Tuesday, 15 August 2017

When Pride Rhymes with Love: Report on Q.L.C. Meet August 2nd, 2017

Juveria Tabassum

“Love is a marriage of true minds,” said William Shakespeare in one of his many sonnets dedicated to a young man he was in love with. Just like the timeless English playwright, the world of literature has seen many brilliant poets and writers who found love in partners of the same sex, and chose to write about the wondrous sensation of loving another person, with little regard for the gender  of their beloved. 

Sumitra Ma'am Starting the Discussion
The Quills Literary Club explored few such authors and poets with its meeting on the theme, "Homosexuality and Literature". Dr Sumitra Jaiswal  gave a brief history of same-sex love in literature. 
The members then watched an award-winning animated student film, In a Heartbeat, which captures the innocent love between two young boys in the most endearing fashion. The film by Beth David and Esteban Bravo of Ringling College of Art and Design has gone viral on the Internet and has teased widespread discussion on the importance of such depictions of the LGBTQ+ community in mainstream media.

Meghana Shares Her Views on Homosexuality
After the film, Meghana delivered a speech about how homosexuality has always been prevalent in literature even though these texts have not been given the attention they deserved. She touched upon the social taboos around homosexuality and how change needed to start with classroom education that attempted to overcome such regressive thinking.

Ruhina Talking About The Color Purple
Supriya With Some Stirring Spoken Word

The next presentation was by Supriya and Ruhina, who talked about writer Alice Walker’s epistolary novel, The Color Purple. Set in the early 1900s, the novel explores the female African American experience through the life and struggles of its narrator, Celie. This was followed by a moving spoken word poetry performance based on the story by Supriya. It conveyed not just Celie’s pain through her days of abuse and neglect, but also brought forward her euphoria over finding true love in another woman.

Rakshita on Frank O' Hara
We then moved on to a presentation by Viola, Chandana and Rakshita on Frank o’ Hara’s truly delightful poem, Having a Coke With You. The poem talks about how O’ Hara finds the man he loves, to be a far more enchanting muse than admiring great works of art or visiting exotic places, or indulging in philosophical thought and research. O’ Hara’s breathless verse conveys his deep affection for his beloved in lines like,
It is hard to believe when I’m with you that there can be anything as still
as solemn as unpleasantly definitive as statuary when right in front of it
Viola's Take on Having a Coke With You
in the warm New York 4 o’clock light we are drifting back and forth
between each other like a tree breathing through its spectacles.’
The poem and the presentation left the club smiling in a weird sense of shared contentment. After all, what can be more captivating than an expression of true love?

Maliha and Avani on How We've Made a Great Mess of Love
D. H. Lawrence’s We’ve Made a Great Mess of Love, is a remark on how the society has contributed to the perversion of love by making “an ideal” out of it. The poem, presented by Maliha and Avani focused the conversation around how the excessive definitions and boundaries that we put around love have broken down its innate purity into something that’s insincere and artificial.

Conversations on Homosexuality- Indian Style
While we deliberated over these thoughts, Soujanya, Gunapriya and Neharika came up with a light-hearted skit that showed a young Indian Millenial attempting to explain the concept of homosexuality to his oblivious mom and his adamantly homophobic dad.
This was followed by a video by Shravya, Swati and Ashmita, 

which was a collection of views and opinions of the students of the college on homosexuality. It was an interesting way to bring the conversation to our own shores. We had Srinidhi set it up for us with her brief speech about homosexuality in ancient India, where we learned how the concepts of gender and sexuality remained fluid in mythologies that maintained every human form to be a natural manifestation of the divine.

