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And so it has begun. You may ask me what has begun and my answer would be everything. We have reached a point in time where an outsider looking at India would be dumbfounded. The last 2 months have been more than eventful. We are living in times of an awakening, and I believe in this awakening. What I am talking about are the changes that are happening all across the country. Let us go over a few of the events that have occurred in the last 2 months. The highlight was the CoalGate scam. We had a scam amounting to 1.86 lakh crores come out in the open, a scam that was headed by none other than our prime minister Mr Manmohan Singh, a scam which made BJP halt government proceedings for over 1 and a half weeks, a scam which caused every Indian to hate its prime minister, a scam which motivated the youth to come forward and take some action. This scam was over the alleged allocation of coal blocks but I am not going to delve on this. After this, came the Granite mining scam, a scam amounting to Rs 16000 crores, and this was in one state (Tamil Nadu). Allegedly this scam was going on since 1984? Makes your blood boil doesn’t it? Imagine this happening in other states?

So now when I look back at the last 2 months, I see a lot of activity but I know this much for sure that never before have we had so much “Truth” being exposed so fast. This must signal something? While Team Anna broke up and decided to go their separate ways I feel India gained out of this move.  As of now we have the perfect conditions in place for a change. We have Arwind Kejriwal who is perfectly capable of forming a party and Anna Hazare who can be the perfect mentor. Is this enough? Well its certainly nowhere close to enough. We are a country with a population of more than 1 billion, and yet we have only two names leading the front? Although the situation is changing and people are waking up from their deep slumber, we need the whole country to wake up and do what is right.
I write to you on the eve of the arrest of Aseem Trivedi. He is a 25 year old Indian Cartoonist who has been arrested on the charge of sedition. Booked under Section 124A of the Indian Constitution, a non bailable warrant has been issued against him. We have people booked on murder get out of jail on bail, we have Sanjay Dutt and Salman Khan who had cases filed against them at some time, but they were never kept locked up in a jail, and here we have a award winning cartoonist spending the night in jail.Moreover if you look at it isn’t Members of Parliament fighting and watching pornography also contempt of democracy and our great constitution? His cartoon of the government portrayed as blood hungry wolves did not go down too well with the “non-existent” well-wishers of the Government.
I strongly urge you to click on the link below and sign the petition against this arrest.
Sign the Petition
Jai Hind

Shail Vani


Why Minerva M

Well i started a website called Minerva M, and here is why I started it. If you like it please support us 🙂
The need for the creation of Minerva M came from one single fact, that is the immediate need for change in India and the only pioneers of this can be the indian youth. We realized that the youth do not really feel connected with the politics and economics of the country, and if we need to bring about a revolution, the youth need to be more informed and educated.
The amount of illiterate indians is high, but the amount of educated indians which are still uneducated in the politics, economics and working of the country are also high.
We are here to try and bridge the gap, We are a part of the crowd, a part of the youth trying to spread the message. We are Minerva M.

