The joys of being stuck in an airplane (Part 2)
Gods' Love Die Young
It has been a custom in my family that at least once a month I am to go to the Gurudwara to offer prayers, to stay in touch with my true self.
My father who is currently stationed in Africa used to make it a point that I go to the Gurudwara and do some “seva”. He never forced it upon me, but just to keep his heart I would. Earlier I would make excuses and find the best possible way out of it. I wouldn’t say I hated it because hatred is a very under-estimated emotion, interested in nothing but revolt. The reason why I avoided going was as much as I hate to admit the fact, I was selfish and preferred not to believe in god.
It been burned into my brain that whoever it is I am is because of the Great One. Its funny how in the worst of situations we look upon him for help. We perform all sorts of rituals and ceremonies and how in ones happiest moments, be it little or big we forget to thank him.
My own grandparents have a regular routine of going to the club, socializing, playing cards, taking part in all sorts of talk shows but never have I ever seen them not fearing god. They seem to forget all sorts of other issues when they go visit the Gurudwara, they devote themselves truly to him and forget all materialistic things.
No one can force you to keep faith in god. As I had said earlier I never had faith in god but it was a few months ago when my family met with a terrible accident which ripped open an abyss of despair and fury, left me contemplating my feelings. It was that when all hope had died that I turned to him for help, which I got. Now I know if there is anything that you truly want and your hands are empty he will help you out no matter how many mistakes you’ve made, no matter how many sins you’ve committed, he will forgive you, he will show you a path, offer new doors to you that once were shut, give you answers and resolve differences. All these things that I have been taught are by my family and I thank them. But most importantly I thank god for what I have; be it the ten fingers or just the thought of me being here. But, there is another thing that has left me confused and thinking and it is the experience of life is the omnipresence of impending death, so yet again revelation turns to delusion with the four words I forgot to mention before…gods’ love die young.
By Angeeta Baweja (12)
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Since we have visited the National Science Museum, lately on the 4th of September 2006, we’ve all been feeling very dizzy! With the infinity well, mirror mazes, ghost walks and extremely (horrendously) enormous kaleidoscopes, our heads will never be full of rubbish ever again. At our first glance inside the infinity well no one could ever guess when and where it ended. To our surprise the infinity well was just two feet deep! There was a mirror at the bottom and the top glass was just half a mirror. SURPRISED??? It allowed us to see through, with its lower surface acting as a mirror for the side wall. The two parallel mirrors created infinity depth! Isn’t it amazing?
If (by any chance) that didn’t fascinate you, the National Science museum has much more in store. This one seriously scared us out of our wits. THE GHOST WALK!
It made us realize mirrors are magical. We walked straight across narrow strips of mirror that were placed at right angles to each other. These right angles inverted the motion of our image and we found our image walking in the opposite directions as if we were separated from our souls!
Patterns, Patterns and more Patterns! As we poked our head inside this fabulously big object we found it filled with lots of colourful patterns. The mirrors were placed at 60 degree angles. This made multiple images and formed in patterns.
Do you even have the slightest idea of what we are talking about?
Yes you are nearly there……….YES You guessed absolutely right!!!
And wait, don’t go. There is lot more to explore in the National Science Museum.
The Mirror Maze, fearful for the weak hearted and fun for the children! The mirror maze was one of the best things in the whole museum. The teachers were scared to let the children go in by themselves!! With the mirror maze, there were many other experiments such as the Head in the Platter, which was awfully scary, the Holographic Skull and of course the Coloured Shadows and amazing optical illusions, this visit to the museum was one we’d never forget.
By Vasudha Dixit, Sharanya Thakur and Namrata Narula Class 5
In the village of Sambhala will Lord Kalki appear in the home of the great soul, the Brahmin Vishnuyas’â [‘the glory of Vishnu’]. Mounting His swift-riding horse Devadatta, will the Lord of the Universe with His sword, transcendental qualities and endowed with the eight mystic opulences subdue the unholy.
