An open response to Taylor Swift’s rant against Apple

Concert Photographer in an open letter to Taylor Swift: With all due respect to you too Taylor, you can do the right thing and change your photo policy. Photographers don’t ask for your music for free. Please don’t ask us to provide you with your marketing material for free.

Right on the Bull Eyes.

Junction10 Photography

* Updated : Following a statement released by Taylor Swift’s UK agent, I have responded here*

Dear Taylor Swift,

I have read your open letter to Apple where you give your reasons for refusing to allow your album ‘1989′ to be included on their forthcoming Apple Music streaming service.  

(For reference: http://taylorswift.tumblr.com/post/122071902085/to-apple-love-taylor)

I applaud it. It’s great to have someone with a huge following standing up for the rights of creative people and making a stand against the corporate behemoths who have so much power they can make or break someone’s career. 

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A Plague Within

I have a plague inside,

Distressed and growing older.

I have a plague inside,

Deadening my veins dry.

I have a plague inside,

Carrying the ghost,

Of the darkness past

And present.

The epitome of reality,

scourges my senses,

leaving a trail.

   A trail of agony,

Flooded in anger,

Brimming with fear.

A fear,

That engulfs light,

Light of hope and smiles.

No,

This isn’t the end,

But a start,

The start of all things gray,

And of all things murky.

Embrace this darkness,

For it comes,

After the falling of light.

Embrace this silence,

For everything spoken

Has an end.

The Migrating Bees—A Documentary on migration workers in Bangalore, India

The above video content is copyrighted to Himadri Ghosh. Unauthorized distribution or copying is strictly prohibited.

 

Behind this glitz of the IT capital of India(Bangalore), with its skyline filled with its array of gigantic buildings lays humble stories of thousands who build this city coming from all over of the country. The Migrating Bees tries to tell their stories of disparity and exclusion in progress and prosperity.

Raju and Tuna tell their stories of extended work hours, limited wages and the problems they face in this city.More to that is their agonies of alienation, shifting from blue tents to another in a big city away from their families with a meagre pay gives them a feel of delusion.

The hands that build and mend the city are being neglected as the city continues to moves on.

A satirical cartoonist might have to ‘think twice to survive’

Not just Charlie Hebdo, any organization or individual could become martyrs of ‘terror attacks’. Radicals who guard their religion with Kalashnikov’s masterpiece attacked Hebdo’s office killing one of the top journalists working there along with 11 other souls.

Freedom of speech is still a distant reality, there are gunmen roaming freely with rifles, ready to spray bullets on anyone who dare raise a finger against religion. In 1989, a bounty was declared by Ayatollah Khomeini, the spiritual leader of Iran on Salman Rushdie, a renowned writer from UK.

The ‘spiritual leader’ said that Rushdie’s book, ‘The Satanic Verses’ was ‘blasphemous towards Islam and that he is sentenced to death’ in terms of fatwa. Rushdie was then forced to live under police protection for over seven years; the UK later cut diplomatic ties with Iran over the controversy.

The Muslim Shariah law has harsh punishments such as lashing and death for apostasy and blasphemy. ‘Respect’ can be given to legends and heroes whose works or words have created some impact in the society. ‘Respect’ is given to inspirational or motivational forces—not to forces that choose to control with a bullet.

The story of Riaf Badawai, a Saudi national who called for free speech in the land of the monarchs is shocking as he was sentenced to 10 years in prison along with 1,000 lashes. He received his first fifty lashes on a Friday in public. And he will receive 50 lashes every Friday until the thousandth whip.

Scholars claim that Islam is a religion of peace, but somewhere down the line the ‘peace’ was forgotten and Muslim scholars in the medieval times spread narrow-minded  propaganda after twisting the actual words from the Quran. According to Mustafa Akyol, a contributing op-ed writer for The New York Times, wrote that the Quran never banned practicing fine art, it was the scholars who interpreted it, according to the norms of their times.

Again, ‘respect’ cannot be given to morals that sought to kill torture and behead. Religious sentiments were hurt when Hebdo published the satirical cartoon depicting a woman lifting up her Burqaa revealing her innerwear with an inscription which reads: “Unemployed pension for purchase.”

Some people will take the cartoon as offensive, but nothing justifies the terror attacks on Hebdo’s office in Paris. There are other ways to show condemnation–for example, when the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten published 12 editorial cartoons in 2005 depicted prophet Muhammad with the headline, ‘Muhammeds ansig’, which means ‘The face of Muhammad;’ the whole of Middle-East boycotted Danish products.

The boycott costed, Denmark—the biggest exporter to the Middle East, $1.6 million per day in the initial weeks of the boycott.

A satirical cartoonist might have to think twice, and this curbs ‘freedom of speech’, this very right is a governing force for a free media.

My Confessions (part. 9)

The Chennai Mail races through the tracks, I get down from my ‘Honda Activa’ to gaze the starry skies and the train compartments rushing on the tracks. It’s an ‘almost psychedelic’ experience, gazing at the compartments while the moonlight fills the sky. The LED lights’ trail creates a little illusion of a straight endless yellow line.

I was returning home from a friend’s place that day, stoned out of my skull. Jo said while leaving, “Bro, take care, be happy time will heal everything.” That’s the hundred millionth time I hear those words spoken. Sometimes I snap out and say, “Well I didn’t expect it coming.” I was home for winter and the only thing that I believed in was weed. It’s not the weed that I need, it’s the ‘high’ that I need. Jo is an easy go person, he knew how to ‘walk the talk’ and he never gave a slightest f*** about anything. A typical south Indian, post-college, job-goer.

