Tidings for a New Beginning
And it’s the end of another year.
Every new year brings a chance to mark the passage of time, reflect on the past and embrace the future.
For most of us, the new year would begin on a lazy note. The usual routine of waking up late on the First, followed by the new year wishes that need to be sent as you couldn’t tend to them last night. Then some fooling around the house, worrying about the already piling up school assignments, thoughts inevitably coming into mind about how it was a similar situation last year.
How many of us have got our new year resolution lists scratched up and how many of us are actually working towards it? I am a strong believer of what Eric Zorn once said, “Making resolutions is a cleansing ritual of self assessment and repentance that demands personal honesty and, ultimately, reinforces humility. Breaking them is part of the cycle.” Also, let us not forget Mark Twain’s idea on the same, “new year’s day is now the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual.”
The end of the year is the time to turn over a new leaf. The choices you make in the new year may affect and direct your course of life for years, or decades, to come.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Let’s keep these magical words in mind and try to rise above the little things.
So, here it is. Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right
-Urja Maladkar, 11 B
This year we saw it all, from the new Taylor Swift, to innovative gastronomy cooking, various movies, the massive craze of the Kylie lipkits, new TV series/ shows and of course, the iPhone X.
In today’s article we shall walk you through the various categories that were on its peak of popularity in 2017.
This year, music fans from all over the world relived the iconic rap God -Eminem with his release of Walk On Water, Taylor Swift’s new look and new music, and her album titled Reputation and the most common craze- Ed Sheeran’s song Perfect featuring Beyonce.
The following are the songs that won people’s hearts from all over the world.
Walk On Water – Eminem
That’s What I Like – Bruno Mars
Wolves – Selena Gomez and marshmallow
Havana – Camila Cabello
Shape of You- Ed Sheeran
Bad And Boujee -Migos
Perfect- Ed Sheeran
Believer- Imagine Dragons
Reputation – Taylor Swift
Nine track mind- Charlie Puth
Divide- Ed Sheeran
In the movies section, Marvel’s Justice League and Wanner Bros’ Wonder Woman- both eagerly awaited movies were released. The popularity of horror movies rose significantly, and Pitch Perfect 3 was released, much to the joy of its fans.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2
Beauty and the Beast
Pitch Perfect 3
Internet Sensation Food
Slaying their way through social media, the following are a handful of aesthetically appealing, mouth watering foods, both sweet and savoury that were omnipresent on Instagram feeds and the prime ‘new idea’ for budding youtubers. The iconic Californian avocado, and healthy, but tasty veggie chips soon turned to the go- to items for many people across the world.
Starbucks Unicorn frappe
Edible slime made out of starburst
Cakes with sprinkles as the filling (also known as explosion cakes)
Japanese water cake (also known as rain drop cake)
Gastormy cooking styles
Rainbow grill cheese sandwich
Use of avocados
The year started with the release of Kylie lipkits, created by the famous Kylie Jenner. 2017 has seen a variety of easy to use makeup products such as brow stencils, the extensive use of highlighter, the perfect eyeliner wing stamp and loads of glitter. This year has also seen the release of Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty- created so that women everywhere would be included, with formulas that work for all skin colours and types. List of the top beauty products released this year are as follows:
Kylie Jenner lipkits (Candy K, Mary Jo , Kourt k)
The use of activated charcoal
Silicon Beauty blenders
Eye brow filling in stencils
Winged eyeliner stencil
Fashion trends of the 2016 were carried forth in the 2017 such as the cold shoulder and off shoulder styles. Bell sleeves borrowed from the 80’s have found its way back to our wardrobes. Fishnet jeans, mesh outfits, velvet apparel, overalls, mermaid blankets were all in this year. Here are some of the most popular fashion trends of 2017.
Oversized sweater and shirts
Statement blazers (for guys)
Extra large bags
Knee high boots
Sap green clothes
One of the most entertaining devices off the internet, memes, 2017 had one of its fair share of amazing memes ranging from ‘Be like Bob’ to ‘Mocking Spongbob’. Here are a list of the most popular memes in 2017.
