Categories
advancement cancer change chilling Efforts Family health History humans journalism life medicine people society Uncategorised Women World

Marie Skłodowska Curie: The woman that defied ‘normal’

By: Johann

Cancer awareness day is recognised every year on November 7 in honor of Marie Curie, who was born on the day. Her story will long be remembered, not only because of the countless breakthroughs on the scientific front but also for the role she played in breaking the stereotype of what a woman can do. Her contribution goes much further than what can be put in words, but in an attempt to pay my tributes, I will try my hardest.

To start her story, we must travel to Warsaw Poland, a time where the nation was in the throes of nationalism and affectation. It was a time of radical change and transitions. Poland was not an independent country and was partitioned by Austria, Russia, and Prussia. To a young Marie Curie, whose family came from the poorest sections of society, the nation seemed to be a prisoner in chains. As she grew, so did the nationalist movement. Like her parents, she was a patriot and held the same pro-polish sentiments, which were in part, responsible for the family’s financial woes.  At 24, she left for Paris, as the University of Warsaw did not accept women. Since women and academic work were frowned upon in Poland, she fell behind, due to which she went out in search of actual laboratory experience. As fate would have it, she met Pierre Curie. Together, they opened up the world of science and changed its face. In 1911, she received the Nobel prize in chemistry, becoming the first person to do so.

On the occasion of Cancer awareness day, her scientific work takes on an even greater significance. As knowledge on radioactivity grew, radiotherapy was introduced as a possible means to cure cancer and is used in nearly 40% of all successful cancer treatments today. In World war I, she famously donated her Nobel prizes to raise funds to diagnose soldiers. However, being unaware of the harmful effects of radiation on herself, often kept Radium in her pockets or in a desk drawer. In line with her life, even her death has standardised several safety procedures that continue to save lives. The next time you hear of a person being treated for cancer, your mind will return to the amazing woman who made it all possible.

In the societal sphere, she broke down barriers, both in Poland and around the world. Peers were forced to stand up and take notice of her work. The Polish government was made to rue the fact that none of her scientific accomplishments could be affiliated with them. Without being the torchbearer, Curie was like the smoke that rises before the fire. Without her contribution, it could well have set back women’s movements a couple of decades.

Perhaps what makes her so appealing and intriguing to the young scientist is the simple romanticism that surrounded her like a halo. Her work was often conducted in wooden sheds, under skylight roofs, with her soulmate. It is the very fabric of what an aspiring scientist’s dreams are made of. It is this level of Utopian fanaticism that carves a niche in the mind of everyone that knows her story. Even the fact that she named Polonium in honor of her homeland and her work with radioactive elements caused her lifelong health issues can’t help but stick in your mind. People can see themselves in the person that was bundled up in the freezing attic in Paris, skipping sleep and meals to study. There are real movie protagonist vibes that one cannot help but feel empowered by.

In her story, there is renowned hope and belief that the grind eventually does cut it. And long after she has parted ways with her mortal self, her legacy continues to live on and inspire. Marie Curie is everything a student who is starting out dreams to be. And for all her contributions to Physics and Chemistry, while she was alive, there is a sense of irony that she cannot witness how her grit and dedication are saving lives all around the world. Finally, and perhaps most importantly (if there wasn’t enough already), there will never be a number for the number of lives of women she has changed just by being that hard worker who never gave up.

Categories
death feelings humans Lessons life Love people personal Poem story

A ballad for the love of death.

By: Ashar

I heard a sound, as faint as her tone

The sun was as shy, the river was nigh

For the world was in a spiral, a story for one’s dawn

I drag by my reflection across the sands of her bly

.

Caught my eye, bright as the sun flickering by the ocean

Fresh as her soul was the dress she wore, ashen

The air gazing through my chest spout out alive

Ah! But her heart was of stone, she could not thrive

.

A story of betrayal, sorrow, and love

It was what made us whole for each disfigured

To each of their own, the darkness came from above

Images dancing of our hands together, walls lingered

.

Golden hair, purple eyes, mango residue

A gentle smile, soft-touch, there were only a few

Warm lighting, cozy was her sensation, innocent like a barn owl

Writing about her I wonder who was she under her cowl

.

Running through the park, memories rewritten, like a dandelion shawl

Giggling and looking at each other, oh! did we fall.

.

She might be gone, fixed was she, for I was broken once more

By my dishonesty, I don’t understand why she has to go

Young was her spirit, or so spoke her lore

Everything seems clear, blinded by the snow

.

It was as if yesterday she was my guardian

Couldn’t see for she was my grim reaper

Shredded once again, I started to wonder

.

Who was she when I first met her, I heard the accordion

Who were are we really?

Categories
chilling Efforts humans journalism Lessons life News Opinion people social society story Technology

The Thrilling Touchdown

by:Aasika

On the bustling dawn of June 24, 1982, the magnificent British airways flight 9 bearing 247 lives set off for its long journey piercing through several time zones from Heathrow, London to Auckland, New Zealand. Akin any other day, as the flight picked its customary route devoid of menace to Auckland, it was expected to perform halts at Bombay, Madras, Kuala Lumpur, Perth, Melbourne to unload and load passengers before finally arriving in Auckland.

