The Golden Statuette
As the Oscars approach and the stars of the glamour world are thrown into frenzy, the stark difference between the nominations of this year and the decades before are brought to light. In 1991, Julia Roberts was nominated for Best Actress in the movie Pretty Woman (note : a romantic comedy). Ten years later, in 2001, the nominations included the previously done-to-death genres of romance, comedy and tragic drama. However, in 2008, just seven years down the line, serious movies seem to have dominated the scene, with movies like “Into the Wild” a story of a man who tries to escape the chains of a dull life and hitchhikes to Alaska, where the people he meets change his life.
And its not just the Oscars. If you read the movie reviews in the newspaper, the ones with the highest ratings and the most gushing and appreciative reviews are the ones that address an underlining issue, like Taare Zameen Par, which brings to light social issues such as dyslexia. Movies that were once classified as “romantic comedies” have been labelled with a derogatory title - “chick flicks”.
Which raises a question, what happened to watching movies for entertainment? What happened to collapsing with laughter in the movie hall, tumbling out of your seat and hearing peals of laughter ring out as others around you did the same? What happened to watching a movie to relax, to get rid off all stress and tension in your life for those blessed three hours?
Argumentatively, the movies of nowadays do serve a higher purpose. Many situations and problems of the country, of an individual are made clearer to the general populace by the usage of such media, and patriotic movies like Chak De India certainly roused patriotic fervour into the hearts of the Indians like never before.
But shouldnt the purpose of the feature film be carried out in the making of such movies? The main purpose of a movie is to provide entertainment. And while movies like the aforementioned are incredibly enlightening, comedy as a genre in most mainstream movies seems to have died out completely.
We believe that there should be a balance in the film genres ruling the roost. Seriousness and drama and social/political/patriotic issues should be balanced out by those light Sunday-afternoon movies. And maybe in another decade or so a feature film with a balanced genre list will be winning that coveted golden statuette.
-Vani Shriya and Ramya Ahuja
It was the season of autumn. On a tree with dry, auburn leaves there was a poster saying, ‘WANTED”. A black and white picture was printed of a girl named, Udita Raghbeer. Her picture showed dark brown, shoulder-length hair and small eyes. Below it in thin, bold writing it said;
‘Udita is nine years old, born on 8th of September, 1998. She studies in Vasant Valley School in class 5-A. Her mother’s name is Anjali Raghbeer and she is an author, her father’s name is Pankaj Raghbeer and he’s a business man. Her sister’s name is Urvi Raghbeer; she studies in the same school in class 8. Udita’s dog’s name is Fudge.’
Next to her picture there was a black and white picture of him too. He had long ears and was a tri-colored Bassett Hound.
The poster also said that Udita loved animals, watching television, playing on the computer and eating sweet things. Her hobbies were Robotics, Piano, Tennis and Badminton. She disliked bitter medicines and sleeping late.
Udita is good at vocabulary and she can spot hidden things very easily. She knew the Z of every electronic item and could figure it out within minutes. But she does not focus and she is afraid of the dark. She was on cloud nine when she got her pet dog and wasn’t quite happy when she was ill in 2007 and missed school for two months. She really wants to win a subject in school and take part in many quizzes, plays and robotics.
“Do have any idea where to find her?” asked everyone. I popped out from behind the poster that I had made in Disney world and wiggled my fingers and said,
“That’s me!” -By Udita Raghbeer, 5-A
The Bhaiya and Didis have been here since the beginning. Although we’ve looked at them ONLY as the “bhaiyas” and “didis” I’m happy to say that now, they have a new identity-they’re parents of kids at our school. The other day, Mukesh Bhaiya, better known as the one who wins all those medals on sports day was distributing sweets because his young son had just got admission into Vasant Valley School. I thought I’d get Mukesh Bhaiya’s outlook on this whole thing:
A Best Friend
A best friend is someone you love
A best friend has come from above
A best friend stays in a struggle with you
A best friend will have something to do
Playing, playing and playing more
This is what you call a fun galore
Artworks and Projects you do together
In either bad or wonderful weather
Playing, playing and playing more
Like I said that is fun galore
If you don’t have a best friend too
You’ll get one fast
I tell you
But don’t buy friendship with
gifts and presents
Whether rich or a peasant
Have fun and be yourself
Like characters in books in your bookshelf
Remember to do this to your best friend
Fun, Fun and fun together
In either bad or wonderful weather
KAAMYA SHARMA 4B
The world is loaded with facts that will benefit no one, and yet they are fun to know. Here’s a list of ‘Lesser Known Facts’ that are totally worthless -
1. In every episode of Seinfeld, there is a Superman somewhere.
Wow, we have some serious Seinfeld-watching to do…
2. Coca-Cola was originally green.
A little strange, but hey! If you can have Pepsi Blue…
3. Every day more money is printed for Monopoly than the US Treasury.
Seriously? Too bad the stores don’t accept it!
