Cotton Candy, Lights and Rides

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Everyone likes to have fun, and once in a while, a bit of adventure too! For the daredevils as well as the bored kids, for the aunts as well as grandfathers, amusement parks encompass a world of fun, excitement as well as unmatched entertainment. Let us take a look at some of the features of these theme parks which cater to the interests of this versatile an age group.

The ambience is almost always, if not anything more, purely enthralling. The first few things that strike a person regarding amusement parks are cotton candy stalls and chocolate fountains. The colourful buildings and chiming bells, the balloons and cheering children; a theme park attracts people as a magnet attracts Alnico.

Paris’ Disneyland is home to some of the most famous rides like Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril, Space Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain, the most sensational roller coaster rides which make your insides squirm and the audience’s heart beat at the speed of sound. The attraction “It’s a small world” takes you on a boat ride through a scenery depicting the diverse cultures and traditions of various parts of the world. The Pirates of the Caribbean section in Adventure land, as well as Sleeping Beauty’s castle, are sensations that must not be missed! The Disneyland Toy Train is the best means of transport within the theme park, giving its passengers a tour of the entire place. Not to forget the beautiful parade of all the Disney characters from Mickey Mouse to Sleeping Beauty, which takes place, and offers great delight to its viewers.

Sleeping Beauty’s Castle

 

Rita - The fastest rollercoaster

Alton Towers, a theme park present in Staffordshire, is home to some of the most amazing thriller rides in the world. Oblivion, is the free fall which drops the passenger cart freely under gravity from a tremendous height; unfit for people with a weak heart to even consider watching! Enterpriser is a Ferris Wheel which rotates in a manner that the riders see the world in all orientations; front, back, left, right and upside down. Ripsaw is a ride known for suspending its passengers upside down and splashing them with water. Air and Nemesis are roller coaster rides where the riders are held onto seats by a mere seat belt and arm handles, while their legs hang into oblivion. As though this was not enough, the fastest roller coaster Rita, is also present in Alton Towers. A must visit for every enthusiast!

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, is a themed area in Orlando, Florida, spanning two theme parks. It is a place any Potterhead would die to visit! Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey is a ride which exists within a re-creation of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. It takes the viewers through a journey of the life and times of Harry in his school years. The entire theme park consists of a re-creation of Hogsmeade, the Wizarding village, and the shops in it; Hog’s Head, Honeydukes, The Three Broomsticks, and Zonko’s Joke Shop to name a few. The fact that the fantasy works of J.K.Rowling have been brought to life in this part of the world, makes every Potterhead’s life mission to pay a visit to this place and live Harry’s life at least for a short span of time!

Amusement Parks have this innate tendency to capture people’s interests. The colours, decorations, sounds and captivating rides make these places excellent spots to have a whole lot of fun with friends and relatives alike. Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light. Amusement Parks turn on several lights at once, for all their visitors and make them some of the most coveted and preferred holiday destinations of all times!

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Book Review - The Five People you meet in Heaven

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This is a unique tale of an old man Eddie, who works as the maintenance man at Ruby Pier, an amusement part by the ocean. Ironically, the story begins at the end, at Eddie’s death, as he encounters a fatal accident at the Pier on his 83rd birthday. However, “all endings are beginnings. We just don’t know it at the time.” The book tracks the events in Eddie’s life after death, with periodic flashbacks of his birthdays on earth. It is an imaginary account of what follows a man’s death. “Eddie Maintenance” witnessed a mishap atop Freddy’s Free Fall, as one of the attraction’s carts was titled and its passengers clung, traumatized, to only a safety bar. In the process of setting things right, the passengers were rescued but the car’s cable snapped and it plunged downwards to the ground, uncontrolled. In a stampede that ensued, a little girl was stuck and as Eddie lunged to save her, he experienced a stunning impact. Eddie was dead.