The blinking guy
The floor is lava
Be like Bob
Drake panic pouring
2017 brought eager audiences a variety of TV shows, both new and old, and of multiple genres. Each was full of intricate plots and vibrant and unique characters who brought their stories to life. Here are a few TV shows that were the top gossip topics in 2017.
Stranger Things season 1&2
Marvel’s The Punisher
13 Reasons Why
Game of Thrones season 7
House of Cards
Suits season 7
Orange is the New Black
Sherlock season 4
This year was every bookworm’s favourite. We saw the release so many books that we simply couldn’t turn our pages fast enough. Here are some of the most talked about books of 2017:
Exit West- Mohsin Hamid
Origin- Dan Brown
The Dark Artifices Book 2: Lord of Shadows- Cassandra Claire
Turtles All the Way Down- John Green
The Sun and Her Flowers- Rupi Kaur (poetry)
Astrophysics for People in a Hurry- Neil deGrasse Tyson
I Was Told To Come Alone- Souad Mekhennet
The year started off with the launch of the Nintendo Switch- the all new version of the humble game boy evolved and renewed. As for the phones- Samsung’s Galaxy 8, Google’s Pixel 2 , the One Plus 5 and Apple’s iPhone X, had a buzz of competition in the market for months.
Here are a few devices that release in 2017.
Apple watch 3
X BOX 1X
Super Nintendo Entertainment System Classic
Microsoft Surface Laptop
And thus, this year ends with a bang, leaving us with fond memories of the above listed items. However, there are a few other major events and movements that demand attention from the public.
This hashtag went viral in October 2017 to denounce sexual harassment in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations against film producer and executive Harvey Weinstein. It was popularized by actress Alyssa Milano, who encouraged women to publicize experiences to demonstrate the widespread nature of misogynistic behavior. The phrase had been used more than 200000 times by October 15th, and tweeted more than 500000 times by October 16th.
- Charlottesville Rally
White supremacists, neo Nazis, Klansmen, neo-Confederates and various militia went to Charlottesville, Virginia to protest the city’s plan to tear down Confederate monuments, specifically a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. On Friday, October 13th , some of the white supremacist protestors brandished torches and chanted anti- Semetic, anti Muslim and racist slurs and marched onto the University of Virginia campus, and surrounded counterprotesters, eventually attacking them. The next day, they planned a larger protest dubbed “Unite the Right”.
As one group of counterprotesters moved away from the demonstrations, a car, allegedly driven by Nazi sympathizer Alex Fields drove into the crowd, killing 32 year old Heather Heyer and injuring many others. Meanwhile, a state police helicopter responding to the protests crashed, killing two pilots.
- Manchester Tragedy
On May 22nd 2017, a shrapnel- laden bomb was detonated by 22 year old Salman Abedi following a concert by Ariana Grande at Manchester Arena. 23 people were killed and over 500 were injured.
On 4th June, Ariana Grande hosted a benefit concert entitled “One Love Manchester”. Grande performed with several high profile artists . Free tickets were offered to those who attended the show on 22nd May. The concert and associated Red Cross fund raised 10 million pounds for victims of the attack. New York Magazine ranked the event as the No. 1 concert of 2017.
– Avanti Savur and Arha Metha
Smells Like Nostalgia for the 90s.
I attended a party the other day, it had a retro theme to it. Everyone had come dressed as their favorite 90s TV show character. Ever since that party, I have been thinking about life in the 80s-90s a lot more, particularly late 80s and early 90s. What a different yet beautiful period it must have been (I was born in 2001 :-[ ).
