Sunday, 14 January 2018

Unearthing Passion: A Poetry Reading Session by Ms. Prachi Joshi Johar

Hands up if you can feel the verse!

The Quills Literary Club celebrated its 2nd anniversary on December 15, 2017. To mark this occasion, the Department of English organised a guest lecture by Ms Prachi Joshi Johar on "Contemporary Poetry" followed by a delightful poetry reading session. 

The program started with a beautiful prayer song by Krutika. After that, Ms. Grace Sudhir, Head, Department of English, Vice-Principal, Chairperson of Q.L.C, welcomed Ms. Johar and talked about the highlights of the club from the past two years. 

Grace Ma'am Welcomes
Ms. Prachi Joshi Johar to the
Second Anniversary Celebrations
of the Quills Literary Club
Juveria and GunaPriya with their presentation

Gunapriya and Juveria Tabassum presented a PPT titled, "Q.L.C.-A Montage of Memories", in which they shared some remarkable moments from the meetings and activities of the club so far, and highlighted how these events had helped us all grow as students and artists. 

Dr. Jhilam Chattaraj introducing Ms. Prachi Joshi Johar
Dr. Jhilam Chattaraj formally introduced Ms. Prachi Joshi. She talked about the various roles that she had taken up- from content creation, to being an author of critical thinking books and board games for children, to a journalist for various publications, and of course, a well published poet.

Soon after, Ms. Prachi began the session by sharing with us her love for poetry and why she chose it as her career. She also talked about her interest in interacting with the youth of today, and mentioned what a significant role age and experience play in defining our viewpoints on life.
About her book, Of Desires, Dilemmas and Divinity, Ms. Prachi was especially engaging, as she discussed issues like self-identity, discovery and introduced us to a few themes that she explored in the book.
Ms. Prachi reads The Wind and the Leaf
The first poem she read was The Wind and the Leaf, a tale about the whirlwind romance between the two characters mentioned in the title, that the students took to be a representation of our own wild encounters with things like outlandish dreams and forbidden love. 
The fact that the poem doesn't follow a set plot, and that we never get to know the fate of the leaf, caught the attention of the students. The theme of celebrating the present without any definitive view of the future was evident in a few more of the poems that Ms. Prachi proceeded to read. In If and Them versus I, we got a glimpse of the chaos that resided in her mind; the chaos that she said arose from her need to find and accept her own quirky personality, and break away from the stifling rules, pretensions and opulence of the world around her.
The session enthused the members of Q.L.C., who very actively shared their opinions on her poems and put forward various interesting interpretations of the verses. The discussions somehow led to them sharing their own experiences, and also the problems they face, not only because of the society, but also due to their own inner turmoils. 

Prof. K. Muthyam Reddy Sir speaks at the anniversary session of QLC

We were glad to have the delightful and inspiring company of our college Correspondent/ Secretary Prof. K. Muthyam Reddy. Sir addressed the students, outlining the importance of reading, appreciating and sharing literature in a student's life. Sir also lauded Q.L.C.'s efforts in providing this platform to the students of the college. 

Then we had a few Q.L.C. members reading their own poetry. 

Anjali reciting Joy or Pain
First, Anjali shared her poem Joy or Pain, which was inspired by her anguish against the practice of exploding fire crackers during festivals. The poem was written and expressed in a tone of nuanced innocence that not only brought forward concerns for the environment but also made us appreciate her sense of imagination. She said that instead of protecting our environment, we should create one which doesn't need protection. 

Mirror, presented by Asfiya
 Asfiya Khanam talked about how a poet is someone who can bend the mountains, bind the souls and can ignite all six senses at once.  Her poem Mirror was inspired by Orhan Pamuk's The Black Book. In the poem, she talks  about the importance of being ourselves, and not trying to fit the definitions of our identities that are often set by others. 

Next up was Juveria's Spills to Remember You By, a poem describing a woman's journey of surviving domestic violence, rising above the wounds, and finding herself again. Her recitation made us want to peep out of our sheltered windows and encouraged us to speak out against domestic violence. 
Deeksha asks us to Try, try and be Brave

Deeksha followed that up with her poem Try, Try and be Brave which motivated us not to lose hope and keep on trying till we achieve our goals. 

