“The night is dark and full of terrors.”
A simple line uttered by those prescribing to a certain faith in a fantasy book written by a man who looks like Santa Claus, complete with grin and beard. This same man promised us that winter will come. He’s been promising it for decades.Well, here it is. Quite unannounced. (For those who think that I’ve lost it, I’m not referring to the seasonal change.)
Despite the last couple of days, the world is still spinning. While the Americans debate packing their bags and moving off to Canada, PGP1 has no choice.
Soon Palaash and Parijat will begin their tiny migration, making way for MICANVAS 2016! Fear not, the effort is quite worth it.
Dear PGP2, our winter has started off with quite a bang. A true disruption indeed. We did it once, we can do it again.
We hope you enjoy this issue of Black Coffee. Apologies for the delay. We’ve been victims to the Sickness Monster lurking on campus.
Amidst the Stars
I had dreamt of the night when the world only knew of the day. I yearned to touch the stars, dance in their sparkling aura and feel them glitter over me. As the sun shone down brightly on me, the world ridiculed me for dreaming the impossible. While their mockery only seemed to fuel my desire, it also planted a seed of doubt in my mind. Oh, I could fight the world alright, I didn’t doubt that for a second but the constant battle within me ripped my soul apart. I knew the sun had no reason to go down but I needed only one. Suddenly as the dark clouds spread across the sky, the world was at the brink of questioning their beliefs. Fearing the worst, they blamed me for the unknown, they drove me out of their solace they fondly called the society. With the lighters in their hands, they set out to kill me, but it was my dream, my passion that had set me ablaze. When I couldn’t run from them any longer I knew it was a do or die but I wasn’t the girl to give up without a fight. So as they watched me stand on the edge of the mountain, I take the burning wood and set myself on fire. They see me burn and leave me to die but I reborn from my ashes as a phoenix and soar high into sky, across the shimmering stars, shining like the sun. A little boy looks up at me; he tugs at his mother and smiles. Oh, look at that beauty, he says, let’s call it a shooting star.
An Unusual Meeting
Deb and I were finishing our fourth cigarette of the day as I drove into the parking lot at a mall near my place. It was a Sunday evening, bustling with people, mostly on the run because of the light drizzle.
I switched off the ignition and tossed the cigarette butt out of the window, unmindful, into the dimly lit misty surrounding.
“Idiot!” shrieked a woman, seconds later.
I poked my head out of the car and saw an inconspicuous silhouette of a woman approaching it. Realizing that the cigarette butt had probably hit her, I stepped out of the car to apologize.
Tall, beautiful, sporting knee length boots, skinny jeans, and a summer jacket, she looked as if she had walked right off of some ramp at Milan. To top it all, she held a yellow umbrella, similar to the ones you see in hill stations. She stormed right towards me and started yelling the kind of English words that are usually beeped on television.
I was about to make a sad face and squeeze in a feeble sorry when Deb whispered into my ear, “Dude, How I Met Your Mother, yellow umbrella!” At as bad a timing as always, I broke into a wide grin.
I expected some more curse words when the lady, suddenly changed her tone and called out my name.
Surprised I asked, “How did you…”
She started giggling instead and hugged me. Deb looked utterly disappointed, I guess he wanted a hug too. “I’m Preity, don’t you remember? We were in kindergarten together. How can I forget that mischievous grin. You smiled similarly after you beat up the poor kids who wanted to play with your toys!”
“Huh, did l? Anyway, Preity with greasy hair and large thick glasses? That Preity? Wow, what a transformation!” I said, still in awe.
“Yeah, my dad moved to the US shortly after I completed Kindergarten. We live in DC now, I’m here visiting a few relatives; we are going back next week,” she said, only this time with a prominent American accent.
“Of all the people on the planet I never thought I’d bump into you and that you’d remember me from my smile,” I said, still a bit surprised.
“Yeah, funny isn’t it? Anyway I gotta run, Dad’s here. It was really nice meeting you,” said Preity, as she started to move away.
“Yeah it was a pleasure and I’m really sorry for the cigarette butt,” I apologized.
“It’s okay, I’m sorry about the swear words too. Next time just look where you throw. Moreover cigarettes can kill you, just a friendly advice,” she said.
I smiled and started walking in the opposite direction towards my car, Deb in tow.
“Hey!” she called back.
“It’s beautiful isn’t it, how memories stick to us? Untarnished, untouched by time. I never knew I had a memory of you until now! Food for thought!” she said as she stepped into her car.
“Yeah it surely is,” I said as I pondered over what she said repeatedly in my head, amazed by the thought.