People sent letters instead of emails or instant texts. Each social gathering was a special one, there weren’t any cell phones so you wouldn’t have to worry about some sneaky friend taking embarrassing pictures of you. The music was much better, people danced to rock anthems and some of the peppiest disco beats ever created (vengaboys, anyone?). Music was as “real” as it could be, it being the golden age of the guitar. Lyrics had meaning, they weren’t some random bunch of words thrown into a looping beat. Innovation was at an all time high with revolutionary products coming out every year; those mid-night infomercials tried selling the silliest products, however even those were fun to watch. Relationships weren’t formed over some virtual interface, they were borne out of true social activities that involved actually meeting people. Its safe to say that human relations were far stronger and more real than most we have today.
That’s what I miss about the good ol’ 90s. Even though I never really got to be a part of it, I have seen enough movies and read far too many books to come up with this idea. (Quick movie suggestion: watch the Perks of Being a Wallflower if you haven’t already, you’ll understand the 90s picture I am trying to paint over here). In this 2010s decade of ours, our social relations are mostly tied with technology, namely social media. Relationships feel less “human”. Music feels less “human”. Everything feels less human. Its as though we all are turning ourselves into robots, showcasing ourselves behind the hard shell of vanity on social media. Where are the small gatherings in little homes where people would tell great stories to each other, instead of worrying about pictures for their next Instagram post? Where are those moments where songs were played on a little cassette player, and the lyrics had meaning, rather than popular songs nowadays with a “sick beat drop” ? Where are all those letters we poured our hearts into and waited for months in turn to get one back? Where’s that emotional bond gone? It all seems to have drifted away and it isn’t getting any better. I’m not saying that everybody’s fake, I am guilty of doing the same too. I’m not saying we should start a #BacktoRetro movement either, that would be highly impractical and unattainable. All I’m saying it that we should try to become more like our emotional, often excited selves from the 90s. Lets try forming deeper relationships, not virtually, but by real interaction. Lets start reaching out for each other a little more. Lets get creative with our ideas, inventions, and fashion again, and live without a care in the world. Lets become human again.
Not to forget, let’s get yoyos back.
Summer School at University of Pennsylvania
Over the last few years, I have realised that I have developed a keen interest in biology, and its relationship with the other sciences. When I was ten, my dad had bought me a microscope – a laboratory microscope, not the toy variety – as he noticed my growing interest in the subject. In our free time, we would spend hours together observing insects, plants and other objects under the microscope. He used to share with me articles from Scientific American and National Geographic magazines, as well as make me listen to podcasts like Science Friday and Radiolab. Learning about these scientific advancements further piqued my curiosity about the subject, and I wondered what the life of a biologist would be like – what were the kinds of experiments they carried out, what were the possible applications of their research – and how deep, and broad, was the scope of their studies. I wanted to become a biologist, and work in a laboratory on research projects, which could potentially help us in our quest to prevent disease and degeneration. I wanted to learn first-hand how a team of biologists goes about setting up experiments in a laboratory, and the various instruments and techniques employed by them.
I requested my father to help me find a university that would accept high-school students as summer interns. We scanned the websites of various universities in the US, and discovered that some colleges had summer school programmes to help students identify specific courses that suited their interests and aptitude, and others had campus tours to help students familiarise themselves with the college environment and the resources that would be available to them as students.
We sent applications to the University of Pennsylvania as well as to the University of Florida, based on useful advice from some friends of my father’s, who are members of the faculty at these universities. After a few weeks of nervous anticipation, we received an encouraging response from the Department of Cancer Biology, Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute at the Perelman School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania.
Soon, I was on my way to Philadelphia to experience for myself, the great wonders of cancer biology and genetics research.
On my first day, I was introduced to the graduate and post-doc students from the lab whom I would ‘shadow’, as they conducted their experiments to prove or disprove their hypotheses. I was also given a brief on the area of cancer research carried out by the lab headed by Dr. Sandra Ryeom, who is also an Associate Investigator at the university.
Among other topics, her team has been conducting research on people with Down Syndrome, with a view to understanding the genomic foundation and mechanisms that protect them from solid tumours, and how this understanding could pave the way for a future cure for certain types of cancer.
