Sunday, October 17, 2021


Review of Soul

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by Arjun Mehrotra

The newest Pixar movie “Soul” is a really interesting one because it strays away from the popular “Children’s” plot that we find everywhere. You can watch this movie on Disney+

Soul follows the story of Joe Gardener, who teaches music in a middle school and whose passion is jazz music. He wants to become a jazz musician but his mother Libba Gardener, who runs a tailor shop, persuades him to take the band teacher job. He then finds that Dorothea Williams, one of the biggest musicians in the city, wants him in her band! Joe is very excited because this has always been his dream, but when he’s on his way to the gig, he dies…

Joe falls down a manhole and is taken to the “Great beyond” but Joe isn’t ready for death, he wants to get back to that gig because his life hasn’t started yet. So he escapes and is transported to the ethereal “Great Before” where souls are prepped to go to earth. He needs to find a way to escape and get back to earth and on his way, he meets 22. 22 is an interesting character because she’s the pessimist in this story, she doesn’t want to go to earth and says that earth is very dim and dull. Joe however has very differing views and exclaims “I can’t die! My life was about to begin!” and so Joe and 22 fall through the portal that sends souls to earth but during the rush of coming back, 22 is put in Joe’s body and he is turned into a cat. And so begins 22’s discovery of life on earth. In the beginning, she doesn’t understand how human motion works but by the end of their journey she begins to like earth, talking to a barber, and simply walking through the streets of new york. In the end, Joe manages to get his gig and 22 starts her human life. 

This movie is excellent because even though it talks about mature themes like death and the purpose of life, it conveys it all through a style that children will enjoy as well. In the end, it’s all about Joe’s quest to achieve his goal of being a musician, but the small interactions that he and 22 made along the way, is really beautiful. They discover that your “spark” isn’t just your hobby, it’s your way of life. There’s an amazing scene where 22 and Joe sit on a sidewalk and look at the sunlight while leaves float through the air. The look on 22’s face of discovering the warmth and joy of being on earth, really captures the theme of this movie. The moral is that Joe’s goal wasn’t the biggest thing about this movie, it was just about the joy of living. 

Angels And Demons – A Review

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by Tara Hebbar

A 616 page that took me 1 day to read. That sentence itself explains the gripping nature of the book by Dan Brown. Angels and Demons has a fast paced story line and it’s intriguing developments and characters are just some of the jewels in this thriller. Starring Robert Langdon, who is  the protagonist in many of Dan Brown’s books this book not only was a delectable story but also a mini encyclopedia into ancient beliefs and religious wars. 

Set at the CERN, one of the world’s largest physics centers in Geneva Switzerland, the story follows Robert Langdon who is called upon to investigate the mysterious deaths of one of the most reputable scientists at the CERN. Robert Langdon is an iconology and symbology professor at Harvard. While investigating, along with the scientist’s daughter, Robert Langdon gets pulled into a race with time as they look to save the Vatican City and the world’s popes from a  disaster. With near death experiences, kidnappings, threats, deaths, combat, it is almost impossible to put this book down. Each chapter leaves you with no choice but to turn the page. 

My favourite thing about this book is the inclusion of history with religious conspiracies and facts. The mixture of the two seemed so natural and flowed very easily. Together, it weaved the perfect storyline! There was never a moment when something seemed unbelievable and everyone one was to make an assumption, Dan Brown would be sure to disprove it within the next couple of pages. Hence, not allowing the reader to find the book repetitive or over extended by any means. It provided me with a fast paced thriller, but additionally provided me with tidbits of knowledge in a field of learning – Iconology which I don’t come across very often. It explains a lot of things we’ve heard in the past and the things we continue to see and experience in the present.

The only criticism I can give the book is the confusion on the readers part on what is and isn’t fiction. There are a lot of facts that seem real but aren’t. This is a problem I constantly faced while reading and after reading this book. It is hard to differentiate between the two, and with many facts that seem real turning out not to be. Therefore, if one is reading this book, I would recommend fact checking information as they go along. Not everything but facts that they think they will remember and use in the future.

