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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Tiny Poem #10


You’re braver, scurrying one:
Risking blows, tramples, poison;
But I – I’m bigger.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Of Interludes and Creations

It has been a long time. And in this interval, I have had time to think if I would continue with this blog. Meanwhile loads of things have happened in the school: I had my last SPICE Club meeting, where we outgoing members were gifted saplings. I had loads of family stuff, friends stuff, please-let-Obama-win stuff and yay-Obama-won stuff. I also had Runescape-is-launching-Evolution-of-Combat stuff, lost-access-to-my-Runescape-account stuff, and thank-you-mods-for-helping-me-get-it-back stuff. I also read Midnight's Children and The Catcher in the Rye, which I got for my birthday (21st Oct -- I'm 16!) and I have a lot to say about them that I might get to some time in the future. I celebrated Durga Puja and Diwali and went through Carmel Treasures Retreat, which is sort of a seminar for the outgoing students. And in all this time I have decided that this blog deserves my attention from time to time. I am not in a space now where I want to put in too many hours in this: yet I want to put up things I make for all who care to see. So, there will be some changes, at least until I cope with the whole situation involving me being a public exam candidate and having only the last few months left of my 12 years as a student at CCHS (and less than a month of working days). And with growing up.
Interludes are good. They help you think, rearrange, re-prioritize. They are ways in which you do things without doing them too often. Hitherto, my breaks from the blog were interludes. Now, for some time, my posts will be interludes, and the breaks way longer. There will be no regular bite-sized pieces of my life, because I half can't and half don't want to keep up with that rather demanding routine, especially now that my life is just too eventful for me to handle. There will be updates, short ones, like in the beginning of this piece. And of course, there will be my creations.
First off, I made a wallpaper at the end of Durga Puja, for Bijoya Dashami:
For Carmel Treasures Retreat, we had tasks of writing a poem about ourselves, which I sat down to do but went a little off-topic:
========================================
MINE
They state, I disagree;
They assert, I challenge;
They hinder, I surge.
I purge
Their dreams
Of statement, assertion, hindrance.
They destroy, I rebuild;
They aggress, I avenge;
They control, I defy.
I deny
Them the pleasure
Of destruction, aggression, control.
They abhor clarity—
Confusion
Is the weapon
Of their cunning choice;
My voice
Is stifled.
Rights and duties,
Explanation,
Logic and reason
Are chained to fear;
And disappear,
Trifled.
I breathe, I exist,
My heart beats. I insist
That it’s no one’s business to tell me
When, or
Where, or
How—
If they cannot tell me
Why.
I love, I live,
I say (and so I believe)
That nobody can define me
Or advise,
Or patronize,
Me—
If they are not
Mine.
========================================
Also for Retreat, we had to make a bookmark with an inspirational message to exchange with our friends. This was my design, made from Wallpaper 34 (no Photoshop, just the a textbox in MS-Word and the Brightness and Contrast adjusted):
So there we are. I'm looking forward to watching the Life of Pi movie and playing the new Combat system in Runescape. Also, I'm not going to Vibes this year for two reasons: I don't want to risk an outstation trip in the last months before my Boards, and I have an outside exam to sit for on one of the days.  I shall see you, at the next interlude. Happy life.


Friday, August 10, 2012

Tiny Poem 9


The scars of battle,
All over you and all over me,
Are sacred bonds.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Moving on

Today in school we had a prayer service for our friend Medha and other members of her family who died in a car crash. We attended in white. White flowers were offered before her photograph. The service was extremely touching, and we were all in a very raw emotional space. It was difficult to remain composed while speaking, singing or offering the candles.
Now we shall all do our best to accept the truth and move on. We will support each other in grief and keep the surviving family in our thoughts. Eventually we will smile at her memory instead of weeping over her loss.
The day of the accident I changed my profile pictures (Google and Twitter) to a Rest In Peace plaque, which I also posted here that day. To herald moving on, I now change them back to what they were before. Medha was our friend and she will be missed, but holding on forever is not going to help anyone. Sigh.
Medha's photo will remain in the school chapel for a few days, and then kept in the library as memory.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Diamond fricking Jubilee. Urgh.


