ISSUE #1 Theme FREEDOM
Cover art by
he main reason this magazine was started was twofold, to give each of us, and acts against freedom are much more rampant inside us,
readers a chance to explore outside their usual boundaries. And than the ones that are shown in the daily news.
to give artists, writers and people with opinions, 10 minutes in
Freedom to me is best summarized by what Morpheus says to Neo, in
front of a larger audience.
the movie Matrix, “I’m trying to free your mind, Neo. But I can only show
The site for Aahsome was started on 15th August, and that would be you the door. You’re the one that has to walk through it.” The ﬁnal step
the primary reason for choosing Freedom as the theme for the ﬁrst issue. towards freedom has to be our own.
By freedom we meant not just freedom from a foreign power, but free-
— K.A. Anand
dom in all meanings of the word.
Freedom always brings thoughts of Gandhiji or our colonial past, since
not being free as a country for so long has brought that aspect of freedom
to the foremost. What we don’t realize is that being free doesn’t necessar-
ily mean free from outside power. In fact we knowingly give away our free-
dom each day of our life. We loose our freedom to not buy, by watching K.A.Anand is the founder of Aahsome magazine. He
advertisements and getting emotionally affected into taking our wallets is a User Experience Designer by profession and blogs
out. We loose our freedom to think for ourselves when we start believing
about design and everything else here: http://rega.in
in generally accepted notions of truth, without examining the logic our-
selves. We loose our freedom to act by choosing not to act. Most of these
losses are not because somebody came and took it by force, but we chose
to let our freedom go to rot. The notion of freedom is much more inside
A humble idea that started out with a few enthusiastic people, is growing
to be a bigger, better project.
The wall project started with a blank white compound wall, with an
intense burning feeling of “something has to be done to it”. Set in an old
East Indian village in Bandra, colourful with people of many talents, all hid-
den in their tiny abodes.
It was an initiative to add visual elements of colour, form and texture to
a space, to make the area more alive and generate a feeling among people
who pass by it daily. Inviting more people, not just artists to come paint,
and to hunt for interesting locations to paint.
We hope the pictures in the following pages would inspire you!
The Wall Project and
There are more such events planned in other cities.
Connect with The Wall Project on Facebook to stay in the loop.
A PETITION from the manufacturers of candles, tapers, lanterns, sticks, street
lamps, snuffers, and extinguishers, and from producers of tallow, oil, resin, alcohol,
and generally of everything connected with lighting.
To the Honourable Members of the Chamber of Deputies
entlemen, you are on the right track. political economy; therefore we shall call it your on us so mercilessly we suspect he is being stirred
You reject abstract theories and little practice — your practice without theory and up against us by perﬁdious Albion (excellent
regard for abundance and low prices. without principle. diplomacy nowadays!), particularly because he
You concern yourselves mainly with the fate of has for that haughty island a respect that he
We are suffering from the ruinous competition
the producer. You wish to free him from foreign does not show for us.
of a rival who apparently works under conditions
competition, that is, to reserve the domestic
so far superior to our own for the production of We ask you to be so good as to pass a law
market for domestic industry.
light that he is ﬂooding the domestic market requiring the closing of all windows, dormers,
We come to offer you a wonderful opportunity with it at an incredibly low price; for the moment skylights, inside and outside shutters, curtains,
for your — what shall we call it? Your theory? he appears, our sales cease, all the consumers casements, bull’s-eyes, deadlights, and blinds
No, nothing is more deceptive than theory. Your turn to him, and a branch of French industry — in short, all openings, holes, chinks, and
doctrine? Your system? Your principle? But you whose ramiﬁcations are innumerable is all at ﬁssures through which the light of the sun is
dislike doctrines, you have a horror of systems, once reduced to complete stagnation. This rival, wont to enter houses, to the detriment of the
as for principles, you deny that there are any in which is none other than the sun, is waging war fair industries with which, we are proud to say,
Claude Frédéric Bastiat (30 June 1801 – 24 December 1850) was a French
classical liberal theorist, political economist, and member of the French
Bastiat was the author of many works on economics and political economy,
generally characterized by their clear organization, forceful argumentation
and acerbic wit. Among his better known works is Economic Sophisms,
which contains many strongly-worded attacks on statist policies. Bastiat
wrote it while living in England to advise the shapers of the French
we have endowed the country, a country that
Republic on pitfalls to avoid.
cannot, without betraying ingratitude, abandon Bastiat’s argument cleverly highlights basic ﬂaws in protectionism by
demonstrating its absurdity through logical extremes.
us today to so unequal a combat.
