Survey #9

I’m Back, and on demand.
Apologies for not putting this one out, I’ve had it for a month already, but not delving into reasons that are fairly obvious, this last month, we experimented with past-present coexistence, living the past out in the present. Isolating surveyees from what defines our reality today, we took to living the life, medieval style, and hopefully, if this ever did happen, people wouldn’t be driven mad in a week’s time at most.

Q: If you were to spend the next 100 days of your life in a medieval Scottish castle, how’d you spend your time? (“Medieval”, so no electricity, no phones, remember!)

Aakansha: I would spend my days doing all sorts of medieval activities (sword fights, horse riding, executions, etc.) and I’d explore the castle (to find dragons and treasure)

Nirmitii: Build a huge library, call people (models) to pose for my paintings, cook exotic dishes and enjoy it all by myself and click pictures all day long on a Polaroid.

Anushka: I’d learn sword-fighting.

Aayush: I’d enact the Game of Thrones.

Shivani: I’d go hunting.

Manvika: I would order people around to do jobs for me.

Mohak: Ride on horses all day, obviously.

Priyansh: I’d do nothing.

Omkar: Eat. Drink. (Scottish whiskey) Sleep. Repeat.

Yusuf: I’d sell that castle and build a modern house.

Deepan: With such a location in mind, I’d “only” write poetry, listen to music and compose some myself, maybe!

Satchit: “Hello darkness, my old friend, I’ve come to speak with you again.” Also give tours to tourists and steal their money.

Anandita: I’d spend my time appreciating the beauty of Scotland and regretting because of bad bathrooms. (Guess bathrooms were very bad at that time)

Akanksha: I’d roam the Scottish highlands.

Arshya: What she said. ^

Aditi: I’d write poems, read, eat and roam.

Anush: Rave party with my homies.

Mahima: DAB.

Ashay: Drink rum and take the piss on everyone who opposed me. (Take a piss is British slang for insult/ demean)

Pranav: Learn sword-fighting, kill the King, rule the empire forever… And eventually rule the world.

Jatin: Have something day and night… (Free food.) (What did you think?)

Darshit: I would kill each and every person who used to hate me. (Like myself)

Ritankar: I would be ballin’ in the Scottish highlands.

Ayushi: I would like to change people’s views in other religions.

Anushka: I’d divide my time between socializing, masquerading, and eating rich-ass medieval food.

Sakshi: I’d take my sister with me, or a friend, and go sightseeing and wait to go somewhere else where I can do something, not alone.

Radhika: I would wear a royal gown, boss around, click pictures and learn shooting.

Shivam: I would explore the castle for the first few days. Then I would travel to nearby places, interact with the locals, then on the last day, I would claim myself to be King of the castle and declare my rule. After having control of the place, I would charge an entry fee from every 11th grader who’s gonna come there next (as a part of your survey.)

Ajinkya: I would become the leader and drink and eat a lot. I’d take control and establish my regime all over the world.

Pooja B Ma’am: Introspection, reflection, as there’s no one around to judge me, I’d go crazy!

Pooja K Ma’am: Reading, watching the scenery, no pressure of the clock, I can just be.

Harshuday: Cook some great food and learn some medieval art form and stuff like that.

Nihar: I’d get some beautiful horses, build a huge terrace pool, a football turf, a food court as big as the football turf and get more than 50 servants.

Tanishi: I’d definitely click a lot of pictures (till my battery runs out), will make a painting of the whole castle and explore the castle and the people out there!

Satvik: I’d learn a new martial art. I’d carry a bag full of batteries and a music player and listen to music all day.

Rashiv: Chill karunga yaar, need a break!

Shrinjay: I’d probably turn the castle into an Assassin’s Creed hideout.

Mahwash: I’d stock all the food I like, and take the five loves of my life with me. (My best friends)

Rishbha: I’d spend my time sleeping.

Vani: I would look about for a library there with books about local tales.

Aninthita: I’d become a knight. I’d be Sir Percival. And master the Scottish accent. “Whit’s fur ye’ll no go by ye!”
Daivya: I’d create a library of as many medieval books as possible.