All in all, I would highly recommend this book to those who enjoy a good mystery or thriller because this is the paragon of one. It leaves you dizzy with realization and thoughts, and makes you friends and enemies, according to the interests of the protagonists . The book has been written with so much detail and the scenes described so well that I felt as thought I had taken the flight with Robert Langdon, witnessed the murder, fought the antagonists and visited the Vatican myself. Hence, for all the above mentioned reasons, this is a book that would go on the top of my recommendation list for every avid reader.

Ariana Grande is Engaged!

Aahana Khemani and Ayraah Lodha

Ariana Grande, one of the biggest pop sensations of all time is engaged once again! Ariana has had great success so far, and has received several different awards and honours for her musical talent. Her debut album Yours Truly went No. 1 on the charts and the same year, she won the AMA award for Best New Artist. Her talent has allowed her to be asked to perform at the White House Women Of Soul concert. She has inspired so many, she even won the iHeartRadio Music Young Influencer Award! Not only does she possess a flair for music, but also for acting! She’s performed on Broadway, TV and even made an appearance in many role plays of late night shows. However, this article is not about her singing and acting history, but her relationship history. 

Ariana, known as “Ari” to her fan base of millions, was once engaged to comedian Pete Davidson, which came to an end after a messy break up. Ariana has mentioned him in many of her songs including huge hits such as, “thank u, next.” The song featured lyrics such as “Even almost got married, and for Pete I’m so thankful.” She had lyrics about all of the people that she had been with in the past. She also created a song called “pete davidson.”  Fans claim their relationship came to an end as their relationship was moving too fast, after being together for just 5 months, they were engaged, they were both also in serious relationships previously. Pete also 

stated that he began shopping for rings as soon as he met Ariana. However, this relationship came to an unexpected end. Ariana’s family did not approve of Pete, and Pete’s family didn’t approve of Ariana. Seemed like the relationship just wasn’t meant to be, and Pete wasn’t her “True Love.” 

Now Ari is engaged to real estate tycoon Dalton Gomez! After first being spotted making out in a bar in California, Ari confirmed her relationship with Dalton in her music video “stuck with you.” It is also guessed by fans that Ariana’s song “positions” is related to Dalton. However, post dating for approximately one year, Dalton proposed to Ari! Dalton proposed to Ariana with a beautiful ring that had a significant meaning. In one of Ariana’s 2018 social media posts, she posted a picture of a ring with a pearl. The tagline mentioned “nonna had a ring made for me w/ the pearl from grandpa’s tie pin. she says he told her in a dream it’d protect me. <3” The ring that Dalton gave her, had this pearl on it paired with a majestic diamond! 

To conclude,  it looks like Ari and Dalton are happy as can be and are “stuck with each other” forever. Let’s hope their relationship has no “problems.” All jokes aside, let’s hope that they have a strong relationship and are happy together!

Lie Tree Tells Us The Harsh Truth

By Tara Hebbar

Lie Tree, a book that follows 14 year old Faith Sunderly as her family moves to the male dominated Victorian Island, Vane. When her father is discovered dead under suspicious circumstances, Faith uses her femininity and disadvantages in her favour to keep secrets, that if uncovered could lead to disastrous circumstances. When I first read the blurb of the book, it didn’t strike me as an orthodox mystery novel, but as I sat captivated by each page, this book was so much more than a mystery. It holds several not so subtle messages regarding women in the field of science and the gender in general is made to hide their true wits.

Vane is an excavation site, dominated by male natural science who all share the belief that women have no place in the field of natural science due to their “ignorance and small brain size.” “Large people tend to have large heads. Men are no cleverer than we are, Miss Sunderly. Just taller.” Faith always wanted to tear apart from that stereotype, and had a hunger for knowledge that was discouraged by her family members. “There was a hunger in her, and girls were not supposed to be hungry. They were supposed to nibble sparingly when at table, and their minds were supposed to be satisfied with a slim diet too.” Faith’s mother was severely mistreated by both her husband and brother, who considered her only expertise in raising children and maintaining the household. As the book proceeds, we indeed see otherwise, as she rescues her family from dire situations and proves her quick wittedness more than once. On the island, there were several women, who all shared the same intelligence but were all forced to hide it, as not to anger their husbands. “Here in the drawing room, each lady quietly relaxed and became more real, expanding into the space left by the men. Without visibly changing, they unfolded, like flowers, or knives.” 