The story goes on to illustrate Eddie’s after life. He wakes up in heaven with the only knowledge of two small hands in his own, and recollects nothing more. In his apprehension to find out if he saved the girl or not, he stumbled upon a man he recognised only by the colour of his skin. It was blue. This man explained to Eddie how he had been waiting in line to teach Eddie a life lesson. He explained how four others were also waiting to enlighten him with anecdotes from his own life. What he didn’t realize on earth, he was to be taught up here. The author has creatively drawn in flashbacks of select birthday celebrations to parallel the events happening up in heaven.

Eddie, a lonely war veteran, has seen the worst days of his life when his camp was taken hostage in a foreign land. The Captain, in whom he laid all his trust and reverence, was the second person he met in Heaven. While the Blue Man taught him how every life is connected, and strangers are the family you are yet to meet, the Captain taught him the significance of sacrifice in each one’s life. With each person Eddie meets in heaven, he is enlightened further.

The third person he meets teaches him about forgiveness, and this virtue melts his heart initially hardened by hatred towards his father. The fourth person he met was his wife, the woman he truly loved till his last breath. She taught him about the immortality of love. She explains that even after the death of the person you love, the memories you nurture strengthen your affection towards them. Thus love lives on forever. The last person Eddie met was a little girl who gave him his final piece of enlightenment. She made him realize that it is a lie to think you’re not worth anything.

However, each lesson comes at a price. Every anecdote shakes Eddie’s insides. Each person’s life has been significantly affected by Eddie, without him even realizing it in most cases. To find out how, to experience the true essence and lightness of this extraordinary tale, and to discover the little girl’s fate, one must certainly read this book! In Amy Tan’s words, “this book is a gift to the soul.”

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Tennis, as we know it

A net, a court, two racquets, and a green ball. Tennis is one of the most fascinating sports the world has ever seen. The sport has not lost even a minute bit of its charm, majesty or grace over the several decades of its play. Looking at the present hot topic of discussion, the Australian Open 2014, the draw seems reasonably simple for the top seeded players to cruise to the quarter finals, unless we have rude surprises of course! Players come, some are immortalized in the pages of History, and they retire. However, in a time where players like Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Juan Martin del Potro, Andy Murray, David Ferrer and Jo-Wilfred Tsonga are giving each other a run for their money, let us see how two players have left a lasting impression on us, and have written out several pages of tennis history all for themselves.

PETE SAMPRAS [12th Aug, 1971]

A revolutionary tennis player, the King of Swing as he is popularly called, this right-handed tennis champion started his professional tennis tour at the age of 16, in 1988, and rapidly succeeded to the World No1 ranking in April 1993, at the age of 21. His impressive record of 14 Grand Slam titles was unbeaten for 7 years until Federer attained his 15th Grand Slam in 2009. With seven Wimbledon titles to his credit, and a world No 1 ranking for six consecutive years, Pete Sampras, with his skill and style, left no tennis fan hungry.

Sampras’ Serve

Sampras’ game style was one of serve-and-volley. As an all-court player, Sampras always kept his opponents on their toes, sending them flying in all directions with his unpredictable winners, forehands, backhands and drop-shots. His style was generally offensive, keeping his opponents on the defensive and finishing at the net. The 6 ft, 1 in man possessed a Wilson Pro Staff Original racquet for his entire professional career. With the best “running forehand” and an immaculate first serve, Sampras deserved to reign tennis for several years.

The single-grip backhand

ROGER FEDERER [8TH Aug, 1981]

While Pete Sampras idolized Rod Laver, Roger Federer idolized Pete Sampras. He grew up watching Sampras’ game, and his passion for the sport was reflected in his play. Federer too, began his professional career in 1998, at the age of 16, winning his first ever Wimbledon title in 2003.

