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Monday, August 29, 2016

Facts about DNA that will leave you amazed

Deoxyribonucleic acid, commonly known as DNA that we all are aware of as we all might have heard about DNA test, but actually what is DNA? DNA is a molecule that carries the genetic information that is used in growth, development and reproduction of all organisms. Even though it codes for all the information that makes up an organism, DNA is built using only four building blocks, the nucleotide- adenine, guanine, thymine, and cytosine. Plus if you could type 60 words per minute, eight hours a day; it would take approximately 50 years to type the human genome.

DNA is a highly condensed molecule that is present is in every cell of our body and our body contains numerous cells. If unwound and linked together, the strands of DNA in each cell would be 6 feet long. With 100 trillion cells in your body, this means that the total DNA in your body could make hundreds of round trips to the sun and back. Another amazing fact about DNA that we’re all 99.9 percent alike and yet the 0.1% difference is also because of our DNA.

And we all know that we are the ancestors of the chimpanzee but how? It is because of our DNA that we share 98% common strands of DNA with chimpanzees. Scientists at Cambridge University believe humans have DNA in common with the mud worm and that it is the closest invertebrate genetic relative to us. In other words, you have more in common, genetically speaking, with a mud worm than you do with a spider or octopus or cockroach. And humans and cabbage also share about 40-50% common DNA. There were also some ancient viruses that used to infect humans but today, 8% of human DNA is actually made of those ancient viruses! Human DNA is 50% identical to the DNA of bananas! You read it correctly! We said BANANAS! So if all of this counted our DNA is a mixture of the DNA of chimpanzee’s, mud worm, cabbage, ancient viruses, and also bananas.

The weirdest fact of DNA is that studies of kissing have shown that women are more attracted to the scent of a man with a different genetic code than her own. A difference in DNA increases the chance for healthy children. So, what you perceive as chemistry may, in fact, be DNA! Friedrich Miescher discovered DNA in 1869, although scientists did not understand DNA was the genetic material in cells until 1943. Prior to that time, it was widely believed that proteins stored genetic information.

DNA is a fragile molecule. About a thousand times a day, something happens to it to cause errors. This could include errors during transcription, damage from ultraviolet light, or any of a host of other activities. There are many repair mechanisms, but some damage isn't repaired. This means you carry mutations! Some of the mutations cause no harm; a few are helpful, while others can cause diseases, such as cancer. Thus DNA plays a very important part of our body and controls all our actions.



Written by Kajal Dahiya
She is a content writing intern at ReviewMantra who believes there are no shortcuts in evolution.

Understanding Goods and Services Tax (GST)

Revolution is a way forward for mankind into a new, better and advance socio-economic world. History has proved its worth and showed us some of the world's biggest reforms and  great revolutionaries. One of such situation prevailed in our country 16 years back when the concept of Goods and Services Tax (GST) was introduced. Long time it took to create unison among parties and form a consent on the passage of the bill. Finally, the 122nd constitutional amendment was passed in Rajya Sabha followed by Lok Sabha and then to be passed by State legislative assemblies, which is then to come into effect from 1 April 2017.

THE NEED OF GST-

Under GST a nationwide common market for the transaction of Goods and Services is to be forged under a GST Council which when integrated with latest IT technology will make a well knitted economic network having potential to turn the trade smooth and  a greater GDP.

Foremost is the cascading effect of tax which in turn increases the cost of finished goods or services. Each time an object is sold from one vendor to another, cost increase due to cascading of Sales tax which is born by the vendor. In order to remove this taxation fault and rising prices, Value added Tax (VAT) was introduced which partially removed the defect, covering only goods. Now, with GST on board, central government, and state government agreed to abandon excise-service tax and VAT respectively and more than 9 taxes to be subsumed within it.

Besides, a single unified market for trade and same treatment for goods and services will eliminate many problems creating situations. Prime Minister has called it a step towards Cooperative Federalism.  All Underground economy, Inspector Raj will fade away, integrating with Aadhaar it will stop leakages in subsidies and with time provide greater transparency in the system.


AFTER PICTURE- 

One nation, One tax. Being indirect tax it is regressive in nature and has very wide coverage base which will affect both rich and poor an absolute equal figure demanding more from later. Estimated in 2003, uniform tax rate to be 12% but with time passing by it has drifted to 18-19%. Countries with GST showing positive upside growth had their rich population largely surpassing the poor which is not the case in India but sure India is world's fastest growing large economy.

GST regime itself is divided into Central GST (CGST) and State GST (SGST) with predefined shares. Assistance in ease of doing business by combining different departments into single unit reducing bureaucratic hassle. But, the autonomy of states to impose regional taxes (except for alcohol) will go in vain as no taxes rather than GST would be implicated.


IMPACT ON ECONOMY- 

Overall expectations are high as the effective tax rate on goods will decline sharply depending on nature of goods and services. With reduced rate, Indian goods will be ready to compete in international markets. This also will increase absorption rate in the domestic market as produced goods, services will be available at lower price, this circulating money can turn capital and utilized by industrialists and government to maximize skill operations and job creations to a great extent. Incorporated with recent FDI reforms, GST regime can pave a path for accelerated GDP growth and moving towards an efficient and coordinated taxation system.



Written by Kartikeya Gupta
An engineer by profession, INDIAN by heart and Aspiring Officer by Choice(IMA). Snooker, Gym, Video Games, National International Affairs, Web Development. And much more.

Top 3 Moments of Rio Olympics 2016

The 2016 Olympics held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil was a major international multi-sport event which finally ended on  21st August 2016. Around 11,000 athletes from 207 nations participated in 28 different sports. Rio created history as it became the first South American city to host the Olympics. This time the Olympics games were special because there were three first-time entrants which were Kosovo, South Sedan, and Refugee Olympic Team.