Now, we see our world much changed, a world where women actually can be considered as smart and the other gender. Earlier, anything remotely intellectual was considered the domain and territory of men. Faith had always had this scientific curiosity and talent, but this was never allowed to grow and be nurtured. As the novel begins near it’s ending, Faith proves herself to be smarter than most natural scientists as she takes on the most dangerous of them all and earns the respect of all the townspeople. “She felt utterly crushed and betrayed. Science had betrayed her. She had always believed deep down that science would not judge her, even if people did. Her father’s books had opened to her touch easily enough. His journals had not flinched from her all too female gaze. But it seemed that science had weighed her, labelled her and found her wanting. Science had decreed that she could not be clever… and that if by some miracle she was clever, it meant that there was something terribly wrong with her.” She is the paragon of a girl who is undermined but unafraid. Her sudden realisation of her place can resonate with us all, science the one subject she thought belonged to everyone, regardless of their gender suddenly wasn;t neutral. This is what happens to so many women when they venture out, and suddenly are shunned away from something that belongs to them equally. Hence, this book is a great read for all those, who need that extra affirmation that they can do whatever they please, and the other gender cannot stop them.

This book took me through a brilliantly remarkable journey and gave me the sad realization that though the battle is being fought, we still haven’t reached that level of equilibrium between the genders. In so many fields, women aren’t given their due credit or aren’t allowed to do what they have a passion for. And those who have broken these barriers successfully, haven’t gotten it easy in the least. Men dominate fields in which women would prosper equally well. We as a gender cannot take it quietly, we must all follow our passion and hearts no matter who stops us, for we all like Faith can outsmart anyone, no matter what anyone does or says.

The Opening of A Blockbuster In India

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By Diya Barmecha

Theatres have always been a huge part of the entertainment industry. People go with their minds blank and exit with their hearts filled. From varying languages to varying genres, movies cater to people every need. Along with the perfect movie, theatres also take care of the perfect environment with typical theatre foods such as popcorn and soda. Although the concept of a drive-in theatre is a western concept, it is not entirely foreing to Indian soil. In the past in cities like Ahmedabad, Mumbai, and Bengaluru there have been people driving their cars to drive-in theatres and watching the magic, as well as stepping out of reality and into another’s reality.

For the movie Khaali Peeli starring Ananya Panday and Ishaan Khattar, a Bollywood analyst, Tara Adarsh took to twitter the announcement that this movie would feature in an online platform alongwith drive-in theatres in Gurugram and Bengaluru. In Gurugram, there has also been a supermoon drive-in event from 2nd-4th of October, where they screen multiple movies. They wanted to recreate the theatre feeling that most of the public has been missing from the shutting of theatres due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Unlock 4.0, which took effect on 21st September, the government allowed the opening of pen air theatres to operate with a maximum of 100 people. From then there has been Unlock 6 which has allowed the opening of theatres with 50% capacity for November 5th. However, with the scare of the virus and the close proximity of the seats in the theaters, in my opinion, not many people will go to the theatre. In a theatre there is no open air or space where you could sit with an open mask and enjoy the fresh air. However this could be achieved in a drive in theatres. 

Swaroop Banarjee the COO and the business head of Zee Live says, “families want to be able to get out and be entertained while remaining safe. They will be able to enjoy a film on a large LED screen with sound towers on a nice green grass venue. At the entrance, we will have body temperature checks, patrons will be given masks and shields and cars will go through a fumigation tunnel. F&B services will also be sanitised and socially distant,”

In support with him, Gautam Dutta the CEO of PVR cinemas said that it seemed like an exciting venture and, “even before COVID had become a harsh reality, PVR had already signed up to build a drive-in theatre in Mumbai.”