Be good enough, honourable deputies, to
take our request seriously, and do not reject it exhausting plants will come at just the right But what shall we say of the specialities of
without at least hearing the reasons that we time to enable us to put to proﬁtable use the Parisian manufacture? Henceforth you will behold
have to advance in its support. increased fertility that the breeding of cattle will gilding, bronze, and crystal in candlesticks, in
impart to the land. Our moors will be covered lamps, in chandeliers, in candelabra sparkling in
First, if you shut off as much as possible all ac-
with resinous trees. Numerous swarms of bees spacious emporia compared with which those
cess to natural light, and thereby create a need
will gather from our mountains the perfumed of today are but stalls. There is no needy resin-
for artiﬁcial light, what industry in France will
treasures that today waste their fragrance, like collector on the heights of his sand dunes, no
not ultimately be encouraged?
the ﬂowers from which they emanate. Thus, poor miner in the depths of his black pit, who
If France consumes more tallow, there will there is not one branch of agriculture that would will not receive higher wages and enjoy increased
have to be more cattle and sheep, and, conse- not undergo a great expansion. prosperity.
quently, we shall see an increase in cleared ﬁelds,
The same holds true of shipping. Thousands It needs but a little reﬂection, gentlemen,
meat, wool, leather, and especially manure, the
of vessels will engage in whaling, and in a short to be convinced that there is perhaps not one
basis of all agricultural wealth.
time we shall have a ﬂeet capable of upholding Frenchman, from the wealthy stockholder of
If France consumes more oil, we shall see the honour of France and of gratifying the patri- the Anzin Company to the humblest vendor
an expansion in the cultivation of the poppy, otic aspirations of the undersigned petitioners, of matches, whose condition would not be im-
the olive, and rapeseed. These rich yet soil- chandlers, etc. proved by the success of our petition.
We anticipate your objections, gentlemen, wheat, and textiles, “Yes,” you reply, “but the gifts would be to reject wealth itself under the
but there is not a single one of them that you producer has a stake in their exclusion.” Very pretext of encouraging the means of acquiring
have not picked up from the musty old books of well, surely if consumers have a stake in the ad- it? But if you take this position, you strike a
the advocates of free trade. We defy you to utter mission of natural light, producers have a stake mortal blow at your own policy; remember
a word against us that will not instantly rebound in its interdiction. that up to now you have always excluded
against yourselves and the principle behind all “But, you may still say, the producer and the foreign goods because and in proportion as
your policy. consumer are one and the same person. If the they approximate gratuitous gifts. You have
manufacturer proﬁts by protection, he will make only half as good a reason for complying with
Will you tell us that, though we may gain by
the farmer prosperous. Contrariwise, if agricul- the demands of other monopolists as you have
this protection, France will not gain at all, be-
ture is prosperous, it will open markets for man- for granting our petition, which is in complete
cause the consumer will bear the expense?
ufactured goods.’’ Very well, If you grant us a accord with your established policy; and to
We have our answer ready: you no longer monopoly over the production of lighting during reject our demands precisely because they
have the right to invoke the interests of the con- the day, ﬁrst of all we shall buy large amounts are better founded than anyone else’s would
sumer. You have sacriﬁced him whenever you of tallow, charcoal, oil, resin, wax, alcohol, silver, be tantamount to accepting the equation:
have found his interests opposed to those of the iron, bronze, and crystal, to supply our industry +×+=-
producer. You have done so in order to encour- and, moreover, we and our numerous suppliers,
In other words, it would be to heap absurdity
age industry and to increase employment. For having become rich, will consume a great deal
upon absurdity. Labour and Nature collaborate
the same reason you ought to do so this time too. and spread prosperity into all areas of domestic
in varying proportions, depending upon the
Indeed, you yourselves have anticipated this country and the climate, in the production of a
objection. When told that the consumer has Will you say that the light of the sun is a commodity. The part that Nature contributes is
a stake in the free entry of iron, coal, sesame, gratuitous gift of Nature, and that to reject such always free of charge; it is the part contributed
by human labour that constitutes value and is exclude it from competition, how can its being of consumption free of charge or the alleged
paid for. totally free of charge induce you to admit it advantages of onerous production. Make your
into competition? Either you are not consistent, choice, but be logical; for as long as you ban, as
If an orange from Lisbon sells for half the
or you should, after excluding what is half free you do, foreign coal, iron, wheat, and textiles, in
price of an orange from Paris, it is because the
of charge as harmful to our domestic industry, proportion as their price approaches zero, how
natural heat of the sun, which is, of course, free
exclude what is totally gratuitous with all the inconsistent it would be to admit the light of the
of charge, does for the former what the latter
more reason and with twice the zeal. sun, whose price is zero all day long!
