LETTER FROM THE EDITORS

Dear Readers,

 

Here we are again with the second printed issue of The Scribe. We’d first like to thank you all for the overwhelming support and constructive feedback we got for ‘Pulp’ – it was rather unexpected but much appreciated, and very helpful indeed. For example, one of the suggestions we got was to make it thicker, and to that end, you may notice that we have significantly more art, writing and photography in this issue than we did the last issue. Admittedly, that was less us actively taking this suggestion, and more the students of high school showing up by the dozens to contribute and deliver more and more fantastic work to us.

This is tremendously gratifying work, and each member of The Scribe absolutely loves what they do. We hope that this projects onto February’s issue ‘Blueprint’. We are working to put out more in the coming academic year, so stay tuned for lots more to come in 2018! We encourage you to constantly, continuously submit any art or writing you have because The Scribe team, and our teacher-in-charge, Ms Sheela, are absolutely astounded at the talent we have here in Aditi. So we stand by what we started with: don’t be afraid to express and inspire!

Inika Chikarmane, Malini Narayan, and the rest of The Scribe team.

 

~

beginning /bɪˈɡɪnɪŋ/ noun : the point in time or space at which something begins.

At this moment in time and space, something has indeed begun. Something that began when two eager hopefuls ached for a space to create, inspire and discover enticing content crafted by one alike. In a pursuit to be different and do different, we managed to devise something big over late night skype calls and hastily typed out emails.  Something called ‘The Scribe’; A representation of many facets of a single, idea-divulging mind. United in voice but individualised by perspective.

 

There’s a certain vagueness in ‘somethings’, however. What exactly is The Scribe?

Well, primarily, it is a school magazine; but we like to think of it is as a stage. A stage to say your piece. A stage to showcase your art. A stage to sing your heart out. A stage where you can uninhibitedly, unabashedly be you.

 

“Be yourself” is a phrase that is grossly overused by the Oprahs and Step Up movies of the world. What does it even mean? If you cannot define it for yourself, we certainly cannot define it for you. That’s where the beauty of The Scribe lies – in its lack of boundaries, in its lack of definitions. If you have something to say, something that does not even follow a tangent, say it. Let your passion smother you. Let your voice be heard. And most importantly, let the Scribe help you get there.

Funny little world

i live in such a funny world

full of funny people.

they talk about not being judgmental

yet all they do is to criticise people,

people they have never even spoken to.

They talk about feminism,

yet they can’t stand a woman wearing clothes

“that show too much skin.”

I live in world where

Feminism is looked down upon

but ‘menism’ is trending on social  media.

I live in a world where

“menstruation” is more a taboo word than rape.

A world where people getting bullied

is recorded instead of being stopped.

People look at depressed people as if they are plagued.

and choose to move away from them rather than stay and help.

I live in a world where

family consists more of friends

rather than the actual family.

A world where parents spend more time

listening to colleagues than their kids.

Yet they act surprised to see

that one day when the stock market has fallen,

their children have grown up.

Oh! what a funny world.

 

-Aditi Sundaram 11 ISC S

BOOK REVIEWS

SIX OF CROWS BY LEIGH BARDUGO

Criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker has been offered wealth beyond his wildest dreams. But to claim it, he’ll have to pull off a seemingly impossible heist:

Break into the notorious Ice Court
(a military stronghold that has never been breached)

Retrieve a hostage
(who could unleash magical havoc on the world)

Survive long enough to collect his reward
(and spend it)

Kaz needs a crew desperate enough to take on this suicide mission and dangerous enough to get the job done – and he knows exactly who: six of the deadliest outcasts the city has to offer. Together, they just might be unstoppable – if they don’t kill each other first.

What I love about this duology is that it’s incredibly fun, and somewhat light-hearted, while also managing to add in quite a lot of depth and emotion. In some ways, you could compare it to a novel version of a Marvel or DC movie, because these two books are packed with action; they are thrilling and fast-paced. There is some romance, but unlike most YA books, it isn’t intrusive and is more of a realistic sideline. And yet the series manages to go beyond that basic action and delves into a lot of deeper, emotional themes through its characters, such as a former victim of sex trafficking, an antihero with PTSD, and a dyslexic character with family issues. Leigh Bardugo is known for creating multidimensional characters, and in this duology, she manages to create a stunning read by combining a captivating plot with highly nuanced, emotive figures.