We live in strange times. Someone’s plight on the roads seems to be the least of our concern but when someone talks on TV about child marriage, alcohol abuse we seem to get so moved that we cannot stop ourselves from praising the show and spreading the word.
This is no insult to the show, Satyamev Jayate it is just an article that tries to explore whether the show is truly hollow?
The only thing that comes even close to my liking on Satyamev Jayate is that the show is well researched and tries spreading awareness. Aamir Khan tries to bring social problems plaguing the country to the front through primetime television. In this show the audience is “supposedly” enlightened with news that they “supposedly” did not know about.
I find this show pretty crass and vile, here are a few reasons why:
1. 3.5 Crores, that’s a buttload of money. That is the amount of money being paid to Aamir Khan for doing one episode. Hmmm so much for Social Service eh?
2. When I look at the show, it seems really fake. Now I will be talking of only 2-3 topics that have been brought up on this show. Let us take the first topic “female infanticide”. Now I do not know about all of you but I definitely knew of this problem for a long time, there is nothing new that he ever brought to the table. I could see some benefit if he actually stopped someone from doing that or he even went around preaching to villages because well he is a star and who does not like stars? But all he seemed to do was get people and make them talk. Coming to this other topic that I saw, it was on ethnic marriage. Now what basically had happened was that the girl liked the boy and the boy liked the girl, but the girl’s parents did not approve. When both of them ran away and got married they threatened to kill them and the couple has been on the run since. Now this is a great way to bring such social issues to mainstream audience but I was shocked when he asked the girl, “How did you feel when you ran away from home?” How the hell is someone supposed to feel!, it was like he wanted her to cry. That all is also okay but is this questioning really required? My question is what did he achieve after talking about it on television, he showed that the law was there but it was not really effective. My point being that he actually did not really improve the condition of the lives of that couple because the thinking of the parents is unchanged. What I find is that the show appears to be rehearsed and his dialogues scripted, well it is a TV show but there are human emotions that are being dealt with so I personally feel that the approach taken by the show is cheap.
It is easy to point out the bad qualities of anything and I understand that all the Satyamev Jayate lover’s would not like my criticism, but lets just look at a few TV shows that have actually had a much better concept. Remember Kiran Bedi ka insaaf or Sach ka Tarazu? These shows are pretty old and forgotten but they did something that Satyamev Jayate does not. They interacted with the audience on a whole new level and the audience was educated with a judicial standing. In the show Kiran Bedi ka Insaaf at least the judicial standpoint on the view was made clear and each party was allowed to present their case. They were not very great and popular shows but I am sure they definitely affected the life of quite a few.
Another show which I like is Channel V’s Gumraah. Although the show is pretty cliché and slightly overdone, what it is able to do is connect to the audience on a greater level by re-enacting already occurred events. What the show does is that it shows the audience with clever narration all the sides of the story and this tends to leave a stronger impact on the audience’s mind.
So while Satyamev Jayate looks like another hollow show which makes social problems crass, Channel V’s Gumraah has potential as it is already into its second season.

When I think about all the things that have taken place over the past few months, I would like to say that I have been lucky enough to survive an ordeal many would prefer to wash themselves out with. A tide that consumed everything in its way; brought down hell none compared to my recent rendezvous with chaos – both emotional and physical. But only so, I wish there was a tide; one such that would have brought rain or water in any form and crops- crops to follow; then tomorrow would not have appeared as bleak and drab as they are to me right now. Yes I am one of them, to a third person we are just as obscure and hidden away as the National page News articles but the fact remains – I Am A Poison Bride!

