Gyan Akarsh

Who am I?

EDITOR: Aman Verma

It’s been over two decades, and I’m yet to find who I really am. Where do I stand among these people who create this “society”? How do I contribute to this “system”? What do I stand for?

Every day of my life has been a step forward, upward; or I choose to believe so. Each day I’ve looked behind me and have realised how little I knew. It feels like walking backward from a humongous wall. Whenever it seems that I can see the top, the thing I thought of as the wall turns into a small grafitti painted over the abysmal enormity of what the wall really stands for.

I see myself as a learner. I’m always eager to ingest what was not there before. The joy I feel when I realize I’ve added something to myself doesn’t have words to be described in. I see myself as an optimist in my own way. I always find somewhere to be which is better than where I stand now. I believe failure to be the greatest teacher one can have, and failing at something does the exact opposite to me of what it does to others.

I’m good at a lot of things. And the arsenal keeps growing. I’m used to thinking about a lot of things, and I believe myself to be somewhat intellectually better than my peers, or it simply might be arrogance on my part.

Despite all that, I’m still unable to figure out what kind of person I am. Where do I stand in this society? How do I contribute to this system?

 

Who am I?


Types of Friends in Today’s World

EDITOR: Aesha Kallattuvalapil

Well, it’s simple and plain enough to say that making friends in this age of Social media is far more easy than it was way before all this. We practically become “Besties” of some person whom we’ve never ever met or have no chances of meeting in the distant future. We find some friends in college who practically become like our family. Then there are some friends we make in college, with whom we coincidentally shared the same school or van but never interacted enough due to whatever reasons we had.

Sometimes, we just become friends under pressure. Not peer pressure, just the pressure to not look rude or unfriendly.

Sometimes, we have no other “choice”(they’re the only ones tolerable, so better be with them than alone).Sometimes people feel temporary solace, in the words of a stranger, whom think is “nice”.

Now, this one is tricky, so pay attention!

Someone who speaks nice stuff to you may be genuinely interested in you(distant chances) or maybe just wants to please you to get favors.. They usually become “sudden best friends”.

Some feel connected to these sudden best friends mainly due to 2 reasons:

1. Their current friends take them for granted and the new one(s) don’t. They actually listen to you or at least that’s what you think they do and before you know, you’d prefer talking to them than your original friends.

2. These “sudden best friends” have the world’s choicest compliments for your looks or OOTD {outfit of the day (for those who don’t know)}. They innocently flirt with you and often say ” you’re the only one with whom I speak so freely” and all those sweet scented lovey dovey words that make us instantly fall for them..

Now, people need to be aware of some things :

1. It’s impossible to trust someone by just having some few conversations where you both just discuss some insecurities or fears or general things going on in each other’s life.

2. Nobody has so much time to think only and only about you or your problems or to ask what’s happening in your life etc, etc.

3. Sometimes people just don’t want to sound rude or impolite and hence say “Hey! Anything wrong? you can tell me”. But the minute you say “No I’m good” they’re like “Okay cool “.

Clearly showcasing they’re not interested.

4. Sometimes people have literally no other thing to do and hence pretend to be your “concerned friend” who stays up late to listen to your worries.

5. These sudden feelings of finding a best friend in a stranger is just a shallow feeling we get when we feel the other person is the most understanding one we’ve ever met. They may not be even a quarter of what image we create about them in our mind.

Beware: the minute they feel they’ve had enough of entertainment, they just vanish.. they don’t bother to message the other person who now practically starts expecting them to talk or ask them how everything was..

Now, one should realize that as much shallow as all this sounds , this is exactly what goes on in anybody’s life.

We all have that “one friend” who comes out of the blue as the savior of our problems.. there’s nothing wrong with that, but the thing is, never trust them with so much of your heart.

Keep a level and a distance with everyone..

So, next there are some people having marvelous masterpieces
called “Besties” or “Bae”, who’re practically the “Soulmates” of the person concerned. They know everything about the other, no secrets, no nothing.

Well, some of these “Baes” and “Soulmates” don’t last more than the time they’re together.. namely during college time or school time.

Mostly such friends feature only in Instagram posts or Facebook profile photos.

And finally come the true friends. No, they aren’t there for you all the time. No, they don’t call or message you for every occasion.

They’re the ones with whom you talk not so frequently, but your level of understanding and love and concern for each other is so strong, that every time you meet, you get along like a house on fire!