The most historic match would be the one between Federer and Sampras in Round 16 of Wimbledon 2001, the only professional match they played against each other. Ironically, with every set being taken by Federer and Sampras alternately, young Federer defeated his idol to advance to the quarter-finals of 2001 Wimbledon. Since then, Federer’s career story seems to be identical to Sampras’ reel, just spun forward by ten years. History repeats itself, they say. It couldn’t be more apt than this scenario where Federer too, went on to win 7 Wimbledon titles and 5 US Open titles just like Sampras.

Federer’s Serve

Federer is an all-court player too, more comfortable from the baseline than the net. With a single-handed backhand grip like Sampras, and exceptional smash and slam dunks, Federer is also celebrated for his legendary between-the-legs-shot. A 6 ft 1 in man, he uses a customized Wilson Pro Staff 98-inch square racquet ever since the US Open 2013.

The single-grip backhand which Federer, too, employs

With all that is on his plate, does Federer still have the caliber to justify his 302-week reign as one among the top two players in the world, or should he retire in style before he suffers a painful fall, this remains the question till today. However, with a promising tennis season and several expectant fans, let us see how the players live up to expectations, overcome their weaknesses and display their strengths.

Nothing seems more apt a conclusion than Jimmy Connors’ famous quote: “In an era of specialists, you’re either a clay court specialist, a grass court specialist or a hard court specialist… or you’re Roger Federer.”

Wimbledon Center Court
The Most Special tennis court for Federer and Sampras alike

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Point, Click, Edit!

Two hundred and twenty two likes in three hours. That’s how it all works today, doesn’t it? A “perfect” display picture on Facebook with a hundred different people exploiting their vocabulary to describe how stunned they are; and one flattered owner thanking them all and liking their comments. Pictures make a world of difference today. However, the modification they undergo before being deemed worthy of a place in the Profile Pictures album is incomprehensible! This is just one trivial example among the scores of reasons to elucidate that photo-editing software is one of the best developments of recent times.

From MS Paint to GIMP, from flip to nip-and-tuck, the world of image editing has progressed through leaps and bounds. Ten years ago, I remember turning on the computer just to use Paint. Today, with everything that can be done to edit a picture, there seems no reason for an editing-enthusiast to move away from the phone, tablet or laptop.

The difference between Raster and Vector images upon magnification

In the era of digital photography, where everything is uploaded on Google Drive, or imported into Dropbox, there seems no need to possess any “imperfect” photographs. Effectively using Adobe Photoshop is an art by itself, where we learn about the difference between vector and raster images, and the significance of each. Raster images, on one hand, use dot matrix data structures, where the images are formed by a definite arrangement of pixels. These are stored in various file formats.

JPEG: Joint Photographic Experts Group

TIFF: Tagged Image File Format

GIF: Graphic Interchange Format

PNG: Portable Network Graphics

BMP: Bitmap

These would be five primary raster file formats that are vastly in use.

On the other hand, vector images are less frequently used by the lay man. They contain a geometric description which can be rendered smoothly at any ‘x’-magnification without blurring the image to a box. However, at some point, all vector images need to be rasterised in order to be displayed on a digital monitor.

The seemingly undoubted advantage vector images have over raster graphics prompt an individual to learn the concepts of Adobe Illustrator in order to design the perfect letterhead or logo for his/her company. Text is typically dealt with in vector format. However, raster images are capable of displaying a myriad of colours, and this feature results in their ability to handle photographs. Photoshop is thus, a raster editing program.

Leaving all these technicalities behind, at an amateur level, DIY photo-editing websites and apps facilitate anyone to try their hand at editing. Picnik was an extremely popular website which had a large audience until Google took over and shut down Picnik. Users now rely on picmonkey, pixlr, photobucket and Picasa for the effects. These websites allow the users to do everything from modifying the highlights and shadows to inverting colour schemes and adding overlays to their pictures. Some of the common yet magical effects we see are cross-process, HDR and Cinemascope. With touch-up features like blemish-fix, airbrush and classic effects like colour-splash and black-and-white, these websites cater to the needs of a wide audience globally.