Just like the previous Olympic Games, United States topped the medal tally for the fifth time and bagged a total of 46 golds and 121 medals in total. Great Britain finished 2nd on the medal tally for the first time in its history with 27 gold medals and 67 medals in total. India, on the other hand, did not perform too good as compared to the previous Olympics. India got two medals this time whereas, in the London Olympics India got 6 medals.

There were many unforgettable moments of the games which needs to be highlighted. Some of them are mentioned below:-

1. Majlinda Kelmendi's Gold Medal in Judo

Kosovo's Majlinda Kelmendi won her country's first Olympic medal and that too, a gold. Kosovo proclaimed independence from Serbia in 2008 and this was the first time it participated in Olympics. It is still considered as a disputed territory and is not recognized by the UN. The 25-year old is ranked world number 1 in Judo women's  52kg category. She defeated Italy's Odette Giuffrida in the final. Majlinda in an interview remarked her win as a 'Great Moment'. She was happy and emotional while receiving her medal and she was glad that she could make her family proud.  


2. Joseph Schooling defeated Michael Phelps

Another beautiful moment at Rio 2016 was Joseph Schooling defeating his idol Michael Phelps in men's 100m butterfly event. Joseph is a Singaporean swimmer and he helped his country to attain the first ever Olympic gold. He not only defeated his idol but he even broke the Olympic record by clocking 50.39 seconds. A picture of Joseph meeting Phelps back in 2008 when he was only 16 was widely shared on social media. He was extremely happy as it was a dream come true for him.


3. Lee Chong Wei and Lin Dan exchange T-shirts

Another great moment of Rio 2016 came at the end of the men's singles badminton semi-final. At the end of the match, Malaysia's Lee Chong Wei and Lin Dan exchanged their T-shirt as a gesture of respect and sportsmanship. This moment was one of the best because Lin Dan was two-time defending Olympic gold medalist and in the previous two Olympics Lin Dan had defeated Lee Chong to take the gold. But this time, Lee took his revenge and overpowered him and denied him a third consecutive gold.


The Rio Olympics was a very successful event where some athletes brought glory to their nation while some disappointed with their performance, some had victory tears in their eyes while some were crying after their defeat and there were some who broke records and some who could not do well. Overall, it was 17 days of some really exciting action where many created history. Now the athletes will take away the positives from Rio and would compete four years later in Tokyo.



Written by Bhavik Dhall
A first year college student who loves to write articles on various topics and is very good at expressing himself

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Why is Akhilesh Yadav a perfect Youth Icon?

Remember the 2014 Lok Sabha Elections? The political fight between the two national parties, BJP and Congress eventually came down to the comparison between Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi as a PM candidate. This is the power of 'Branding', it is one of the key metrics for success in any field, may it be Business, Media or Politics. Forgetting about the PR exercises, one common thing about the people who are significant brands in themselves is the strong leadership quality and the capability to take tough decisions.

In the recent past, Hon. Chief Minister Shri Akhilesh Yadav has emerged as one of the strongest brands in the Indian political arena, Uttar Pradesh is now being represented by Him on the national as well as the international front. Whenever we think of Uttar Pradesh, the first person that comes to our mind is UP CM Akhilesh Yadav.

UP CM Akhilesh Yadav has shut down all his critics by demonstrating his zero tolerance towards politicians with corruption or criminal background. He has taken several tough decisions which portray his impeccable leadership qualities, rising above the traditional ways of Indian politics. The younger generations in Uttar Pradesh are now focussed about development and employment opportunities rather than the old caste based politics, so they are able to relate to UP CM Akhilesh Yadav's agenda of growth and development. His open propaganda of contesting the upcoming Assembly Elections with emphasis on development strikes a chord of belongingness with the young people of Uttar Pradesh.

We all know that UP CM Akhilesh Yadav has always had keen interest and taken substantial steps for promoting quality education in the state. He has also inspired girl education at the very grass root level and played a strong role in the IT literacy of the state by distributing free laptops on various occasions. When it comes to digitalization, he demonstrates his expertise of being from an Engineering background and has proved by his work in the implementation of the E-Governance across the state. The underlying IT infrastructure has paved the way for better employment opportunities for the younger generations within the state itself, one of the recent accomplishment being the inauguration of HCL campus in the IT city of Uttar Pradesh.

Due to the above reasons, apart from being the Chief Minister of the state, youngsters look forward to him as the Youth Icon. The kind of significant feats attained by UP CM Akhilesh Yadav at such a young age is inspirational for the coming generations and they see him as an ideal leader as well as a role model.

UP CM Akhilesh Yadav has carried on the responsibility of an overall development in Uttar Pradesh. Whenever any work is done and the related benefits reach to each and every person of the state, only then it makes sense. In the past 4 years, he has initiated and implemented various schemes for the welfare of the laborers like subsidized meals, Samajwadi Pension Yojna and a host of initiatives for Senior Citizens like Samajwadi Shravan Yatra. Acutely monitoring the relief work by visiting areas like Bundelkhand, has developed a strong bonding between the people with their humble leader. There has not been a single instance when UP CM Akhilesh Yadav has behaved rudely or lost his temperament, testifying his stable mind and intellectual character. Being such a successful personality, and yet so humble and soft spoken, adds up substantial elevation to his incredible stature.

UP CM Akhilesh Yadav is also known to have a strong orientation towards philanthropy and humanitarian causes. Due to his initiatives and active co-operation, various non-profit organisations like the Bill Melinda Gates Foundation and the Shiv Nadar Foundation, are now bringing in some really noble changes at the ground level. There are a series of new policies from his government like a concession to disabled people for purchasing or leasing land and speedy disbursal of funds for projects involving educational and medical facilities. His government has always been really fast to help people with financial aid in case of any natural calamities or emergency situations. There have been many instances when UP CM Akhilesh Yadav has helped needy students to pay their fees for professional courses in his personal capacity.

