¿?sick beats?¿ November 2021 Edition

Written by: Ashley Koh (21-A1), Lian Zhiqi (21-I1) and Tricia Loh (21-U1)

Designed by: Ashley Lay (21-O1)

Colourful costumes, plots clichély familiar or refreshingly new, dashing male leads and gorgeous heroines: these are some of the things that we think of when we mention “Bollywood”. After all, these are staples of Hollywood movies, from which Bollywood draws much of its influence and inspirations. Even the genre’s namesake is a combination of “Bombay” (or the old-timey name for Mumbai), and “Hollywood”! 

However, Bollywood and Hollywood differ in one big area: the music. Most Hollywood films, save musicals, usually don’t pay much attention to the music. Admittedly, soundtracks from famous Hollywood movies can become huge hits, but they are rarely the stars of the movies themselves. 

In Bollywood, this is completely not the case. Bombastic group numbers, tentatively gentle romantic ballads and many other types can be seen in every Bollywood movie. Without fail and regardless of the genre of movie, actors can be found bursting into song. They may even break into impromptu yet expertly choreographed dances. The biggest Bollywood stars of today are also excellent singers. 

However, Bollywood hasn’t always been as developed as the industry currently is. So how did it all begin? 

Ever since Hindi cinema started in 1931, its films have heavily incorporated various musical genres. They are a characteristic element of Indian films which makes it timelessly popular and enjoyable for its generations of audience. 

India is a culturally diverse country with different groups of people speaking in different tongues and dialects. Bollywood music breaks through these language barriers by effectively intriguing their audience with lively and vibrant beats combined with dances performed by an energetic mob of people. Thus, by connecting citizens from all over the country and even attracting audiences outside, Bollywood music has gained a great reputation for itself. 

Shreya Goshal is one of the most famous singers in Bollywood, with her net worth being a whopping US $25 million! Her most famous songs include Jaadu Hain Nasha Hai and Saans among many other hits. Jaadu Hain Nasha Hai was composed for the 2003 movie Jism and adopts a soft and dreamy tone with the acoustics being emphasised the greatest. The song communicates a girl’s increasing vulnerability toward her love interest, slowly opening up to him as she becomes more connected with him. Jaadu Hain Nasha Hai literally translates to ‘it’s magic’. How romantic!

Goshal charges 20 lakh rupees per song, which converts to about SG $36,500! Making it big in Bollywood is definitely challenging, but it undoubtedly earns the artists good money. Having their name known by over 1 billion of India’s citizens as well as striking it rich while doing what they love (singing) is probably the major pulling factor drawing hoards of young, aspiring musicians into the Bollywood scene. 

Many foreign artists have even taken inspiration from Bollywood music for their own pieces! Did you know that the famous violin riff from “Toxic” by Britney Spears was taken from a hugely popular Bollywood song? Another example is “Paint the Town” by KPOP group LOONA which is a Bollywood-inspired dance and hip hop track with strong fast-paced percussion and sampled exotic vocals.

But this international love for Bollywood doesn’t just stop at pop music sampling. The Bollywood craze has become global, with at least 9 different countries including Germany, Japan, Peru and even Russia going gaga over these colourful and vibrant Indian films with their music telling tales of adventure and love. The films and songs also serve as a reminder of home for many Indians living abroad and out of their native country. The music can even be a stepping stone for Indian children living abroad to get in touch with a part of their culture, their mother tongues. 

After examining all the factors and the reasons behind Bollywood’s rise to dominance in the global film industry, it is clear that it’s become a force to reckon with. With the Indian film industry continuing to improve and catch up to Hollywood in terms of quality and prominence, it is also clear that Bollywood is here to stay. 

