E : Exceeded Expectations
(Class 8 Camp)
This year’s camp wasn’t so much as an adventure as it was a wild unison- a chance for us to go crazy, together. Being the disruptive batch that we are, we just couldn’t resist- the white, sandy beaches, the endless river, it all seemed a little too perfect for our liking. The place had it’s own personal touches, such as the good-humoured camp instructors , the running hot water in the bathrooms and the mirrors inside the tents. And when things got a little too strenuous for us, we could always go to the Resort and have a dip in the pool or play a relaxing game of water polo. Along with having the time of our lives, we also learnt some very valuable lessons, such as a special helmet was made for Brad Pitt when went rafting here, the lyrics to Tokyo Drift are actually ‘Drift, Drift, Drift’ not ‘Dip, Dip, Dip’ (as we thought- a startling discovery), and that boys will cry if you pull their hair too hard. We also learnt that the Hindi way of saying ‘Forgive me’ is ‘Kshama Kijiye’, river water gives you a free perm and Maggi Sauces- are different. With innocent smiles plastered on our faces, we took complete advantage of our teachers, wetting, teasing and annoying them to the limit. At night, we’d scream at our adjacent tent until our voices were hoarse, stole oil lamps from where they belonged (because we’re so cool) and planned to play pranks on everybody else (such as the classic ‘finger-in-glass-of-water’) but never ended up doing it, because we got tired from all the excitement of our ingenious plot. At the end of it all- I have to admit, despite our preconceived notions, camp really did live up to our expectations. And trust me, our expectations were very, very high.
Mallika Pal, Class 8
Well, this year’s camp for us was nothing like the ones before… for many reasons. As you read on, you shall perhaps notice why Camp Purple was simply different (the camp wasn’t really purple, only the dustbins were!!).
Hmm…. so we were around seventy of us, hoarded with humungous suitcases and bags. Our heterogeneous cavalcade, made its way like gracious loyalty toward the platform from where we were to board. But soon (predictably enough) we succumbed to boredom as our enthusiasm was reduced to pulp when there was no sign of our train for miles. Yet, as they say every cloud has a silver lining, and so the train made it somehow and we jumped into the bogies making the scene seem no less than one possibly seen when a striking model makes a riveting appearance on stage!
Many were crippled, many were hurt…but by the time we settled in for the night, groans filled the air as our impressionable minds saw what Indian railway stations, or trains for that matter, really are. An enraged lady barged into our compartment, and forced us to vacate our seats. We did so; more out of pity for the woman (who was having serious palpitations and may have collapsed at any time). But the woman was an evil one! Seeing that we had made room, she summoned her friend who came pushing her way through and hauled her suitcase onto my head…
….Days passed, we continued doing the things we usually do at camp. But everything changed the night we did levitation. We had already been telling each other grotesque ghost stories, so the whole levitation event was like icing on the cake. That night, the moon had adorned a cheesy hue; some of our peers were led into a garden of some sort, on a higher altitude. They had already been gone for what felt like a few hours, and all we heard were piercing screams. As the people returned from levitation one by one, they all seemed to be “possessed by Rukmani’s soul”. Out of the blue, someone came out flapping his hands and acting (rather horribly), terrifying many who had not levitated. Supposedly, Rajan and Rukmani had possessed the souls of those who had levitated. It was during this time that we noticed how prominent the teachers’ alter egos were. Many of them even resorted to physical harm to prove that they were “possessed”!
Nikhil Pandhi & Sanjana Malhotra Class 9
Camp, a serious and
Camp, for most people is just a word. But for ninety students of class 10, the word is enough to make us jump with joy, go all squeamish inside and “cry” when it rains.
This time camp was, simply put, OUTSTANDING. We left as the sun set on the 5th of March and rumbled along in the train until we reached Haridwar early the next morning. After that it was a two hour drive up to the Shivpuri forest camp where we unloaded our clothes into amazingly florescent bin bags and changed into our rafting gear. As we sat in our rafts, eagerly awaiting the first rapid, we were told that for the first day, there were going to be none. This might dampen the liveliest spirit, but this was camp, and we took it in full stride as we sang our way to the first camp.
