November, 2008

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On the 21st of October, Springdales School organised a Declamation Competition and the Vasant Valley School team (comprising of Tejasvita Singh and Pallavi Saini) came second.
In the Battle of the Bands competition hosted by the British School, the Vasant Valley School band won the Best Band award and Ketan Sharma won the Best Vocalist award.
The Inter House Debates were held on the 22nd of October for classes 9-12, and the results are as follows: 9-10: Blue House (Pallavi Saini and Suvira Chadha) secured first position. 11-12: Yellow House (Arjun Bhalla and Ridhika Agarwal) secured first position.
Innovision '08 was held at NSIT Delhi, and the re sults are as follows : The VVS teams (Mehul Atree and Vir Handa, and Sanjana Malhotra and Tarranum Marya) both came 3rd in the Senior and Junior Quizzes). In the Budding Engineers event, the VVS team (Karshan Sharma and Aditya Khanna) came 2nd.
In the Inter House Book Quiz held for classes
3-5, the Red House team secured first position. below: the Winners of the India Today Cup, the Sri Ram School.



“This house believes that homosexuality is out in the open but Indian minds are tightly shut.”
Competing were The Shri Ram School and St. Columba’s School, the former having defeated CJM and St. Columba’s having got past Vasant Valley in the Semifinal Round. Keerat Singh, as the lead speaker for the Proposition (The Shri Ram School) defined the term “tightly shut” as “a negative response” in India to homosexuality. Article 377 of The Indian Constitution, movies such as Fire and Girlfriend and
Dr. Ramadoss were all integral parts of his speech.
The lead speaker of the Opposition was Rohan Swaroop, who made the mistake of re-interpreting the term “tightly shut”. He stated that Indian minds today were not "completely open" to homosexuality and yet not "completely (or tightly) shut" either. He went on to speak of the number of hits he got on Google when he typed in “homosexuality” (which led the chairperson and the audience to wonder how he had Googled the word since the school has certain firewalls that prevent such searches).
Armaan of the Shri Ram School let the storyline of the movie “Fashion” consume a good part of his four minutes, spoke of how he had heard the word “gay” being used as a synonym for “stupid” and redeemed himself with the admittance that he liked to watch Ellen Degeneres and listen to Elton John.
Anirudh Vasudev of St. Columba’s brought up the point about Indian minds changing – with eunuchs rising to occupy eminent posts and being accepted as human beings, forgetting perhaps, that eunuchs have been a part of Indian life since time immemorial, while “coming out of the closet” is a rather new phenomenon. He pointed out to Armaan that he had always considered the word “gay” to be a synonym of “happy” in any dictionary.
Bhavani of the Shri Ram School, who won the title of Best Speaker spoke of Indian mindsets, was of the belief that it was the people themselves who interpreted all that was stated in Article 377 to be against homosexuality in particular, and he was countered by Karandeep of St. Columba’s (Second Best Speaker) who in his speech, amongst a number of things, brought up the Kama Sutra, and a couple of other movies such as Dostana.
The debate seemed close, but The Shri Ram School emerged victorious, primarily, as the adjudicators said, because St. Columba’s School reinterpreted the motion. To quote an adjudicator: “Since the Proposition had interpreted the term ‘tightly shut’ to imply a ‘negative response’, the Opposition should logically prove that there is a mass positive response to homosexuality in India.”
The Debate ended on a happy – or shall I say “gay”- note, with a refreshing and comic set of rebuttals from Soumya Dasgupta. The teams left Vasant Valley School with an interesting experience fresh in their minds, and we dragged ourselves back to our classrooms for a tenth lesson with our merciless teachers.
Sara Chatterjee

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“This house will skip the party to study”
“With didactic teaching and a product oriented approach with output being measured entirely on the basis of one time examinations, the absence of independent thinking… and unquestioned obedience towards authority is what India’s educational system teaches us today.”
-Karandeep Khanna, St. Columba’s School, on the CBSE
There was indeed a variety of opinion, as well as a variety in quality of arguments, ranging from the quotation above to entire arguments being based upon the plots of Shah Rukh Khan movies. One school, interpreted the motion to be in reference to test matches as opposed to T20 matches, claiming that this house will skip the party because of Test Cricket’s
(I quote) “ Long Term Benefits”. As if this was not enough, his teammate rebutted him, saying that (I quote) “No one wants to see a bunch of old men running after a ball”. Indeed.
Another school decided that they would define studying as partying, befuddling their interjector, who could not seem to be capable of completing his question. He eventually sat back down. Good show.
Yet another speaker insisted that bunking classes is good, her justification being the numerous cases where students have “Suicided” themselves. She needs to go back to class.
In the end, St.Columba's School made it through to the semi finals, with Karandeep Khanna bagging the Best Speaker award. As the adjudicator put it, the St. Columba's team was successful in creating a solid argument despite taking the motion at face value. Overall, the first round in this pool was, if not the best quality that has ever been, genuinely entertaining.