I hate monarchy. And I've said that before. In continuation of that and in context of this whole ruckus about the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, I reiterate that I'm sick and tired of their worthless worship of people based on birth. I don't understand how educated people of a developed nation can be alright with holding onto something as disgusting as a monarchy, and not just holding on but celebrating it and indulging it at every opportunity they get. Maybe it is what they have been taught from their babyhoods, that's why. But I can give myself no explanation as to how some people, from all over the world, are hanging on to their TV screens to watch it. RuneScape, the MMORPG I am addicted to fond of, is from Britain, and they have put up a celebration inside the game! The game is not played by just the British, you guys!. To me, what RuneScape did sort of smells imperialistic: like Britain's still trying to rule the world. How can they brand the monarch of a nation 'a very Royal guest' inside a worldwide multiplayer?
Which brings me to a slightly wider issue. Meaningless ideas of superiority, including those involving race, religion, gender, etc. are present in every section of society. However, seeing them happen as something mainstream, within the territory of a permanent member of the Security Council (more on that irritating thing another day), is just appalling. They worship some people because of their birth, whereas very few of them compare to the standards of achievement set by 'lesser' people. The gender, race, public vs. private schooling and orientation ratios in the House Of Commons is nothing like the ratios in the population: if it was, then nearly all of Britain would be private-educated straight white men. A teacher who's been to London tells me that the city is organised in circles, and the higher classes live nearer the middle. And, something I recently found out: the Royal Standards flies in precedence to their Union Flag. That, I think, is the ultimate way to downgrade the importance of the common people. Unfortunately, common British people don't seem to understand that.

Which brings me to an even wider issue. Recently someone pointed out to me that the fact that some countries have monarchies and other's don't is greatly a matter of chance, if we look at the historical background of how their present governance systems came to be. I agree to that, and I wonder why then do we see this widespread worship? The current population of Britain and countries like it didn't make the choice to have a monarchy. They are completely exposed to the ways of the rest of the world. Then why? Would we behave the same way if we had a monarch? Maybe, maybe, maybe we would. We do have a strange affinity to unquestioned supremacy. It gives us a sense of false security and stability, which perhaps we have retained from our 'herd' days. That is why more people in the world prefer to follow the ideals of some other person, through religion or ideology. The thought of true independence probably unnerves us. I admit that the possibility of our love for 'people's power' holding only to a finite extent, scares me.
To conclude, I come back to the basic fact. Monarchy along with all its pompousness and impracticality is defended as tradition by a leading economy. Conferred titles and privileges continue to prevail (Also, House of Lords. Ugh.) The Britons are celebrating their monarch's Diamond Jubilee, and it eats at me. For the past few years, slowly but surely Britain has lost a significant part of its international respect, the more-credible-than-me analysis of which I will link to if I find a web version. Not that I care, as it can only mean good for its former colonies. Meanwhile, the swans glide on the Thames, and the Queen drives without a license.

