Burn it at the stake

Why do we need a ‘Nirbhaya’ to make us realise the gravity of rape?

Why do we need a #MeToo to make us realise that our friends, sisters, daughters, mothers and almost all of the women we know have been subjected to sexual abuse at least once in their lives?

Why, even after all this, the ‘Tall, Dark & Handsome’ of this world will not change?

Is it because we have never had our b**** groped in public?

Is it because we have never been looked at lasciviously?

Or, is it because we know that we can do anything and get away with it?

Welcome to the 21st century, where on one hand we are moving towards a more connected world while on the other hand, we are losing touch with sanity. With the sheer number of crimes happening against women every year, it’s a no-brainer actually if #MeToo shows up on any of your social media profiles.

Sure, one can argue that men have also been victims of sexual abuse but then so is marital rape a criminal offence. Here, the fault, dear Human, is not in our stars, but in ourselves. We shouldn’t need someone to tell us what’s right and what’s wrong, we should understand it ourselves. Empathy, not sympathy, is the key here.

Let us make it the last time we hear of such stories, not because the victims were silenced but because we, the perpetrators, silenced the fiend in us. Because the world needs more fairy tales to make it a better place to live in.

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Backstage

IMG_5545.jpg“When was the last time you worked without expecting anything in return?”, the poster read. The buzz had already been created when the batch saw that some of their friends were burning the midnight oil to pull off one of the biggest events in college. The team, on the other hand, was prepared to receive any bouquets or brickbats that might come their way. But, were the batch-mates really aware of the effort that those 15 oddballs put in for a month?

It all started in mid-July, when the team was tasked with responsibility of conducting the 3rd edition of one of the most innovative fundraising drives in Pune. Placing a batch of 250-odd students for 2 days each, across the length and breadth of the city was no joke. It required the lectures to be missed at an alarming rate and letting go of our comfort zone. Morning, noon and night – the team had their plates full with pitching to the stores, wall painting, creatives and other backend work which was required. In the two weeks leading up to the event, if you were lucky, any of the 15 zombies could be spotted in the campus, surviving on a packet of chips, a juice and 3 hours of sleep a day. There were ups and downs galore, but living/breathing E.A.R.N. brought out the best in everyone involved.

The final days were a blur. It was as human an event as possible, with joy and tears, completeness and imperfections. Exhausting, yes but with an unparalleled feeling of contentment.

A year later, if you ask any of the team members whether they’ll be willing to go through the same rigor again, the answer will be a resounding, unanimous YES!

Thank God for this Friday!

7 laps

42 minutes

200+ participants

A marathon of a different kind…

The Reliance Jio Tweetathon was an experience worth its weight not in gold, but in unlimited lifetime internet. This initiative by Jio to connect with some of the best minds in the country and give them a chance to exhibit their quirky and innovative ideas on a platform which is no alien to them, was exhilarating to say the least.

For the entire duration of the event, everyone was glued to their smartphones and laptops, typing away to glory while the most popular songs belted away in the background. The excitement was palpable and infectious, such that even a dead person would rise from his grave. Each lap was a test of grit and determination, interspersed with loud cheering and clapping for our respective colleges.

The 42 minutes passed by in a flash and at the end of event, I had tweeted almost 150 times (and to think it took me more than 6 months to reach 250 tweets prior to the event!) #AchievementUnlocked. Truly, events like these should be conducted more often as it gives us a chance to do what we do best i.e. social networking.

Jio, are you listening?

#JioSabkeLiye #scmhrdXP

Gratification – A Logan fan perspective

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When was the last time you heard seetis and taalis in a Hollywood movie? Well, this is exactly what happened during the screening of one of the most hotly anticipated superhero features of all time, and deservedly so.

Hugh Jackman hanging up his boots as Wolverine – that piece of news was enough to send the world into a tizzy. And when the first teaser came out, it was a complete departure from the Marvel trailers of yore. Sceptical? Yes, but the name itself meant that it would be more about the person than the adamantium-baring mutant.

