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Friday, June 16, 2017

'Afterlife Revival' : An Emerging Constellation in The Galaxy of Country Tunes

Seldom in the recent days do you come across artists and artwork that hold out a meaning and is impressive enough to hold you spellbound! 
Well,when I saw the "Beatle-esque" tag in the description of the Portland based band,I have to confess I was quite drawn to the entire event.When I played the song 'Rich in Love',which is the band's debut song - my cousin sister who was sitting beside me working on her final year school projects yelled that the style resembled that of Bob Dylan's.
It usually takes me time to get the essence of one's being,so it had been on loop last evening until I realised right now that I have had it on loop as spontaneously as possible ever since then.The style though,indeed is similar to a casual,street music inspired easy blend similar to the one infused by Dylan with a Beatle-esque undertone,slowly brewing into a wonderful cocktail of instrumental pleasure and vocal expansion.This is something you do not really find in the modern times.



Listen to 'Rich in Love' here.

Afterlife Revival is spearheaded by Evan B. Harris,an illustrator who began the project after a near death experience that nearly left him blind and unable to pursue his visual art. Thankfully, Evan has made a full recovery and currently pairs his songs with original folk art.


The venture is quite innovative in its flavours.Country music these days is either all about instrumentals or a 60's inspired rarely-aided-with-a-little-strumming style that does not sync well,most of the times that is. There is an identifiable presence of a certain psychedelic element in the instrumentals,which makes the experience even more intriguing and effective.
In case of 'Rich on Love' though,the progress is rightly proportionate,the beats are just right,the lyrics well-versed.The overall outcome is stunning.As a debut song,this is something unexpected from just any musical group out there in the world.
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Saturday, June 10, 2017

Top 10 Movies That Introspect Existential/Metaphysical Questioning

1. A Space Odyssey



Directed by the legendary Stanley Kubrick,'A Space Odyssey' is perhaps a pioneer in the field of movies of its kind. Beginning from the concept (the show-stealer in this case) to the breathtaking photography,lighting and sound,this is one masterpiece worth watching in a lifetime.There are certain books like 'A Brief History of Time' or musical masterpieces as 'A Great Gig in the Sky' that cannot be expressed in words.'A Space Odyssey' is one such movie you cannot say many things about ; you cannot actually author a doctrine on why a monolith shows the age in an orb of light (except for maybe existence of an entity itself marks the beginning of an era of existence) or on what layers of cognitive science we actually begin to let certain human emotions penetrate our neurons.This is one movie that certainly has the capability of driving you nuts for days.

2.Interstellar



'Interstellar' is an universally relatable movie that is neither overtly intellectual in approach or presentation,nor brutally demonstrative of content. The one thing it does is raise questions,and loads of them inside your head and might even incite a series of goosebumps on the skin during the delivery of certain parts of the script.
Personally,I do not see this as much of a "must watch" ; moreover the concept of TARS is pretty much a developed version of 'Hal' from 'A Space Odyssey' (only that it's a lot let scary here).
What is truly compelling about the movie is the script,something that outlives the chronology of events in this case.

3.Gravity



Directed by Mexican director Alfonso Cuarón, 'Gravity' is a baby venture as compared to most of the other movies in this list. I am trying my best not to sound offensive but after watching masterpieces as 'A Space Odyssey','Melancholia' or 'Hail,Mary!',trust me - you would not mind bothering yourself for watching something this immature.
In a devastatingly phobic era as ours,'Don't Let Go' is almost an alternative and very acceptable as a tagline but the scientific inaccuracy wasn't quite compensated by the power of the storyline,not even the thrust of the harshness of the events that took place ; something just didn't work out well.Both the actors including George Clooney and Sandra Bullock were amazing,delivered breathtaking performances but the consistency didn't work even if the movie will incite some definitive positive,structured thoughts in your mind.So,if you want endless positivity and a lot of creamy fudge in your semi-cold coffee,this could work.It worked for me when I was in my 10th Grade but as I see it now,this wouldn't stay ; not even with the Academy Award tied to its tail.

