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Friday, March 16, 2018

Non-instrumental Cover of a Very Bengali Song!

'Ami Banglay Gaan Gai' is a song written by Pratul Mukhopadhyay (one of those extremely beautiful singer-songwriter-composers who lost their heads after 2009 and gave in to the right-wing exacerbation that has conglomerated into the near future situation in the polity of West Bengal ever since then. The other people on this list would include Kabir Suman, Mahasweta Devi among others.) Coming back to the song, 'Ami Banglay Gaan Gai' literally means 'I sing in Bengali' and is an extremely touching song that remarks the beauty, serenity and power that lasts in the heart of a language. 

I actually uploaded it on my personal Facebook page on 21st February this year. The complete lyrics of the song has been provided in the description box itself (and in case you want me to do it, I could very well do a translation job any day.) Beginning from the bright, young men to the old and wise professors, to the landless labourer - the International Mother Language Day is a tribute to all the living struggles against the imperialistic domination of the linguistic and social culture of one's homeland. 
To this very day, the struggle against the perils of capitalism in every stratum must go on.

Post script: Let me know what you felt about the video! Kindly subscribe to the channel for more content is about to come up soon.
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Friday, March 9, 2018

Currently on My Playlist : 'Promise' by Ben Howard

The very first of the warmly chaotic spring breezes have been blowing here in the top half of the Indian subcontinent. And once when you have made your mind (or not) to relax a bit at midnight, facing away from textbooks and the ongoing crisis of fascism (I still was born in a pretty privileged background, which allows me to indulge into pure art sometimes - even denial.), who wouldn't feel like garnering some light into your system - through or not through your corneal elegies? 
With the onset of spring comes Rilke, comes Bach's lonely violin in accordion to the sadistic moonlight that drives down straight from your throat to the invisible umbilical cord of the bygone ages. Surprisingly, with all these classic fragrances and their aura, Ben Howard's 'Promise' doesn't fail to impress. 

(Photograph Source: Genius)


And meet me there, bundles of flowers
We wait through the hours of cold
Winter shall howl at the walls
Tearing down doors of time
Shelter as we go

And promise me this
You'll wait for me only
Scared of the lonely arms
Surface, far below these birds
And maybe, just maybe I'll come home

Who am I, darling to you?
Who am I?
Going to tell you stories of mine
Who am I?

Who am I, darling for you?
Who am I?
Could be a burden in time, lonely
Who am I, to you?

Who am I, darling for you?
Who am I?
Going to be a burden

Who am I, darling to you?
Who am I?
I come alone here
I come alone here

'Promise' is the 10th and last track on Howard's debut studio album 'Every Kingdom'. Since I find myself a better interpreter than anything else, lyrics usually matter to me far more than anything else when talking about a 'song'. I haven't yet had the chance of listening to every song present on the album but out of the few that I have managed to listen to, Howard passes the true poet test in a go. 
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On The Onset of the Journey from Leningrad to Kurseong : Why The Fight Must Go On

The state election result of Tripura has left us bewildered in shock, leaving us to only question the very planks of Bourgeoisie democracy in India. The corollary could be that not only is the system wildly dysfunctional, but the very attempt of conduction of an "honest referendum" is not possible in any part of the world, given the way capitalism tends to function. 
This reminds me of yet another tragedy that shook the world in the mid-twentieth century, the collaborative conglomeration of three fascist regimes that were more or less formed in Central Europe - first in Italy, then in Germany and lastly in Spain. The only difference visible to the naked eye would be that there is a beautiful, glossy veil to apparently curb the intensity of the chronology of incidents that are going to take place in the nearest future. 
We are stuck amidst a situation in which it would be quite right to suggest that it is perplexing to predict the absolute series of events that will eventually lead to the birth of the political health of the Indian subcontinent, and the rest of Asia - especially the Southern and Middle-eastern regions. 

Lorca prior to execution

Coming to what we had begun from - Leningrad is too cliche for a part of the academic elite, and even more for a part of the pretentious elite who can live off an entire lifetime succumbing slowly to namedropping and dismantling paranoia of a cancerous disease that is often termed illusion to the comparatively logical sections of the society. (The university I am currently pursuing my degree in Economics from is a glorious example of the context mentioned.) In the long run, your thought processing mechanism is bound to be maligned by creatures of both kinds - so-called radical extremist leftists, and so-called 'independents'/anarchists/nothingness poured into a lonely body and free mind/etcetera/etcetera. 

