3rd September 2007

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The Spirit of Sixty

Three score years ago, we attained independence, and to mark this as a milestone in the history of our country, our school celebrated India 60 in full flow this August. With collages beautifying the school walls, corridors and alcoves, songs written by our very own students, stirring plays put up, and rangolis, posters and the like, the event was marked as a huge triumph. A well-portrayed play was performed by the students of class 10 and 12, and the same evening, the students of class 12 stayed back to embellish the school for the following morning, when we sang songs to wake up the Vasant Kunj neighbourhood to the fact that this was a day like no other. And, shall we say, we did more than succeed.
Akanksha Chawla, 12

Celebrating the spirit

School Watch

14th August - Israeli Medical First Aid Training Programme begins
16th August - Marketing Strategy Competition (XII)
20th August - Zone 20 Boys Bsketball and Lawn Tennis
22nd August - 5th South Delhi District Athletics - Zone-20 Inter School Soccer Tournament begins
27th August - VVS 4th Inter School Social Science Quiz
29th August - Drama Festival begins
- Class IX Chemistry Multimedia Competetion
30th August - Laissez Faire 2007

The Israeli Medical Program

10 hosts. 16 medical cadets. This was the beginning of an experience that none will ever forget. I was one of the hosts who volunteered to host two cadets for a period of three days, as well as interact with them for a week and a half. And not only I, but all the hosts, cadets as well as a few other students had never been through such an extraordinary time.
The first week was spent teaching the students of class 11 emergency first aid. From CPR on both adults and infants, to treating burns and fractures, those that paid attention were made aware of the procedures that may in future, save lives. After school hours, both hosts and cadets went all around Delhi. We visited the hustle and bustle of Dilli Haat as well as Connaught Place, and at the same time were enlightened in the peacefulness and tranquility of the Bahai Temple. One evening was spent at the Ambassador of Israel to India’s residence, and one at Mr. Kapur’s. We even went to Agra!
I know that I speak for all the hosts and cadets when I say that we have been through a time that has reached into our hearts and has created a bond not between two nations, but a group of kids who had a great time together. Kids, who within a matter of minutes had bonded as though they had known each other for years. Kids, who, even though spoke entirely different languages still laughed at each other’s jokes. Kids, who knew nothing of each other, but still confided in one another, and told each other things that they could tell no one else. I know that you people will be reading this with barely a flicker of emotion, but I know that I and my fellow hosts will always cherish these moments and remember these people as teachers, companions, and above everything else, friends.
-Jahan Adil Nargolwala, 11


Good Times

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A Moment Of Silence

”From somewhere within the pillars of power, you open your mouth to invoke a moment of our silence and we are all left speechless”
Is a moment enough to remember? This doubt was created in my mind after reading “A moment of silence”, a poem written by Emmanuel Ortiz on Sept 11 2002. But this poem wasn’t about September 11th, it was a reminder that the tragedies of our time raged long before it and continue on every day of the calendar that go by. A reminder, that the media may selectively silence the tragedies of our time, but the important thing is not to confine our awareness to their editing rooms. To still try and hear, look for the cries for help which surround us and most important of all, see the lessons they hold. The poet starts with a request for a moment of silence but his moment never ends, and consumes the poem itself. He takes you on this journey to see that a fleeting moment observed (often as an obligation) before we go on about our days making the same mistakes our ancestors did is in fact a “waste of time”. It is not the moment, but the memory that we must preserve. We celebrated Independence Day with fervor last week, celebrating the freedoms we hold dear and trying to find the links that bind us to our country. But let us all also remember that among the anthems we sing loud and proud, and the speeches and activity that surrounds us; a moment of silence is imperative. To make the freedom we celebrate real, the freedom to remember and, to learn. Ask your own questions, read this poem on wikipedia (“A mo ment of silence” on the Emmanuel Ortiz webpage) or stop by to the soft board in 12C.
Amba Kak 12

