Why do we exist?
– Riddhi Verma 11 AICE R
Why do we exist?
A question that haunts me on this dark night,
What is my purpose, where do I find the light?
Do I run through the forests looking for answers,
Or follow the footsteps of forgotten ancestors?
Why do we exist?
Is it because one molecule likes another?
Or because of some divine force, the great mother?
What do I make of my life, of humanity,
Are we a gift, transcenders, or our own futility?
Why do we exist?
To conquer, raid and stand tall,
Or to wonder, trade and learn all.
What are the world’s secrets, why are we here,
Who sent us, what drives us, should it be fear?
Why do we exist?
Are my answers at the top of a glorious mountain overlooking the earth,
Or down in the homes of the poor, the ones who feel true mirth.
Is it simplicity that brings happiness or fulfilled desire,
Is it mercy, love or revenge fueling the fire?
Why do we exist?
My question echoes and persists,
I know no answer that truly fits.
One day I hope to find why I exist,
Without anyone to bend me or sway me or add their own twist.
Why should we exist?
If we do not search for reason,
Listen to all others and commit self-treason.
My biggest dream is to live away in the mountains,
A humble cabin, free from all who hold us as captives.
Like a Diamond in the Sky
– Manya Bharadwaj 11 AICE P
It’s cold outside – freezing, actually, and you’re terribly happy to stay inside. It’s warm, there’s a fireplace, and there’s gingerbread cookies. It’s nearly Christmas, and it’s time to decorate the tree.
There’s all the usual tinsel and white fairy lights, and once you’re done, your living room looks exactly like a perfect movie scene. It’s the very image of warmth and happiness, a safe haven from the cold and snow. A perfect White Christmas. Only the star is missing, so you decide to head up to the attic, where you keep it every year, after the tree has been taken down.
The attic is your favorite place in the house, because it seems to speak to you, promising you a world of potential. It’s an old house that you live in, and the long line of owners before your family has contributed to it. No one’s ever bothered to clear it out, and the room is full of things left behind. Every time you open the door, old hinges creaking, you’re faced with a rather large space, with relatively low, sloped ceilings. There are crates and piles and piles of crates, and an old wardrobe or two. It’s all, of course, covered in layers and layers of thick greyish white powder: dust that’s accumulated over years, maybe decades.
This time, it’s no different. There’s a small bulb on the wall that weakly flickers to life when you pull a hanging beaded cord, each wave of feeble light slightly stronger than the last, finally illuminating the room in a dim yellow glow after a minute or two. Granted, you might have said this is your favorite room in the house, but even you don’t come up here too often – maybe a few times a year to get something you need. Everything else is too dusty, and the crates are probably swollen tight after all these years. Of course, no one can ever bring themselves to clear this place out, so the things here remain, there, but not really there.
The star is in its usual place, on top of an ancient carved mahogany wardrobe. The wardrobe is probably majestic, but it’s hard to notice the details or the varnished wood carving, because your gaze is drawn immediately by the large, five-pointed lump of gold resting against the wall on top of it. It isn’t really gold, or a star, obviously, but it’s so much more fun to pretend it isn’t actually a piece of discarded cheap wood from the local carpenter, covered in plastic, and plated with sparkly brownish-yellow wrapping paper.
You reach up to pluck it off the wardrobe – you’re only just tall enough to do it without having to hunt for a stool to stand on – but as you bring your arm down, you knock your wrist against a corner. Luckily, whatever box you knocked against isn’t actually sharp enough or heavy enough for the blow to sting, but there’s a smear of dust left against your sleeve. You transfer the golden star to your left hand, and wipe the dust off your sleeve with your fingers, not forgetting to pull the light cord when you leave, and closing the door behind you. The dust falls in a tiny pile on the floor.
You don’t see the bulb on the wall slowly glowing to a halt, but as it dies, there’s a little singular patch of reflected light that falls on the dust you wiped off your sleeve. It’s coming from a tiny mirrored corner of an unknown object on top of the wardrobe, alone in the darkness of the room.
I wake up before the sun
has enveloped the world beneath it.
It is quiet, and there is only one
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
The chaos is still asleep.
My thoughts are unusually dormant.
It is just me and the absent sun.
for that moment,
being awake doesn’t seem so bad.
–i want to stay a little longer.
Ria Chawla 11 AICE R
I always tend to look up each time I walk into a new building, a new space, or a new environment. This habit has given rise to my fixation with ceilings. Anybody who has peeped into my camera will vouch for this.
Why do I look up all the time? For some of finest expressions of humanity’s artistic endeavours are to be found in ceilings, for example chapels, train stations and museums.
The ceiling is coveted by artists as it is the perfect canvas for one’s masterpiece. Like the sky itself, the ceiling is free, free from the constraints of human interference or judgement; it is too high to be touched until the artist makes it her property.
In an allegorical sense, the ceilings one comes across can be understood as the varied interpretations different people have of what is above, of what lies beyond the physical realm.
In re-imagining the ceiling, the artist has complete freedom to show us her understanding of the world — what she wants us to see of her interpretation.
