February, 2009

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Tech Fest Results :

Gaming Competition
6 to 8 - Ahaan Karha / 9 to 12 - Shamim Nooreyezdan 

Digital Imaging
6 to 8 - Sanah Devika Rao / 9 to 12 - Mira Rajput  

Technology Quiz
6 to 8 - Yellow House - Ojasvi Goel, Pranay Rai and Anant S. Thockchom    
9 to 12 - Blue House - Bhavik Singh,Amer Vaid and Anahitaa Bakshi

Result of Hindi Samvaad Lekhan Pratiyogita (Dialogue Writing Competition)
Class 6 : Manya Tandon  / Class 7 : Shubham
Class 8 : Aashitha Jeet 

Result of Poem Writing Competition in Hindi
Class 6 : Ishita  Agarwal, Arushi Sahai    
Class 7 : Indraneel Roy
Class 8 : Anjini Gupta and Naman jain
Class 9 : Vandita Khanna
Class10 : Aakarshita Dhawan 

- VVS played the Shri Ram School Basketball Tournament where they won two out of the three matches the playe
- Inter House Sub Junior Cricket Finals Match,    Yellow House beat Blue house by 67 runs
- 48th Delhi State Gymnastics Competition 2009 10 years (Girls) won 2nd place, under 14 (Girls) won 1st place
- Inter House Basketball Finals took place, Red House won and Dipika Titus was declared ‘best player’ 

Debate / Quiz
February Maths Quiz (3-5)
1st Ayaan Sagar, 2nd Kanishk Ali Khanna, 3rd Nikita Dhawan
English Loud Reading (5)
1st Sama Kasliwal & Kamya Srivatsa
2nd Kamya Sharma, 3rd Zoya Singh

Students at the Village

“This is a modern village, my dear baby!”

Anangpur is a small village, population 10,000 on the periphery of Delhi. Built by the Tomar king Anangpal, the village is one of the oldest in North India. However, despite being one of the oldest, this village is certainly not backward, insist the members of the Panchayat. The humanities students of Class 12 were fortunate enough to visit this extraordinary village, which has managed to maintain a perfect equilibrium between traditional and contemporary ideals.
Our first stop was Surajkund, a once reservoir fed by channels from the Yamuna river, which was now desolate and dried up. The Archaeological Survey of India, despite many efforts has been unable to revive the channels, which were once a lifeline as well as a religiously significant for the thriving civilization that once inhabited the area. The coming up of various towns, and development in the area (so to say) is what has blocked the channels and has reduced Surajkund to a mere picnic spot. We seem to think that being environmentally callous will not affect us in the immediate future, however today we saw an immediate consequence of unplanned development. The villagers, in fact were more sensitive to the environment than us “educated” people. The floors of houses were layered with cow dung, which is a natural disinfectant, annihilating the need for the chemicals we use to keep our houses clean. Rather than detergents, the villagers use natural alternatives, which help prevent diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Viral and Tuberculosis. Perhaps this what instigated a member of the Panchayat to state, “Gaon Sheher se accha hai!”
The village facilities include 3 schools and 2 hospitals and an impeccable system of law and order. In fact, most of the issues in the village are sorted out amongst this close-knit community under the supervision of the respected elders. For example, the previous night, an incident occurred in the village where guests of a party had a drink too many and hit a lady of the village. The Panchayat was busy sorting out this chaos when we requested a few minutes of their time. When asked if this system of moral judgment was in any way biased, the elders replied, “We have watched these people grow up. They cannot lie to us. Besides, we make them swear by the Sun God and Gangajal that they are telling the truth.” When asked whether their foolproof system was subject to any corruption, a Panch comically added, “Corruption is all over India, baby!” He insisted that despite our preconceived notions, the village was, in fact modern. I smiled to myself as I heard this statement, for moments before he had said that women were not allowed to attend the Panchayat.
Our final stop was one of the three schools of Anangpur, where we had the opportunity to interact with the teachers as well as the students. We asked Ms. Vats, a member of a non-profit organization called Itihas who accompanied us, if we could teach the children at the school. She smiled and said, “Maybe they could teach you something.” And she was right. These children have grown up with inherent morals and values which are not taught, yet are passed on from generation to generation. The children were confident and didn’t hesitate to interact with us. I was personally glad to see more girls than boys at this particular school.
The village of Anangpur truly is extraordinary. Residents allowed all 40 of us to invade their homes, which shows us there is no dearth of congeniality in these people. They accept the word of the elders without questioning their decisions. They have mutual respect for each other. They care about each other, and the perception of their beloved village in the eye of an outsider. At the end of the day, the one thing I did learn is that we, as a society have a lot to learn.
Rhea Sadh,12-C