This house believes that all the world is a stage”
At first glance, the topic for pool seemed to be a direct reference to William Shakespeare’s As You Like It. The audience, interviewed before the debate began said that they expected to hear repetitive speeches explaining Shakespeare’s plays and quotes in old English. What they got was quite the contrary, and a pleasant surprise.
Pool 2, consisting of Sardar Patel Vidyalaya, The Sri Ram School, Modern School Barakhamba, G.D Goenka and DPS R.K Puram took the advice of the adjudicators and the teams tried to interpret the motion instead of debating the quotation itself. Both DPS R.K. Puram and Sardar Patel interpreted the motion to debate whether or not there is a predestined course for everyone’s life that has been decided for them at birth. G.D Goenka, interestingly, tried to link the topic to the debate on homosexuality and the legality of the same. The Sriram School defined the world to be the United Nations as it is a representative of all major countries and debated whether or not its potential is being fulfilled or whether it is but a false stage where no action is being carried out. The Modern School spoke about how perceptions can play a major role in affecting people’s lives.
Overall, the debates were interesting and every school managed to have strong points both proposing and opposing their topics. Akshay from DPS, Sidhant from MSBK and Kirti from the Sriram School stood out as the most eloquent and logical of the speakers. When the results were announced it was no surprise that Sidhant Kumar from the Modern School was awarded the Best Speaker. However, the winning team was the Sri Ram School as they managed to interpret the motion in a different and efficient way.



“This house believes that God doesn’t play dice with the Universe.”
Despite the fact that the motion quotes Albert Einstein, the teams in Pool 3 (YPS Patiala, Mayo College for Boys, Tagore International School, DAV Public School and Convent of Jesus and Mary) managed to widen the horizons of the debate with a whirlwind of anecdotes and references.
The debate began with strong arguments for and against the legalization of prostitution by speakers from the Tagore International School, Meghna Sridhar and Deepika Shriram. Yaghavendra Public School’s Abeer Sharma certainly made the debate colorful with references to the film “School of Rock” and his talk of “the Man”.
Later debates were more or less based on the same interpretation (Chance vs. Choice), though there was a diverse use of examples to substantiate the debaters’ arguments: from the DAV Public School speakers’ use of Lance Armstrong, Stephen Hawking and the theory of Vernon Heisenberg, to the CJM speaker Nivedita’s numerous references to the Bible. The debaters had obviously done their homework as an argument about Michael Phelps’ early life broke out amongst the speakers after an interjection.
In the end, the team from Convent of Jesus and Mary made it through to the Semi final round, having bagged both the Best Speaker and Best Interjector awards. This was because, as one of the adjudicators put it, their interpretation of the motion was a debatable one, and was comprehensible and well put across. Unlike other teams, they presented well formed arguments, not just perspectives which left the adjudicators “fumbling with their feelings”. The motion, though related closely to the stereotypical Chance vs. Choice conflict, was well supplemented with matter.



"This house would take Slytherin over Gryffindor"
Since debating the motion in its literal sense had been discouraged by the panel of adjudicators, a variety of interesting interpretations of the motion came forth in this pool. A notable speaker was Shreevardhan Agarwal from La Martiniere Boys, Kolkata. His team interpreted the motion to symbolise the choice between India and China’s models of growth (with Slytherin representing China and Gryffindor, India). A powerful manner of speech and convincing as well as valid points were the highlights of his argument. A team worthy of some notice, but for altogether different reasons, was the team from Bloom Public School – H. Gaitri and Arjun Prasad. This team’s case statement comprised the need to make a choice between monarchy and democracy as forms of governance. I quote the speaker representing the Proposition - “All developments in India are due to years of monarchy.” Angad Thakur, from Bishop Cotton School (Shimla) was a refreshing surprise. His sarcasm, easy wit and an almost chatty style of speaking were much appreciated by all. Vasant Valley School was represented by Ridhika Agarwal and Sidhanth Rao who interpreted ‘Slytherin’ to imply ‘power-hungry’ and therefore to represent the state of Kashmir, desirous for autonomy. ‘Gryffindor’, with its emblem of the lion, was taken to symbolise India. To choose Slytherin, therefore, would mean to promote autonomy for Kashmir, and to choose Gryffindor would amount to maintaining Kashmir as a part of India. Ridhika’s arguments were sound and coherent, Sidhanth’s speech seemed almost extempore and he got away without being interjected at all! J The end of the debate in Pool 4 saw Vasant Valley through to the Semifinal Round of the Debate for the India Today Cup with Sidhanth Best Interjector.