Moments after the plane landed in Kuala Lumpur, the aircraft fuelers barged into the runway and emptied 100 tons of fuel into its tank and the weary flight crew was relieved by the consummate captain Eric Moody, the avid first officer Roger Greaves, and a new cabin crew before it took off again to resume to Auckland. The passengers were experiencing a smooth flight and relishing the cozy inflight services. After ensuring that the midnight sky is lucid and the weather conditions are pleasant, Eric showed himself out of the cockpit to spend a penny.

The captain’s run to the comfort room was intruded on when the first officer called him out. Sensing the seriousness in Roger’s tone, Eric strode towards the cockpit. On his way back, the first red flag arose. Eric espied patterns of fumes escaping the ventilation duct. Given that the crew members were permitted to smoke in the plane until the late 1980s, the captain initially disregarded the smoke. Seconds later, the intensity of the smoke made it challenging for the captain to ignore it like a cigar corollary. The pilot slid the cockpit door open, still perplexed from trying to discover the source of the smoke.

As Eric entered the cockpit, he was hustled out of his thoughts as he witnessed the concerned first officer’s fixated look on the windshield of the plane which was now being ambushed by flashes of light. The captain calmed the perturbed first officer by explaining that the flashes are a resultant of the “Elmo’s fire” phenomenon which is caused by the thunder clouds producing static electricity and dismisses the arisen second red flag as well. When the metal surface of an aircraft comes in contact with the static electricity created by the thunder clouds, Elmo’s fire phenomenon occurs.

The pilots then cautiously checked the radar in anticipation of spotting the thunder cloud liable for this but to their astonishment, no such cloud was found anywhere around the airplane’s vicinity. This added up to the captain’s perplexity as now he hasn’t the faintest notion of what causes the light flashes. After exchanging glances of bafflement and letting out sighs of exasperation, the duo took a beat to process whatever had happened till now but certainly, they were not mentally prepared to process the series of events that’s about to transpire in the next few minutes.

The plane was approaching Jakarta and it was 8:40 PM in Jakarta now, and the amount of smoke entering the cabin was swiftly increasing. This issue started to create fret and panic among the passengers. The temperature in the cabin began augmenting exponentially and the people in the plane started sweating profusely and experienced breathing discomforts. Furthermore, the passengers seated beside the window witnessed weird sparks in the wings. All of this happened in a span of two minutes only and put the cabin in complete chaos and the attendants attempted their best to comfort the passengers.

At 8:42 PM, the captain received an alert call from the first engineer officer who stated that the plane’s fourth engine was on fire and instructed to shut it down immediately. Only now did the captain fathom the predicament their flight is in. It was 8:43 PM and the captain received another warning call stating that their second engine had failed as well. Taken aback by the instantaneous turn of events, before he could even have a moment to loosen up and clear his head, he received a couple more warning calls stating that the airplane’s first and third engine had failed as well.

Several thousand feet above the ground, the flight was now levitating with no functioning engines, or, the flight was now gradually falling. The first officer quickly garnered the facts, did the math, and eventually concluded that the plane can fly for another 23 minutes and that it is capable of covering only 168 kilometers more and the pilots hoped to find an airport to land in that range. The Jakarta airport happened to be the closest.

The captain contacted the Jakarta airport immediately and explained the criticality of their situation. The air traffic controllers meticulously listened and also enlightened him that currently, they were hovering over the Java Island area which is comprised of a multitude of mountains, and insinuated that they fly at least 11,500 ft above sea level to prevent collisions and reach the airport. Haplessly, the current rate of descent which the plane is undergoing makes it improbable to fly the plane at the required altitude and make the cut.  

The pilots looked around in hopes to sight an acreage to safely land the plane and the Indian Ocean turns out to be their only option. The pilots geared up to perform the intentional water touchdown right after the captain performed one more futile attempt to restart their engines. Even though the captain’s landing announcement rendered momentary solace for the passengers, their apprehension returned when they saw the flight’s engines on fire through the windows.

Individual apprehension transformed into mass hysteria in the cabin and the passengers were having a hard time pulling themselves together. Families snuggled together, the parents protectively embraced their children, youngsters supportively held the arms of their paramours, the elderly faithfully chanted prayers and the others in utter despair started writing for their loved ones.

Just when the passengers were dwelling in the presumption that their circumstance couldn’t deteriorate any further, the cabin started depressurizing and the lights in the cabin started flickering. Next, the oxygen level in the cabin instantly dropped and commenced another commotion as the passengers jostled to grab themselves an oxygen mask. However, the depressurization formed in the cabin was so high that not even the masks could avail the asphyxiation experienced by the members in the plane.

Acknowledging the jeopardy caused by the depressurization, the captain performs a nosedive by motioning the plane perpendicularly down and descends to an altitude of 13,500 ft now. Only now did the oxygen level in the cabin normalize and the passengers in the plane were able to breathe properly. Around 8:56 PM, the captain made one last attempt to start the fourth engine and to his surprise, the fourth engine started and miraculously so did the other three engines.

The captain’s ecstasy at that moment was inexplicable. At the current low-end altitude at which the plane was flying, the mountains were still a peril. So, the captain deftly lifted the plane to a decent sea level to elude the mountains. Minutes after the lift, Elmo’s fire phenomenon recurred and the second engine failed again. Not desiring the other obnoxious series of events to repeat and before the other three engines could fail, he steered back the plane to a lower altitude of 12,000 ft. 

After tackling several other hindrances, the flight finally approached the Jakarta airport. The fact that Elmo’s fire obfuscated the windshield and the landing wheels weren’t functioning perfectly didn’t make their landing any easier but the pilot succeeded in making a not-so-smooth yet safe touchdown. Thrilled by the successful landing the crew members let out sighs of relief and giggles of happiness and the passengers safely exited the plane with no major injuries.

