief that one gets when you realize you’ve always enjoyed running. In other words, to think that life will be Utopian after a revolution is illusory but I bet, the joy of the first time is incredible.

The Indian

When I first saw the movie ‘The Indian in my cupboard’, it struck me as a movie with an odd choice of words. At first it felt hilarious that somebody of my national identity is utilized as a fantasy character and well, who can possibly object to that? But after few minutes in the movie my mind was halfway across the earth looking for perhaps, a search engine called Google which could help me with confusion but would have been only available to me five or six years late. Imagine burying that sort of a question at the back of your mind.

Why sir, Christopher Columbus…weren’t you a mess? Then hegemony stuck with it, of course changing names is a boring business. And that is exactly why, nobody around me had a single idea about why exactly Indians are called Indians in the American continent. Well that. That is what is wrong with the world. We need more people with questions in their heads in order for all sorts of revolutions to materialize. But either way, now that I write with accurate amount of historical information and a lot of Alexie Sherman right in my head, I feel I do connect to the culture as if it was my own. What was Said’s concept of East as the great exotica of the West has somehow become my own in the terms that the shamanism opens up new doors of spirituality in itself.

And the good thing is, I found the right form of collaboration that could fulfill my own creativity in an upcoming short film starring Kumar Sapra who has directed and produced videos like Queen Of Angels  – https://vimeo.com/56578460, Batting Average – https://vimeo.com/56577453 . In the days, when we binge watch short films, I feel this area has a lot of scope in becoming a full fledged area independent of any other agencies that obstructs the flow of creative cinema which I feel can be a true reflector of the society as much as the literature is. In this film, we will see an Indian couple (Pun intended) extracting the right amount of passion and drama that shall invoke a lot of attention and is definitely something to look out for.

Sapra is also working on collaboration on a feature film project with Abhishek Chandra’s Fairy Tale, choreographers such as Kavita Rao: President at Karmagraphy ( Entertainment Company), on a television show based on dance forms, yoga, Kamasutra and great eastern secrets of living and keeping up with your body. He is also going to act in Diego on his feature film ” A life well lived ” and Derick La Porte’s “Southern Gents “. So going to watch these! Check out this guy’s acting reel below.

Looking closely #PeshawarAttacks

Let me give you a very close look onto the Peshawar attack in case you haven’t been paying attention to it closely. What is extremely intriguing to me is then– when I assemble these very facts in my mind; I find something which gives me whole lot of goose bumps.

I hope you would be able to trace it with the source of empathy.

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I imagine myself as a student who is to give an exam that I have been preparing for two months. I do not really like the subject and I have been joking about it to my friends on how I would rather die than fail in it.  And then comes the day before the exam, for some strange reason, I am not feeling good about it. Anyway, I shut down my nervousness and go on to appear for the exam. Somehow I feel distracted. I try to concentrate upon the paper and just before I could attempt to do so, I hear strange whacking noises around the classroom. I curse my luck for sending in construction workers at this crucial hour. But the sounds do not take a lunch break or perhaps a 15 minute rest. They only grow stronger and with them, some rushed footsteps. I frown and look back at the door to understand what is going on when…

Many survivor students reported that they felt the noises were made by the repair work and construction workings. The college batch which was adjoined to the school system was having their exam when terrorists broke several doors to barge into the examination room as they were specifically ordered to kill all the senior students.

I imagine myself as a mother who is worried that her 11 year old boy would catch cold. It has been snowing in the upper regions of the country for the last few days. She feels that winter holidays should have begun sooner. But nonetheless, she strengthens her heart, armours her son with soft warmers and heavy wools and sends him to the school with a smile on her face while waving him goodbye. She is tired by the morning routine as she decides upon laying down for a nap of an hour only to be awakened by the loud banging on her door. Her relatives are behind that door looking dark and serious. One of her sisters has begun wailing and as she sobs, she tells her that it is the hardest hell for a mother to see her child die before her own self. Hearing this, she grabs on to the side table tightly in a stubborn disbelief. She is still waiting for her afternoon-nap dream to end…

Many kindergarteners were attacked brutally. Their teachers felt that it was a fire drill and they instructed the children likewise. Hence, there was no specific step taken by anyone in defence.

I imagine myself as a 16 year old boy who had to attend a party organised in order to bid ‘Farewell’ to our seniors. I was looking for my classmate when I saw some weird looking men barging inside. My first impression was that it was all a part of some jest or a prank. But the impression was never allowed to build any longer. Their guns were not made of rubber. And the same goes for their pistols. For I saw them, I saw them, somehow uncontrollably hoping that it was all part of a huge prank that included fake blood and good acting. And yet they would not move, not a single inch. Panic surrounded me as I crawled into the corridor, bracing for a piercing pain from a bullet that would fill my spine in any moment. But when I found none, I stood up to run away from the whole corridor itself. And then suddenly, I found my classmate and a neighbourhood friend from section C staring back at me. On the floor- dead and bloody. I felt a strange guilt for surviving. Strangely, it was more than I could carry and the bullet appeared like a far lesser thing to hold in one’s gut. I was choked with it when I made it out of the gate. A reporter surrounded me with his holding gaze. He was asking me about the count of bodies and type of the terrorist guns. And all I could hear was—Why did you not save them?