Though it took me a while to understand the various concepts and mechanisms, Dr. Ryeom was very forthcoming in helping me absorb them, willingly taking time out of her busy schedule to explain the workings of these complex processes. She also shared with me with several technical papers which provided the context to the experiments carried out in her lab.
During the course of my internship, I learned how mouse models are used in experiments – the extraction of relevant cells and tissues by dissection to carry out in vitro experiments. I observed how various techniques such as flow cytometry, gel electrophoresis, and the Western blot, are conducted. I also observed how meticulous researchers need to be in order to keep all their working surfaces and instruments sterile during the course of their experiments, and to protect themselves from hazardous substances and accidents. I learned how patient and persistent biologists need to be as they wait for their experiments to bear results, or in the event of an experiment failing.
To conclude, I have had a most rewarding learning experience in the tutelage of Dr. Ryeom and her protégés, Allyson Lieberman and Olivia Farrelly. In a short period of three weeks, I was able to get a good glimpse of the range and sophistication of projects undertaken by researchers at a world-class lab in an Ivy League university. My stint at UPenn has further kindled my interest in the fast-moving field of molecular biology, and I look forward to going back for an internship next summer, this time with a much deeper understanding of the subject. My internship at Penn has certainly reinforced my aspirations of pursuing a career in research, with the hope that some day, I would be able to bring about a positive and significant change in the lives of those dealing with intractable afflictions.
Rural Is The New Urban
My friends and I had been looking forward to this trip since last summer, and unlike any other trip with your friends, where you have nothing on your agenda but relaxing, this was our annual social service trip! Now, this may sound crazy. Because what kind of teenagers enjoy 3 days of social service in the hot summer month of April, without air conditioners or any form of entertainment? Well, teenagers like us. We tend to have a whale of a time on these trips to that extent where such necessities of life seem very small to make a fuss about. Since the past two years, we plan a trip to a village called
Rajgurunagar, where we interact with children who come there for a summer camp and not only teach them things but also learn things from them.
This time we taught them certain songs in Marathi describing a bungalow of a chocolate. We taught them dances on various Bollywood songs, organized a treasure hunt for them, and participated with them in a drama workshop.
Additionally, on the second last day of the trip, we visited a temple and went boating in a lake nearby. And as our farewell gift to them, we made piñatas from balloons as tall as us, filled with small goodies like whistles and erasers and organized an ice- cream party for them.
It surprised me how in spite of our differences, we connected so well with the kids. They made us promise them that we would come back next year.
Social service isn’t always about finishing hours of work with underprivileged persons or at old age homes. Sometimes having a good time and bonding with our rural half is good enough a service because at the end of the day we are all human beings who have to work as a team.
-Aditi Nazre, 12A
Goodbye One Last Time
As the day comes closer, be it the girls or the boys, the adrenaline rush begins.
Farewell is more than a designated day to say goodbye. It’s more than wearing sarees and suits, looking about ready to hit the ramp instead of walking into the same place where just yesterday you were wearing ugly uniforms that don’t fit right. It’s more than dancing, more than free food, more than report cards (who really wants those anyway?) and more than clicking squad pictures. Farewell is leaving your world behind and bidding adieu to everything in it. Farewell is stepping into the big bad world you had been warned about. So much hangs precariously in the balance, but little can weigh you down except perhaps the sorrow of today and the nostalgia you’ll feel tomorrow. You’ve packed your bags with as many memories as you can.
As sarees are chosen and ties are matched with utmost concentration and the determination to flood social media with their pictures.The madness begins as soon as everyone reaches school and begins praising each other because they realise that it will probably be the last day to do that. Entering the Gamaliel Hall, you listen to your fellow batch mates giving their speeches as valedictorians, making their audience teary, and as you sit there together as one batch, united in that moment, that moment makes you realize it’s time to leave.
It’s in that moment, that you feel like reaching out to your juniors urging them to make the most of their time here, do everything they’ve ever wanted to, and take in the benefits of being a Scottishite, while they can.