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The Class III Artists

The class III children participated in the art exhibition organized by a groupcalled “A World Through Art” that works for peace. Last year the children made paintings for the theme “Colours from Many Lands”. They selected forty paintings that were then sent to be exhibited in Thailand Ipsha Raj's work was selected and used as a picture for a calendar as well as a card.
Well done Class- III !!!

Living Things

ou, me, we are all Living Things
We breathe, we grow, we run, we play-
We do fun things!
I love to see colourful flowers and butterflies
I love to pet animals
I wish I could fly…….
But I thank God for this beautiful world!
Spenta Jassawala IV- A

I enjoyed the tractor ride. On the tractor ride I saw many things. I saw buffaloes, cows and camels. I liked the mud huts, they looked very neat. I learnt how important water is to the crops. I also learnt never to waste water. I enjoyed looking at the plants.
Aditya Prashar II- C

Beauty, the kingfisher

I’m blue and orange. I sit near a water body and catch fish. I always wish that someday I can fly into space and get home a star. When night comes I go to my beautiful nest.. I live with my parents, my sister, Isabella and my pet squirrel, Bella. Bella and I love to fly to the forest for picking flowers for my parents- Tarrisa and David. Bella sits on my back and I fly. Don’t you think my life is fun!!!
Manya Kapur III- C

Old is Gold

Last week the children of class 5 were taken to visit an old age home. It is a home for the elderly people, who have no family or homes of their own. Is it really possible that helpless old people are abandoned? Yes, it is and this old age home proved it. Elderly people were everywhere. Some were reading the newspaper while others were playing carrom. Some were lost in their thoughts and there were some, who were laughing together. In spite of all the broken window panes, cracked walls, tiny spaces, at least they all had shelter and they were company for each other. The older people in my family are gold for me and I will never abandon them in an old age home. I will look after them always and keep them with me wherever I live.
Savar Kapur V-B

Laugh it off!!!

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When the brother and sister in Ujjain were beaten up because the vigilantes mistook them for a couple, did you laugh - or did you cry? - Nisha Susan, founding member of the Loose, Forward and Pub-Going Women Group. It was in the Indian Express that I first read, with delight, of the Pink Chaddi Campaign, and it was my dear friend Kshitij Sharan who first told me of the Pub Bharo Aandolan. Although I have yet to send a pair of chaddis to Pramod Muthalik, and I was not to be found in any pub on Valentine’s Day, my heart was in complete agreement with the movement against the Moral Police.
For those of you who never read the papers, following the incident at a Mangalore pub earlier this month, in which members of the Ram Sene beat up and molested a group of girls; women – and men – all over India – and the rest of the world! – have come to gether in protest.
The Pink Chaddi Campaign kicked off on 5 February 2009 to oppose the Sri Ram Sene. The campaign is growing exponentially (44,324 members at this point in the life of our Consortium of Pub-going, Loose and Forward Women) . The idea was to get people from all over India to send symbolic pink underwear to The Ram Sene leaders .
In response, the Ram Sene recently claimed it would send pink saris “with love” to each of the chaddi senders. The idea has been well received by the campaigners who appreciate the fact that Muthalik has finally decided to resort to non-violent methods to get his point across after the brutality of the attacks on lovers and women in Mangalore and other parts of Karnataka.
A lot of people don’t understand the point of the Pink Chaddi Campaign. They claim that although they are not fanatics, they don’t like Valentine’s Day and do not approve of pub culture. However, what is so special about this Campaign is that most members are not fans of conspicuous consumptions or pubs themselves! What they all have in common is that they dislike the ease with which right-wing groups have been infringing on our fundamental rights.
Personally, I consider myself neither Loose nor Forward and I would not be caught dead in a pub even if I weren’t underage. But all the same, I’ll defend the rights of all women to act the way they like in a country that boasts of being modern, and yet rooted in tradition. Is it not part of Indian culture to be infused with ideas of tolerance and respect for different ways of life?
Perhaps Nisha Susan’s quote, with which I have opened this article, sums up best what I’ve been trying to say in five hundred odd words. The Moral Policing that Indian women in Karnataka are victims of is not only brutal, perverted, irrelevant , it is also ridiculous, and the Pink Chaddi Campaign is thus – as a light hearted but resounding diss* - the best way of combating it.
* Originated in Jamaican Vernacular English, perhaps originally short for disrespect or disparage
Sara Chatterjee (XII)