Monday, June 4, 2012

The perfect diary

I had tried maintaining a diary in 4th grade, but my activity on it dwindled and finally ran out sometime in 5th grade. Looking back the diary is a good read for myself (though embarassingly childish) and I still like the idea of documenting my life date-wise, except I don't really feel like writing everyday. Sometimes I feel like drawing, doodling, scribbling, trying my hand at calligraphy... and often the problem is I don't want to get up and fetch my diary. Another thing I don't like is making my diary a fortress of secrecy: I prefer not writing things down that I want to obscure from the public eye forever. Sure, I don't want people to read my diary. Tiny little embarassing truths and private moments will be there, things I won't intentionally tell anyone: but at the same time I don't want to spend time hiding it. Moreover, (and I know this sounds crazy) I very rarely feel like writing secrets, and sometimes feel like the stuff I'm writing about is not worth a diary. Somehow the conventional diary puts me under a compulsion to be absolutely honest to that piece of paper: something some people might like feeling but I don't. I like to sort the difficult things of life out inside my head. I don't want to write everything down. I don't like making it a day-to-day journal. Maybe I want to ignore. Maybe I want to forget. Maybe I want to draw something instead, which may or may not reflect what I'm thinking.
A diary I received long ago was lying empty with just contact details written in it, on my computer table, at or near which I spend at least half my free time (the TV's in the same room, so are old magazines). I initially started using its blank back pages for drawing. Then one day I decided to take the plunge and start drawing on the 'actual' pages. Then I felt like opening it up to writing... but I don't like writing without giving it a title... and I'm terrible at putting titles... why not just put today's date? And then it struck me that this could be my new kind of diary -- my anything, everything, whatever-I-want diary. I could draw on it when I want, write when I want-- it would be the ultimate space for indulging my whims. It would be a chronological progression in tandem with my life, at the same time I wouldn't have to sit down and spend a long time filling it. I could make a doodle while my game loaded, another while my inbox loaded... and in a way it would document every day, in more detail as the intervals would be smaller. Then again sometime it would only highlight one incident, if I wanted it to. It would automatically be filled a little bit almost everyday as I sat at my computer. Since then I have drawn human figures, anime figures, cartoonised Egyptian pyramid art, weird figures, flowers, faces, doodles and what not. Few days ago I wrote a poem in it. I wrote about Medha on it. And I finally feel happy about the whole diary deal.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Venting

All day today I've been feeling pretty frustrated about how people who are different have to suffer. Not that I usually don't feel like this, but today somehow I was especially angry about the sidelining, and in many cases even abuse, faced by people who refuse to go by convention. It happens everywhere: in homes, schools and colleges, workplaces, public places like markets, public transport -- and even within establishments dealing with social work or religion. Some bigger issues of this kind permeate every mind and are usually discussed, but I was worried today about the small things, like someone not obeying the tenets of their religion or political party, or deciding to care about things they're not supposed to care about, or vice-versa. I can understand people of a religious/social/political circle having problems with accepting rebels as one of their own: after all every group has rules for its members. But no, people in general will point fingers, because they didn't fit the society's expected image. And in most cases these people are too greatly outnumbered to fight back. If one has to survive undisturbed, with their feelings (and sometimes more) unhurt, one has to conform. To be very direct, they have to be someone else and put up a fake personality that everyone will like to see.
As it happens when I think too deeply about something, I got all worked up about this, and needed to vent. And as usual, I turned a teeny bit poetic. I thought of a phrase 'known by another name', and started writing, which resulted in this piece that took up six pages of my thoughts diary. (More about that later, it was actually the next post planned). I don't know if I can really call it a poem, however since I sort of broke it up into lines, that's how I'm presenting it, and also labelling this post 'Poems'.
=====================================
Alias

No one knows my true name.
How could they? I never told them.
Every time they ask I give them that other name
That they like to hear:
A name that is pleasing to their ears,
Sweet in sound and meaning;
A name that embodies every bit
Of the grace, the cheer and the unassuming sweetness
That makes them love me --
And they cannot tell.

Yes, it is a precarious deception,
Yet an act necessary in order to be loved;
Not just loved, but to be given a sterling reputation
As one possessing every expected value;
To be respected
As honourable and morally upright;
To be conferred those titles -- titles t
hat I hate.
They reek of passive conformity.
They disgust me.

Must one behave thus?
Yes, they say, for that is 'right'.
Will you have me believe that we all show our true colours
And yet remain so similar when
We submit without protest
To every imposed ritual and convention?
I disagree. Perhaps some more than the other,
But we all are a different person inside
Whom we try hard, everyday,
To stifle and suppress
For that is the only way to have peace.
Those who do not try to please and to conform
Must fight. And I don't have the strength.

Not quite yet, at least.
Everyday the will to fight rages inside me,
Spurting at times from my raw wounds
As words of rebellion -- words that surprise the people:
And they ask if I'm alright.
I apologize, I smile, I draw back however I can --
I know I'm unprepared.
There is much I must see from beneath my veil
Before I can bring it all crashing down.

No, I am not lost. I am not defeated.
I only seek to protect what I love:
To cloak my tenderness with a will strong enough
To withstand whatever the heck they throw at me.
In the meantime, the act must continue.
Under my pretentious cover
I can safely grow and learn,
until the day  
I feel ready to reclaim the reins of my life
And define myself the way I want to;
And make it known to the world.