They’re always there for you in times of your trouble, you just have to tell them. Even if they can’t be around , they’ll give try their best to comfort you.

There are no chances of misunderstanding with them because you both have realized that your friendship is more precious than anything.

So, hold on to such friends and never let them go!


Changing Times

EDITOR: Aesha Kallattuvalapil

Life changes like seasons do,
Every day it brings us something new,
A new day, a new grind,
And new people around.
While the traces of the past

are nowhere to be found.

A wave the change brings along

and you seem to flow with it
unaware of what’s going on,

You just follow the commands of time
things change, surroundings change

Entire life changes and so do you.
And just by the time you realize

what that change did to you.

You learn to accept it and live with it.
Just then, life changes again.
It’s not in your hands, you can’t stop it.
All you can do is give in to the mold

Be a desired shape to fit in.
Change is the law of nature

And so is adaption.
You cannot stop winter from coming,

But you sure can keep yourself warm

By lighting the fire within you.

 

 


The Fault in our Syllabi

EDITOR: Aesha Kallattuvalapil

As you read this, someone somewhere is cutting out little paper squares to stick in their math lab book, probably.

After having spent 14+ years in school, I can conclusively say that I know nothing. Sure, I can factor polynomials, name (most) of the countries and their capitals and tell you when World War -I began. But if you ask me what the fifteenth alphabet is, you would be wise to expect a recital starting with A. It’s the same when it comes to months. That’s irrefutable proof that school succeeded in educating me, but not quite enough. And certainly not about the things that do matter.

In case you were wondering, or have ever wondered, you will never use calculus in your everyday life unless you become a calculus professor, a mathematician or the alien race taking over our planet mandates the knowledge of differential equations as humankind’s only defining character. Knowledge of basic mathematics is crucial, although I don’t remember the last time I didn’t turn to a phone or a calculator for help. In the tenth grade I learned how a light bulb works, but I still need my father (and sometimes an exorcist) when the lights in my room start flickering. I do not know how to fix flat tires, reply to official emails, identify profitable ventures and more importantly, use theoretical knowledge in practice. Problem: If A, B and C  each order one starter, one main course and one drink, and B orders a dessert and C gives half his main course to A, then how many tears were shed on that table when the bill arrived? Solve for ‘x’ and show your work.

The education system is seemingly about how much a student can commit to memory, without ever truly knowing why. They’re expected to stock their brains with information and regurgitate the same on a piece of paper within a time frame. Granted that knowledge of history is important to prevent the past from repeating itself, but what good is memorizing a bunch of dates which will inevitably be forgotten at the beginning of the next year to make room for more information? I’m glad that I know why leaves are green but my knowledge of the cross-sectional diagram of a leaf does me no service. “I spend my days finding the surface area of cubes and cuboids” – said no one ever.

We’re taught to read and repeat and make no real contributions on our part. We’re told not to think for ourselves but rather to believe as fact what others have said over the years. Schools should encourage its students to study so that they may enhance their knowledge and not just pass an exam. Intelligence should not be judged on how many anecdotes and numbers a student can recall. We must address the fault in our syllabi and give way for earnest discourse.

In conclusion I would like to say, mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell.

 

 


God Complex

EDITOR: Aesha Kallattuvalapil

There are people around me who whine about every little trouble they come across. Maybe you are just like them. Or not, it might be so that you are a lot tougher. Not much fazes you. You may even claim to have ‘control’ over your life. You may harbor the wee dreams of floating above your clouded emotions. But, at the end of the day, you remain what you are – A human.

People like me are rare. We don’t pop up around you very often. It’s not that we like being obscure. It’s just that the spotlight holds no appeal to us. We live our lives the way we want to. We let ourselves indulge into just the correct amount of emotion we find appropriate. We are masters of our mental state. We are entirely absolute.

I’ve forgotten the last time I lost my cool. I have to consciously make an effort to react in a way even slightly astray from the neutral. No condition, I repeat; no condition brings out the emotions out from the inner me. I’ve to choose the emotions I let flow to respond to the situation at hand. And even then, most of the time I simply don’t bother letting my emotions out.

The concept of ‘God’ eludes me. But he must feel similar to what we do – being in a position of total power, total control over oneself, ignorant of any and all dangers. That is the way God must feel. It was the reason they termed ‘God Complex’ for how we choose to behave or act.

I too, have it i.e. an absolute control over my emotions by acknowledging that I’m perfectly capable of handling any situation thrown at me.

I have God Complex.

Or maybe

Am I emotionally broken beyond repair?