4. No word in the English language rhymes with month, orange, silver, and purple. This IS actually pretty useful for those of you who have to write a poem for homework!
5. A snail can sleep for 3 years.
Clearly there’s not much on the social agenda…
(stay tuned for more completely useless trivia!)
Visit To The Psychology Ward
The Psychology students of class XII were taken on a very ‘special’ fieldtrip on the 29th of January 2008. The destination was the Psychiatric ward of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences. Once there, in a room which otherwise doubles up as a recreation room for the patients, we were given a presentation by a resident psychologist, Dr. Sharan. We were briefed about various psychological disorders, and found some very interesting if not startling facts. 25% of the world suffer from a mental disorder at some point in their lives. Which otherwise translates to every one in four people, which is indeed a disturbing statistic. It is indeed a whole new experience to think that the person sitting next to you could possibly suffer from depression, schizophrenia or any other disorder! We were also lectured on the pros of taking up psychology as a profession and were surprised to find out that although India has the same number of psychologists as a country like New Zealand, we are short by a large margin. A question and answer session followed in which an occupational psychologist told us about the various activities a patient in the ward engages in everyday. Dr. Sharan and his colleagues answered our questions patiently and then proceeded to take us on a tour of the ward. Although it was a very different experience, I could not help but feel that in some way we were intruding on the lives of so many people, who may not even want us there. Nevertheless, the visit did enlighten us on many aspects of mental disorders as well as sensitize us about people who suffer from these disorders.
- Soumya Dasgupta
A Little Too Much Monkey Business
It sparked off a debate that took two countries by storm. Tempers flared and people screamed, shouted and created a fuss. It was everywhere, the news channels, the radio; the newspapers- everyone was covering it like there was no tomorrow. It has threatened the relationship of two countries, with politicians getting involved as well. And it was all because one man MIGHT have uttered the word ‘monkey’.
It all started in early January this year, during a test match between India and Australia at the SCG (Sydney Cricket Ground). The umpiring had been horrendous and India had been on the receiving end of numerous poor decisions that may well have changed the outcome of a match in which India went on to lose after fighting bravely till the end. So as it was, tempers were at boiling point and all it needed was a spark to ignite the kind of fire that takes days to put out. And just that was found in the form of the Australian all rounder, Andrew Symonds allegedly being called a monkey by Indian spinner Harbhajan Singh. Shameless stuff, don’t you think? After all, did we not all in some way or the other evolve from monkeys, or, if you want me to be a little more technical, ape like beings?
So what’s the big deal? Off the top of my head, I can think of at least 20 more offensive words that he could have called him. I’m quite certain that if Symonds had been the one to ‘abuse’ Harbhajan and call him a monkey, we would have all been oblivious to this whole issue because he wouldn’t have taken it racially. Not to mention that with his fairly 'unique' hair-do and sunscreen, Symonds does resemble a monkey a little (not that there is anything wrong with that, of course).
In my opinion, it was all most likely a ploy to get Harbhajan angry and for him to retaliate, so that he could be banned from playing in the series. After all, he had caused them a world of problems in that match. Fortunately or unfortunately, whichever side you look at it from, it may have worked and part of the reason why he was dropped for the next match could have been this.
In today’s day and age people are constantly making mountains out of molehills. We’ve seen it happen for a variety of reasons including in the name of religion or for fifteen minutes of fame. This incident is no exception. It was blown completely out of proportion and the true colors of a lot of people were brought out. The Indian team, especially the captain, Anil Kumble handled it well and stood up for their team mate, and the BCCI acted correctly, for once. So even if Harbhajan did in fact use the M word on someone else, like most people on the planet have, and is punished, I think it is high time people around the world took a good, long, hard look at themselves. It is extremely disturbing that a minor incident like this can overshadow issues like starvation and hunger in the headlines of countries around the world!
Jodhaa - Akbar
If you’ve already read the other reviews for Jodhaa Akbar then, well, all I can say is don’t listen to them; because apart from one very vital component (which will be disclosed later) the movie actually was pretty much magnificent Granted it was historically inaccurate. And it was very, very long.
But the point is, most of India’s cinemagoers, don’t care about historical inaccuracy since most of the time they’re just going to see a movie to watch their favorite hero/heroine and talk about it for the next couple of days.
And criticize it or like it they definitely will be able to talk about it.
So the movie’s theme is pretty simple: Akbar, Akbar and more Akbar. Hrithik Roshan does a splendid job and would have been the star of the show had his co-star not been Aishwarya Rai. She actually puts up what I think is the best performance of her career. Together, they make you sit up whenever they’re on screen.