Shambunath Raigar, who was filmed burning a Muslim man alive.
(Source: India Today)

 Neither does breaking off the statue of Shyamaprasad Mukherjee in response to RSS's consistent attacks on Lenin's statues in Tripura, followed by the attack on Ambedkar's statue in Uttar Pradesh and Periyar Ramaswami's statue in Tamil Nadu signify any form of constructive resistance, nor does it affect the common man's gesture in everyday life. Gandhi's path might not be the right one, not even close to the right one - but a bunch of man-children rushing to break off statues across the 'nation' is nothing but tomfoolery in times like this. The reason that we are failing, consistently and constantly failing to actually put up some serious form of resistance, sow the seeds of active conscious into the minds of people surely does have links to how capital has learnt to hide itself within your shirt pocket to the question of sexual pleasure and randomness in the pattern of insomnia. But what we often forget is that the reason is not just capital, or just feudalism, or the justification of any of their respective presence in the history of our civilization. The reason, is also that we are playing the same role in reciprocating the kind of manhandling we are subject to in our daily lives, in every sphere - and especially the political strata concerned. 
The north-eastern part of India, including the northern part of West Bengal, has sublimely suppressed the demand for Gorkhaland. If you carefully observe, you would still notice the frugal ignorance that we subject the crisis to. That it always is an add-on, an 'extra' in the little space of debate we exist in itself is enough incentive to exclude an eminently important part of what should have been of immediate concern. 
There is another problem with the philosopical justification of 'nothingness'. First of all, there is no nothingness that has nothing to do with escape. An escape from the situation you are forced to be captured and tortured by your bipolarity might be painful, but the solution to that cannot be swinging a pendulum in mid-air. If you have to do something, do it. If you have to stand up when you want to stand up despite all other conditions holding you back, stand up and speak. This part of your conscious, no matter how many times have been marred by Stalinists, Gandhians, the upper class elite, radicals who would suggest theory has been dead (and others) have not bathed in the blood of the epic list of dead poets, musicians, authors, journalists and even academicians and bloggers the world over. Theory is important, but not the end of the world. If you end up smoking weed and painting absolutely breathtaking material while doing nothing about what time demands from you, you, unfortunately, are not a part of what struggle constitutes, and what in turn constitutes struggle. 

(Source : Live Law)

The partisan movement might not be the ultimate answer and a means of preference for several people who want to have a say about the situation without giving in to the steady hypnotism an EVM could create. But what must not be forgotten is the crisis that could be created regarding the EVM as well, what must not be forgotten is that as long as the bourgeoisie democracy is existent, the fight has to go on, be it inside the parliament or outside on the streets. You do not necessarily even have to be a part of the liberal democratic left in order to have a stand, but you must have a stand. You must know that students struggling against ABVP, RSS, BJP and the rest of the Sanghis, or the Mujahideen or the radical Zionists are protestors above any creed or colour. You must know that Gramsci failed in unification, the pain of failure floods every page of 'The Prison Notebooks', but you must know that 'The Prison Notebooks' were written. You must know, that Julius Fuchik voiced himself until death. You must know Bhagat Singh's last wish was to go through the 'Das Kapital', you must know RSS played a lead role in sustaining the British Raj and they ain't no nationalists. You must know that you must know that you are not being able to know. You must know that the struggle is a culmination of the struggle for knowledge, for freedom, for unity against the fascists. You must know Salvador Allende and you must know that Joan Jara continued to author the legacy of Victor Jara, the details of the torture, the intricate terror of what led to his death. You must know, Moloyshree Hashmi went on to complete the staging of 'Halla Bol' two days after the death of Safdar. You must know, Afrazul was killed because he was a Muslim, because he was a poor, landless labourer, because he loved a Hindu woman. You must know, that he was hacked to death and his body was lit in front of a camera so that the country would be terrorised.You must recognise the fascists, you must know that in times of war, you need to take a side.
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Saturday, March 3, 2018

10 Historic Places You Should See in Florida : Guest Post by Sandra Hayward

Hello everyone! 

It has been quite a while that we haven't interacted at all and I am apologetic about being really busy about upcoming exams and furnishing my new hide! Amidst all of these, I received an 
e-mail from Sandra, along with this wonderful article that enlists 10 places that you should definitely see in Florida. Keep scrolling to find out what this intriguing woman has to say about one of the vertices of the Bermuda triangle. (Florida is one such place I would love to visit sometime in my life and at least be the witness to a tornado and violent sea waves.)

