Under water

I hold my breath

The flowing, meandering waves encompass my very being

A heaviness descends upon my being as I make my way through the depths of the ocean

Miles and miles of crystal clear reflections

I feel it hit my skin and make me feel alive once again.

Because before, i seemed to have lost my senses

In that depth, that abyss

Of the deep dark ocean.

© Devangana Bose

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She writes.

She writes

To relieve herself of the pain

The immense weight of the world.

To give voice to all the trapped emotions, the feelings, the unsaid

The misunderstood

All that was left to be told, to be shouted

But couldn’t.

There she lies in wait

Of something to come, a miracle of sorts

To set her free

From all worldly constraints, problems

And ugly truths.

Her name is hope.

And she is that four-lettered word.

A spoiler-free review of the Netflix show ‘Dark’

Dark, the German Netflix series, is possibly one of the most ominous and bleak storytelling masterpiece that we have been served up. Since, this will be a totally spoiler free review, I will focus more on the overarching themes and intricacies, rather than using events as a lure. The aim is not to make Dark, this compulsion of a series like Game of Thrones, where if you have not watched a single episode, one is deemed as living under a rock or a social outcast. The aim is to highlight the absolute brilliance Dark offers, by weaving the complexities of a person’s past, their emotions, and how everything they are currently doing and has done in the past, is interconnected with the greatest enemy of all, Time.
The setting of the story, feels eerily like the one in Stranger Things. A small town with a nuclear plant, sounds like the makings of a sci-fi thriller. What Dark does is interconnect these lives, their actions, what they feel with frequent flashbacks. But as the series progresses, revelations will leave the viewers gaping at the brilliance of storytelling. Since, these revelations are not made to shock the audience into making reaction videos, but rather it portrays the significant role every person has in someone else’s life, and how a single choice has carved out their lives. Yes, it bears similarities with Predestination, but while Predestination is a film on self-sufficiency and time travel, this is on the contrast a series of dependency and time travel. Here, you do not root for characters, but rather you are left helpless with the fact that, every choice of theirs is pre-made. Hence, you love these characters so much more. It brings out the deepest secrets of a person, and the viewer is not allowed to polarise his/her opinions regarding someone, since even the sin committed, was out of a helpless choice.
The above paragraph must feel quite abstract, but that is because I want you to experience this meandering river of a story, with its sudden creeks and gushing waterfalls representative of the suspense and twists, from the get go. The story starts with the suicide of a father with a letter, only supposed to be opened after a particular date and a particular time. This is soon followed by the kidnapping of a young boy which sets in motion a chain of events, which finally results in a devastating conclusion, but again, a conclusion that was pre-written. And reaching the conclusion is a stellar cast, where everyone is vulnerable, everyone has wrongdoings and every action has a consequence. I am not a guy who knows his way around a camera, but every scene carries a meaning and there is a lot of premonitions and hidden details if one watches closely. Every scene is an information, which highlights a certain aspect of a person’s character, however small that maybe, because something as insignificant as birds dropping dead from the sky, comes with a reasoning and a small detail, contributing to the larger picture. Often the dialogues are double-edged as well.
A typical example of it is a conversation between two women, where one is having an illicit affair with the other’s wife. When the wife confronts the adulterer, she replies with its over between us, and keeps repeating it. But as the camera pans to the devastated face of the wife, we truly grasp the words as not just the mere mutterings of an adulterer, but as the exact feelings the wife is going through, It’s over between her and her husband. The music is haunting and it is kept that way, all throughout knowingly. You never escape from the impending doom. There is no respite to the building tension, until it resolves and the resolution again becomes the downfall of someone else.
In conclusion, I would say that in this day and age of television, where series are made to make you laugh, cry, be excited and root for a character, Dark does all of the above but makes you actually think of the emotions you have been too afraid to tamper with. Helplessness and fate.

© Surya Sekhar Mondal

Yeah.

All that we say and do

Every breath we take

Every move we make 

Brings us closer to the motive 

The eternal truth 

Of what life has in store

Why do we exist and do what we do, the way we do? 

Tell me, do you have the answers to these questions?
Peace. 

Silent. (In response to Daily prompt)

They say silence is golden. 

It’s true, really. 

When you’re silent, people cannot really judge you or comment upon your choice of words and opinions. You are not allowing others to get into the cogwheels of your brain and dabble with it. You are just standing there, allowing yourself to be immersed in the speech and actions of others. In other words, being a silent observer of sorts.

Being silent in a conversation need not mean that you don’t know anything, rather, you choose to not participate unnecessarily. Because once you open that mouth of yours, people will go right at you, criticizing your point of view, or lack thereof. It’s better to choose not to say anything, in such a case.

At the end of the day, though, it’s your choice really, whether you choose to be a talkative individual or the one in the room who stands quietly, noticing each movement but not saying a word.

Pondering, as usual.

Sometimes I wonder whether my destiny is written or am I just randomly and aimlessly walking through a maze of tasks and situations that life has to offer me. There has to be a pattern, right? Or else why would we just exist, doing the things we do, meeting the people we meet, share meals or even just breathe? It’s all connected, to be honest. Thinking that is precisely what keeps me going, day after day (and night after night).