That day I'll be fearless of what they might do
To stop me; uncaring
Of what they might think.
Meanwhile, I enjoy the little bursts of freedom
That I can harmlessly allow myself.
They remind me that I am but asleep, dormant: waiting
For the opportune moment to strike;
And although I do not complain now
Inside, I am still the same --
I'm just known
By another name.

===================================== 

I feel better. Phew.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Grief Wins Today

The good news came just now. Two of our Voices Co-ordinators, Shreya and Oishee, have scored over 97% in the CBSE XII exams of this year, and I saw them both on TV. I heard Oishee mentioning Voices, too. The news makes me very happy, and is a proud moment for everyone at The Statesman Voices.
Now, let me go back a few hours. A classmate of mine called to inform me that another classmate, Medha, was in a road accident this morning and died there on the spot, along with her mother and grandmother. Her father and brother were taken to a hospital, where her brother also expired. Her elder sister stays elsewhere, and at this time probably doesn't know yet. Calls have been flying back and forth since then. I myself have called another friend and a teacher. The news has reached both schools: ours and her brother's. All friends are in tears. I myself cried. Medha's boyfriend is in shock. The friend who gave me the news had to get the confirmation of this horrific news from a stranger who answered Medha's phone. I hear her body was shown on TV. I ponder about how a whole life was whisked away in a moment, and I reminisce about our times together. I try to reconcile with the truth, and I mourn.
Perhaps, emotion is less about its quality or reason, and more about its strength and the impact it makes on us. This is the first time in my life that positive and negative emotions have overlapped so very closely. I have realised more clearly than ever that most of the impact they had on me were of the same kind: differing only in strength. Comparing the exam results and Medha's untimely passing, I find that the feeling is eerily the same, differing only in its magnitude. It is a feeling that disorients every normal idea about contradicting emotions. As I write this, I am grovelling in a haunting depression. And as I typed that last sentence, the battle inside me was over. Today would be marked by many events, but for me Medha's death would be the most prominent. My pride at the achievements of my friends, which on any other day would have given me cause for immense jubiliation, takes the back seat today in the presence of prior grief and shock.
I'm not crying anymore, but I can feel that I can smile and laugh less. At the same time I also know that it is more important to console the living, who have faced this loss. I also know, though I don't like to admit it, that life will go on, and I, like everyone else, will move on and push this backwards in memory. The mourning on Facebook, this post, and others like it, will be relegated to archives and history. However, for now, I find it difficult to take full breaths. I'm remembering in flashes things that we did together: how we teased Medha about her indecisiveness; how she, on the last school day before vacations, shouted at us to stop worrying about our studies, how she treated some of us to delicious chocolate a few months ago. These things would ordinarily be forgotten, as new memories would take their place. But now that the person herself is gone, we hold on to these for dear life, and remember them forever. People speak of the souls of the dead haunting us, and skeptics cite logical explanations to counter their arguments. Perhaps, the things that haunt us, after the death of a loved one, are but manifestations of our memory of them, twisted into fearsome things by our grief-ridden minds. Perhaps, the haunting feeling just means, that even in certainty, we are repulsed by the truth. 
I hurriedly made something, to honour Medha, though I don't know anymore how much it could mean. 
IN FOND MEMORY OF MEDHA RAY.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Wallpaper 55, and life in general

Hello, after a long time. I have done a few things in the last few weeks that I probably should have shared. We had a guest performance (and my speech as School Pupil Leader) at the Golden Jubilee celebrations of a fellow school. The 20% tests were on at school... which we had to stop midway because of a mandated early summer vacation, apparently to save us from the heat wave, which just means that the tests will be continued after school reopens. We bade farewell to our Vice-Principal who is leaving for our sister school elsewhere, and now we shall meet our new VP after vacations, and we celebrated Rabindranath Tagore's birthday.
For now, let me share another wallpaper (#55):
Setting pointillize to a ridiculously high cell size can be fun.
In other happy news, I have new cousins: the baby twin daughters of one of my uncles, born on 27th April. Wish the babies good luck, everyone, and congratulations to my uncle and aunt.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Wallpaper 54

#54: Musing about the internet and the connections we make with myriad people. I used a certain photo (available online) as a reference to draw the face. The earth is a preset shape. Food for thought:

Their hands are ours, and in their lines we read
A labour not different from our own.
Remember they have eyes like ours that wake
Or sleep, and strength that can be won
By love. In every land is common life
That all can recognize and understand.
--Para 2/4, 'No Men Are Foreign' by James Kirkup.