Kruthika: I would spend time with my friends, roast some broccoli on a campfire, and what not.

Sanjana: I would tell all the neighbouring kings about Game of Thrones and how it revolutionised my life.

Anisha: I’d read and play with my dog.

Diya: Ooooooh. I’d kill the King and rule. Like a boss.

Adhya: Dress well, party hard and make the most of it.

Lamha: I would try to rule the world, but not have any discrimination. Just rule the world to easily spread equality everywhere. Oh! And spread the joy of chocolate EVERYWHERE.

Manya: I’d read books.

Keerti: I’d live in Inverness castle and rule, but majorly read books and practise singing and if I find any quests related to the hidden paths in my castle, I’d take them.

Khushi: I’d just sit in a corner of an isolated room, one with an unlimited supply of good food and desserts, for days at an end.

Pallavi: I’d just sleep.

Anisha: I’d learn a new language, and go for runs and get all fit and stuff and read all the books I’ve been dying to read and prepare for a 10 km marathon and get a dog and play guitar and throw a cool a cool party ’cause why not.

Shefali: I’d definitely click many pictures as long as my phone battery lasts!

Anshul: Sword fighting, playing chess with real people as pawns, devising new tactics to capture kingdoms with the King and sitting on the throne like a boss and eating all day everyday, and I’d organise nice fights, like a knights vs animals or something! (He gives an evil laugh)

(Point of information here, he and many others came to know, later on, that the castle in question is fairly empty, almost abandoned, and that any supplies/ people you take with you, (apart from basic facilities, of course) are your own to be carried. After some negotiation, we came to the conclusion that Anshul would require an entire aeroplane to carry his “overhead compartment luggage”, i.e., army.)

Anjali: I’d certainly keep a huge amount of money with me so that after I come back, I have a huge sum in my bank account.

Arjun: I’d sit and write standup comedy, read biology research papers and finance related articles, go into self introspection/ self improving therapy, admire and observe nature and listen to my favourite songs and get the FRIENDS cast and make them shoot an episode with me as Chandler, and think of funny comebacks for different situations.

Aryaa: I would turn the castle into one of the most horrifying haunted houses yet. This would involve plenty of effort (which I wouldn’t contribute to!) This would involve many butlers to do my bidding and scaring the hell of out people and stealing the tourist money while I would use the money to buy anime online and hide in the attic or someplace with plentiful of food to last months while people scream for their lives.

Coming Full Circle

“Dad, can I go, just for a while? Please please please??” I pleaded.

After a lot of nagging, dad finally gave in.

“Oh, okay, alright, but be quick about it.” he said.

I want you back in five minutes flat, he said.

He wanted me to be back in five minutes flat.

What do you know, dad, my world is round.


Setlist Perfect

There’s hardly ever anything good on radio anymore. Anytime of the day, any station you tune into, it’s the same “new” hipster tunes, each sounding just like the last one that ended after completing it’s purpose of messing up your brain waves for three minutes.

Often, I’d rather run my head through a microwave oven, the effect is the same.

The radio used to be a great way to discover new sounds and new music, or listen to great hits and legendary songs of some era. There’s nothing to explore on the radio anymore: the same sounds (read: samples) are everywhere. It doesn’t matter if you hear twenty different artists on the radio anymore, they all sing the same tune. Heck, oftentimes they sound alike, vocally. Standard auto tune settings, I suppose.

And where do I begin on auto tune. I read an interview with  studio sound engineers who said that the artists who recorded in the studio often expected them to run their vocals through auto tune. “Fine tune adjustments” apart, they often sound inhuman. The reason music differs (or used to differ from, say, the computer industry is because of the human factor. What really used to draw people to music was the energy, much more than the notes itself. But when that one release point itself begins to become automated, it’s no wonder we’re semi-robots already.

This doesn’t mean there’s no good music around. This doesn’t even mean that there’s no good music on the radio, it’s only that it’s not around on mainstream radio anymore. Real music is being abandoned for a computer algorithm. People are paying big bucks to go stand in front of a laptop and a speaker. Over here, we don’t have a single genre specialising station. No rock stations.