College versus Course

Getting into the college you want and getting the course you want is rare these days. The number of students vying to get into a college keep getting bigger, so do the reservations and unfortunately the options just keep getting smaller.
Gone are the days when you could ask an aspiring youngster what they want to become later in life and they would give you a straight answer. Now it’s become more like “I don’t know, I’m weighing my options” or “I’ll just take what I can get.” But this really shouldn’t be the case. If you want to do something, ridiculously high cut-offs shouldn’t stop you. Besides getting into the college of your dreams, you also have to consider what you’ll be doing while spending your time there. If the course you get just doesn’t interest you at all then why study it? Sure, when your résumé may read “graduated from St. Stephen’s college” there’s not much chance you would give it up for a silly little thing like the course of your choice. But what most people don’t see is that the course you take decides the direction your career will take.
In a poll conducted in school, 4 out of 5 students chose the college despite the course. But these days, the chances of getting into a good college are very slim, so there is really no point in subjecting yourself to a course you don’t want when the college isn’t even of a high standard. My verdict would be to go for a well known private college if you’re unable to get the course you want in a good govt. college. This way, you study what you want with only a slight compromise on standards and better sanitation as well.
Anandini Kumari 10


I jump off the submarine, not going under the royal deep blue blanket of the sea. I take in this wonderful site and the meticulous waves rolling into the bay. I see the twilight sky shining on the sea and the sun bright red glaring at it like a ripe and exotic fruit. Then I take this beautiful scenery and dive beneath the sea.
Under this blue blanket lay an exotic life species- fish, sharks, whales, coral, sea mollusks and a variety of sea shells. I print this memory in my mind, so that it stays there forever. A puffer fish swims past me and blows out fragile bubbles that gently ascend to the surface of the sea and pop as they arrive. I see crabs scuttling on corals, snapping their pincers; turtles swimming swiftly through the water. Porpoise dolphins going to the surface to take in a breath of fresh air and diving back into the water. I see dangerous, deadly jellyfish looking for prey, shy clownfish hiding in the anemones, sea snails with colourful patterns on their shells, squids and octopuses swimming calmly. A great white shark swims past me, with rows and rows of sharp, deadly teeth. Followed by it is a beautiful shoal of silver herrings. On the sea bed lie viper fish, electric eels, hatchet fish, gulper eels, tripod fish and angler fish. I thought there might be mermaids and sirens riding on golden and silver sea horses or maybe on saddled dugongs or manatees. While swimming up to the surface I see swordfish, barracudas, sting rays and sea snakes.
After my exciting, adventurous journey I climb back into the submarine and memorize this experience of a lifetime. You must have realized who I am by now….. but I shall tell you anyway. I am a SCUBA DIVER, who has just gone through the Pacific Ocean and returned with information about the beautiful sea….
- Sana S. Hassan VII - C


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The Simpsons Movie

Director: David Silverman
Cast: Dan Castallenata, Julie Kavner, Nancy Cartwright, Yeardley Smith, Hank Azaria
Green Day opens the film with the Simpsons theme song on Lake Springfield, but the lake is so polluted, their barge sinks and they are instantly dissolved. Lisa and her new Irish boyfriend Colin inform the people about the pollution in the lake a la Al Gore’s “Inconvenient Truth”, and for the first time in the series, they get through to the Springfielders and the lake is cleaned up.
Unfortunately, Homer and his pet pig pollute the lake with pig excrement and the Environmental Protection Agency (headed by Russ Cargill) seals Springfield in an unbreakable dome.
The Simpsons are exiled to Alaska and life improves for them. Later, in Washington, President Shwarzenegger (manipulated by Cargill) orders Springfield to be blown up to create a new Grand Canyon. Marge and the kids return home to save their town, but get captured and Homer becomes an Evel Knievel wannabe to save his family.
This is, simply, the longest and best episode EVER. It contains everything a Simpsons episode needs: political humour, pop culture references, chalkboard gag (I WILL NOT ILLEGALY DOWNLOAD THIS MOVIE), celebrity guests, and most important, Homer Jay Simpsons. The whole film plays like a regular episode of the beloved series, but has that “filmy” touch that makes it stand out. There are a few negative aspects of the film: cases of full nudity are just one of them. The film also has a complete list of characters: everyone from Troy McLure to Dr. Nick . In the end, this is a good family movie: for everyone from the die-hard Simpsons fans to parents who are looking for something they will not find in any other movie, for the Simpsons is truly a genre in itself.
Pranab Pant