Akshara and Group take us Through Love's Great Power
The last presentation was by Akshara, Akhila, Srilekha and Rakshita on Vikram Seth’s Through Love’s Great Power. The poem is a scathing protest against the Supreme Court’s ruling of December, 2013 that overturned a previous amendment to section 377 of the IPC, which criminalizes homosexual love as “sexual activities against the order of nature”. Seth’s powerful verse suggests that it is not love that is an unnatural crime, but the use of power in a way that victimizes an already marginalized group of people, and deprives them of basic human rights.
In the end, as we reflected over the poignant verses that we’d just read, we realized how a discussion on homosexuality somehow ended up being a celebration of love in all its exceptional forms.
Celebrating the Many Colours of Love 

We do not choose who we fall in love with. And love is, beyond everything, an intimate, inexplicable connection between two minds and souls. Criminalizing or fearing homosexuality or any other expression of a person’s love, is merely an expression of ignorance. Maybe it’s time we stop branding each other with labels that dehumanize our true, natural feelings and let love run its own course.

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Blurred by the Silver Screen- A Story by Meghana

Ridima was a normal girl her life took a great turn when she was selected at the auditions for a popular T.V. show. She got the part of the main lead, and was much praised for her performances. She was a dedicated actor and did all she could to make her career as part of the industry. As the months passed, she was soon well-recognized among her peers, and also much loved by her fans. She soon reached the pinnacle of success, when she won a national award for her brilliance.

This accomplishment made Ridima feel really proud of herself. The success got to her head and soon she started believing herself to be better than the rest of the artists she was working with.
At the shoot one day, she overheard some of her crew talking about her rudeness. This made her really angry and started yelling at them. The director was so upset at her behavior that he told her he won’t be working with her anymore, and would sign a better actress. 
Ridima was dumbstruck by his words. She went home sobbing and her mind went blank. As soon as she reached home she removed all the false lashes, the wig and makeup and stared at the mirror. All she could see was a pale girl who had lost herself to the world. She didn't know what she was doing as she stood there staring at herself the whole night. She felt broken and insecure.
The image that she had built of herself crashed around her ears. She realized that her success was attributed not just to her talent and good looks, but also to the efforts of everyone around her. She felt crestfallen and ashamed of her behavior, and vowed to treat people who work with and for her with the respect they deserved.
She also realized that she couldn’t run away from herself for the fear of others. She could comprehend the importance of a self-love that could honestly let her evaluate and improve her not just as an actor, but also as a human being. She decided to appreciate constructive criticism from her co-workers instead of discarding their words simply because she thought them to be jealous of her ability.
She went back and apologized to her director and all the other members of the cast and crew. Once they understood and forgave her, she once again gave her acting her full attention and this time, she was appreciated not only for being a talented artist, but also for being a wonderful person.
Together We Stay Afloat

Saturday, 5 August 2017

The Importance of Smiling by Faiza Afreen, BBA


The Unlost Woman (JC)

Why did the "Mona Lisa" become one of the most famous paintings of all time ? Most of you might be knowing this; That's right! It is because of her unique smile .

Each one of us have experienced it. You come into the class or go to a function or when you enter your home with a real big smile on your face and suddenly people respond to you with a smile and seem to treat you better. Those who do not respond you back with a smile; Huh ! lets not talk about them !

Each time we smile, we throw a little feel good party in our brains. The act of smiling activates neural messaging which is good for our health and happiness. A smile is  more communicative than words. A child’s innocent smile, a mother’s loving smile, a patient’s smile of gratitude, your bestie’s wicked smile;The list is endless.

Lets consider this case. You had a very bad day . Everything was messed up the whole day. While walking back to home, you notice a lady carrying an infant and she smiles at you and you smile back. That’s the power of  a smile; it can light you up :)
On another such occasion when I was in my 4th class, the science teacher asked me,  “why don’t you smile more often "? That evening I went home and actually started practicing different smiles and took up the challenge that no matter how bad the day was or how worse the situations were, I would fill myself with positive energy. The change I noticed was beyond words could explain. Smile is the only refreshment in a day which I don’t have to pay for .
So just ask yourself everyday before you sleep:
Did you smile today?
Did you make anyone happy today?
Were you the reason for someone’s smile ?
Trust me, life will become easier.  You will find the world to be a more beautiful place .
Me : Pouts while taking a selfie.
The inner me: Nah! A smile would be more prettier JJJ