I was born to a well-off family with five siblings and agricultural produce suitable enough to nourish us through every passing day. Tilling, ploughing and weeding were just another part of the day and rural Maharashtra was as scenic as one would picture it to be. Running around the fields, playing hopscotch with my sisters and chasing the cows- my life was a joy ride which I hoped would never end. Education was not something our father thought to be essential because to him someday all of us were to bid a teary farewell and be off to our in-laws’. So while our brothers went to school and burned many a night lamps during their semesters, I just let the cool breeze drift through my hair and feel what not many were lucky enough to be living.
Childhood soon gave way to adolescence and playtime slowly reduced to cooking in the kitchen and sifting through the grain silo.
Friends I played with during my growing up years were getting married and I knew that my time is not far away. For long I dreaded being married to an inhumane, fifty year old man suitable enough to pass off as my grandfather. But call it lucky; better sense prevailed and my parents thought of the contrary. Soon enough they found me a very ‘suitable’ groom. Not the swish city bred kinds but one of our own. A farmer by profession and agriculture for a living. To me it was all just a daze that I was hoping would pass away.
16 years and four months old- that’s how old I was on the day of my wedding. Too young, I know and I would not advise the same to my kids or to anyone for that matter. But nevertheless I tied the knot with a deep sense of fore brooding already whipping up a storm inside me. Marital life was not bliss like how the word of mouth praises had sounded it to be. A rather grueling task of cooking, cleaning and tending to a humongous family’s request lay at my service. And I was expected to comply with the same and adhere to the rules laid down by the family.
Despite my wishes, I was advised against working in a small scale industry and was told to stay at home. Despite the fact that I pointed out that this could come handy as an extra source of income, my offer to work was flatly refused and ignored from the start. So I carried on with my marital ‘bliss’ and stayed aloof from half the world outside my periphery. Even though this was all meant to be the initial adjustments of settling into a household; I did not take in the wrong spirit and no sooner had I managed to fit into the family mould and how bad could it get after all?
Years passed on and I was now a mother to three happy kids who had added more meaning to my life than ever before. Watching them grow before my eyes and spending time trying to make the best of the day for them had gradually made up for any lack or shortcomings that I could complain about. Life to me was just another view of having a peek into the life of my parents’. Get married, earn a living, have kids and work towards a better tomorrow. This is what encompassed an idealistic day for me and that is how it was to be or so I thought.
And then the famine struck!
Initially it started out as the absence of rains far and few. An eager anticipation would eventually build up in everyone’s hearts as the season approached but would die down during the night with rains not gracing the day. But then there came no rains and slowly the water held in reserve started being used up as we were left with no other option. With fast depleting water resources and rains showing no sign of gracing this side of the country, panic began to set in.
After a month or so of no rains, we farmers were on the edge of our nerves knowing not what to do next and with no extension of relief from the government’s side as well. Agriculture was and has been our way of life since as long as I can recall. This sudden occurring threw everything for a toss. Our crops withered away and whatever was left of it, had to be fed to the kids and no one in the market wanted our produce because of its undernourished quality.
Desperate times gave way to desperate decisions and it was then my husband like many other men from the area decided to borrow money from the landlords or the moneylenders. We did not have money to pay back. But in the hope of surviving the today and to live for the tomorrow, we decided to loan out the money. After some investment in seeds, manure, etc. the rest we utilized to keep the family going. The rains were nowhere on the horizon. It was like fate had dealt us with the wrong set of cards and we were playing along like a bunch of dummies.
To a common man a loan of Fifty Thousand may not be a big deal but to us in our present state of affairs it was. Earning 10 rupees was proving to be cumbersome now and surviving through the day – an ordeal.
Then disaster struck!
The government had by now declared the state to be in famine and that help was on its way. But after months of wait and a hill of interests on loans piling
up; people had given up hope. Suicides, as unheard of were now cropping up in conversations around the village and though drastic many thought of it as an
easy way out. The most crushing was when our neighbors with no money to pay off their debts decided to end the family together.
The last we saw of the Sawant’s was their 2 year old kid playing on the front porch. Rat poison they say, but I would not believe it.
How could this be happening? Why us?
Watch out for Part II where the story of the poison bride will be continued
Nimisha Nair

Corruption is one of the biggest problems plaguing our country right now. Despite numerous attempts to remove corruption from its roots, we stand here at this point in time having failed miserably to tackle the problem of Corruption. Anna Hazare and his team started the Jan Lokpal movement over a year ago and having lost much steam they plan to restart the agitation, but is this enough?

Corruption is a very old science. I refer to corruption as science because there is more to it than just giving bribes and getting your work done for a cost.
Now if you look at the Indian administrative system, the volume that the department has to handle is huge, the incentive that the government workers get in terms of their salary is not huge when you compare it to the private sector. The free houses and utilities they get, they have become used to it and it no longer qualifies as a perk for them. Let us try peeking into the life of a government agent.

The child of a government worker comes to him and says, “Dad in class everyone has a PS, why can’t I have one too?” the father will explain to him saying, “Son, Your Dad does not earn as much as their fathers and I cannot afford it.” It will kill him to say this and deny that worldly pleasure to his son but he will do it once. The next year when his son asks him for a new “Nike” football because his friends believe that only Nike is the good stuff, he will tear a little piece of his heart but buy his boy the expensive football because after all how many times does his son get a good birthday gift? Soon his wife starts coming to him and says that all the other ladies in the government colony use expensive make up and go out shopping, but why is it that we do not have enough money to do all of this? How can he explain to his wife that while the other officers in the colony accept bribes, he has stayed true to his belief and not accepted a single bribe.