owes to artiﬁcial heating, which necessarily has
to be paid for in the market. To take another example: When a product,
coal, iron, wheat, or textiles comes to us from
Thus, when an orange reaches us from
abroad, and when we can acquire it for less
Portugal, one can say that it is given to us half
labour than if we produced it ourselves, the
free of charge, or, in other words, at half price as
difference is a gratuitous gift that is conferred
compared with those from Paris.
up on us. The size of this gift is proportionate to
Now, it is precisely on the basis of its being the extent of this difference. It is a quarter, a half,
semigratuitous (pardon the word) that you or three-quarters of the value of the product
maintain it should be barred. You ask: “How if the foreigner asks of us only three-quarters,
can French labour withstand the competition one-half, or one-quarter as high a price. It is as
of foreign labour when the former has to do all complete as it can be when the donor, like the
the work, whereas the latter has to do only half, sun in providing us with light, asks nothing from
the sun taking care of the rest?” But if the fact us. The question, and we pose it formally, is
that a product is half free of charge leads you to whether what you desire for France is the beneﬁt
“dillitown” 2008-09 Meera Sethi
From the series “Word.”
Giclee on archival paper
“Heaven on Earth” 2008-09 Meera Sethi
From the series “Word.”
Giclee on archival paper
“Sadho, sabd sadhana kijai” 2008-09 Meera Sethi
From the series “Word.”
Giclee on archival paper
“Lahori” 2008-09 Meera Sethi
From the series “Word.”
Giclee on archival paper
“pindi” 2008-09 Meera Sethi
From the series “Word.”
Giclee on archival paper
“Tat Tvam Asi” 2008-09 Meera Sethi
From the series “Word.”
Giclee on archival paper
Meera Sethi is a visual artist working in the mediums of painting, drawing,
graphic design, and photography.
Her artwork addresses the joys and challenges of living in a third space where
two distinct cultures collide creating ruptures, ﬁssures and hybrid ways of
being and doing. This experience ﬁnds expression in the references to Indian
and North American popular culture, textiles and patterns, contemporary
fashion, clothing and religious and cultural identities found in her work.
Meera’s aesthetic is full of minute detail, lush colour, geometric abstractions
and minimalist clarity.
View some of Meera’s work at www.meerasethi.com.
The Last Day
by Leela Alvares
he picked up the photo frame of her niece She sighed when she pulled out the magazines bother to turn. She guessed they would be talk-
from the desk and looked at it for a mo- that she’d been saving to read some day. Some ing about her. The ofﬁce boy came straight to
ment. It was the ﬁrst to go into the brown of them were two years old. Without another her table with her favourite frothy cup of coffee
cardboard box that the ofﬁce had provided. thought, she tossed them in the bin. and placed it carefully amid the growing debris
Next, she picked out the blue ﬁber tip pens from on her desk. He muttered something under his
She noticed a colleague looking at her from
the pen holder along with just one pink high- breath which she didn’t catch, and he walked
the corner of his eye. He quickly averted his
lighter. The much-used Thesaurus was wrapped away, shaking his head.
gaze and started clicking his mouse furiously as
with newspaper and tucked in a corner of the
though a deadline loomed over his shoulder. She As she sipped the hot liquid, she felt the
box. It had been her travelling companion as
also heard a few whispers behind her but didn’t lump in her throat slowly melt, and she stole a
she’d navigated her way up the corporate ladder.
look at the half folded letter on the desk. The the maelstrom of emotions within, and she to her mundane job. Relief at being ﬁnally able
words ‘economic downturn’ and ‘regrettably’ wasn’t sure if she could trust it yet. to free the muzzled voice which sought expres-
came in sharp focus, followed by ‘terminate’. A sion in writing, in poetry, in song and art. Relief
“This is it… guys,” she said aloud, her voice
short laugh almost escaped her lips, which she at being ﬁnally able to see the sun and feel its
unnaturally calm. She lifted her chin and looked
converted into a cough. There was hysterical warmth on her face, rather than the dull glow of
around, her eyes radiating a conﬁdence she
laughter bubbling under the surface, she knew, a computer monitor.
didn’t completely feel yet.
and the last thing she wanted was to make
Thank you, she whispered, tears ﬂowing
a fool of herself. No, it wouldn’t do at all. She “It’s been a pleasure…” she continued, “well,
freely now. Thank you, she said.
arranged her features into an emotionless mask most of the time, at least.”
and continued ﬁlling the box.