UP CM Akhilesh Yadav (42), who became the chief minister at the young age of 38, was initially underestimated by the political opponents. But, he has very efficiently  demonstrated how a young leader can make constructive things happen along with political maturity. He has let the work done by him, talk on his behalf #KaamBoltaHai. He is till now, the youngest person to be crowned as the chief minister in any state of India. Taking the responsibilities of  Uttar Pradesh, the largest Indian state, and delivering promises in such an efficient way, it becomes difficult to believe that this is his first stint as the CM. He was always known to be growth and development centric before, but his learning trajectory of the political system has been remarkable in the past 4 years. He has taken some really unconventional and strict decisions recently, which displays that this leader believes in actions and not words, for the larger benefits of the normal people in the state.

His love for the conservation of nature and the environment has been proved by various initiatives like dedicated cycle tracks and various tree plantation drives. The recent world record of largest tree plantation in a single day in Uttar Pradesh made it to the Guinness Book of World records and was covered by 'National Geographic' (read: article here). Now, what can be a better recognition internationally for us and that too for such a noble cause?

UP CM Akhilesh Yadav has proved the model of an inclusive growth successfully in the past 4 years, in the all the possible areas like Infrastructure, Education, Agriculture, Welfare Schemes, Information Technology and Nature Conservation. Some initiatives which are launched recently or yet to come will take Uttar Pradesh to greater heights of prosperity under the able stewardship of the Brand, UP CM Akhilesh Yadav.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Body Shaming: It’s time to get over it

Considering body shaming to be such a natural phenomenon, which is although unacceptable, has been accepted by our society in its entirety. Body shaming, that is, criticizing yourself or others because of some aspects of physical appearance leading to a vicious cycle of judgment and criticism, needs to stop. We need to give it a rest. As humans, we tend to forget that we all have these wonderful bodies that we should be extremely proud of, no matter the size. After all, the human body is a power house. It allows us to do everything we enjoy whether it is hiking, reading a book in bed or devouring five pieces of chocolate cake. It is the reason we wake up every morning; the reason we are alive.

So, why is it that we look down upon our bodies with such disgrace? Maybe because we want to conform to the ideal size box that the society has set for us. And not only the superlative size image  but also straight teeth, radiant skin, the right clothes, perfect hair; the society has established varied categorizations to make it easier for everyone to review and evaluate others on such ridiculous labels.

With magazines offering us tips on how to lose weight instantly, appear slimmer or how to get that bikini ready body, with various sitcoms using the bodies of overweight characters as a gateway for cheap comedy, I think that no matter how body shaming manifests, it often leads to comparison and shame, perpetuating the idea that people should be judged mainly by their physical appearances. The society will always throw us into a stereotype. People will always try to make us feel awkward and awkwardness with our bodies will remain a constant, unless of course, we change our mindsets and start accepting our bodies the way they are. It is just a matter of the body meeting the mind. There are skinny people that eat a lot of junk food and don’t gain weight, and there are people who eat healthily and still fall into the heavier-set. There are a lot of factors that play into what our bodies look like. The fact is that we are all different. And sometimes, life just happens. Sometimes, you don’t have the time to hit the gym on a regular basis as you work ten hours a day on your new job. Sometimes you fall sick. Sometimes you grab a quick snack when you are juggling between continuous classes in college. We have no idea about what others are going through in their respective lives, and we certainly have no right to disrupt each other’s personal boundaries and proceed to attack based on how we look.

As long as a person is happy and content with the way they look, who are we to comment?
Let’s learn to be comfortable in our own skin. In today’s scenario, where we talk about equality, even men are judged on the basis of their bodies. From jabs on weight, hair loss, and skin color, to being called effeminate, they suffer too. But unfortunately, we live in a patriarchal society, implying that the pressure on women to be “perfect” and look beautiful is huge when compared to that of men. Although, this does not deny the fact that men and women alike undergo body shaming at some level or the other. We need to be healthy, and apart from the contrary belief, it has nothing to do with weight. A healthy lifestyle is not denoted by size and being healthy would mean something different for each and every one of us. Perhaps, healthy is truly an outfit that looks different on everybody. Being healthy and fit should be the goal. One can be fit and toned at so many different sizes. That is what the society needs to realize.


Remember, confidence is beautiful, no matter your size, no matter your weight. So if you can rock that dress which is dumped in your locker, then why not. Don’t care about what others will think. However, if your main goal is to be someone’s body goal, you need to reconsider your attitude.


You’re wonderful, don’t forget that. As long as you are happy and healthy, it doesn’t matter.



Written by Chhavi Minhas
“A free spirit, dreamer and admirer of this puzzle called life”

Marriage: How Free are We?

70th year of Independence and the question that arises in my mind is, how free are we? Often in our speeches we talk about freedom but don’t describe what being free really is. Mentioning it in our constitution won’t make it practically successful. In my terms, freedom is not just right to express or speak, for me, freedom is leading the life in your terms, making choices that you are happy with, beyond religion and beyond gender.

To be specific, in today’s article, I am going to talk about the same-sex marriage. I and my friends were discussing it and I realized how orthodox we are, when my friend said that it’s affecting the Parsi religion, also she kept another point forward that was that the children of homosexuals are likely to be homosexuals themselves. Another friend said that for nurturing a child both the parents of opposite gender are required. I was astonished by their facts. First things first, how come a child of homosexual is assumed to be a homosexual himself, a normal couple can also have a child who is a homosexual. Also there it is pointless bringing religion in between. We keep on saying that country or the nation is not developing, how will it develop if the youth has such naïve opinions about something that should totally be an individual’s choice.

In India, we have freedom of everything, only not to marry the person of our choice. Not only India but also worldwide, as there are almost 77 countries of the world that oppose same-sex marriage. In Iraq, they even give the death sentence for the same, how dreary. Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bhutan are some other examples where it is not allowed.