-Srimad Bhagavatam 12:2
Das Avatar – The ten avatars of Lord Vishnu- The preserver. This is a phrase that many have often heard. Matsya the fish, Kurma the turtle, Varaha the boar, Narasimha the man lion, Vamana the dwarf, Parasuram the angry Brahmin, Ram, Krishna, Buddha, and Kalki. These are the names of the avatars in chronological order of their appearance. Out of them all, there is one of them who is yet to come- This is Kalki, also known as Kalkin. Said to appear (either have been born of have realized himself) on the 17th of August 1999, he is said to remove evil from the earth. It has for many years been a mystery for all bhakts as to where he will appear, where he will be born. In the Srimad Bhagvatam, it is stated that he will be born in the Brahmin Village of Sambhala, in the house of the Brahmin Vishnuya’sâ. The odd thing was that the village Sambhala did not adhere to the astronomical specifications as given in the Srimad Bhagavatam. Also, according to the Kalchakra literature, the location of Sambhal is to the north of the Sita river (today’s Tarim River in Eastern Turkestan), on a latitude north of Tibet Khotan and China. Comparing the two, it was found that the Sambhal where Kalki is to be born lies to the North of the Tien Shan mountains.
While surfing the internet, I found that the village Sambhal also appeared in Tibetan literature. This Sambhal is a Buddhist kingdom ruled by bodhisattva kings who had the title of kalkin. In the Kalchakra literature, it is stated that Sambhal is a mighty kingdom with 96 great lands and more than a billion villages. Could this be the same Sambhal spoken about in Tibetan Literature? According to the Tibetan Literature, the last of the Buddhist kalkins, Raudra Cakrin Kalkin will, at the end of the age of evil obliterate the evil forces of Islam. Kalki in Hindu mythology is also known as Kalkin. Could this be the same messiah? If it is, could these prophecies be true?
The evil mentioned in Hindu mythology is not specified. It is a vague evil force that is supposed to be removing good from this world. In Tibetan mythology however, this evil is specified. As I have stated above, they say that Raudra Cakrin Kalkin will obliterate the evil forces of Islam. This literature was written over 5000 years ago, but still, whoever wrote it clearly knew what he was talking about. Terrorism in the form of Jihad has taken over the world. Is this the evil ancient literature was talking about? If their prophecies of evil are correct, will the prophecies of a messiah also be correct? In the Bible, Jesus states that he will return on Judgement Day. Are the returning of Jesus, the arrival of Kalkin and the war against evil by Raudra Cakrin the same thing? In lands so far apart that it was impossible to meet in those days, how could everyone have had the same ideas? Were their prophecies true?
The answers to these questions are something for which we will have to wait and watch. The messiah is from our generation. He could well be one of us. He is to teach us belief. It is only true faith that sets him apart from us.
kilk: kalao: kala malaat p‘patu.
“May Kalki-deva, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, who appeared as an incarnation to protect religious principles, protect me from the dirt of the age of Kali.”
By Kunal Datta (9)
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The Purpose Of The
(contd. From Previous Issue)
They are the senior most class in the school. They are the most ‘respected’ and ‘looked up to’ batch ever! And now we’ve decided to pay tribute to those members of this batch, who contribute to the newsletter every week.
Arjun Srihari, a.k.a. Sherry Sr.: loved by some, hated by others (Svati), his stellar articles have been profound and life changing (ahem, ahem).
Arjun is the editorial board’s man of mystery, as he very rarely turns up. And when he does… he doesn’t do a lot
Nakul Dev: Best known for his article on hair growth, Nakul is quite the womanizer (not). The terms ‘suave’, ‘multi talented’ and ‘dashing good looks’ are often used when Nakul is talking about himself. However, we beg to differ. We do agree, however, that Nakul adds his ‘unique’ touch to everything he writes.
Minhaaj Adil: The peacemaker with the perpetual grin- yes, that’s Minhaaj Adil for you. Minhaaj is never seen at headquarters, yet he comes up with a number of brilliant articles each month. He can’t have a lot to do with his time, poor chap.
Samad Ali, a.k.a Mr. Random: Sometimes, actually all the time, one wonders about Samad’s purpose in life. He does turn up at headquarters each week, but very rarely is he seen writing an article useful to the newsletter. His ‘random’ articles include ‘Delhi is so cool’, ‘Skimpy girls’ (which wasn’t published due to obvious reasons), and ‘Celebrity’.
Jaagriti Seth: With her extra elasticity, it’s a miracle how Jaagriti has managed to stay in one piece all these years. She, however, manages to keep her joints together long enough to write some articles each week. Jaagriti’s the one person Svati can depend on when she has one of her fainting fits.
Saranya Misra: Our quirky newsletter cartoonist, Saranya comes up with a number of ‘vela’ cartoon strips, based on the average Vasant Valley School student. We think that once Saranya leaves, the newsletter will never be as entertaining and, um… vela.