 

NEAPOLITAN NOVELS BY ELENA FERRANTE

A modern masterpiece from one of Italy’s most acclaimed authors, My Brilliant Friend is a rich, intense and generous hearted story about two friends, Elena and Lila. Ferrante’s inimitable style lends itself perfectly to a meticulous portrait of these two women that is also the story of a nation and a touching meditation on the nature of friendship. Through the lives of these two women, Ferrante tells the story of a neighborhood, a city and a country as it is transformed in ways that, in turn, also transform the relationship between her two protagonists.

In a series of four books, Elena Ferrante presents an extremely raw depiction of life in a certain Italian setting. Choosing friendship as a theme running throughout all four books, she writes about a highly dynamic relationship between characters, including subtle references to things like peer pressure and insecurity. The beauty of this series is in its nature as a rich, immersive story: the autobiographical narration manages to capture everything that happens in the process of growing up, from innocence to sexuality to changes in society to changes in the body. This series is essentially the story of a young girl growing up and discovering herself, and by describing experience in excruciating detail through the eyes of the protagonist, Ferrante immerses you in a powerfully moving web of love, hate, aspiration, and life.

ASYMMETRY BY LISA HALLIDAY

Told in three distinct and uniquely compelling sections, Asymmetry explores the imbalances that spark and sustain many of our most dramatic human relations: inequities in age, power, talent, wealth, fame, geography, and justice. The first section, “Folly,” tells the story of Alice, a young American editor, and her relationship with the famous and much older writer Ezra Blazer. A tender and exquisite account of an unexpected romance that takes place in New York during the early years of the Iraq War, “Folly” also suggests an aspiring novelist’s coming-of-age. By contrast, “Madness” is narrated by Amar, an Iraqi-American man who, on his way to visit his brother in Kurdistan, is detained by immigration officers and spends the last weekend of 2008 in a holding room in Heathrow. These two seemingly disparate stories gain resonance as their perspectives interact and overlap, with yet new implications for their relationship revealed in an unexpected coda.

Asymmetry is a standalone novel, although it is made up of two separate stories. There’s a good deal of humor and wit, especially in the first part of the book, Folly, along with some amusing events. The second part, Madness, is one that alternates between the present and flashbacks of life during wartime, and this section is one that is more suspenseful. However, along with the ability of this novel to pull readers in, it’s also a book that is very thought provoking. Compared to the other books mentioned in this feature, Asymmetry is one that holds a lot more literary value, because underlying the writing is a reflection of the asymmetry of life. Both stories are tied together by this theme, with the power difference between Alice and her lover, and the spontaneity of Amar’s past, and the writing encourages readers to reflect on events and experiences, and think about what makes them so different from each other.

NOCTE BY COURTNEY COLE

My name is Calla Price. I’m eighteen years old, and I’m one half of a whole. My other half—my twin brother, my Finn—is crazy. I love him. More than life, more than anything. And even though I’m terrified he’ll suck me down with him, no one can save him but me. I’m doing all I can to stay afloat in a sea of insanity, but I’m drowning more and more each day. So I reach out for a lifeline. Dare DuBray. He’s my savior and my anti-Christ. His arms are where I feel safe, where I’m afraid, where I belong, where I’m lost. He will heal me, break me, love me and hate me. He has the power to destroy me. Maybe that’s ok. Because I can’t seem to save Finn and love Dare without everyone getting hurt. Why? Because of a secret. A secret I’m so busy trying to figure out, that I never see it coming. You won’t either.

