July, 2008

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On the 5th of July, Class 9 visited the Yamuna with Mr. Vimlendu Jha as part of an awareness program.

On the 7th of July, English debates were held in Class 6 and 7.

The results are as follows:

Class 6 : Best Speaker - Shaurya Ari

Most Promising Speaker - Aryaman Dalmia

Class 7 : Best Speaker- Anjini Gupta

On the 8th of July, Class 8 attended a session on Dr. Raheja’s Leadership Program.

Bring it on Home!

It took fourteen days and a hundred students to present one of the most creative and liberating Mark D’Souza Western Music Competitions the school has seen in years. With ribbons in our hair and hearts on our sleeves, every house lived up to standards higher than imagined. Driven by passion, stunted by fear, united by music.
This time around, songs by inevitable artists like Bob Marley and The Beatles, and unexpected contenders ranging from Nicole Kidman to Brad Paisely were taken on. It started with the solos, each made up of a clean, energetic voice and solid pitch. A few of the favourites included Sara Chatterjee’s transcendent rendition of ‘Diamonds or Rust’ and the never imagined before, rock inspired ‘Bridge over Troubled Waters’ by Ketan Sharma. What was most beautiful about the duets (such as the wonderfully chilling ‘Because’ performed by Pranav Sarin and Aneesha Dass), is how two people can connect through sound, and how they played off each other so well on stage.
But personally, it’s the instrumentals that made the competition. All inhibitions were released, making the music believable. Brave self compositions (including Kartikeya Srivastava’s symphony), perfect timing, chiming chords, and successive riffs - near savage, near ecstasy. So it wasn’t much of a surprise that the second Karanvir Singh or the trio from Blue House stepped on to stage, the crowd went crazy. You could just watch the competition come alive, with pure, undeterred music.
And finally, the legendary group songs. All sung by the King of Reggae, and a lot of other things - Bob Marley. Interspersed with sways and corny moves, powerful solos prevalent, swimming in fluid transcendent echoes and harmonies, and the unavoidable ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’, the final performances did justice to the competition. Be sure to note Yellow House’s melody of ‘Baby I Love Your Way’ and the spirited ‘I Can See Clearly Now’ by Green.
Every song, every dynamic and every note were so diverse, it would be near impossible to compare them. Although Green house managed to clinch every victory, it’s safe to say that every single person brought the competition home.
So, in the end, you can’t really say anyone won. Why? Because Music is eternal. You can’t beat it.
Mallika Pal
(Left : The participants of Green House celebrate their victory)

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The peace in the northern-most state of our country, Jammu and Kashmir, has been scarred repeatedly by numerous wars, battles and terrorist attacks. Nearly all the wars fought in India have been fought for regions of Kashmir. The Mughal Emperor Jahangir once called Kashmir ‘Paradise on Earth’ and it seems today that people are ready to kill to get hold of that paradise. While the serenity of the mountains and the lakes is breath taking, the presence of defense forces and various other security forces makes it hard to forget where one is.
While I was traveling through the varied terrain of Jammu and Kashmir, I got to know a lot about our military history. In the battle of Chushool in 1963, only 7 soldiers came back alive. It is said that even fifteen years after the battle, the mutilated bodies of the dead soldiers could be found at Chushool. India lost parts of Karakoram and parts of the North-east in that war. In the 1948 war, when Pakistan occupied what is now called Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, there was UN intervention, the result of which was that Pakistan could retain it occupied. In 1971 war, India occupied all those areas that it had lost to Pakistan in the 1965 war, but did not re-occupy the area that it had lost in the 1948 war.
Hearing all the stories about the miseries of war and the nature of battles was incredibly disturbing. Despite my anger about the land that had been unduly taken away from us, I wondered why half a century after a war the land lost should still be considered ours. I remembered something I read about Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophy, where he said that we should drop our arms even in defence of our borders- this idea sounded foolish in light of our history. Every time we have trusted our neighbors, we have been attacked. I was measuring everything on the scale of righteousness but after a point the lines of right and wrong blurred and then there was utter confusion.
When we reached Kargil we met an Army officer. In the grayish blue sky of the oncoming night, he pointed to some peaks and told us that those were our border posts. He went to expound the role of Kargil in each of the wars that were fought. His belief was that ultimately the two countries must come together in peace. He said, “If you see the broader picture, the people are one. History repeats itself. Ten years, twenty years, sixty years, hundred years, for how long will people keep fighting? The regions have traded in the past and the economies still depend on trade. It is a necessity that the two nations should come together.” It was indeed ironic that the person who was devoted to defending the borders against the enemy was the one preaching peace.
That was the moment of discovery and understanding. Though I have heard it so often, I realized that the borders were ultimately man made. Two centuries later, today’s countries might be undistinguishable. We might fight over land, but it cannot really ‘belong’ to anyone. This knowledge instills in me the faith that when all extraneous desires are lost, and peace is all that we want, peace is what we shall have.
Tarunima Prabhakar

