Siliguri Tales

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My remote recollection of Siliguri has a lot to do with imaginary build ups, the aura of the town, some self fabricated hypothesis and the smell of tea leaves. I am not the right person to even tell you the monuments/heritage in the town to add to how peaceful the town is. The piece is a mere recollection of small aspects and traits of the town that provoke freshness and peace in my conscience. Siliguri is a small town in the footsteps of Himalayas in northeast India siting at the upper outskirt of West Bengal. I was one year old when dad had to move away from Dalhousie. The new city that I had to move into was somewhat remote, was not even scenic paradise like Dalhousie was, but was toned like an unheard yoga maestro. Perfect is the word. Healthy air, clean water, moist soil, not very well off people, happiness, Chinese toys and  a few more various randomly stacked look-backs are a part of my super short Siliguri tales. I can recollect that the street culture of the city was a mix of Sikkim, Bengal and Assam with a Chinese topping. The land of one of the best Momos you with ever come across, the constant battle of hide and seek with the clouds is a constant but not a monotony. Walking down a Siliguri street you will end up on a roller coaster ride as far as the footwear is concerned, from stylish, colorful and pirated Nike, Addidas, Reebok, Umbro to plane black leather middleclass Bata office chappals worn by Lean lanky proper spectacled Bengali uncle. Siliguri was a lot like a multicultural, lower middle class, integrated society and whenever I try recalling my 4 years of my early childhood there, what flashes across the memory is a picture of any random episode of Malgudi Days. Bounded by stretches of teagardens on almost all sides of the town, the main occupation of a common man primarily comes from collecting tea leaves and the further treatment of the same for commercial use. I recall that the most colorful days at Siliguri use to be the festive season of Durga Puja when big wooden structures called Pandals were made to establish the Goddess Durga statue and for the days it lasted, Bengal’s love for art could be seen loud and bold in various Pandals across different parts of the town. Dance performances, drawing completion and different artistry were constants at each Padal venue. The city housed large number of artisans, owners and workers of numerous cottage industry. Just the smell of the place when I try to recollect, sends a feeling of freshness, peace and simplicity down my spine. For a cultural freak like I am, it is a must visit place for to admire cultural beauty.

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– Sachin Sengar (Chief Editor, Backroom Defiance)

– Image Courtesy – Google

Arturo Vidal – Luxury or Necessity?

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Arturo Vidal has been at the center of the biggest transfer saga this summer with quotes flying left, right and center, ITK’s coming up with stories and of course Conte’s resignation ( coincidence? ) as Juventus coach. There has never been a dull moment in the past month or so, but is the man really what Manchester United need?

 

Having seen Louis Van Gaal’s philosophy, it’s clear that he prefers a central midfield of 3, the playmaker (10), the runner (8), and the engine(6). Looking at the options United have, Juan Mata, Wayne Rooney, Adnan Janujaz and Shinji Kagawa can all play the playmaker role behind the 2 strikers in the 3-5-2. Also having bought Ander Herrera this summer, United now have one of the most talented box to box midfielders in Europe. The third position, is something United have been lacking since the time of Roy Keane, i.e. the engine in midfield. Anderson looked promising only to disappoint after one good season, and Carrick, Tom Cleverly and Darren Fletcher all not good enough to start day in day out. Fellaini has the strength to shield the back 4, but sadly has no mobility and is best used as a No. 10. Arturo Vidal is regarded by many (and himself) as the best in what he does, and that is being the most perfect box to box player. Unfortunately, United have just signed Ander Herrera and Vidal would be wasted as a number 6, as that is something that would repress his abilities, much like the case of Shinji Kagawa, unless LVG decides to bench Herrera which, in all honesty is unlikely.

 

In an unbiased view, United could ideally do with a midfield enforcer in the mould Of Kevin Strootman or William Carvalho, who in theory would be the midfield enforcer United desperately need. Both have the mobility as well as the strength required to settle in the premier league, whereas Kevin Strootman has the additional gift of creativity which is why LVG is a big fan of his, perhaps one of them could be the final piece in the puzzle the Manchester United Midfield is?

Let us know who you think would suit Manchester United’s midfield.

– Divjot Singh(Editor, Backroom Defiance)

– Image Courtesy – Google

Believe

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Today, the problem is that we have all stopped believing and have agreed to settle for what we get, for mediocrity, for norms and for monotony. We have stopped digging into situations for solutions and let them be. We have stopped working for more but increasingly want more. We have stopped trusting our abilities and judging our actions and let others do it for us. We no longer have the urge to learn, we are no longer driven to explore. But today I realised that in life going with this flow is no less than having your life wasted. I want to believe in all of it again. In food, art and love. In the beauty of nature, poetry and women. In search of hope when there is dark and in the presence of faith when all you have is dejection. I want to believe that love conquers all and that people are perfect and knowledge is infinite. I want to believe that future has something great in store. I want remind someone who has lost all faith that God does not give up on us so easily. In this gloomy world which has lost all hope I want to introduce some light that clears this darkness. I want to believe in a personal God who cares about me and oversees everything I do and I want to believe in an impersonal God who promises to rise this pall of hatred and promote love when we all give up. I want to believe that mud and children were once best friends and that unless you dig deeper in your fudge you won’t find the last walnut bite. I want to believe in cruelty and loyalty to know their real worth. I want to believe in casual chaos, in the uncertainty of ideas and decisions, in blind sheer luck and equally rewarding hard work. I want to believe in the beauty of horizon just before the sunset, in snow caps and in rainbows. I want to believe that life is hidden in little things of joy, and that trust and mistrust are not to be blamed for heartbreaks. I want to believe in the invisible principles that govern our lives and I want to believe in the power of our superego. I want to learn to respect imperfections and settle in agreement with myself with respect to my conscience, decisions, vision and view of life. I want to believe that life is what happens while we are alive so why not we make the most of it.

 

– Gauri Bansal (Editor, Backroom Defiance)

– Illustration by Suprabho Dhenki