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Hello Poetry    Angel poem by Atul 'Drona' Kaushal.

Poems

raw with love Nov 2015
(Yes, better than Harry Potter, get your pitchforks ready)

My first encounter with THG was approximately four years ago, when I had barely turned fourteen, did not consider myself bilingual and was romantically frustrated. Naturally, I made several mistakes at the time. First off, I read the series in translation, since I'm not a native English speaker, and missed out a huge chunk of the significance of the story. Then, as I said, I was romantically frustrated and thus paid such a monstrous amount of attention to the romance aspect of the story that I want to bitchslap myself. Finally, at fourteen, I was still ignorant and uneducated about so many things that I read the series, got hyped for perhaps six months or so, then forgot all about it, save for the occasional rewatch of the movies. In retrospect, this is probably one of the biggest mistakes I've ever made. Now, at the ripe old age of eighteen, a significantly better-read person, waaay more woke, as well as socially aware, I decided to finally read the series in the original and am finally able to put my thoughts together in a coherent, educated review of the series.

The Hunger Games has continuously been compared to a number of other books and series, occasionally put down as inferior and forgettable. In those past few years I managed to read a great part of the newly established young adult dystopian genre and am able to argue that A. The Hunger Games is undoubtedly universal and unrestricted to young adult audiences and that B. it is, without the slightest shade of uncertainty, the best series written in our generation.

While many people draw parallels between The Hunger Games and, say, Battle Royale, the similarities end with the first book, which, while spectacular in execution, seems unoriginal in its very idea. As the series unrolls, however, it is hardly possible to compare it to anything, save for, perhaps, Orwell's 1984. The social depiction and the severe criticism laid down in the very basis of the story are so brutally honest that it fails my understanding how the series was ever allowed to become this popular. What starts out as a story about a nightmarish post-Apocalyptic world works up to be revealed as a cleverly veiled portrayal of our own morally degraded and dilapidated society (if you're looking for proof, seek no further: as the series was turned into several blockbuster movies, public interest was primarily concerned with the supposed love triangle rather than the bitter truths concealed in the narrative). Class segregation, media manipulation, dysfunctional governments are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the realities that The Hunger Games so adroitly mimics. If I were to dissect, chapter by chapter, all three books, I'd probably find myself stiff with terror at the accuracy of the societal portrait drawn by Collins. I strongly advise those of you who haven't read the series between the lines to immediately do so because no matter how many attempts I make to point it out to you, you simply have to read the series with an alert sense of social justice to realize that it doesn't simply ring true, it shakes the ground with rock concert amplifiers true.

Other than the plot that unfolds into a civil war by the third book (the series deals so amazingly with trauma survival and with depicting the atrocities of war that I am still haunted by certain images), the characters of the story are what makes it all the more realistic. Though Hollywood has done a stunningly good job in masking the shocking reality of the fact that these are children - aged twelve through eighteen, innocent casualties paying for the adults' mistakes; children forced into prostitution, fake relationships, children forced into maneuvering through a world of corruption, media brain-washing and propaganda.

Consider Katniss. She is a person of color (olive-skinned, black-haired, gray -eyed, fight me if you will but she is not a white person), disabled (partially deaf, PTSD-sufferer, malnourished), falling somewhere in the gray spectrum both sexually and romantically. As far as representation goes, Katniss is one of the most diverse characters in literature, period. Consider Peeta, his prosthetic leg (which, together with Katniss's deafness, has been conveniently left out of the movies) and his mental trauma in the third book. Consider Annie's mental disability. Consider Beetie in his wheelchair. Consider all the people of color, as well as the fact that people in the Capitol seem to have neglected all sorts of gender stereotypes (e.g. all the men are wearing makeup). There is absolutely no doubt that the series is the most diverse piece of literature out there. Consider this: the typical roles are reversed and Peeta is the damsel in distress whereas Katniss does all the saving.

Furthermore, the alarming lack of religion (in a brutal society reliant on the slaughter of children God serves no purpose), as well as several other factors, such as the undisputed position of authority of President Snow, is suspiciously reminiscent of the already familiar model of a totalitarian society.