Her colleagues chuckled and came forward to
A hand pressed gently on her shoulder, and shake her hand and wish her luck, but without
she stiffened. It was her closest friend at work, looking her in the eye for long. Was it guilt, she
and she prayed that he wouldn’t say a word. wondered? Guilt for the relief they felt that it
She could feel the waves of sympathy and pity, was her and not them.
even though no one would meet her eye. And
She turned around and found her friend had
the tightly reined emotions were sure to give
already picked up her box. She smiled at him and
way. So she didn’t acknowledge the hand on
walked ahead, lifting her head high. It ﬁnally
the shoulder and merely gestured to the papers
came to her, the feeling that she’d been trying to Leela Alvares is a copywriter from
that lay on the desk. He understood and started
give a name to. The feeling amid the shock of be- Bombay, now in Dubai. When she’s not
gathering them for her. extolling the virtues of brands, she writes
ing terminated and the fear of being without a
articles, stories and bad poetry. If you’re
When her desk had been stripped of all signs job, even if it was a job she’d outgrown long ago.
patient, you’ll ﬁnd her suddenly and
of her, she stepped back and took a deep breath. magically on her blog
It was relief, she realized. Relief at no longer
This was easier than expected, she thought sud- absoluteleela.blogspot.com.
having to let a part of her die every day she came
denly. There was a strange feeling growing amid
Contributed by Nitin Vetukar of
by Prashant Kumar Das
t was not just another winter morning in Tariq’s to New York City, once in a diplomatic dele-
life. Several people including him had waited for gation with the Commerce minister of
this day to come — his father, friends and his India. In fact, his ﬁrst trip abroad
old time sweetheart — Neena. While his car sped was to New York too. The Ferry
on the ring road, he could see the horizons of to Staten Island, Bright LED
Delhi, spires partially bathed in orange sun Digital Signage at Times
and partially shining with shades of morn- Square and the Malaysian
ing blue. When the car would leave the restaurants in China Town…
highway and merge with the service road, every bit of the city enam-
as every day, they were to get trapped in ored him. “The city has a sex
the trafﬁc; meaning it was still an hour appeal”, he would tell Neena
from his ofﬁce. He started imagining the over phone, “and I will marry
outside scenery smelling of the Berry Patch it before I marry you”. Neena
aroma that emerged from his car freshener would smile and curiously start
and pretended as if it was New York City, asking about the Path ride be-
the city of his dreams! tween Jersey City and Manhattan.
He had been to the US several times The news house that Tariq had been
before; on short term news reporting assignments. Six times working with for years had a nominal
representative ofﬁce in New York City, was a shock to him; but he could not have would open the door of his cabin, his assis-
handled by one Ramesh Patel, an NRI who ﬂown back even if he could know about her tant reporter stuffed his mouth with a pas-
actually worked as an independent columnist heart-attack three days before she died. The try. “You did it Tariq”, she said. Anxious, he
for Wall Street Journal. Tariq’s writing style, only son in the family, Tariq could not even hurled towards the greeting card. It read-
a mixture of news analysis blended with a come for the funeral ceremony. Two years ‘Congratulations sir, on your promotion as
common man’s romanticism and down-to- ago when Neena fractured her leg in a trafﬁc the Chief of brand new New York Bureau’.
earth perspectives, had always appealed accident, Tariq was ﬂying to Seattle the same Mr. Sengupta, the chief managing editor
to the masses. His weekly column of the day for a reporting assignment. When he rushed towards him, shook hands and said
newspaper was gaining unprecedented learnt about the accident, Neena was in the “So, the board decided Tariq, who else than
popularity with every passing year. That was hospital and he on his way to the airport. you could be the right person to start our
why in spite of several multinational news “Sweetheart, I am postponing my ﬂight- news-reporting operations in New York; that
agencies venturing into India, Tariq remained ticket; and coming straight to your hospital”, city is all yours now”, he continued, “…and
with the same employer. Not that he never he called up from his car. “No, please ﬂy; else that comes with another great news: the In-
thought for a change; but every time he did, you will miss this event the day after…lets stitute of International Humane Journalism
the Editor-in-Chief would come up with a meet three weeks later when you are back… (IIHJ) has decided to award you with their
tempting salary hike. “Buddy, would you like I shall be OK”, Neena had said. Realizing annual title this year. We thought of club-
to ﬂy to New York? We again need to cover the importance of his assignment, Tariq was bing the awarding ceremony with our formal
the Indian Entrepreneur summit there”, he helpless not to press much. public announcement of our New York Op-
would say; and escort him to an instantly- erations”. Tariq felt elated.