 

This is just a small glimpse into the magic that is editing. An astonishing world all by itself, photo-editing holds several surprises for its users and audience with every passing day!

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Isaac Newton - The Greatest Scientist of his Era

“ I was like a boy playing on the sea-shore, and diverting myself now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me. “

These beautiful words belong to none other than the famous physicist, mathematician, and undoubtedly the greatest thinker of his era; Sir Isaac Newton. Born on 4th January, 1643, this legendary scientist played a very significant role in the scientific revolution. His contributions to Science are remarkable and nearly uncountable.  He has enlightened us all with stunning results and Laws in all fields varying from mechanics to optics; he developed the whole of Calculus from scratch. Classical Mechanics, popularly known as Newtonian Mechanics, was born out of his three fundamental Laws of Motion. Newton was born the year Galileo died. Until then, everyone knew that the apple fell, but Newton was the one to ask, why?

Isaac Newton was a revolutionary thinker. His most famous contribution to Mathematics would be the use of ‘infinitesimals’ and the formulation of differential calculus. Although Gottfried Leibniz is also claimed to have developed calculus simultaneously and separately, the two scientists used different notations and definitions. The tangent and slope concept being used as the definition of differential calculus till today is Newton’s idea. He even extended the Binomial Theorem to fractional powers, and developed Newton’s Method for approximating roots of a function.

Newton published several books on Physics and Mathematics, with Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica and Opticks being two of his most significant contributions to Science. The former talks about the Three Laws of Motion as well as the Universal Law of Gravitation, which formulates one of the best and most essential equations of Physics.

A single equation explains everything from the fall of an apple to the ground, to the motion of the earth around the sun. It also elucidates Kepler’s Laws of Planetary Motion. The book contains a host of path-breaking discoveries like the theory of wave motion and the principles of fluid mechanics. Newton left no stone unturned, no topic unexplored. This is evident from his far-reaching formulations including Newton’s empirical Law of Cooling and the calculation of speed of sound. In addition to his work on the mathematical sciences, Newton also dedicated much of his time to the study of alchemy and biblical chronology.

A man of observation and experiments, Newton made significant contributions to the field of geometrical optics, by discovering the phenomenon of dispersion; the splitting up of polychromatic light into its constituent colours. Colours again! The role of colours in paintings and photography has already been discussed. That the roots of colour lie in a simple prism arrangement, we have only one person to thank for the enlightenment. Newton’s arrangement, the prism and inverted prism combination, results in the dispersion as well as recombination of light. This is how he explained that the colours were a property of light and not the medium itself, for the two prisms were identical. Newton went on to explore light, built a reflecting telescope, and gave a particle theory of light using classical mechanics. Although this hypothesis was discarded as incorrect upon arrival of Huygen’s wave theory, it was Newton’s assumption that inspired Albert Einstein centuries later, to formulate the Laws of Photoelectric Emission!

Newton was a great thinker, and although he opined against the Church in several of its views, he was never openly rebellious. In his words, “tact is the art of making a point without making an enemy.” Newton’s cradle is a famous experimental setup to demonstrate elastic collisions. Classical mechanics and the explanation to macroscopic life at large, has been developed by a single man unmatchable. With Newton’s arrival in the realm of Science, the age of reason had dawned.

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Lenses and Lights

Photographs and videos are two things the present generation would crash without.  Photographs are a way of recording memories and looking back to old times, because even if people change, photos do not. While photography involves the process of freezing an instant of time, videos are successive moments of time captured as a series of frames, exploiting the attribute of persistence of vision.