The Hunger Games, in other words, is revolutionary in its message, in its diversity, in the execution of its idea, in its universality. I mentioned Harry Potter in the subtitle. While this other series has played a vital role in the shaping of my character, it has gradually receded to the back line for several reasons, one of which is how problematic it actually is. This, though, is a problem for another day. (The Hunger Games is virtually unproblematic and while it may be argued that the LGBTQ society is underrepresented, a momentary counterargument is that *** has a role too insignificant in the general picture of the story to be necessary to be delved into this supposed problem). Where I was going with this is that, at the end of the day, Harry Potter, while largely enjoyed by adults and children alike, is a children's book and contains a moral code for children, it was devised to serve as a moral compass for the generation it was to bring up. The Hunger Games, on the other hand, requires you to already have a moral compass installed in order to understand its message. It is, as I already said, a straightforward critique of a dysfunctional society, aimed at those aware and intelligent enough to pick on it.

As for its aesthetic qualities, the series is written, ominously, in the present tense, tersely and concisely, yet at the same time in a particularly detailed and eloquent manner. It lacks the pretentious prose to which I am usually drawn, yet captivates precisely with the simplicity of its wording, which I believe is a deliberate choice, made so as to anchor the story to the mundane reality of the actual world that surrounds us.

That being said, I would like to sum up that The Hunger Games is, to my mind, perhaps the most successful portrayal of the world nowadays, a book series that should be read with an open mind and a keen sense of social awareness.
RAJ NANDY Aug 2018
Dear Poet Friends, I conclude this series on The Enigma of Time by mentioning few important features about the concept of Time according to Modern Philosophy and Science. I have used a
simple format, and also tried my best to simplify the concepts for your kind appreciation. Unfortunately, there is no provision on this Poetry Site to show Diagrams to elucidate! If you like this one, kindly repost the same for wider circulation! Thank you, Raj Nandy, New Delhi.
            
       CONCLUDING THE ENIGMA OF TIME IN VERSE:
                      PART THREE – BY RAJ NANDY
              
              TIME ACCORDING TO MODERN PHILOSOPHY

UNREALITY Of TIME : Mc Taggart’s ‘A’ and ‘B’ Series:
Now skipping through the pages I come to Modern Philosophy, with Mc Taggart the British philosopher of the 20th Century.
He had acquired a substantial following with his 1908 paper on the ‘Unreality of Time’ initially.
With his quibbling argument he states, that moments in his ‘A’ Series of Time are either of past tense, present tense, or of future tense.
It is all about human perception, since we experience the past through our memories;
Become aware of the present through our senses, while future is pretty unknowable.
Here time appears to be flowing through us, as nothing remains stable around us!

In his ‘B’ Series of Time Mc Taggart expresses differences in moments of time as either Before or After,
Without using the tenses used in his ‘A’ Series of Time.
All parts in time can be expressed equally as points along a time line, in the absence of past, present, and future tense;
While here we appear to be flying through time in a metaphorical sense!
Thus in the ‘A series’ time appears to be flowing through us, but in ‘B series’ we seem to be flying through time on a timeline created by us!
Therefore, Mc Taggart finds both the ‘A’ and ‘B’ Series describing Time to be inadequate and also contradictory;
And he finally concludes that Time is unreal and does not exist in reality!

How Mc Taggart’s Theory Was  Updated :
Modern Philosophers have re-casted Mc Taggart’s theory in term of findings of Modern Physics.
His A-Theory is updated into ‘PRESENTISM’, which holds that only thing that is real is the ‘present moment’.
In ‘Presentism’ time has no past or future, and time has no duration either!
All things come into existence and drop out of existence, and past events no longer exist;
And since the future is undefined or merely potential, it too does not exist!

His B-theory is re-formulated into ‘ETERNALISM’ or the ‘Block Universe’, influenced by the later Theory of Relativity.
‘Eternalism’ holds that past events do exist even if we cannot immediately experience them, and future events also exists in a very real way.
The ‘flow of time’ we experience is just an illusion of consciousness.
Since in reality, time is always everywhere in an eternal sense!

Theory of Growing Block Universe:
It was proposed by the Englishman CD Broad in 1923, as an alternative to ‘Presentism’ where only the present exist;
And also as an alternative to ‘Eternalism’ where past, present, and future together also exist.
In ‘Growing Block Universe’ only the past and the present exist, but not the future.
Since the growing of the block happens in the present, with a very thin slice of space-time continuously coming into existence;  
Where consciousness as well as the flow of time are not active within the past,  
But they can occur only at the boundary of this ‘Growing Block Universe’!
Few scholars this concept did criticise, saying that in this theory the word ‘now’ can no longer be used to define Time!