Later, the investigators came up with plausible theories to explain the weird behavior of the aircraft. The airplane happened to have flown right over the Mount Galuggung Volcano. The ashes from this Volcano had formed a cloud at that particular altitude in the atmosphere where the plane was flying. Since the ashes were dry, the layer was invisible on the radar and the pilots were ignorant of the existent threat. The ashes of this Volcano, when it encompassed the aircraft, was liable for all the factors from Elmo’s fire to the engine failures. 

This route to Auckland was shut down for a while after this incident. A couple of days later, after a Singapore airlines flight encountered the same issue while flying over java island, this route has been permanently banned and an alternative has been provided for the pilots to fly.

Categories
books change childhood chilling conspiracy culture death feelings festival gore humans life murder myth people story theory

Bound By Darkness

by:Joshua

T’was the eve of Halloween, the sky was covered with clouds, blocking out the crescent moon. The trees had shed all their leaves, standing bare against the cold wind. The yellow streetlights had cast their gaze around the silent street, leaving the shadows of the autumn trees to look like hands emerging from the depths of hades, waiting for an opportunity to drag you with them. The clouds began to rumble and the wind wailed like a banshee. At that moment, the sky split as lightning tore across it. Devilish thunder accompanied the lightning just seconds later. 

Damien who was asleep in his bed, jerked awake as the thunder rumbled in the night sky. His heart, pounding so hard he could feel the pulse in his throat. He sat upright in a cold sweat and reached for the bottle on his nightstand. As he quenched his thirst, his phone began vibrating viciously. It was his girlfriend Anna calling him. They had been dating for a while now but had known each other since they were children. As the light from the phone hit his eyes, he squinted. The darkness had not yet left his eyes. He picked up the phone and her soothing voice calmed him down instantaneously. She asked him if he had left home yet. They had planned to roam around together on Halloween eve, as it would be one of the few chances they would get to spend together before they left for college in the summer. He replied with his rough but gentle voice, “Sorry, I fell asleep. I’ll be there to pick you up in 10 minutes”. He told her he loved her and got up to get dressed. 

He placed his feet onto the cold floor and stood up. The wood underneath creaked eerily. The rains had turned the entire house into a creaking wonderland and the sound always made him uncomfortable. Switching on the lamp by the corner, he stood in front of the dusky framed mirror and fixed his dark brown hair. His purple eyes gleamed through the dull light the lamp gave off. He put on a pair of torn jeans and wore the T-shirt that Anna had given him for his birthday. Leaving the room, he pulled his leather jacket off the back of the door and snuck out of the creaking house, and made his way towards Anna’s house. She lived few blocks away, in a small and dingy-looking house. It was just her and her dad. 

Damien walked to her front door and before he could knock, she had opened the door and flung herself into his arms. The cold weather made his warmth more prominent and comfortable. He was happy to see her. He looked into her blue-ish green eyes and saw her soul. Her golden-brown hair fell back as she looked up to see his face, revealing her captivating smile. She was everything he was not. She was clumsy and always had a smile on her face, even through the tough times. Her laugh was beautiful and she danced her worries away, like a graceful swan surrounded by a multitude of lotuses. But alas, this would be the last time he felt her happiness, for the night ahead was not going to be a pleasant one.

They began to walk down the street towards the lake, where they always sat down and stared at the sky while talking about nothing and everything. The cold wind pushed them closer to each other. The wind had an uncomfortable feel to it, like as if it had a presence of its own. The yellow-lit streetlight had begun to flicker and slowly take a reddish hue. The feeling of being watched only grew more intense as time passed. Carved pumpkins, that were placed outside the doors of the many houses on the street began to turn towards our young couple. The carvings on the pumpkins lit up as if they were on fire but they weren’t burning. Damien held Anna’s hand firmly and they started running towards his house. The ominous presence seemed to follow them or rather, it never left them. 

The thing about Damien was that he always felt out of place. Like every other teenager, he felt that there was something fundamentally wrong with him. Every Halloween, he felt like there was something inside him. No, he knew there was something that was trying to come outside and every year, the presence only grew stronger. He would call Anna up and listen to her melodious voice, which calmed him down to a point where his fears could no longer reach him…

As they ran for his house, the blood-red lights went off. The darkness of the night had surrounded them and all the pumpkins were facing them. One by one, all the pumpkins simmered down. Damien knew that this time, nothing was going to stop the presence, it overpowered him…

It took over his will while Anna took few steps back in fear… She could hear whispers around her, like an enchantment, slowly growing louder and louder until it was unbearable. She fell to the ground, holding her hands against her ears to keep them from bursting.