MICA wali Diwali: A Memoir in the Making
In the short four and half months that I have been here, MICA has not failed to snuggle its way in one of my few comfort zones. And the funny thing is, so goes the story of every MICAn. Many of my friends stayed back during holidays this year, missing home acutely yet somewhat content at the same time. Diwali, as always, was a kaleidoscope of different stories, some travel diaries, some nostalgic, and some just plain refreshing. Trying to capture the memories, we scoured the campus and selected some, just for you, to relive!
“Some holidays make more economic sense than others. More than 1500 miles of Bharat separates me from home, and most holidays, including this Diwali, I, as do many others, decide to stay back. The hustle reduces drastically and the air puts on a melancholic dress. Surprisingly, there are things to do, diyas to be lit, rangolis to be painstakingly drawn, and chicken to be marinated. Soon enough, you are sitting in the premiere of Return of Your Friends: Sweet Tooth. They shower you with sweets and mom-made delicatessens, and your three meals of the day turn to seven. Suddenly, MICA is home.”
-Sharanan Gogoi, PGP-2
“The thing about Diwali is that you know a large chunk of your batch-mates are back home with their families for something,and for some reason or the other we find ourselves on campus. We try to make the best of it. The green grounds and fields shine in all glory when there’s a quiet about it, when there are very few people around. We chose the water tower to get a birds eye view and to enjoy the sunset in Shela village!”
– Ashwin Venugopal, PGP-2
“When the holidays started, people were leaving not wanting to miss celebrating Diwali at home.. Others left hoping to have a wonderful vacation with friends, and there were some of us, with the entire campus to take care of on our 1st Diwali at MICA. Lamps, crackers, sweets, Rangolis and what not! Here, we celebrated Diwali the same as how we would have at home, perhaps a little more, I feel.
I, for one, did miss my family but the MICAn family did not let me down and was there for me to make the festival even more fun. The mess staff, the chhota staff, and everyone else who stayed on campus, worked together in making decorating the whole place, making Rangolis, lighting lamps and so on. Needless to say, The best part was to see people at home having FOMO!”
-Aparna Nandakumar, PGP-1
“This Diwali, a lot of us were back here at Kachnar. Amidst catching up on movies, doing committee work and lazing around, we decided to do Diwali the traditional way with our own eccentric touch.
All of us came together to create a Rangoli and even pitched a tent in the courtyard. We ate like kings at the Diwali cookout and jumped like kids at the prospect of firecrackers. As we played tame impala on loop, gorged on food and lit lamps all over the hostel this Diwali , we realized that Kachnar never felt more like home.”
-Felix Joy, PGP-2
“An impromptu escape..
A city of stories,
nights by the shore
And laughter galore!
This Diwali, MICAns headed to Illah De Calma- the island of calm (Diu), and gorged on seafood and drank from the chalice of new friendships!!”
-Harshit Sharma, PGP-1
“MICA, during the festival of lights, in my opinion, is a time for introspection. You get used to life without friends, hostel mates and acquaintances. But the ones who stay back, they make memories like none other. One of the many events that happen during that 4 day window is the Diwali Cookout! A night every MICAn on campus looks forward to, a night to satisfy their home food urges, a night to just beat the cold winter, sitting around the cookout bonfire! A night that exemplifies the adage – A family that cooks together stays together!”
-Vijayngston Philip, PGP-2
“One of the many firsts, it takes a lot to spend something as big as big as Diwali away from home. Yet there’s something about the shared sense of loneliness that turns it into a communal solitude…one that dissipates amidst sparklers that rain down on the demons of Nostalgia come midnight. Mica waali Diwali was one such experience. Half part lump-in-my-throat, equal parts Damn-Do-I-Love-The-Buzz-Of-This-Mad-Mad-Place!”
-Shiraley Chandra, PGP-1
“Diwali 2016 was special indeed. This lush green campus and all these warm, creative people make you smile so wide that you forget to remember your home. This was my last Diwali at MICA and it will always remind me of this small family that I have found in 2 years. Friends, Chhota canteen, and the mess food has given me an unforgettable memory to cherish forever. Thank You MICA. :)”
-Manisha Saun, PGP-2
“Diwali to me has always been about the pain of waking up early, the uninterested oil bath with groggy eyes in the morning, the excitement of new clothes, the huge spread of breakfast and sweets, the irritating sound of crackers while I am trying to catch a special program on TV in the afternoon, spending time with family and friends.
And so much more
Diwali can also be the excitement of planning Rangoli designs with your friends in a hostel. Diwali can also be the excitement about lighting up Diyas on your hostel steps and corridors. Diwali can also be about running around the hostel asking for a matching duppata for an old kurta of yours. Diwali can also be the fun of having an cookout session with your friends. Diwali can also be the effort everyone put in to make the campus amazing and beautiful more than a GharWaliDiwali!
And so much more.