The Siege

The tiny boat,
Seated eight youngsters.
Each unaware of his destiny,
But with full knowledge,
Of what he had to do.
Sweet memories of before;
His far away village,
Flooded his mind.
But he knew that,
This wasn’t the time to be weak.
He looked,
At each of those young, unfamiliar faces,
Trying to find something,
That would comfort him.
But he found nothing,
Only hatred.
Their leader informed them,
That he could now,
See the huge building,
With its domes and old style architecture,
One of their most important targets.
He saw,
His hands trembled slightly,
As his fingers curled around the cold metal,
He tried to steady himself,
Knowing that now, it was only a matter of time...
Niyati Singh


Life gives us both ups and downs,
Tears and laughter, smiles and frowns.
No matter where life takes us through it all,
We all need friends who can catch us when we fall.
Having friends can make your life,
Not having them can break it.
But if you ever find true friendship,
Nothing in this world can shake it.
Friendship is above all material things,
This line can be called the most clichéd.
But even if you don’t say it, you know that-
Friends guide you through every single day.
Friendship is the most precious jewel,
It’s what keeps our world together.
We all want to say to someone,
‘Best Friends Forever’.
Ramya Ahuja 10A

Let us create a Cleaner World 

Murder mayhem and useless road rage,
Against it, a war is what we should wage.
Women, a beautiful part of this world, Teased and harassed, but never say a word.
We must stand up for what is right,
And always help her to put up a fight. Let us create a cleaner world!
Politics is the name of a dirty game,
In the ‘house’, they fight and put us to shame.
Many a scam when corruption is rife,
Should this be a politician’s life?
We should elect ‘reps’ who are clean,
Who always say and do what they mean.
Let us create a cleaner world!
Bribery and corruption found in every deal,
Left and right, from the poor they steal.
Banks, they tumble and cause a loss,
Sending the stock market for a toss.
Thousands have lost their jobs and more,
Left them heartbroken and their finances soar.
Honesty is the policy we must follow,
To prevent our economy from getting hollow.
Let us create a cleaner world
Kimberley Ireland 7B

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Darwin Day

“There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.”
Charles Darwin- a naturalist, an author, a geologist; but most commonly known as the Father of Evolutionary Biology. Born on the 12th of February, 1809 in a small town in England, Charles Darwin thought big. He proposed the idea of Evolution. At the time of publication, Darwin’s theories faced a lot of criticism (no one likes to acknowledge a common ancestry with apes), but today his contribution to Science has proved to be invaluable.
The year 2009 welcomed Darwin’s 200th birthday. A £3.3m project was launched to rebuild the HMS Beagle and recreate Darwin’s timeless journey. Universities and other educational institutions celebrated Darwin Day with a variety of lectures, readings, walks, movie screenings and festivals. Vasant Valley, too, played its own part in honouring this admirable scientist.
Professor Alok Bhattacharya, former Dean of Life Science at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, spoke to the students of class 9 and 10 about the life and work of Charles Darwin. Alok Bhattacharya himself has devoted his life further researching into Darwin’s theory. The father of an alumnus of Vasant Valley School, he has been a research fellow at Harvard University and taught courses at California Institute of Technology. An eloquent speaker, he broke down the complications of genetics and heredity to make the talk comprehendible by us amateurs.
During the presentation, he told us that Darwin was on the Beagle as a Geologist. He found common features in fossils of various animals in Guantanamo Bay and thought of evolution years later while he was going through the date he collected during the journey. Guantanamo Bay, he said, was an ideal place for this discovery as it is relatively isolated from the rest of the world, so the species there shared a lot of common DNA traits. He drew an analogy to Guantanamo Bay as kind of a time capsule compared to the rest of the world- very little got in and very little got out. He also explained to us how similarities are found in alleles and protein structures of species. At the end of his talk, he emphasised the importance of Darwin’s theory and how it is a base for the understanding of so many Biological phenomena that occur today.
I am sure that Professor Bhattacharya’s insightful interaction inspired many others as it inspired me.
Megha Chawla (XII)