India being a vast nation should be surprised to know that in 2014, in tiny nations of Africa same-sex marriage was allowed. In 2014, almost all the countries of Europe allowed same-sex marriage, while on the contrary in the USA, there are 13 states like Alabama, Florida that prohibit homosexuality. There we go with the facts that freedom is not about infringing on an individual’s personal choice. Marriage is not a compulsion rather a choice and everyone, not only in India but worldwide should be given such a mere right, of choosing their life partner.



Written by Chayanika Singh
Unique name right? Well, I am a big time foodie and a travel junkie but I also love to write about serious issues and problems all over the world. Sometimes my write-ups will be of great joy and sometimes they’ll make you think about issues.

Who gets the Throne of the USA ?

Being updated with the politics has never ever fascinated me. Though trying multiple times to get well acquainted with politics, it was all boring and I’m so very sure that I do share this type of attitude with many around. But something has changed dramatically in these past few months and certainly, politics has been too interesting or you can even call too hilarious altogether and now politics excites me a lot, really! Perhaps, it is more derided than it used to be.


And this interesting face of the politics begun when the reign of the President of the United States of America “Mr. Barack Obama” came on the verge of extinction. Suddenly all the followers or opponents of the politics in the entire world have tilted their heads towards the USA to witness the major flip in the White House. One of the most powerful countries which has grown and fully developed in every aspect today is now jamming together to choose their new super power. I know, that’s a huge responsibility altogether. Picking up the one who will either prove out to be a democrat or a despot which will directly affect the present as well as the future of the country and ultimately the world.

The final survivors for this massive position are Mrs. Hilary Clinton, representative of the Democratic party of the United states and on the other side is Mr. Donald Trump, the nominee of the Republican party.

The two are trying head to toe, to prove themselves better than the opponent to the public. All of us are eagerly waiting to see who reaches the end of the race and finally rules the throne of the white house. Even if you are not an avid follower of politics I’m pretty sure that you still are aware of the current dilemma of the USA where people seem to be extremely confused as whom to elect. On one side, we have a lady who has been a part of politics since a while, who was also the first lady during the reign of Bill Clinton and on the other side, we have an extremely strong man Mr. Donald trump, who has managed to influence a lot of crowd in the country already.

Keeping in mind, the USA is an immigrant’s country which sanctions H1B visas in bulk, a country which has a less number of Native Americans over the immigrants, people from various parts of the world have settled here and hence making it a multi-ethnic place. The decision of the new president will affect the life of each and every individual tremendously.

Looking at the current scenario, it’s a bit difficult to judge who will survive at the end but one thing is certain that Trump has got some rigors bad blood against a few communities residing in America which might cause a severe deplore later to the public.

Seeing and scrutinizing the campaigning of both the nominees, it can be clearly seen that Mrs. Clinton is an all-built woman, ready for a showdown taking every step with great caution!She has proved herself time and time again. She has had a political background and is a well-experienced leader. While Trump is a well-established entrepreneur and a highly rich man, he lacks a political background and is a newbie in this race yet an extremely strong man to give a tough face off to Clinton. Though he’s good at catching the sight of the media, hands down, he never fails to target the MUSLIM community exclusively and so gaining hate in a large amount, thus adding brownie points in Clinton’s bag. Another reason for her being a very strong opponent is her treating everyone equally and not criticizing anyone particularly, at least not yet!

With just a few months left for elections but still it is too hard to conclude who might be the successor to the throne of the United States of America! But, if you happen to, believe me, this is the TOUGHEST situation for every American, cause no matter whoever they pick, him or her, none are actually perfect for this massive kind of responsibility.

All I can say now is, ALL THE VERY BEST AMERICA...

Written by Arushi Singh
Professionally an IT Engineer, Amateurly a Writer

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Movie Review: On The Road | A film with Scenic route & Ecstatic beats

To start with the uplifting news: America the Beautiful has seldom looked more ripe for exploration than it does in "On the Road," an honorable endeavor by the Brazilian director Walter Salles ("The Motorcycle Diaries," "Central Station") to capture literary lightning in a vessel. With roomy skies extending ceaselessly over open, uncongested roads bordered by amber waves of grain, and purple mountains alluring out there, the movie resurrects a lasting outskirts dream and invites you to barrel into the unknown with its Beat Generation legends.

That elusive lightning is the electricity in the hopped-up prose of "On the Road," Jack Kerouac's 1957 novel, which 10 years after its publication inspired countless stoned hippie odysseys to Haight-Ashbury and beyond. But, can prose that snaps and sizzles be interpreted into a zapping movie?

The container for all that energy is José Rivera's scrupulously out-and-out screen adaptation, which tries with only fitful success to convey the bravado, passion and verve of Kerouac's besotted streams of consciousness. When you peer through the verbal firecrackers, what lies beyond?

The beauty and precision of Eric Gautier's cinematography give everything, from the great outdoors to the cramped dingy bars of late- 1940s New York to a Mexican brothel, a surreal visual intensity that makes it look both archetypal and ‘fresh out of the box’ new.

It is useful to remember that the restless seeking chronicled in the novel started two years after World War II, in 1947, when the United States was a much poorer, more innocent country. The movie does a terrific job of evoking an explosive, optimistic sense of possibility as the country, in the flush of triumph, flexed its aggregate muscle and set about reinventing itself.
The film is one of the few movies about an author to resist (however not always) the cliché picture of the touchy writer at his typewriter conjuring the muse as he looks profoundly into space. Sal Paradise (Sam Riley), Kerouac's alter ego, steadily takes notes during his adventures, and his astutely picked voice-over readings of short passages from the novel fuse with the jagged visual rhythms.

"On the Road" has a super hot vintage jazz soundtrack in which the music of Charlie Parker and Slim Gaillard splendidly distils the hyperkinetic frenzy of hot-wired characters on a literary bender jumping out of their skin from Benzedrine, coffee, alcohol, and marijuana.