Researchers at the Florida Institute of Technology have recorded a rare type of lightning. 'Upwards lightning'

So,here goes the piece. 

10 Historic Places You Should See in Florida

The cold season is warming up to a much-awaited end, and we are all looking forward to visiting new locations. Although there are a ton of interesting sites in many nations that qualify for sightseeing, today we would like to point out some awesome places in the state of Florida, USA.
The southeastern state Florida serves as a spot to a host of prestigious institutions, relaxation parks, water fonts as well as notable landmarks. Boasting a tropical-like weather range and bounded by Mexican Gulf to the west, Florida takes eighth place in USA when it comes to density of population. Miami, one of the cities located in this state is a hotspot for celebrities, athletes and popular personalities who often show up to spend a holiday next to the beautiful landmarks.
Without a doubt, there’re quite many side places to visit in Florida. We’ve picked out a popular few for your choice selection.
In no specific order, we bring you a list of 10 historical sites to visit in Florida:

1. Bok Tower Gardens

Founded in the early 20th century by an immigrant from the Netherlands, this landscape beauty remains one of the best places to visit in Florida, USA. Famous for its singing Tower, its unique flower blooms and breathtaking view of sunsets. A latter is due to its location beside the Iron Mountain, one of the highest points in the state. It’s also a favorite spot for both social and formal events.

2. Dade Battlefield Historic State Park

When deciding what to visit in Florida, this site should be included in the top of your list. Asides being known for its captivating wildlife, this was also where well-known Florida War took place, starting in 1835 and spanning seven years.

3. Ernest Hemingway home/museum

Remember an author of popular novel, “The Old Man and The Sea”? Hemingway’s home, where he lived till his death can also be found in the sunshine state. It’s also said that house furniture was used by the prominent author.

4. Freedom Tower

When visiting Florida, one must not forget to pay homage to the Freedom Tower. Originally opened in 1925, this building was first used by a media house, then played an important role in housing Cuban refugees during the Cold war. Till date, it stands tall as a symbol of hope and strength. It also represents a turning point in history for many Cubans who found assistance within its walls.

5. Villa Vizcaya

Another great architectural piece to see while touring the state is Villa Vizcaya. It was once home to J. Deering, a prominent antique collector and executive. It now serves as a museum, displaying over 30 decorated rooms. A perfect sightseeing tour to complete your stay in Miami.

6. Pelican Island

Opened in 1903 by the then-president, T. Roosevelt, Pelican Island has also featured as one of the best places in Florida. It is also recognized as the world’s most populous wildlife sanctuary with a sprawling fauna diversity both on land and water. Visitors also get to go kayaking as they explore the peculiar settings of the place. 
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Sunday, February 25, 2018

To All Those Who Are Suffering from COPD,You Are Much More Than You Believe You Are

To all people out there suffering from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, acute asthma and the like, there is one thing you need to keep in mind - the lesser you do, the lesser you will be able to do. Now, this is not an emotional appeal at all. This is something that you need to strongly know. There are three things doctors/people reliant on the mainstream way of dealing with a disease would not tell you:-

First, you're not dead. Yet. True that it might have to deal with life expectancy, true that by 2020 COPD is set to be the third highest cause of death but I swear by, you ain't gonna die this easy, darling.

Second, you're not a drug dependent, psychotic, poor little creature. You can do what you used to do, even set out to be a hard metal singer or maybe a drummer or formula one racer. You might have to work harder than usual, especially on the psychological imbalance that formulates due to the constant shortness of breath and the anxiety of not being able to let enough air flow into your lungs.

( Fishermen at Sea by J.M.W Turner, 1796 ; Photograph Source : Wikimedia)

Third, you're not "weaker than the rest". True that Karl Marx saved himself from conscription into the army because of "a weak chest condition" but that was something really bright, right? Coming to what we want to talk about, no - you're absolutely not weak. Not weak, at the least. If you are living with something as serious and you're walking, you're serving your purpose - out there in the Sun, you're not weak. In fact, you might just be strong enough to survive with something that affects your life 24x7, every moment, every figment of your thought processing skills.