The whispers suddenly stopped, Damien started walking towards her and picked her up, and waited until she could steady herself. The crescent moon began to peek through the clouds, shining onto our couple. Damien moved his hand upwards slowly like he was making for her cheek but at that moment, he stabbed her through the chest, his hand emerging from her back, with her beating heart in his palm. Anna was losing her strength and as the moonlight fell on Damien’s face, she looked into his eyes, but they weren’t purple anymore. It was as if there had never been any eyes in there, empty, hollow… 

Damien pulled his hand out of her writhing body and watched her fall onto the ground. Her heart was still in his palm. Blood spurted out of the slowly beating heart and onto his clothes. The T-shirt she had gifted him, was now covered in her blood. Her now lifeless body started going pale as she bled out all over the moon-lit street. Her golden-brown hair, covered with her blood now had a crimson glow. Even though it was Anna who died, it was Damien who lost his heart… The clouds began to cover the night sky, hiding the crescent witness. The street lights began to glow yellow again. The presence had left him, all alone… Seeing what he had done he broke down into tears and wailed loudly. His pain was immeasurable. At that moment, the sky split as lightning tore across it and Damien woke up in his bed in a cold sweat. He looked at his hands and found no blood. He was relieved that it was all a dream and went back to sleep but… his shadow moved across the wall and onto the ceiling, covering it in its darkness and staring at Damien with a devilish grin…

Categories
change chilling Day death Family feelings Friends growing up Happiness humans Lessons life Love people personal Poem Self Thoughts World

Till death did us part.

by:Sumana

There didn’t pass a day you weren’t on my mind

There wasn’t an act that didn’t turn my thoughts to you

There didn’t exist a time you didn’t reside in my heart

There is not alive another soul like you

I can’t imagine a life without you

.

.

Yet here we are, 

On opposite sides of a fine, fine line

Nothing new, nothing amiss

Only this once, the line is an abyss

.

.

You dance with death

Whilst I stare from across a chasm

Living a lie

Knowing you court death

How could you leave me

To fend all alone

I know not how to live

Without you by my side

You brought out the worst in me

And you brought out the best

Yet there you are 

Caught in death’s tempest

There is no one else like you

No one I respect as I did you

Another quip, just one other taunt

Anything, anything to get you back

.

.

Whom will I thank for all that you have done?

Who will fill this void you have left?

Whom will I challenge, whom will I fight?

Whom will I grind to dust in my wake?

.

.

There was love in this enmity we shared

There was meaning in our story of hate

There was purpose in our every war

There was elation in our rivalry

.

.

There doesn’t pass a day you aren’t on my mind

There isn’t an act that doesn’t turn my thoughts to you

There doesn’t exist a time you don’t reside in my heart

There is not alive another soul like you

I can’t imagine my life without you.

Categories
humans India journalism Lessons life people society Thoughts Uncategorised World

Literacy and Pandemic

by:Viraaj

International Literacy Day occurs on September 8th, founded by the proclamation of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization or UNESCO in 1996 “to remind the public of the importance of literacy as a matter of dignity and human rights.” UNESCO continues to play a leading role in improving global literacy and promoting International Literacy Day with governments, communities, etc.

The day brings ownership of the challenges of illiteracy in the local community and the globe, starting with one person at a time, and is celebrated to promote human attention towards literacy and know their rights for social and human development. As food is important to be alive and success the same literacy is also important. 

It is a necessary tool to eradicate poverty, lowering child mortality, controlling population growth, attaining gender equality, etc. It is correctly said that literacy could raise the family status. Therefore, this day is celebrated to encourage the people towards getting continuous education and understand their responsibility for the family, society, and the country.

Through themes and several programs, it aims to highlight the role of literacy and skills development in the context of a changing world. For this year, the theme for International Literacy Day is “Literacy for a human-centered recovery: Narrowing the digital divide”.

International Literacy Day (ILD) 2021 will explore how literacy can contribute to building a solid foundation for a human-centered recovery, with a special focus on the interplay of literacy and digital skills required by non-literate youth and adults. It will also explore what makes technology-enabled literacy learning inclusive and meaningful to leave no one behind. By doing so, ILD2021 will be an opportunity to reimagine future literacy teaching and learning, within and beyond the context of the pandemic.

We’ve talked a lot about International Literacy Day, but what exactly is literacy?

Well, the Miriam-Webster Dictionary defines literacy as the quality or state of being literate, educated, and being able to read.” But this ability is often taken for granted because we’ve been reading and writing most of our life. Being literate makes it that much easier for us to navigate the world, do tasks like reading a restaurant menu, a road sign, an exam, or even a novel without it being a blockade for us.

Literacy goals are a key part of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and its 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The SDG agenda contains 17 goals and 169 targets, adopted in 2015 to build on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which were adopted in 2000. The SDGs are meant to be achieved by 2030, and the UN Resolution of which they are a part is called “The 2030 Agenda”.

These SDGs include ending poverty of all forms, ending world hunger, achieving food security for all, and improving nutrition for the people, promoting sustainable agriculture and its practices, and ensuring that everyone gets an inclusive, equitable, and quality education among others set by the United Nations.

Every International Literacy Day, organizations and individuals take charge and use their literacy to encourage and assist those who are facing difficulties on how to read and write. Students and employed people alike, volunteer to tutor children in the community, donating their books to libraries, and a student’s tuition and learning are sponsored to launch their life-long success. 

Literacy in the Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic disrupting the learning of children, young people, and adults alike,  magnifying the pre-existing inequalities in access to meaningful literacy and learning opportunities, disproportionally affecting almost 800 million non-literate young people and adults. Youth and adult literacy were absent in many initial national response plans, while numerous literacy programs have been forced to halt their usual modes of operation.

Even with the pandemic negatively affecting the world, efforts have been made to find alternative ways to ensure the continuity of learning, including distance and online learning, is used in combination with in-person learning.  Access to literacy learning opportunities, however, has not been evenly distributed. 

The rapid shift to distance learning also highlighted the persistent digital divide in terms of connectivity, infrastructure, and the ability to engage with technology, as well as disparities in other services such as access to electricity, which has limited learning options.   