So before you go, why not get in on the craze? Sick Beats recommends a few Bollywood songs to get you started: 

  1. Chaiyya Chaiyya: Sung by Academy Award winning artist Sukhwinder Singh and Sapna Awasthi, this evergreen and massively popular classic from 1998 captivated the hearts of millions of Indians with its hypnotically catchy melody and mesmerising vocals from both Singh and Awasthi. If you want to get into Bollywood music, look no further.
  1. Nazm Nazm: Another romantic yet modern song that captures the sweetness of love, this will have you swaying along to the gentle voice of the singer Arko. 
  1. Dil Dhadakne Do: On the more lighthearted and foot-tapping side, there is this song which shares its name with the film it’s composed for. Fun, catchy and sung by international superstar Priyanka Chopra Jonas, this one will get your head bopping. 
  1. Kabhi Khushi Khabie Gham: The last entry of these recommendations is definitely not the least. Sung by the greatest playback singer in the world Lata Mangeshkar, this song’s distinctive and emotive melody accompanied by Lata’s iconic vocals tell a beautiful and heart-wrenching story that truly encompasses the meaning of the song’s title: “in happiness and sadness”

Now that you know a little bit about the tour de force named Bollywood, we hope you will dive into the colourful costumes, plots clichély familiar or refreshingly new, dashing male leads and gorgeous heroines and most importantly, the must-listen soundtracks of any Bollywood film. 

Bibliography

Maurya, S. (2021, June 14). Top 10 singers in India – 2021. Business Connect | Best Business magazine In India. Retrieved November 14, 2021, from https://businessconnectindia.in/top-10-singers-in-india/. 

Nicolaou, E. (2021, November 2). What makes Bollywood movies so special. Oprah Daily. Retrieved November 9, 2021, from https://www.oprahdaily.com/entertainment/a33396048/what-is-bollywood/. 

Satija, G. (2017, October 15). 9 countries where Bollywood is Badshah. IndiaTimes. Retrieved November 14, 2021, from https://www.indiatimes.com/entertainment/bollywood/9-countries-where-bollywood-is-badshah-331482.html. 

Thomas, C. (2020, November 20). Why Bollywood is so popular across the world. Viral Panda. Retrieved November 14, 2021, from https://viralpanda.net/why-bollywood-is-so-popular-across-the-world/. 

Vaidyanathan, R. (2012, June 7). The rise and rise of new bollywood. BBC News. Retrieved November 9, 2021, from https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-18327901. 

Verma, R., & Kheraj, A. (2018, August 20). Best bollywood songs: 11 incredible Bollywood songs in Hindi Movies. Time Out London. Retrieved November 14, 2021, from https://www.timeout.com/london/film/best-bollywood-songs.

Space Tourism – Traversing the Unknown

Written by:  Aaron Wong Jielun (21-I4), Elizabeth Khoo Yuk Min (21-U1), Katelyn Joshy (21-U1), Murugan Rakshita (21-E1), Tiew Zuo Yuan Richard (21-I2)

Designed By: Ashley Lay (21-O1)


Crossing the Final Frontier 

Having crossed the vast continents (with attractive travel packages) and fared the deep oceans (on luxurious cruise ships), humanity has already explored most of our globe (with guided tours!). Outer space, the place that lies beyond the bounds of our skies, has now become the final frontier; for the tourism industry, that is.

Ever since mankind has gazed up at the stars, we have always pondered one simple question: will we ever get to venture out there? As the space tourism industry takes shape in the future, perhaps we will be starting to ask several additional questions, namely: How much does a seat on a space shuttle cost? Is the food good? Are the accommodations comfortable? And how on (correction: off) earth does using the bathroom work out there, anyways?

What is Space Tourism? 

Much of the hype around space tourism revolves around the desire to explore beyond the concepts that we have already mapped. In other words, educating ourselves of the unknown has always been one of humanity’s pursuits, and efforts in exploring the cosmos has seen immeasurable progress. 

Today, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)’s Space foundation works with many educational institutions to spark the space curiosity in potential future space leaders. The more we learn about space, the more it appeals to us, and the probability for a human livelihood outside of the only planet that can sustain life causes us to put on our thinking caps to attain precisely those aspirations. Additionally, this pursuit of space tourism inadvertently benefits us as we brainstorm sustainable ways to make it happen. For instance, consider the ambitious quest of SpaceX—to build a colony on mars— to achieve it, the company has created the Falcon9, an eco-friendly rocket. 