The first night we slept soundly in the pre-made tents that we were so used to and awoke early next morning to begin our rafting. We were expecting a quiet, peaceful night but when we say the campsite we realized it wasn’t to be. There were no tents set up and no bathrooms to use. Our guide called it “survival night” but to us it was more like our doom. Temporary tents were made by tilting our rafts to one side and covering it with plastic sheets to stop us getting wet. The bathrooms were about a two minute walk away and were, basically, holes in the ground. However, surprisingly, the night was great fun, and as we slept under the stars and stepped on the ashes of the bonfire, we realized that we actually enjoyed it.
So we awoke the next morning ready for our big day of rafting and the rapids ahead of us. We soon found out that we were to embark on a journey over “Daniel’s dip.” As we paddled hard, trying not to capsize we were met by a rock face and, well, it seemed like Doomsville was near. However we suddenly turned and crashed into the water sending waves over our head and soaking us. So, after fifteen minutes we were told to stop on a bank and were confronted with the most exciting, anticipated rapid in the history of our school. The “WALL” is probably the most hyped section of a river to ever exist, and as we say our kayaker flipped over a total of six times, we understood why. Before us, two rapids capsized and as we went through, eyes gleaming with anticipation, we came out completely dry. We were amazed to not have a single drop of water on us and slightly disappointed as well. As we came to the end, it dawned upon us that it was all over and as we boarded the bus to base camp, and then the bus to Haridwar and the train home we realized that the worst part about camp was it having to end.
Bhavik Singh. 10-B
Sitting on the centre steps for the last time before our camp departure we realised that it was something we were attached to and yet we had the unmistakable signs of a mixed reaction. This was probably to do with the fact that it was going to be a non-rafting camp; it wasn’t tried and tested by our reliable seniors and we had so many expectations from this last and final installment of the trips we’ve been on since class 4.
The feelings intensified as we reached our alleged campsite.
“Um, hello? Isn’t it a little bit on the road?
“This campsite sucks yaar.”
“THIS is our last camp?”
The above lines are extracts from an array of disappointed conversations that immediately sparked. But then came something to confuse us a little more and possibly (hopefully) change our minds. A shrill whistle blew three times.
“ My name is Rocky. You can call me Rocky, Sir, Your Highness or anything of that sort. I’m going to be your camp instructor.”
We couldn’t help but smile. His Highness Mr. Rocky started to give instructions in a style that immediately diverted our thoughts from the campsite. He managed to make us laugh involuntarily which (for our batch!) is a rather large feat. Though the criticism continued, it became more or less sporadic because all of us were intent on having fun. Most class 12 students felt the activities weren’t ‘challenging’ enough (“Even the escapades were tougher!), but just the fact that we were together for the last time like this was enough to make us all enjoy to the fullest. Of course all the valuable time spent doing funny and foolish things that we’ll probably always remember made the experience an unforgettable one.
Besides doing Flying Fox, River Crossing, Burma Bridge and Rappelling, which we’ve done many times before, we did THE trek. Though people may argue that we’ve also been on innumerable treks, there has never been one like this. THE trek happened to be a beautiful 6 kilometer trudge, which led us roughly 50 meters above our campsite. Despite the foolishness we all felt, there were moments of victory and greatness that were priceless. Also you could see us precariously balancing off mountain ledges with backpacks approximately one fourth our weight. Okay, maybe that is a slight exaggeration. But those backpacks were insanely heavy. We cribbed (“I really think I’m going to die doing this. Tell my mother I love her”), we panted but we loved every moment of it. Well, in the larger sense. That night we cooked our own food (Shiv Saini and Ritwija’s daal deserves a special mention!), brought our own firewood, washed our own plates with water we had carried, and basically felt exhilarated and self sufficient.
With a breathtaking view of snowcapped mountains, pink cherry blossom trees and lush green valleys, our last camp may not have been all we ever wanted, but was memorable in an unusual way.
As we arrived four days later at Delhi, tired, sad and nostalgic; things had changed a bit. There was only one reaction ‘I miss camp already yaar.’
Shaman Marya & Ujwalla Bhandari XII
The final trip
“He looks like one of the characteristics from Honeymoon Travels.”
So what the are characters that those kind of people have, Arushi?
“Why are you so self-obsessed with my face?”
Sara: Is Megha with you?
Megha Rawla: Which one?
The one with the functional brain, surely.
Meghna: The cockroaches can fly here!
Arushi: They’re called fish Meghna.
Yes, Arushi, and the things that swim in the sea are butterflies.
Viraj Shastri: When you wash your hair, put a shower cap on.
We really should try the same sometime.
