Aahsome
   ISSUE #1   Theme FREEDOM




                              Cover art by
                              Sveta Kuz...
INTRO




T
         he main reason this magazine was started was twofold, to give        each of us, and acts against fre...
FEATURE




                             D for
                  A humble idea that started out with a few enthusiastic pe...
FEATURE




www.aahsome.com   4
FEATURE




www.aahsome.com   5
FEATURE




                                                                                   Photos:
                   ...
SARCASM




  A PETITION from the manufacturers of candles, tapers, lanterns, sticks, street
 lamps, snuffers, and extingu...
SARCASM



                                                                                         Claude Frédéric Bastia...
SARCASM




  We anticipate your objections, gentlemen,          wheat, and textiles, “Yes,” you reply, “but the          ...
SARCASM




by human labour that constitutes value and is          exclude it from competition, how can its being         ...
ART




                  “dillitown” 2008-09        Meera Sethi
                  From the series “Word.”
               ...
ART




      “Heaven on Earth” 2008-09        Meera Sethi
            From the series “Word.”
            Giclee on archi...
ART




                  “Sadho, sabd sadhana kijai” 2008-09   Meera Sethi
                  From the series “Word.”
    ...
ART




          “Lahori” 2008-09       Meera Sethi
      From the series “Word.”
      Giclee on archival paper
        ...
ART




                  “pindi” 2008-09            Meera Sethi
                  From the series “Word.”
               ...
ART




 “Tat Tvam Asi” 2008-09          Meera Sethi
      From the series “Word.”
      Giclee on archival paper
        ...
ART




                  Meera Sethi is a visual artist working in the mediums of painting, drawing,
                  gr...
STORY




                                              The Last Day
                                                     ...
STORY




look at the half folded letter on the desk. The     the maelstrom of emotions within, and she             to her...
COMICS




www.aahsome.com   20
COMICS




www.aahsome.com   21
COMICS




www.aahsome.com   22
COMICS




www.aahsome.com   23
COMICS




www.aahsome.com   24
COMICS




www.aahsome.com   25
COMICS




                  Contributed by Nitin Vetukar of
                  lafcomics.wordpress.com.



www.aahsome.com...
FICTION




The Dream
                by Prashant Kumar Das




I
    t was not just another winter morning in Tariq’s    ...
FICTION




representative office in New York City,            was a shock to him; but he could not have         would open...
FICTION




up the second option: Europe. Mr. Sengupta        non-profit??? They do not have any foreign        products, m...
FICTION




ness trips abroad. How these trips ruined his    they were impressed by Tariq’s job and partly   With time, vi...
FICTION




Tariq’s factory. In all, there was little that     to Tariq’s collection, many of his childhood     and the sc...
FICTION




for two employers”. Raju kept modifying           had started inside. Tariq got out of his car     to New York...
ART




                  Svetlana
                  Kuznetsova

www.aahsome.com                33
ART




                  Svetlana
                  Kuznetsova
www.aahsome.com          34
ART




                  Svetlana
                  Kuznetsova
www.aahsome.com                35
ART




                                   Svetlana Kuznetsova is an Illustrator
                                   based ...
POETRY




    MJ Y o== Y S U X F [ 3A U VH X                        Manukh, khushi te azadi                 Human happine...
QUOTE




            1 WWS UM I TWVO QUM IVL UW[ WN PM _WZTL W TMIZV
        _PI 1 SVW_ IJW] TW^M IVL NIM IVL PM KPWQKM[ ...
Freedom




It’s freedom that drives the life inside a shell to hatch and move out of it. Its freedom that then
leads the ...
LAST WORD




Beards are aahsome!               “I heard Al-Qaeda is hiring, they offer good salary packages for dhadi wal...
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Aahsome Magazine, Issue 01, themed Freedom

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This is the first issue of Aahsome Magazine, a free, quarterly PDF magazine from India. More info: http://aahsome.com

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Aahsome Magazine, Issue 01, themed Freedom