Mica wali Diwali was no less and i will cherish it forever.”
-Anithasree Munuswamy, PGP-2
Prof. Rasananda Panda
– ରସାନଂଦ ପଂଡା
ମୁଁ ଭାବି ନ ଥିଲି
ତମେ ଆଉ ମୁଁ
ଏକା ଆଉ ଅଭିନ୍ନ
ଖୀର ଆଉ ନୀର
ଯଦିଓ ଆମେ ଭଲ ପାଉଥିଲେ
ଦୁହେଁ ଦୁହିଙ୍କୁ ।
ଆଉ ଜାଣେନା ମୁଁ
ଆମର ଏହି ମିଳନ ପାଇଁ
ତମେ? ନା ମୁଁ?
(translated by Bagmishree , PGP-1)
I hadn’t thought
You and I
One and inseparable
Like milk and water
Of one flower
Even though we loved
And I don’t know
Who is responsible
For our togetherness
You? Or I?
It’s our love and closeness.
They say home is where the heart is
But if your home is a wanderin’
Where does your heart stay?
Where does it sleep?
They may find themselves a cozy nest
A place to rest their ego
I hope I find none
Even though I may ache for one
There are many addresses I have forgotten
There are some I wish I hadn’t
There are some I never can
There are some I wish I could
There are many bridges to cross
There are many to burn to the ground
Help me burn this one with you
And watch our goodbyes turn to ash
I may have traveled far
No swallows tattooed on my shoulders
I soar with my wings
And I know mine don’t melt.
Bui-Doi: Less than Dust
There are but a few hours to go
The lights dim
Heavy curtains drawn shut
While I lie on a bed-like mess.
There are wires clogging my chest
And sweat pouring down my eyelids.
My clothes strewn around me
I think of a flash of light
Eyes wide spread
Shimmering with blue
Like the pond where I played
My brother and I.
The night is silent
My mind is not
It is a box of bones
Holding the tremors of
The ghosts of the dead.
I feel the last few tears
Roll down uneven cheeks.
I suck in my last breath with a round – O mouth.
I did this before
I can do it again.
No child born of rape will come to this world.
सर–ए–आम वजहें कई हैं
एक ही है हमको, पर
गुमान होते किस्से कई हैं!
तमाम बेकद्री के और
हम पस्त तो नहीं, पर
क़तरा क़तरा पुरज़ोर!
इल्म होना मक़सूद नहीं,
मगर शुबा किया था
और हाय! मात खाई नहीं!
अब वो मैं–तुम, हम हो चले
क़ायदे से हम थे ग़ैर
बग़ैर ही फिर, हम हो चले!
They communicate without noise
Noise that runs on another frequency
Frequency that is no longer analogic
They are everywhere without being present
With the world in their hands
And choices on their fingers
Hashtag swipe left. Hashtag swipe right.
Information, information, information
This generation is moved by information
It’s information overload with low reception
This reception culminates fear
Why this social angst if disconnected?
Validation is paramount
Experiences don’t count
Know everything or lose it all
Because life isn’t a buffer but a stream
Tweet post trend
Hashtag end. Hashtag stop.
Or don’t. Run digital.
Hey, do you want a job? Apply through LinkedIn. Want a date? Swipe on Tinder. Want to talk to that old friend from school but are too lazy to go meet her? Well, Facebook to the rescue! Want to play football? Sure, let me just hook up the Xbox. Remember the last time you took a day off from screens? No? Welcome to today’s world. Technology is a part and parcel of our life and there is no denying the fact that it has made our lives much easier. Whether it is to ensure our clothes are washed, dried and laundered or the ability to order groceries at the click of a button, we have benefitted so much from the extra time we have on our hands that technology has gifted us. Or have we?
Technology has cost us something that we do not realize – the comfort of facing another person. We become so busy acquiring and posting to our 1000+ connections and “friends” that we forget to spend time with people who actually matter. Just like phone numbers, we are reliant on Facebook tell us when our friends and family were born. Gadgets and social media are not only hampering the human touch in our interactions but also are slowly eroding our ability to remember. Today, I feel the same amount of satisfaction sending an emoji that I used to feel giving a hug to my brother. People are actually developing serious mental conditions that are characterized by panic attacks when they feel that their phones are missing.
