Monday, March 03, 2008

29th Feb Page 1

The Theme

The literary secretary called it the theme; we called it the submission date.

29th February! Whoever came up with this uniquely marvelous masterpiece of a theme must get their creativity quotient* checked for it is going off the charts and pouring all over the Sharav entry. For the record, there are people who have still not digested the fact that it is really the final choice and I find no reason to blame them.

It is creative writing week alright but to come up with something so extremely excellent that people actually reconfirm whether it is indeed the theme is fairly unconventional. Like the other day, someone walked up to me and challenged me to suggest something creative about the theme so that she could think of writing. This is what happens when you stumble onto the theme while on a post-slumber high. Talk about Eurekaa! How many people can boast of an idea as original and unadulterated as this especially when ideas arguably better than the one under slaughter were being floated?

James Finley said, “Nothing encourages creativity like the chance to fall flat on one's face." The present scenario only fortifies this. The creative theme fell flat on most people. No surprises there.

On second thought, it seems like a really crafty way to remind people about the last date. When it comes to a competition with a deadline, it is the last date that is frequently reminded. In our case, this has been remarkably avoided. Every Tom, Dick and Harry (or shall I say Eena, Meena and Deeka) who has anything to do with the hostel knows when the Creative Writing week ends. It is almost as if the organizers have become weary of reminding people about deadlines and having to go around saying that the entries must reach by such and such night. God bless the coordinators who by some vague telepathy recognised the lack of significance of this date and also the extent to which we detested it (alright, not all but most of us) and changed the submission day to a proper day which is not a figment of some historical figure's imagination.

. Perhaps the rarity of the date February 29 is supposed to make us draw an analogy to the rarity of girls here at IITM. It is, after all, an accepted fact that girls in the institute keep reminding others about their negligible population, butthis is taking it a little too far.

That brings us to an even more serious issue not as if this wasn’t serious enough. Do such titles for movies and other forms of entertai nment reflect complacency or so called creativity? A simple Google search reveals an alarming number of movies and sitcoms titled after dates, some of which have little or no relevance to the movie or the sitcom, whatsoever.

All said and done, the theme is here and it is here to stay. Like Carl Sagen said, “It is the tension between creativity and skepticism that has produced the stunning and unexpected findings of science.” In our case, it has produced this exquisite compilation that you are holding in your hands. Certain things are just done differently and nobody does it better than us. We proudly present to you 29th February – in Leaps and Bounds.

*If you haven’t heard about it, then you probably shouldn’t be reading this in the first place.

Did you know?
compiled by Anita, Preethi (tadpole tag)

45 BC: Emperor Julius Caesar proclaims the last day of February as Leap Year Day, skipping it three out of four years. Back then, February 30th was the last day of the last month of the year, which is why he picked it.
4 AD: Emperor Augustus corrects a counting error in Leap Years. He also gets the month of August named after him, and steals the last day of February so that August can have 31 days, just like Julius' month. Now February has 29 days in Leap Years.
1582: Pope Gregory XIII, moves the end of the year to December 31st, and makes century years leap years if they are divisible by 400. (So 2000 is a leap year, but 1900 was not.) He moved the end of the year back two months so that Easter would occur in the spring.
1288: Scottish parliament under Queen Margaret legislated that women could propose on the 29th of February, and imposed fines on men who declined.

at the end of each page

Pg1: hypnopompic = the semiconscious state of sleep which led to the idea of 29th february
Pg2: idiopathy = the very well known but unknown disease of assuming 31 days in february
Pg3: adultescent = a 60 year old who acts 15 as a consequence of being born on the 29th february
Pg4: El Dorado = a company that gives bonuses and paid leaves only on 29th february

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