Instead of ending up as waste in the sea after its space venture, it would be retrievable from designated landing sites and relaunched within a day. Falcon9’s rockets are fuelled by liquid oxygen and methane, which are cheaper and cleaner alternatives to conventional fuel. The use of methane and oxygen complements the colonisation project as carbon dioxide in mars’ atmosphere and frozen water on its surface can be used to generate methane for its return trips to earth. In a way, we realise that the advent of space tourism allows us to seek new horizons for metacognition.

Hall of Fame – Space Tourist Edition 

Leonardo DiCaprio, Actor 

The iconic Academy Award winning actor, best known for his lead role in 1997’s  Titanic boarded Richard Brandon’s Virgin Galactic space rocket with a round trip ticket back in 2013.

Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon

Jeff Bezos is no stranger to the global E-commerce arena, helming arguably one of the most influential businesses globally. He happens to also be the founder of Blue Origin, an American aerospace company- one of the up and coming contenders in the space tourism industry. So, it’s no surprise how he landed his trip to the final frontier!  

Dennis Tito, Engineer 

We’ve saved the best for last! Introducing… the first space tourist! Tito was the first person to traverse space for leisure purposes and all at his own expense. He spent nearly eight days in orbit as a crew member of ISS EP-1, a visiting mission to the International Space Station all the way back in 2001!

The Space Tourist’s Travel Guide  

Hello there! Welcome to ‘Uncharted Exploration’, your one-stop destination to get all the latest space travel deals! It is my company’s pleasure to serve such an honorable customer. Now, let me show you all the travel packages available: 

  1. Virgin Galactic’s 90-Minute Suborbital Ride

Destination: The edge of the Earth’s atmosphere 

Costs: USD$250,000 per person 

Set to launch: Late 2020

  1. NASA’s Multi-Day ISS Gateway

Destination: The International Space Station

Costs: USD$35,000 per night

Set to launch: Late 2020

  1. SpaceX’s ‘Back to the Moon’ Package

Destination: The Moon

Costs: roughly USD$150 million per seat

Set to launch: 2023

Preparations and expectations

1. Ensure physical and mental fitness

As the human body will undergo a range of forgein experiences in entering space, it is very important to keep your body in optimal condition prior to launch. This means you must be healthy: void of any and all serious health conditions. You should exercise regularly to keep your muscles strong as spending extended periods in microgravity will lead to muscle inactivity, debilitating your muscles. You must also attune your mind to possible challenges you will face in space like dealing with space adaptation syndrome (motion sickness), which tends to be an issue for longer trips. 

Thus, depending on the length and nature of your trip, you’ll accordingly undergo the necessary training so that in case things go awry, you’ll be prepared. This includes undergoing resistance training, numerous safety briefings and practising movement in zero gravity capsules.

2. The likely levels of G-force to be experienced 

G-forces are the sensations of weight we feel during acceleration as a result of movement against gravity. Let’s just say, what’s portrayed in the movies, where astronauts get crushed into their seats after exposure to high G-forces is far from reality! Given that you have passed the medical test to take this trip, you should be able to withstand the G-forces experienced on launch and on re-entry back to Earth. 

3. How to get used to the feeling of weightlessness

A good practise is to try scuba diving as it helps you get ready for all the ‘floating’ you’re about to do in space by getting you familiar with the sensation of being weightless. However, a better alternative would be taking a zero-G flight as it more accurately simulates the zero gravity environment of a spacecraft. 

Where to stay? 

Looking for comfortable accommodation? Well, look no further! We have exciting news on lodgings in space: 

The Voyager Station- The world’s first luxury space hotel

You heard that right! Earth’s very first official space lodging will be up and ready soon. This monumental achievement is the brainchild of the California-based company, Gateway Foundation and in the midst of being created by the Orbital Assembly Corporation. The Voyager Station is set to be completed by 2027 and will accommodate up to 280 guests and 112 crew members upon its opening! Curious about what this magnificent creation within its walls? Well, let’s take a peek, shall we? 