Given its location and the atmosphere of this nation, many people also argue with the practicality of this theatre. One of the most significant ones is the weather problem. If this drive-in theatre would be open for the long run, it would have to close in the monsoon season which is very unpredictable in India. There would also need to be a lot of ventilation so that people don’t have to waste their car’s fuel or feel an extreme heat. The CEO of Reliance Entertainment, Shibasish Sarkar brings up issues like the time to create such a space. He explains that by the time the theatre might be ready for use the coronavirus may go away. He also mentions, “Why would producers want to release their films in open-air cinemas? If I have to release my film Sooryavanshi, I want eyeballs and 4,500 screens and not the 20 open-air cinemas, however quickly they might get ready.”

Concerning the practicality the Senior Vice president of a movie screen manufacturing company called Harkness Screens says that  “you can’t use the same screen outdoors that you would use indoors (in a closed auditorium) because it would keep reflecting light.” Which would mean that there would need to be new screens made which would require even more time.

Using the example of the past, one of the most important issues was brought up by Manjoj Desai, Executive Director of Gaiety-Galaxy, “Mumbai had one such cinema by the name of Drive-In in Bandra. A lot of cases of sexual crimes were reported around that area when that cinema was operating,” Such issues are extremely serious and hard to keep in order.

All in all, the cons outweigh the goods. Even though we may want to go to a cinema, there are a plethora number of reasons why it won’t work. The opening of this blockbuster location seems something far from reality. During this pandemic we have gotten very experienced in watching movies at home and we need to continue to do so, for now.


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by Diya Barmecha

One of the most famous Indian television game shows, Kaun Banega Crorepati first aired in 2000. Even after 20 years there are lakhs of viewers who await this show. Based on the British program of “Who wants to be a Millionaire,” this show allows contestants to win upto 7 crore Indian rupees. The contestants are asked questions about various topics and are given four options to choose from and 45 seconds to make their choice. To aid the contestants there are also many lifeline options available for their use. Majority of the show is hosted by Bollywood megastar, Amitabh Bachchan who is a respected actor and citizen of India. 

Due to the current coronavirus situation there have been significant changes made in the show. This was the first year where there was no live audience, to ensure safety. To try to duplicate this they will use the sound of the audience for the final edit. In past seasons there was an audience poll lifeline which has been replaced by a video-a-friend lifeline. 

Along with these new changes for the first time, there is also an FIR filed against the show for the first time due to a controversial question asked. On October 30th, Bachchan asked the contests social activist Bezwada Wlison and actor Anup Soni a question worth Rs. 6.40 lakh. The question was as follows: “On 25th December 1927, Dr BR Ambedkar and his followers burned copies of which scripture?” 

The options presented to the contestants were Vishnu Purana, Bhagavad Gita, Rigved and Manusmriti. All of the above which are Hindu sacred texts. The answer to the question above was Manusmriti. Amitabh Bachchan future explained Ambedkars actions as he said, “In 1927, Ambedkar condemned the ancient Hindu text Manusmriti to ideologically justify caste discrimination and untouchability and burned its copies.

The FIR or First Information Report is something that the Indian police prepares for each case to be investigated. This was filed by a Bharatiya Janata Party MLA named Abhimanyu Pawar. This legislator from Ausa in Latur district accused host, Amitabh Bachchan as well as the makers of the show, of hurting Hindu sentiments. He believes that action should be taken against the actor and Sony Entertainment Television for asking a question of religious texts on October 30th, 2020. He believes that this question was done “in an attempt to insult Hindus and create discord between Hindus and Buddhists who have been living in harmony.” 

The BJP MLA said that since all options of the questions pertain to the Hindu religion, “It is clear that the motive behind this question was to hurt the sentiments of Hindus.” After this allegation Big B received huge amounts of criticism on social media. One user of Twitter accused the makers of this quiz show of deliberately adding these questions to raise issues so that the show’s target rating point or TRP of the show goes up. With a high target rating point there is an increase in advertising that reaches a target audience by any campaign or advertisement.

We may never know why that question was asked or if there was an ulterior motive.. However, this show continues to inspire and entertain people. Just on 11th November, a local of Delhi, Nazia Nasim will win 1 crore from this show.

Online Concerts

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By Aarav Chokhani and Nihal Swadi

With the ongoing global pandemic, people are really missing out on concerts. There are many types like musical concerts and skits/plays. 

