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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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Thursday, January 11, 2018

Thus,Capital : Volume 2

 The night lamp was flickering like a reptile's tongue. Or maybe, just maybe a trembling flicker of thunder. The other side of the room was flooded in mudwater and the mangroves growing out of it were peeping through the holes in the ceiling. The night around began creeping on the body like a shrimp. The doorbell rang twice. Footsteps were heard from inside, as he made his way towards the door. 
"It's me, Yalina."
"Oh, certainly. Again. What do you want, Yalina?"
"Open the door, please."
A thud is heard as the city lights black out in the distance. The midnight blues were softening against the river current and the motioning shadows carried the limp body towards the escalating door. The night lamp was flickering like a reptile's tongue in the absolute darkness. Its design was Venetian. Down in the emptiness, it almost shook its head in deep dismay, like an alienated poet in the monsoon months of terror. 

Photograph Source : Pinterest 
Still from Hail,Mary!

The coronation died on the paper trail, to where it was brought from, at the first place. The shadow lines at the end of the room stared at the essence of the corpse in sheer terror and apathy. Another doorbell was heard, this time in complete, terrifying silence. The sound was followed by shattering of glass. The curtains were flying in the wild morning breeze.

He who was commemorating his own ashes in coffins and dead flowers woke up and sat on the top of the table. "A walking corpse!", they yelled. Yalina took a step backwards. She tried to reach out for the door only to find nothing at her back. She almost collapsed but gained strength in her feet and stumbled upon the wooden cabinet before her left hand touched the doorknob. Caught in the frenzy, she fanatically tried opening it but the door just wouldn't budge. The room, filled with guests of all kinds,
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Monday, January 8, 2018

Thus,Capital : Volume 1

The namedroppers in the university campus are excelling in their business every other day. What I mean to say by business is precisely what the term is supposed to decipher into the foggy ruins of what is left in the academic space the world over - an exchange of resource that unfortunately includes a commodity called money. Money has an intrinsic value, and a real value that is printed on it. The ink that is used to print the paper notes and the seal that leaves its impression upon the face (one that has a value) of a coin comes with the presence of capital. It is like an endless relay race taking over the world by a sleepy, silent storm. The more cancerous it gets, the stealthier its footsteps sound - the better off the controllers of the game are. Now, who would not suggest God's name when it comes to inventions as great and unformidable? Sure, the good, God-fearing men would bow their heads twenty-two and a half times in a quarter of despair moulded with three-fourths of pain in the heart for not having to compromise it for those who are responsible for building what they term is a civilized lifestyle in the modern rendition of a thick book called a dictionary. 

The bookbinders think they have been blindfolded by law. The copyright auditors think they are sane. The bankers are all the more tranquil at heart than the weathermen who forecast calamities that take place at the heart of the sea. A good, God-fearing bunch of men who do not mean to spread phobia, you see? 

The annexation of land is a surreal form of art - the annexation of an economy, which in turn consists solely of the relay race mentioned in the early part of this post is a sheer addiction to the goodness of fate. War is as deadly and dreaded as leukaemia and recession sends chills down the bravest of hearts. The glory is in the hands of fate, more than one whole of a sky is in the hands of patriarchal feudal lords who believe rape is fun to the victim and the dying child, with his head dumped in the mellow sand is queer and unhappy to analyse his condition and accept his destiny. The good, God-fearing bunch of men are bootlickers of the sort who would sacrifice their hearts, minds and genetical organs before the deities as mentioned in the holy books in exchange of a beautiful dose of a lifestyle they couldn't afford prior to that. 

The armours are hidden in El Dorado, so no one makes a hushing noise when the rampant judges march throughout the city - the protectors of law, they say! The destiny is built on clamour and ice. The needles prick one's eyes the moment they mention their eternal quest for moonlight.The newborn baby with wild wolves all around it transcends the dinner table for the suckers of the riches. A light flickers in the middle of the show. 
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Saturday, December 9, 2017

Something Very Interesting is Coming Up!

Since my exams are coming over, I have had to keep and maintain a certain distasteful silence for the past two weeks or so. I have been keeping in touch with a lot of academic material that is eerily hungry for synthesis as of now. A series of posts on a paper that I have been writing will be up on the blog sooner than you think it will - and this time, the emphasis is all on Economics. Beginning from classicists to collectivist anarchism, from Keynesian economics to Marxist vision of parliamentary politics - this is something I have been looking forward to since a really, really long time. Stay tuned!
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Sunday, November 19, 2017

Three Muslim Women Who Would Shatter Your Ideas of Islamophobia (In Less Than 30 Minutes!)

1.Maysoon Zayid 

Born in New Jersey, Maysoon Zayid is a comedian and actress of Palestinian descent. Words would cease to describe the powerful, lively, wonderful woman she is! She is by far one of the best stand-up comedians I have come across till date. She is live proof of what empowerment might look at its best forms. This video should shatter your adaptiveness to Islamophobia in less than 15 minutes! 

2.Anusheh Anadil

Anusheh Anadil is a woman who lives her life through the work she does and the cause she promotes. Unlike the PopXO and iDiva videos that showcase women performers who talk about baseless, blatant individualism for no reason at all, and promotes the Asian philosophy of unification of one's soul with that of the collective unit of existence instead.
Anusheh is one brilliant woman who knows how to relate the concepts of music, philosophy, and existence and live it far more brightly than exhibiting the superficial part of it.

3.Farzana Wahid Shayan 

Shayan sings in Bengali but the words in between have (thankfully) been spoken in English, which should allow a lot of people to realise the basic essence of philosophy in her words.
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Saturday, November 18, 2017

Gregory Alan Isakov : The Underrated Torchbearer of Meaning in Music?

It began with 'The Universe'. It could be a rainy evening, resonating to the tidal glory of clouds and an open verandah that rang the memories of lost wind chimes and tattered pages of old, yellow books. It rained even harder that night. Rain - in the eastern part of this country is yellower than blue. The streaks of dust and glory impregnate times that do not fit into hours. The child now borne out of nowhere, reminds you of home, of lost gardens, a paradise and a messiah's footsteps in the dark. It rained throughout the night, and the next morning - you could still hear the song whisper in your ears as often as it wanted to, touch your waistline, wrap its arms around you, ring like an anklet on your right foot and then, like old afternoons of the bygone times, lay next to you in complete stillness. 

That lavish, luxurious feeling of depth never left anytime sooner. Not that it was supposed to, either. 
The next time you would come across the essence of homecoming, hiraeth and ignore the precedence of past into the categorisation of sheer absurdity, 'If I Go, I'm Going' could be the 
next song you have met.

And if something has to strike the final blow, it would be 'Amsterdam' and 'The Big Black Car'.'The Empty Northern Hemisphere', 'The Weatherman' and 'The Sea, That Gambler' are albums that would look like old photo albums out of a navigator's long-lost chest at sea now revealed to the rest of the world to take a look at. 

But the deal is that enough time is paid during each listen. These are not the kind of highly sold albums in the market for a beaming audience to dance to for a good 45 minutes. This would take time to settle, sediment and change colour. Make sure you pay attention when you listen
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