Photography is a field which is radically rising to popularity now, with a large population now possessing high-end cameras, SLRs and DSLRs. However, the essence of photography lies in capturing a single instant accurately, deciding the depth of field, exposure as well as timing. An appropriate combination of these factors is usually the secret behind an aesthetically appealing photograph. However, several other parameters are also imperative, and their role cannot be overlooked. These would include contrast, highlights and shadows, hue and saturation to name a few. As usual, they redirect our thoughts to one of the fundamental aspects that photography revolves around. The essence of colour in paintings has already been seen in this article. Colours are back to haunting us here too! Exploring one of these parameters, namely hue, we see that in simple terms, it refers to a pure colour, without tint or shade. Most colours fall into one of the four unique hues, Red, Green, Blue and Yellow; where two colours of the same hue are distinguished by appending adjectives like light, dark and vivid. Generally, individuals interested in photography and photo-editing concentrate on adjusting these aspects of colour and exposure to attain the desired aesthetic appeal. Bokeh is one fascinating aspect of photography. It refers to the blur and its aesthetic quality in an out-of-focus area of an image. Blurring irrelevant parts of the background to give focus to the subject of the photo immensely increases the beauty and clarity of the photograph.

Photo-editing is one of the most creative fields which encompasses everything from slightly tweaking a photograph to making radical changes to its colour scheme. Right from adjusting the brightness and contrast, to experimenting with monochrome and colour-splash, photo-editing is responsible for it all. Gone are the days of film photography, where a minor error in shooting could potentially ruin a priceless memory. In the present digital era, a DSLR can take every necessary precaution from auto-focus to blemish fix! As thought this was inadequate, several photo editing websites and apps like Picasa, Picmonkey and Pixlr Express endevour to produce outstanding, eye-catching masterpieces which make heads turn. From cross-process to colour-splash, from blemish-fix to weight-loss, from inseting text to encasing a picture-perfect time stamp in a suitable border, your photo-editor lets you produce a perfect picture which would receive scores of likes on Facebook in a matter of minutes.

Although photo-editing is not a traditional form of art, its nature and features make it apt to classify it under art itself; certainly off the trodden path. What we need to realize is, the world around us is magical, and one does not need DSLRs and Picasa to appreciate it. These accessories only help accentuate its beauty.

Photography is an art of observation. It has little to do with the things you see, and everything to do with the way you see them!

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Monochrome

CONES. No, no! Not the delicious wafer or waffle ones in which we eat ice-creams. These are the light sensitive neurons present in the retina. Why did I invoke the essence of Biology? To emphasize how cones are specialized for color vision and sharpness of vision in bright light. Color. A seemingly simple yet profound English word, probably even considered the essence of life.

Everywhere we look around us, the world has been splashed with color. Right from color-coding Chemistry notes to painting a room in a house, colors play a major role. It may be safe to assume that the visual arts are almost incomplete without this factor. Artists use color to bring out different emotions in their work. A painting is generally a composition of several colors which bring out the artist’s imagination on canvas. Nature is a work of art, with her grandeur and beauty making an impeccable impression on every person who sets his eyes on his surroundings. Well, how exactly did colors rise to significance?

Some of the most famous paintings are those found on the walls of the Ajanta caves in Aurangabad, Maharashtra. Since the decline of Buddhism in the 7th century, these caves remained buried in the Western Ghats until they were accidentally discovered in 1819. The magic of art, however, only remained dormant over a century. Till today, the paintings on the walls of the caves remain vivacious, retaining their color and clarity. Till today, the hues haven’t died out, the tones haven’t faded. What form of paints did the artists of the seventh century even use? Research suggests that the pigments used were of the simplest kind of materials including yellow earth, red ocher, green rock, brick dust, lamp black and copper oxide.  These components on inter-mixing gave rise to a wide array of nearly permanent tones which haven’t lost their vivid beauty till today!