Would you agree/disagree with me and share your insights on the same?

‘Take me to church’ is haunting.

I find the lyrics to this song by the Irish singer Hozier haunting and compelling. It is supposed to talk of homosexuality and the struggles that such relationships face in the modern day and age, but well, the way the words have been strung together by the writer of the song, is quite remarkable and struck a chord with me. “Offer me that deathless death” is a phrase that somehow sticks in my mind and makes me ponder over the meaning of things. Even the music video, rendered in black and white and featuring large number of outdoor and field sequences impressed me visually and was a perfect accompaniment to the actual tune. I find myself humming the words every so often and this just proves the impact that good music can have on the mind and soul.

I just happened to read an article about the same and the deeper meaning that the song tries to convey. Beautiful, is all that I have got to say.

A Review of the new Netflix series ‘Alias Grace’

I happened to chance upon a preview of this particular new show when I opened my Netflix homepage last evening. I was hoping to watch something fresh and appealing to me having previously watched some serious movies over the course of last week. That is when the preview of Alias Grace beheld me and I made my way through it.

I found that it is an adaptation of the book of the same name written by Margaret Atwood, whom I had earlier found out about through Google as being a prominent writer of literary fiction in modern times. I had seen a sample of ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ written by her on my Kindle reader and now I found a copy of ‘Alias Grace’ as well.

Well, coming to the storyline, the show consists of six episodes which tracks the early teenage to late adult life of a woman called Grace Marks, an ordinary maid working in a 19th century set-up in upper Canada. She was a poor Irish immigrant who was stationed at the Kingston Penetentiary at Kingston, Ontario for 15 years having spent her early childhood years in Ireland. The central idea of the story is her imprisonment for the convicted murder of her employer Thomas Kinnear whom she used to work for after the death of her dear friend of early teenage Mary Whitney when she was serving in the Kingston Penetentiary. Mary had died of uncontrolled bleeding after her to-be husband refused to take her in, knowing that she was expecting and needed care and support. He refused to marry her and so she went to a doctor who cut her up and told her that everything would be fine, but later that night she bled to death. The next morning, while clearing the room, Grace forgets to open the window to ‘let Mary’s soul out’. This has repurcussions later on because at the end of the tale, the spirit of Mary possesses Grace when she is hypnotized before the Committee who had charged her of murder.

The most amount of screen time is given to the conversations between Dr. Simon Jordan, the therapist who is hired to determine whether Grace is actually responsible for the murder of her employer or whether she is just a hysteric and not a criminal. Grace tells the doctor the entire story of her life including her alliance with James McDermott with whom she was accused of killing Kinnear and his mistress Nancy Montgomery. The doctor is even somewhat smitten by her beauty and gentle manners but he cannot reveal this to her. Finally, at the end of the entire series of events, Grace is hypnotized and ‘put to sleep’ by Dr. DuPont, a neuro-hypnotist who is actually previously known to her as a peddler during her young years. She sits before a committee of people who were involved in her trial, including Dr. Jordan, who wishes to see what she speaks of while in a trance. This is when she starts to speak in a different tone of voice and everyone realizes that she is possessed by a spirit. The spirit actually turns out to be that of Mary because Grace had forgotten to free her soul after her death that fateful night. Mary explains that she had possessed Grace on the day of the murder and driven McDermott to kill the landlord and his wife, while Grace did not remember anything. Dr.Jordan concludes that Grace had a double personality with two people residing within her but refuses to present a report before the Committee about it.

Eventually, Grace does gets pardoned and is freed from captivity in the asylum. She changes her name and is taken to the United States where she re-unites with an old admirer of hers during her working days, Jamie Walsh who wishes to marry her. She lives the rest of her days living in the farm taking care of the animals and sewing quilts.

I found the show quite engaging and thought-provoking and was a change from present-day TV series which focus on superheroes and their powers as opposed to this one which is set completely in the Victorian era of the 19th century and employs old English and Scottish accents. The storyline was actually full of elements of mystery and suspense. I am sure that the book must be as engaging as it’s adaptation on screen and am planning to read it when time permits.

What is the deal, really?

So, my thoughts for the week rest upon some basic facts. We go about our daily tasks, see things, know things, learn things.. but do we ponder upon whether our actions are justifiably so? Why do we do what we do?

From where does the speech come from…what we say, act upon and react upon. What makes us say all those things and why do we think so differently from one another..these may seem like trivial things but actually are what constitute our day to day experiences.

I often think about whether everything is fated to be in a certain manner or it is just a collection of random instances. If you fail at something then is it only because even though you put in a great amount of effort, you didn’t do enough..or is it just not meant to be..? Sometimes you really can’t make things work for you in the way that you wish, no matter how much you try for it. If it’s not supposed to happen, it won’t.

Me trying my level best to achieve something will all go to waste if at the end I see that it’s not working out. That is when one feels the most disappointed.

Then there are those heavy things that you really need to accept in life…bitter and unpleasant conditions and situations that you just can’t ignore, because they exist. They ARE your reality.

The catch is to move on, be positive and accept it all, because that is how God wills it to be.