Is his belief more important than his family’s happiness? The man is in a dilemma. He consoles himself by saying that he is doing the right thing and it is the best for everybody, but he himself knows the hollowness of these words. Soon he loses the will to fight the battle alone because he is not getting benefits nor is it bringing him any happiness. He goes to the office the next day and starts accepting bribes and soon see’s the happiness return back in his family’s eyes. That is how he justifies his corrupt nature.

If there are x corrupt officials in a government agency, there are 2x non-corrupt officials. But we always have a tendency to look at the corrupt ones and frown saying the whole agency is corrupted, but how do you think that makes the non-corrupt officials feel? Is it possible that our disdain and hatred towards a government agency since the last 20 years because part of it is corrupt, has actually caused the non-corrupt officials to become corrupt?

Let us have a look at the common man, a typical Mussadilal(We will call him Mussadi) if you remember the show “Office Office”:

Mussadi is missing his office today because his son needs a driving license. His son has “threatened” him by saying that since every one of his friends has a driving license; it does not look “cool” if he doesn’t have one. Regretfully he agrees to use one of his personal days at the office and accompany his son. When he arrives at the RTO, he sees a line as big as the line for rations at his village. After waiting for 2 hours he gets the form, filling it up quickly, he and his son rush to the officer to get it verified. This time he finds an even bigger queue disappearing into the room. At this point, his son says “Dad, I need to meet my friends so I am going to go but please stay here and get my work done. Thanks” and leaves. Having no option he stays there in the queue. Just then a man walks up to him and says that why are you standing in the line and doing all this “magajmaari”, just hire an “agent”. He enquires about how much the agent would charge and on finding that it would cost him a whopping 1000 bucks decides he is better of alone. There are 4 different departments to visit in an RTO and it is absolutely necessary to have an agent, otherwise you are not taken seriously. After getting the forms verified and then getting the payment slip done, getting your driving test done is a nightmare as the officer in charge is permanently surrounded by agents. As Mussadi would later come to realize at the cost of time and money that sometimes you just need to give in because unless the complete system is overhauled nothing can be really done.

These are exaggerated events no doubt, but what they are trying to is both sides of the story. Sometimes for a government official he might start the job with the best thoughts but somewhere along on the road, the pressure gets to you. Even for the common man it is a struggle to maintain a living and do the right thing. Sometimes it is just not feasible to stand up and be different because you cannot afford to. In the fight against corruption, we need to understand that it is a way of life for people. It might be easy for you and me to forgo 5 days of work and sit on the government officials head and refuse to pay a bribe, but for someone who needs to work just to maintain his family asking for those 5 days is too much.

I am not trying to justify corruption or in any ways defend it, just trying to say there is something more to the story.

-Shail Vani


Beyond the world that we know so well, lies another one, just as magnificent – the world of dreams! Each one of us has witnessed thousands of dreams, but probably passed it off as a compilation of random thoughts. Nothing can be farther from the truth! Here is some trivia for you-

In most cases, dreams occur in the REM (rapid eye movement) stage of your sleep, when your brain works vigorously (similar to the condition of wakefulness). Dreams are witnessed in other stages of sleep as well, but they tend to be vague and are difficult to recollect.

The duration of a dream ranges from a few seconds to as long as twenty minutes. Research has shown that an average person sees 3 to 5 dreams per night, but some people can have about seven dreams in a single night.

“Dream incorporation” is a phenomenon wherein real external stimuli are incorporated into the dream, so as not to awaken the sleeper. For instance, one dreams of the phone ringing, when it actually is, or of urination, when wetting the bed.