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"This house would sacrifice human rights at the altar of development."
The Proposition (St. Columba’s) interpreted the word “sacrifice” in the motion as a synonym of “curtail” or “give less importance to”. To quote the lead speaker of the Proposition, Anirudh Vasudev, “We do not believe human rights to be irrelevant; we merely believe that development is more important.” Many eyebrows rose in the audience at this point – indeed, does the word “sacrifice” not imply the complete and degree-less surrender or destruction of something for the sake of something else, considered as having a higher or more pressing claim?
The team representing Vasant Valley School evidently thought so too, and the lead speaker Ridhika Agarwal pointed the fact out in her introduction. Rohan Swaroop, of St. Columba’s spoke next and stated mainly: “Development is a pre-requisite for human rights” – a fact completely opposed by the second speaker from Vasant Valley School, Soumya Dasgupta who claimed that it was human rights in fact which was a pre-requisite for development, resulting in a “chicken-or-the-egg” sort of a cycle.
Karandeep, the 3rd Speaker from St. Columba’s highlighted his strange belief that he was opposed to equal rights for all human beings because such rights – such as Freedom of Expression – were often misused by the likes of Raj Thackeray.
Sidhanth Rao, Vasant Valley’s final speaker, spoke about the implementation of using human rights to achieve development, before the return of Anirudh Vasudev and Ridhika Agarwal concluding the debate with rebuttals and a summary of their team’s arguments. Sidhanth Rao once again received a prize – this time for the Second Best Speaker, while Rohan Swaroop won the prize for the Best Speaker in the Semi Final Round of this debate.
St. Columba’s went through to the Final Round of the Debate for the India Today Cup in essence because as the Proposition, it was their prerogative to define the motion. As the Opposition, Vasant Valley was to oppose and counter their arguments rather than deviate from the stance taken by Columba’s. However, if words in a motion can be redefined to suit the Proposition’s needs, why not turn “development” into “jay-walking” or “molly coddling”? The adjudicators explained that if the definition of “sacrifice” had not been modified, the motion would not have been debatable. The Final Round of the debate is an opposite instance – that of the modification and interpretation of the motion into a non-debatable one.
Sara Chatterjee


The Semi Final Round of the Vasant Valley Debate for the India Today Cup was indeed an eventful one. The two teams that faced each other were the qualifiers from Pool 2 and Pool 3, the Convent of Jesus and Mary and the Sri Ram School. The motion before both teams read:
‘This house believes that Secularism is a catch-phrase in Indian Politics’
The debate was conducted in the Parliamentary style of debating, in which TSRS served as the proposition. They focused on the term ‘catch-phrase’, stating that it was something catchy that aims at getting the eye of the general public. Using this interpretation, all three speakers attacked the concept of Secularism. On the other hand, CJM took the stand of the opposition, and instead of defending Secularism, they chose to phrase communalism instead as a catch-phrase in Indian Politics. From the lead speakers onward, the debate was clearly in favour of the Sri Ram School. They worked with the efficiency of a well-organised team, while the opposition worked as a group of independents. No teamwork was evident amongst the CJM team, and their lead speaker spoke on a completely different topic than her other two members. However, both teams chose to engage in a parallel argument, with very little connection between their points. Both teams also chose to take a more defensive stand, which in the case of TSRS was indeed surprising. The speakers of both teams focused more on securing their team’s points instead of attacking those of their opponents. But from the beginning of the debate through the proceedings, the outcome was clear. The Sri Ram School won with their speaker, Bhavanisingh Rathore winning the position of best speaker. The fact that they went on to win the Vasant Valley Debate only sweetened the deal.
Jahan Nargolwala

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To The Age of Information

Art classes are something we always wait for. We all love it since our learning is reinforced in a different way. While studying Indus Valley Civilization, Mrs. Sarkar helped us build the city of Mohenjodaro & compared it to the buildings of Paris, New York and other modern buildings. We used paper, cardboard boxes & clay.
Soon we became young architects setting up the cities, streets & buildings!!
Nikita Dhawan IV- A

Hide and Seek

One day three vegetables were playing Hide and Seek. The cucumber was the den. The cucumber found the carrot so the carrot was the den. The brinjal climbed upon the broom and hid in a mug. The cucumber hid in a cupboard. The carrot was still looking for them. He was very very tired. Then he sat down. He was wondering where could they be. Then he ran to the cupboard and opened the cupboard door. He found the cucumber. Then the cucumber and the carrot found the brinjal. All of them played together and had lots of fun.
Arnav Sethi 1B