In another sense, ceilings stand as barriers between us and the sky or the realm above. Another way is to look at them is as a cover, protecting us from the wrath of the world above and beyond it; rain, lightning and thunder in a physical sense and the fear of the unknown in a more abstract sense.
In a way, the simple ceiling deserves much more credit than we give it. So the next time you visit a place, look up.
– Kaveri Rai 11 ISC S
– Sachit Lumba 10D
Happiness is like fire,
A demonstration of entropy.
It thrives on fuel,
Passion, heat, and energy.
Let us live like flames,
Dancing, flickering, and glowing,
Spreading our warmth,
Until the whole world shines bright.
It’s no use
– Zainab Fatima 9D
“Are you being good?”
“No one cares if you’re trying.”
“Because it’s no use.”
“Because trying isn’t doing.”
“But what if I can’t do it?”
“Then you’re not worthy.”
-Mihir Rajamane 11 ISC R
Winter spun her arms around her clear, crystal sky-sphere
and like paint falling in soap, schist coloured
through the clear sapphire sea like faults that grew moss,
stretching out its arms wide to seize and
conquer all the lands.
Her wavy nails that had tempests brewing on
its surface touched the slick, translucent
sphere fashioned by its new hue into an eye:
staring out into the world,
longing to pull in things that could help it
brighten like butter,
but it failed as Winter’s touch only gave
bloom to flint flowers that threw its pollen
as water and hail and wreaked destruction
like as if lead were falling out of the sky.
Summer threw her manicured hands onto the sphere,
startling Winter into moving her fingers
in an arc across it,
and its surface left ripples of gooseflesh-
that burned fast and bright-
like tractors ploughing a farm;
moved across like a plucked hen, and
hurled sparks of stolen frozen love and frozen time
at Summer, who elegantly sung away the assault,
her sweet tones piercing into Winter’s charcoal skin,
lighting it up in marigold orange flames,
flames that crackled and weathered the
stony skies into soil that grew daffodils and dandelions,
riding the gay wind under deceitful summer’s gaze,
as he drank away every last drop of water
and smiled with teeth that threw light on starving
eyes, blinding enough people to ignore thirsty tongues.
Anne The Warrior
Maya Saldanha 9C
“Hand on your life,
Feel the rhythm of time.”
[The last line of Rosen’s poem ’Hand on a Bridge’]
I’ve met a lot of people in my life of fifteen years; people who are passionate, inventive, practical, sincere, the list goes on.
I’ve met a lot of people in my life of fifteen years; but never anyone like Anne Warrior. She founded our school in 1984, with her friend, Tara Chandarvarkar. She built our school out of sheer passion.
When I first met her, I was 10. It was my first year in Aditi and like most 10 year olds that have to start afresh in grade 5, I found it hard. Everyone, except me, had been together since Prep. I felt like an intruder. I guess I just hadn’t “settled-in” as yet.
But Mrs. Warrior’s poetry class made me forget about how no one in Bangalore watched Doraemon, or how everyone’s accent was different from mine, or even the fact that I had (the dreaded) math, next block.
In Mrs. Warrior’s class, all that mattered was you, your poetry notebook, and her voice. She wove ideas of imagination, originality and humour, through her poetry and into the minds of 31 ten-year-olds. She taught us about rhythm, creativity and pulse.
There was just something about her that inspired me, something about her that stuck with me, something about her that made her stand out. She was sprightly and always in movement. This really surprised fifth-grade me, because even though she was old, (everyone that was older than 10, was old) she was still so full of life. She made us do things that I enjoyed (but I would never admit it). She walked the talk.
Mrs. Warrior loved what she taught and so do a lot of teachers. I think what made her so special was that she wanted us to love poetry as much as she did. She inspired my passion for poetry.
An excerpt from a poem I wrote in her class, in 2013.
[Brief: we were given two poems titled ‘A Girl’s Head’ and ‘A Boy’s Head’, and after reading them we were asked to write poems about our own heads.]
A Girl’s Head
“A happy face
laughing in space
Alexander the Great
Every head is different, yours, mine, theirs”.
I know this poem is really random, but that’s what was so great about her class, you could express yourself in anyway you wanted. And in today’s world this is a highly required skill. Five years later, she and her teachings are still memorable to me.
- Manya Bharadwaj 11 AICE P
When we surfaced, it was from the pits of darkness
There was poison that flowed down our limbs
There were voices that screamed and sighed
There was nothing against our smoldering inferno
We were dark
We were together a stunning portrait
Your eyes were red, my eyes black
Your ears heard whispers of little evil things
Your lips met mine and I felt your soul
I tasted hurt
We embraced and I felt your heart beat
I knew your coiled hair was rough against my fingers
I knew each breath was a fulfilled promise
I knew we were angels of demonic retribution
We were healing
We were horrors, but not quite unexpected
We turned to land and sea, two conquests
We were spirits, true, champions, yes, since
Men created monsters, but did we create men?
Cold, cold, cold.
- Anika Gururaj 10D
The water was cold.