The Dark World

The dark and heavy clouds of rain,
To our village did not come again
So father and mother in hunger and pain
Took a three day journey on a train.
To an old man they gave me away
Where day and night I would work and stay
We little boys worked all night
Stitching shoes in the bleak candle light.
Day and night our hands worked
While the old man’s whip worked
We worked so long in so little light
That the long dark hours stole my night.
Kismat Chopra 5C

Mission Admission

Delhi University (DU) has outdone itself yet again, with cut-offs soaring at an all-time high. To secure a seat even in a run-of-the-mill university, one requires a score of over 90%... Now even obtaining a pass course is a Herculean task.
With these unearthly cut-offs and numerous reservations for SCs, STs, OBCs and the like, the primary question that sears our minds is - Do we belong at Delhi University? DU’s expectations supersede the capabilities of an average student in today’s day and age. Even after the overwhelming pressure, unbearable turmoil and surmounting stress, if we are unable to secure a seat in a reputable Indian institution, then what is the point of taking the Board Examination? After burning the midnight oil, slogging away for years on end with those torturous tomes, children are left disillusioned and lost because they have no place to go. Anxious students are scrambling for a handful of seats by means of extra curricular activities. Outstation aspirants have outnumbered Delhi-based students completely.
Due to these unattainable scores, terrified students are resorting to giving the SATs in a bid to escape this incomprehensible system. Ironically, the SATs have now replaced the Board examination. As the stakes have become higher, and futures are hanging in the balance an exodus of young aspiring Indians are finding solace in the open arms of foreign universities. Talk about a mini Brain-Drain… At least foreign universities have realistic evaluative standards which are sorely lacking in DU. Taking Board Examination marks as the only criterion for determining ones intellectual standing in unjust and not by any stretch hollistic. The SATs can be given again, if one’s score is unsatisfactory, but a Board Exam compartment would tarnish one’s reputation for all-eternity. Why should we succumb to these unresonable standards? It’s not like we don’t have a choice…
Consider this: scoring 85% would be a cause of celebration for young scholars the world over, and would be cause for unfathomable dejection only in India. So it is in our hands – We can move with the changing times or stick around for an uncertain fate…
Tara Sen


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Wowed by The Washington Post

It seemed like eons ago when I sat in the din of the Computer Lab tapping away frantically on the keyboard in order to meet the frequent deadlines. When I sit in the South East Asia Bureau of The Washington Post, my eventful school life flashes by me in slow motion sepia and I truly miss the days when I sat in desperation waiting for some acutely needed creative inspiration to hit me.
Being the youngest-ever member of The Post does have its perks… My co-workers fuss over me and chocolate brownies are a regular indulgence. My boss (and otherwise my editor) Ms. Emily Wax does occasionally crack the whip, despite the pleasurable times we have! During assignments, the phone rings off the hook, appointments need to be set up, bigwigs need to be consulted and caffeine gives us the requisite jolt to go about our hectic days.
Earning 5 bylines in a span of 3 months has been exhilarating for me as a budding journalist. Being a part of The Post team is great, as I have a standing intershp throughout college... It all started when I received a call on a fateful Tuesday night to cover a story, oblivious of the monsterity of the Herculean task that was awaiting me. I was told to pack my bags for Jaipur, the recent site of serial bomb blasts. A feeling of icy horror gripped my heart, and a great bout of trepidation overtook me. But what is journalism if not a demanding yet edge-of-your-seat job! Before I knew it, by dawn we were in the Pink City, tinged red with blood that stained the once-busy streets. Upon reaching the sites, amid human bodies vying for a look at the earth-shattering damage, we saw the pure white marble steps of the Hanuman Mandir tarnished with the atrocities of the previous day. Iridescent rainbow coloured bangles, mangled cycles and distorted vehicles lay scattered on the road like nine pins knocked over by a globe-sized bowling ball. The material damage served as a grotesque reminder of the terrible tragedy…
Frantic families, grieving mourners and media persons overtook the site in the manner of a human tidal wave till dispersed by irate police personnel. The days wore on sluggishly and upon the declaration of curfew, Jaipur became equivalent to a ghost-town. Translating the pained eye-witnesses’ reports was heart wrenching… Upon reaching the Emergency Ward of the Sawai Man Singh Hospital the trip up the ancient elevator seemed like eternity. The rusty smell of blood greeted me in overpowering waves. Seeing people with missing limbs, injuries and fractures caused by the pieces of shrapnel that hit them with a devastating impact was excruciating… Interviewing the Bangladeshi suspects was truly an eye opener. Ravaged by poverty, left penniless due to lack of employment and wounded by popular public perception, they vented their grievances to me.
The unanticipated sojourn taught me about the sheer intensity of human spirit, which shines like a beacon in trying times. Today, I can say with conviction that Vasant Valley gave me the grounding and the spring-board to propel me to great heights and spell binding learning experiences!
Ria Sen, Class of 2008