If I were a Cracker

If I were a cracker,
Little poor children would make me,
You buy me from the shop,
To burst me!
Ladhi, Chakra, fooljhari,
Many more to burst,
On every happy occasion,
You bring me!
But you don’t realise,
You are making a mistake,
You are polluting the environment,
And it’s not safe!
You should not pollute,
So that the air becomes clean.
But you CAN burst me
In LITTLE quantity.
Oh! IF I were a cracker!
Pearline Malik III B

All is well that ends well

A little boy just 6 years old,
Very naughty and equally bold.
Standing at the riverside,
Which was very deep and wide.
Thinking it would be great fun,
Taking a dip in the hot – hot sun.
Impulsively he dived from the brick,
Helplessly he began to sink.
A kind young man was passing by,
To save the boy he made a try.
Pulled him out with his turban long,
For his arms were mighty strong.
The boy opened his mouth to thank,
For bringing him out safe on the bank.
The man was happy and smiled to tell,
Dear boy, All is well that ends well
Ishaan Verma V-B



Friends are life, friends are fun
They love to bask in the sun.
Granny has friends, so old and plump
They chat all day and never grump. Grandpa has friends, tall and smart
They talk about going to the book mart.
I have friends kind and nice,
I won’t lose them for any price.
Friends are fab and the best
They help in recheck of your tests.
Aanchal Sharma IV- A


Delhi- A City of Traffic Jams

Delhi is a city of traffic jams. The vehicles which move around Delhi cause a lot of pollution and traffic jams give a lot of problems to people of Delhi. All the vehicles in jams give out gases and that also causes global warming. A traffic jam can sometimes last for 2 hours.
The government is really trying to stop traffic jams and we all should help them. We should use public transport for reducing traffic jams. Delhi will become a better place without them. These traffic jams can cause harm to all the monuments of Delhi and Delhi’s culture. All this will make Delhi feel very bad indeed and the only reason will be the traffic jams.
Sama Kasniwal IV- C

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Fairies, dragons, mermaids, unicorns and other bizarre creatures have existed in our imagination since time immemorial. But there are times when creatures from our imagination become reality or do they? People have a tendency to believe the unbelievable and make the others believe it too. There have been numerous instances when those creatures have been made to exist which until then had only existed in fairytales or our wild fantasies. It is uncountable the number of times “Mermaid” remains have been found or the footprints of the “Abominable Snowman” have been spotted or a preserved “baby dragon” has been discovered in a garage! In the past few years either the human mans imagination has become even more vivid or its simply gone out of control. Recently, in around May of 2007 what appeared to be pictures of mummified remains of a tiny fairy in the middle of England were posted on a website. The 8 inch fairy complete with tiny wings,skin,teeth and flowing red hair came with an elaborate back-story by its creator and several close up photographs of the detailed figure a day before April 1st.The hoax was quite a hit for a few days with fairy believers and non-believers alike. And then finally on the eve of April 1st the created admitted to this “fairy” just being an April fool’s prank! Magic believers all over the world, I believe were quite disappointed by this felony! Right after the tragedy of the tsunami in December 2004, another magical creature was claimed to have been found-the ever popular mermaid. This time on the shores of Marina Beach in Chennai again with a complete body-half woman and half fish. There was only a minor flaw in the plan: the mermaid who was supposedly got washed ashore with the killer waves had already been found in the Philippines quite some time ago! A good clean example of hoax-planned but foiled. In the next year only, around November 2005 in Oxfordshire, England, a small dragon baby was found in what appears to be a pickle jar. Items found with it date it back to around the 1890s, and it is said to be of German origin. Scientists believe now that the dragon was created for a hoax on England by the Germans. Although it is fake, many people look at this dragon and ask, “Is it real?” Many comment and say that the dragon is perfect, for the pictures show quite extreme details. So there we have it, ANOTHER hoax, another example of mans growing vivid imagination! When will this cycle end?
This proves people really believe what they want to believe. A mind expert has been quoted to the effect that the human brain is wired to find causes for natural effects. When ancient people encountered something they didn’t understand or couldn’t explain, they resorted to belief in the supernatural. So a solar eclipse was a sign of the wrath of God and so forth. And we moderns are no different. Despite (or maybe in part because of) unparalleled advances in technology and scientific knowledge in the past 50 years, many, many people continue to believe in angels, monsters, ghosts, reincarnation and other tales from the paranormal. So maybe our brains are in still in a primitive enough state that we haven’t shaken the tendency to put faith in the fantastic.
Suvira Chadha