Things were a bit different last Friday
planned ﬁve-star dinner.
when he arrived at his ofﬁce. Everyone In fact, Mr. Sengupta was one of the con-
And yes, it was a trip to the same city when started clapping when he passed the lobby tenders for the New York position. Tariq’s
he lost his mother. The reporting assignment and his cabin’s glass door was covered with extensive reporting experience in New York
was too important to miss. Her sudden death a huge “Congratulations” card. Before he City and his public appeal forced him to take
up the second option: Europe. Mr. Sengupta non-proﬁt??? They do not have any foreign products, many a times to New York. That is,
did not resist for two reasons: ﬁrst, Europe trips to offer; not even a proper HR system in perhaps, how Tariq’s passion for the city had
was a larger portfolio to handle; and second- place. Are you nuts, Tariq?...” Deﬁnitely, his developed.
ly, he knew that New York project had been present job was too good to give up. Tariq
Tariq’s father, an avid sculptor had start-
Tariq’s dream. decided that he would passively work with
ed creating miniature statues of liberty with
IIHJ whenever he is relieved a bit from his
The venue for the felicitation ceremony molded copper. Impressed by what his fa-
role at work. That never happened.
was close to Tariq’s ofﬁce. His publication ther did, Tariq often came up with this idea
house had spent heavily on publicizing the His ofﬁce room was artistic. Beautiful expressed vehemently, “Abbu, I want to be
New York operations. IIHJ ofﬁce was located brass artifacts, glass furniture and an a sculptor like you”. His father would reply
close-by too. They were a group of senior impressionistic oil-painting of a Manhattan “No, you little rascal! You should probably do
journalists from the National Capital Area street covered with thick copper border. The the business of sculptures rather than being
who had been nationally acclaimed some border had real patina on it that resembled a sculptor…”, he continued “you see, son, ap-
time. “Locally spread, internationally inte- the real color of Statue of Liberty. The brass preciating the art is one thing; and becom-
grated” was how their tagline read below miniature sculptures reminded him of his ing an artist another… earning your liveli-
the logo. IIHJ came up with strategic level childhood days that he spent in a tiny shack hood in spite of being a great artist is not
openings several times. Tariq wanted to work in Moradabad that pretended to be a house. that easy. I think you should study, and be
with them. He had been a big fan of the fa- His father worked in an exporter’s factory, a business man. Your school master told me
mous columnist- Mr. Sahani who was the chiseling brass sculptures. Tariq would often about emm-bee-aye thing; and you must get
president of IIHJ. Joining the Institute would come with him to the factory on Sundays and that degree”. And he would invariably add
have given him the opportunity to work so do his homework in the factory’s resting area. “…but stay back in your country, stay close
closely with Mr. Sahani. But his intent to join His father worked overtime to feed his family to the soil… we are born here; and must die
IIHJ was always contested by his friends: “Will of three; and also save for Tariq’s education. here…” Perhaps he was completely disillu-
you really leave your big company to join this The shop-owner traveled the world to sell his sioned by his own employer’s frequent busi-
ness trips abroad. How these trips ruined his they were impressed by Tariq’s job and partly With time, visits to Moradabad had become
family life and how materialistic he had be- because they were awed by the powers of a a pattern for Tariq’s creative process.
come were some things that Abbu was never newspaper.
One ﬁne weekend afternoon, when it
tired of describing.