To say that it is one of the most intensely satisfying movies I have seen in a long time would be an understatement. Logan effectively captures the human and inhumane side of Wolverine. Here, he is shown fighting his inner demons while struggling for survival and taking care of the people he loves. Jackman puts in a stellar performance as the down-but-not-out superhero and while the title does say “Logan”, the supporting characters are equally fleshed out. Gritty, dark and deep, interspersed with the goriest R-rated action sequences, the movie is a treat for the mind and the heart.

James Mangold and Hugh Jackman, take a bow for giving Wolverine the swansong he deserves. The best superhero film since the Dark Knight? I am game for a debate, people.

 

Lost. Yet to be Found.

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“So, what you have you thought about your future?”

“Umm, can’t say really. I am more focused on the present.”

“Oh, but then, how will you become a successful person?”

*Looks blankly*

At 22, conversations like these are a dime a dozen. According to The Guardian, the quarter-life crisis affects 86% of millennials. And then, life asks us to make choices, the consequences of which cannot be gauged with certainty.

Human beings are an inherently complex species. We tend to focus more on the past and the future than on the present, which makes things look bigger than they are. Jobs, career, relationships, friends –our plates are full and still, we take undue stress about where our life is heading, conveniently forgetting that the present is right there and it is demanding to be lived.

In situations such as these, getting lost, meandering, taking The Road Not Taken is a part and parcel of the bigger picture, and it’s perfectly fine. There is always a beta version before going gold and that’s the way it should be. You don’t know what to do next? Explore. Too stressed out with something? Take a break. Didn’t get what you were aiming for? Try harder next time or give your cent percent to what you currently have. We have heard all of this umpteen times but its real time application is a different story altogether. Life is a roller coaster and that’s what makes it worth living, that’s what makes us expect the unexpected.

People might say that you are a small speck in this entire population of 7 billion homo sapiens trying to survive in unimaginable ways, but all you need to do is try and find your inner voice, find out what defines you and that is all that is needed to pollinate the world, or whatever your catchment area is (No pun in there, trust me). And as a quote by John Green reads – Get lost, get found or till then, happy searching.

Phew! That’s too much philosophy for a day, even by my standards :P.

Shortchanged – The Sunburn Experience

With inputs from Arushi Garg, Tushar Narang and Yashik Garg

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Can a few good things make up for everything that’s wrong? To a certain extent, yes, they can. But then, there is Murphy’s Law. Case in point: Sunburn 10.

Asia’s largest music festival shifting base from Goa to Pune, this news made the organisers receive their fair share of backlash and here I was, elated that I would finally be able to attend the festival.  The location was a complete departure from what Sunburn has stood for – from the sun-kissed beaches of Goa to the hills of Kesnand in Pune, and people were sceptical. But a few days later when the lineup dropped, it was impressive to say the least, befitting the 10th anniversary of the festival. From trance to house and from dubstep to hardcore, there was something in store for everyone and people were looking forward to it (at least I was). The proof of the pudding lay in the eating and the eating was yet to be done.

28th December, 2016 – As expected, a swarm of bees (read people) descended on Kesnand but what wasn’t expected was the management, or rather the lack of it. The traffic was an absolute mess and the ticket counter was 3 kms away from the venue, which was the good part. The bad part was that it was an uphill trek to the main arena. Sure, Sunburn is a pilgrimage for many but this wasn’t the kind we had been hoping for. After making it to the top of the ‘hill’, it didn’t feel like an accomplishment. The lights, the sound, the stage, all were there but the festival vibe and fervour was missing and barring the tricolour, there were no flags to be seen.

The DJs leading up to the main headliner were pulsating and the set by the Trancefather was sheer nirvana, one that left the crowd in a state of trance. And then, we got the news that the other headliner for the day is cancelled and Day 1 ended at 10 pm, which was unheard of for a music festival. And then, came the trickiest part – booking a cab. After an excruciating 2 hour wait and getting our hands and clothes dirty, we finally managed to get one and reach the comfortable confines of our hostel rooms.

To say that Sunburn 10 could have been much better would be an understatement. It was all there yet somehow it wasn’t and the sum total of all parts combined could not give us an entirely memorable experience. The organisers should work on the shortcomings of this year’s event; they owe it to their legion of fans around the globe. I will be waiting with bated breath – Sunburn, you better whip up a storm in 2017.