Nivedita Venkateish: Due to her ‘extensive’ vocabulary, Nivedita is able to come up with a number of adjectives to describe any given situation. The list includes ‘Poopy poop’, ‘Oompa Loompa’, ‘squeakity squeak’... Need we say more? But jokes apart (not) Nivedita is pretty much perfect, with superior intellect, charm and unrivalled beauty (we’re still kidding).
By Diva, Mahi, Akbar and Soumya, class 10
The Neo Hippies
The 60’s spelt flower power. The Beatles, drugs, sex, flared jeans and bandanas. These are pretty much all the symbols (clichéd as they may be) of the peace loving hippies. They were about love and peace and most importantly politics. They represented a revolution breaking away from the system, awakening to the power of their voices in society and their role in the larger picture. Whether it was condemning the Vietnam War or the Berlin Wall… in their own peaceful, admittedly spaced out methods they made sure the world took notice. Groovy, right?
So where have they all gone? Somewhere along the line the peace-loving hippies withered away. They were over taken and overpowered by the brigade of corporate youth marching to the sounds of the cash register… but in all society there has to be the “alternative”. For every group of clones there will be those that are different, in the way that your mom and aunties will call them the “bad” crowd and scowl upon them.
Today’s hippies are tattooed. They have many different names of Punks and Goths symbolized by an overall aggressive appearance. They fit the part physically. Perfectly, in fact. But what are their politics about? What is the neo hippie way of life?
And thus we come to the tragedy (in my opinion of course) of the situation , the hippies of the 60’s had so much to say and that’s what set them apart. The neo-hippies have nothing to say, they live in oblivion of the world around them and that is what sets them apart. Its about not caring who lives or dies or how people survive around you, self involvement, self gratification and inner peace are the new buzz words for the hippie way of life.
The love is there. So is the peace. The drugs are definitely there. But what’s missing is the politics. The hippies of the 60’s shouted out but the system didn’t listen, Neo hippies renounce the system alright but don’t bother to make themselves heard.
Amba Kak (11A)
ICCR Drama Festival
All those weeks of long practice had come down to this. After practising long hours to prepare for this competition in which people from all over the world would participate (strangely enough we saw or met none of these international participants), we had just found out that it was a day earlier than what we had been told. After sorting out the dance bit for the ‘dance drama’ we left school with an air of optimism. After reaching the Shri Ram Auditorium where the competition took place we were told to perform almost straight away. However, when the introductory speech was being given we learnt that a rule of dance dramas was that ‘no dialogues can be spoken’. Nothing about this could be done as we were on the verge of having to go on stage and because Mr. Feroz Khan was all the way in the control room. The moment our first lines were spoken we heard expected statements such as ‘ma’am they aren’t using recorded dialogues’. Still we performed with enthusiasm and some actors were given individual applause. Even today we do no know if we were disqualified or not but we do know that we surely did not win. However, it was a good experience for everyone and we may have even got a few people smiling (for reasons more than one).
By Akbar Iqbal 10 B
Anandini Rathore, Ashrika Kohli, Bhavik
Singh, Kunal Datta, Sara Chatterjee,
Vanshika Wadhwa, Akbar Iqbal, Avanti
Gupta, Diva Gujral, Jahan Nargolwala,
Mahi Titus, Soumya Dasgupta, Tarunima
Prabhakar, Akanksha Chawla, Amba Kak,
Arushi Chak, Ria Sen, Saira Dayal, Minhaj Adil,
Jaagriti Seth, Nakul Dev, Nivedita Venkateish,
Samad Ali, Saranya Misra
Sports Desk : Arjun Srihari
Editor: Svati Goyal
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The Fleeting Months
This article, for those of you who actually bother to read the newsletter is for all my juniors. Yes, all of you who aren’t in my batch, this article is directed towards you guys and girls, and you should read carefully so that you can get the most out of your school life. School is a very varied experience for most of us, the friends we make, the groups we hang out with, the kind of things we take seriously and that which we avoid, the talents we nurture within ourselves and the potential we realize within us, it all takes place in school. I write looking back at my school life, and the school life of others and what could have been, and what has been. My advice to those of you reading this article is, that the most important thing you can do in school is realize you potential and inner faculties. I started to learn the guitar when I was in class 6, but my inherent laziness and lack of effort prevented me from learning it the way it should have been, which caused me later to quit and pursue drama. Not that I entirely regret that decision, I’ve worked in a lot of theatre and had fun, but there is that part of me that wishes I had learnt the instrument. For those of you who think that you have sporting talent, DON’T HESITATE to train yourself to hone your skills to join your school teams! Attend the school camps and train under your coaches, so that someday you can be good enough to join the school teams. Never spend your school life thinking of what could have been if only you had done something about it, try different things out, its only then that you will truly know what your all about. It’s a horrible feeling thinking of how things could have been if only you had found the time to make that little extra effort (trust me I know). School essentially boils down to the academic effort you put into your work, and trust me there isn’t anything better you can do than do well in your academics. As much as most people I know hate to work on their academics, feeling that there is always that next monthly test or exam to do well in, there is nothing more satisfying to look back on a sound academic track record. When you are as old as me (cough, cough), you will realize how bad it feels to have been inconsistent in your work. Nothing beats doing well in your studies, so go out there and do your best! These fleeting months, I can’t believe that everyday I am growing closer to the final end of my school life. It has all gone by so fast, it’s almost unbelievable that school is really, and finally coming to an end. To have been literally living my mornings and afternoons for the past 6 years in Vasant Valley, only to realize that it is all soon going to end is something else. All of you juniors reading this follow my advice, when you’re around this time in your 12th you’ll realize how good you feel about yourself. I know I would.