However, the pandemic has shown us the importance of literacy. Beyond its intrinsic importance as part of the right to education, literacy empowers individuals and improves their lives by expanding their capabilities to choose a kind of life they can value. 

ILD 2021 explores the contribution of literacy to building a solid foundation for a human-centered recovery, with a special focus on combining literacy and digital skills that are required by non-literate youth and adults. It explores what makes technology-enabled literacy learning inclusive and meaningful to leave no one behind. In doing so, this year is an opportunity to reimagine future literacy teaching and learning, within and beyond the context of the pandemic.

Categories
change childhood chilling Efforts growing up Guide humans Lessons life people personal Self social society Sports Thoughts World

No monsters, only man

by:Harika

A few days ago, I was watching the Tokyo Olympics Swimming 100m finals and I was reminded of an incident that happened at our community’s swimming pool probably 5 or 6 years ago. What happened there transformed and shaped many of my opinions on humankind and I can never look at a swimming pool without being reminded of the mortifying sequence of events I had to witness that one dreadful day and I’m writing this because even to this day, I think of the boy who was there to swim just like me but became the victim of humankind’s nefariousness. 

And this is what took place on that one cathartic day.

As I see it, the swimming pool is an aggregation of not just water but a hundred thousand particles ready to conquer your throat and lungs, submerge you to make you their own: drifting, silent, dead. I stand in it, between the colliding currents that sway my knees, the blue grasping at my waist. A few meters away a man is wading through the thrumming liquid, his greying hair spots on his head, his bloated gut a ship’s hairy bow. Behind him a boy stands, his pale face twisted, black hair in wet, drooping spikes.

“Why did you throw your goggles and cap? What are you going to do now?” demands the man, turning to the boy.

The boy stays silent, or he mutters something unheard.

Either way, the man continues. “Listen to me. Your mother…”, and the man stops roaring with fury but I think what he wanted to continue saying was that ‘your mother is observing and listening, she is right over there: shut up, listen and behave. Your mother is watching, get yourself together and start swimming, with or without your gear.’ The breeze twists the other way or the water enters my ears, either way, I am too shocked by what just happened so I don’t hear what the man says.

Maybe the boy is now weeping silently, silver streams of tears bulging scars on his cheek, for the man erupts, waving his arms, “Why are you crying?”

The most entitled question: why are you crying? Why have you handed me a consequence, after I rammed the cause down your very throat?

The man inhales the wind, and in a sudden exhale it bursts out through his mouth. “Are you crying for sympathy? Pity? Let me tell you, boy,” and this he shouts, “the more you beg for the pity the less of it you have! Who will pity you?”

My shoulders shake. The boy, stunned, stands unmoving, his head bowed, his back bare. One day he will thank his wounds for being invisible.

“Retrieve your goggles. Retrieve your cap.” The man grabs the boy by his head. “I want you to succeed! What are you doing? Crying? I don’t want you to be a loser! Loser, do you hear?” The man’s booming voice bounces off the pool walls and pries into the boy’s ears, my ears, everyone’s ears, the ears of my cousin who spoke back to his father, my mother’s friend whose husband who would return home drunk at 3 am, all these generations and all these lives until the last hearing ear has been deafened. In his rage, the man spoke the language of humanity.

Then, the soft afterword. “This is for your own good,” the man finishes, calmed after an outburst. “Retrieve your gear, let’s swim.”

This is the thing with people: they vow on your life, praise Satan, talk about helping you get your life on track while all they do is ruin it, and then end with a smile, saying, “This is for your own good.” No, this isn’t for their own good. The boy is going to remember this incident for a really long time, probably even for his entire life, and even begin to detest swimming. For all I know, he could’ve been an Olympic swimmer if not for the man scaring him for life. And I think to myself, in a barbaric world where people are dreadfully cold, there’s no one who will do anything for ‘your own good’. That is when I came up with survival rules for the boy and for myself; rule number one, I think to myself and the boy, don’t believe him. Rule number two: hate him but don’t fear him. Rule number three: smile at him, smile and obey, smile and listen and nod, this is your life, you can change it but not now. These are the rules of the game.

While I watched the entire incident unfurl in front of me, I haven’t seen the man showing an ounce of love or empathy towards the boy instead all I could see was the man’s envy, anger, and hatred. 

Envy is a vice. Instead of focusing on your own goals, your goal becomes to throw other people’s goals off the rails, and at the end of the day, you gain nothing but a mischievous satisfaction that you have destroyed someone. 

It has been years since the occurrence of this incident but I can still recall the fear in the boy’s eyes. What was supposed to be a fun day at the pool changed my perception of the world entirely and a swimming pool, to me, was never again just an aggregation of water but a hundred thousand particles of human piss, saliva, snot, and tears, scoldings, quiet rivalries, and violent pledges, gushing into your gasping mouth and open throat. 

You swallow it and they make you their own.

Categories
books change childhood culture Family feelings Happiness humans theory

ANTHROPOS: TO FEEL

by:Preeti and Sutanuka

Anthropos is a Greek word that means “human being” or “Man”. Digging deeper, Anthropos is to feel, is to convey, is to rage, is to yearn, is to feel all the emotions on a bone-deep, molecular level; so much so that it becomes a part of you, it overtakes your senses in every form, until you’re nothing but what you feel. 