I also added a +1 button for the blog as a whole, and another button for adding me on G+, on the sidebar.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Wallpaper 53

#53: Product of laid-back tinkering while indulging in wishful thinking. Aah.
Not much to say today. Just an update.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Wallpaper 51 & 52

Woot! Wallpaper update after long time!
#51: First wallpaper made with my portable Photoshop CS2. However this one doesn't use much of the CS2 magic, except of course the ease that comes with a more inclusive interface. The base of this wallpaper is the cool zoomed pixels idea I got from Vladstudio, which I found through Vandelay Design Blog. I've learnt some other cool things from different websites in all this time: some ideas, some techniques...
#52: ...which have been used to make the next wallpaper, one of the rare ones which I actually have thought out a bit. It uses two prominent new techniques from Vlad: fast hair technique for the monsters and a nice sequence of effects from his Diving wallpaper for 3D leaves. I consider this one of my best wallpapers. After making the monsters and leaves I was completely lost about the background. I was playing around with gradients when I hit upon the default gradient having the base's blue-green colour and white. I used it in conical, and got this base by chance. That brought me back on track, and I added the yellow part of the back, the rainbow, and the little greenish filler in the upper left corner. And, done! I'm really, really, really, happy with this one.

Friday, March 23, 2012

School Pupil Leader!

 I had to wait to post this because of my previously stated browser issue -- I'm happy to announce that the students of Classes 8 to 10 and the teaching staff of CCHS have elected as the School Pupil Leader for 2012-13... ME!!!!!! Highest student office. Whoa.
I used this public domain image for the campaign
After I was nominated, I contested the elections with 'The High Five' as my symbol. I won with 159/355 valid votes, out of four candidates. Other results; 98/355 (Assistant SPL), 80/355 (Discipline Minister) and 18/355 (Activity Minister). The rest of the School Cabinet has also been formed, by the selection by consultation method. We will swear in on Wednesday, March 28. My agenda includes a cleaner school and a smoother Cabinet as the first things to do as SPL.
Also, I don't know if the browser issue is resolved permanently or not. So you may or may not see me more often.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Crash!

I can't access Gmail, Blogger and Google+ from my PC. Right now I'm on my mother's laptop. Whenever I open those sites on my PC (and a few others), Google Chrome crashes. So, readers can expect nothing for a long time. Urgh.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Almost there

I'll go to school as a ninth grader for 3 more days: and most will go for less. The last SPICE Club meeting this year, the second level of iOS, and the results day. Also three more days of wearing my Asst. Discipline badge. Till now this was the best year of my school life. And to think the next year will be my last. Hope it will be better. Hope I can leave behind a good reputation and a cleaner school. ICSE is 12 months away. I'm screwed. :P

Friday, January 20, 2012

TWEEET!

Twitter_newbird_boxed_blueonwhiteMe izz on Twitter. @TheLoudSpeakr. Check out the widgets and Twitter profile too. Also inaugurating label Twitter on the blog. Chillz!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Wallpapers #46-49

As promised:
#46: The shiny bug bit me after #45. Within what I believe was no way more than 40 hours, I had made this one and one more shiny.
#47: Shiny the second. Like those starry-night roof posters for a child's bedroom.
#48: Compilation of preset shapes, followed by colouring, copy-pasting and making the background, shading and blurring and smudging etc.
#49: Rosy world! I played with custom brushes for the background as well as foreground of this one. I love colour and angle jitters for roundish brushes. They have some amazing potential, especially in my self-taught world of wallpapering.

HA! After a long time, since who-knows-how-long-ago, I don't have a single unposted wallpaper on my PC. And, I've posted 50 wallpapers (note that Holiday special was #50).



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