With reference to the FREEDOM WRITERS Article (15th August Issue)
What is ‘Freedom Writers’ all about?
It is a movie about collective human triumph. It is an inspirational movie which focuses on under privileged students and how their teacher inspired them, gave them hope, helped them become better people and lead better lives.
So what if the teacher is a white woman and the students are Black/ Hispanic/ Asian? Yes, it may be a cliché, but would it make it better if the woman was black and her students all white? Well, that wasn’t what happened. Those who wish for the movie to be more ‘realistic’, carelessly forget that it is a true story and the movie strives (like any other inspired film) to stay ‘true’ to this story. Would more sadness and less joy make it a better movie? Does it honestly make it more satisfying if you can’t predict that the kids will eventually rise above their challenges?
A movie should be enjoyed for its message, not picked apart till nothing is left. To comment on Hilary Swank’s smile (and grimace) is a ridiculous way in which the bigger issues of the film are sidelined and are replaced by trivial issues which are made the center of every argument.
I would like to quote the first line of the article published in the 15th August issue: ‘The worst movie in 60 years’. This kind of exaggeration for the sake of sensation is typical of the intellectual arrogance and cynicism often displayed by youth today.
To those of you who had read the article in the 15th August issue, I say only this:
Go watch the movie. Make your own conclusions.
And don’t always believe everything you read in the papers.

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The Inheritance of being an
outdated listener

… A faint tune was playing in the background while I was writing this piece. An elegant, eloquent instrumental, maybe from the classics of one of Bollywood’s finest era- the 80’s. While the composers marvellously strummed a popular “Oh mere sona re” on their Sarod, the bass was a soft Carnatic raga that faintly echoed its presence through a Flute. Though this “jugalbandi” of instruments could easily have been called outdated by many, the fact is that all the current pieces of music that contain “vibe” and cause a ravishing trot of outrageous hip- shaking trace their roots to these old melodious classics.
Evolution has been gradual. It has been proven, that every species grows with certain characteristics of the ancestors of that particular Genus. Man for instance is an apt way to look at this balanced equilibrium of evolution. Each one of us is born with an individual identity but deep down inside, the blood running in our veins can be traced down distant generations of our families.
Similarly, the music we listen to today has been influenced in some or the other way by the past. A Veena has now taken the form of a Guitar that plays just the same notes, in a wider range of octaves to produce luring sounds that are capable of rocking concerts! Why then doesn’t the audience get driven into frenzy when a Veena or any other instrument (that shimmers in its antiquity) has effortlessly been played in an equally difficult composition of notes???
The answer- “Such instruments are outdated!”
Well, there may be many who still support the golden prevalence of these antique instruments; I too wouldn’t shudder to say I am part of those who do, but the fact remains that majority of the audiences prefer the newer, more modern instruments for some apparent reason unknown to me (even as I am trying to make up something…)
While many may argue, it all boils down to a matter of interests, may I ask why this interest for ancient Indian pieces has diminished to such a extent that people who listen to it religiously are looked down upon or are called “outdated listeners?”
Guys, if it wasn’t for these classical compositions, how would this new generation of “Aashiq- Banaya- Aapne” or “Shakalaka- Boom- Boom” or “Jhalak dikhala- ja” have evolved for that matter. (So Mr. Himesh Reshamiya, be thankful to the ancient composers of classical music for providing you a vivid selection of tunes to test your utterly nasal tone in…!)
PS1- this article has nothing to do with the fact that I am part of a secret classical music-promoting cult (Indian music specialisation).
Nikhil Pandhi

