The Imprints of a Soul

(Part 1) A Labour of Love.

I admire the hands of the craftsman,
Nimble and quick,
Steady and slow.
Weaving the lives of
Those who do not know.
The same feet,
Carrying the load.
Toiling, struggling
for this chapter
to close.
Sweat, for the child
still unborn.
The pages are torn.
Wandering devotion
instilled in faith.
You have the answers.

Why do you wait?

 

(Part 2) The Trials of Time

Symmetrical to the heart
You have within,
Are the grains of sand
that make up this land.
Watch from your seat
as history is formed,
Or lies,
For all they know.
In the future,
They speak with their eyes closed.
Repeating stories
That have already
been told.
Awaiting,
an end
to a seed
ungrown.

You can’t find a place.
There is no place to go.

2 States: The story of my Marriage

 

2 States is yet another bestseller by Chetan Bhagat, the author of Five Point Someone, One Night @ the Call Center and 3 Mistakes of My Life. Although similar to his other works in that the story follows events in the writer’s life, 2 States gets that little more personal as Bhagat opens up on the story of his marriage.

Krish is a Punjabi boy brought up in Delhi while Ananya is a Tamil Brahmin from Chennai. Even today, inter-cultural marriages are not supported by many people in India. The book draws on this theme by exploring how this couple had to convince everyone of their love and fight for their happiness. The story starts from the lunch line at IIMA mess hall where the two protagonists met. From here they become friends and fall in love. But the story really begins from the meeting of the boy and the girl’s family.

Although Krish keeps reminding Ananya of the fact that their love will not be easily accepted by their families, Ananya remains confident for she believes her parents will support her choice. As for Krish’s parents, she thinks they would accept her happily for who wouldn’t want an intelligent, smart and beautiful daughter-in-law? Not much guessing is required to know that the former was right. So, both of them have to take turns in persuading their parents to agree to their marriage, all the while keeping their love strong throughout all the chaos, misunderstandings and dramas.

The story is set in Delhi and Chennai and, as such, explores the social environment of these places. The Punjabi and South Indian lifestyle and culture could not have been more clearly expressed. It is indeed interesting to read how different two cultures from the same country can be.

Bhagat’s writing is simple and informal, which is not a new thing. There are no literary sentences that will strike you as beautifully written or leave you puzzled. Another thing is the story is predictable. From the first chapter, we can easily predict how the story will progress. As inter-cultural marriages are looked upon the same way in Nepal, this might not feel like a new or unheard story. Some readers might even be able to relate to the characters. No twists or turns are to be found as in other fictional novels. But, despite the predictability and the fact that it is not an absolute page-turner, you will not get bored or regret reading it.

 

Brainwashing Your Face – Exit Through the Gift Shop

— Ofelia Sta. Maria

A few weeks ago, an image of Osama Bin Laden’s face painted on the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil was reported to be Banksy’s latest stunt. This could immediately sound like a hoax (it was), were it reported under a different name, but it was Banksy, the one who painted nine images on the walls of the West Bank in Palestinian territories. Banksy, who succeeded in placing his own work in between classic, century-old museum art pieces; Banksy, the world’s greatest and sneakiest freak of nature.

After thousands of canvases, successful installations, empty paint cans, and success in avoiding the cops, he had found another way to make art. It was only last year that the world saw a full-length Banksy film documentary, and we thought we’d finally catch a clearer glimpse of him, but we don’t. If anything, more questions are raised.

Exit Through the Gift Shop can and will make people wonder how the graffiti ninja did it, but it’s possible that he’s conned his audience. Again.

What happens in the film: Thierry Guetta, a French man selling vintage clothes for a living, is obsessed with filming everything around him. He finds out that his cousin is Space Invader, a French Street artist known for his mosaic tile works. Because of this, Thierry developed an interest for street art. He started following different street artists and eventually meets Obey (Andre the Giant has a Posse) creator Shepard Fairey. He follows Fairey and other artists wherever they go’”filming the process of printing and stenciling to the installation of the pieces on the streets.

Eventually, Thierry hears about Banksy, who surprisingly agrees to be filmed. The French man follows Banksy everywhere and when all the footage is done and edited, Banksy decided that Thierry’s just ‘someone with mental problems who happened to have a camera,’ and what he made ‘was an hour and a half of unwatchable nightmare trailers.’ Banksy’s solution: Thierry should let go of the camera so he can do the documentary himself, and go out and make art. Thierry obeys this, starts calling himself ‘Mr. Brainwash,’ produces one of the highest selling art shows, and sells meaningless pieces adored by (rich) people and the media.

This, again, sparks the never-ending debate on how important a piece of art is, and how it’s supposed to be appreciated. Thierry wheatpasting a huge print of his face in the streets makes for interesting debate on the philosophy of street art. If you’d interpret this as a real documentary, you’ll see how Banksy experiences absurd real-life events on overnight artists like Thierry, and how even he’”a street art god’”cannot control it. While the Frenchman spent just a few months working on a show and became more focused on its publicity rather than the pieces, everyone he filmed in the beginning showed passion; working on their craft for years (Fairey specifically mentioned that he has been doing it for more than 10 years).

‘Most artists take years to develop their style, Thierry seemed to miss out on all those bits,’ said Banksy.

Let’s say everything in the movie actually happened’”some French guy with a video camera happens to be Space Invader’s cousin, was entertained by Fairey, got ahold of Banksy (who is possibly not human), and became a millionaire because of half-baked, reprinted copies of photoshopped crap dubbed ‘art””isn’t it just as interesting as the idea that none of those things really happened?

Thierry knew nothing about street art before hanging out with the ones who live by it, but once he got the idea, he became a street artist himself. If the documentary’s a hoax, on the other hand, you will still see a commentary on how to be an artist, and what is needed to fully become one. Being able to print large papers to stick on walls does not make one an artist; that having a moniker and a Sharpie does not immediately make one a graffiti artist.

Whether it’s fact or fiction, this film’s a ten. And it didn’t even need Beck’s cameo to prove that it’s awesome.

The great thing about this whole thing is it doesn’t even matter anymore if the movie’s a fake or not. Either way, it is a work that illustrates something that has happened, is happening, and will happen with this counterculture and the whole art world in general.What we get from this is another form of Banksy’s genius. Once again, he did something to confuse and entertain the audience.

This is no spoiler, but pay attention to what happens to the huge slab of concrete at the end of the film. Read what’s written on it and look at what it’s doing. Never has there been any kind of dystopian suggestion that is so hilarious, serious, and entertaining all at the same time.

‘That’s why I call myself Mr. Brainwash. It’s because everything that I do… somewhere… it brainwash your face!’ explained Thierry.

Truer words have never been spoken.