“Lucid dreaming” occurs when the dreamer knows that he is dreaming. Sometimes, he can control his own, or even others’ actions in the dream. This has been proven scientifically. Lucid dreamers are called ‘Oneironaut’.

In “dreams of absent-minded transgression (DAMT)”, the dreamer indulges in those activities that he has been trying to avoid – like a smoker who is trying to quit, dreams of lighting a cigarette. DAMT make you wake with a pang of guilt. DAMMIT!

Some people admit to dreaming in black and white only!

“Déjà vu” is the feeling of ‘been there, done that’ in your dream, while facing a similar situation in your waking hours.

“Hallucination” is dreaming while you are awake! This differs from day dreaming mainly because your perception is unusually vivid, clear, and exhibits qualities of a real dream.

“Nightmares” are unpleasant dreams, which elicit extreme negative responses, ranging from horror to sadness, and awaken the dreamer, who is then unable to sleep for a long time.

“Night terror” is a parasomnia disorder, which causes feelings of terror or dread. Victims, predominantly children, who are often said to scream, have their eyes wide open, but are not actually awake. They seem to be protecting themselves from some possible threat.

What is astonishing is that people with diverse backgrounds and different corners of the world, witness similar dreams! Here are some of them which you might identify with, and what they could possibly mean –

Exam dreams – You have forgotten to study for your exam! You are late! You know nothing! Your pen stops working! Or you miss the exam altogether..! And bam! You have failed!!
Relax! There are people at the ripe age of 40 still witnessing this…Such dreams are indicators of your plummeting self confidence and your fear of being rejected. You are probably trying too hard to please others.

Falling dreams – You are on the verge of dozing off, and suddenly you miss a step! Your body gives a jerk, and you wake with a start! Ouch!
Falling dreams occur in the initial stage of your sleep, and are flanked by muscle spasms, called myclonic jerks.
(Please note that you WILL NOT ACTUALLY DIE if you fail to wake up before the fall).
Falling denotes your insecurities and inadequacies. Chances are that you are selling yourself short.

Naked dreams – You are dreaming of nothing spectacular as such, and then it hits you: you are naked in full public view!! This typically extracts either of these reactions – (A) You are petrified! This shows that you are vulnerable. Maybe you are hiding something (just like clothes hide your body). Or you are afraid of being embarrassed in public. Interestingly, if no one else in your dream notices your nudity, it implies that these concerns are baseless, and your fears are imaginary.
(B) You are proud of your nakedness. This symbolizes your free-spirited nature and your love for yourself. However, this can also mean that you are trying to gain attention in the wrong way.

Flying dreams – Flying dreams are a type of lucid dreams (i.e. you know that you are dreaming). If you are the sort who enjoys your flight and gets a thrilling sense of liberation, chances are that you are on cloud nine (pun intended).
If you aren’t so lucky, and find it tough to fly, it suggests your lack of control over a situation/ your life.
Unluckier still, if your ride gives you goose bumps, it says that you are not ready to face some challenge yet.

Chase dreams – You are desperately being pursued by somebody who wants to cause you harm or kill you… You are thoroughly exhausted. Yet, you run. You scream for help. Nobody seems to bother. Nobody seems to notice. You run till you can run no more. You collapse…
And what you notice next is that your brother isn’t too pleased at being woken up past midnight by your howling and screeching.
Little does he know that it was a result of the stress and pressures that chase you in your waking life! The next time, ask yourself who was chasing you, so you can get a hang of what is affecting you.

Teeth dreams – The only dream I haven’t seen is the “teeth dream”, and so that is the only one I find funny. Sources, who do not wish to be identified, have personally described to me their toothless versions, and let me tell you – it ain’t pretty.
Such dreams arise due to the phobia of aging. Teeth are associated with attractiveness, and their lack implies a shaky self image (also a fear of public embarrassment) and a feeling of unattractiveness. In fact, research has shown that women in menopause have such dreams frequently.