On weekends, Tariq would typically drive started raining in Moradabad, Tariq and
When Tariq grew older, he chose a journal- down to his father’s place in Moradabad his dad sat in the balcony chatting over the
ism school instead of business. Several of his and spent most of his time in the factory. sips of hot cardamom latte tea. Enjoying the
near and dear ones thought it was a wastage Especially after his mother died, his father faint splashes of the drizzles, Abbu asked him
of his father’s hard-earned savings until he preferred to spend his weekends in the “Tariq, is the snow fall in New York as beau-
got hired by this company with a handsome factory too. They had a small “art room” tiful as these rains in our neighborhood?”
salary package; directly from the college. in the factory. Its setup resembled their old Tariq looked around from the balcony. All he
Within two years, his Abbu stopped working house. No elaborate furniture; but a clean, could see was houses and their terraces with
in the factory; and set up his own with the bamboo mat and a large ply-wood board patches of trees wherever an open piece
money Tariq sent to him. lying in the center of the room. That was his of land was left available. Across the street
father’s canvas to draw newer designs for downstairs was the cart of the tea vendor
]In fact, frequent foreign trips also helped
the sculptures. Tariq enjoyed watching his which could barely balance itself on the four
Tariq ﬁnd the international markets for his
father designing. By the by, over the cups spoke-wheels surrounded by thick mud. The
father’s art work. That business ﬂourished
of tea they also discussed their perspectives neighbor’s rooftop was ﬂooded with a black
to an extent that his father had to employ
on the world. Abbu was not educated; but ﬂuid caused effortlessly by the old tire bleed-
a Manager for the factory and another for
his insights about life were impeccable. ing due to water ﬂowing through it. Not too
the outlet. When they needed loan to buy
Tariq drew most of the basic ideas for his far from the site was Yadav’s dairy with a
automatic molding equipments from Germa-
upcoming stories from Abbu’s talks. In short, semi-open yard for cows and buffaloes. The
ny; Tariq guaranteed it; and the bank readily
his Abbu’s factory was the place where cowdung leaked through the weeping walls
agreed to release the amount, partly because
creativity spawned in varying manifestations. and the smell could sporadically be felt from
Tariq’s factory. In all, there was little that to Tariq’s collection, many of his childhood and the scheme was awarded annual govern-
could be cited as a “pleasant site” if one was pals had seen the photos of New York City- ment funds. Statutorily, they needed a Board
to compare it to the view of Ellis Island from the lady with a torch, tall sky-scrappers that of Directors to prepare annual strategies for
a Manhattan hotel, especially when it was touched the sky, the KingKong at a building’s the NGO. Tariq was the ﬁrst person Raju re-
snowing. Tariq did not know how to answer spire. “Tariq, you must go to this city when quested for the Directorship. “We shall pay
this question. He took a deep breath and you grow up. You are meant for it”, his best you honorarium for your work, please join
the smell of soil and exposed bricks absorb- friend Raju would say. Raju was almost an or- us, friend”, Raju had written to Tariq. Tariq’s
ing the rains passed through his nostrils. He phan adopted by a distant uncle who made reply was obvious-“Raju, my friend, who else
found himself lost in trance; and it suddenly him work hard in his grocery shop. Tariq’s than I would be more interested in this job?
felt like days of childhood to him…how he clout in the band, which was due to his aca- As it will be part time and in-absentia, I can
and his band of friends ran in the rain in spite demic standing at school, motivated Raju to easily manage. I come to Moradabad every
of mothers shouting at them; and how the ﬁnish his college. After that, he joined an week, anyway; l and we could schedule the
catch-me game would soon turn into a pleas- adult-literacy NGO of Moradabad as a local Board’s meeting every weekend. I cannot
ant mud-race… “No Abbu, these rains are fund-raising ofﬁcer. Later, Raju was able to tell you how much passionate I am to be a
the most beautiful things on earth” he said. convince his organization to start a subsid- part of this. Maybe, soon, I can work full time
His father gazed at him with amazement. iary in their neighborhood to help orphaned with the NGO. I’ll talk to my boss tomorrow
kids. Raju became the head of that wing. as a formality, and let you know…” When
“Do you want me to park the car at our
They ran playschools for orphaned children he did discuss the matter with his employers;
ofﬁce ﬁrst; or should drive directly to the
and collected public and private money to and his boss’s reply was simple-“Tariq, you
IIHJ auditorium, sahib?” This was Tariq’s driv-
ensure a minimum of high-school education are a man of very high potentials. Leave such
er. They were close to the ofﬁce now. “IIHJ,
for the children they pledged for each year. jobs to people who aspire far less than what
please”, was Tariq’s short answer to him. He
This particular initiative was recognized by you deserve. Moreover, our organization’s
wanted to steal a few moments more and
the federal government as an ideal model; policy will not let you work simultaneously
remain in the memories of his past. Thanks
for two employers”. Raju kept modifying had started inside. Tariq got out of his car to New York; for you and me. New York is
and re-modifying the proposed assignment and stared around looking for Nina. She has a beautiful tourist spot; and that is what it
of directorship to suit Tariq’s employer poli- just arrived the venue too. They hugged, and shall remain to be for us!”