Harkirat Badal: When I wear these shorts it makes me feel like a shirt.
So when you where socks do you feel like a heel?
Nirbhay Bakshi: I saw the Sadhu wearing naked clothes.
Yes, they do have an annoying habit of doing that, Nirbhay.
Teesta Bhandare: Ady’s so dumb he spells dumb like D-U-M-B!
Teesta! How could you forget the spelling of your most prominent characteristic?!
Sumer Kandhari: Nikhil and I are going to play a solo together.
Yes, Sumer, just like I’m going to sing a duet all by myself!
Arushi Kesar: She fractured my foot.
Archit Khandpur: Netherlands beat the Dutch.
Oh that’s really bad, Archit! Do you know if India beat the Indians??
Navraj Singh: What’s the spelling of NBA?
Babek Sawhney: Let me think.
Try the spelling of “really smart?”
Ratan Dhawan: I’ll kill you if you die!
We'll join you, Ratan.
Comments by Ayesha Malik and Akanksha Chawla
Please forward all your suggestions and feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org. Feel free to contribute articles and reviews via this email id.
It Happens Only In VVS!
We chanced to put together all the whacky moments that added the INSANITY factor to our lives (or, well, the lives of the utterly bored batch of 2008, anyway) and came across the following highlights which don’t hold the promise of fading away. In the next few years, anyway. Or heck, make that forever,
1. While Akanksha Chawla, our beloved editor was calmly crossing the depressing hallway of class 12, three eager young lads, Varun Sood, Aman Singh and Ritwik Bhattacharya descended upon her and forewarned her not to roam around sweater-less because apparently it wasn’t ‘safe’ anymore... We pondered over what the sinister prediction meant but left it thinking that it was one of the crazy things that one cannot comprehend in this lifetime. And for good reason, really.
2. In 2005, Shaman Marya (the one and the only) came up with a unique and never-seen before zany dance... Donning his wreath, made of shiny paper clips, he vigorously danced to the beat of his silent song. The “Caesar dance”, he called it. Sigh. It sure broke the monotony of class 10 for a fleeting moment. A rather refreshing break...
3. Some hungry, rather famished souls rummaged into a smart alec’s bag and chanced upon a treasure trove of food...glorious food!!! A TIFFIN! Ahh, how they eagerly awaited the delicious grub. They put morsels of the food in their hungry mouths and chocked on DOG FOOD!!! Yes, an ingenious way to deter the Tiffin thieves. Note to self-keep in mind for the future.
4. How many afternoons have whizzed passed whereby one watches weird videos all day?? Well, now the notorious site has a VVS connection. Our batch and their rib-tickling videos are worth the wait! Fantastic stuff...
5. Early in the morning...it’s the usual lot, stuck to the desk, notebook in hand and pen furiously racing across reams of paper...COPYING! The hoards of children upholding their bibles...the books they copy off. Some things never change...
By-Ria Sen and Akanksha Chawla, 12
Movie Report: Freedom Writers
Following the Rodney King race riots of 1992 in California, the US government started an education integration program. that integrated people of all strata of society in the class rooms of public high schools. This led to a 75% drop out rate of white kids who felt ‘insecure’ in the company of African American, Asian and Hispanic children. Freedom Writers starts in 1994 with a new freshman and sophomore year teacher called Erin Grueller. Erin at first faces racial violence in the classroom; after conquering that she must face tribulations from the authorities. Finally after raising the money and permission, she managed to fund trips and books for her students, but faced a much lager problem. She had to help the numerous children to conquer self doubt and moral issues, some even relating to law and order. With a spectacular performance by Hillary Swank as Erin Grueller, Freedom Writers captivates the viewer. With a powerful message and apt music the true story of Erin Grueller and the Freedom Writers is an inspiring one, narrated beautifully by director Richard LaGravenese. Freedom Writers opens our minds to a completely new view of racism and gang violence.
Shaman Marya, 12
Ayesha Malik, Devika Agrawal, Nikhil Pandhi, Sanjana Malhotra, Arushi Kumar, Meghna Mann, Sara Chatterjee, Rhea Sadh, Kunal Datta,
Vanshika Wadhwa, Bhavik Singh, Amba Kak,
Arjun Bajaj, Dhritiman Murti, Praavita Kashyap, Ujwalla Bhandari, Shaman Marya, Ria Sen
Editor: Akanksha Chawla