Soccer In Wales

We, Abhiveer Arjun (6A) and Abhiraj Arjun (5C) as part of The Simla Youngs Football Club (New Delhi) went to Wales U.K. to participate in the 23rd Welsh International Super Cup- formally known as Ian Rush Tournament (
Teams from around the world participated in this premier super cup, which attracts many Premiership football scouts in the search for the future stars of the game. In the past, years players such as Michael Owen, Shay Given, Steve Gerrard, Mark Delaney, Robbie Fowler, Dieter Hamann, Andriy Shevchenko, Tomas Rosicky have all played at this annual event and gone on to achieve great accolades in the game.
This one-week tournament was truly a memorable one and provided the Simla Youngs team invaluable exposure and experience of international stature.
Abhiveer Arjun and Abhiraj Arjun

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Football’s coming back

It’s here again. Those days where you wait the whole week just to watch 22 men trying their hardest to kick a ball into two opposite nets while making sure the man running behind them with those coloured cards in his pocket decides not to wave them in their direction. The premiership is back for another season.
So, what exactly is it that makes us sit in front of the television, following our favourite team’s week in, week out shouting and screaming till the end? I have no idea. I just end up sitting there each and every time, no exception whatsoever. It’s become an obsession; a way of life. The three months without it are long and tedious with very little to look forward to. But when it begins the action comes thick and fast. There are few greater delights than watching Manchester United (there’s no team better) bombarding forward banging in goals left, right and centre. That sort of thing really changes your opinion of the week ahead, and how it’s going to plan out. There is no better feeling than watching your team beat a rival. However, watching your team lose to one makes you begin to wish you had sat this match out even though you know that would never happen.
So when people ask me why I like the game so much and that I should ‘get a life’. I reply by telling them that I don’t know why I like it, and that I do have a life. Just not during football season. I don’t care though. As long as Man U keeps winning, I’m happy.
-Akbar Iqbal

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How I wish Facebook
would die

I remember very clearly the first time one of my friends showed me Facebook. He went online, showed me his list of friends, the various groups he was in, and how everyone was seamlessly connected to each other. Being a veteran internet-user (as we all are) I wasn’t particularly interested in it. What could be gained by it apart from perhaps a negligent self-esteem boost and superficial contact with friends forgotten?
The marvel which we know as Facebook is a social networking site (for the few lucky people who still dont know) which can connect anyone to everyone through pictures, profiles, cute little applications, and whatever else you can think of, providing a glimpse (yes, just a tiny glimpse) into peoples lives. I can just imagine people sitting on their computers, checking their “FACEBOOK” to see if anyone has added them, or written on their ‘wall’, for hours on end. To what purpose? So that people can fool themselves into believing they’ve made friends with new people? So that they can create a virtual personality which doesn’t exist? What happened to the days where people used to actually meet, plan, and communicate in real life?
In my view, people are interesting because we don’t know everything about them. The surprising things, the hidden stories, are what make people fascinating. For example, if I see a person down a street and recognize him from Facebook, I can probably tell what he did yesterday, what movies he likes, and who his friends are, etc. People unnecessarily display their whole lives on Facebook, including extensive photo albums of themselves. What’s more, Google now shows results of people’s Facebook accounts. Surely it’s a stalkers paradise? If that doesn’t scare you, then you’ve already become uninteresting.
I believed Facebook would die out in a couple of years, like everything else. However, it hasn’t happened. Record numbers of people are signing up, and becoming, by my lights, more uninteresting day by day. While I admit that Facebook is certainly a good tool to remain in touch, for discussions and groups, that for me that is where its utility ends. Parading ones personal lives for everyone to see is not on. Getting to know strangers virtually is not on. What is the point of this article? I detest Facebook, I really do and, and as far as I’m concerned, if you had any sense you would follow suit.
- by Dhritiman Murti