Sometimes I feel worthless while calling up dad for cash. Most of my past college mates are doing well with high paid jobs. And me—I’m a trainee journalist with dreams of changing the world but broken in the inside. For the first time a bad break-up revealed myself to me— weak, stupid, selfless and dramatic. The words, “Pull yourself together young man” keeps buzzing in my ears when I see Mark, my professor every morning.

The other day I found myself in a hotel room wasted and moaning alone. Devdatt knocks on the door, I open it wiping away my tears. “What the f*** is wrong with you looser, get over her,” he takes a seat and continued: “Look at me, I have gone through a lot, don’t call her now.” Such were the words of a 19 year old who has just got into a journalism college after “SCHOOL.” I need school kids to tell me what to do or what not to. Nevertheless, I make the ‘call’ and up being more miserable than I was. Dev was right!

Devdatt and I were out drinking like mad pigs, we had just knocked down 20 shots of Tequila. My memory is dark beyond the last shot glass. I remember waking up to Mark’s phone call, he was yelling out: “Where you, get your ass here for the next class or you are in trouble.” I met Mark in his office the same day when I got back to the hostel. “Pull yourself together young man” he said, I wish I could tell him: “I’m trying Mark, I’m trying!”

Every night, I visit B4, the mysterious room in the hostel that everyone knows about. As I enter the room Koustav is seen dribbling the ball around, he looks at me, takes stance and shoots the ball at me. It almost misses my face; this is the kind of welcome I get, I’m not complaining just saying. Roy and Shekhar are fiercely starring into the laptop screen. It’s FIFA 14 and Shekhar is clutching to his joystick like his whole life depends upon the game. Roy yells out now and then when he misses a goal, we ignore and puff on our nicely made joint. Soumick, with a smile that touches ear-to-ear says, “Salman, did you complete the ethical and legal issues assignment?” I stop whatever I’m doing and turn towards him—“WHAT THE FUCK?” I just realized that I have to do a 2000 word assignment due tonight.

Life at IIJM (Indian Institute of Journalism & New Media) is different, and when I say different, I mean it. We are a family and we aren’t treated as students, the faculty is experienced the facility is satisfactory and everything is fine except for me, I’m confused as always, lost in thoughts that I shouldn’t have. Now that I’m home, I miss the place. I miss waking up to Noah yelling, “Dude its 9 get up” or Abhijith with his quirky Malayalam accent— “Da, eniku da, class undu (Wakeup we got classes).” My roommate Himadri  says that I’m a paying guest to B7(my room number at hostel), he might be true, but B7 is where my bed is and bed is where sleep is and sleep is where dreams are and ‘dreams shall always remain as dreams.’

Sometimes while I’m working at my PC in the media lab, Shameen drags her legs up to my compartment— “Let’s go to Akkas.” Akkas is where IIJNM students’ second life is. Akka is an Indian slang for the word “Aunty”. Aunty owns a shop and feeds us with Maggi, tea, coffee, etc. for a mere price. One day while Shameen and I were feasting on our delicious snack and she goes like, “You know Truffles?” “What’s that?” I ask. “It’s this amazing food joint with great burgers and stuff.” “Let’s go!” I exclaim, “I don’t have money” she says. “Then why do you say such things Shameeeen?” She continues hogging her noodles with an evil smile.

Friends like these are the reason why I have got a life, I can never imagine IIJNM without such people. There are more such friends whom I haven’t mentioned here. For them: Sorry that I couldn’t include you people, you all will remain as sweet memories when I leave. I hope you forgive me for the sins I have committed against you guys and for the sins I’m about to commit.

With just 4 months remaining off my first hostel life, I witnessed change, I rant about change in all my previous posts. But this time I’m vulnerable, I haven’t changed for good, I was forced to be this. I wonder if my fellow Trainee Journalists feel the same, because none of them seem like. Wake up, bathe, dress, work, sleep and repeat. This routine that we follow, do you really think you can change the world by doing things that someone asks us do? Really? I know I sound vague, but these are the kind of thoughts that infiltrate my mind. Merely shoving it off and continuing doesn’t help; I react to my thoughts and sometimes it’s helpful and sometimes it kills me.

I know I still sound vague, can’t help it peeps but this is what I’m.

LOOK-BACK-LOOK-FORWARD-LOOK-AROUND-LOOK-WITHIN

 

Muddebihal’s Sewage System (Critical Thinking Assignment)

In Muddebihal taluk, drains run in the open. There is no underground drainage system in place. Most of the drainage seep through a manually dug trench that runs throughout the taluk.

State highway 124 runs through the heart of the city which have diversions to many other gullies. The drainage that runs through the main roads are covered and the sewage that runs through the gullies and villages remain open.

Most of the drainage just flows into a canal that flows to the nearest ponds, river, etc. There is no sewage treatment plant in place.

Light truck owners in Muddebihal have a designated parking area that is close to the sewage. The parking spot is filled with pigs and the Municipality’s garbage disposal truck dumps the waste in the parking area which causes inconvenience for the truck owners.

The chief municipal officer of the Muddebihal Municipality Corporation said that the state government has sanctioned Rs.40 Crore for building an underground drainage system.

“Once the tender is complete, the construction shall begin sooner,” he added.

The underground sewage project will also include an STP(Sewage Treatment Plant) that shall treat and filter the waste before its being dumped.

 

A short Slideshow on Muddebihal’s Sewage system