Moving on, let me tell you what happened with me. I was not diagnosed with anything early on as a kid, but I have memories of nebulisations performed on my tiny little lungs as early as when I was four or five years old. I was also very sensitive as a child (that shows right? :P ) and would never ignore what was happening around me. As a result, I was restless and fervently maniacal to be honest. 
When I was in my 8th grade, things started getting worse than usual. As I attained my puberty, I noticed the frequency of breathlessness during suffering from a cold was increasing. I was ignorant about it for almost four and a half years until a few months back I began showing symptoms of brutal fatigue. Hereditarily, I have a slightly low blood pressure but what was happening was pretty intense to be just low bp. I was loosing consciousness quite often, I would feel breathless after being extremely anxious for periods as small as 10-15 minutes, I would be very tired after work et cetera. I went on ignoring all of what was happening. In the middle, I was misdiagnosed with gall -stone when what I really was suffering from was Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID). Just when I began recovering, I noticed I was suffering a chronic low fever, wheezing, excessive mucus secretions. This went on until the symptoms turned to what was similar to asthma attacks, something I had experienced during winter months before. Angry friends and acquaintances in the university forcibly sent me for check-ups and that led to the ultimate conclusion that I was suffering from COPD. I nearly passed out trying to blow air during my spirometry. (The technician guy was an absolute idiot, nevermind.) I tried fighting it, I am still fighting it, but what is very very important is that I had broken down psychologically and if the world didn't,I did know that very well. I was prescribed Amitriptyline Hydrochloride in the initial stage, which is a multifaceted drug used to treat a chronic cough but is also, at the same time, a tri-cyclic anti-depressant which is terrible. Tranquilizers in the initial stages of consumption, steer suicidal thoughts, along with a bunch of other dystopian ideas. Antibiotics turn out to be a routine prescription, you need to use Salbutamol in either liquid or gaseous forms, which will inevitably make you dizzy. Under life-threatening conditions, Steroid is prescribed. I had to be rushed to a hospital one night and I was injected Steroid and nebulised Asthalin. I hardly have memories of the day next. All that I remember is that the rooms were dancing and the walls were breaking down into weird fragments. It was Lucy-in-the-sky-with-figments-of-my-mind-but-then-hey-where-is-Jude-don't-make-it-bad-take-a-sad-song-did-did-did-you-ever-wonder-why-we-had-to-run-for-shelter-when-the-promise-of-a-brave-new-world-on-the-day-the-walls-came-down and the like. It was bad, it was terrible. 
When people ask me "Why do you live alone?", the answer usually is "Because I believe, before everything else, I am an artist. And this pain is mine. And this pain will last." Almost everyone went against the idea of me living alone, with a life-threatening condition. Almost everyone wanted to take me under their wing. But poor Lord, how I used to love the lonely sky! 
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Sunday, February 18, 2018

Books That I Have Been Surviving On + My Current Playlist

Essentially, after a lot of extremely serious posts, your fingertips and neurons deserve a neat detox. It is an early spring Sunday afternoon in India right now and I am sitting on my bed in Kolkata in the apartment I have most recently shifted to and all that I have in my mind is a Macroeconomics internal examination I have tomorrow, beginning from 12 noon and distorted tunes of a very old Irish song - 'Spancil Hill' (Spancillhill in the Irish dialect). 

I don't remember if I have talked publicly about the series of deja vu kind of feelings, deliriums, prophetic dreams I have had about Ireland. I remember I almost chocked myself weeping when I first came across this song, covered by The Dubliners. I mean, let us talk about not being conservative about modern covers of old songs. Say, The High Kings' cover of 'Rocky Road To Dublin', 'Red is the Rose', 'The Parting Glass' is beautiful, absolutely mesmerising but The Dubliners lived through the times I feel like I share a connection with. I don't remember all of it very well but the bits and traces come back every once in a while. I do think I could sacrifice the opportunity of getting into SOAS or UCL any day for the love of Trinity College Dublin! If I am going out for my Ph.D., I definitely am going to go head over heels to ensure I get into TCD. 

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Friday, February 16, 2018

8 Photographs That Depict the Slow yet Steady Rise of a Fundamentalist,Fascist Regime in India

An extremist Islamic group puts up their stall in the International Book Fair, Kolkata 2018.
ABVP puts up a poster near Dumdum station.

Stalls put up 'no beef' notices in the Park Circus area (a strongly Muslim populated place in Kolkata)

Near the Mall market in Manali.