The Tyranny of Corporate Media

As Authoritarian rule slowly dies world wide and dictators cease to exist, as Pakistan prepares for elections power hungry individuals have recreated power in a new avatar. The lay mans totalitarian dictator is now the interviewer on their local news channel. The media has taken over as the dictator in our democratic setup. So believes Nobel Laureate Noam Chomsky, whose speeches have been compiled in short yet heavy book named Media Control. Chomsky is the balancing force of negative propaganda. In a world where liberalism has gained firmer ground than before, the shrewd power seeker knows he/she cannot have complete political control. Consequently he/she devises a corporate net whereby he plays not with laws and rules but something far more powerful, human sentiments. The corporate media has eaten into our neutral lives, the press and all the news channels owned by corporate profit motivated firms are hell-bent on selling and creating a conducive environment to sell.
Unlike Victor Davis Hanson, a fierce critic of Chomsky’s work, I believe that public sensibility doesn’t allow itself to see beyond the propaganda. Individually the ego may have the intellectual capability to read between the lines and not allow ‘manufactured consent’, but while put into a wider public context the individual tends to follow, or get swept into the ‘mob mentality’. Thus the individual mind might not be in agreement with what the media is displaying, he tends not to express his viewpoint on a public domain to counter the propaganda forces. It is time we took into account our individual sensibility, before we create a monster that engulfs our intellect. Rise Indian masses and face reality, it is time the media learnt their limits.
-Shaman Marya, 12

Interview with Nikhilesh Chand

Tell us something about your life after school.
Well, I was in St. Stephen doing chem. hnours till 2005. Then I moved to Trinity College on the Rajiv Gandhi Scholarship. I would now be leaving for Harvard to pursue a P.H.D. in the field of molecular and cellular biology.

How was school life?
School life was fun and there was lesser stress.

What do you miss about it?
I miss playing in the field.

Is there something startlingly different in the school?
I haven’t been around much but there are school buses now and there are new rooms.

Last word on the school
Students should focus on what they like and work hard. If you do that, everything falls in place.

As told to Tarunima Prabhakar and Avanti Gupta

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A Dozen Reasons…
Why F1 is like Star Trek.

1) Both seek out strange new worlds and civilizations.
2) Most people in the shows seem to be obsessed with hand held gadgets.
3) While the main set features state of the art facilities, it doesn’t appear to have any toilets.
4) People better paid than you delight in blowing up the kit.
5) Women are only allowed on deck if wearing really skimpy clothing.
6) To signify a comprehensive change of character, one simply grows a beard.
7) …And anyone with a beard is naturally evil.
8) If you look closely, you can tell that the paddock is made of Balsa wood and held together with scotch tape.
9) Whenever the show appears doomed, a last minute solution miraculously appears.
10) Beware good looking people… They’re trying to eat your brain.
11) Everyone’s expected to speak English, even cultures previously never encountered.
12) After a while, all the locations start to look the same.
-Jahan Adil Nargolwala. 11


“So what? Even I can get into LSR!”- Jahan Nargolwala
We always had our doubts…
“My father banged the wall on my head.”- Alaap Gandhi
Your daddy strongest?
“I fell from the first floor to the second floor.”- Siddhanth Aggarwal
Rather like McCavity the mystery cat, wouldn’t you say?
“Ghanshyaam got married and had a sibling.”- Sameer Gujral
“I’m the reason for your failness.”- Megha Rawla
You’re the reason for the Busted column’s successness.
Teacher- You should pursue an acting career in Bombay.
Naushera- No, I don’t want to go outside India.
I rather hope this wasn’t a geography class.
“Has Shivaan’s tutor ever slaps him?”- Alaap Gandhi
I can asks him for you if you wants.

Please forward all your suggestions and feedback to Feel free to contribute articles and reviews via this email id.

