Hello everyone! This is Ananya Grover, self-appointed Editor of Reflections.
I was going through old notes on my laptop a couple of days back and came across a to-do list that I’d made more than two years ago, when I was still in seventh grade about to be promoted to eighth. Unsurprisingly, more than half of the things on the list have still not been done. Somewhere along the way, I probably convinced myself that they don’t really need to be done.
What did surprise me, however, was one particular bullet point on my list; it read ‘The Eighth Infinity.’ I too had to wonder for a second what this meant, before I remembered my plan to start a school magazine-cum-newsletter when I entered eighth grade. The sentence that followed next actually made me snort out loud: ‘Make masthead’. Obviously, I ended up not doing it– but ‘Reflections’ is proof enough that somewhere in the back of mind, the idea was nestled away safely, waiting to be brought to life.
And now it has.
It wasn’t simple. I began talking to friends and acquaintances willing to collaborate and finding people to code the website for the magazine, design visuals, and contribute content. Soon, I realised this wasn’t enough; a five-member team simply won’t be able to put together an entire magazine issue. We had to get the message out to a wider audience! While there were some who saw the Whatsapp messages, Facebook page, and posters on classroom posters and ignored them, others responded. While there were some who waited to talk to me in person– ‘Hey, are you the one starting the magazine?’ ‘Yeah!’ ‘Can I submit something?’ – others enthusiastically sent in their emails as soon as they’d seen the topic, whether they knew me or not! Of course, there were people who laughed and told me it won’t work, I ignored them in favour of the strangers who were sending in their entries and wishing me the best of luck. I am humbled by the support I’ve received; a big ‘Thank you!’ to all of you, especially the team.
Many wanted to contribute but couldn’t find the time; the deadline was ambitious but necessary. After all, you can’t have an issue on ‘freedom’ coming out a month after Independence Day, can you? At one point (Who am I kidding? At every single point, even right now!), it seemed as though it might actually not happen.
It wasn’t simple, but this time I didn’t abandon it to lurk restlessly in a to-do list buried under piles of other notes.
70 years ago, on the 15th of August, India declared itself an independent, free nation. We are no longer subjects of an Empire but citizens of a country that proclaims itself to be the ‘largest democracy of the world.’ Every year, we celebrate this momentous occasion by hoisting our National Flag, singing the words to our National Anthem, watching a patriotic film or two, and in case you’re particularly festive, wearing tri-coloured clothes, flying tri-coloured kites, and eating tri-coloured food (At least if someone in your family is in primary or middle school and has to carry saffron-white-green-hued packed tiffins.) But how many of us stop to critically think about what the freedom we pompously celebrate means?
This debut issue is about stopping and thinking. It explores the concept of freedom in different places, contexts, and senses of the word- from freedom from social norms and taboos, to freedom in the workplace, to freedom on an Indian road. It was eye opening for me, and will be for you too, to see how diverse the connotations of a single word can be for every individual.
Now, your entries are up, the magazine has launched and the first issue is officially out– but the journey isn’t over folks. To make this risky endeavour yield rewards, I, as well as everyone else who has contributed even a single piece to the magazine, need your help.
It is up to you, the reader, to make this succeed or well, fail. It is up to you to Whatsapp the website forward to others – your friends, family and acquaintances through, share the link on your Facebook profile, and talk about it to as many people as possible. Even with my rudimentary knowledge of business, I’m aware that word-of-mouth is by far the best possible means of marketing! When you read a piece, I urge you to take the time to appreciate the work that has gone into it, think about the questions the author has raised, and leave a comment with your views, feedback, and take-away.
With that, I conclude: This 15th of August, with the launch of the edition ‘Freedom’, Amity Noida gets its own online magazine ‘Reflections’, a platform for senior students to exercise their creative freedom.