This photograph was taken somewhere in Bijoygarh, opposite to the regional RSS office.
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Saturday, February 10, 2018

The Secrets Behind World’s Most Mysterious Books : Guest Article by Helen Birk

Writing is a perfect way of expressing your ideas and sharing them with others. As a result, books are written to inform, amuse or provoke thoughts. Some professional authors write to make money, while others to inspire. For example, successful businessmen write to mentor those interested in learning the secrets to building a strong business. Basically, today anyone can come up with a piece of literature and will presumably find his/her audience.
Of course, literary is not only the way of making money or expressing oneself. Studying has always been the key aim of a book. In colleges, the purpose of reading is different as it is meant to teach students the writing techniques and sharpen their communication and literacy skills. If you are doing a book review, and it’s giving you sleepless nights, you can easily get an essays helper online.
Whether you read for inspiration, to acquire knowledge or for leisure, here are the most intriguing volumes you can read to mention a few: “Harry Potter” by J.K. Rowling, “The Perks of being a Wallflower” by S. Chbosky, “1984” by Gorge Orwell, and “The Master and Margarita” by M. Bulgakov.

The books mentioned above are very mysterious, especially in the popular literature. Nevertheless, this article is going to introduce you to some exceptionally enigmatic literary works you might have never heard of. So, keep reading to find out the list of the most mysterious books in history and the stories behind them.

1.Voynich Manuscript

This is one of the world’s weirdest books in history. It was written in the 15th century but renamed Voynich by Wilfrid M. Voynich, the antique bookseller, after he bought it in 1912. Prior to this, other individuals like Rudolph II, a German Emperor, had owned it.
The original writing had the form of a manuscript and scientists have been trying to decode what this manuscript was about but in vain. The pictures and equipment look like they are from ancient labs and are indicative of alchemy but up to now, only the age of the work has been determined.
Researchers are also yet to decode the mysterious language used in the texts but going by the consistency of the characters used, they concluded the writer must have been fluent in that language. To some, the language could have been encoded to hide the actual message, as this was tactic common to the 15th century.

Some of the secrets behind this book are:
(a)   The manuscript is characterized by drawings with unintelligible accompanying texts.
(b)  Apart from the images and accompanying words, there are several astronomical charts and some mysterious drawings of female nudes, which are indicative of human reproduction.

2.Codex Seraphinus

While this 360-page volume is in the league of the most mysterious books in history, it is not as mysterious as the Voynich Manuscript because even though its content is yet to be understood, at least its age and the origin are known.
This original manuscript was done by an Italian designer and artist known as Luigi Serafini in 1981. This book is based on Serafini’s fantasies that he had in early childhood (before learning how to read, write or even draw).
In this masterpiece, he is trying to recreate images and charts as they appeared in his thoughts. In the pages are mysterious pictures and drawings of animals, machines, surreal plants and images depicting ancient human practices.
In 2009, in a conversation at the Oxford University, Serafini said that his book had no specific meaning as he was just trying to recreate images that used to appear in his mind while he was young.
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Friday, February 9, 2018

My First Contribution to an Institute-based Publication : 'International Agenda Winter Edition 2018'

A few months back from now, I got an invitation from Prof. Randy K. Schwartz, who is a professor of Mathematics at Schoolcraft College, Michigan - to write for 'International Agenda', the official magazine of Schoolcraft College. 

I was suggested to write an article regarding the ongoing crises religious fundamentalism has been causing in the Indian subcontinent and elsewhere in South Asia. 
Head to this link to read the full article.

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Saturday, January 20, 2018

Song Review : 'Don't Forget About Me' by Cloves

I think it has been more than a year now that I haven't reviewed a song that's not on request! Well, to end that record on this note, 'Don't Forget About Me' chose me today, made my day, pulled me in and asked me to speak and halt as it instructed me to. Also, on the brighter part, 'Cloves' turns out to be one of the very few (by very, I mean very) modern artists who do not fail to impress us on the musical part of music (since most of the other stuff is concealed under a very consumerist veil nowadays). 

Still from the music video of 'Don't Forget About Me'

I got to listen to this song first while watching the 2016 movie 'Me Before You' and given that I was getting distracted every 6 seconds during the movie, the song was a sudden rush through some hidden canal somewhere inside me and when I was back in my senses, I was still watching the movie with the song playing louder than the movie on my phone. And then for the next two days, I was literally possessed by the intriguingly luscious appeal of nothingness that the entire concept of the song dripped in its verdict, philosophy, and literature. 
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