I took a deep breath, and jumped into the dark abyss. Ice filled my lungs, pushing all the air out. I strained my eyes to see but it seemed like I was stuck in a realm of shadows. I struggled to stay afloat, the currents pulling me down. I felt helpless, my legs as stiff as a board, completely numb. I tried making my way through the darkness but my hands were numb and refused to move. That’s when I started hearing the voices.
Through the inky haze they called out to me, analyzing my goals and actions, criticizing, a symphony of questions. All my senses were focused on the voices and suddenly I felt drained and even more useless (if that was possible). I felt the water toss me around like a rag doll, no control over any of my motions. Their words were bullets, painting the canvas of my heart in hues of hurt and self doubt.
The water was still cold.
I took a deep breath and closed my eyes. I saw a small orb of light in the murky void and focused on it. I watched it grow bigger and bigger till it consumed me, filling me with a sense of hope I thought I’d lost. Suddenly, the voices stopped.
The water wasn’t as cold anymore.
- Meghna Gaddam 10C
i saw your eyes.
i saw them every night
as i closed mine.
they were everything
i could never imagine.
your eyes made the galaxies.
they were the sun,
the moon and the stars.
they made the rest of the world
shine less bright-
even if just by a little.
your eyes made it okay
to kill a man
and dance on his grave.
to feel unfathomable pain
and smile while feeling it.
your eyes made fire.
the kind that enveloped my mind,
my soul, and my being,
and kept them safe
in the darkness of the night.
You look into my eyes
and I look into yours.
The stars still bright-
only a strike of colour.
They are as blue as I imagined.
– Sachit Lumba 10 D
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,
Gauri Lankesh- haikus in tribute
– Mihir Rajamane 11 ISC R
She broke away, a
distributary at the gap-
ing mouth of Ganga.
White snow flowing down,
from mountain pedestal to
burning plains’ grassroots.
Her blood, now a river:
tributary to the quiet
trickle of dissent.
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,
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.
My New Favourite Animal
- Camran Lateef
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.
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!
– Zainab Fatima 9D
Tired of being pushed around,
Because I cared for people.
Tired of being neglected,
Because I didn’t want to get in the way.
I’m tired of having to shut myself up,
Because you won’t accept me otherwise.
I’m tired of all these ups and downs,
Just pick a goddamn direction.
Tired of being invisible,
Because my problems seem dismissible.
Tired of being fluid,
Just going along with everything.
Tired of needing to be unique,
When there’s actually nothing wrong with being common.
Tired of craving affection,
To only feel relevant.
And I’m tired of being quiet,
When I feel most irrelevant.
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?
What You Should Be Listening To
We start off this edition with two songs that were released in a series sponsored by AIB: House Party Sessions. We all have our guilty pleasures, mine is Bollywood music, but after a while its easy to get bored of Desi Girl on repeat! ‘Udd Gaye’ by Ritviz is a song for those who like Hindi music but are peeved by overplayed Bollywood. It has an extremely catchy intro which is quickly met with easy lyrics that make it a nice song to sing along to. The chorus of the song, if followed by a beat drop which is heavily Indianised and very synthetic indeed- but not in a bad way. The drop gives the song character and that element of EDM that all pop songs seem to be having post-2016. House Party Sessions dropped another song on 21st January called ‘Chak Bass’ by Mojojojo featuring Sikander Kahlon. The three-minute tune conveys a diluted hip-hop vibe that is synonymous with new age Bhangra Rap songs. It has a very western bassline which is combined with a jingle played on the Ek Tara, and cheesy Punjabi lyrics which give it a whole new twist. The song hasn’t quite gained as much popularity as Udd Gaye and surely fails to capture the suave outlook that Chuck Bass gives off.
Next, we move onto a song called ‘God’s Plan’ by Drake. It was released along with “Diplomatic Immunity” as a Single called Scary Hours. God’s Plan broke the single-day streaming records on Apple Music and Spotify. It has typical Drake tune and structure with soft, synthetically modified instrumental music that continues for the entire song. The repetitive chorus has the tendency to linger in your head after you hear the song. As with all other Drake songs, it’s the well-knit lyrics that we pay attention to. Drake talks about how he’s “tryna keep it peaceful” but people still wish bad things on him. He accepts that this is apart of God’s Plan. Drake fans don’t seem to think it’s his best work, but it sure is smashing the charts.
I thought it would be nice to explore what electronic music sounded like before the birth of 128 bpm electro house. So here’s a slightly less known song- ‘But I do’ by Poldoore. It was released in 2012, before the EDM boom. Poldoore is a very unorthodox electronic music artist who fuses the melodies of soul, funk and jazz with hip-hop instrumental to create his own sound. The lyrics are very basic, they were written in 1961 by Paul Gayten and Robert Guidry and released under the same title. It was re-sung for the new verison. ‘But I do’ also has a few catchy oriental sounds in the intro and chorus, which is what makes it Poldoore’s most listened song. I strongly recommend Poldoore. He’s a representative of house music before it was made mainstream.
In the next edition, we focus more on Indie and Alternative Music. Hopefully, we discover some new songs and artists to widen our music tastes.
New releases will always be included!