Megha(left) interacting with Ms. Prachi

Ms. Prachi then returned with a touch of divinity with her last poem for the day, Fire. As much a commentary on the fleeting nature of human life, the poem also brought to light the changes that people go through in terms of their behaviours and relationships with the passage of age and experiences. It made us sense that we are somehow, in a vaguely ethereal way, still in control of our lives, even though we may sometimes sense the hand of Providence in the way our days play themselves out. The fire that blazes in the furnace gives light to our activities, and watches over us. But in many ways, we are the ones who keep it burning; the ones in control of our destinies.

Mahveen Sana presenting the Vote of Thanks
Mahveen Sana proposed a formal Vote of Thanks to wrap up the session. Ms. Prachi's smooth, eloquent reading certainly kept the room, and our hearts warm. It was a session where we felt and realized varying emotions, and got a chance to speak our minds about the things that we sometimes stop ourselves from feeling- the emotions that only poetry can unearth. 

To borrow from one of Ms. Prachi's phrases, Q.L.C is only two years young. As more days and moments get added to this engrossing journey of ours, we hope to be able to add the light of literature into the lives of more students.

Ms. Prachi with the Department of English!

Report by 
Asfiya Khanam 
Juveria Tabassum

Monday, 4 December 2017

The Unyeilding Truth by Asfiya Khanam

The Unyielding Truth 

I was in the rain..
Standing all night
Thinking about my life
How should I fight?

I thought of making sure
Whether my disease has a cure
Everyday I try to smile and hope to change my fate
But it isn't quite possible; it’s too late

I know it’s not good and that time isn't mine
So I put on a happy face and pretend everything is fine
The unyielding truth is that I am possessed by a disease
So horrible, if you know the name you too would freeze

I keep lying to myself, when all I want to do
Is live once again those days when life was so fun
Now that I'm only for few months, 
I wish to feel all the happiness of the world all at once

But the days keep getting darker and darker
I feel myself filling up with more and more horror
As the darkness swiftly engulfs me,
I pray to feel strong and stronger

My days are numbered
My feelings, quietly murdered
I can't pretend anymore
My frozen body is possessed to the core

And so I stand in the rain
Stand fast all night
Think about my life
And how I should fight

Asfiya Khanam

First Year, BtCFs          

Sunday, 3 December 2017

"Nature as Poet's Muse" by Sameera Banu

The Garden


          Andrew Marvell was a sixteenth century English Metaphysical poet. He Expressed his love for nature in the poem, "The Garden". The poet's  emotions and feelings are rendered through his words on nature. He very skillfully brings forth the beauty of nature, making one fall in love with it.


          Presently, man is destroying nature. But nature has been one of the greatest inspirations to artists all over the world. It inspired many poets like William Wordsworth, John Keats, Robert Frost, Samuel Taylor  Coleridge among others. Many poets have glorified nature in their verses. John Keats personifies Autumn in his poem "Ode to Autumn" just as Andrew Marvell romanticzes Nature in his poem. He has fallen deeply in love with nature so much so that he thinks that to be nature is to be in paradise.

          Marvell wrote the poem "The Garden" during the time when the early foundations of Enlightment began to gain considerable influence among the English intellectual society. The use and celebration of "reason"and assertded "the goals of rational men with knowledge,freedom and happiness".

          Throughout the poem, Marvell uses the image of the garden and the shade. It symbolises a place of quite and innocence which he illustrates as an ideal environment for stimulating thought, progress and lesson.

          The garden begins with the speaker reflecting upon the vanity and inferiority of man's devotion to public in politics, war and civic service. The speaker portrays the garden as a space for "sacred plants" removed from society and its route demands.  He praises the garden for its shade of "lovely green" which he sees as superior to the white and red hues that commonly signifies passionate love.

          The speaker claims that when passion has run its course, love turns people towards a contemplative life surrounded by nature. He praises that abundance of routes and plants in the garden, imagining himself tripping over million and falling upon the grass. Meanwhile, his mind reiterates into a state of inner happiness, allowing him to create and contemplate "other words and other seas".