Also, now for the not all that great news: If there is little to actively dislike about "On the Road," there is a great deal to be disappointed in. It's debatable whether anybody could play its sexy, near-mythic pied piper, Dean Moriarty (Garrett Hedlund), aka Neal Cassady, the charismatic, free-spirited hipster about whom every devoted reader of "On the Road" has a personal fantasy.

Mr. Hedlund, who was in the film version of "Friday Night Lights" and in "Troy," has the all-American great looks and easygoing charm for the role but radiates none of the feral danger associated with a desperate thrill seeker compelled to push limits. And, a subplot in which, Dean searches for his father, is so perfunctorily dropped into the film, it is emotionally weightless.

The role would have been ideal for the young Marlon Brando, who Kerouac hoped might play Dean in a movie opposite himself as Sal. Other conceivable candidates include the youthful Robert De Niro, Ed Harris and perhaps, quite possibly, Ryan Gosling. But, Mr. Hedlund is simply too wholesome a screen presence to play a maniacal rebel.

Mr. Riley, who portrayed Joy Division's Ian Curtis in "Control," is even all the more gravely miscast as Sal. In addition to lacking Kerouac's dark movie-star looks, he radiates little of the inner fire that crackled through Kerouac's written work.

"On the Road" is truly a romantic paean to a charismatic madman told by his worshipful acolyte and chronicler as they befuddle the continent over several years. In the book, character development and storytelling are auxiliary to impacts of supercharged written work that is what might as well be called jazz improvisation. But since so little of that language is in the film, Sal develops as an earnest, aloof, almost drippy disciple more worried about gathering material for a novel than with living high in the moment.

The sex and drugs Kerouac described with a touch of thrilled revelation in the novel go over in the film as the same old sex and drugs that lost their mystery in the mass hippie freak-out of the 1960s. I would much preferably envision it then see all the banal mechanics. The film doesn't try to summon the conflict between the lives of these bohemian wild men and the square America of the 1940s and '50s.

On a visit to New Orleans, Old Bull Lee, aka William S. Burroughs (Viggo Mortensen, miscast), puts in an appearance. Carlo Marx, aka Allen Ginsberg (Tom Sturridge), is a moist, moony poet captivated by Dean. In the cameo roles of the ill-treated women in Dean's life, Kristen Stewart smolders with sullen, defiant sensuality as she tries to keep up with the boys, and Kirsten Dunst reacts to Dean's betrayals with outraged indignation. Since these female impediments to Dean's selfish pleasure seeking are far more real on the screen than in the book, his romantic mystique is lethally discolored in the move. It all seems  — dare I say it? — Of little consequence.

On The Road is rated R (Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian). It has sexual situations, strong language, and nudity.



Written by Sukanya Roy
Artist, Critic, Writer, Photographer, Movie buff, Graphic Designer, Literature and Geography enthusiast, Soccer fan, and Imaginative.

Why Kashmir needs help from India?

Kashmir is burning again. It is more than a month now since the present unrest started. Every day news of the dead keeps pouring in and it is the young who are perishing. Is there now a real concern that it is our future that is dying every day in Kashmir? Skillful commanders have manipulated the youth and their wild bloods to serve their ends. It is sad to see promising lives being wasted in the inhuman war of a territory and a people.

Though, many voices of grief, discontent and dissidence is being heard above the din of gunshots and stone throws but so far no sane voice of peace. Yes, many including our Prime Minister have requested the Kashmiri protesters to drop the stones and go home, but the Kashmiri's are no longer listening. Is it because the injustice by the stakeholders has crossed the tolerance levels? Or is it that some opportunist and inhuman elements from the valley are using this discontent to fuel yet another age of insurgency and strife?

I say both. The present-day Kashmiri politician have left a lot to desire. Most of them want to keep the fire burning in their own hearth. All the development has been pocketed by the elite. Religion is effectively used by them to mark friends and foes and hide their own corruption. Such is the ignorance that many have professed their support to Pakistan. Perhaps they are unaware of the rights violations in Baluchistan, NWFP and PoK.

Also, the paternalistic attitude of Indian state cannot be let off the hook. It has compromised the fragile constitutional balance repeatedly through the history. Successive regimes have acquired power through electoral malpractices. Though, this is reduced now. Kashmiri's are suspiciously regarded and stigmatized in the mainland. A regular psychological analysis will tell you that when you are rejected somewhere, you are likely to behave in a manner infuriating to that group. It is now time that Kashmiri's be integrated in our societies as other equal citizens.

This marginalization and the anti-development atmosphere in the valley appall the youth. They have become victims of this vicious cycle of stereotyping when they start acting in the ways as depicted by the mainstream Indian society. Since they have faced rejection from India, they find the joy of taunting India by taking up arms.

It is obvious that few stones will not break the back of one of the strongest armies in the world. It is also true that few thousands, whatever they do, cannot challenge the might of the Indian and Kashmiri elite. But it is also known that the gravest and most violent of rebellions start by a somewhat insignificant spark.

Why 'Burhan Wanis' and not the 'Athar Aamir Khans' or 'Shah Faesals' have no takers? Why 'Asiya Andrabis' not 'Dr Ruveda Salam' are known? "O, for the wind in the pine-wood trees, O for the flowery, scented breeze ! In far Gulmarg ! In far Gulmarg!.... And all the scented scents which rise To subtly haunt our memories,.... As o'er its velvet growth we pass In far Gulmarg! In far Gulmarg!"



Written by Rishya Dharmani
"Life is not a mystery, as they say, rather it is simplicity itself. Unlearn, fail and realize the true joy."

What do Recruiters look for in a CV?