  1. 1. Aahsome ISSUE #1 Theme FREEDOM Cover art by Sveta Kuznetsova
  2. 2. INTRO T 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 www.aahsome.com 2
  3. 3. FEATURE D for 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! www.aahsome.com 3
  4. 4. FEATURE www.aahsome.com 4
  5. 5. FEATURE www.aahsome.com 5
  6. 6. FEATURE Photos: The Wall Project and ht tp://www.flickr.com/ photos/magiceye There are more such events planned in other cities. Connect with The Wall Project on Facebook to stay in the loop. www.aahsome.com 6
  7. 7. SARCASM 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 G 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, www.aahsome.com 7
  8. 8. SARCASM Claude Frédéric Bastiat (30 June 1801 – 24 December 1850) was a French Cla classical liberal theorist, political economist, and member of the French cla assembly. as Bastiat was the author of many works on economics and political economy, B generally characterized by their clear organization, forceful argumentation g and acerbic wit. Among his better known works is Economic Sophisms, a which contains many strongly-worded attacks on statist policies. Bastiat w 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. www.aahsome.com 8
  9. 9. SARCASM 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 industry. 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 www.aahsome.com 9
  10. 10. SARCASM 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 www.aahsome.com 10
  11. 11. ART “dillitown” 2008-09 Meera Sethi From the series “Word.” Giclee on archival paper Limited edition www.aahsome.com 11
  12. 12. ART “Heaven on Earth” 2008-09 Meera Sethi From the series “Word.” Giclee on archival paper Limited edition www.aahsome.com 12
  13. 13. ART “Sadho, sabd sadhana kijai” 2008-09 Meera Sethi From the series “Word.” Giclee on archival paper Limited edition www.aahsome.com 13
  14. 14. ART “Lahori” 2008-09 Meera Sethi From the series “Word.” Giclee on archival paper Limited edition www.aahsome.com 14
  15. 15. ART “pindi” 2008-09 Meera Sethi From the series “Word.” Giclee on archival paper Limited edition www.aahsome.com 15
  16. 16. ART “Tat Tvam Asi” 2008-09 Meera Sethi From the series “Word.” Giclee on archival paper Limited edition www.aahsome.com 16
  17. 17. ART 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. www.aahsome.com 17
  18. 18. STORY The Last Day by Leela Alvares S 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. www.aahsome.com 18
  19. 19. STORY 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 www.aahsome.com 19
  20. 20. COMICS www.aahsome.com 20
  21. 21. COMICS www.aahsome.com 21
  22. 22. COMICS www.aahsome.com 22
  23. 23. COMICS www.aahsome.com 23
  24. 24. COMICS www.aahsome.com 24
  25. 25. COMICS www.aahsome.com 25
  26. 26. COMICS Contributed by Nitin Vetukar of lafcomics.wordpress.com. www.aahsome.com 26
  27. 27. FICTION The Dream by Prashant Kumar Das I 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 www.aahsome.com 27
  28. 28. FICTION 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 www.aahsome.com 28
  29. 29. FICTION 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- www.aahsome.com 29
  30. 30. FICTION 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 www.aahsome.com 30
  31. 31. FICTION 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 www.aahsome.com 31
  32. 32. FICTION 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 www.aahsome.com 32
  33. 33. ART Svetlana Kuznetsova www.aahsome.com 33
  34. 34. ART Svetlana Kuznetsova www.aahsome.com 34
  35. 35. ART Svetlana Kuznetsova www.aahsome.com 35
  36. 36. ART 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: http://flickr.com/photos/totokumi www.aahsome.com 36
  37. 37. POETRY 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 = YSUX te pher manukh hamesha labhda rehnda hai and then the person longs for, F [ L [N MJ Y o= TM [S U V OoˆHV 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 parchanve.wordpress.com. He scribbles at times too. www.aahsome.com 37
  38. 38. QUOTE 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 ¸ ;PIVIZIU 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 www.aahsome.com 38
  39. 39. Freedom 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/ 39
  40. 40. LAST WORD 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 www.aahsome.com 40
  41. 41. Enjoyed this issue of Aahsome? Contribute to the next issue of Aahsome! Pass it on! Email it to your friends. Theme: Beauty Tweet about it Interpret beauty any way you like, if you find your pet pig beautiful, feel welcome to write Post to Facebook an ode to it or snap a picture. Seriously amaze us with what you think is beautiful. You do not necessarily have to create something specific for this magazine. Even if you have something Connect with Aahsome which you feel is appropriate but is already published, say in a blog, do send in. aahsome_mag Submissions could be traditional art, digital Facebook group art, poetry, short-stories, opinions or photographs. group Submitting is simple! Just email your entries to submit@aahsome.com Tell us what you think! Have questions, feedback or just saying hello? hello@aahsome.com www.aahsome.com
  42. 42. This PDF magazine is licenced under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. All copyrights of content in the magazine belong to their original creators unless otherwise stated. All opinions expressed here are those of the individual authors. When in doubt, just ask us: hello@aahsome.com www.aahsome.com 42

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