Our greatest fear is not that we are weak, our greatest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

Pardeh Ke Peeche Kya Hai

Inspired by the play, ‘Noises off’ by Micheal Frayn, Pardeh Ke Peeche Kya Hai is the third film directed by Nikhil Mehta and produced by Crazy Spotlight Productions. The plot revolves around Shrimati Padmavati, who is beginning her career as a Director by bringing back one of the most famous stories in Indian history, the Ramayana. However, her dream of re-enacting this epic faces the biggest blockade in its path: her cast and crew. And thus comes into the spotlight a hillarious comedy that is a refreshing twist on a classical tale. From the bumbling stage manager Harry to the comically forgetful Harpreet, the actors beautifully bring to life the carelessness, tension and paranoia that the cast of any production feels before and even during their performance.
The play itself has been very well scripted and directed, and rarely does one feel the drag that is common in so many of today’s productions. The humor is - should we say typical? – but has a startlingly rejuvenating twist. Neither is it your slapstick comedy, nor is it black, sarcastic humor, but a well-planned fusion of both, and at times something completely different. The actors themselves are bursting with confidence and enthusiasm on their part, not once do they drop the pace of the play. All-in-all it is simply one of the best semi-professional performances that I have ever seen. For those of you who had the fortune and the foresight to attend it would be well aware how enjoyable it was. For those who missed it, you have my pity and sympathy (though I do believe that the DVD of the movie is available, provided you look hard enough).
Jahan Adil Nargolwala

If I had a Magic Wand...

While watching ‘Taare Zameen Par’ in a neighbourhood theater, I started crying when Ishan’s mother scolded him for his bad handwriting. I could feel his pain because his pain was just like my pain. I have a bad handwriting. I keep getting scoldings from my parents for this. I also get bad remarks in my notebooks from my teachers. Mom says that good handwriting depicts a person’s ability to focus, his confidence, sense of aesthetics, motor skills and his piety. How much I wish that if I had a magic wand that could help me in achieving good handwriting. I know such magic wand except my hard work and practice.
Krishna Wadhwa, V A

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Cheetah shows off

In a forest lived the cheetah ‘Rama’
Who knew only how to do drama.
He loved showing off,
Thought he was a dude
And was always in a happy mood.
Running and climbing he said, “I’m the best”
Rama did not care about the rest.
Swimming and hunting, he cried aloud,
“I am a hero!”
Actually all the animals thought
He was a zero.
Rishabh Suri, III A

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Mummy Sandy and Baby Mo

Once upon as time there lived a butterfly named Sandy.
Sandy was a very beautiful butterfly. She was about to lay eggs. Soon four tiny caterpillars hatched out of the eggs. Mummy Sandy lovingly called them Mo, Sue, Molly and Liya.
One day, Mummy Sandy scolded Mo for fighting with Molly. Mo got very angry. He decided to leave home. He silently crept out at night, to live alone in the woods, where nobody could find him, especially not Mummy Sandy. Soon, he reached a huge tree. He was very frightened, hungry and cold.
In the morning when Mummy Sandy saw that her baby Mo was missing, she felt very worried. She started crying. She and her other babies searched for Mo in the woods.
Suddenly, she spotted a tiny thing crawling on to the branch of a huge tree.
It was her baby, Mo. Mo was very happy to see his mother and sisters. “I will never leave you again,” he said. Mummy Sandy kissed him again and again.
Mo had learnt his lesson that Mummies scold whenever any baby does a mistake. No baby should get angry with their mothers. Every Mummy loves her babies a lot. From that day onwards all the baby caterpillars lived happily ever after with their Mummy Sandy.
Sarina Mittal, IV B

