The Indomitable Spirit

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Amongst piles of pages lined with words upon words of “knowledge” and “wisdom” disguised in the form of information sits on the table, plates, cups and cutlery sit unattended to. Some clean, some with remnants of what I ate last. Books and trash occupy the space in front while hints of Arabica coffee flavour fill the gaps of sensory input. Of course, beats of M.I.A, the rapper and an occasional Florence and the Machine or Little Dragon number give the sense of a “fringe-hipster” vibe that I never signed up for (somebody once commented I was a wannabe-hipster and that that was cool!). Of course, blogging is supposed to be a “hipster-thing”, isn’t it? So what does that matter? People’s tastes differ, mine just happens to be a mix of everything – a “traditionalist” with a very contemporary taste – classical and experimental at the same time.

Searching for what you want to do and achieve in life is challenging though, despite what anyone may say. If you are anything like me, you probably have far-reaching goals that you have no idea how to achieve! Maybe a surgeon or an ascetic in Asia exploring traditional music on the verge of disappearing, or a veterinary bioscientist, or maybe lead the simple life close to a relaxing Fijian beach, watching the tides of time wash away memories, and the shoreline at the same time! We live in exciting yet troubled times, without a doubt! The convenience of the good life that technological advancements, free trade and globalisation promised humanity in the last century has ended up being a mixed blessing. While we, as a species, continue to break boundaries in the name of scientific progress and exploration, we have simultaneously managed to distance ourselves from that which matters most to the extent that most of us do not even know what it is that is most important to us.

In the pursuit of giving meaning to life, we now need to hold up picket fences, scaring away others who might hold an “inferior” ideology. We do this even for things we do not fully believe in or fully understand, we do this because that is the train of thought we have been born into – our early associations basically building the lens through which we see and perceive the world. The problem arises however, when we start seeing society through the narrow field of view of this misconstrued lens. In histology (the study of microscopic anatomy), my lecturer emphasised the importance of viewing the tissue against light with the naked eye first, and viewing it at higher magnifications subsequently. Pathologists and detectives use this same concept at the scene of a crime, after arriving at the site, you are supposed to stand at the periphery and look at the whole scene in its entirety. Only then do you zoom in to formulate the plan of action.

I ramble s0, however, the point I am trying to make is that even with our life, we sometimes get too wound up doing something which does not mean a thing to us, while forgoing what we would really like to do. This mostly happens because we do not really know what we want to do in the first place! Passion is an overrated concept in my opinion. Our spirit is indomitable – sometimes latent, but it’s default mode should be bubbling, close to the point of boiling over. This is the activation energy we require! How do we find it? I don’t know – which leads me to the reason of this blog series, where I explore the nature of our innermost desires, and how do we get around to achieving them. In the meantime, you know how I wrote of histology – yes, I have to get back to that!

 

 

 

Take on me

 

We’re talking away
I don’t know what
I’m to say I’ll say it anyway
Today’s another day to find you
Shying away
I’ll be coming for your love, OK?

Take on me, (take on me)
Take me on, (take on me)
I’ll be gone
In a day or two

So needless to say
I’m odds and ends
I’ll be stumbling away
Slowly learning that life is OK
Say after me
It’s no better to be safe than sorry

Take on me, (take on me)
Take me on, (take on me)
I’ll be gone
In a day or two

Oh the things that you say
Is it live or
Just to play my worries away
You’re all the things I’ve got to remember
You’re shying away
I’ll be coming for you anyway

Take on me, (take on me)
Take me on, (take on me)
I’ll be gone
In a day

(Take on me, take on me)
(Take me on, take on me)
I’ll be gone (take on me)
In a day

M.I.A

So apparently, the legend M.I.A just announced the release of a new album on Instagram and Facebook with just a caption ‘TBA’ and a cover art.

If the album is as good as her three earlier releases of the year, her ardent fans (like me) are in for a sweet treat!

Check out Matahdata, Swords and The New International Sound below!

Sense8

I will do a longer review for this amazing series as soon as I fully grasp what I just watched.