When one talks about art, the primary thought that strikes a person is that of Paris, and Musée du Louvre, in particular. The grand museum boasts of a collection of nearly 35000 objects and 8 million visitors a year. The paintings in the Louvre Museum are of global importance, having been immortalized in the pages of History textbooks and in the minds of art-passionate individuals alike.  The Louvre is home to a wide variety of paintings, right from “The Lacemaker” by Johanes Vermeer, the smallest of his paintings, to Paolo Veronese’s “The Wedding Feast at Cana”, the largest painting in the museum. Naturally, several of Leonardo da Vinci’s marvels adorn the walls of the Louvre, including Mona Lisa and Virgin on the Rocks. All these paintings bear a stark similarity, the wide array of colors used intelligently to produce eye-catchers, head-turners and brain-ticklers.

As though these examples weren’t enough to convince one about the need for colors in this world, the artist Milind Mulick’s works are gaining popularity today. His astounding ability to reproduce nature’s beauty onto paper with a few strokes of his brush make his works a class apart. His most preferred medium of painting is watercolor, a rare choice over oil paints and poster colors. However, he has the ability to create wonders with a single color, be it pencil or charcoal, by sketching the most intricate scenes in monochrome. This is truly art, a form which, despite lacking colors, is powerful enough to captivate its viewers and making them take in all the minute details.

As paradoxical as this may sound, I conclude by saying that colors certainly serve as an effective medium in paintings, however monochrome definitely lacks no majesty. It, too, like all other works of art, captures the interest of the viewers. As Einstein beautifully puts it, logic takes you from A to B, but imagination takes you everywhere!

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The Confessions of a Chocoholic

“Strength is the capacity to break a Hershey bar into four pieces with your bare hands - and then eat just one of the pieces.”

Chocolate is a food product that has the tendency to melt the hardest of hearts, lighten the saddest of moods and sweeten the bitterest person alive. Made from the essence of cacao beans in varying proportions, the several types of chocolate satisfy the sweet tooth of children and adults alike. Chocolate is thus, an unbelievably versatile food product, certainly one of the most coveted ones globally.

Chocolate is available in various types, from the dark chocolate, bitter and composed primarily of the cocoa solids, to the sweet milk chocolate, comprising cocoa solids, butter as well as sugar. Chocolate business has been an exploding market for quite a few decades now, and chocolate makers are competing at very high standards to creatively out-perform their fellow contestants, by producing a large array of delicious as well as attractive variations. Give a child cashew nuts; he will make a disgusted face. Give the same child “Nutties”, essentially chocolate coated cashew nuts, and he will greedily extend his hands for another helping. This elucidates how the mere presence of chocolate is a boon.

A few of the reigning powers in chocolate manufacture would be Cadbury, Mars Inc., Hersheys,  Nestle and Lindt. Cadbury had its first factory set up in Birmingham by John Cadbury. The legendary factory invites visitors to have a tour of its insides and mildly divulges its secrets to the inquisitive eyes, ears and noses. The biggest treat would be the handful of assorted chocolate bars each visiting member is provided with at the beginning of the tour. The factory has its own outlet with Cadbury products sold in wholesale at discounted rates. It doesn’t require a chocolate fanatic to feast the purples and the oranges in the shop, and relish the inexplicable aroma of that chocolate. The best gift a chocolate fanatic could ever get is a visit to this astounding place and walk through the doors where history is made every day. With Cadbury not only competing with Mars Inc. and their Mars bars, Maltesers and Twix, with Hersheys’ Kisses, and the legendary Ferrero Rocher, it also competes with itself, coming up with more and more innovative creations, right from Dairy Milk bars to Crème eggs! Thus, chocolate is being made available in all shapes and sizes to please anyone who wishes for an injection of immediate happiness. It helps keep the dementors at bay, and also the doctor away. The ability of chocolates to lower blood pressure and cholesterol has paved the way for scientific research.

 

World Chocolate Day is celebrated on the 13th of September every year; a day no one would fail to take joy in the sweetest creation of man, and experience those amazing flavors as they indulge in a bar of chocolate.  My modified version of the legendary quote, by the man with half-moon spectacles who loved Acid Pops, seems an apt conclusion. Happiness can be found even in the bitterest of times, if one only remembers to eat chocolate!