Make me the next Slumdog

“Don’t forget to watch the Oscars from 4:30 am to 8:30 am on Monday morning, live from Hollywood”. These lines flashed constantly on our television screens during the 21st and 22nd making it obvious that the hype for the Oscars was increasing. As a result, India’s hopes for Slumdog Millionaire winning the Oscar for best picture, director and best music were high. But how has the huge success and popularity of Slumdog really affected India? I found that out last night.
Last evening I went to have dinner with my father and a couple of his friends who had come from Germany. To show them the real Delhi we took them to the famous Karim’s restaurant opposite Jama Masjid. When we got out of the car and entered the little narrow, winding lanes of the Old Delhi markets, we were surrounded by vendors, the aroma of various grilled meats, and of course - beggars. But not the usual ones who display their broken legs and arms as a way to earn money. The beggars we came across were a little more sophisticated. In no time we were surrounded by men, women and children dancing and singing. “Hum hain rahi pyaar ke…” is still buzzing in my ears since last night. They were rotating around our guests with arms flying everywhere, as if they were the next Sharukh Khans of Bollywood. I had no idea what this whole performance was about until I overheard a man pushing a young boy aside saying “Arre, ye tumhe apni aglee picture mein nahi dalenge”
On the way back, I realized how the poor in India had really been affected by this movie. Some of them now aspired to get roles in movies just because of their disadvantageous position in the society. If they saw a foriegner in their neighbourhood the aspiring ‘Jamals’ would try to impress the ‘Danny Boyles’. Their dream was to be the next ‘Slumdog’ and they would grab any chance that came their way. Our German guests were pretty scared but I found the reaction of our ‘Slumdogs’ rather amusing. Forget the Oscars, forget the Golden Globe, and forget the Bafta awards over which the whole world is gushing. If you really want to see the results of Slumdog Millionaire, try visiting the lanes of Purani Dilli with a foreigner.
Akhila Khanna 9 B

A one, two, three . . .

Solar Punch is a ‘compact’ and innovative band that is currently touring the country (in bio-diesel buses) to talk, (and sing) about environmental issues. Their ‘High voltage’ music requires no more than a few sans-silicon solar panels, battery packs, and a not-too-big audience. Their idea, as lead singer James Conklin says, is to ‘Spread the message about environmental awareness, but not make it too loud’. Their message may not be that loud, but it sure is clear.
This one-of-a-kind band wants to use rock and roll to bring about a change in the consciousness of people with regard to climate change. For Solar Punch, these 35 days in India have been about music, art, eco-activism and climate solutions all packed into portable equipment and tiny electric cars. Not only do they want to be agents of change, they want to learn about ways in which India is tackling issues like global warming. Their experience in school was definitely a special one for them. A lack of sunlight, and a big audience didn’t stop them from doing their thing on stage. The performance was interspersed with guitar riffs, shout outs, unique sun-themed lyrics - and, to top it all, it was all powered by solar energy. To everyone’s surprise, the band even belted out a popular Bollywood song , Yuhin Chala Chal from the movie Swades. The pronunciation my not have been perfect, but it sure did strike a special chord with the audience.
Solar Punch is the epitome of a defiance of the seemingly impossible. Their message is universal - be it at remote villages or at urban schools. Their show travels well with extreme locations and impromptu opportunities. But most importantly, Solar Punch is a band that remains true to its name.
Meghna Mann,12 C

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