Motion Picture Moment

Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinions starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don’t see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often it’s not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it’s always there - fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge - they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I’ve got a sneaking suspicion that love, actually is all around.
-Hugh Grant, Love Actually

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Roadside Romeo
Director : Jugal Hansraj
Cast : Saif Ali Khan, Kareena Kapoor, Javed Jaffrey
The film opens on Romeo (Saif), a once-pampered pooch now abandoned on the streets of Mumbai, as he reminisces on the good life. While trying to cope with his abandonment, he runs into a rowdy band of alley dogs (and a cranky she-cat). Though not streetwise like them, Romeo uses his charm and intelligence to turn the gang into a barbershop quartet (here, it means setting up a salon for strays in the local landfill).
Romeo’s Salon does brisk business until Chunnu, the local don’s right-hand coyote (suffering either from paan addiction or T.B.) comes in and demands his “protection bones”. What he gets is a paw up the nose and a razor across the scalp, and the gang gets marched off to Don Charlie Anna (Jaffrey), a fat Harlem-Sicilian-Tamilian bulldog with his own “Charlie’s Angels”. Romeo uses his charm (and Chunnu’s stash) to talk his way out of the fight, but Charlie keeps an eye on him.
Then one moonlit night, Romeo finds his Juliet in the form of Laila (Kareena), an angelic pedigree pooch who waltzes on roofs as practice for her Britney Spears-esque routine at the local club. To win the heart of this haughty hottie who everyone (especially Charlie) desires, Romeo must take to the stage with her…thus defying and challenging Charlie’s absolute rule.
A sort of three-way love triangle ensues. While Laila and Romeo dance the nights away and taste the nightlife at its best, Charlie turns Romeo into his “Coolness Coach” to try and win Laila for himself, only to find out where her love really lies…in our heroic hound who is willing to make the ultimate sacrifice (being caught and taken to the BMC pound) to save his friends from the dogcatchers.
After a daring car chase where Romeo’s sacrifice is rewarded with a rescue, our heartbroken hound prepares to quit the city by freight train (another old cliché), but the music starts playing and the tears start falling… and the film ends with a parody of the famous train scene from DDLJ.

Like most Hindi films, Roadside Romeo overflows with clichés: in this case, from every gangster movie between The Godfather and Scarface, as well as from Disney classics like Oliver and Company and The Aristocats, but this time, all the clichés are in reverse. The music sequences are nicely done, but would you expect anything less from a Yash Raj Film? And if that’s not enough, the film simply oozes jokes from old Hindi films, one of which is Sunny Deol’s famous “Jab yeh haath…”
In spite of the clichés and canned music, Roadside Romeo’s saving grace is in its perfect, almost Pixar-quality 3-D graphics. For an Indian animated movie, this is a real leap from the cheap and tacky 2-D animation of Hanuman and My Friend Ganesha (the animation of Cheenti Cheenti Bang Bang was ripped off from Antz), forming authentic Indian animation that will probably be on the rise in the near future.
In short, Roadside Romeo is neither a family movie nor a romance epic. Rather, it’s the sort of film you can take your kid cousins and your sweetheart to at the same time without any inappropriateness.
Pranab Pant (XII)

"Fine, when your liver fails, I’m not giving you one of mine."- Vedika Berry
True friendship indeed.
"YES with a capital N! No wait, I mean yes with a capital NO!"-Naushera Debu
In which case you're BUSTED with a capital X.
"Lets go in pairs of ten!"- Rishika Dhawan
How many friends do you have?
"I have 22 cats around my house. They have little puppies also!"- Mriganka Singh
We suggest you take a closer look.
"There is no such thing as a boy or a girl."
- Mrs Krishnan
Wise words from our esteemed Principal.
“I can fly like a kangaroo.”- Mona Nooreyezdan
Clearly a trip to the zoo is the need of the hour.



No president of the United States was an only child.
Mosquitoes have 47 teeth.
Tipping at restaurants in Iceland is considered an insult.
The average cocoon contains about 300-400 metres of silk.



Mallika Pal, Ramya Ahuja, Suvira Chadha, Tejasvita Singh, Vani Shriya, Vedika Berry, Ayesha Malik, Devika Agrawal, Nikhil Pandhi, Sanjana Malhotra, Tara Sen, Arushi Kumar, Bhavik Singh, Kunal Datta, Meghna Mann, Rhea Sadh, Sara Chatterjee, Vanshika Wadhwa, Akbar Iqbal, Avanti Gupta, Jahan Nargolwala, Mahi Titus, Soumya Dasgupta, Tarunima Prabhakar

Editor : Diva Gujral