TEDxDTU: Interview with Rishabh Seen

DT: What have been some of the greatest challenges pertaining to the three approaches you spoke about?

RS: It was very early in my life when I realized that I’m a very hypersensitive person. Dealing with it and balancing it has been my biggest challenge, which is why in my talk, all I want to talk about are morals, values and things that people usually tend to miss out on while looking at the bigger picture.

DT: Your last lesson was about sacrificing perceptions. Which sacrifice of perception has been the toughest for you? Is there one you haven’t accomplished yet?

RS: I’m an Indian classical musician who’s trying to do metal as well, so it’s really tough for me when people relate to me only as a metal musician and ignore my classical half. I’m not a classical or a metal musician. I’m just a man who is in love with music and enjoys making it.

DT: What do you think is the way for anyone to overcome a barrier which puts Western music styles on a pedestal higher as compared to Indian classical music?

RS: See, I believe no one does that intentionally. It is the culture we’ve been brought up in because of which we fantasize about western instruments. So all we try to do is focus on how we can bring a change. I can’t change anybody, but I can change myself and in that way, change the world around me.

DT: Talking about change, if not music, then what?

RS: (laughs) That’s a difficult one because I pretty much suck at everything else! I guess I’d be a writer because I have a lot to say.

DT: How did you plan on combining two extremely different styles of music?

RS: I started mixing because of my love for both of them. I come from a classical background and found my love for metal at a very young age. One has to understand that metal music is something we’ve adopted from the West. So no matter how good we are, we are bound to be a step behind them. What we can do is mix it with something unique, something the world hasn’t seen before. That something is our Indian classical music, and when people hear a fusion of the two, they are bound to drift towards the unheard.

DT: What has been your most satisfying moment?

RS: One of my best moments was when I received an email from a cancer patient who didn’t have very long to live and in his email he wrote that he felt complete after hearing one of my songs. That has been one of the most heartwarming moments for me.

DT: What is the message you want to give to the students?

RS: Stick to what you’re doing, and have absolute faith in it! Do your bit, do your part and keep on doing it without expecting anything in return. That is the only thing that matters in life – to do, without expecting.

Apologies.

– Devank Tyagi, 3rd year, COE

I’ll keep it short, there are no words to mince here.
Straight off the bat, I’m sorry.

I’m sorry that I chose to laugh at the way you were speaking, not at the joke that you were telling.
I’m sorry that I listened to my friends call you ‘characterless’, and I let them say so.

I’m sorry that we, somehow, examine your character on the basis of your diet.
I’m sorry for deciding your employability on the basis of your racial profile instead of your work profile.

I’m sorry for not letting my small mind see past small eyes.
The fogginess of my actions has hidden the fact that it has always been myself who has been short-sighted.

I’m sorry for believing you still live on treetops back home, for believing that while India as a country has moved forward by leaps and bounds, you have always remained backward, in terms of development as well as culture.

I’m sorry for replacing your identity with momo or chowmein, because your actual name was ‘too hard’ for me.
I’m sorry that you’d ever had to come to accept Chinky as your pet name – without your consent. It may be illegal now, but I know as well as you do that the problem is still abound.
I’m sorry for making you feel that in a country of 1.2 billion people, you were still never going to find friends on this side of Kolkata.

I’m sorry that I knew about every time that Shah Rukh stepped out onto the balcony of his house, but never about how stepping out of your house meant certain death for you.
I’m sorry that I only knew the Seven Sisters for having ‘that place with the highest rainfall in India’.

I’m sorry that you have to face the shock of others when you sing the national anthem flawlessly.
I’m sorry that you’re made to feel more homely outside the country, where people recognize you by the tag ‘Indian’.
I’m sorry that that tag seems to get lost in the slurred taunts of fellow countrymen.
I’m sorry, that the only people who don’t know that you’re Indian…are Indians.

I’m sorry for forcing you to think of India, and Indians, in this way.

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I’ll be better now.

– Someone who cares

The Problem With Indian Sport

– Siddhant Patra, 2nd year, CE

– Vishesh Kashyap, 1st year, ME

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India is home to more than a seventh of the world’s population. A land of immense diversity, culture and a rich sports tradition, our country has played home to some of the world’s greatest sports talent.