Rap and Roll
By Shaman Marya

Most Parents in the 21st century fear their child adopting a way of life that we refer to as ‘Hip Hop’. Laced with profanities and bubbling with vulgarity is the image of a rebellious drug addict on MTV ‘spittin’ rhymes. In the late ‘80s the famous and infamous rap group Public Enemy screamed Fight the Power into their microphones awakening a generation to ‘Rhythm and Poetry’. Soon enough emerging groups adopted this way of life, khaki suits, African Power, blings and guns. The street soldiers had now taken to music, but what made them different? It was their approach; they no longer wanted to approach things in the subtle Rock and Roll way. No ‘Walls’ or ‘Doors’ shouting for peace using subtle lyrics with 15 minute guitar solo’s it was a direct in your face frustration outlet. They were different; they were perfect in their imperfection. The ‘90s brought a new breed of rap artists. NWA’s Ice Cube’s, DOC’s or Snoop D.O double G’s made street wars not about territories but about their musical careers. The wars expanded, it became East v/s West, which ended on September the 13th 1996 with a blood splattered Tupac Shakur and his faded ‘Thug Life’ tattoo, as a reminder of what he stood for.
Why is it that somewhere down the line the upcoming generation tunes into such a criticized art form? I agree Rap may not have the best use of language, but then again neither did Jim Morrison, or his infinite hippie contemporaries. What makes parents cringe when they see Marshal Mathers appear on screen? It is easy to dismiss rap as an art form of the lowly profane miser. Mine is a plea to understand the circumstances where these rebels come from. Born into public housing and raised on drugs guns and sleaze, they have an urge to scream their plight. What is sad though is that the message seems to be lost, in the words of rap artist Nas ‘Hip Hop is deceased’. Now 50 Cent and his G Unit buddies only seem to think about vulgarity, in order to sell. Rap of the late 1980’s up till the late 90’s stood for a lot. An entire social struggle had found a voice through these artists. They had their conflicts within their world, their unorganized rebellion turned into a platform to wail about their miseries. As rap slowly turns into a monster of absolute senselessness I took some time to understand its transition. I realized that it died as fast as it came, a meaningful political struggle against racism and inequality buried somewhere in time. It was a jewel of an opportunity, to give a voice to the infinite struggling African Americans but it died at the hands of monetary greed. I would like to end in the words of slain rap artist, actor, poet and novelist Tupac Shakur, the person to whom I owe my respect for rap music. It is an excerpt from a song called Don’t Stop, written in response to the late African American politician C. Dolores Tucker, who made an attempt to ban rap music.
“If I wasn’t spittin, it would be prison or death
This rap game all we got left
So try to comprehend where we coming from
We’re trying to unify, brothers on the rise
And we can’t stop” EDITORIAL BOARD
Ayesha Malik, Devika Agrawal, Nikhil Pandhi, Sanjana Malhotra, Arushi Kumar, Meghna Mann,
Sara Chatterjee, Rhea Sadh, Bhavik Singh, Kunal Datta, Vanshika Wadhwa, Akbar Iqbal,
Avanti Gupta, Soumya Dasgupta, Jahan Adil Nargolwala, Diva Gujral, Tarunima Prabhakar, Mahi Titus, Amba Kak, Arjun Bajaj, Dhritiman Murti, Praavita Kashyap, Ujwalla Bhandari, Shaman Marya, Ria Sen

Editorial Board:

Ayesha Malik, Devika Agrawal, Nikhil Pandhi, Sanjana Malhotra, Sara Chatterjee, Rhea Sadh, Kunal Datta , Vanshika Wadhwa, Bhavik Singh, Jahan Nargolwala, Soumya Dasgupta, Diva Gujral, Tarunima Prabhakar, Avanti Gupta, Amba Kak, Arjun Bajaj, Dhritiman Murti, Praavita Kashyap, Ujwalla Bhandari, Shaman Marya, Ria Sen
Editor: Akanksha Chawla