Written by Dhruvan Juneja 11 ISC
The Ubiquity of Knowledge
The human brain is vast and deep,
With crevasses that are wide and steep;
It is as easy for one to wander into its depths,
As it is for a bystander to ponder in its lengths.
If these two were to interact,
Their thoughts may tend to inter-react;
It would seem like two opposing waves at sea,
That clash and clamour like wild horses free;
One’s thought is another’s dream,
Some may know, some may scream.
Words you say may not be akin to me,
They may come out gentle and spree;
But as they travel through the air,
And rest their vibrations upon my hair;
My recipient brain may go haywire,
Like a cable machine set on fire.
You, me, we do not agree,
But that does not mean, from this situation we flee;
Be kind and stand strong,
Have the ears to listen long,
Take a stranger’s words as you would your favourite song;
The words may be strange,
But they’re the same letters, only you rearrange.
Strange are the words, strange is the person,
But life and foundation was built only through passion;
Never did a friendly voice start as friend,
So cut not this interaction to the end;
Knowledge is wide-spread, scarce and hard to fathom,
Splattered over seven billion brains at random.
We utilise these unnecessary expenses,
And spend our time building fences;
Instead, we should be building bridges,
Connecting all these massive ridges;
Scattered all over humanity,
This is our current reality.
Don’t you know there are things to share,
You and I, our knowledge is rare;
So don’t hesitate to peer into your neighbour’s chasm,
It might cause you a little spasm;
But all you know is all you don’t know of theirs,
So listen to them and hear their prayers.
Written by Riddhi Verma 11 AICE
“You’ve changed” – my heart stops, words of horror. Someone telling me that I’m
not worth their time anymore because I’m not what they want anymore. “No,” I stutter “I’m still the same.” I can’t have changed. I shouldn’t have. Aren’t I what they want anymore?
Back then, “you’ve changed” was a stinging insult.
But everyday the mountains reach to a higher part of the heavens and everyday the
waves roar and flow – shaping every inch of land they touch. Everyday the black and
white chronicle is new and whether we know it or not, much has changed from the night before in the morning after. Today, there are about a hundred thousand newer, more precious lives than there were last night. The grass has grown an inch longer since when you last saw it. As monotonous as the daily to-school-and-back- routine is, not one of those days has been the same. There is change everywhere, everyday.
Nothing is constant- one day you’re praying for something to be over, the next day
you’d give anything to have it back. A ‘monument for the ages’ this year and completely
invisible ten years down the line. The person that meant the world to you becomes just a
passing stranger. Change can be terrible and cruel, it can mean tears, forgetting, death.
Still, I’d say change is a privilege.
Burn yourself down only to build yourself up again. The war-torn city can grow flowers as the
smoke clears. Today is a new day to start again. Do not barricade the riptide of new.
Change can mean growth, it can mean perspective and opportunity.
Transform, modify, revise, refashion, transfigure and evolve. Listen to Simon and
Garfunkel one day and hard-core punk rock the next. Today you can believe anarchy is
the way to go while tomorrow democracy just seems a whole lot more appealing. You
can detest now what was once your favourite food. Recast and reimagine. You do not
have to stay the way you are simply because that’s what people expect from you. Do not
conform to that. Allow yourself to be full of contradictions and colour.
“You’ve changed.”- I can’t help but let out a small smile. Changed from a little girl that
thought the most important thing she had to do was get married, to a young woman with
aspiration and ideals of her own. Changed from a stubborn, moody teenager, to
someone with the capacity to understand rather than trying to be understood. Learnt a
thousand things and went a thousand places. The world is shaping me as it does the
valleys and fields of sunflowers. The world permutes me as the unforgiving ocean
remoulds rocks like clay. The world reinvents me like the universe births a new star.
“You’ve changed”? I think I’ll have a cup of that.
Written by Ruia Safir 11 ISC
A Blank Canvas
A paint-dripping brush hovers close,
But not a drop falls on my skin,
Only the emptiness grows,
And the suffocation within.
Once, an idea was a maddening infection,
And I was a raging storm,
I cast a dense reflection,
But now I’m a vacant form.
I only watch while the world drifts by,
Hoping for just a shade of its colour,
A laugh, a scream, a tear, a sigh,
To paint away my sickly pallor.
I am a canvas plain,
Blank, insignificant and mundane,
Perhaps if you leave me with your stain,
I would no longer have to be this canvas plain.
Stranger over there by the wall,
The deep Night has its savoured Youth,
The sky just pierced by his tooth;
Stars awake, your soundness slumbers,
Still afar, I heard soul murmurs:
Soft and quiet, hopeful whispers.
Walk over, talk over, things I wish to do,
If only my legs paced just as my heart too,
Or my mind, an explorer that sought the new;
Then, Stranger by the wall I’d be next to you.
Written by Riddhi Verma 11 AICE
The Ideal Woman
There are certain features that make up all women – arms, legs, a face and a brain. Then there are characteristic features that distinguish each of us – the colour of our eye, our curly or wavy or straight hair, whether we’re tall or short – the list goes on. Then there’s the Ideal Woman.