The excitement of beginning a new journey, the sorrow of leaving behind the best years of your life, the tears mixed with the joy and the cozy hugs mixed with the long goodbyes is what makes farewell an emotional, special and unforgettable experience in itself.
– Komal Wani and Zara Humranwala, 11A
Christmas means different things to different people. To those of us in Bombay Scottish, it means the Annual Concert is here. So, a lot of schools have annual days and dance shows, but what’s different about ours? Everyone has to participate. And while this spells trouble for those of us with multiple left feet or those quiet people who sit in the corners trying their hardest to blend into the walls, at the end of the day, that’s what makes it special. Over the (extremely limited) days of concert practice, we step on each other’s feet, try to sneak into other classrooms, claw at our hair when the speakers stop working, drink water at inhumane speeds and lose at least one pair of socks. If you walk into any classroom at this time of the year, you’ll find the benches balanced somewhat precariously on top of each other and pushed to the side, complicated schematics of positions and formations drawn on the blackboard, a few pairs of shoes scattered around the floor, students trying their best to remember which kick-step comes next and one teacher looking slightly distressed at how uncoordinated her students are. It’ll be this same teacher who will whisper last minute instructions as we stand in the wings with last minute stage jitters, and clap the loudest after we finish performing to the best of our abilities. Abilities that may not be the greatest but come pretty close to it after hearing the same song on repeat till you can’t possibly hear it again. And when we freeze in our end pose, it doesn’t matter if I turned 3 seconds after I was supposed to or if someone’s jacket fell off, or if the lines were crooked and the formations are all wrong. It matters that Christmas time is here, and we’re here with those who matter.
-Komal Wani, 11A
Brainstorm: the only storm before which there was no calm. Staying true to its name, Brainstorm- Bombay Scottish’s first ever youth innovation forum, had students of the ISC section coming up with mind-boggling ideas, innovations and a list of admirable speakers that would be a part of the event. Be it the Press Team who used their stalking skills to the fullest, or the Innovation Team that created a hologram, or the Organizing Committee that had every tiny detail covered, the entire team was constantly on their feet!
We called speakers from all parts of Bombay that were below the age of 26, to share with the students, ideas which encouraged creativity in various fields. We had talks ranging from photojournalism to music to entrepreneurship to social service- so we can most definitely say that we had it all covered!
Our first speaker was an ex-student from Scottish, Teesta Rawal. She believed in portraying her emotions using the perfect combination of photography and journalism. She spoke about how it wasn’t taking a good photo that mattered, it was capturing that perfect moment which brought out the emotion that did.
Our next speaker was 11-year-old, Advit, who works with his parents at an NGO and is learning to code so he can start a website for this organisation. He is the best example to prove that age indeed, is just a number. Calling him an ‘allrounder’ would simply be an understatement considering that he is the first ranker in his class, a black belt in Karate, a badminton player and probably the youngest student at his Business Management and Entrepreneurship class. When asked where he gets all this motivation from, he replied by saying, “If Leonardo DaVinci could do it all, then so can I!”
You know those moments after a speech where there is a long pause and no one knows what to say? The good old ‘awkward silence’? Well, that’s what our next speakers, Siddhant Bakshi and Nishad Chaddha were all about- getting over that awkwardness by sharing experiences from their own lives. They told us about their constant failures in life which had then led them to succeed. Siddhant and Nishad, both being musicians, performed a song written by them called ‘Chlorine’ and explained all its lyrics to us.
Our next speakers focused mainly on what is now a basic human need- convenience. ‘The Volunteer Web’, an organisation founded by Tejas Ramdas and Siddharth Joshi, did exactly that- connected us with NGOs that we could work with, with great ease. They pointed out how hard it was to find NGOs that you wanted to work with, which were close by and promoted a cause which you like. The Volunteer Web does all of that of you just by clicking a few buttons!
Our last speaker, Sooraj Bishnoi, definitely had the entire audience constantly cheering for him with his great voice and satire. He showed us that music, after all, is a thriving business in India. He told us that musicians weren’t the ‘lost souls’ we imagined them to be and laid out the variety of career options that music had. Coming from a person who had given his Grade 8 Trinity Piano exam at the age of 6, and played more instruments than I can name- we were surely convinced!