But according to Einstein, this perception of ‘now’ that appears to move along a timeline, creating the illusion of ‘flow of time’, arises purely as a result of human consciousness;
And the way our brains are wired due to our evolutionary process, enabling us to deal with the world around us in a practical sense.
“People like us, who believe in Physics, know that the duration between the past, present, and the future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion,’’ said Einstein.

A poem on ‘The Paradox of Time’:
Now to lighten up my Reader’s mind, I present only the first three stanzas from ‘’The Paradox of Time’’, composed by the British poet Austin Dobson:
  “Time goes, you say? Ah no!
   Alas, Time stays, we go;
      Or else, were this not so,
  What need to chain the hours,
  For youth were always ours?

  Ours is the eye’s deceit
  Of men whose flying feet
     Lead through some landscape low;
  We pass, and think we see
  The earth’s fixed surface flee,
     Alas, time stays, we go!

  Once in the days of old
  Your locks were curling gold,
     And mine had shamed the crow.
  Now, in the self-same stage,
  We’ve reached the silver age,
  Time goes, you say? - ah no!
       Alas, time stays, we go!”
            
HOW LIGHT IS CONNECTED WITH THE CONCEPT OF TIME:
Brief Background:
I commence with quotes from the ‘Book of Genesis’ - Chapter One, along with my thoughts about Light and Time,
Before concluding this series with Albert Einstein’s concept of Space-Time.

“And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day. ……And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years, and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth. And it was so.”
                                                      - BOOK Of GENESIS Chapter One.

Since ancient days, Light had acquired a religious and a spiritual significance.
Since Light became associated with goodness, intelligence and ultimate realty;
Light accompanies transcendence into Nirvana of Buddhist religious philosophy.
In due course the Sun began to be worshipped as an important live-giving deity.
As seen in the symbolic form of Egyptian Sun God Ra, and the Greek gods Helios and Hyperion as the Sun god and god of Light respectively.
In Hindu mythology Surya is the Sun god, and Ushas the goddess of Light.
Huitzilopochti, both the Sun god and god of War of the Ancient Aztecs was kept pleased with human sacrifice!

SOME PROPERTIES OF LIGHT:
Plato, during the 5th Century BC said that God was unable to make the World eternal, so gave it Time,  - “as the moving image of eternity.”
While some seven hundred years later St. Augustine in his ‘Confessions’ said,
That when God created the universe out of darkness with light, “the world was also created with Time, and not in time.”
Thus along with light, time also began to flow, while our scientists discovered a connection between the speed of light and time, few centuries ago!
To understand this connection between light and time, we must first understand something about the properties of light.
Light is the visible part of the electromagnetic spectrum* which can be perceived by our human eye.         (See Notes Below)
As seen in the red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet colors of the Rainbow in the sky,
When water droplets acting like countless prisms break up white sunlight!
Now this electromagnetic spectrum also contains the ultra violet and infra red spectrum which our eyes cannot see.
But this entire electromagnetic spectrum contains Photons, which are discreet packets of zero mass less energy.
In a vacuum light photons travel at 186,000 miles for second, which Einstein declared as the cosmic speed limit, and as an universal constant.
When a photon strikes the eye, it is turned into electrical energy that is transmitted to the brain to form an image which we call sight.

NOTES : Gama-rays, X-rays, Ultraviolet lights, have shorter wave lengths & more energy than Visible light. But Infrared, Microwave, Radio waves, with larger wave lengths are less energetic than the Visible spectrum of light. Sir Isaac Newton using a prism had discovered the spectrum of visible light, & used the word ‘spectrum’ for the first time in his book ‘Optick’ in 1671.

EINSTEIN'S SPECIAL THEORY OF RELATIVITY 1905 :
In his Special Theory of Relativity of 1905, he stated that nothing can move faster than speed of light which is 186,000 miles per second.
This speed of light always remains the same, irrespective of its source and frame of reference.
Now the mass of an object would double if it travels at 90% of light’s speed.
But if the speed of light is reached, mass of an object would become infinite!
Since photons, the quantum particles that make up light have a zero mass, they move at the speed of light.
Even inside the World’s Largest Particle Collider (LDC), located near the French-Swiss Border,
Experiments are carried out only around 99.99% of Light’s speed, in accordance with the Laws of Physics.
Einstein had also shown mathematically that on reaching Light’s speed, Time will come to a standstill!
And should this Light’s speed be exceeded, then Time would start to travel backwards, which becomes a mind boggling concept!
Here we enter into the realm of science fiction, which has been described by HG Wells  in his popular novel ‘The Time Machine’.
But to become a time traveler shall always remain our cherished desire and dream!