          The garden continues to illustrate nature as a catalyst for thought and progress in and make use of Biblical imagery. The temptation of the garden causing the speaker in the poem to literally "fallen on grass", but quickly transcation into the next stanza where it tells that he simultaneously escape from "pleasure less" and with draws into happiness of the mind. Marvell is describing with these lines  that instead of man's fall from Eden being a bad thing it was actually wonderful because  from the tree of knowledge man was deprived of the physical pleasure of Eden, but rewarded  with something much greater, the gift of knowledge.

          The garden,it seens is a super-relaxing place for our speaker-so relaxing infact thag the speaker get naked (exist the body)  and run around the point of comparing the soul to the bird. This breif movement where the soul escape the body are practices  for thw much longer separstion between soul and body deadth just as bird need to rest, prieen and prepared their wings for a lonv megration so, that speaker believes that the soul needs tims to prepare before the green repair comes a knocking.

          Marvell creates a sort  of imaginary  world where we have God as the gardener,  and the garden as Sundial, and bees as people. 


          Marvell is comparing human life to the short-lived bloom of flowers in a garden. He emphasizes just how brief our existence on the planet is. 

          Marvell suggest that nature provides a space that allows our minds to dissolve everything material into " A green thought" or in other words, a new idea. It is through these green or new, thoughts that we are able to sour into the trees, where nature provides us with a shady place of rest where we prepare our minds "for longer flights" to new ideas and even greater heights. 

Monday, 6 November 2017

You Break. I Build: A Note to Molesters

Hello Beautiful World!
I am ... well, never mind who I am.  As of now,
Lets just stick to the fact that I am a girl. Like you, I am young, my body is full of joy, my eyes weave dreams. I walk the streets of this city with hope and belief. And yes, there are times I break. I would like to share one such instance in my life, that shattered me  for months but then gave me the strength to emerge stronger. 

One day, I was on my way home from a general store, holding a packet of milk in my hands, walking on the left side of the road, humming some melodious song, enjoying the beautiful weather. Suddenly, I was on the ground, pushed fiercely from behind by someone. I was alive, but my thoughts were dead for some time. I pulled myself back and stood up, and started walking quickly towards my home. I got back home, washed my face, looked into the mirror, and started crying.

What actually happened was when I was walking on the road, a man, aged around 30, followed me on his bike. As he came near me, he raised his arm, hit me on my buttocks so hard that I fell head on the ground. 

Strangely, I felt guilty, ashamed of my body, and careful that no one saw me. Later, I wept as I shared this incident with my older sisters. All they said was, “Dear, this happens to us daily in the bus, work places, colleges... almost everywhere. Don’t worry yourself thinking so much about it. Stay calm and cool.”
They meant that every girl suffered from the problem of eve-teasing. They had taken this to be a part of their life. Something inside me stirred that day, and I realized that I couldn't simply sit back and allow something so degrading and disheartening to be an accepted fact of my life. 

That incident made me look at our society in a new light, and instead of bringing me down, it made me stronger than I was before. I now aim to be the first woman D.G.P. of Telangana, and ensure that eve-teasing doesn't go unchecked in our city anymore.
I now work hard to reach my aim. I built up my body, both mentally and physically. I joined the National Cadet Corps, and received the best cadet trophy, among other awards.

I don’t blame myself for that incident anymore.  We need to kill this menace of eve-teasing in our society. We need to stop looking at it as 'minor' incidents, and let those boys go unpunished. I can still recall with painful ease the hurt and disgust I felt on my own body after that incident. No woman should have to shame her own body just because some pervert on the street dared to degrade it. And the fact that I had to face it when I was just a little girl enrages me even more. Only a change in the mindset of this patriarchal society of ours can curb this problem. Instead of advising girls to 'stay in their limits', and watch their dress and movements, we need to teach our boys respect, and advice them to restrain their actions. 