Yet, on the global stage, Indian sport fails to hold its own even against much smaller and demographically less diverse countries such as heavyweights like the United States and Great Britain and even smaller countries such as Kenya and New Zealand.

And much like all the many social and economic problems that are country faces, the foundation of India’s past disappointing sports displays has forever been diagnosed to one cause- crippling infrastructure and a lack of truly global standard, modern sports practices.

Being a country of over a billion, India sure punches well below its weight when it comes to its performance in sport. It took India 28 years after its Hockey Gold in the 1980 Moscow Olympics to win the next one- by Abhinav Bindra at Beijing in 2008. And even while we were able to showcase our best-ever Olympic performance at London in 2012, Rio 2016 proved to be underwhelming.

A look at even recently-built ‘world class’ sports infrastructure makes it clear that investment in sport has been largely superficial and institutes are hamstrung by a lack of resources, staff and equipment. Institutes of sports technology and National Sports Academies are few and far between and are similarly debilitated. Indian sports authorities are immobilized not merely due to lack of funds but due to lack of administrative intent. Sportsperson, both former and current, have little say in the way sports is administered and generally act as advisors or simply bystanders.

Improving the condition of sports in our country doesn’t just require investments of funds but also confidence of their proper utilization in areas such as infrastructure and social security for athletes. While we continue to cheer heroes on the silver screen, our sports heroes, despite having battled much greater odds and pressures, often fail to make ends meet.

It is hence incumbent upon not just sports authorities to act but upon us to ensure that sports and sportspersons are encouraged to achieve glory for the country.

The Unexpected Retreat

It was the first week of summer break.
Goa scenes were already off the plate – we definitely were not in our beach shape.
Kidding, we were broke.
So we opted for an unorthodox replacement.

Shaheen Gogoi.
Almond eyes deeper than Teesta and Brahmaputra combined, olive skin brighter than the Sun itself, a free spirit breaking through the shackles of racist mockery. She was a new entrant in our group. She hailed from a far away land. And we decided to visit it.
Assam.

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We were welcomed there by Shaheen’s parents with traditional tea made from hand picked tea leaves. And then were captivated by countless verses from Jogesh Das’s Folklore of Assam. We, exhausted but elated, dozed off humming the soul stirring verses.

The next morning we were set to explore the much lauded temples, constructed in the Brahmaputra valley in the ancient times bearing testimony to the glorious history of the state. One word – Divine!

Enchanted we returned, only to get mesmerised by the enticing Bihu performance. We were indeed enamoured by the show. We even hopped in for fun, and yet another day ended on a high.

When you are holidaying in a place as diverse and vast as Assam, the one thing you don’t need is to miss out on a place that commands a visit. We were fortunate enough that way, for we had the Gogoi family to help us out. It was Shaheen’s idea to take us across the Brahmaputra to Fancy Bazaar. I was reluctant because shopping is just not my cup of tea, but we went anyway, because majority rules.

After hours of bargaining and rambling aimlessly when we finally decided to return, Shaheen proposed a Night-out.

A night-out near a market! Yes, just as confusing to me as it appears to you. But we stayed anyway. The aimless rambling continued for another couple of hours and then we found a quiet place to rest our rears.
To counter giddiness we started sharing our most embarrassing stories. Crazy idea, right? The quiet group suddenly became boisterous, and t
ime flew as we joked and laughed at each other’s expense.

The uproarious surroundings were intervened by the interplay of soft sunrays and the gentle blue waters of the river, with a few boats drifting on the horizon. We could see the sunrise in front of us. You might be an intrepid traveler who has travelled across the world and witnessed many a sunrise, but the one from across the river Brahmaputra is sure to leave you speechless. Add to this, a deafening silence, broken only by the occasional chirping of a bird and some early riser.

The rambunctious party returned in awe.

Soon, it was time for us to leave. We were spellbound, almost hypnotised. What captivated us the most was not the picturesque city but the people residing there. Their eyes glistened with life and their form screamed of serenity. It was then we realised, thousands others like Shaheen carry with themselves, an unfathomable slice of paradise amidst us.