The Suites 

Engineers behind the project aim to make the luxury suites similar to those found in traditional hotels back on Earth, so you won’t be missing out on anything!

The Common Dining Hall

Enjoy a scrumptious meal as you gaze out into space! Let your eyes feast on the vast inky blackness of our cosmos, characterized by its swirls of purple, blue, pink, and dotted with millions of tiny stars. The Voyager Station will truly afford you a view like no other!

That’s not all! The Voyager also houses restaurants, a cinema, a spa, a library, a concert hall, bars and a sports hall. Are you getting déjà vu? I know I am! This soon to be futuristic reality seems to have been taken straight out of the plot of the widely acclaimed Science Fiction movie, Passengers!

Recent Developments in Space Tourism 

In the capitalistic moils of the world buds a new market: the space tourism market. It is no wonder that companies like SpaceX, Virgin Atlantic and Blue Origin are seizing this lucrative business venture in order to cash in on the growing demand for space tourism, a projected market value of 3 billion USD by 2031. This ardent dash towards being the first to provide a fully commercialised air travel experience is not unexpected. Seeing how quickly air travel took off amongst the masses, companies looking for their next business opportunity can only assume the same for space travel.

Additionally, Elon Musk has hatched ambitious plans to materialise low-earth orbital travel. These planks have crystallised with four, first-ever civilians being sent on a three-day trip around the world. Whilst the feasibility of mass commercialisation is still under question, this has no doubt proven to be a remarkable feat for mankind and Elon Musk’s billionaire competitors.

Conclusion 

In many ways, the growth of space tourism and the development of space travel are closely intertwined: if space tourism becomes a lucrative field, our progress in space travel may very well accelerate.

When our forefathers pondered man’s place among the stars, they probably never expected it to be on a commercial space flight of recreational nature, admiring the otherworldly scenery out of a viewport. But indeed, that seems to possibly be what space tourism can bring to the near future, even if such an experience is reserved only for those of significant capital for now. Perhaps there will eventually come a time when a seat on a space shuttle is much cheaper, and maybe even comparable to a seat on a commercial plane of today. Until that fateful day comes, we can all marvel at the field’s current breakthroughs, and also keep our fingers crossed on a potential, future galactic getaway…

Bibliography

  1. Keeter, B. (2020, September 2). Long-term challenges to human space exploration. NASA. Retrieved November 10, 2021, from https://www.nasa.gov/centers/hq/library/find/bibliographies/Long-Term_Challenges_to_Human_Space_Exploration. 
  1. Editors, P. M. (2021, November 2). Read this before you go to space. Popular Mechanics. Retrieved November 10, 2021, from https://www.popularmechanics.com/space/solar-system/a26454631/how-to-go-to-space/.   
  1. Mafi, N. (2021, March 5). The world’s first space hotel to open in 2027. Architectural Digest. Retrieved November 10, 2021, from https://www.architecturaldigest.com/story/worlds-first-space-hotel-open-2027. 
  1. Stefanie Waldek Updated August 31, 2021. (n.d.). 13 things space tourists should know before traveling to space, according to astronauts. Travel + Leisure. Retrieved November 10, 2021, from https://www.travelandleisure.com/trip-ideas/space-astronomy/what-space-tourists-should-know-before-traveling-to-space-according-to-astronauts. 
  1. Hospitality On. (2021, March 11). Voyager station: The first hotel in space could be ready by 2027. Hospitality ON. Retrieved November 10, 2021, from https://hospitality-on.com/en/innovation/voyager-station-first-hotel-space-could-be-ready-2027. 
  1. Street, F. (2021, March 4). World’s first Space Hotel scheduled to open in 2027. CNN. Retrieved November 10, 2021, from https://edition.cnn.com/travel/article/voyager-station-space-hotel-scn/index.html.  
  2. Cao, S. (2020, July 18). Every space tourism vacation you can book right now, if you’re rich. Observer. Retrieved November 10, 2021, from https://observer.com/2020/07/space-tourism-package-comparison-virgin-galactic-spacex-blue-origin-nasa/.