Dreams are perceived to be messages to you from your subconscious mind. In fact, some of the greatest ideas were conceived when the person was dreaming!

So the next time you dream something particularly nasty, don’t curse! It might just help you to hit that problem on its head.

– Divya. Ganapathy
(A Minerva M Writer)
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Sunday morning began the same way it always does, lazing around in front of the computer giving rest to the ass which had been working hard all week. As I browsed through the “YouTube Recommends For You” page, I sat back as I played the first video on the list. And sugary sweetness played on my screen for the next 5 minutes. I shamelessly hit the replay button to hear the sounds of “Baby, baby, baby, ohh”, while convincing myself that I was watching it because of Ludacris and not the copper-blonde kid. The next couple of days were filled with talks of the new eye candy in our school and the Beiber fever spread like wildfire. But as a forest guard would know, that every wildfire leaves ashes in its wake. As the craze for the new pop-sensation cooled down a bit, hatred started pouring in, mostly from boys all over the world. Sad jealous boys. Now Beiber on the other hand started actually believing that he’s as awful as people said he is. So he tried an age old recipe used by pop and R&B artistes. He became black. Yes you heard me, and I’m not being racist. Since R&B and hip hop were invented by the first Afro-American settlers In the U.S.A. it has mostly been their monopoly and whenever they collaborate mostly there is just one sad shade i.e.-BLACK. Famous collaborations include girl band “Destiny’s Child”, and the new Jay-Z and Kanye West duo. Of course there are exceptions including The Black Eyed Peas, but the group is an evolved form of a hip-hop group called Atban Klann which again happens to be- yes, all black. Now coming back to JB. The poor kid was so disappointed by the fact that half the world hated him, he didn’t realize that he was reigning king on youtube and 2nd on Twitter only next to Lady Gaga. Beiber had started believing that if he wasn’t under some more talented artistes’ wing then he wouldn’t succeed. Thus the decision to collaborate on his 2nd single with his new godfather, Usher. Thus the saga continues. Every time he collaborates with some one black he peaks at Billboard. Thus came Usher, Ludacris, Boyz II Men, Mariah Carey, Sean Kingston, Drake, Jaden Smith and the list continues. Then came the proposal to Rihanna. The poor guy had finally started losing it. But that didn’t stop his next album “Under The Mistletoe” from breaking sales records again. But amidst all the hatred and the paternity tests and the name calling and the leaked pictures with Selena Gomez, little boy blue did what most jealous and untalented people could not. He became famous at 16. Ok, now I don’t want to disappoint all the Justin Beiber haters out there, even though we know that he’ll be as hot as Ricky Martin in 10 odd years and most probably share the same fate as he did( for all those people who didn’t get the Ricky Martin gibe please feel free to use Google). Lets get down to some bitching! Now the most awited question of the year- When will Beiber die? 2012? Why not? Just that we will be so busy dying ourselves that we probably wont have the time to relish it. If not the apocalypse maybe he could follow the likes of Amy Winehouse and join the 27 club. Then I guess it’s a nine year wait. I can already hear the clock go tick-tok!

-Debabrata Das

A Minerva M Writer

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We have been blessed with emotions. Fear, hate, happiness, love and a whole lot more besides. Different ones flood into our minds day after day, even hour after hour. Some are intense, some go almost unnoticed but they all enrich our lives, hopefully helping us to be better people and helping to steer us through life’s rich tapestry. That is a nice phrase but what does it mean in practice?
The last week hasn’t been very different from any other week but as I look back I find that in the course of just seven days I have gone through a whole gambit of emotions. I am sure that is true most of the time for all of us; rarely is our passage through life ever without incidents for any length of time. In fact I sometimes marvel at how we come out sane! It helps me to understand why, even without physical work, we can feel really exhausted at the end of a day.
To be honest, when I look back to how many emotions I actually portrayed last week, I get tired just thinking about them. Love, hate, fear, sadness, frustration and helplessness. Sometimes I realize that we are not humans without this bag of emotions. We just become machines that are programmed to think logically at every step of our lives. But then God gifted us with something worth living for, a soul. Come to think of it, we are nothing without it anyway, just as lifeless as a vegetable.
Life is a very rich tapestry of emotions but at the end of it all one can wonder why we have such emotions at all. Wouldn’t it be easier if we were completely logical beings who simply felt and did what was logical and without emotion. Yes, but then we would lack God’s greatest gift to us all – a soul.