Yeah, you definitely won’t. Because this trilogy is a complete rollercoaster to read: it’s full of suspense and secrets, and the mystery keeps you on edge the whole time you’re reading. It is definitely a very interesting series, because Courtney Cole leaves it open-ended; you can choose to believe that this was a fantasy series, or you can choose to believe that it was all set in real life. The protagonist of the story suffers from depression as well as PTSD, and Cole creates a heartbreaking story revolving around a girl’s journey to recovery – it’s a plot that seems straightforward, but there are so many Easter eggs that by the end of the series, you as a reader are expected to choose to believe whether or not the loose ends have been tied up (both options are equally plausible). It’s certainly a story that draws a lot of its value from detailed ambiguity and involves the reader to a high degree; in fact, Cole’s prose and writing style is so planned and impactful that this is probably the most complex, layered book mentioned in this edition.

WHAT YOU SHOULD BE LISTENING TO

As promised in the previous edition more importance would be places on Indie music. It’s a slightly old song for the indie fan, considering the amount of new indie music that is being constantly released, but “Wish I Knew You’ by the Revivalists is a perfect song to start the indie exploration. The New Orleans based band has a very elaborate set up: Vocals, Guitar, Bass, Drums, Keyboard, Trumpet, Saxophone and Pedal Steel. The sound is typical indie with the lasting simple lyrics and intricate ensemble of a variety of instruments. I highly recommend this song and the band!

 

Next is Tame Impala. It is fairer to give musical credit to front-man Keith Parker rather than the whole band itself. Its dynamics are complex: as a touring band there are four members; however, Keith Parker plays, records and edits all songs alone. He is known for his musical genius – his ability to play several instruments and be a perfectionist producer. Since his first major hit in 2012, “Elephant”, Parker has collaborated with several big names in the music industry including Mark Ronson and Mick Jagger (who is, in my opinion, the greatest front-man in all music history). Elephant was part of the album “Lonerism”. It brings out the same moods that are experienced from overridden riffs by Cream and Jimi Hendrix, EXCEPT (there’s always an “except” when it comes to Indie Music), there’s major synthetic modern twist. But don’t get me wrong – the usage of electronic media completely complements Tame Impala’s individual style. 3 years later, in the album “Currents”, more importance has been given to the electronic means of making music. “Cause I’m a Man” and “Let it Happen” are prime examples. Easy drum beats are matched with synthesized guitar tones and then heavily reverbed to form a distinctly unique style. The lyrics are also catchy and tend to stick in your head. Yet, the most recent release – “Currents B-sides” – is an EP that does not live up to the high expectations that have been formed of Tame Impala. The music is not bad, but it requires a very acquired taste. The songs are slow paced and dreamy, with extremely simplistic lyrics.

Nonetheless, Tame Impala remains a severely underrated name, definitely deserves more recognition.

 

JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE! Stepping out of his comfort zone, the universally loved 37-year-old of former boy-band fame recently dropped a new album – “Man of the Woods”. “Morning Light”, a collaboration with the amazing Alicia Keys, is not like anything Timberlake has done before. How typical of Timberlake to be so atypical! He may have tried something new but he still hasn’t let go of his love for heavy beats with his signature high pitched voice. “Filthy” and “Sauce” don’t go too far away from his “S*xyback” roots. A lot of the songs in the album are aligned with the trend of including bits of electronic music in mainstream pop, but Timberlake still hasn’t failed to showcase his vocal prowess. It’s a different and interesting album that’s very hard to describe. I urge you to listen to more than one song before you form your opinions of it as there is just such a variety in the styles of music.

PS- Timbaland STILL holds a place on the list of artists in the album.

 

 

 

And finally, not a single artist but an entire genre- Nu Jazz! As the name implies, the genre of music is essentially jazz music, with a modern twist. Produced electronically, mostly with hip-hop style vocal samples, I thought Nu Jazz would be a unique area to explore. NUJABES is often regarded as the DJ that made the first Nu Jazz music. NUJABES was a Japanese DJ from Tokyo, who unortunately passed away in a traffic accident in 2010. His demise was greatly mourned and several DJs from all over the world paid their respects by releasing tributes. NUJABES is known for the his heavily layered music, although the individual components are often extremely simple. However, when all the different sounds come together, they form a true work of art, often regarded as music for the soul. I admit that this genre of music may not be for everyone, but even if you don’t like it, is an amazing experience to understand the mastery in the layering of the different sounds to create melodies.

