Friday, 28 November 2014


I've grown up telling the world that I'm a tom boy. Or was it the world telling me? I don't know, honestly. But I do know that I didn't scream, 'I am a tom boy!' when they cut my umbilical cord. I learnt the term when I heard people use it, right? Then, perhaps, I chose to apply it to myself. Because it's easier that way, isn't it, describing your personality in two syllables? The world sees you in a better light if you fit one neat category.
But, did I know that as a kid? No, duh. I just thought it was a cool pair of words, and yes, maybe I could associate those words with myself somehow. Maybe I thought they fit me better than any other words. (Maybe I just had a poor vocabulary.)

Light, as most of you would know, is an electromagnetic wave, and it travels in multiple planes. But when you pass this light through a polaroid, the component of the electromagnetic field of light that is perpendicular to the polaroid gets absorbed. The light that then passes through has a lower intensity, moves in a single plane, and is called polarized light.

I believe human beings are similar to light, in that they have multiple layers to their personality. Not unlike a polaroid, society - or civilisation - acts as a filter. At an early age, you become a well-groomed individual, and that grooming involves shedding your quirky layers. When you come out on the other side, you don't even realise that you now exist in a single plane, and are a low-intensity version of yourself.

Society, pea-brained as it is, expects people to exist in tidy rows and columns, like numbers on a spreadsheet. It doesn't understand that humans were borne of chaos. And what is this society made up of? Humans. We want to create order out of chaos, and that can lead to something beautiful if it's applied correctly. But if order leads to animosity, to people being forced to have a monochromatic, plane-polarized existence, I'll choose chaos any day.

I know, I know, major tangent. Sorry about that. I didn't write this post to discuss broad subjects. Society. The world. People.
Nope, none of that. Today I'm going to act more self-centred than usual, and talk about myself.

So, what type of person am I? Am I an introverted nerd? Am I a social butterfly? Am I a tom boy? Am I a girly girl? Am I brave? Am I craven? Am I polite? Am I rude? Am I a fucking elf from Ellesmera?
I'm none of that. Or maybe I'm all of these things (except the last one, of course), but not JUST. I am much more than that, and everything in-between.

I may be extremely polite at times, and at others, I might curse like a sailor. I can be found wearing faded jeans, or a short dress, or sweat pants, or an ethnic suit, or even dorky overalls! One minute I'll be drooling over Benedict Cumberbatch, the next I'll have moved on to Emma Watson. One hour I might have my head full of physics/chemistry, the next one my art supplies will be out and I'll be painting my shoes or some such. One day I'll be reading gay fanfiction, the next I'll be watching the Hulk do some serious butt-kicking. I might come off as egotistic when I talk, or humble as a Hobbit; kind and empathetic, or a snarky bitch. One day I'll spend studying for twelve hours straight, the next I'll waste away on the intertubes. I may have fun arm-wrestling guys in my class (and beating a few at it), but I equally enjoy talking about shoes and dresses.

There are many other sides to me - lots of other extremities and lots of intermediates. So, being labelled? Not my speed. I am an ordinary person, and like all ordinary people, I am a complex human being living a chaotic existence. And that, most certainly, is NOT a reference to my clumsiness.
Put it this way: I am Kanika Kalra, I do what I want, and fuck you.

I read that line in a fanfic. This seemed as good a place and time as any to use it. :3

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Grab Your Own Muffin!

We all have dreams that we long to fulfil, but most of us spend half our lives worrying about where to begin. Only a rare few have the courage to start from scratch and show destiny who the boss is. Mudit Murarka, self-acclaimed multimedia essayist and one of India’s youngest, most talented, internationally recognized film makers, is the rarest of the rare. He started his film-making career at an age at which most of us had not even begun to realise the full potential of the life we have ahead of us (well, some of us still haven’t), and has since made over twelve complete short films. His films have won numerous national and international awards, including a BAFTA (London, 2012) for his short film, The Mirror. Now, Murarka has hit the tabloids again, for his latest short film, Muffin.

Specifically, Muffin tells the story of a 16-year-old boy called Sam. But, in its essence, it is a story that brings to light the not-so-glamorous parts of growing up that all of us experience at some point. If we look back at our childhood days we realise exactly how much our perspective has changed – or should I say evolved? The reality that we now see was happening with as much unsightliness when we were kids, but we were too innocent and carefree to feel its impact. When the adults stopped shielding us from the truth, our lives became more confusing and some of us decided to shed the cocoon entirely to make our own way in the world. Muffin successfully outlines this metamorphosis while simultaneously covering other themes like isolation, changing family structures, expectations and teen angst in a highly intriguing way.

I, personally, discovered that there are a lot of layers to the story - you notice something new every time you watch it, and the beauty of this film lies in the fact that every viewer can take away something different from it. The story is made even more captivating by the exceptionally well done lighting, colourisation, and background music.

Murarka might have been the mind behind the project, but the film could probably not have achieved the level of perfection that it has without the combined efforts of the entire team. While the Director of Photography, Ddevh Sharrma, the Art Director, Radhika Seth, and the editor Mudit Murarka himself have done a splendid job at direction and cinematography, one cannot miss the effortless talents of the lead actors Shaurya Pandit, Aviral Vaid and Radhika Seth. Put together, the Muffin team packs a punch that has yet to be matched by another all-high-school film making crew.
In a nut shell, if you haven’t watched it yet, you’re missing out!

Muffin is an Award of Merit winner at the Best Shorts Awards and is an official selection at the YoFi Fest 2014 in New York, as well as at the Urban Mediamakers Film Festival (UMFF) 2014 in Atlanta. Currently, it is giving its professionally-produced co-contestant films a run for their money in the world's largest online film competition - The Viewster Online Film Fest.
If it wins the Audience Award - that is, if it generates the most attention as per the parameters listed on the site - Viewster will donate USD 20,000 to the charity War Child on behalf of the team behind the film.

You can watch Muffin at the Viewster site from 13th-27th November, by clicking here.
If you like it, don’t forget to leave your comments and share the film on Facebook and Twitter. You may also download Viewster’s mobile app and vote for the film. As it is up for the Audience Award, every vote, like, and comment counts, so please help this team of budding artists add another feather to their hat of glory. Go, grab your own muffin!