Hindutva Pvt. Ltd.

UNEDITED

Excessive liberalism leads to excessive conservatism.

Since decades, a narrative has prevailed that anything Hindu is ‘communal’ and anything Islam is ‘secular’. Governments after governments have ridden the secular waves. Cursing the government and speech against the union is freedom of speech and expression. Accusing the army everyday for everything is a norm. Being asked to stand up for the national anthem is a violation of right to choice. Supporting Pakistan in an India vs Pakistan cricket match is intellectualism.

All of this is excessive liberalism, and each of the examples has created a segment of voters who are excessively conservative. Voters who were very much at the centre have shifted to the right. But, a ‘communal government’ isn’t the reason.

Years of minority (muslim) appeasement, and frequent anti-Hindu statements and actions of the two UPA governments have done something that perhaps no one had thought would happen. The BJP put all its strength to consolidate Hindu voters in and around the decade of 90s, but it failed to get significant results. The Congress served the consolidated Hindu votes to the BJP on a platter a decade and a half later.

When Narendra Modi contested in 2014, corruption of UPA was the primary issue. The Mandir Mudda was played alongside. The next few years changed things in ways that in 2019, Prime Minister Modi is as if invincible.

Corruption at centre since 2014 is non extant and the government is performing well on other indicators. This made it difficult for the opposition to find issues to raise. In difficult times, they stuck to the tried and tested formula of secular politics. Only this time, it backfired.

2017 could be remembered for the rise and revivalism of Hindutva [politics]. Congress is on a [softer] Hindutva track in Gujarat. If (despite all odds) it succeeds, it will have a template to replicate across the nation. Who would have imagined this five years ago?

It was all started by the Congress itself. One day after the new Prime Minister’s swearing in, minority communities across the country were worried. Their rights were being snatched away and their lives were being interfered with, their faith was being attacked. There was intolerance across BJP led states. The Congress saw all these and much more. Occasional faux pas from the government (including the beef ban) encouraged them further.

But, Congress failed to observe the reactions to its actions. Its overuse of secularism hurt and aroused conservative Hindu sentiments, which were already at a life-time high. Congress had made the biggest of the blunders.

Uttar Pradesh election was possibly the wake up call for Congress. The unprecedented victory was something that even the BJP was not expecting. Among various reasons, a major factor was the coming together of Hindu voters against the ‘secular’ forces. Something that both the BJP and the Congress read correctly. Yogi Adityanath’s appointment and Rahul Gandhi’s ‘janev’ are both direct results of it.

After Gujarat results, we could be entering an era of ultra-right wing Hindutva politics and Hindu appeasement. If the Congress wins, the model will be repeated almost everywhere else. The BJP will also move further right and Hindutva just may become its prime agenda thereafter, pushing ‘New India’ to the back seat.

The fight to reclaim Hindutva between the two sides will also create a vacuum – the now emptied secular space.

Next few months will be interesting. The Supreme Court will begin hearings for the Ayodhya case next week. The judgement, whatever it may be, may not stop the temple from being built. If Hindus turn into vote banks, a lot will be at stake, except the Mandir.

21st century is different. Every one year of it has changed the world in ways that decades of earlier centuries did not. In this age of information, decades old politics had to change, and change it did.


Chasing Yourself

EDITOR: Aditya Prakash Singh

When we were kids,
chasing someone in hide and seek,
it was just a game I believed.
When I grew up a little,
came to know that fun was brittle,
chasing in games was no longer there
the world said chase marks and results,
or beware.

Chasing was no more fun,
comparison with friends was burden of a ton,
but all it included was a pun,
it said at least I offer friends for fun.
When I grew up some more,
I realized chase washed me to a shore,
so lonely and so tore,
I wished in anger I could roar.
But no point was there even for anger,
as nobody was there to hear rejoinder.

Now, I have grown up more,
standing still on the same shore,
waiting for a hand smooth and soft,
to hold my hands which have turned sore.
I wish a day would come,
no chase will be there,
not on land not in water neither in air.
And all souls will light up as flairs,
I wish a day would come,
the chase comes to an end.
We will just return playing hide and seek,
and of us will be friends.

The chase which put us apart,
will drive us back where we were a part,
the chase which left us alone,
will have no reason to make us mourn.
But still,
it is a wish that the chase will be gone,
but ultimately I am chasing my wish,
so the chase is still not gone,
and now I feel like a moron.
But still, I believe the chase will be gone.