4.Melancholia



Melancholia is the only movie in the list you will perhaps never fully get recovered of.The photography,editing,lighting and sounds are just out of the world and the concept combined to all of that developed a brilliant masterpiece,worth at least a watch in a lifetime.Seriously speaking,if you want to die watching a movie - please do watch 'Melancholia'.
'Melancholia' should also compete with 'A Man from Earth' in terms of slow pace; which is quite a brave attempt in a time as late as 2011.That being said,the dystopian flavour of the movie blends in really well with the pace and grey toned colours and the strange lightning work.Also,the concept and storyline is vividly descriptive and very,very genuine,quite abstract to a certain extent.And what I really loved about it all was the signature director's pride approach to it all,like Federico Fellini or Jean-Luc Godard or our very own Ritwik Ghatak would have towards direction - a very unapologetic,raw curvature on the end of the turning out of chronology.That is exactly how movies should be presented - proudly and fearlessly.
Summing it up,if you can wait for a slowly brewed,perfectly blended taste of Italian espresso and thank the makers after a drink on a rainy day,watching the street lights all through the evening,never excited about the delay in the delivery process - do give this a try.





5.Lucy



Honestly speaking,the cinematography of Lucy is terrible and is very unappealing aesthetically. Nothing but the beautiful actress and the striking concept of the movie is capable of attracting cinema enthusiasts in this case.That we constitute the universal totality and the totality in us is constituted out of the universe is the notion that the movie enduringly emphasises on (and does it quite well) and constantly incites you to think of the evolutional brilliance of the mind.
If you're interested in existential literature and that interest outwits your overall intrigue in cinema,do give this a try.

6.Contact



Not to mention the beautiful performance of both the actors - Jodie Foster and Matthew McConaughey ; 'Contact' was not a very high budget film and nor had technology progressed this far back in 1979.Overcoming these 'flaws','Contact' is a movie worth watching if you're highly interested in the concept and script of cinema or just like in the case of the last movie,your interest in literature outwits your interest in cinema.'Contact' is surprisingly theoretical,even after being tagged a mainstream commercial film and there are certain scenes as at one point,Dr.Eleanor Ann Arroway (played by Jodie Foster) touches the atmosphere of a mysterious planet and each touch plays a different musical note.Her bewildered expression combined with the exasperated delivery of "They should have sent a poet." is breathtaking,indeed.
The former constantly reminds you of Nikola Tesla's take on the functioning of the universe - that is,if you were to understand the behaviour of the universe,you ought to understand it in terms of vibrations.

7.Journey To The Center of the Earth 



This movie could never be at par with any of the other selections in this list.But it indeed is worth watching because even children's rhymes have certain elements embibed in them that help you imagine numerous thing severely mature content never can.Moreover,the hypothesis of "a world within worlds" is quite intriguing,indeed.

8.The Man From Earth



Jerome Bixby's 'The Man From Earth' is mostly an indoor shoot based movie,has got to do mostly nothing with visuals except the ones that it gives birth to in your mind.The amazing randomness,projections and contradiction of the legacy of logic and the logic of emotions (Remember 'the universe is standing on a giant turtle' and 'what is the turtle standing on?' paradox in the very first page of 'A Brief History of Time?).There are some very intriguing exchange of dialogues and an epic motion to the movie that is very genuine.This would be more appealing to people truly interested in philosophical thinking rather than those who love to indulge in the art of cinema.'A Man from Earth' is more of a doctrine,when put that way.
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Friday, June 9, 2017

The 10 Liner Short Story Challenge (First Story - The Flutist)

It rained hard that evening. The streets were a mellowed shade of gold and grey. A mild drizzle followed suit with strokes of breeze caressing one's soul in the evening light.The old man walked along the riverside,fluting across the highs and lows. 