However, there are still other ways, albeit out of the way, to listen to good music, and I happened to stumble upon an Internet radio station playing ’90’s alt rock music. Just for fun, I noted down the station’s playlist over a three-hour period. (And yes mum, I tell you I was studying.)

Here’s the playlist. Just for fun. Just because the Nineties had some really good music, it was a particularly good time for alternative rock (which is more or less all of this playlist.)

No Doubt – Spiderwebs
Sublime – Wrong Way
Seven Mary Three – Water’s edge
Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen – Theme From Mission: Impossible
Stone Temple Pilots – Dancing Days
Pearl Jam – Black
Beastie Boys – Intergalactic
Sound Garden – Fell On Black Days
Depeche Mode – It’s No Good
Metallica – The Unforgiven
Toadies – Tyler
Live – I Alone
Green Day – Nice Guys Finish Last
Cypress Hill – Insane In the Brain
Collective Soul – The World I Know
Beck – Loser
Tool – Aenima
The Lumineers – Stubborn Love
Rage Against the Machine – Bulls on Parade
Pearl Jam – Off He Goes
Flys – Got You (Where I Want You)
The Offspring – Gotta Get Away
A Perfect Circle – Judith
Nirvana – Come As You Are (Unplugged)
Billy Idol – Cradle of Love
Beastie Boys – Sabotage
Simple Minds – She’s A River
Tool – Sober
Nine Inch Nails – Closer
Radiohead – Creep
Pearl Jam – Once
Foo Fighters – Let It Die
Garbage – Push It
Red Hot Chili Peppers – Aeroplane
Bush – Glycerine
Marcy Playground – Sex and Candy
Beck – Devil’s Haircut
Soundgarden – Outshined
Nada Surf – Popular
White Zombie – Thunder Kiss ’65
Nirvana – Lithium
Big Audio Dynamite II – The Globe
Eve 6 – Inside Out
System Of A Down – Toxicity
Good Charlotte – The Anthem
U2 – The Fly
Smashing Pumpkins – Bullet With Butterfly Wings
Marilyn Manson – The Beautiful People
4 Non Blondes – What’s Up
Seether – Fake It
Red Hot Chili Peppers – Suck My Kiss
Chevelle – Letter From A Thief
Pearl Jam – Yellow Bedletter
Nirvana – Polly
Alice in Chains – Your Decision
Jane’s Addiction – Stop
U2 – Mysterious Ways
Kings of Leon – Crawl
Our Lady Peace – Starseed
Korn – Coming Undone
Tool – Schism

Ideal setlist? Of course not to someone who’s not particularly into alternative or rock, but that’s perspective, and that’s an argument I’ve had over a million times already. (And trust me, I’m ready for more.)

An Unencrypted Letter

Dear United Kingdom Administration

Once colonialists, always colonialists.
It seems that you are still stuck in another age.
It seems, years of being beaten in every field has not taught you that you are not the greatest.
Years of wonders by the world has not taught you that the rest of the world is not one of mill workers and opium planters.
Do you really believe that closing all lines is going to help you open up?
Do you believe that cutting jobs is going to create jobs?
Do you really think that disrespecting every other nation in the world is going to make you a respected nation?

People coming to your country are a boon to you, rather than you being a boon to them. Their skills help you, you scorn them.

When they come to your country, they come as students, as human as you, and not criminals, and they expect to be treated appropriately.

You may have the looks, you may have the brains you talk of, forever asleep (and near marginally existent) as they might be, but you don’t have the heart, the central and most important part. Circulation doesn’t happen without it, and in a world that’s becoming smaller and smaller everyday, going far away is eventually only going to get you thrown off the map.

Education and a good job are important to many, but respect and dignity rank even above that. You’ve wanted to drive people away; the start’s been perfect. Maybe soon you can borrow a wall from the one your citizens wanted barred from entering your country.

Keep up the great image,

Yours Respectfully,