Yearning has a soft place in her heart for the lonely. She comes home, the red wooden door of her quaint house a dull reminder of everything. The lock latches in with a click and Yearning leans against the door. It’s a heavy thing, constantly feeling like Atlas in her robes, the red thread of fate always a touch away; people trying to bend the thread always end up wrapping it tighter around their throats. Yearning thinks the picture frames on the walls are something more than an illusion and every time the phone rings she jumps three feet into the air before crumpling up like paper because the name on the caller ID isn’t familiar. Yearning wishes upon every shooting star and at every 11:11; it’s been months and her wishes haven’t changed. It’s hard to want something so desperately that you start to melt with your want, the atoms colliding and forming a part of you, eroding your walls of will. Yearning is a deep-seated guest, refusing to leave until you pick apart every fiber of your being.

Angry is gloomy; she constantly complains and is always in a bad mood. She never feels sorry for what she destroys – people mostly. She wants control oozing out of her fingers. The pressure from wherever she looked, encouraged Anger to grow up long before her mind and body were ready for it.  She thinks it is because of perceived inadequacy, frustration, and a fear of failure. Whenever her parents and teachers ask her angrily to improve her behavior she says “Stop irritating me!”. She gets easily offended and often takes the slightest setback as a personal attack. She constantly blames others for her misfortune. Anger spends a lot of time complaining about the transgressions and shortcomings of other people. Compassion and empathy were as foreign to her as the depths of her anger. Listening isn’t her virtue and it flows down to her jittery knees, whenever she has to pry open her ears to listen. Watching the world burn down because of her has always been her forte.

Fear wears her clothes in two shades – a rotten block that seeps through the seams or a pale shaky blue, a robin’s egg blue. There’s a tremor down her spine with every step she takes and Fear has her eyes clouded over always. Carrying your heart in a glass jar is a two-edged sword when you realize that when the jar breaks, your heart gets stabbed too. Fear takes calculated steps after thousands of calculations and she still trips on the tightrope. Fear thinks every breath she takes coils around her throat and she has to watch herself wither away with the knife to cut it apart in her hands. Fear is crippling. 

Happy is extroverted and runs low in neuroticism. She is content with what she has and doesn’t waste a whole lot of time worrying and stressing over things she doesn’t. She leads a balanced life which means she makes time for all things that are important to her, whether it’s family, friends, career, health, etc. She treats others with respect. She is sensitive to the thoughts and feelings of other people. She is compassionate and gets treated this way (most of the time) in return. One of the biggest things Happy does differently is that she lets go. Bad things happen to good people sometimes. Happy realizes this and can take things in stride, and move on. Happy isn’t perfect, and she is well aware of that. Whenever she screws up, she admits. She recognizes her faults and always works to improve on them. Happy lives by the mantra: “There are two types of people in the world: those that do and those that make excuses why they don’t.” She often exhibits the virtues of honesty and trustworthiness. She would rather give candid feedback, even when the truth hurts, and expects the same in return. She can find her passions in life and pursue those passions to the fullest. Happy accepts challenges and uses them as opportunities to learn and grow. She turns negatives into positives and makes the best out of seemingly bad situations. She doesn’t dwell on things that are out of her control; rather, she seeks solutions and creative ways of overcoming obstacles. She is grateful for “the now” and focuses her efforts on living life to the fullest in the present. Her philosophy is: There’s a reason it’s called “the present.” Because life is a gift.

Categories
change chilling humans journalism language Lessons life Opinion people personal society speculation theory Thoughts Uncategorised World

Conspiracy Theories That We Wished Were True

by:Siddhaarth,Aasika and Aanchal

Conspiracy theories may seem strange, unreasonable, or even peculiar when you read them but one thing’s for sure, they are a hell lot interesting and fun to read about. They pique our curiosity and make us want to know what really happened or what could have happened, and some of us even wish, these theories were true. We wished that the theories such as the existence of the Illuminati, the 9/11 terrorist attacks being an inside job by the US Government, the assumption that we might be living in a simulation and many others, were true. 

As far as secret organizations go, the most well-known is probably the Illuminati. Their rumoured members include nearly every public figure in the world, including Beyonce, Paris Hilton, Barack Obama, Bob Barker, Adolf Hitler, and many more. Their supposedly powerful cabal has been implicated in the Kennedy assassination, 9/11, the death of Whitney Houston, and the Ice Bucket Challenge, and is said to be pulling the strings that make the world go round. 

The Illuminati was founded in Bavaria, Germany, back in 1776, by Adam Weishaupt, an anti-clerical professor who wanted to spread Enlightenment-era ideas, an attempt to shift the pro-monarchy, Catholic Supremacy movement into a rational, scientific, and somewhat more secular movement. They envisioned nothing less than a world revolution that would result in a universal republic. A new world order necessitated the destruction of Christianity and all other forms of religion. It also meant the annihilation of all governments, the new order would bring liberation from all social, moral, and religious restraint and embrace absolute equality and social fraternity. Religious superstition would be replaced with atheism for the masses and a kind of enlightened pantheism for the higher classes. The Illuminati gained momentum in its initial years itself, having about 3000 members, some of whom were both a part of the Freemasons and the Illuminati. 

Once the cult became too large to remain a secret, knowledge of the group got out. After being accused of publishing anti-religious literature, the Bavarian government banned all secret societies, seized their records, and published them. This effectively ended the existence of the group, but this is just what meets the eye. It was believed that the Illuminati continued to survive as an underground organization and kept meeting at secret locations and even planned greater events. Some believed that the Illuminati was behind the French Revolution, even conspired the 9/11 attacks, and had links with JFK’s assassination. 