Later I saw myself on the news with a sad instrumental music running in the background.

A Farewell party was going on in the school. Nobody had thought it would be farewell for life.

 Now if you feel, my purpose has been to provoke you with vengeance. You understand me not. I can write the same view for the terrorists involved in this case. But I do not for it would certainly dishonour the students and their lives. The enemy is then always uncertain.

It is to be understood that the act of terrorism operates on two levels. The first terror is the act itself and the second being the messages sent out for the cause of the terror. Say, the terrorist organisation blame the looseness of actions by Pakistan army against the Indian army forces for their acts of terror—the people in loss would at some level will feel hostility against the commanding generals for not attacking Indian forces more fiercely and of course India as a nation altogether. So if we say that terrorism is acted out to force the governance into a personal favour, we are necessarily eliminating its control on the masses. Brainwashing is their job and they do it at such a level that compliance is not an option.

First of all, let me talk about those 18 year old terrorists. Imagine kidnapping 2 year olds and substantially keeping them away from the mere fundamentals of rights and wrong. Believed to be an old Turkish practice—Training little boys before they develop any sense whatsoever is actually very common. Why not make it a global issue?

These children are trained to be human weapons. Much like a gun to its holder. There development can be compared to the slaves of the American continent who—from the very birth, were treated and raised like animals. But since the latter had far more exposure and non-secrecy, the injustice was understood by them in contrast with the children I am talking about. I wonder, would they really open their eyes in a fire pit surrounded by raging devils?

The evil then, what we should necessarily find, exists in a far more legislative presence. Talibanis are but the tradesmen. Killing is business for them. And whether they trade from American politicians or Russian business men—I think it is better that we do not continue our debate.

  • Priyanka Kapoor

The fault in our stars

 

Just so you know, this is not a book review. I mean, I am nobody to judge books. Also if you find my language Greenish (John Green-Greenish) it is because I finished this book yesterday and the voice it left inside my head is still dictating me right now. So, I might as well use it productively? Huh? I don’t know.

This is a shoulder-to-cry-on journal if you ask me, because you know, you would never be over with this feeling whenever you would look back at the memories, this book gave you.

But let me applaud the genius of this guy, first.

Meanwhile, this guy is also clapping in my next tab.

And Green deserves it all.

Are you sometimes sad by a book and then in hope, try to make yourself cheerful again by finding yourself a good comedy to get over it. But in this case, you just can’t. Why? WHY, YOU SAY?

Because the comical wit and the tragedy of this book is so intricately conjugated that whenever I have an impulse to laugh
(post-reading), I believe I might cry as well. And it is not even about crying. The thing it stirred inside all of us– is a beast of unrequited qualms. Excuse, my poetic notions but you gotta accept it, all of his ideas are difficult to gulp down and a are not easily forgotten by changing the genre and by this, I mean, shifting to other novels with lesser painful potentials. And I don’t even know what genre it was. Cry-till-you-die? Universe-does-not-notice-tragedy? Teenage-death-philosophy might do it certainly. Or my favorite: O-Hell-it-hurts genre.

It will haunt you whenever you see any person in your books dying. And I might as well say that It would haunt you to search Something with a capital S in your life because yeah baby, that is how it is, apart from all metaphorical resonance and shit, we all might be buried under the same stones like stock storage kinda thing. Ordinary? A Pity in the eyes of people who think they know you. After-all the funeral wishes on your wall are derived from the same unknown people who leaves wishes on your “Happy birthday”.

Oh god, what did you do to me, Green?

I just couldn’t believe Augustus was dead. And I wasn’t even crying my eyes out. It became extremely suffocating. Why? Because their is a lesson in this too. Their were small intervals reserved for crying but in the end it never gave me full blown grenade, I felt. And I couldn’t let go. I was expectant. That certainly dug my grave.

For I was expectant that they would somehow, fulfill his wish to become extraordinary. May be in the form of Peter dedicating his sequel to Augustus or Augustus coming up with a sequel, better than Peter Van. But eventually, I could see the truth, this was not going to be the case.

And this ended my desire to want more from this book. Of-course, I cried. Because this is how these genius people roll. I am not crying at narrator’s loss or anything but I am crying in some hope to comfort Waters. To hug him perhaps, to tell him that such people are not ordinary and are extremely rare. Trust the fanbrigade.

Nevertheless, Augustus died ordinary. You know that ordinary and illness stuff he talked about. It still pinches me I know, but what can we do after all.

And who is even that guy playing Waters? Seriously? No justice.

If you think, it is because I do not find him a hot bod. Ugh to you.

Hella, his smile doesn’t even reach his eyes and you think he can play Augustus. The Augustus Waters?

Well, I am not here to criticize anyone and wouldn’t even brag how I imagined him. Because I did not imagined him. To me, he was in some third space where things can somehow work out without a face and hot bod and you can perhaps, feel the personality rather than seeing them.

Aren’t books fantabulous?

Anyhow, I did imagined Hazel as Jennifer Lawrence.

What?

Sue me.