We then had a great performance by our band from the ISC section and the girls from the 12th std surely lit the stage on fire after their mind blowing dance performance. The cheers and applause seemed unending but so did the amount of talent in the room.
Brainstorm 2016 was a huge success and surely the most fun we’d had after the long and gruelling exam month! All the efforts had paid off at last and I can surely say, no one left without the tiniest bit of inspiration in their hearts. This event shows us that talent is everywhere, it’s true passion and dedication that can truly make a difference.
-Zara Humranwala, 11A
A Day in the life of a St. John’s Student
This year, in the month of April, 16 students from grades 9 and 11 were taken to the United Kingdom with our Senior Academic Co-ordinator, Mrs. S. Thomas to attend a study programme at St. John’s International School, located in Sidmouth, Devon.This trip gave us a tiny glimpse into the lifestyle of British students as well as boarding school students. I would like to put as much of this into perspective as I can through the narration of a day in the life of a student of this school.
Let this day be a Wednesday:
On any weekday, the student would be awoken at 7 a.m. by a sweet Italian lady, whom it was impossible to hate for waking them up early.
We would then have to freshen up, get dressed for school, and report to the cafeteria by 7:30.
We would generally be served a breakfast buffet, three different types of cereals with milk, two or three varieties of fruits and either eggs or hash browns. After breakfast, attendance would be taken and a few announcements would be made by the boarding head, Mr. Tasker, who would, thereafter dismiss the students.
We would then have 20 minutes to got back to our rooms, pack our bags and also make our own beds. Then report to our classes by 8:25 for our roll calls.
After ‘Registration’, we would have to go for our first class, Sixth Form English. English class would be taken by Mr. Logan, a friendly gentleman who taught grammar and speech writing through the hour. Without the Indian students, his class consisted of only ONE young 17 year old, Harry.
This was followed by history class with the student favourite Mr. Shaw. This charming man was the most entertaining history teacher we had ever studied with and was genuinely the most effective of the lot. He had only two students, which was a shame because he was such a good teacher.
The recess would follow, wherein the students could play on the patio and the little garden. The students, however, would mostly gather around to witness the two table tennis matches that would always be going on between the good players once they grabbed their little snack from the cafeteria.
In half an hour, the bell would ring and the students would go back into the school through one number coded door, which was generally held open by every third or fourth student in the queue. This courteous behaviour was eventually emulated by the international students as well.
The students would then get their bags off the racks outside the girls’ locker rooms and proceed to their next classes.
Geography was quite a big class.( It had four students, aside from the short course students.) One of these students, Andrew, was from China and didn’t really speak much because of the language barrier. However we soon discovered that he had no real problem communicating with anyone from any country once he had a pencil and paper in his hands. His art told the most detailed, magnificent and compelling stories that we had ever seen in the flesh. Geography, however, was not art. And hence he would be giving his re-test while the lovely Teacher would be teaching the rest of the class, with a special focus on the temporary students and the geographical features of their country.
Geography was followed by Global Perspectives. This was definitely the most interesting subject in the curriculum, mainly because we had never done it before. It was a study of global issues and international debates. On this particular day, the five “Sixth Form Students” from India debated the relevance of the statement, ‘Religion does more harm than good’, with two people for it and three against it.
The other students worked on their assignments for their upcoming examinations.
After the healthy, hour-long debate, the students were let off for lunch. As Sixth Form Students, we had the privilege to enter the cafeteria as and when we pleased for lunch, whereas the others had to line up outside and enter when their grade was called in. This was due to the space constraint in the cafeteria due to the overload of boarding, as well as day-school, students in attendance for lunch.
After an hour long lunch break, the students would proceed to their next class. If they had a free block, they could sit in the sixth form room, a sort of common room for the senior most students, which had a kitchen, some study tables and sofas.
