To the TIFR junta,
One cannot exaggerate how important communication is in the fields of science. Everything we do revolves around acquiring and spreading knowledge. Yet you won’t find any details of, say, the hostel bathrooms, or Alice and Bob’s feelings, in the latest issue of Nature. This is weird considering we’re brimming with knowledge about such stuff. So what’s happening? If we trace the path such information takes, we’d see ideas typically being born in a shower or at a bar or in a conversation, after which they may journey between minds or onto Facebook, and then effectively die without reaching too many people. The rare idea might make its way onto canvas and then last ages in all its regalia, but with not nearly as many eyes on it as it deserves.
Not any more.
Let’s read and share! There’s so much we have to say, and so much that people want to hear. Let’s share our memories, our opinions, our feelings and our skill with a wider and more relevant audience than just our friends’ circles. Let’s write that story we’ve been thinking about writing for a while now; let us now share the piece of poetry that we’ve been piecing together while sitting alone by the sea-face; let’s write of those unbelievable encounters that we’ve had, or those insightful insights. Let’s even share those poor jokes that we have been secretly writing down every time any of our lab-mates cracked one. It does not matter whether you are talkative or quiet, whether you are social or an introvert. And not just words — you can share your photographs, paintings, sketches, elocution, songs, music, short-films or music-videos. Or more, your call.
This journal was started six years back by a group of enthusiastic students who had the vision to see the importance of such a platform, as well as the capability and confidence to pull off the idea. For some reason or the other, it was discontinued; the published editions of 2012 and 2013 were taken down, and the submissions for the third edition of 2014 never saw light. It is hence with immense pride that we present to you not only the new entries for the 2017 edition — but also those of the unpublished 2014 edition, with due consent of the original authors, poets and artists, and also the once-lost materials from the first two editions — all strung together in a brand new platform. In the process, we have derived immense joy in communicating with former students of TIFR whom we have never met, recent graduates who have been excellent seniors over the past few years and are now enjoying their stints elsewhere, new faces who have brought a fresh lease of life to the campus, and other transitional beings (like us) who have contributed with their pieces of imagination and creativity.
We would like to sincerely acknowledge the help of certain people to whom we owe our immense gratitude — the old group of editors, without whom this would not even have started; specially amongst them Mr. Debjyoti Bardhan, who helped us in retrieving the old materials at the wee days of his stay at TIFR; Ms Sayani Das, the Cultural Secretary of the TSS (TIFR Student’s Society), who has been the bridge of our communication with you all at crucial junctures; and Mr. Shamik Bhattacharjee, the quiet man behind the TSS website, with his valuable suggestions and timely help. From this exercise, we have learned a lot about human psychology, honed our decision-making skills, and gained experiences unparalleled by our usual activities at TIFR. We have tried our best to be fair in the editing of the materials, to strike a balance between the views of the submitters’ and our own, and to weed out cognitive bias. However, we as humans apologize for errors that might still have crept in, and if any one of you think that a better balance could have been struck. It has not been easy, but we have cherished every bit. With your support, we hope to carry on. We would value your invaluable suggestions, views and criticisms to our email address, email@example.com. Perhaps this is also a good time to invite the younger people to get in touch with us if you are interested in being a part of the editorial board in the coming years. Because, nothing lasts forever, and we too shall have to leave the boundaries of TIFR some day.
Anusheela Chatterjee, Suhail Sherif, Suman Chatterjee, Debdutta Paul.