There are also theories that the Illuminati has been killing celebrities and replacing them with clones to brainwash society. Also, the heavily militarized police forces hint at government involvement in the Illuminati and their goal of establishing a world totalitarian government. There is evidence for these. The first one is that many celebrities have been recorded to behave ‘abnormally’, like staring into space, changing looks, and abnormal behaviour at interviews. Also, the police are more militarized than ever, because heavily militarized police will be required to control the crowds and haul up anyone who tries to defy the idea proposed by the authorities. The number of people in America who believe in the Illuminati, according to research, was a whopping 30 million, which means they’ve got a huge population to believe in their existence and speculated involvement in various activities happening around us

I want this theory to be true, being interested in the supernatural things that happen around us and fairly good evidence of the Illuminati being on their mission to a New World Order makes me believe that these events are intricately planned and makes me connect the strings to something greater than what is suggested otherwise.

One of the darkest moments in modern human history is September 11th, 2001 known as the day when the 9/11 terrorist attack occurred on the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon. These terrorist attacks were conducted by the Al Qaeda terrorist organization in the form of hijacking of planes.

Now, one of the many conspiracy theories regarding the 9/11 incident is that these attacks were instead planned by the Bush administration that was in power at the time. It is believed that Dick Cheney (the former Vice President of the US) and the top branch of the Bush administration had conspired with Al Qaeda and used Osama Bin Laden as a cover-up to help execute this attack. 

A lot of people might be curious as to why would the United States Government carry out such a dastardly act against its citizens. One possible explanation is that the United States and the Bush administration needed a reason to intervene in/invade the Middle East (Afghanistan and Iraq), but could not do so due to legal reasons and international condemnation.

Hence, after the 9/11 attacks had occurred, a United Nations Security Council meeting was called upon and in this very meeting, the US delegation had referred to the phrase “War on Terror” and the UNSC resolution 1368 was passed. This Resolution stated that any country could invade another country on the grounds of fighting terrorism. Hence, it gave the United States an excuse to invade Afghanistan, Iraq, and later Syria. I believe that this conspiracy theory could be true because all the pieces of the puzzle fit together perfectly in the sense that the attacks and their aftermath were truly in line with the USA’s agenda at the time, giving more credibility to the proposed theory. 

Technological advancement is transpiring at a rapid rate. The evolution of technology is making human life much more sophisticated, enthralling, and elementary. The civilians of this modern era, are coming up with incredibly indispensable inventions and astoundingly alluring game simulations frequently. The periodical amelioration of the current technologies aspires to make the simulations indistinguishable from reality. But what if this tangible world which we believe we are residing in is a convincing simulation by a super-advanced civilization and in reality, we are the creation and not the creators?

While some consider this conspiracy theory to be bonkers and some haven’t given it a sufficient thought to land on an opinion yet, the theory in actuality doesn’t appear insane after Swedish philosopher Nick Bostrom initially claimed that we are living in a simulation and over the years astute scientists ended up garnering evidence to assist his theory. 

Uncertain assumptions like the impossibility to replicate the entire universe as a smooth simulation and to generate infinite power to incessantly run the simulation stimulates the civilians to speculate otherwise. Furthermore, a few other prominent and persuasive presumptions provoke us to contemplate the credibility of this conspiracy theory.

Several people are believed to have witnessed TV coverage of Nelson Mandela’s demise in the 1980s when in actual he passed away in 2013. This is the famous “Mandela effect” and it nudges us to think about the existence of a parallel universe and that the controllers of the simulation are attempting to change the past. 

Another important piece of evidence being the popular double-slit experiment. When electrons are directed towards a copper plate normally, electrons demonstrate wave-live behaviour and when the same experiment is conducted “under observation”, the electrons manifest particle-like behaviour. Hence, this makes us wonder if our simulation is conserving its existing resources and offers certain things only when it knows it is being observed. 

Elon Musk, in a lot of his interviews, has mentioned that he’s a firm believer of Nick Bostrom’s hypothesis. Given the realistic simulation games which were non-existent until 40 years ago and the present photorealistic 3D games with millions playing them simultaneously, the augmenting advancement would automatically lead to the development of more realistic games, making them indifferentiable from concrete reality.

Other compelling shreds of evidence being the ones generated by a group of researchers in the University of Washington which proclaimed that malicious computer code can be embedded in our physical DNA strands and hence hinting that our biological reality could have been a computer code all along. The universe is governed by a set of mathematical laws. Hence, we are again pressured to mull that the simulation is programmed to run with those laws.

I feel this theory would be awesome to be true. Firstly, if it was all a simulation and if the life we are living is utterly bogus then I speculate it is safe to assume that the after-life wouldn’t go hard on us. Secondly, it would be good to know that we aren’t liable for our feckless actions and reckless decisions. Thirdly, the post-human created advanced machinery showcases the magnificence of the humans who modernized the world. 

The assassination of the youngest man elected to the office, the 35th American president, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, often referred to by his initials as JFK induced controversies all around the globe. The unexpected and unfortunate demise of every young president in the world remains a conspiracy and Kennedy’s death was no exception. On November 21, 1963, JFK, the Vice president, and his wife Jacqueline Kennedy embarked on a five-city fundraising trip to Texas. The president was warmly greeted by the audience and the presidential party settled to spend their night at Fort Worth.