Today,  I am a girl who is able to raise her voice, and if needed, her hand, towards those men who dare to eve-tease other women and girls. And although it is painful to talk about that incident even today, I'd like to take this opportunity to let myself know that I don't need to hide myself and my story anymore. I am Hima Bindu. My identity is only enriched by the fact that I am a girl, but it is by no means restricted to just that. I have dreams in my head, and passion in my heart, and those are the things that define me. That incident changed me as a person, and I won't allow painful memories to tie me down anymore. I want to serve as an example to all the young girls, and let them know that we don't have to put up with such behavior anymore.

Lets break the silence. Lets bring about a change. 

Cadet Hima Bindu: Passion, Strength, Pride.

Sunday, 15 October 2017

The Contemporary Relevance of Francis Bacon's Essay "Of Studies" by Hoor Banu

The Contemporary Relevance of Francis Bacon’s Essay “Of Studies”

Hoor Banu: All Smiles after a fruitful day at Osmania University

The paper won "Special Paper"  award at the "Paper Reading Contest" organised by Department of English, Osmania University, Hyderabad, 18-19 August, 2017 


“Reading maketh a Full Man; Conference a ready man; and writing an exact man”, wrote Francis Bacon in the essay, “Of Studies”, published in the year 1597. Francis Bacon was a revolutionary lawyer, scientist and political figure of sixteenth century England. However, among students of English Literature, he is valued for his pioneering work on content and style of the English essay. Influenced by French writer Michel Du Montaigne, Bacon developed his own compact and formal style of essays. Some of his other popular works include, “Of truth”, “Of Travel”, “Of Atheism”. I have taken up for my study the essay, “Of studies". One may think, why in an age of information overload, when the dynamics of the way we read, write and study has undergone inexplicable changes, I choose to go back to Bacon? What is the relevance of remembering Bacon in the context of studies when our knowledge systems are being updated and altered every day at a maddening speed? In my paper, I would like to elaborate the importance of the essay, “Of Studies” as a testament to the culture of education and knowledge. The essay, is not only Bacon’s criticism of sixteenth century scepticism towards objective way of attaining knowledge but also useful to understand some of the academic trends in our times too (Zagorin 379). In the paper, I shall highlight the way  in which Bacon has illustrated the purpose, protocols and impact of studies.

Purposes of Studies
One of the most famous images of English Renaissance literature is of the picture of the title page of Bacon’s Instauratio Magna; it shows the ship of learning sailing back from the straits of Gibraltar traditionally thought to be the limits of knowledge, returning with new ideas an discoveries (Vickers 495). In “Of Studies”, Francis Bacon, in a precise and lucid manner describes the three primary purposes of study. The first one is“Delight”. Bacon states that certain people study for gaining pleasure. They wish to enhance their knowledge so that they can engage in academic studies of interesting ideas.  For example, one may be an accomplished scientist but studies equestrian life as he or she desires to become an expert in horse-riding. The idea supports the popularity of many hobby-courses and art workshops taken up by working professionals whether working in corporate or other fields these days. Such studies are meant for self-advancement, a desire that defines the Renaissance outlook of  Francis Bacon. The second purpose of Study is for “Ornament”: people who wish to come across as educated and refined while in conversation in polite circles may take up studies. They attain knowledge, not to improve upon themselves but to impress others. Bacon’s observation reminds me of Facebook and the erudite conversations on gender-rights, corruption and other such topics that many people take up in social media without being an expert in any of them. The third reason for studying is for enhancing one’s “Ability". The knowledge of subjects enables such people to improve their skills at work and the capacity to take decisions to make work possible. Bacon is here taking about educated professionals, like teachers, engineers, managers who use their education to complete their work successfully.

However, if we all are able to use our education in our jobs then why do we complain about the quality of our work? Often, in colleges, companies who come to recruit students complain that students have technical knowledge but lack  quality. I have been able to trace the answer in “Of Studies”.  Bacon clearly mentions that our academic knowledge can be perfected only by experience and observation. Thus, I have felt the need for an education system which is activity based and enhances the  critical thinking capacities of our mind.
But how should we do that in times when we are almost sinking in the sea of information around us? As a solution, Bacon prescribes, a few protocols.