The Ideal Woman is thin as thin can be. She’s tall and graceful. Her cheekbones are sharp and her jawline, even more so. Her hair is perfectly silky, without a strand out of place. Her face is smooth, not a blemish in sight.
The Ideal Woman is the best mother there is. She’s also at the top of the corporate ladder. She juggles taking care of her kids, never missing any of their recitals and always being there for them, while also commanding an entire organisation, never losing an opportunity to further its success because of personal obligations. As If that wasn’t enough, she’s the best daughter one could ask for. In her parents’ times of need, she’s just one call away.
Above all, the Ideal Woman is strong all the time. She has a fortress built around her heart that will never break. She carries no scars from battles lost, because she only has spoils of war from great victories. She’s always at the top of her game, never losing any points, never stumbling on a brick on the path of life.
Now that I have painted the picture of the Ideal Woman for you, let’s find her.
Can you help me?
I’m afraid I can’t see her.
Written by Anika Gururaj 10 D
Locks of Love
I love the idea of you.
For as long as I can remember, I have always loved the idea of you. I distinctly remember braiding my favourite dolls as a child— and I wondered, as my fingers caressed those feeble strands of hair, how yours would feel against my fingertips.
I decided then that I would love the feeling of it- regardless of whether it felt like the threads of silk I had always imagined, or as lawless as those of my dolls. I knew then that it would be our thing: braiding each other’s hair. When you got mad at me and refused to talk, I would walk up to your room and braid your hair. And we’d know that everything would be okay.
I can still hear my faint voice as I pondered out loud, “What colour do you think my daughter’s hair will be?”
My mother laughed at the avidity in my words, “Brown. Just like yours.” And so, it was pronounced. Your hair was going to be brown.
I always knew your hair would be brown, but the mere thought that it would not be- the thought that it might be dirty-blonde; the same dirty-blonde that I could catch glimpses of in the dark that night; the only thing I could see for the few moments that my eyes were open—petrifies me.
I’m scared. I am so scared that every time I sit down to untie your hair, it would remind me of that very night. I am so scared that touching your hair would feel like him touching mine again. I know that it isn’t fair to you, but I am so scared.
I hope you know that I still love you. And that love is why I couldn’t bring myself to do to you what everyone told me to. Because I didn’t know if I could live with myself for doing that to you. But the day I felt the gentle force of your feet against my stomach, I knew I couldn’t.
You were everything that was pure in this world. You were everything that he wasn’t, and I couldn’t punish you for coming from something horrible but I also knew that you deserved so much more than me.
You deserve a mother who will never see you the way that I might, at least once in your existence. You deserve a mother who will love doing your hair despite its colour. You deserve a mother who won’t think about anything but how much she loves your hair when she looks at it. You deserve a mother who deserves you.
So I found you a mother that deserves you.
Her voice is soothing, which I think you’d really like. And she has the nicest blonde hair, just like her other daughters. I can see you laughing and playing with the both of them. They seem so nice.
It will be so very hard for me to give you away the same day that the world gets to hear the sound of your voice, but I know I have to.
Maybe I’ll see you someday. Maybe I’ll get to see what a beautiful person you turned out to be. And if you let me, maybe I’ll braid your hair.
Written by Meghna Gaddam 10C
See That You Don’t Sink
I’ve done all I could,
And I can’t do more,
My clothes are dirty,
My legs are sore.
If I didn’t satisfy your expectations,
I don’t care.
But somewhere deep inside,
I actually do.
My insides cry behind this smile I wear.
I’m afraid of rejection,
But everyone is not,
As afraid as this.
So don’t try to fly,
In my sky of fears,
And see that you don’t sink,
In my ocean of tears.
Written by Zainab Fathima
Life longed for more of the same,
And, so, the boy was forged and named;
The boy was told to never be afraid,
The future – they said – was what he made,
The boy was assured that it would be endless and wide,
Never must he – in feelings – hide;
The boy was told to tell no lies,
Be Civil – holding his head with pride;
The young man walked on, a boy no more;
Yet, in the organized mess he would brew,
Nothing he was ever told would turn out to be true;
The young man wept and the young man cried,
Despite all the things he believed he had tried;
The young man was made to get himself a job,
7 days, around 4 times – his heart would sob;
The young man was told to run,
It would only grow worse as his heart would start to throb;
The man ran on, young no more,
Realizing that – despite all he had done,
Futile was his attempt to catch the setting sun;
The man soon learnt dissatisfaction was common,
He was not special in the long game of life;
“Oh, what is the point of it all?” he cried,
Endlessly curious – endlessly dissatisfied – the man died;
And his children would continue to plod the same fields,
And Strive on the same ground;
Only for life to wish for itself again,
While the Circle remained quite content leaving no answers within…
Written by Aryan Valluri 10D
rose-tinted, for your pleasure
i remember your shadow
always about me
today the sun strikes my eyes vengefully
and as i cower against its delirious flares
the bright light takes me back
and i remember a time before now-
your jacket flailing over my shoulders
and mine clinging to yours
with childish gurgles in the air
and dreams afar too many-
a drop of paint on this canvas of life
but a sparkling yellow still
i searched and searched but i cannot see
the last moment of you and me
your eyes were enraged
your pursed lips screamed
a dagger in place of a heart
but there’s little to words that do not speak
my present eye is blind to your fury
i remember your arms around me
as i wept and wept
you stood guard
no ghost could find me
in that pale blue agony
of some forgettable guilt
you were a soldier by disposition forever
and i was yours
the road to tomorrow was never paved
but with clammy hand in hand
it was almost easy
to find our way home-
a drop of paint on this canvas of life
but a sparkling yellow still
i looked high and low but i cannot see
why there’s no longer a camaraderie
why the soldier by my side pointed a rifle
to my head
i cannot remember your eyes
or your screams
and there’s little to words that do not speak
my present eye is blind to your memory
i don’t remember why things are not the way they were
i don’t remember the moments that made me
i don’t remember where we stopped being
but i remember you
in all your cherry hues
it’s almost as though you stole my past
heart and soul and mind
and returned it rose-tinted
and for that second i dared to ponder the thought of us being together sometime again.