The last period was generally PE. The students would have to change into their skirt and t-shirt and go out into the field for either cricket or ‘rounders’ – a British variant of baseball. In PE, the teachers did not only make them play, but also taught them some techniques they could use for basic things like balling and catching. This posed as a rather interesting variant to the PE that we were used to.
At the end of the day, we could collect our phones from the matron’s, where we would also be given our laundry, and return to our dorms. Matron’s was a little cabin situated just outside the school wherein there was a kitchen, a boom box and some sofas. This was a common room for all boarders.
Now, since this was a Wednesday, the students were permitted to go, in groups or pairs, down to the small town of Sidmouth and eat at a restaurant or purchase some snacks from Tesco’s, or just take a walk by the seafront.
So we would generally sign out at matron’s and leave with out friends to explore the town.
We would then have to return by 8:15 p.m., after which we could have a little snack and play basketball, badminton or football in the indoor sports hall. This, however, was not compulsory, so we could also just rest in out rooms if we wished.
For the senior students, bed time was at 10:30 p.m., when one of the boarding staff would come and take the phones of the students, turn off the lights and bid goodnight.
Most of the tired bunch would fall asleep immediately.
This was only a narration of one day. On other days, we had other classes, like Business, with the headmaster, who encouraged healthy classroom discussions about economic issues or physics and chemistry, where practicals were held. We enjoyed special workshops, like cooking, where we learnt how to make scones; forensics, where the girls found the killer before the boys; dancing, where we learnt two folk dances etc.
We went off campus plenty of times, to Exeter, Sidmouth and the historic town of St. Regis, which was filled with fossils and a rich history.
We also learnt a new sport, Rounders, and had our fill of contemporary British food.
On the whole, we had a wonderful time; so wonderful that most of us wished we could stay in St, John’s for the next three days instead of going to London.
-Raksha Saraf 12A
On Saturday, the 30th of January, the students of standard 11 attended a marvellous show at Bandra. It was a creative adaptation of The Tempest, a play by Shakespeare, performed in pantomime.
‘Pantomime’ refers to the art of conveying actions, feelings and emotions with the use of gestures only. Most of the students attending this show were not entirely sure how this would be possible with a play written by Shakespeare, who uses only words to get his messages across to the readers. We had no idea of what we should have been expecting from the performance.
However, regardless of our expectations, each of us was blown away.
It was spectacular, how this small group of young adults carved out their own interpretation of a complex, Shakespearean comedy and added to it their own style to come up with such a brilliant act.
We did not feel the absence of words due to the presence of an excellent, digital backdrop, which communicated everything the actions of the pantomimists could not. The production was fabulous, with outfits that looked like they were straight out of the Elizabethan era and music that seemed to draw the audience into the scene.
The mimists… Well, I have no words for them. They simply left me speechless. Their job must have been the hardest – to be able to communicate without words is not a joke. All of them were not only amazing actors but also great dancers. Their expressions were so vivid, it was hard not to understand what they were saying.
It definitely delivered.
It only took a few seconds for me to dive into the plot and take the roller coaster ride of emotions that this talented team of performers took me on; and for this, I applaud them.
I could praise the performance forever, but I’m afraid I’ll give away too much. I think it would suffice to say that I believe the performance was beautiful enough to be on Broadway. However, while it’s here in Bombay, it is definitely worth spending some time and money on. You will not be disappointed.
-Raksha Saraf 11A
NCPA Stage Right Competition
……………And the story continues! The slaps didn’t just end there. Luckily for us, the Blue House dramatics team, we were selected to participate in the NCPA Stage Right Competition. We did show a great deal of enthusiasm, changed our holiday plans, canceled tuitions so we could practice during the Christmas break. You don’t need to be Einstein to figure out those practices were fruitless, wasted in the love of food or ‘amenities’. We had around 8 practice sessions throughout the break and I don’t think we completed scene three. As Usual, we woke up three days before the competition and begged Ms. Telang to let us practice throughout the day in school. Using emotional drama and blackmail, we managed to sneak in a few extra hours of practice. Thank you, Ms. Telang.