The movie otherwise is very, very gentle. Each scene takes its own time with a story of its own, and combined with the positively beautiful sets and intricate designs it becomes a feast to look at. AR Rahman compliments Turkish instruments (baglama, tar) with Indian tunes for music that sort of merges in with the scenes so that in the end the whole movie is something you’ve never seen before on Indian screens.
But that, I think, is exactly what the problem is.
The Indian audience (Including me) just doesn’t have the patience to sit through four hours of something we’ve never seen before. Through the first half you wait expectantly for each scene, bedazzled by the sword fights, the luxury, and the beauty of each monument shown in the movie. But very soon you get tired of listening to what happened to Akbar, since Jodha disappears sometime during the second half. The complicated dialogues become a bore to hear and the sword fights became incredibly predictable.
I’m not going to say anymore about how bad it was, because the truth is the movie itself wasn’t bad. It’s just the length that finally gets to you, making such a magnificent movie such bore.
Still, go watch Jodhaa Akbar, so that even if you don’t like it, like most of India’s population you can, you know, still talk about it
TO DO OR NOT TO DO
This year my family and I decided to be adventurous and go watch the republic day parade at the India Gate itself. The experience was tremendous and left me and my family full of patriotic sentiment. As we left the venue a lady came up to me and pinned a paper flag to my jacket and this only heightened my presently “highly patriotic mood”. I continued the day with the flag pinned to my jacket and at night, slipping the jacket off, I went to bed. Then, just yesterday, I happened to wear that jacket again and noticed the Indian paper flag still pinned onto it. I un-pinned it and was just about to throw it into the dustbin when I realized with a start that this would be utter disrespect towards our national flag. Slightly unsure of what to do I thought: of tearing it. But wouldn’t this too be a form of insolence to our flag? Eventually I realized that I couldn’t throw it, tear it, burn it, feed it to the dog, bury it, eat it and finally I gave up. My question to you is, what happens to all the flags that are printed on Independence Day, Republic Day, etc? Are people actually so conscientious that they have carefully put away every flag ever pinned onto them or presented to them or bought by them or are these flags contemptuously discarded? AND…WHAT SHOULD I DO WITH THAT PAPER FLAG THAT NOW LIES ON MY DESK?!
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- Avanti Gupta
Kartikeya Khanna: “Can I have one McChicken with no ice?”
…And a Coke without lettuce?
Vedika Berry: “Let’s get hungry!”
And miss out on the lovely McChicken with no ice?
Tanya Najhawan: “Why did you break the paper?”
Because I didn’t tear the window.
Tanya Najhawan: “I asked her and stole it.”
Aalika Peres: “What are you, the criminal police?”
Yes, and we’re looking for Tanya Najhawan.
The Book Trolley
1. The Twilight Saga - Stephenie Meyer
This series has become a craze amongst the girls of Class 8 and beyond. It consists of Twilight, New Moon and Eclipse, and centers on the forbidden love of a Vampire and a Mortal. The ups and downs of being a teenager combined with the added hassle of being… oh, in love with the thing you’re meant to EAT, gives us one of the most explosive horror romances ever written. With bloodlust and murderous vampires, revenge and international vampire policing, everlasting love and extreme jealousy, this is a roller coaster of pure excitement. Every girl should read this, even if only to fall in love with Edward Cullen, the perfect Vampire, and so should any boy brave enough to read one of the best series ever.
2. Airman - Eoin Colfer
Another spectacular novel from the best selling author of Artemis Fowl, Airman is based in the early 20th century period. Connor Broekhart was born flying. Literally. His father is a close associate of the King of a small country and his hero is Victor - an aeronaut, a genius, a swordsman, a spy. The story focuses on the betrayal and regicide of the king and his mentor with Connor being wrongfully blamed for both. Thrown into jail, he escapes by building a flying machine. The action scenes of this book are electrifying and as usual, it’s another brilliant storyline from the Irish author.
3. Wormwood - G. P. Taylor
A celestial tale fraught with terror, sorcery, treachery and supernatural strife, this story is not for the faint of heart. A book has been discovered, detailing a prophecy about the end of the world. A comet is hurtling towards the earth, fulfilling the first part of the prophecy. The question is, do the people on earth even WANT to know about the second part? And what does an angel fallen from grace have to do with it? Warning: This book seems so real that it has been known to give nightmares!
- Ayesha Malik
Mallika Pal, Ramya Ahuja, Suvira Chadha,
Tejasvita Singh, Vani Shriya, Vedika Berry,
Ayesha Malik, Devika Agrawal, Nikhil Pandhi,
Sanjana Malhotra, Tara Sen, Akbar Iqbal,
Avanti Gupta, Jahan Nargolwala, Mahi Titus,
Soumya Dasgupta, Tarunima Prabhakar
Editor: Diva Gujral