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The Unsung Hero

The Holocaust; the name is enough to paralyze several with fear, as the haunted memories and torturous events unravel before them as though it happened only yesterday. It was the most vindictive and heartless procedure followed by the Nazis to exterminate the Jews, or at least maim them to a point beyond recovery where death would be a boon. Thus it was natural for every Jewish citizen to fear it and abhor it.

The most famous family known to have been victims of the Holocaust would be the Franks, whose youngest member; Anne Frank was an intense teenager who aspired to be a journalist. Her detailed account of all events that conspired during the two years she spent in hiding has brought to light the intense struggle they underwent as potential victims of the war. However, how many of us recognize the divine help they received from the Frank family’s confidante, Miep Gies?

That’s right. Miep Gies had a role tougher than anyone else’s, the role of maintaining the family secret as well as providing them with all that they needed during the two years they spent in hiding. Her complete dedication and sincerity is one that has not received even half the recognition it deserves, it is one that is greatly under-appreciated. Hence, here I am, narrating the story, not of Anne Frank, but of the woman who saved Anne Frank’s diary so that the world at least knows about her today.

Miep Gies was born in Vienna but moved in with her foster parents who were from Netherlands. She was the general administrator at Otto Frank’s office when he confided in her, his plan to go into hiding. Miep’s selflessness was depicted through the fact that she immediately offered to turn into the family confidante, and help them in every way she could. She would visit several different supply stores a day to meet the demand for food, so as to avoid suspicion. She never carried more than one shopping bag, hid food under her coat, and used many ration cards her husband had obtained illegally. She did all this with the complete knowledge that if her role would be discovered, she could even face a death penalty. However, Miep did not care about these issues, and even formed strong bonds of friendship and love with Anne Frank, as Anne mentions in her diary.

The black day of her life was on 4th August 1944, when a betrayal resulted in the arrest of the Frank family. Miep went to the extent of pleading the officials and even bribing them to release the Franks, but all in vain. They captured the Franks, but could not take the memories of Anne Frank with them, as Miep preserved it.

Every year, Miep would spend the fourth day of August in solitude, to pay tribute to the bravest family that did not give up even in the most trying circumstances. That woman, Miep Gies, is a true hero. She is the unsung hero, in whose praise we must sing, and must educate the world about how much of a difference care, bravery, and love can make in the world.

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The Varying Colours of White

The Ever-Neglected White is missing again!

White. A colour associated with purity and peace. A colour that is omnipresent, yet the colour that is most neglected. The colour whose presence is least acknowledged, yet the colour whose absence is most experienced. Such are the varying shades of white, that take multiple roles in different situations.

 

White is polychromatic, with its constituents varying from Violet to Red. Thus, it is technically correct to say that white is composed of various shades. In the literal sense, white is the colour produced by reflection, transmission, and emission of all wavelengths of visible light without absorption. White represents light in contrast with darkness. It is associated with innocence and perfection, honesty and neutrality. When someone is “accused” of stating a white lie, it is not a crime, for it is an innocent attempt at politeness. Several things around us are white. Right from milk to the snow-clad mountains, we are surrounded by white objects. Yet, we have varying opinions about the colour based on the connotations. While we need to take extra care in keeping our white clothes clean, the mountains maintain their grandeur and sparkling beauty without complaints. We need a whitener on white paper to undo our mistakes, yet the same white is neglected when present as a crayon.

This is a metaphor for life. White represents us, born pure and neutral, but with many people rubbing off on us,  our colour changes. There are moments in life when we seem to be valued and cherished, as though we are the  most celebrated ones alive. However there are periods of loneliness and downs where we feel like a white  crayon, neglected and unwanted. Our life is a roller coaster ride; a journey across the spectrum from blue to  red, from sad to glad, where white is a single adjective for all the emotions, and all the “colours” of life.

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