A hall full of final year students were asked – What is the function of a CV? To get the job was an answer received by one of the students and most of the students nodded. Another array of answers was given but the speaker was waiting for the perfect answer. At last, he looked at all the aspiring faces and said, “The purpose of a CV is not to get the job but to get shortlisted.”

Most people misunderstand that the job of a CV is to get the job so people, especially students fresh out of college cram as much information and achievements as possible to impress the prospective boss. Experts say that a recruiter approximately spends 30 seconds on a CV so every candidate has roughly half a minute to make an impression. The best way to do that is an efficient and impeccable CV which consists of your achievements appropriate to the job you are applying for and highlights the qualities that make you a valuable asset to the company.

So here is the list of pointers that will help you create a CV that top recruiters from around the country look out for –

1. Relevant Information. 

A CV should include information relevant to the job and also information which is true in respect to present times. Do not ever mention something you did in 8th grade at the school because you don’t want to leave any field blank in a CV. Any sport that you did in school 7 years ago and have left now is not worth mentioning. Also if you have had the same hobby for years or any sports you played for years, do not think that it is not relevant since these things show your dedication and passion.


2. Quantify your CV. 

The simplest way of presenting any information is in terms of quantifiable and numerical data. With time as little available as 30 seconds, quantifying your CV will not only portray you as an efficient organizer but also makes it easy for the recruiter to understand you better. When a company sits for placement interviews at a college, they receive CVs from variety of courses so just enlisting your mark if you are a high achiever won’t much help, since the recruiter does not know how much marks are good marks so instead of just simply stating the marks, you can add - “in the top 10% of my graduating class” Therefore, quantify as much information as possible. Another example of quantifying your society work – Led 400 students and handled a budget of INR 5 Lac for the functioning of society.


3. Sell Yourself. 

Writing the names of companies and people you have worked with will impress the recruiter but don’t end on that note. Your real achievement lies in how successful was your work while working in that particular organization. Do mention the difference you made while working for them and if you did not make any positive impact, you can always write the skills you learned while you interned. The basic idea is to sell yourself. If you get a pre-placement offer, do mention it in your CV. If you were promoted, do mention it. Also always mention the title or post you were assigned apart from just writing that you worked with such and such people.


4. Highlight.

Highlighting attracts recruiters attention to the points you want the recruiter to pay attention to. Your strengths and experiences should be highlighted because instead of the recruiter scanning your CV looking for your major achievements among other minor things, it makes the recruiter's work easier and makes your major achievements stand out so that the recruiter does not miss out on them while reading other minor achievements.



Written by Sanya K. Aitwani
Complicated thinker with a creative streak and perceptive outlook.

Why You Must Be Political?

Being political, somehow, is a dirty word now. It invariably means lust for power, moral bankruptcy and what not. You are reprimanded as someone having insatiable desire to loot others and make way for yourself. Let us dispel these myths.

Being political, firstly, has nothing to do with few corrupt individuals cashing in the name of politics. As a member of a society claims on legitimate powers are made in political ways only. If as a student you do not want the government to reduce education expenditure; or protest against an injustice; want to redress the fees, course, employment issues you are facing- can you afford not to be political?

Being political implies that you agree with what is right. Of course, there are no universally accepted definitions of what is “good” or “bad”. But is it “right” to deny someone the deserved or perpetually discriminate a community or commit crimes against humanity? Any sensible individual would agree not, broadly. You need to defend the moral values you believe in, not because you want to force someone, but because you think it can improve theirs and your lives.

When you claim to be political you respect the knowledge that you and others have. In any mature community, the worth of every member is respected. As a political creature, you accept the differences in the society and work to engage with them. It is being noted that communities where individuals are not “political”, thus do not engage are often victims of social tensions.

When you compare your life with others, you often realize the privileges that you have had. Also, there are many who are in more favorable positions than you. And these differences are mostly due to gross injustices that have been systematically perpetuated. A good life is inhumanly denied to a large part of our citizenry. Be it food, sanitation, water, health or the “new” issues like rural-urban divide, access to IT, women status among others; all create gross inequalities.

You have a right to protest these issues because these fundamental differences lead to huge variations in the kind of lives lived and spent. Why should someone not experience the beauty and joy of life just because they were born in a place where they fought for food? Why should you be devoid of listening to masterpieces because you cannot afford them? Why cannot you travel around the world for the same reason? Why cannot you savor the critical pieces of literature since you are illiterate? Lastly, why should my life be governed by accident of birth?



Written by Rishya Dharmani
"Life is not a mystery, as they say, rather it is simplicity itself. Unlearn, fail and realize the true joy."

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Things that would make you proud of being an Indian

With patriotism running through everyone’s veins this month, here is a list of some of the many things that would make you proud of being an Indian:

1. A nation full of geographical variations.

From mountains to plains to valleys, deserts to snowy regions to the 24x7 monsoon affected regions, we have it all. The best part is how all the geographical variations are beautiful and how a vacation spent in any of the regions would rejuvenate you!



2. Indian food.

Need I say more? Indian cuisine is rated the third best cuisine in the world and it wouldn’t be a surprise if it becomes the best! From its delicious aroma to its unique taste with the spices and sweets, it doesn’t fail to captivate anyone who has a single taste.



3. The phenomenal minds of our country.

Not only has India given the world the number zero, it has also invented the game of chess. Mathematical studies of Algebra, Trigonometry, and Calculus all were invented in India. Other than Japan and the United States, India is the only country to have indigenously built the supercomputer.

India exports its software to 90 other countries. May 26 is celebrated as Science Day in Switzerland to honour A.P.J Abdul Kalam's first visit to the country. The second large number of scientists and engineers are Indians. The French are relying on our technology after successfully launching five foreign satellites into space!



4. Indian architecture.

The architecture is rooted deeply in India’s history, religion, and cultures. It progressed with time and adapted the many influences on India. The architecture, an integral part of what makes India great is influenced by the Indus Valley Civilization, the Middle Ages, Maratha, Islamic architecture and the European architecture.