 

This edition feels incomplete with out the inclusion of the Black Panther soundtrack, but I suppose you know all about that anyways! Who doesn’t love Kendrick?

 

 

My New Favourite Animal

A few weeks ago, one of my friends relayed a fascinating story about an animal that at first sounded like it was straight out of a science fiction novel because of its abilities, which frankly sounded made-up. He told me that this animal could survive in space, withstand nuclear explosions and extreme amounts of radiation, live in pressures up to one thousand atmospheres and temperatures between -200 and 150ºC, and survive for decades without food or water. Not believing a word he uttered, I logged onto the nearest computer and researched these amazing organisms, known as tardigrades, (which are now my new favourite animals), and found out that I could probably find them in my backyard.

Water Bear or Tardigrade

Tardigrades, known colloquially as ‘water bears’, are microscopic water invertebrates that are less than one-millimetre-long on average and found in many habitats but are most prevalently found in mosses and lichens. On first glance, they seem like nothing special, but their unique abilities have puzzled scientists and have the potential to lead to major scientific advancements.

The secret to their superhuman abilities is a process called ‘cryptobiosis’, which is when an organism enters a state wherein all metabolic activity stops, which would kill most other animals. The most common type of cryptobiosis seen in water bears in anhydrobiosis; this is when these animals live without water by curling up into a ball, which slows down their metabolism to 0.01% the normal speed. They can remain in this water-less state for decades and be rehydrated within hours.

The reason they survive for so long both without water and under extreme conditions has been recently discovered when a team of scientists in Japan sequenced the genomes of these extraordinary animals. They discovered that during the process of anhydrobiosis, a special glass-like protein (which is different from other proteins as it does not have the usual 3-D amino acid structures) coats the tardigrade, protecting its body and preserving its cell structure.

The real-world applications of this discovery are numerous. According to researchers, the water bears’ special ability could make other organisms a hundred times more resilient. For example, if this ability is given to plants, crops could become much more drought tolerant, and it could also permit delicate vaccines to no longer not require careful refrigeration.

Another recent ground-breaking discovery about water bears is the fact that they have a radiation shield protecting their DNA. According to scientists, the protein responsible for this could be used to increase human resistance to radiation from X-rays by 40%.

So the next time you go to a park, think of how many of the world’s greatest animals are around you!

 

-Camran Lateef

Cologne

He smelled of dirty tamarind leaves,

dusted with vanilla beans

and freshly picked spices.

I could smell him,

even when he was not present.

The scent travelled, like a flume,

into every street and every room.

It was always with me,

always changing.

But when he left it went away completely.

Without him there was no scent.

Not in my memories,

not on my clothes.

Not on his.

Yet, I found a way for him to remain behind,

and as he lay still beside me,

I spritzed his body with joviality.

He smelled of dirty tamarind leaves

dusted with vanilla beans

and freshly picked spices,

nevertheless it didn’t smell like him.

 

Anonymous

Change

Change.

It might not be welcome,

However it is always inevitable.

It has the power to split up,

As well as to bring together,

But never to promise the same.

It gives us this constant need,

To capture moments and memories,

Out of fear of losing them to Time.

Yet they will eventually be gone,

Thanks to Change.

Funnily, the only constant element is,

Change.

 

Sachit Lumba 10 D

i want to stay a little longer.

I wake up before the sun

has enveloped the world beneath it.

It is quiet, and there is only one

creature awake.

I am alone,

yet it is a different feeling from

 

the loneliness I feel once the sun comes out.

I am content.

 

The wind plants soft kisses

on every inch of my bare skin.

The beautiful hush soothes

my mind.

The chaos is still asleep.

My thoughts are unusually dormant.

It is just me and the absent sun.

And,

for that moment,

being awake doesn’t seem so bad.

 

-Ria Chawla 11 AICE R