cies, everytime to be rejected. Later, Raju had hurriedly exchanged gifts. Tariq ran towards
By then, Tariq had spotted Neena in the
to hire a professor from Delhi University for the dais and lost vision of Neena who had
crowd. He had un-wrapped his gift-packet
this job. Yesterday, when Raju learnt about found herself a seat among the audience. It
too. The gift for him was an aerial photo-
Tariq’s New York assignment, he immediate- was a huge auditorium, almost full. The ﬁrst
graph of the Statue of Liberty. “Freedom”,
ly called him up and said, “Tariq, now that row had colleagues, journalists and some
he murmured and looked at Neena with a
you have achieved a bigger thing in life, you white-clad leaders. People clapped when
smile. She shook her head, as if none of the
can easily forget the smaller ones you lost in Tariq climbed the steps and was escorted by
two was surprised.
past…congratulations”. Happiness evinced in a host to his designated chair. A large ban-
each word he said. ner on the backstage said: “the Annual IIHJ
award ceremony”. Tariq’s press was named as
As the car moved towards the IIHJ audi-
the lead sponsor. Prashant Kumar Das is the
torium, which was visible now, right on the
Editor of India China America
middle of the terminating straight road in Neena could not wait any further to see Institute Newsletter and is
pursuing Doctoral Fellowship
the front, Tariq’s feeling that his dream was her surprise gift. She unwrapped the packet;
in Business from Georgia State
realizing was growing stronger. Neena was it was an envelope tied with a ribbon around University. He acquired a
driving down to the venue directly from Mo- it. Beneath it was a greeting card with these bachelor’s degree in architecture from IIT
Roorkee and has worked with several
radabad. In her last phone call she told that lines handwritten: “I decided to not take up multinationals and non-proﬁts thereafter. He
she was bringing a surprise gift for him. Tariq the New York assignment. I am resigning is fond of sketching, short-stories, ghazals,
“South Park” animated sitcom, computer
bought her a present almost every time they from my job to join Raju’s NGO. I have also AI games and cooking among several other
met. This time was no exception. By the time decided to work on Abbu’s sculpture busi- things. He lives with his wife Minu in Atlanta.
More about him at www.prashant-das.com.
they arrived the parking lot, the function ness. Attached is an envelope with air tickets
Svetlana Kuznetsova is an Illustrator
based in St. Petersburg, while she is
not travelling. She is an indophile who
was in India for 9 months and had to
leave when her visa expired.
She posts her art work on ﬂickr:
MJ Y o== Y S U X F [ 3A U VH X Manukh, khushi te azadi Human happiness and freedom
transliteration in Roman characters loose translation in English
MJ Y o= @VT Y n HV T @n H @ XA U V 0
manukh chahunda hai chand cheezan a person wishes few things
2KEoF KW 3N F [ 3A U VH X
apnatt, piaar te aazadi affection, love and freedom
S U TNF K SV F [ = Y S U X
shohrat, paisa te khushi fame, money and happiness
2KEoF F [ KW 3N F ] 0 EH [ J [ apnatt te piaar ton bande ne with affection and love
NW RF [ rishte relationships evolve
NW RFW 30 F ] 0 EH [ J [ n IJ rishtiaan ton bande ne bandhan relationships evoke bonding
F [ n I JV0 QW @ Y 3@ AV0H X T te bandhanan vich guach jaandi hai and in all this bonding
3A U VH X aazadi freedom is lost
K S [ F ] 0 MW OH X T S U TNF
] paise ton mildee hai shohrat money begets fame
te shohrat ton aonda hai ahinkaar fame begets pride
F [ S U TNF F ] 0 3:0HV T 2TW n VN
paise ton aundi hai , hor paise dee laalsa money begets greed for more money
K S [ F ] 0 3:0H X T T N K S [ H X OVOSV
ahinkaar te laalsaanva vich guaach jandi hai and in all this greed and pride
2TW n VN F [ OVOSV0QV QW @ Y 3@ AV0H X T
khushi happiness is lost
te pher manukh hamesha labhda rehnda hai and then the person longs for,
F [ L [N MJ Y o= TM [S U V OoHV NTW n HV T khushi te aazadi freedom and happiness
= Y S U X F [ 3A U VH X
Jasdeep Singh works as a
Web Developer in New Delhi.
He runs a Pubjabi poetry blog
He scribbles at times too.