What types of online concerts are there and how are they working? There are two types of online concerts: a live stream online concert (it’s live) and a recorded online concert (it’s recorded and you can watch it whenever you’d like.) These can be used while making or streaming musical concerts and even plays! In musical concerts, the artists are either performing from home in their own studio or they are on set with a cameraman recording their performance. In drama concerts it is about the same where there are 5-10 minute intervals in between the act and there are not too many people performing at once so the virus does not spread any more. 

Are online concerts worth it? Yes, most definitely! They may be online but it is still a concert! You can listen to your favourite artist play!. Many people say it is not worth it because it is the same as seeing them in a youtube video as they are both on a screen. Some people like the atmosphere of an online concert because there’s less noise and they can enjoy the music thoroughly. . Furthermore,  if there is an internet issue, they will hear the singer with a buffer. All in all, this is completely opinion based and it depends on whether you like it or not.

Is every artist doing online musical concerts? No, not every artist is doing an online concert. It is completely optional and the artist can choose if they want to do an online concert.  Some of the artists that are doing online concerts are: Lauv, Justin Biber,  Lewis Capaldi, Charli XCX, Dua Lipa, Sam Smith, Taylor Swift, Ellie Goulding, Camila Cabello, Miley Cyrus, Rachel Platten, Noah Cyrus, Liam Payne, Lady Gaga Katy Perry, David Guetta and Jay Z.


Tuning In to the Lockdown!

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by Tara Hebbar

The lockdown as a concept has been associated with an ever negative connotation. Though this year has made every one of us specialists in the field, not all of us have chosen to adopt the ubiquitous perspective on the matter. Professionals from all walks of life have been using this time to increase productivity.  When the pandemic first came about,  people wondered what would become of the entertainment and music industries.  Despite the fears, musicians have been extremely creative and have managed to entertain us all through this lockdown. Not only is this building their online platforms,  but people sitting at home are giving them an awaiting audience as well. 

Artists have been releasing their composed music and have been using their platforms to promote good causes and are helping people from all walks of life. This is just an example of several singers all singing “If The World Was Ending” to help the organization “doctors without borders.” In the same way,  other artists have done their very best to help anyone in need. 

Shreya Goshal who has been working on her music during lockdown says,

Everyone is at home, their morale is down. It’s been over a month of lockdown. We needed to do something to cheer up people. Also, we are raising funds. I want to help as much as possible. A lot of underprivileged people are there who need support.” 

There have been many fundraiser concerts to raise money and some just to raise the spirits of those who need it.  In our nation, we saw the “I for India” concert which was viewed by thousands of people. They raised a total of ₹54,007,539, in the duration of just a few hours. “For the first time ever, the Indian entertainment industry and friends of the industry are coming together to organize the biggest home-to-home concert to ever happen from India. As the grand finale of the #SocialForGood Live-athon, the “I for India” initiative is an attempt to bring people together in solidarity against the challenges that this global pandemic has thrown at us, all proceeds from this fundraiser will go towards the India COVID Response Fund being managed by GiveIndia.”

That was just the smallest of samples of these large scale concerts that are making large-scale effects on so many lives. Music is not only a cure to so many problems, but like we’ve seen time and again during the lockdown it can be used not only to unite people but additionally also can save so many lives and contribute to so much kindness being spread. 

Little Women — A book years ahead of its time!

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by Pritha Nag

During quarantine, I’ve been trying to read more and more books that I wouldn’t normally, and I came across the book Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. It’s a classic that was written in the 1800s, but anyone reading the book would think the way the characters speak and think would have been a modern-day girl-empowerment book. Little Women is slowly turning into one of my favourite books!

The story follows 4 young sisters; Jo, Beth, Amy and Meg. The bond the four of them share is so lovely and magical to read and it’s something I can definitely relate to as a sister. All the fights, competitiveness, and kindness make the book very realistic to myself as a sister. Having a strong bond, but also fighting with your sisters a lot! My favourite character in the book is Jo, she’s a strong independent girl, who is well ahead of her time. Questioning everything on why girls are said to stay at home, be petite, delicate when they can be so much more! 