Written by Panu Hejmadi 10C
“ Once a photograph of Earth, taken from outside, is available… a new idea as powerful as any in history will be let loose.” – Fred Hoyle, 1948
In December of 1968, Apollo 8 was launched from Cape Canaveral on a path to the moon and became the first manned spacecraft to leave Earth’s orbit.
The primary mission of Apollo 8 was to orbit the moon. While being the first manned spacecraft to orbit another celestial object was impressive and important in itself, Apollo’s mission was arguably not as important as what it almost unintentionally gave us.
On Christmas Eve, 1968, one of the members of the mission decided to turn the camera away from its primary subject to see a beautiful glowing blue marble rising over the lunar horizon. This was Earth.
This picture, titled “Earthrise”, became the first picture that showed us what the Earth, our home, looks like.
We knew from the works of Eratosthenes and other Greek philosophers that the Earth was round but we never saw its shape until this picture was released.
The picture brought out a new sense of self-awareness within us. Prior to this picture, we viewed our world in the form of maps and globes. But, following its release, we started viewing ourselves and our planet, for the first time, as one. An earth without borders and boundaries. A new idea of oneness and unity. Unity within the human race, unity with the Earth and unity with everything on it. As Apollo 8’s command module pilot Jim Lovell said: “That vast loneliness is awe-inspiring and makes you realize just what you have back there on Earth”.
Buckminster Fuller popularized the term “Spaceship Earth”, a perfect term that highlighted the sense of togetherness and the need to act as a harmonious crew working towards the greater good of the entire human race.
Astronauts who spend time in space report a cognitive shift in awareness when they are up there. This cognitive shift, coined “The Overview Effect” is experiencing first hand the reality of the Earth as a tiny, fragile ball of life hanging in nothingness and the realization that all the life on this ball relies on and is protected by a thin sheet of air we call the atmosphere.
From space, national boundaries disappear and the conflicts that divide people become less important. From space, faced with the magnificence of our planet, a sense of humility arises.
Who knows what will happen once space travel becomes more accessible and more people get to experience the strength of this cognitive shift, experiencing the raw beauty of our planet from the outside? What happens when poets, writers and philosophers express this view?
One can only expect a new era of appreciation for our home and a new era of peace and stability. That seems like a future to look forward to.
Written by Nikhil Menda 11 AICE
Bed, sweater, blanket.Warmth. The bleak wind comes to numb my nose and I pull up my blanket to shield it from the biting menace. Sleep had been tough the previous night. Although I hadn’t much to do- or rather, though I had much to do, I hadn’t much I wanted to do- my eyes would rather blush red than let the light fade out. The blurry sliver of the outdoors visible to me has a fairly bright glow for winter- it appears it’s already past the chilliest morning hours. Flitting between the day and night, my mind is held in an anodyne limbo.
The heaviness of the previous night enters my heart in a flood. I feel my chest hoist up a bucket. I could try and characterise this heaviness for you- sadness? guilt? pain? embarrassment? longing? I don’t know. I feel too tired to go into the dripping pool in my breast and take a few sips of the water. Or perhaps that’s what I say to convince myself that I’m not afraid; that the dark bottom of the pool doesn’t make me think of monsters, thieves and murderers that made me wee when I was seven.
But the sun is being frustrating. It points its long fingers at the dust in the corners of my eye and provokes my swollen eyelids to break from their embrace. You see, that’s the problem with mornings. They’re always trying to get you to move. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that if the morning were cast into a deity, it would definitely be a dog that chases you out of your comfort, much to your annoyance.
I breathe all the dampness out of my lungs. It heaves out like a steaming pressure cooker, rumbling out of my nostrils with a careless warmth. Sighing with my lips apart into the comforting insulation of my blanket, I give in to the Dog God and let the light into my eyes.
Like in a mist kissed by the sun, my room materialises, layer by layer. The other bed, typically occupied by my presently absent brother, lies neat and unruffled, almost like it’s been put under an iron. The dusty blue curtains are drawn apart, throwing the small room open to the sight of a thousand green, inert leaves. They almost seem frozen in place despite the faint, dying breeze that has worked its way towards my bare skin.