To me, the magic of life is each breath that you take,
so you can smell the beautiful flowers or enjoy a serene lake.
The magic of life is to enjoy all living creatures big and small,
and to feel a sense of awe to the wonder of it all.
Living the magic of life is to laugh, cry and smile,
and to show love and compassion at all times, not just for awhile.
Sure enough that was the magic what life provided us with. Let me ask you people out there something? Do you see much of this nowadays, without the feeling of greed, hate or contempt in someone’s mind? No one in today’s world can be trusted, says my mother. As a kid, I never really believed it as it seemed too surreal to me. I asked myself, ‘How can mother say that? How can someone survive that way?’ And I always sought for the answer…
I am 15 now; much more mature that what I was when I was 10. Believe it or not, but I am beginning to give a second thought to how much of that ‘magic of life’ is left in this world. I am aware that I am not writing to a bunch of infants so you people sitting there on the other side of this discussion are well aware of what the problems faced by a common man alone are- Corruption, poverty, scams and cheats and along with these problems, come the 7 deadly sins. I don’t see any magic in this kind of a life, do you? But I think to myself, ‘Who is it that can actually do something to recreate that lost magic? It cannot be God because I for a fact have always grown up to think of God as not God but karma.’ Ahh.. The lies in front of me and yet I fail to see it. It us of course!
For all I know and so should you, we are the future. So whatever we do now will reflect in the future of our country and ultimately the world. It may sound like a huge responsibility on such small shoulders but it is not as difficult as I make it sound. All that is required is a little patience and loads of will power and hard work. This, my friends is not a time where you think of showing your country as the best in the world. Rather this is the time when we learn from our forefathers about the beauty and purity of even the air they breathed back then and make history repeat. This is it friends, this is the beginning of the future.


Money, once beyond enough to afford life’s necessities and a sense of control over one’s life, is less predictive of happiness than other marks of happy lives. Especially in poor countries, such as India, being relatively well off does make for greater well-being. We do need food, rest, shelter, and some sense of control over our lives. But that is where we go wrong. Is it just the money or the luxuries or is it more than that.. Isn’t happiness all about peace of mind?
If personal happiness does not enduringly rise with our rising personal affluence, does a rising economic tide lift our collective happiness? Were we unhappy more than a half century ago, when we had so many fewer cars, so much less technology, small homes, and no post-it notes? If you ask your grandparents, for them their life was perfect. For us it all about being dependent of technology. Right from making toast to making chips that can be installed in brains; we have been so dependent on technology that we have forgotten to appreciate the much better things in life.
For someone to be happy they need to know that everything that has happened in their past has happened for a reason and that it has happened in order for them to become a better person. Not only does it make them a better person but it also makes them realize how good they have it or can possibly have it. Although things might be hard to deal with at the moment, people need to realize that they will be able to learn from their experiences and that they will learn to take the good from them all. You can’t live your life in fear of what can go wrong. You just need to go out and live your life to the fullest and know that you’ll be happy, even if something doesn’t go the way that you had planned it to. Happiness may come and go like the seasons but in the end, every moment that you have that is filled with happiness will be well worth the sad or unnerving ones that you have had to endure.

If the sordid news of a student being beaten to death by fellow college mates in itself wasn’t enough. When one hears that it was regionally charged, it makes one wonder about our country as a whole. It’s nothing new that people from the rainbow states of India have felt alienated and this is an understatement. The recent protests on social media as well as on the streets of Delhi , Bangalore, etc. Should at least make us Indians question why does my fellow countryman feel alien in his own country?