One thing that I think is notable about this book is the relationship between the whole family. The father is away fighting in the civil war, the mother is a lovely kind woman who’s always out trying to help everyone. Jo is considered “boyish,” not feminine, independent and loud, Beth is called a “dear” by the rest of the sisters, very similar to her mother, but very quiet, timid and always puts others before herself. Amy is the youngest of the four and is obviously a little more spoiled than the rest (like all youngest siblings) and Amy and Jo both butt heads quite often because of how similar they are in knowing what they want. And finally Meg. Meg is considered to be vain, care a lot about her looks, but very kind and caring. All of her sisters look up to her, and to me, she is the most relatable character. She realises her wrongs and loves all of her sisters dearly. All in all, these characters are such pragmatically written characters, who all have amazing things about themselves and also downfalls and negatives. But that’s precisely what makes them so magical! The character development of each of the girls is so well-written because they’ve matured in ways in so many different ways. The way they think, their bond, their love for each other and so much more detail!

The female empowerment in this book is incredible, considering it was written in the 1800s, but also very inspiring even to this day (two centuries later)! Jo, who considers herself the father of the family (while their father is away), is so inspiring in how much she works to be equal. When she is proposed to, she refuses it down, saying why would she need to do that when she can be by herself. Jo shows us that we can be strong females, and we may have to keep fighting, shouting, losing our temper to get equal but it can work. 

The book is written in a narrative style, told from a second person. But zoom in on different characters through different chapters, so we can feel all their emotions, and understand it from their perspectives. The book jumps ahead in time, but to not give away too many spoilers, we get to view both their childhood and some of their early adulthood. We can see them grow up, grow as characters, find love and find their ways back to each other! 

This book was such a fantastic book for its time and even for today. I would 100% recommend this book to anyone who wants to read a feel-good book that you’ll relate to. Because of how well-written it is, and the characters and the warm and nice feeling or vibe, rather that it gives. It’s like you’re sitting in the living room with the girls. It empowers me to realise that these girls aren’t spectacularly rich, but they’re all so happy because they’re always there for each other despite their differences

The Future of Video Games

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By Arjun Mehrotra

The video game industry is one of the largest industries in the world, more than doubling the revenue of the movie and music industries combined. According to, more than 2.5 billion people around the world play video games on various different platforms. 

The first official video game was showcased at the NYC world fair by Dr. Edward Condon. The game was based on the Mathematical game of ‘Nim’. The first game console for at-home use was developed by Ralph Baer and his team. Called the ‘Brown Box’, the console could be connected to the TV and had games like pong. 

The ‘Console wars’ were a fight during the late 70s till the  80s. After the success of the Brown Box and games like Space Invaders, companies decided to go into the gaming business. Sega, Atari, and Nintendo were the main competitors. Atari was a gaming giant but after the game E.T based on the movie of the same name, players started to feel like games were more about quantity rather than quality, and many players gave up their consoles. The game that saved the video game industry was about a middle-aged, Italian plumber named Mario and was a huge success! Nintendo started making games like The Legend of Zelda, and Mario games that did very well. After that, the game business was open to a lot of creators who made many different types of games. You can see a Netflix documentary about this called High Score.

The three main ways of playing video games are through mobile apps, PCs, and consoles. There are also many different types of games suited for different people, such as casual puzzle games, or hardcore FPS games. The phone-based game industry is expected to take up to 59% of the gaming industry by 2021. There are 3 current main console companies, consisting of, Nintendo, Playstation, and Xbox.

Some popular games at the moment include Fortnite and Minecraft. Upcoming games include Trollhunters: Defenders of Arcadia, Immortals: Fenyx Rising, and Hyrule Warriors: Age of calamity, all of which our generation are excited for! ! In celebration of the Mario franchise’s 35th anniversary, Nintendo is releasing many Mario games onto the switch like Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario 3D world.

Game developers want to push the limits of what they can make with this new generation, a great example of this being Lumen by Unreal Engine 5 that can instantly make smooth lighting dynamics and billions of polygon graphics. You can watch the reveal trailer here. The PS5 and Xbox Project scarlet will also feature the newest graphics and more modern controllers. 

The gaming industry is one of the biggest out there and has many ups and downs. There have been many different games for different audiences and ages. It has taken many different paths but I’m sure wherever it will go, us gamers will go with it!

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