Windows Peep Through…

Windows are to a room
Little eyes to a face
They open your life to the world
Full of sunlight and air
Hidden behind the curtain
They beckon you to stare.
Ananya Jain 6A

Ben's Bike

Ben was very excited. It was his birthday. Today was special because he was turning eighteen. He got out of bed and went to meet his parents. They were nowhere to be seen so he went outside. He couldn’t believe his eyes ! There, standing before him was a sparkling new bike. He jumped up with joy and thanked his parents. They hugged him and gave him the keys and told him “Please be careful and never break any traffic rules.”
He couldn’t wait to show off his new bike to his friends. Quickly he got dressed and zipped off. On the way he stopped at the bakery to pick up some cake for his friends. Soon he was on his way again happy to be on his new bike. All of a sudden he heard a siren and as he checked in his rear view mirror he saw a police car chasing him. He was horrified. What had he done ? Had he skipped a red light or maybe he had been speeding? He slowed down at once and looked back once more, hoping that maybe the police was chasing someone else. But he saw the officer waving and shouting something.
He stopped and got off the bike. His heart was beating fast and he was very frightened. The Police car stopped behind him and the officer got down. Ben couldn’t even look at him, he almost had tears in his eyes. He would never be allowed to ride the bike again, he thought. “You seem to be in a hurry, young man", said the officer. Ben looked up “Why didn’t you stop ? We just wanted to give you your helmet which you forgot at the bakery.”
By Ananya Sagar, IV C

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The Gift Of Life

I believe in the gift of life
Even though it is full of strife
I believe that animals have the right to live
And as humans, we must learn to give
But how did I react to the pain of my dog
Who for thirteen years had given me joy
Whimpering movements had me in a fog
Was I sure this wasn’t a mere ploy?
Paralyzed movement, gesture without motion
(with apology to T.S Eliot)
Did he need an operation?
The doctor’s table, shivering mass
I think I could feel the pain in me pass
“There’s nothing I can do” he said
Words that filled me with dread
I didn’t want my dog, my friend to go
But I could not bear his suffering so
And when the final needle pierced his vein
I could not help but bear the blame
I miss you my friend, I hope you well
Wherever in that heavenly abode you dwell
I believe in the gift of life
I wish it wasn’t an impossible strife.
Tushar Mehta, XII A


1) Should there be a crash, Prince Charles and Prince William never travel on the same airplane as a precaution!
2) Over 2500 left handed people a year are killed from using products made for right handed people!
3) Cat urine glows under a black-light!
4) Over 10,000 birds a year die from smashing into windows!
5) You’ll eat about 35,000 cookies in a lifetime!


Magic! Oh magic! Come to me!
Come like a gentle blow of the breeze
And into my ear whisper to me,
Give me the power and the ability
To soar through the sky like
A bird that has been set free,
To put a smile on my face in a tragedy.
Magic! Oh Magic! Come to me!
Pallavi Rawla, VI

Euro 2008

Every four years the hopes, dreams and aspirations of 16 countries from Europe collide to form a spectacle that will leave its mark in the history of football. This time around, it was Austria and Switzerland who played hosts to a tournament in which a team of perennial underachievers finally attained the glory they felt they have always deserved. Spain’s victory may not have been as big an upset as Greece’s last time, but it was every bit as entertaining.
Whenever Spain was touted to be potential winners, eyebrows were raised. Failure in all international competitions over the past forty four years was hardly encouraging. However, this team was different. Boasting of arguably some of the best midfielders in the world, a top class goalkeeper in Iker Casillas and two very dangerous strikers, the country’s team was definitely incredibly promising. But with a manager who looked like he was ready to take a nap at any given moment, doubts were cast on whether he could drive the team on to victory (though dropping Raul wasn’t a very popular decision, it proved to be a good one). He managed to get the best out of all his players and made sure his team and played to their strength, their midfield. This was in no small part to the Brazilian born Marcos Senna. The defensive midfielder made no mistakes and played a massive part in his team’s success. At the back Casillas and the defense (full of star names as well, of course) were solid throughout. The strikers weren’t bad either.
Not to say of course, that Spain were the only performers in the tournament. There were the usual surprise packages and this year they presented themselves in the form of ‘Comeback Kings’ Turkey and ‘Sleeping Giants’ Russia. Netherlands too looked to have finally stepped out of the shadow of their past and played attacking football at its finest, but a shock defeat against Russia sent them crashing out of the tournament. Germany got close enough to taste the cup. Bitterness would undoubtedly have been the taste in their fans mouths when they were defeated, but their tag as a favorite was not misplaced. Surprisingly, the two footballing giants Italy and France (who looked as though a light wind could have knocked them down) and defending champions Greece never even seemed anywhere close to victory.
This tournament saw some players rise to the occasion and some collapse under the pressure. Apart from Xavi (who was named the best player of the tournament); Marcos Senna and the rest of the Spanish national side, Andrei Arshavin, Wesley Sneijder and Bastian Schweinsteiger were some among many who left their mark on this year’s competition and firmly announced themselves on the world stage.
This will be a tournament that will be remembered for the re-emergence of a team that last achieved victory decades ago. But a fact which is often overlooked and must be mentioned is that the Austrian team which had its own fans turn against them and file a petition to withdraw from the tournament, managed to not only avoid embarrassment but make a fight of it as well. Now that’s what football is all about.
Akbar Iqba