Protocols of Study
Bacon, through common place metaphors, states that books are like food; Some are to be tasted, that is read in parts, others swallowed, to be read but not curiously and few to be chewed and digested, to be read with diligence and attention. Bacon even elaborates the importance of reading subjects like history which make men wise, poetry which lends wit, mathematics that sharpen our senses, philosophy that give us a moral ground, logic and rhetoric that enhance our ability to analyse and argue. These ideas by Bacon encourage us to devise methods to make our study more focused and impactful. For example, these days we not only learn from books but from the internet, television, radio, social media and cultural events. If we are asked to write assignments on Shakespeare’s Tragedies, we have a number of sources to flood us with information, some of them might not even be correct. If we carefully follow Bacon’s suggestions then we may devise ways to filter the information we receive and use only those that are relevant. Bacon’s ideas are for posterity, as they not only show us ways in which our approach to studies can change but also the impact it has on our lives.

Impact of Study
Abuent Studia in Mores; Studies influence our lives, writes Bacon. He then offers a list of subjects and their impact on our minds. Bacon confidently concludes that, “every defect of the mind may have a special receipt”; just as diseases have medicines, similarly our mental needs can be satisfied by study of appropriate subjects. Such a useful observation by Bacon has made me query about the impact of literature on my life. Many people have asked me, "why literature"? And sometimes, I ask myself. What do you all think? Do you ever ask that question? Well, I am no expert and have simply taken my infant steps in the ever widening world of literature, but I go back to Bacon and understand that literature has given me knowledge beyond the limits of  my academic interest, my  culture and  the possible boundaries that I thought existed in my mind.

Conclusion: Relevance of Bacon
Francis Bacon’s “Of Studies” reminded me of the speech titled, “A Well Educated Mind verses a Well Formed Mind” by Dr SashiTharoor. In the lecture, Tharoor, explained the importance of critical thinking and creative, self-driven approach as a solution to many of the educational problems in the country. Similarly, Bacon proposes, us to constantly reinvent ourselves through studies. In the essay, Bacon highlights the importance of attaining and understating knowledge. In our generation, we use knowledge, to pass exams with excellent marks but does that ensure that we have understood what we studied or that our minds have been shaped by the books we read? We will become graduates in Literature but will that ensure that we shall become nation builders with suitable reading, writing communication and employability skills? 
Few of my queries have been answered by Bacon. The essay has acted like a catalyst to clarify the reasons we take up education or the study of a certain subjects. Bacon’s essay highlights the ultimate need for self-motivation and self-refashioning through studies(Cairncross). It shows that studies are simply not for an educated mind but a mind that strives to pursue excellence in service, character and moral growth.

Works Cited
Cairncross.A.S. Ed.  Eight Essayists.Macmillan. 1937 1st Edition. Print.
Vickers, Brian. “Francis Bacon and the Progress of Knowledge”.Journal of the History of Ideas.Vol. 53, No. 3 (Jul. - Sep., 1992), pp. 495-518. University of Pennsylvania Press.Web.
Zagorin, Perez. “Francis Bacon's Concept of Objectivity and the Idols of the Mind”.The British Journal for the History of Science.Vol. 34, No. 4 (Dec., 2001), pp. 379-393.Cambridge University Press.

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Company for some Spook and Science- Report on QLC Meet- 15.9.17.

Finding Our Inner Shell
Q.L.C. decided to explore some diverse genres in English literature in its meet-up on the 15th of September 2017. 

Chandana Deals
With The Last Question
Dr. Sumitra Jaiswal gave a brief introduction about the themes for the day- Gothic, corporate, and science fiction. She talked in particular about Prof. Jayant Narlikar, one of the first Indian writers in the genre of science fiction.

Sumitra Ma'am
 Talking Science Fiction
We began with Viola, Madhuri, Chandana, Meghana and Rakshita, who presented Isaac Asimov’s The Last Question, under the science fiction category. The story deals with the development of a series of computers called Multivac and their relationships with humanity through the courses of seven historic settings, beginning in 2061. It tries to answer the question how the threat to human existence posed by the heat death of the universe can be averted. In each of these eras someone decides to ask the ultimate "last question" regarding the reversal and decrease of entropy, which is often interpreted as the degree of disorder or randomness in the system, which only increases over time. The answer is eventually unearthed only after the universe is dead. The story ends on a cliffhanger, challenging the boundaries of both science and theology.