As usual, the Wachowski’s have collaborated with others to break new ground in cinema and film. The scenes are perfectly shot, the music is well chosen, and the acting, oh the acting is superb. Loved the series and crossing all fingers and toes for a renewal. It is an amazing feat to fit in individual story lines of 8 totally different characters in the span of just 12 episodes. The audience got the chance to go really up and personal with them as well. There is no sort of hierarchy in the story lines, they blend in with each other perfectly. I hyperventilated through the finale. Let’s just say that television will never really be the same again.

A poem

DON’T ASK ME FOR THAT LOVE AGAIN
by Faiz Ahmed Faiz

That which then was ours, my love,

don’t ask me for that love again.

The world then was gold, burnished with light –

and only because of you. That’s what I had believed.

How could one weep for sorrows other than yours?

How could one have any sorrow but the one you gave?

So what were these protests, these rumours of injustice?

A glimpse of your face was evidence of springtime.

The sky, whenever I looked, was nothing but your eyes.

If you’d fall into my arms, Fate would be helpless.

All this I’d thought, all this I’d believed.

But there were other sorrows, comforts other than love.

The rich had cast their spell on history:

dark centuries had been embroidered on brocades and silks.

Bitter threads began to unravel before me

as I went into alleys and in open markets

saw bodies plastered with ash, bathed in blood.

I saw them sold and bought, again and again.

This too deserves attention. I can’t help but look back

when I return from those alleys – what should one do?

And you are still so ravishing – what should I do?

There are other sorrows in this world,

comforts other than love.

Don’t ask me, my love, for that love again.

Existential Crisis

I am seriously considering the possibility that I am facing an existential crisis recently. Now, some people associate an existential crisis with depression or sadness. Given that the term actually has the word “crisis” in it (how much more melodramatic can it get?), I don’t particularly feel really down. I have just been thinking about how sad life actually is! I mean sure, you get to experience the joys and battles of life, but come to think of it, in the long run, nothing ever really matters. It doesn’t matter if you like someone, it doesn’t matter if you hate someone, and it doesn’t matter whether you slave away trying to make things “better” for yourself and the world. Why give in to material pleasures? And I don’t even say this in a preach-y kind of way. I just really want to know why evolution resulted us in getting a brain and body that just can’t be satisfied. There needs to be more, more, more, better, and we even pursue the best. In this way, I believe that the human brain and our level of consciousness is counter-productive. Maybe we are still evolving, but into what? A species with a higher level of consciousness? For now, I shall just entertain the belief that life is a passing moment, and it doesn’t really mean anything in the long term, which is a pretty sad note to finish on!

Songs To Jam To – March 2015

Howdy guys

Quite a late post but you know what they say, better late than never! Today, I feel like doing a post on music and the best sounds of recent weeks. I have not listed the songs in any particular order. So here goes:

1. Elastic Hearts by Sia

This Australian singer is known for her upbeat electro-pop hits such as Chandelier and she does exactly that in this song from her album 100 Forms of Fear.

2. Budapest by George Ezra

Ezra is a newbie to the music industry, but in no way a noob. This 21 year old English lad has a resonant voice, and apparently cites Bob Dylan as an influence.

3. The Days- Avicci

This Swedish DJ is not new to the genre of progressive house, and he demonstrates this yet again in the second song from his album Stories.

4. Come Back to Me- Urban Cone ft Tove Lo

Must be the Swedish genes! Tove Lo, the ever rising indie pop star collaborates on this 2015 single with Urban Cone. Utmärkt!

5. Hold Back the River by James Bay

Lot of European artists on the list, including James Bay. He is contributing towards making alternative rock the new mainstream!

That’s the list for today guys! Tell us what your favourite sound of the month is!

The Fault in our Stars- Review by Shawan Kumeaux

The Fault in our Stars is essentially about coping with cancer. It starts off as pretty charming but unfortunately, the movie quickly takes a downward roller coaster ride. Gus, one of the protagonists who has defied death once before seems to be trying to convince Hazel, a teenage girl trying to cope with cancer, about heaven and an afterlife. He just won’t accept the proposition in there being no base to life, that on the grand scale, individuals don’t matter. However, he does manage to convince Hazel that there is, indeed, something more than life. The movie takes an unexpected turn when Hazel meets her favourite author, who turns out to be an alcoholic, American hating annoying relic.

