Of Talking Ravens and Curious Cinephiles | Cornell University Undergraduate Application Essay

“Surrealism is embedded in the everyday, in the daily experience” — Katharine Conley

It seems fitting for me to transform every moment or thought into a film screened inside my head. Cinema is my life, and guides me beyond my life. I rise from reality and I’m cast into a limitless world of my own creation. Here I am the humble king, the anxious father, or the tortured slave, the only conscious inhabitant of an otherworldly domain. Rocks don’t fall back to Earth, and instead morph into winged beavers as men in suits walk past me backwards. I leap across Norwegian fjords and land on a vibrant golden beach, but suddenly the sky cries: “Vikram, your lunch is getting cold!” Who dares to interrupt me? My canvas is left incomplete as my imagination is broken by my mother. My soul condenses and settles into reality again.

I often recite to my cousins the bittersweet tale of a boy called Vincent, who is depicted in a short film by Tim Burton. Vincent is a seven year-old who imagines himself living in a world of his own creation. In this infinite realm, he reads the poetry of Edgar Allen Poe — finding himself particularly drawn to “The Raven” — and practices scientific feats far ahead of a child’s intellect. Unfortunately, as he…

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