Mahveen's Take on Company
We then proceeded to a world of constant entropy, as presented by Seema and Mahveen in the story Company by Max Barry under the Corporate fiction category. Company is an office-novel, a take on life in the modern American Corporation and on the management fads that influence how they are run. The story is both disturbing and hilarious in parts. The plot-twist leaves one caught off-guard, and raises various ethical questions about the corporate world. 

"That's the thing u learn about values,they are what people make up to justify what they did."

Megha and Team Bringing Ghosts into the Room

This was followed by a skit by Megha, Apoorva, Manisha, SreeLekha, Sumana and Keerthana. They portrayed a hostel room of girls and showed how different people have different perceptions on the existence of supernatural elements. Their performance made it easier to believe that they had brought a ghost into the room, and definitely send some shivers down our spines. 

Krutika Presents No Complaining Rule

Then there was a presentation on Jon Gordon’s  No Complaining Rule by Krutika,Grace and DhanaLakshmi. It dealt with wide-spread negativity at workplaces in the corporate world. The story revolves around a single-parent Vice President of an MNC who struggles with the challenges of her life, and is often pessimistic. The twist comes when Hope decides to stop complaining, and start finding solutions to the problems she is faced with. Then a survey was conducted to find out how many of us were complainers, and surprisingly, I turned out to be one.

Kirti, Rama and Gayatri then came up with a unique skit which seemed to revolve around a girl called Shell. Shell, who appeared to be lost in her own world, was often shown to be struggling with every-day tasks that most girls are adept at. All of her flaws were received with hearty laughter from the members. However the club suddenly turned introspective, when in the climax, Shell is somehow interpreted to be living inside all of us- like she is the one who adds essence the ­shell of our bodies.
The skit, although a little unsettling, made us look at ourselves differently, and allowed us to be more accepting of our own inner “weirdness”.

Navya Looking for an Alternate Ending

 Chetan Bhagat’s One Night @ Call Center was the next text to be tackled under the corporate fiction category. Presented by P. Navya, V. Navya and Meghana, who explored the problems faced by the six protagonists of the novel, the story wanders into the supernatural spectrum, when the characters get "a phone call from god". There followed a discussion on some interesting alternative endings for the plot, while we also analyzed the problems  that the call center workers were depicted to be facing in the book.
Asfiya Introducing
 the Kafkaesque

The next presentation was done by Asfiya, Hari Priya and Juveria on Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis. In true Kafkaesque fashion, it deals with themes like absurdity of life, the disconnect between mind and body, the endurance of the sense of alienation. The presentation also asked us to explore the limits of our own sympathy, when we were asked what our reactions would be if our own family members turn into a "monstrous vermin", like the protagonist of the story, Gregor Samsa. It was also about discovering the true sense of metamorphosis in the novel, which was made all the more interesting by Kafka's cryptic writing style.

Time for Some Spook-
Deeksha, The Ghost.
To wind up, we had a truly spooky performance by Deeksha and Aanshika, who dealt with the legend of the popular horror film, The Exorcism of Emily Rose. The chilly room, the dimmed lights, and videos of Emily Rose's exorcism playing on the big screen made for a perfect ending for a meeting that had us all down various lanes in the vast world of literature. 


Report by K. Meghana.

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Be My Love: A poem based on Alice Walker's The Colour Purple by Supriya Kiran

I again wrote to God about this baffle
May be it seemed to him a trifle.

I lost the hope
Didn’t try to cope.

On one fine day
My eyes met with sparkling eyes
Eyes full of love
Eyes full of care
The moment was freezed
I found my letters answered
The eyes made me realize my worth
Now I no longer accept what is put forth
I realized love was not Albert
Love was ShugShug Avery”
Who made me me live life in my way

She made my life
I made her my wife

Now I carry love in my bones
Light in my smile

Now I’m not silly
Only Celie “happy Celie