NOTES: Only mass less particles like the photon can travel at light speed, photons experience no time, they do not age. Objects with mass cannot reach the speed of light since in that case its mass will become infinite. Also, one cannot see the fourth dimension because of Lorenz Contraction, which is also related to stopping of time, for at the speed of light an object will shrink to zero length! Also, particles interact with the Higgs' Field present all around to pick up mass, excepting photons which do not interact with this Higgs' Field.

Now Einstein’s theory of 1905 is called ‘Special’, because it explains how space and time are linked for objects that are moving in a straight line at a greater speed but which is constant.
Time moves relative to the observer, and objects in motion experience ‘Time Dilation’.
Meaning, time moves slowly when it is in motion, as compared to one who is standing still, -  a relative comparison.
This can be further explained by the ‘Twin Paradox’, where a 15 year old travelling in a spaceship at 99.5% speed of light for a period of 5 years,
Returns back to Earth to find himself to be only 20 years old.
But to his surprise he finds, his twin brother on Earth who was left behind, has reached the ripe age of 65 !

Limitations of Special Theory of Relativity:
It was confined to non-accelerating bodies only, and after ten years of deliberation,
Einstein added gravitational force field, space-time curvature, and acceleration, -
To formulate his General Theory of Relativity with satisfaction.

   SPACE-TIME & GENERAL THEORY OF RELATIVITY 1916 :
Isaac Newton during the 17th Century spoke about 'absolute time' and 'absolute space', accordance to the understanding of science of his Classical Age.
Space was the arena where the drama of the universe was played out, and this arena was passive, eternal, and unchanging no doubt.
Time too was absolute with an independent existence, and continued to beat independently like the heart beat of Space!
Newton also gave us the Laws of Motion, and Gravity, with more massive objects exerting more Gravity than a less massive one in reality.
Now one aspect of Special Relativity is that space and time are merged into a four-dimensional space-time entity,
They do not exist as separately as envisaged by Newton and Descartes during the 17th Century.
Some 250 years later Albert Einstein, defined Gravity as a curvature of Space-time.
Einstein also tells us that gravity can bend light, which travels along the curvature of this space-time.
Gravity is flexible, it could stretch like a fabric warping of space-time caused by objects present within it, in fact Gravity is the shape of space-time itself!
The Moon rolls around the curvature created in space-time fabric by the heavier object the Earth,
Just like the massive Sun which creates the depression and curvature around it for the planets of our solar system to orbit round the Sun. *

Einstein’s space-time has been likened to a stretched out vast rubber sheet,
Where heavier the planet, more depression it creates on the fabric of space-time along with its own gravitational field.
Einstein’s Space is not passive like that of Newton, but has a dynamic presence.
Interwoven with Time, Space tells Matter how to move, while Matter tells Space-Time how to curve - in this dynamic presence!
The constant speed of light at 186,000 miles per second, is just a measure of space of something which travels over time;
But both space and time had to adjust themselves to accommodate the constant speed of light!
Thus space, time, and the speed of light are all unified in the General Theory of Relativity,
We owe all this to Albert Einstein, one of the greatest scientists of our Century.
NOTES: **Planets orbiting the Sun do not fall back into the void of space due to the attraction of gravity, and also due to their individual speed of acceleration maintained in orbit as per Kepler's Second Law of Planetary Motion. Mercury has the fastest orbital speed of 48 km per second, Venus at 35 km per sec , and Earth at 30 km per sec. as their orbital speeds. Planets further from the Sun require lesser orbital speed.