Coming back to what may now be seen as the tipping point for our people in the seven-sister states. 19-year-old Loitam Richard, a second-semester student of the Acharya NRV School of Architecture in Bangalore North, was found dead in his hostel bed on the afternoon of April 18. The initial report that Loitam Richard was beaten to death by some senior hostel mates when he changed the television channel while they were watching an IPL match has been refuted by the family members now and this opens up a whole set of new questions, for which there are no answers as yet. However this is besides the point. The fact, the heart breaking cold fact is, the life of a young man, pursuing a degree in Architecture has been snuffed out and that it was not a natural death is clear. He was killed, prima facie. Brutality is written all over the death of the young man and this is what is galling.

Now since this is still a story in progress, we cannot draw too many conclusions. But what is certain is that if this indeed was a “HATE-CRIME” as most people back in one part of our country are taking it as, it is a dark time for our nation. Some people back in the undisputedly most beautiful part of India ,and I am not talking of the land but its beautiful people, argue that they saw this coming.

In 2007 Delhi Police booklet suggesting a code of conduct for students and visitors from the northeast had sparked outrage among people from the region. While a section of the people from the northeast termed the booklet titled “Security Tips for northeast students/ visitors in Delhi”, issued by the west district police, as “helpful”, many had taken strong exception to what they described as its “insensitive” advise. The booklet advised girls from the region to avoid wearing any “revealing dress” and had suggestions about cooking “smelly” food without creating a “ruckus” in the neighborhood. I leave the interpretation of the issue to you but to me even then it had seemed disgusting hailing from Assam myself.

It is time when we should all reflect on ourselves as a society. Before we call the boy/girl next to us with oriental looks as a “chinki”, we should weigh that against the probability that this girl/boy may also be an amazing musician, athlete, orator, dancer and so many other characteristics that should, define him. Are we as a society so shallow? What ever happened to unity in diversity we learned in school?

Growing up I always believed that the chicken neck was only on the map and that it didn’t really matter, but such incidents are indeed making me doubt myself. And I am not the only one.

By Manas Dadheech

(A Minerva M Writer)
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Lady Gaga

The Famous Lady Gaga

From the time music videos began to be made, artistes who broke rules came into being. This forced them to think way out of the box. So that’s how double-meanings in songs originated. If one notices then one can see so in numerous songs, the most notable being perhaps Bryan Adam’s “Summer Of ’69”. For the simpleton and the untrained ear 69 basically refers to the Year of the Lord 1969, but think along the lines of Bryan Adam and then you see that it basically refers to something you do in the bedroom! Then again citing Madonna from her chartbuster “Like A Prayer”- “When you call my name, It’s like a little prayer, I’m down on my knees, My voice can take you there “. It’s obvious that Madonna under no circumstance is referring to the act of praying when she says I’m down on my knees, after all she did shock audiences through her pseudo-erotic dance movements in “Papa Don’t Preach”. Then comes Britney Spears with “Hit Me Baby One More Time”. No guesses there what “hitting” refers to. For the perverted mind one can even make a sweet song like “Hold It Against Me” her first single from “Femme Fatale” sound vulgar. It is obvious that “it” refers to “it”. New generation Madonna-Lady Gaga also made it very clear what “I wanna take a ride on your Disco Stick” meant. These days when you see small kids singing -“I wanna see your Peacock” you can’t help making a mental applause for Katy Perry who again outdid the censors with her single “Peacock”. I can’t wait for the video-release any longer, who knows, she might actually show her Peacock!
And finally we come to Nicki Minaj. Even though there was nothing ingenuous of her twisting the word superb ass into Super Bass (the song did manage to peak at the billboard!), the use of UV in the video did seem pretty cool and thank god she did not expose her “Super Bass”. No matter how hard she tries, at the end of the day, she will just be some Gaga poop.
– Debabrata Das
(A Minerva M Writer)
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