What makes a classic

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With some things one can never go wrong.

Classic white shirt

Like re-reading Jane Austen on a cosy winter evening by the fire, or humming along to to a Kishore Kumar melody while doing mundane chores, or picking a Woody Allen Classic when you just can not decide what to stream.

With the advent of an overwhelming stimulus and never ending choices that free market capitalism offers us, sticking to the basics is a strategy that not only comes in handy, but at times seems like the only way to navigate the crowded and noisy lanes of saturated trends and unending excess.

Classics, in that space, keep us rooted and set a reliable benchmark for an ever changing cultural landscape.

By addressing a basic and universal human concern, classics have an incredible ability to completely blend behind the always changing scene setting of the ever evolving organism that we call ‘Culture’. Italo Calvino said that a piece of reading is called a classic when the work persists as a background noise even when a present that is totally incompatible with it holds sway.

Classics never exhaust the inventory of ‘what to say’, even post multiple consumptions. They never fail to create shared and treasured experiences across generations, often acting as a link that binds otherwise divided entities, by age, distance or time.

Classics offer a sense of discovery but at the same time a familiarity, like re-reading something about your own self. Reading a classic piece of literature is like articulating into a perfectly eloquent phrase, something we always knew but never realised. 

As a part of this series, we explore and reflect on works of literature, music, design, art , architecture, fashion and more that helped in setting context for the past, reducing the friction in how we navigate the world today and most importantly, set the tone for the future.

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