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Saturday, July 8, 2017

'Marbles' by Whale In The Pond : Tales of Indie Folk Embedded in Psychedelia

When I first came across the band's music ; which was an event as accidental as things could get at two thirty in the morning,I could feel a timid satisfaction in the way the song was being presented.At that point,that feeling must have been imputed by the sub-conscious,because I don't remember listening to the lyrics at all.
Once I began listening to the EP though,the very first song begun calling for all my attention span.And offensive as it might sound,I did not expect something so regally psychedelic at this point of time from anywhere around the city!Often on extremely sullen afternoons and amidst summer rain,one could trace  back to the history of psychedelic literature and music in the heart of Bengal.The portrayal of "neolithic silence" and "tea cups curled up as cats" has long been written across tram tracks,and in stories of lives of "poets who died in the gudder" and that of "clowns who cried in the alley".Nope,psychedelia was not viable then,Jibanananda Das never visualised the glorious arena of what he was capable of leaving behind.
The only musical group ('band' would be way too conventional for them) who could devise some of that into some real music in the late '70s and early '80s - Mohiner Ghoraguli (Coincidentally,the name derives from the very poem described above!) ; but most of that was still lyrical psychedelia ; not the wonderful work,say,Pink Floyd had been doing at around the same time in front of a huge,huge international audience that went on expanding everyday.In context to that,'Whale In The Pond' has brought out a very soft indie flavoured mostly psychedelic instrumentals oriented music intertwined with prog-like lyrics ; somewhat of a very classy cocktail served in finely carved,old wine glasses.


The undoubtedly best song the album has been titled after - 'Marbles'. The lyrics are soulful,the verses blend in perfectly with the tunes and the outcome is just brilliant.The song was on loop for at least around 5-6 hours and I still have not had enough of it.The instrumental performance in 'Araby' is just out of the world ; that is exactly how psychedelia is supposed to sound in form,structure and notion (Talk about Oskar Fischinger diagrams?).'The Call' is a lovely combination of lively country tunes and beautiful strumming. The casual style and the fade out at the end that ends at the song being played in a radio transistor and the hearty laughs reminds you of Irish bear in a chilly winter evening!
'Autumn Winds' is a nice attempt to combine classic harmonic tones with a well blended instrumental medium.The song flows through you,rising up and down,alternating motion forms,exactly how psychedelia is supposed to function on the human mind.




What is even more interesting is that even the cover design is intimidating! The main cover features a post-impressionist picture,very similar to the style used in 'Starry Nights' by Van Gogh.The back cover elements used to depict each song are intriguing and the liner is gorgeous!
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Tuesday, July 4, 2017

What On Earth Happened To The Author of The Blog?

To begin with,I had been very,very busy for the previous six months. I had to relocate to a metropolitan (which was not one of the most favourite tasks of my life),followed by which was a tremendous pressure regarding the results of the 12th grade final exams and the bigger question attached to it (i.e,whether I would qualify for Jadavpur University or not) and then within all this practicality that required a lot of attention,I did not have the access to the space that could even remotely make me realise the time span I had stopped writing for.
At points,on a cloudy day as today,the melancholia would creep up my bones and kick my uterus to be born.The pain would almost always be immense but little did I realise time could pass this fast!Until now,I had not realised it has been half of an year that I have stopped paying attention to the fact that I actually could relate to the art of writing.




Amidst all of this hustle,I got diagnosed with Appendicitis and a few related complications yesterday - a fact that I have been paying as little attention to as an unhealthy writer and hyperactive learner can ; however,that hasn't contributed much positively to my health conditions lately.I had ignored a low-grade fever for more than a month and an unusual hike in respiratory distress rates for longer than I can even recall.Had my only-guardian-I-pay-a-little-attention-to-at-this-moment not informed Mom,I would not have gone for the tests,either.So,now that a few days before the classes begin at the Economics department of Jadavpur University,I have been prescribed almost absolute rest and I cannot not listen to constraints at least at this point of the situation when I feel exasperated every fifteen minutes I do something that requires physical strength.I have been offered at least 3 full time jobs in this while,got articles published at Youth ki Awaaz,received at least 10 requests for internships and except for one,I have ignored most until now.I have turned more disorganised than I ever could have imagined.
Fortunately,when I looked at the sky today,it was the most melancholic shade of bluish grey I had seen this monsoon and I tried imagining how black light would look for the umpteenth time (of course subsequently faced with failure and frustration) and something reminded me of an urge to speak,to communicate,to note down,to retaliate.
Now that almost everything has started to fall in place and order,the blog will soon regain what it has missed for a long,long time.
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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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