What can we do now, you ask? Well, imagine waking up and taking a steaming hot cup of coffee, sitting in the balcony and reading a book. Was that so hard? Imagine the feeling of running on freshly mowed grass, giving your all trying to score a goal and the joy of actually succeeding. Brings back childhood memories to the forefront of your thoughts? Now imagine climbing through a hard trek; watching the sun set between mountains and the smell of wet earth all around without whipping out your phone and posting a photo with couple of filters and a dozen hashtags. All this while actually creating memories, not posts, with your family, friends and other special people. It’s not too late to look up from your screen and watch that odd little bird flying across the horizon; not too late to play hide and seek with your child while dozens of emails are left unread; not too late to surprise your father on his birthday by visiting him in person and not just wishing him over a Skype session. When you think about it later, you will realize that time slows down, allowing you to be at peace with yourself and create stories that you will share; laugh about years from now rather than having a cap of twenty four hours. There, was that so hard?
Bollywood and its implied viewers
The Article is an attempt of the understanding of the Bollywood film industry from theoretical perspective. The Article wants to use Walter’s Benjamin’s discussion of the work of art’s ‘aura’ and Christian Mertz’s seminal characterization of theatrical and cinematic media and their crucial differences particularly in terms of spectatorship . Bollywood has a typical image of being three hours long with a variety of filmic strategies which is often refered to as “Masala” (a spicy, mixed dish). In the movie of Bollywood film industry music plays a very important role. The practice of doubling up the music with the professional singers has been in vogue in Bollywood from 1930. In the beginning it used to be in sync with the recording of the actor . However with time the process got reversed as the prerecording of the songs stated to happen. This allowed for the directors to create scenarios “without having to accommodate the particular vocal limitations” . The music for the narrative of the Bollywood has been the signature style. Dancing often accompanies the sexual love which is not portrayed directly by the Bollywood films.
The films of Bollywood are presented as a fantasy where the audience takes in the form of a passive audience. The experience is more of a “Darshan” following the Darsanic tradition. The tradition follows the idleness of the Indian audience. A tradition of voyeurism is exercised in the movie narrative. Though there is a sharp distinction between the voyeurism of theatrics and the cinematic. In Bollywood the performance of the cinematic experience is a mix between the Indianness and the “Western” model. The model of Indian delusion with the “Western” influences has become the peculiar way for the narrative of the storyline. The direct message is not presented through the celluloid. Regarding this since the inception of Indian cinema scholarship there has been a representation of it as an opiate. It can be well summed up in the fact that “Bollywood has developed a meaningless, devious style that has been its greatest deterrent to maturity” (Sarkar 1975). It has been the trend of Bollywood for a long time where Hindi Bollywood cinema “deludes audiences into believing their own delusions”. The reason could be possibly mentioned as “this ultra – Puritanism- it would seem, is a hangover from the Victorian outlook, grafted on to our system and fostered by a conventional morality” (Sarkar 1975). Bollywood has suffered from the dilemmatic oscillation between the western and the Indianness. The elements of both the different school of film making thought in Bollywood has created a hybrid model. So it is not easy to categorize Bollywood into definite Binary Models. There is an element of colonial construct juxtaposed with the Indianness which as Kakar mentioned has an element of dependency. The dependency along the family ties. Apart from this the effect of the “Darsanic” gaze as discussed earlier is the most important component of Bollywood movies. Representation of “Voyeurism” which is different for the cinematic versus the theatrical is of prime use in Bollywood. As mentioned earlier theatrical voyeurism is different from the cinematic voyeurism. The space of screen is a very important context here.
In the cinematic world of Bollywood the impact of the screen is a very strong phenomenon. The representation of the actors in the cinematic space of Bollywood is very different from other classical cinema practises around the globe. The representation of actors looking directly into the camera is in direct contradiction of the norms accepted and practiced around the globe. Bollywood creates this viewpoint for audience not being a part of the cinema directly. However in Bollywood the other elements of significant importance are the concept of the “religious” world view. The movement of the religious entertainment has been also there in Indian cinematic sphere for a long time. Bollywood movies over a period of time have developed a hybrid model of cinematic experience. This experience is more of a deliberate attempt to resist the Hollywood mode of production. As explained earlier the model of Bollywood is more of a mix and match model and cannot be classified in one simple category as mentioned by Vijay Mishra. The elements of the devotional aspect have been a key element of the Bollywood film industry. This has in fact been even extended in the television concept as well with the religious drama which has dominated a major chunk of the entertainment industry. There is a tendency of predetermining simplified approach to the audience as in Indianness. This Indianness makes a very different aspect of Bollywood. Tickling the Indian ego which is more comfortable with childish ego as mentioned by Prahlad Kakkar has been the key component of cinematic experience of Bollywood. Indian society evolution had an impact on Bollywood however the core components remained the same.
Reference Guide: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
By Matt Hoffman
With 18th November, 2016 approaching slower than we’d all like, we thought why not find a quick reference guide for all you Potterheads out there to freshen your memories, heighten your excitement, and revive the fandom that is Harry Potter series?!
Discover an awesome guide to J.K. Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them that we found for your perusal, below. We hope you have a magical time!