5. World’s largest democracy.

India is the world’s largest democracy with 1.2 billion people. The constitution of India is also the longest constitution written. It contains 444 articles in 22 parts, 12 schedules and 118 amendments with 1,46,385 words in its English translation.



6. Indian cinema.

The Indian Cinema is the biggest and the largest movie producer in the world, producing a roundabout 1100 movies per year.



7. Just, because.

Because no matter how horrible we are towards our own people, we are also the best. We wouldn’t mind taking the lathi beatings from police officers if it means giving an innocent rape victim justice. Because there’s that patriotic spirit in each and every one of us as even after 70 years of independence, our blood boils whenever a fellow Indian is wronged. Because our country is gradually becoming more socially and politically aware and is getting aware of homophobia, feminism, and racism.



8. Cultural diversity.

With a vast variety of cultures in India, we have plenty of food, art, and music to choose from! Our country is a union of so many cultures that has been influenced through the millennia but that doesn’t stop us from diving into our culture and being proud of it.

Although India has to improve in a lot in other senses, we can’t ignore India’s achievements until now (including the fact that we haven’t ever invaded a country in our existence!).



Written by Durva Bhatt
A bibliophile who is fuelled entirely by caffeine, sarcasm, fandoms and random thoughts.

Some of the freedom fighters that made it all possible

Let us all remember some of the freedom fighters that made celebrating Independence Day possible. Without their selfless efforts, India wouldn’t stand where it is standing today.

1. Subhash Chandra Bose

His main aim was the freedom of India and didn’t agree with Gandhi ji on many terms.

He was very well educated and believed that there shouldn’t be any tolerance for racism, casteism, and religious separation. It was on Hitler’s suggestion that he made the Indian National Army.

The slogan he gave,Jai-Hind is still on everyone’s mind.


2. Mahatma Gandhi

The father of the nation gave up everything to make India independent.

He was a man with strong values. He helped reduce poverty, empower women and bring Swaraj- self-rule.

He was also a believer in non-violence and led Quit India Movement, Non-Cooperation Movement among others.


3. Sarojini Naidu


Termed as the Nightingale of India, Sarojini Naidu was a social activist and a poet.

She was the first woman to become the Governor of India.

She travelled to different states and conveyed speeches on social welfare and through her poetries; she unrolled the message of independence.


4. Babasaheb Ambedkar

The first law minister of India; he was a very important part of the social revolution.

He formulated the India Constitution and played a remarkable role in influencing modern India.

As a victim of the caste system, he converted to Buddhism and helped other lower caste members to rise above the torture.


5. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, a tolerant lawyer from Gujarat who keenly participated in Mahatma Gandhi’s Quit India Movement.

He contributed more after India gained independence as well. India was separated into many princely states after the independence.

He made sure that all the domains were eliminated for the benefit of the country as the nation should be under only one government.


6. Annie Besant

Although a British activist, Annie Besant was fighting and campaigning against her own country for launching democracy in India.

She firmly believed in Indian self-rule. During World War I, she formed the Home Rule League that crusaded for freedom in India.

She got involved in Indian Politics and was also elected as the president of the Indian National Congress. She was also a Woman’s Right Activist.


7. Bhagat Singh

Martyr Bhagat Singh was brought up in a patriotic atmosphere and ever since he was young, he dreamt of seeing his country free from the British Rule.

He along with his friends Rajguru and Sukhdev fought many revolutionary wars, revolting against every British Rule that was put up against the civilians and the right of humanity. They were soon arrested and hanged to death. This instead of quieting the masses proved to be a catalyst as it ignited a fire that no one could blow out.

They kept uttering Sar kata sakte hair par sar jhuka sakte nahi which meant We can have our heads chopped but not bowed.


8. Chandra Shekhar Azad

Chandra Shekhar Azad, one of the powerful souls who gave away their lives for the freedom of India.

He first participated in Gandhi’s non-cooperation movement and he later applied the use of arms for the freedom struggle. He established the Hindustan Socialist Republic Association.

He loathed the British Rule so much that he ended his life by shooting himself because he preferred dying with pride than at the hands of the British Police.



Written by Durva Bhatt
A bibliophile who is fuelled entirely by caffeine, sarcasm, fandoms and random thoughts.

7 Times you unknowingly Stereotyped your Playlists

In a World where people have a stereotypical attitude towards almost everything, let us see how even our favorite song playlists aren't spared:



1. THE ‘In Love’ list.

This one must have artists like Ed Sheeran, Drake, Taylor Swift, One Direction and Justin Bieber and so on and so forth on it. If you’re in love and are looking to play some tracks this playlist is perfect for you. Honestly, if you are YouTube-ing music every day, you cannot overlook these artists. Having said that, this stereotype isn’t too bad. More than the emotional justification, understand that this list has more catchy tracks than any other. You can’t even fully deny that!

Tracks that are usually on this playlist: Blank Space, Photograph, Sorry, Wildest Dreams, etc.



2. THE ‘Mosh Pit’ list. 

Supposedly, not everyone can listen to the tracks on this one. That’s not entirely true. For you to make a playlist like this one requires some searching and listening, i.e. albums after albums and artists after artists.  But you really don’t have to be angry, or screaming, or head banging when you play something from this list.

Artists you cannot miss out on: Megadeth, Metallica, Pantera, Led Zeppelin and so on and so forth. 



3. THE ‘Cry-Baby’ list. 

Down to honest confessions, this one is my favorite among all the playlists. If you have been an ardent listener of music for some years now, you must have figured out that this is that one playlist that does not need you to do or feel anything when the tracks are on. Granted that the tracks from this one evoke some hard on emotions but you don’t have to necessarily shed tears. Sometimes it is enough for you to just close your eyes and enjoy the tracks.