UNFINISHED WORK OF EINSTEIN:
During his later years Einstein was secretly working to find a ‘Theory of Everything’,
Which would ultimately replace the erratic tiny micro world of Quantum Mechanics.
His Theory of General Relativity had dealt with the functions of gravity at the greater macro level of the universe only.
So he hoped to extend this theory to find an all embracing Unified Field Theory.
For at the subatomic quantum level, as the Englishman Thomson discovered in 1897,
The electrons inside an atom at times behaved in an alien fashion and were very unstable!
This world of the subatomic particles is a wondrous world where time becomes chaotic;
Where the position of the electrons cannot be predicted with certainty!
Einstein called this unpredictable and unstable behaviour of electrons as "spooky action at a distance"!
In the ‘double-split experiment’ it was seen, that the light photons behaved both like waves and as particles, -
Even though the speed of light remained constant.

EINSTEIN'S NOBLE PRIZE For PHYSICS AWARDED IN 1921:
Now despite Einstein's dissatisfaction with Quantum Mechanics it is rather ironical,
That the Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to Einstein for his work on the ‘Photoelectric Effect’ at the Quantum level;
Which for the first time had suggested that Light travelled in Waves and also as Particles ( i.e. as photon)!
This observation led to the development of electron microscope, solar panels, night vision devices, at a later date.
Since his Special and General Theory of Relativity considered as ‘The Pillars of Modern Physics’, was still being examined by the Scientific Community;
And they could be proved and accepted only subsequently.

'STRING THEORY' PROPOSED AS THEORY FOR EVERYTHING:
During the 1970s the proponents of ‘String Theory’ had claimed, They found a Theory of Everything, following Einstein’s quest.
They claimed that micro vibrating open and closed looped strings gave rise to some 36 particles at the subatomic level;
But also required 10 dimensions for this 'String Theory' to operate!
In our Standard Model of Physics we have only 18 particles as on date, therefore due to lack of scientific evidence,
There was no Noble Prize for those ‘String Theory’ proponents!
Efforts are on to find a Unified Theory of Everything, and to understand the mysteries of God’s infinite universe, -
We finite humans have just made a beginning!

Now, to reduce the length of my composition I conclude with a short verse by the famous novelist and poet DH Lawrence, -
Who had shocked Victorian England with his explosive ****** novel “Lady Chatterley’s Lover”,
Which later inspired Hollywood, and a film got made.

               RELATIVITY
“I like relativity and quantum theories
because I don’t understand them,
and they make me feel as if space shifted about like
a swan that can’t settle,
refusing to sit still and be measured;
and as if the atom were an impulsive thing
always changing its mind.”  – DH Lawrence.

Thanks for reading patiently,
‘All Copy Rights Are With The Author Only’, - Raj Nandy of New Delhi.
SpongeBob SquarePants is an American animated television series created by marine biologist and animator Stephen Hillenburg for Nickelodeon. The series chronicles the adventures and endeavors of the title character and his various friends in the fictional underwater city of Bikini Bottom. The series' popularity has made it a media franchise, as well as Nickelodeon network's highest rated show, and the most distributed property of MTV Networks. The media franchise has generated $8 billion in merchandising revenue for Nickelodeon.

Many of the ideas for the series originated in an unpublished, educational comic book titled The Intertidal Zone, which Hillenburg created in the mid-1980s. He began developing SpongeBob SquarePants into a television series in 1996 upon the cancellation of Rocko's Modern Life, and turned to Tom Kenny, who had worked with him on that series, to voice the titular character. SpongeBob was originally to be named SpongeBoy, and the series was to be called SpongeBoy Ahoy!, but these were changed, as the name was already trademarked.

The series was previewed on Nickelodeon in the United States on May 1, 1999, following the television airing of the 1999 Kids' Choice Awards, and officially premiered on July 17, 1999. It has received worldwide critical acclaim since its premiere and gained enormous popularity by its second season. The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, a feature-length film adaptation, was released in theaters on November 19, 2004, and a sequel is currently in production, with a projected release date of February 13, 2015. On July 21, 2012, the series was renewed and aired its ninth season, beginning with the episode "Extreme Spots".[2][3]

Despite its widespread popularity, the series has been involved in several public controversies, including one centered around speculation over SpongeBob SquarePants' intended ****** orientation. The series has been nominated for a variety of different awards, including 17 Annie Awards (with six wins), 17 Golden Reel Awards (with eight wins), 15 Emmy Awards (with one win), 13 Kids' Choice Awards (with 12 wins), and four BAFTA Children's Awards (with two wins). In 2011, a newly described species of mushroom, Spongiforma squarepantsii, was named after the cartoon's title character.