1 WWS UM I TWVO QUM IVL UW[ WN PM _WZTL W TMIZV
_PI 1 SVW_ IJW] TW^M IVL NIM IVL PM KPWQKM[ _M UISM
J] PM PMIZ WN Q KIUM W UM QV IV QV[IV _PQTM 1 _I[
KPIQVML W I _ITT IVL JMQVO WZ]ZML 1 ZMITQ[ML [WUMPW_
PZW]OP PM [KZMIUQVO WN Ua UQVL PI M^MV QV PI
[PIKSTML JTWWLa PMTXTM[[VM[[ 1 _I[ [QTT NZMM NZMM W PIM PM
UMV _PW _MZM WZ]ZQVO UM WZ W NWZOQ^M PMU 1 LWM[V¼
[W]VL TQSM U]KP 1 SVW_ *] QV PM ÆQVKP IVL JQM WN PM
KPIQV _PMV Q¼[ ITT aW]¼^M OW PI NZMMLWU Q[ IV ]VQ^MZ[M
WN XW[[QJQTQa )VL PM KPWQKM aW] UISM JM_MMV PIQVO IVL
NWZOQ^QVO KIV JMKWUM PM [WZa WN W]Z TQNMº
Quote suggested by Anjana. Messy photo collage by Arun. Photo credits: http://www.ﬂickr.com/photos/duncan/835323 http://www.ﬂickr.com/photos/assbach/430685233 http://www.ﬂickr.
com/photos/adriana-lukas/2562762750 and http://www.ﬂickr.com/photos/jose_zaragoza/1174993785
It’s freedom that drives the life inside a shell to hatch and move out of it. Its freedom that then
leads the little bird to start walking and then desire to ﬂy, to be on its own. The little bird craves
to experience the outward movement of wings and take off into the open inﬁnite sky. The want
to move where it’s heart leads. The excitement of not being bound, the enthusiasm to move
without a path, the will to be surprised and enjoy all the different situations and environments it
encounters. To experience all the colors and fragrances and move through all of them with ease
and decide the one which makes it feel the fulﬁllment life has to offer. It’s this freedom that we
all long for. The feeling of being able to leave all our inhibitions and fears behind, to move into
the open sky and discover different environments and realize what comes closest to our dreams,
Aditi Agarwal is a student who likes writing
what ﬁlls the space we all carry. poetry occasionally and also keeps a journal.
Photo credit: http://www.ﬂ r.com/photos/tochis/3987677829/
h t http://www.ﬂickr com/photos t chis/3 8767782 /
p w w ph 3 7829/
Beards are aahsome! “I heard Al-Qaeda is hiring, they offer good salary packages for dhadi walas”, said my friend
Gopi, trying to be funny while commenting on a Facebook picture.
“You look like you’re on drugs man”, said JK. Pat came the reply, “You’re just jealous of my beard man”.
Alok had to take a jab, “Dude put this pic on your website next to the link to free weed”. “Dude the shit
ain’t free and no, I’m not selling it.”
A few others said “Cool look bro!”. The silly shit that one has to deal with while growing a beard can get
insane. Some folks even try to look for reasons why you’re sporting a beard. Reasons. I put the question
back to them. Why should a man not embrace his beard? It is a deﬁning male characteristic, just as
breasts are to women. Society has its set of mighty stupid ‘rules’ that most people take for granted,
unquestioned (you’ll ﬁnd the most stupidest of all in big company policy books). We are so used to
accepting and believing this that we don’t take a moment to question it. Advertisements, political
systems, school systems, organized religions, corporate policies are all really good at one thing —
pounding bull shit into peoples’ heads with skillful suaveness. Actors, business men, politicians and the
like represent this with clean shaven faces, demonstrating standards that the typical middle class society
expects us to maintain. These people sow seeds that grow to make a man shun his own masculinity,
adopting a persona that isn’t true to his inner self.
Beards were a sign of masculinity and virility. They still are in many societies. But yet we are moving
towards androgyny and giving up the simplest freedom to sport a beard. We give in to society’s ‘rules’
that alienate us from our own facial hair.
I chose to keep my beard, I chose freedom.
George Carlin loved his beard.
J. Arun is the co-founder of Aahsome and a designer of sorts at SlideShare by profession. He loves sipping
Nilgiris tea, mountain biking in foggy weather while listening to Aerosmith and Bon Jovi. You’ll ﬁnd him dabbling
in art, sketching and typography. He’s on Twitter at twitter.com/SimplyArun
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