(Painting - 'Victoria Road, Sandown, Isle of Wight' by John Piper ; Source - Pinterest)


A side of the city could now be called debris,another - regret. Hungry faces,amputees and hysterical mothers crowded up a civilizational lie. Sixty years of fluting across highs and lows,sixty million rays of sunset and a breaking dawn rested like a forsaken shadow
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Friday, June 2, 2017

How Have Smartphones and The Brand New Jio 4G LTE Network Helped Our Students in Recent Years?

In this survey,we attempt to introspect into the topic of the socio-cultural impact of the use of technology in the modern times,in the lives of high school students who have graduated only recently.The chosen age group has in fact been the area of interest to us since we wanted to cover both the statistical aspect of their performance,their perceptions on certain very important attributes linked to education.Also,the propensity to accept new trends and fashions is visibly the highest among the youngsters.Hence,this project also allows us an opportunity to utilise the impact of the new JIO SIM LTE network and how contributive it has been to the gen-Y in India. 

 It is a request to all students in the age group 15-20 to kindly fill up this form and send it to us!

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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Free Verse Scribbles (Second Inclusion) ~ Reflection


Painting - 'Willows at Sunset' (1888) by Van Gogh 


Hampshire blues
And paltry couches 
Intertwined end to end
In knots and ties
Like a swaggering circus rope.

Fingerprints,traded drapes
Footsteps in the chimes
Winded across horizons
Eat up light and shame.

Bathed in shades
Drenched in life
Waking up in vain 
Is literal for a second sight

Mounted up in paradise
And the secrets of a night
Shadows rise
Carving dusky humour
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Saturday, May 27, 2017

Free Verse Scribbles (First Inclusion) ~ Intermediation




Painting : 'A Lane in Headingley,Leeds' (1881) by John Atkinson Grimshaw


It was all about blues.
Oceans,heaven,ashes and umbilical cords.
And poetry.And suicides.
Silver thorns of bloody roses.
And of the virgin snow.
For if a wish ever is granted 
For once,I would ask for the ability 
To reminisce the forgotten.

I have no pride
But that of an artist's 
Put in an undeserving soul
Battling across shells and motion
In crippling serendipity 
That plagues stardust

It was all about plagues
And blood,and swords
Until you came in
Until blues infused their bodies
To melodies
In exchange of what never was theirs.
In exchange of your helpless eyes
That searched for gravities 
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Monday, May 22, 2017

A Call To Introverts Worldwide : Guest Article by Nemesis Color




(And more often than not,it is all yellow! 😛)



Introversion…it’s NOT something to feel ‘sorry’ about.

I decided to write this for all my fellow introverts out there and for extrovert relatives, friends and peers who might be interested in understanding a few things about introversion.
There are many web sources on introversion and most psychologists are finally recognizing introversion for what it is…and no longer as a subtle type of ‘sickness’. 
However, most people out there still have introversion ingrained to their brains as a form of pathology.
‘’There’s something wrong with my daughter. She’s always too shy and closed off and she rarely hangs out with kids of her age’’.
‘’I’d invite Katie too but she rarely goes to parties and when she does she leaves too early’’.
‘’Why don’t you socialize more with your friends? You spend a bit too much time in your room’’. 
‘’How can you even sit at a café all alone? You’ll look like a weirdo you know’’. 
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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Kolkata Diaries : Day 27