Artist you can count on: Coldplay, Paloma Faith, Lana Del Rey, Jake Bugg and so on and so forth.



5. THE ‘Post Break-Up’ list.

This one I really dislike. One of the worst things people can ever tell you is the kind of songs you must listen to because you just went through a break-up. The clear assumption that one might be morose after a break-up cannot determine what pleases your ears. You might be sad, you might be happy, you might even be angry but trust me you will not be able to deal with the regret of listening to the wrong track during these crucial times.

Artists to look out for: Frank Sinatra, Eminem (WHY after a break-up? EMINEM is for all times.), Lady Antebellum, Roxette, ABBA, Bonnie Tyler, Adele and so on and so forth.



6. THE ‘Chill’ list.

Basically for those who like to ‘chill’ a little too often. However, the whole idea and act of listening to music should be enough to let one ‘chill’. Why the advent of a new cluster of tracks of the similar kind given such a tag? Either it’s a radio edit of the song or just another really catchy track from the EDM genre. However, this stereotyped playlist isn’t half as bad as the others when it comes to the structure and the beat of the tracks.

Artists chillin’ at the top of the list: Diplo, DJ Sakin and friends, Steve Aoki, Calvin Harris, Skrillex and so on and so forth.



7. THE ‘CAN NEVER FORGET’ list. 

Hands down the most legit and perfectly stereotyped playlist one can ever have. The Sole example of the fact that stereotypes aren’t always bad. This list will probably overflow with so many artists because of the sheer respect you have for the quality of music people used to produce at one point of time. If anything, the nostalgia quotient is too high with this playlist. Open YouTube and you’ll discover the best acoustic/non-acoustic covers of your favorite tracks. Any day, anywhere – this is your ‘go to’ playlist.

Always #throwingback to these artists: Simon and Garfunkel, The Beatles, John Lennon, Frank Sinatra, Santana, Michael Jackson, Bob Dylan, The Carpenters and so many more that only deserve as much attention as the ones already mentioned.

Stereotypical Playlist is a common phenomenon, so common that we don’t even realize it half the time. But don’t let it pose as an obstacle when it comes to opening up to more music, both new and old.

Hear them all, judge and classify some !!!




Written by Smita Ganguli
Aspiring cyber journalist but too damn opinionated.

Why do our Indian athletes fail to perform in the Olympics?

The faux socialite Shobha De’s tweet where she mocked Indian athletes for their dismissal show in Rio Olympics compelled me to think about how it is always about winning or losing, and why. Winning and losing are crucial. We always play to win the game and when one is representing one’s country on an International platform such as the Olympics, winning becomes all the more significant. With million of eyes gazing at their performances, these athletes face a tough time. Not only they are under pressure to play their chosen sport superlatively, they also have the trepidation of how they will be delivered when they do not perform well, or rather lose. But is it righteous on our part to impugn our sportsperson when they lose? Even though we are fully enlightened of the fact that the reasons for their poor performance ascend innately.

Are we a bunch of nonathletic people? Given the ethical and cultural diversity found in our country, it is obviously an absurd proposition. But then how are we supposed to explain the numbers? Since India first participated in the world’s premier sporting event in 1900, it has won a total of 26 medals less than what powerhouses like the USA and China win in a single Olympics. In 2012, India won just six medals, one for every 200 million Indian making it the country with the worst Olympic record in terms of medals per head of population. In an excellent piece on Firstpost, badminton champion Aparna Popat explained one key difference between India and China. China’s essential aim was to win glory for the nation through sport, she wrote. And to achieve this, the Chinese established centralized elite sports systems. There were government run sports training centers at all levels – national, city, provincial and country sports schools. Children as young as 4 years were identified and put into these training centers. With all the expenses borne by the state, the children were made to train out of their skins so that one day they may excel at the international level. However, in India, Popat writes that in the absence of state support it is the family that steps up.

India’s failure at the Olympics cannot be only attributed to the plausible theories associated with how widely are the opportunities distributed amidst the overall population or how a large population allied to high GDP per capita is the best predictor of Olympic success, but to a number of other factors.

Poor administration plays a major role in this respect. Due to the influence of politics in sports, athletes are elected and not selected. Then, the poor health indications of the children rip some of the best talents in the bud. Poor health leads to inadequate strengths that are required at the highest level. This was made public when the coach of the Indian Hockey Team mentioned in his report that the players were fit to compete only in the first half of the match. The coaching levels are also equally pitiable. Even the psychological strengthening of the players through appropriate coaching and counseling needs an upgradation. Most of the sports glories are an outcome of efforts at an individual level. Take Abhinav Bindra for example, the first and only gold medalist ever from India has his own practicing range. That he is fortunate enough to afford doesn’t mean everyone else is too. Pan Singh Tomar and Milkha Singh were the lucky ones who were groomed by the army who ironically is more responsive towards training and priming the talents while the sports ministry sets up committees after committees to enhance the performance.

Then, comes the general mindset of the people. People are way too uninterested in the games. Maybe that is the reason why the government’s efforts to enthuse the public by organizing a live screening and other events have been futile. There is an abundance of talent in our country, but the sources to harness this richness are scarce. It’s now or never. World class infrastructure, exclusive facilities, prodigious support and recognition is what is needed to be provided to our budding sports enthusiasts so that instead of choosing the more conventional career alternatives due to lack of economic security and stability in the field of sports, they can choose the game they love and make a fulfilling career in that. They need a source of optimism. A suitable ecosystem needs to be nourished beginning with an early detection of talents in even the remotest parts of the country. And yes, success can only be achieved when the efforts of all the stakeholders are in a unified direction.

Perhaps, we would someday see ourselves amongst the top countries in the tally of medals. A far-fetched dream, though, yet achievable.



Written by Chhavi Minhas
“A free spirit, dreamer and admirer of this puzzle called life”

 
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