By Samad Ali (12)
Cruising through the Caribbean life with Captain Jack Sparrow (you really would be out at sea)…or playing professional football alongside Lukas Podolski…or backpacking across Europe(anyone who says Paris was no big deal, is just being pretentious)…or finding your one true love (this may be the same as meeting Captain Sparrow or Lukas Podolski). When it comes to the world of fantasy, our imaginations are boosted beyond the boundaries of space, time and of course…reality.
When the placid sea of life, so apt to ruffles from slight winds, is hit by something resembling a wind raiser (not unlike the time my parents saw my last report card), one is faced with the ordeal of hearing the harshest of all words, “No more television”. In such times of trauma, we look to our imagination to throw us a lifeline, and our fantasies to act as our lifejackets, to save us from drowning in that dreadful sea called ‘boredom’. In this hectic world, sometimes it’s hard to catch anything besides “feed me” or “watch out for that car!”
You may want to dive into the pool of imagination, but you may not really get to see dead people (and to be honest, who besides that little kid in the movies really does?). And so, we seek other ways to escape from ourselves when what we really need is to accept ourselves. If you really look at the world today, you realize that maybe, just maybe, mankind isn’t beyond all hope. With that pleasant thought in mind, the optimists discover the discovered once more, while the pessimists smile gladly at the assumption of right, for they assume that the amusing assumption is wrong and by assuming so, they know that the world will come crashing down, for what goes up…must come down, and that makes them happy because it makes them sad. Getting to the point (yes there is one here…somewhere), the world actually has had a lot of good in it (except for Adolph Hitler; the atomic bomb; and my too frequent remarks I like to call ‘jokes’).
You see, fantasy may paint a pretty picture (that speaks a lot more than a thousand words), but it is reality that takes our breath away more than any fantasy conjured by a passage in a book. When I recounted to one of my friends, my unusual habit of becoming exactly like the main character of the last book I read, she exclaimed with glee at the thought of the possible transfigurations all thanks to the wonderful gift of an imagination. When she proceeded to ask me which book I had read last, I replied with a toothy smile, “Hannibal Lector”. For someone who complains about walking to the fridge, she could have run for the Olympic gold, the way she ran from me. Immersed in the world of fantasy, we don’t seem to realize that reality is fantasy. Reality is an illusion of life. An illusion we like to dub as ‘fantasy’ in fits of eagerness at using the new vocabulary word of the day. Whether you are the black queen, or whether you are the white king’s right pawn, everyone walks across the chessboard of reality versus fantasy. But be it checkmate or be it stalemate, the battle of wits is all about ‘how’ you play that game. That game called ‘Life’.