The shelves are all ordered with books arranged by subject, size and frequency of use- in that order. The small polished wooden cupboard in the corner basks itself in daylight, almost mocking me in my cocooned blanket.
I close my eyes.
Written by Mihir Rajamane 11 ISC
Of our five senses, we rely on sight and visual inputs the most; even more than auditory and tactile. The technology that we use on a regular basis- phones, televisions, laptops- utilise our visual cues to give us feedback. For example, communication with our devices involves reading and writing, much more than listening and speaking to them. Basically, it’s easier for our devices to communicate to us via text, and alert us through notifications, rather than through auditory means, like ‘SIRI’, or ‘Google Now’. They have large displays to help us navigate and interact with them using sight. Tactile and Auditory feedback supplement, the primary visual responses.
With our reliance on such ‘monochromatic’ (figuratively of course), single-sense stimulating technology increasing, I fear that our other senses may weaken. Social media (Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook), and the exchange and display of photos and videos stimulates our visual senses. The increase in ‘chatting’ and communication via mail and text, once again, revolve around sight. Our source of entertainment- Gaming, Youtube, Movies- also primarily use these stimuli.
Technology takes advantage of our visual abilities (or dis-abilities), that we fail to recognise that the millions of colours that we see on the computer screen, are in fact ‘false’, deceiving us everyday. They are just a result of three colours, namely, Red, Blue and Green. With varying combinations and intensity, these three colours, which make up the millions of individual pixels on our screens, use our eyes’ inability to see such minute objects, and inability to differentiate between the small and overlapping wavelengths, to give the illusion of millions of different colours appearing on our screen. We need to indulge our other senses, to prevent them from dampening and losing their abilities.
~A close up of the millions of pixels we interact with everyday. Where have you seen this before?~
(refer image below)
‘Visible light’- electromagnetic waves between the wavelength 390 nanometers and 700 nanometers consisting of rays from Radio to Gamma- individually, or in a combination make up all the 10 million colours that we perceive. For example, pink and purple are actually a combination of lights of different wavelengths. Our entire perception of the world around us, and interaction with each other spawns from this very specific part of electromagnetic spectrum.
Our eyes have adapted to perceive this ‘visible light’ because this is the wavelength of light, emitted by the sun, that propagates well in water. (We developed our sight in water before we evolved into terrestrial animals). But what boggles me the most is that visible light makes up only 0.0035% (yeah! that number isn’t made up) of the electromagnetic spectrum, ranging from 100 mega metres to 1 pico metre (10 to the 18th power!); such a vast range! So, whats scary is that our perception of the world (revolving around the visual, as already established) is so restrictive, that we see only 0.0035% of whats there to ‘see’. We can’t even perceive a ‘0.0036%’ because we don’t have the power, nor the ability to comprehend it.
In a more metaphorical sense, everything that we are exposed to is so unfathomable, that we can’t even understand what’s going around us, yet we narrow-sightedly make our opinions, pass our judgements and make our decisions without seeing the complete picture and understanding what exists. Just as we have developed tools to enable us to view and perceive the world through different ‘colours’ shifted to our perception, we must open our eyes and arms to our world and the people that surround us, looking beyond what we catch at first sight and stop being bogged down by ideals, stereotypes, and assumptions.
Written by Krish Kurva 10 C
It’s dark in here; I cannot see,
The darkest self that has come to be,
Has put me in a prison which I’ve come to accept,
Where I can hear my own cries, but cannot see.
I look for windows in this black cell of mine,
They’re not there, his planning is fine,
But ‘his’ in this context confuses me,
For I cannot decide whether it is ‘his’ or ‘my’.
I want to escape, but I want to stay,
A feeling I’ve often felt a way,
But the grey in my mind slowly fades to black,
As I always give in anyway.
I see what he’s seen, I hear what he’s heard,
And he hears depression in the chirps of a bird,
Everything he knows now is black or white,
And a tinge of grey dominates his words.
It’s awfully dull in this prison of mine,
But I’m not one to complain or whine,
For I’ve long forgotten these vibrant hues,
Which once used to be the bliss of my mind.
Written by Manish Subramanium 9C
They’re devastating things, beginnings — but incoherently beautiful. There is void of a million possibilities and you don’t know for sure how it’s going to end and I think that is one of the main reasons all of us are so frightened. Beginnings are nature’s way of giving us a clean, unbiased perspective. A lot of times, beginnings entail new experiences, like a baby’s first steps or a student’s first night away from home. We have expectations and anticipations as to what these experiences may be like. The baby may be expected to fall down or feel pain in his legs. The student may expect to party excessively but ultimately our memories start with a clean slate and remain untainted by our imagination and intuitions.
Often, these beginnings are unpredictable. They’re forced upon us and we have no choice but to face them, they barge into our lives in the most terrifying yet galvanizing way. It might be the start to something you’ve been waiting for your whole life or something that causes you an unimaginable amount of trepidation; either way you might as well make the starting of this unexpected experience something that exhilarates every cell in your physical being, makes your heart pound like it’s going to tear your chest apart because, honestly, if this is what commencing the experience makes you feel like — it’s worth every drop of your blood and sweat.