In hindsight, we feel fortunate for dropping the Goa scenes.

Boro, Bhaichung and Bling

– Chirag Arora, 4th year, ECE

Salt Lake Stadium. Just under 70,000 fans in attendance. Screaming, chanting at the top of their voices, two hues dominating – a bright Red and Gold and a regal Maroon and Green. The two hues, two club histories that went back to some 1920 and 1889 respectively; a rivalry that spanned almost a century, all made the Kolkata Derby a truly Boro (big) match. And just like the Old Film Derby in Scotland, East Bengal and Mohun Bagan also represent a blanket ethnic divide of supporters – Migrants and Natives – so to speak. All one needs to do to see a Bengali immerse himself in heated debate is to ask which club is bigger. This flaring of passions on I-league nights is a postcard of Indian Football even after the advent of the ISL as the premier football league in the country.

ISL, on the other hand derives inspiration from the IPL more than anything else. It almost seems like the brainchild of a board meeting to save Indian football where somebody got up and suggested “We’ll get cricketers and filmstars to buy teams” and continued “Established names at the dusk of their careers from European leagues the millennial generation religiously follows”.Lo and behold, a 3-month long (short) spectacle – making it uber cool to attend Indian football live beyond fanatics at the usual epicentres – Goa and Kolkata. And in a sea of yellow and posters of Sachin that somehow made their way to a football stadium, the marketing quotient of “Blasters” at the end of Kerala drown out the failings of a disbanded Kerala I-league club that ran out of sustainable operations. In Bling, in shimmering flood lights chez ISL, the scorching heat of another league played almost entirely in the afternoon was forgotten. The failings of AIFF, forgiven. The end (first league) of Institutional Teams of part time employees (ONGC, Air India etc.) had already taken place and another revolution was happening. One seemingly ominous and obvious if you consider the household name and designated torchbearer of Indian football.

Bhaichung Bhutia, given the popular name Sikkimese Sniper – fulfils all criterions of a posterboy – first Indian to contract with a European club – played for both rivals East Bengal and Mohun Bagan – national awards and footballing schools and inspiration. Inspiration meted out to all of India but caught on the most by neighbours in the North East. Aizawl FC made a fairytale journey to the finals of the Federation Cup last year, a ‘Leicester’ close to home – showcasing the strides Mizoram made in the sport. Shillong Lajong continues to represent Meghalaya, and Manipur had historically been the first source of players to storm the national scene. Football analysts increasingly report a shift in the power from two (Goa, Bengal) to three. Enter North East, a region with a huge talent pool untouched by cricket fanaticism so much so that only Assam and Tripura competed in the previous Ranji. Football for once is a decent career option and a region with a thriving culture of sport – it may just be where the AIFF needs to look for revolution.

In a generation mesmerised by the global sport, Indian Football has to come of age. For that we’ll look to continued legacy of Boro derbys, longer standard seasons of Bling, and letting more Bhaichungs emerge.

Here’s to hope.

Live.

– Anjali Bhavan, 1st year, MCE

You sweet little child of frozen summers and maudlin monsoons, and hills bedecked with white winds.

You were born amidst hills stacked with hay and thrushes, with beautiful narrow eyes and a ruddy, cherubic face that smells of rhododendrons and bamboo shoots.

You have spent your entire childhood picking out reeds of innocence, going to school and running away to where nowhere seems to begin with your friends. You were a free bird of the mist and dawn, the inhabitant of a world which didn’t think of passing judgement on physical feature and speech.

You grew up in leaps and bounds that climbed on trees and pored over dusty yellowed notebooks, and one fine day, had to fly away to another world. A world of cars, rich people, poor people, kidnappings and larger-than-life movies.

And so you came, tiptoed in at once, slunk into a corner because well, things were too big and unimaginable and spidery and insane to make any sense.

This world didn’t make any efforts to welcome you. It showed you a little place you could call your second home, and went on with business as usual, catching the last bus and drinking chocolate milkshakes.

If only you’d known one thing.