Another thing that was a bit off- putting about The Fault in Our Stars was it’s jerky script. It does not really flow too smoothly. I happened to watch TFIOS days before Divergent, so it was a bit weird to see Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort as siblings after their stint at being lovers in TFIOS. Another pretty bad scene is when the two main characters start making out in the Anne Frank museum, and everybody else just looks on awkwardly.

One thing that I did love about this movie is it’s amazing soundtrack, which is an impressive list of an Indie fan, like myself.

All in all, I found the movie to be a bit corny and over rated. The whole thing seems to be staged. Couldn’t really get why some movie goers cried their eyes out. This movie to me was a 5/10. Sorry.

Before Midnight- A review

Before Midnight

A Review by Shawan Kumeaux

 

Cast: Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy

Director: Richard Linklator

 

Synopsis

Ethan Hawke as Jessie and Julie Delpy as Céline star in this third Before installment. Jessie and Céline are on a family vacation with their twins at a Greek friend’s home in the Peloponnese peninsula. However, there is trouble brewing in paradise as the couple has a one to one about their marriage and where it is headed.

 

Review

Linklator brings the third serving of the before series on our plate. I have got to admit that I have never watched the first two installments but what I do know, is that, it is a continuation of the last movie.

 

Before midnight is a contemplative movie about a couple who are in dialogue throughout the entire movie. Like seriously, they never stop talking! Not even for an instance. Surprisingly, the movie itself is excellent, and that is all that matters at the end of the day. If anybody had told me that it is about a couple who talk throughout the movie, I probably would not have seen it. Even now, after watching Before Midnight, I cannot bring myself around to watching the first two installments. The thing about this movie is that it deals with some of the hot topics of the day. Things such as the feminist movement and disconnection in relationships.

 

The central theme in the movie, what I make it out to be at least is, feminism. Céline feels as if she has given up too much for the sake of having a family. She misses the spontaneity and excitement of life. She misses her independence and she loathes how predictable her daily life has become. And, she blames her de-facto partner for most of it.

 

An excellent feature of Before Midnight is that it is as witty as witty can be. The writers have done a marvelous job at keeping the script flowing and ironic, I mean they had to have something going on in there besides yapping. For example Céline states matter of factly that “the only good thing about being over thirty-five is that you don’t get raped as much”. That had me laughing so much. What the movie lacks in action, it more than makes up for it by having an engaging script. The script is spot-on in that respect. It is not superficial. We take it as it is. It makes you think just enough.

 

Furthermore, scenes in the movie are very well shot. Makes me want to visit Greece someday. Seems as if it is not as cold as some people make it out to be. Well, we’ll have to see for ourselves. There is the mesmerizing

 

In addition, an honorable mention would be Céline’s French pronunciation of Chi-cago. To make it short, it’s hot.

I really have nothing substantially bad to say about the movie. It is comedic, impulsive and interesting- a good break from some of the action over-loaded, mind numbing superhero movies of recent years. A good movie to see if you somehow have an hour and 50 minutes free and have utterly no idea what to do with it.

 

Watch it with– your fiancé/fiancée (not right before your marriage though)

Rating– I shall give Before Midnight an 8.5.

note introductive – that’s French

Hey guys!

Since this is my very first post on defyingnorms, I would like to introduce you to the concept of defying norms. Not just doing it for the sake of doing it, but because you genuinely believe that you have something irregular or uncommon to offer, something exciting and not cliched (unless cliches are really your thing, in which case, go for it). Would it not be great for all of us to have our own styles of doing “stuff”? Anyway, so one day I was got an idea of starting a blog about my own interests and sharing it with whoever is interested. I am going to be writing about stuff which concerns me, or anything that I can be bothered by. So yeah, stay tuned for great things ahead. Cheerios 🙂