The Daily Fix

The Weekend Fix: Why Hardik Patel is drawing large crowds in Gujarat and 11 other Sunday reads

Everything you need to know for the day (and a little more).

Weekend Reads

  1. The Naxalbari movement was a continuation of the nationally revered Champaran satyagraha of 1917, argues Dipankar Bhattacharya in Outlook magazine.
  2. Assembly elections: In the Indian Express, Leena Misra explains why Patidar leader Hardik Patel is drawing such crowds in Gujarat.
  3. Pogroms in republican India don’t hurt the parties that organise them. They help their cause, writes Mukul Kesavan in the Telegraph.
  4. Mandatory versus voluntary patriotism: Following JRD Tata, we should make our patriotism deep and substantial, rather than cheap and jingoistic, argues Ramachandra Guha in the Hindustan Times.
  5. Dadabhai Naoroji, the first Indian elected to the UK House of Commons, lent his energies to causes as diverse as the women’s suffrage movement and Indian self-rule, writes Manu Pillai in the Mint.
  6. How Kipling helped quell an Indian mutiny in First World War trenches, writes Jamie Doward in the Guardian.
  7. Ta-Nehisi Coates’ We Were Eight Years in Power fleshes out White supremacy not as a political ideology, but as the defining feature of the US polity – its essential nature, writes Melvin Rogers in the Boston Review.
  8. Like nationality, the identification with an inside group, to the exclusion of others on the outside, is essential to all religions, argues Time Crane in the Times Literary Supplement.
  9. The web began dying in 2014, argues Andre Staltz. It was originally a peer-to-peer network with no dependency on a singly part – but now the dominance of Facebook, Amazon and Google threaten that aim.
  10. Why Einstein just got ranked as history’s greatest hero, explains Brian Gallagher in Nautilus.
  11. Academic philosophy in the West ignores and disdains the thought traditions of China, India and Africa. This must change, argues Nigel Warburton in Aeon.
  12. Writing in the New Yorker, Alex Wellerstein remembers Laika, space dog and Soviet hero.
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A special shade of blue inspired these musicians to create a musical piece

Thanks to an interesting neurological condition called synesthesia.

On certain forums on the Internet, heated discussions revolve around the colour of number 9 or the sound of strawberry cupcake. And most forum members mount a passionate defence of their points of view on these topics. These posts provide insight into a lesser known, but well-documented, sensory condition called synesthesia - simply described as the cross wiring of the senses.

Synesthetes can ‘see’ music, ‘taste’ paintings, ‘hear’ emotions...and experience other sensory combinations based on their type. If this seems confusing, just pay some attention to our everyday language. It’s riddled with synesthesia-like metaphors - ‘to go green with envy’, ‘to leave a bad taste in one’s mouth’, ‘loud colours’, ‘sweet smells’ and so on.

Synesthesia is a deeply individual experience for those who have it and differs from person to person. About 80 different types of synesthesia have been discovered so far. Some synesthetes even have multiple types, making their inner experience far richer than most can imagine.

Most synesthetes vehemently maintain that they don’t consider their synesthesia to be problem that needs to be fixed. Indeed, synesthesia isn’t classified as a disorder, but only a neurological condition - one that scientists say may even confer cognitive benefits, chief among them being a heightened sense of creativity.

Pop culture has celebrated synesthetic minds for centuries. Synesthetic musicians, writers, artists and even scientists have produced a body of work that still inspires. Indeed, synesthetes often gravitate towards the arts. Eduardo is a Canadian violinist who has synesthesia. He’s, in fact, so obsessed with it that he even went on to do a doctoral thesis on the subject. Eduardo has also authored a children’s book meant to encourage latent creativity, and synesthesia, in children.

Litsa, a British violinist, sees splashes of paint when she hears music. For her, the note G is green; she can’t separate the two. She considers synesthesia to be a fundamental part of her vocation. Samara echoes the sentiment. A talented cellist from London, Samara can’t quite quantify the effect of synesthesia on her music, for she has never known a life without it. Like most synesthetes, the discovery of synesthesia for Samara was really the realisation that other people didn’t experience the world the way she did.

Eduardo, Litsa and Samara got together to make music guided by their synesthesia. They were invited by Maruti NEXA to interpret their new automotive colour - NEXA Blue. The signature shade represents the brand’s spirit of innovation and draws on the legacy of blue as the colour that has inspired innovation and creativity in art, science and culture for centuries.

Each musician, like a true synesthete, came up with a different note to represent the colour. NEXA roped in Indraneel, a composer, to tie these notes together into a harmonious composition. The video below shows how Sound of NEXA Blue was conceived.

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You can watch Eduardo, Litsa and Samara play the entire Sound of NEXA Blue composition in the video below.

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This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of NEXA and not by the Scroll editorial team.