The thing about discrimination is that it’s quiet. It’s subtle. And it will slowly unravel its ravenous claws that branch out like the roots of a banyan tree and enter your veins and arteries until you’re choking, choking for your life.

And this happened. Black, prejudiced stalks of rejection planted themselves inside you, tried to push you away.

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They showed you’re to be rechristened as chowmein, momo and what not, and supposed to be eating nothing but momos, always.
That your facial features and way of speaking aren’t different, they’re weird.
That whatever you will ever do or aspire to do will always fall just a bit below acceptable levels, remain subpar forever.

I want you to know this today – none of that is true.
They do not know what they speak of, they who have never bothered to step into your shoes and see that the problem lies not in your voice, but only in theirs about you.

Eyes that see only the shape of yours and not the turmoil beneath and behind them, are what need to change.
I want you to know that they do not represent all of us, because that ‘us’ is not disjoint from ‘you’, we are all in the same team.

I want you to fight back. I want you to sprinkle powder and remove those tentacles that inject pain and insults black as squid ink inside you. I want you to heal.

And I want you to live.

As They Play It

– Sirish Oruganti, 3rd year, ECE

– Zara Khan, 1st year, PCT

Largely unexplored and undisturbed by man, the North East holds a mystical charm, with virgin jungles and pristine water bodies. The culture and customs are as diverse as other part of the country. Festivals and celebrations are an integral element of their closely-knit communities.

Another thing that the locals love are the traditional Sports and Games. Here, we have a list of some of the games which you might witness the locals playing enthusiastically.

ASSAM

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Dhopkhel, transliterated as ‘Dhoop Khel’ is the most popular game here, played by two teams of 11 players each, inside a 125-metre long and 80-metre wide field. A rubber ball is thrown to the playing court of the opposing group to hit one of their members. If the attempt is a success, then the member who was hit with ball has to leave the game. This way, the team that is able to oust all their opponents, wins.

ARUNACHAL PRADESH

Porok-Pamin Sinam is a competition that tests the flexibility and balance of the participants. Competitors hold one of their legs in their hand and keep the other hand on their shoulder. They hop on only one leg and attempt to hit their rival and push him out of the marked circle. Whoever is able to achieve this feat, wins the competition.

SIKKIM

 

The most sought-after traditional sport in Sikkim is Archery, which has roots in the warrior culture of its inhabitants. Men aim at a 3-feet long and 1-foot wide target from a distance of 130 metres. Women give these matches a rather colourful tone by hurling abuses at opponents of the men they are supporting. Some even come between the Archers and their targets to distract them and make them miss their mark!

MANIPUR

The state of Manipur is known for many indigenous sports, one of the most famous one is Khong Kangjei. The game is played with seven players on either side and each player is equipped with a bamboo stick measuring 4 feet in length made in the form of modern hockey stick. The game is started with a throw of the ball made of bamboo root in the field of 200×80 yards in area. A player may carry the ball in any manner to the goal, he may even kick it but he has to score the goal only by hitting the ball with his stick.

MIZORAM

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Insuknawr is played by two people, who stand in a circle. A single rod, about 8-feet long is held by both opponents under their armpits. As per the rules, at least 4 inches of the rod-length should be under the armpits and the rod should stay symmetrical to the centre of the circle. The participants attempt to throw each other out of the circle by pushing the rod and the opponent.

TRIPURA

Gella Chutt, is played by two teams of 7-10 players each with great zeal in Tripura. One group is called the ‘In’ group, while the other is ‘Out’ group. The ‘In’ group appoints a ‘Leader’, and ‘Out’ group invades its court. The former attempts to stop the invasion by touching the opposing members, in an attempt to keep their leader safe. If the leader is touched, he is declared dead, following which the teams interchange their roles.

NAGALAND

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A game known as Cock-Fighting originated in Nagaland, and it is played by two men, who try to win the surrender of their rival by continuously kicking him. Whoever is able to show resilience emerges victorious.

MEGHALAYA

In the game of Wa Pong Sala, opponents sit in front of each other with stretched legs and a bamboo stick kept between them. They attempt to pull each other by their hands. The one who pulls his opponent from the ground, wins.

 

courtesy Holiday Destinations India