It is precisely when night engulfs you that you're sad - sadder than ever. I've wanted to end my life more than once.The urge somehow has never been enough,or I have been too whimsical not to do anything whimsical to the self.Well,when I feel choked in the middle of the road (I have a respiratory problem) or at late night or sometimes in the shower,I feel like I would love to live,for once more it will dawn outside,one more time I will lend my vision a chance to take everything in and that's a pleasure,has always been.
Nonetheless,I am always scared when I walk the streets late at night - scared that the moment I loose conscious,I might just get raped and never get back to the place I usually stay in.I have seen the look on the faces of the people everywhere.They're hungry and they're past caring to what it takes to fulfill their appetite.I used to feel ickier when I was younger,now I'm pretty much used to that "hungry" look on most men I see on the road,and even women - often in short skirts,the other times clad in fancy sarees,roaming around malls and alleyways,they scare the shit out of me too.Suddenly,I realise it's darker than I think it is.It is precisely that the population is past caring ; the mob is seriously scary. They walk in the same direction,follow the same road and then they break it off at certain points when the rules are past their capability to stand things.Sometimes,though - only sometimes,I spot an artist who doesn't cross the road as well and the autorickshaw driver calls him an asshole and off he goes like a tattered kite.I notice the wind in his shirt sleeve,or how his shadow resembles poetry.





I wear an anklet on my right ankle.It doesn't ring,or maybe it does - I never pay enough attention to hear the sound.The anklet that enamoured my left ankle broke at a tug a few days ago and now it stays with him,that actually makes me glad sometimes.'The tie' shows ; and it's silver in colour.


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Monday, April 24, 2017

Kolkata Diaries : Day 25

I am pretty sure no one begins writing from day 25 but I will,since it was only minutes ago that I took the decision to begin writing this series.This series would be incomplete,including only traces and parts of my perceptions about everyday life in the city and other absurdist visions that come to me way too often for anyone to achieve control over them.
If I cannot guarantee what will be interesting for whom according to portrayal of perspectives in the last 300+ posts,I sure can guarantee that this series is going to be interesting for most people.I will be updating this really often from now on and this is my umpteenth attempt to bring out the personal in the shape of art.



Day 25


It's terrible to walk down the streets now.In the midst of all that lights and shadows and graver tales that align your walk along the pavement,you will often hear a flower bloom,see a song cross the bylane and a poem will touch your curves and slowly rest beside you.But then you turn around and see the blatant consumerism creeping up your veins in all totality and you want to shed it off from you,like memories of assaults of the yesteryear but they won't just leave.They would cling to you as your own odour does and you would love to hold on to love,to the essence of a flight,to homecoming.

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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Threatened by Shadows at Night,Exposed in the Light

I hope you all have been doing well in the most recent of times. Some of you might even be confused why has the blog been neglected for so long or the questions sent have not been answered.Unfortunately,I have been tremendously busy and really pressurised for quite a while now. Inititally,I had my Higher Secondary exams (the final board exams that you have to sit for in high school) and then,since I have changed my geographical habitat,and add to that a completely new set of protocols,circumstances,ways of dealing with each of these. 

The first thing is,I have been running my own expenses,which is a brilliant experience to begin with.But I am having to travel a good deal (from South to Northern Kolkata and back to Central and back to South again 😑). Then in a month and a half's time,I would have to move out to a hostel/mess,figuring out all the 'how-to's and 'what-to's all by myself. I have never been this mechanical in my life,to admit the truth.Nonetheless,I talk to my eight year old student about why not to listen to Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift and a little idea about commercialisation,commodification and the like.
(She even told me she thinks the meaning of 'education' is 'punishment' and I am not exaggerating a letter here.)


Image may contain: one or more people, sky, ocean, outdoor and water

(Photographed by Elliott Erwitt))

Then comes the distress of having to take the responsibility of a very childish man who never speaks to me about his own problems and is highly conscious about how I am performing in my academic life (I guess he has sent me more than 30 books till date,in terms of both soft and hard copies.) You must have heard it is extremely difficult to understand an ENFP (basically NTs and NFs) and there are so many facets to this particular problem,one will always lead to the other creating a completely disastrous extent of mess you will have to try everyday to solve somehow. Nonetheless,the bond we share is unspeakably strong,so there actually is real life proof that ENFP-INTP pairing works.

Thankfully,more than half of the extremely stressful time has already been over.
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