The next morning, after delivering a speech at a Fort Worth chamber of commerce breakfast and Dallas’s love airport, he boarded his convertible Lincoln continental Limo with the Texas Governor John Connally and his first lady. The limo was on its way to Trade Mart where JFK was scheduled to address the gathering. Moments after the president’s car crossed the Texas school book depository building, around 12:30 PM, blaring noise of gunshots pervaded the atmosphere as the rigid bullets escaped the rugged rifle of a nefarious assassin.

A bullet pierced the base of Kennedy’s neck and eluded from the back of his throat and a follow-up bullet fired seconds after that, hit JFK right in the back of his head. The doctor’s efforts were in vain and Kennedy was officially declared dead around 1:00 PM on November 22, 1963. The word of the president’s demise propagated and shook the entire nation. From the sixth floor of the Texas school book depository building, bullet cases and an infantry rifle were retrieved, and later the rifle was identified to be Lee Harvey Oswald’s possession.

Oswald’s presence in the building before the firing was witnessed and when he was interrogated by a Dallas policeman, he gunned him down in front of several witnesses and entered the Texas Theater where he was apprehended around 1:50 PM. Officials started to doubt if Kennedy’s assassination was just an initial step by their enemies to destabilize the American government. Finally, when the footage of Kennedy’s assassination was shown in the ‘Good night America’ TV show, its reach went wide.

When the bullet hit JFK, his head jerked backwards, denoting that the shot came from in front of the president’s head. This indicates that it wasn’t from Oswald and establishes that there was a second shooter. Later, the Dictabelt audio recording made by a Dallas policeman revealed that three shots were fired by Oswald and the fourth one by another shooter, confirming the existence of a second shooter. Hence many people suggested that this is the start of something bigger and also speculated the involvement of Dallas right-wingers in this assassination. People truly believe that Kennedy was assassinated by the CIA and Kennedy was also fed up with the actions of the CIA. For example, Kennedy was not pleased to hear about the assassination attempt of the Cuban leader, Fidel Castro. Hence the CIA felt that Kennedy might disband them as an organization and hence people feel that they assassinated him because of this. I wish this theory was true because it appears more plausible and Kennedy deserves a rightful explanation for his assassination. 

However fascinating and intriguing the conspiracy theories are, they pan out as an unanswerable enigma that arouses controversies and keeps the ponderers packed.

Categories
change childhood culture Efforts Family feelings growing up Happiness humans Lessons life Love Women World

The Supporting Pillar

by:Siddaarth

On the 9th of May 2021, the world got together and celebrated Mother’s Day, where we appreciated the contributions of a mother to our lives. Similarly, on the 20th of June, we came to appreciate the contributions of our fathers on Father’s day. But a lot of us forget that it isn’t the contributions of either the mother or father that shape our being, but it is the combined morals of both of them, whom we proudly call parents. Hence, the fourth Sunday of July every year which is the 25th of July this year is celebrated as Parent’s Day. It is celebrated across the world to recognize the tremendous sacrifices that our parents go through to raise their children in the best way possible without leaving a single unturned. 

Parents can be anyone who is raising a younger soul, be it the parent of a pet, your elder siblings or even your “parents”. It might sound a bit cringe or something but I truly feel that parenting isn’t really defined by age but it is a concept. 

Let’s say you are currently a 5-year-old kid currently chilling without any sort of responsibility whatsoever, all you would do in a day would be is to watch the television, play games, and stuff, and then sleep. In the midst of this “chill” life of yours, you suddenly have a new member into your family, say a young puppy or even a younger sibling. Obviously, the parents will take care of the young one, but it isn’t always that easy for the parents to be with the child for the whole day. Hence you as a five-year-old, start to take care of the younger ones by taking care of them by doing the smaller chores like feeding them food or playing with them, or sitting down with them when your own parents are not at home. Stuff like this might not make you a “parent” but it goes a long way in making you understand how hard a parent works for your own sake. This helps in maturing your personality and your behaviour towards others, and also makes you appreciate the work your parents put in just for your betterment. 

Now some might ask, how do I show my love and appreciation to my parents. To that I say, you can show that love and appreciation through extravagant means such as a grand party at the Hyatt or the Taj or at that nearby party hall. Sure that is a great way for you to celebrate Parent’s day and show your appreciation towards your parents, but it really isn’t that realistic because a lot of us don’t have that kind of money to hold grand parties. Hence you could also wish them a happy Parent’s day, express your feelings in words to your parents on how much they mean to you, sit and chill with them, play a game with them or go out with them on a drive or something (when COVID-19 is completely gone of course).  

As the Swiss psychiatrist, Carl Jung once said “Children are educated by what the grown-up is and not by his talk.” I completely agree with this statement simply because I feel like humans, in general, wouldn’t necessarily do things that are told to them unless they see the other person also doing the same thing. This trait also applies to parents and children, where the child generally is the culmination of the actions of the parents that the child has observed from a young age. Hence it is extremely important to practice whatever you said to your children to do yourself. The quote “Practice whatever you preach” truly applies to parenting. 

The most important thing about Parent’s Day is that all of us identify the contributions of our parents, how much they work for us, be gratuitous towards them, express our love for them and not take them for granted. This is all that we would want to achieve through the celebrations of Parent’s Day on the 25th of July 2021 and every other fourth Sunday of July in the coming years.