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1) The Host – Stephenie Meyer
There is always someone to blame for not letting you have your way, for being the obstacle in your path. But imagine being trapped inside your own head. Unable to scratch that itch on your head. Unable to cry those tears that long to be shed. Unable to grasp the hand of someone you love. Watching from a back seat in your own head while a repulsive alien controls your limbs and your senses and your words, the false words spewing out of your mouth. And slowly your own identity fades away and the only thing residing in your mind isn’t even you. Then imagine the entire human world controlled by those same aliens.
A sci-fi brilliant book from the Twilight author, this one is an insight into the end of the world as we know it, the consequences of our violent ways. It’s about doing the right thing. It’s about love- for your siblings, your soul mate, the last of your kind… and for yourself. It’s about the struggles we face in our own mind, two opposing forces within ourselves. It’s about Armageddon, except without the explosion. And it’s about free will, and the loss of it. Action pact and bursting with plot twists and characters you grow to love, to hate to love and to love to hate, this one is a must read for every single person with an ounce of pride in humanity.

2) The God Delusion – Richard Dawkins
A hard hitting revolution in the shape of a book, this is one of the few non-fiction books that I find worth reading. This one believes that there is no God. Theist, Atheist, Pantheist, Deist- whatever you are (even if you don’t know what they mean… yet) this book is for all those not set in their ways. This is only for the open minded, those willing to listen to reason and judge for themselves whether there is or isn’t a God. Wrapped in a heavy dosage of sarcasm, satire and just plain good writing, The God Delusion’s simple yet succinct reasoning will leave you reeling. And you will begin to question the fundamental reasoning behind what you thought was Gospel Truth (no pun intended).
3) Everyone Worth Knowing – Lauren Weinberger
Another chicklit from ‘The Devil Wears Prada’ author, this one is set in the glitzy, glamorous world of the event management industry and, well, unemployment. Bette is suddenly thrust into the back-stabbing, champagne pouring, fake diamond wearing world of The Entertainment Industry. With no experience whatsoever (and frankly, not much interest either), she finds herself organizing parties for the crème de la crème of Beverly Hills. When the media “learns” of her “affair” with a top notch British celebrity, they make a huge deal out of something that doesn’t exist. This one’s a light hearted novel that doesn’t require any thinking at all, this is great if you want to let off some steam from the stress of school. Just don’t expect any intellectual stimulation.
Ayesha Malik

Martand Singh : “Japan IS a bully country. Look at what they did to Hiroshima!”
Study History much?
Shivam Raheja : “Look at the field! It is as green and luscious as my lips.”
Taking a green thumb to a new extreme…
Mona Nooreyezdan : “My ears are blind.”
Your loss is our gain.
Shamim Nooreyezdan : “How old were you when you were thirteen?”
Clearly this delightful little quirk runs in the family.
Utkarsh Pahwa : “Have you seen Just Chuck Luck? Oh no, wait, I mean Good Chuck Luck? Or was it Chuck’s Good Luck? Wait, I got it! Just Luck Chuck!”
Did you ever wind up watching the movie?

Editorial Board:

Mallika Pal, Ramya Ahuja, Suvira Chadha, Tejasvita Singh, Vani Shriya, Vedika Berry, Ayesha Malik, Devika Agrawal, Nikhil Pandhi, Sanjana Malhotra, Akbar Iqbal, Avanti Gupta, Jahan Nargolwala, Mahi Titus,
Soumya Dasgupta, Tarunima Prabhakar

Editor: Diva Gujral