By Samvida Nanda (12)
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I celebrate, but mutely; I suffer, but silently. I fear displaying my heart’s condition, I lack expression. In our hectic lives in this chaotic world, we are distancing ourselves more and more from what we truly feel and believe in. Unfortunately, the yawning gap is growing larger; the silence is getting louder. We are inevitably becoming stoic, indifferent clones of one another. The art of self-expression is lost. Individuality and a substantial display of emotions, unheard of in today’s day and age. Yes, there are people who write songs, poems and books, people who give lectures and speeches and people who stand for causes they believe in, but even that has lost it’s authenticity in become a ‘profession’. How about simple expression, like acknowledgement of people who we appreciate, and sincerely so. Half the time we thank someone we are hardly ‘eternally grateful’ to them. Apologies are defined by a mere, curt “sorry”. Applause, a given after a performance, whether watched devotedly or not. Because we fear expression, and hide our fear, all in the garb of lack of time and looking ridiculous. In this immensely populated world, I’m sure there are people who in some corner of their hearts love their parents, value their friends, treasure their pets, honour their ideas, believe in their causes…but sadly, so few declare so. It’s all about being expressive and about understanding expressions. But so many of us fail in doing simply this. As Japanese proverb goes-“One kind word can warm three winter months”. Then why leave a kind word unsaid, a warm thought unspoken, when expression can make such an immense difference. An awkward question. A complicated answer. An embarrassing confession. An honest denial. A direct yes. A blunt no. An affectionate hello. A brusque goodbye. A genuine sorry. A Sincere thanks. Make the most of every moment. Leave nothing unsaid. Express Yourself.
By Avanti Gupta (10)
Innovation in Nursery Rhymes
Mary had a little lamb; its fleece was quite untainted,
But when Old McDonald had a farm, the poor old doctor fainted.
Wee Willy Winky rushed through the town,
Upstairs and downstairs in his nightgown.
Out came a policeman and put him under arrest,
So never come out at night unless you’re fully dressed.
Pat a cake Pat a cake Baker’s man,
Bake me a cake as fast as you can.
Take all the ingredients off the shelf,
“Go away”, said the Baker, “And make it yourself”.
Jackwa aur Jillwa gaye upar hilwa, pania bharne ke vasde, Jackwa gir gaya, unka khopadi phat gaya, aur Jillwa awat ludkan pura raste.
By Kunal Datta (9)
“I got married and had a sibling.”
Sameer Gujral in one of his creative writings
“I had ammonia”
Karishma Khanna…aanemia maybe?
“How do you draw an arthropoda?”
Arjun Bhalla’s exceptional command over biology.
“Anuva’s really fair. She must have excess white blood cells.”
Ashwat Sehgal’s even more exceptional command over biology.
“I can smell it because of my heightened sense of hearing.”
Akbar Iqbal…just when we thought, it couldn’t get any worse.
“I think I dream about Sara Chatterjee in my brains.”
What brains, Megha Rawla?
NO ONE’S GOING
TO READ THIS NYWAY...
You know how sometimes, you sit down to write something…but the pen doesn’t move, your mind doesn’t work, the ideas don’t come? This seems to be quite a routine problem with the members of the Editorial Board. And, having nothing else in mind, I chose to write about it. Because I have discovered the cause of this lack of mot vation. It’s YOU, my beloved readers. Magine being expected to write two to three articles for a single issue (with, of course the constant encouragement of our equally beloved editor) knowing that the only part of the newsletter that the students of Vasant Valley read is the Busted column And they have no excuse. The articles we spend days on end writing are, more often than not, interesting, funny, witty, original, insightful and profound. And those that aren’t are quite suitable for the dimmer sections of VVS. Quite frankly, I believe that there is something for everyone in our newsletter - for those who enjoy a light, fun-filled piece of work, those who are interested in current affairs, books, movies, music, sports - you name it, and it’s there. So what on earth could the problem be? Writing is the passion of most of the students on the Editorial Board. Why waste their talent, ruin their dreams, not make use of the gift that they possess? If you made a little effort, I’m sure you’d find something that could be of interest to you in the newsletter. And if not, you could always encircle all the grammatical errors that we’ve overlooked. Really, it’s fun. I do it all the time.
By Sara Chatterjee IX.B
Please forward all your suggestions and feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org. Feel free to contribute articles and reviews via this email id.
Anandini Rathore, Ashrika Kohli, Bhavik Singh,
Kunal Datta, Sara Chatterjee, Vanshika Wadhwa, Akbar Iqbal, Avanti Gupta, Diva Gujral,
Jahan Nargolwala, Mahi Titus, Soumya Dasgupta, Tarunima Prabhakar, Akanksha Chawla, Amba Kak,
Arushi Chak, Ria Sen, Saira dayal, Minhaj Adil,
Jaagriti Seth, Nakul Dev, Nivedita Venkateish,
Samad Ali, Saranya Misra
Sports Desk: Arjun Srihari
Editor: Svati Goyal