This is the beginning.
Almost anything can happen.
This is where you find
The creation of light, a fish wriggling onto land,
The first word of Paradise Lost on an empty page.
Think of an egg, the letter A,
A woman ironing on a bare stage
As the heavy curtain rises.
This is the very beginning.
Billy Collins managed to bring such an optimistic and refreshing perspective to beginnings, but I feel like most of us always go back to that feeling of uncertainty. When I started writing this piece, there were so many questions that ran through my mind. Would it be worth reading? Should the first sentence be something so unbelievably beautiful? Would people want to continue reading it? Would this finally be worth the while or just another useless draft? I really don’t know all the answers to that and I don’t think a lot of us will ever know the answers to so many of the questions that haunt our brains before starting something new. I guess my advice to you is something that was meticulously articulated by Arthur Ashe :
Start where you are.
Use what you have.
Do what you can.
Written by Meghna Gaddam 9C
Edited by Panu Hejmadi 9C
For some people, like myself, for example, beginnings are a culmination of two things: an opening for a fresh start or the gaping hole, that is, something not nearly good enough, or worse; a failure. The thought that you could put every piece of you into something and have it not be enough, or still fail to meet the mark in some sense. The idea that something that once gave you comfort would now be taken away from you; that you’d be leaving it behind. Something you once sought refuge in, a person, a place and even a state of mind; they change. If I’ve learnt anything at all amidst my meagre 15 years of existence, it is that nothing is certain. We live each day with endless prospects and possibilities, and it can be difficult to try and take any step towards a change in any form. We do not know what tomorrow brings. We fear change in certain aspects of our lives. It is a fear that lives even in most indomitable of hearts. With that very same fear, however, comes a choice; you either take the leap, with all the risks and possibilities, and you move forward, or you stay in the same walk of life that you’ve always been in. You can fit into the neat little boxes that you’ve created for yourself, or that society has created for you and remain comfortable. Yet something within you longs for more. There is a flame within all of us that ignites at the promise of change and for some, it blazes brighter than others. At times, life pushes us into change, so we are forced to face the fear in our beginnings; to look at our fears in the eye.
Yet, when we seek our beginnings instead of letting them seek us, we break free from the chain of the monotony that lingers within our daily lives; we let ourselves be seen for who we are. We can overcome; we can write our own destinies. We only truly live in the moments in our lives when we choose not to be satisfied with what people tell us we’re supposed to be satisfied with. When we embrace the uncertainty entangled in our lives, we begin.
So breathe out the fear, just as easily as you once breathed it in. Let your beginning empower you and every other soul you touch. Let it change you and set you free, regardless of the outcome. Let every flicker of the flame ripen to a conflagration; every fall which you thought you could not rise from, be a reminder of what you’ve endured. Beginnings take strength; carry yourself with the knowledge that while everything around you will be ever-changing; evolving, you know who you are, and no beginning will ever be able to change your perception of you.
Written by Trisha Ajila 10D
Edited by Arya Anagol 10C
The Beginning of Life
A looming mystery facing the human race for millennia is how the first living creatures that inhabited the Earth came to be. In the beginning, humans looked to religion for answers, but in the last 50 years, scientists have cultivated many theories about how life began.
The theory of a ‘primordial soup’, an ocean filled with various minerals and chemicals, has emerged over the years as a prime theory of how life commenced on planet Earth. Around 3.5 billion years ago, when Earth was a lifeless environment, bacteria in the primordial soup started to form and convert compounds, such as carbon dioxide, methane and ammonia into oxygen; a key gas that has sustained most life on Earth, ever since.
However, the mystery to most scientists has been how the bacteria was formed. In the oceans were components of RNA, which are molecules that transfer genetic information inside bacteria and all organisms, and so, experts have theorized that RNA reacted with some other chemical in the primordial soup to make bacteria.
However, RNA is incapable of creating life without DNA as DNA provides the genetic information and instructions for coding proteins essential for life.
Recently, researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology, have uncovered a potential solution to this mystery concerning the primordial soup. They recreated the solution in a chamber without oxygen, and unexpectedly, the RNA present started behaving differently: the molecules essentially ‘shape-shifted’ to become instruction-carriers like DNA. Furthermore, when paired with iron from the primordial soup, the RNA molecules performed a single electron transfer, which possibly could have jumpstarted the crucial reactions needed for photosynthesis and respiration 3.5 billion years ago. Therefore, according to the scientists’ theory, the RNA and iron in combination created the basis for all life.
Although there are some gaps in this theory, such as the elements of RNA not being able to easily bond, this proves that such a basic scientific concept taught to middle-schoolers has not been completely discovered yet! It really makes one ponder: have we really discovered anything yet? What if everything humans have discovered have ‘secret powers’ as seen in the RNA, and there are realms we do not know of?
Who knows, this scientific breakthrough about the beginning of life on Earth could be the inception of even more discoveries!
Written by Camran Lateef 10C
Edited by Mahir Pradhan 10C