It was a Tuesday, I recall, if my mind hasn’t failed me, the day of the semi- finals. We all hopped on to the bus, took our seats and rode off. I remember it wasn’t as good a performance as we had hoped it would be. Surprisingly we made it to the finals (HELL YEAH!). We now had a day to improve our play. Let me tell you, I haven’t ever felt such a boost of adrenaline as I felt that day; when I walked I was actually jogging. In a day we added jokes to our play and a whole new section to a scene! It was just crazy.
Thursday, the day of the finals. All our practice sessions, the hard work, the struggle, it all came down on that day. We put up a stunning performance (as I was told) filled with hilarity, thrill, drama (well obviously) and scandal. All our practices paid off and we delivered our best performance till date.
Thump thump…. Thump thump…. Thump thump. The sound of our hearts pounding filled the auditorium, the judges made us wait for a good half an hour. By the time they came out I’m sure most of us had no nails left. Finally the judges came out. The results were announced and we were placed fourth, out of sixty schools emerging fourth is no mean achievement. Along with that I was awarded best male actor! I was overwhelmed with joy and so was my team. Two of the judges really loved and appreciated our play, they walked to the edge of the stage where we were sitting and told us that we were brilliant. We were thrilled with this feedback that two judges personally gave us.
This was an experience of a lifetime. If any of you reading this ever get an opportunity to take part in an event somewhat like this, trust me do not turn it down, at least not in the name of studies or time (you can definitely balance both). This rollercoaster, this memory is one I will always cherish and it will stay with me forever.
-Ayan Agarwal 9th
(continuation of “It’s Gift to ME”)
We, the economics students of the ISC section, considered ourselves very fortunate when we met Dr. Raghuram Rajan, the Governor of the RBI. However, the gifts didn’t end there because then we had the honour of meeting Lord Meghnad Desai, an economics genius.
Lord Desai made us feel extremely comfortable with his welcoming demeanour as he gave us an insight into his personal journey, spanning right from his childhood to the very present day.
Through his anecdotes we learned a lot about him. We learned that as an honest and confused youth from a humble background and not a premiere school, hard work, dedication and determination helped him reach great heights.
A teacher himself, he was able to break down the answers in such simple ways that it was perceivable by us and made the seminar even more interesting. With his captivating powers, he had our undivided attention, engaging us all in his rather fun, up-beat talks.
Even though we only got the tip of the iceberg of his unique perspectives, we were still enchanted by them. He has formed a very deep impression upon us, only adding on to our list of inspirational idols to look up to. It was truly an honor to meet this great man and we have all taken so much back from this experience.
-Shaivi Shrivastav 11A
RBI: A Once in a Lifetime Opportunity
Nothing intrigues us more than the very mechanism of monetary institutions, be it the Federal Reserve System in the United States or the Reserve Bank of India, these monetary institutions carry a different sense of wonder, awe, admiration and respect. What if you got the chance to meet an important figure who helps spearhead the shaping of the economic fate of crores of Indians? Or to visit the central banking institution that controls the monetary policy of the fastest emerging and ‘almost stable’ Indian rupee? 107 of us from the ISC section visited the RBI headquarters and met the governor, Dr Raghuram Rajan.
After days of endless preparation, research and excitement the day to meet the master had finally reached shores. So enigmatic was the prospect of this visit that those who weren’t able to accompany us, were longing to do so. We reached the headquarters at 1:00 pm and after lunch proceeded towards the scheduled programme. 20 minutes of preparation and endless excitement was followed by a warm welcome from the RBI officials. We were slowly approaching towards the much awaited highlight of this visit. A warm and cheerful Namaste, was followed by a quick interaction with the students, many of whom wanted to take over the RBI as future governors. After this, Dr Rajan was asked a couple of questions, RHIS he answered with ease, tranquility and clarity. After engaging in an hour long conversation with the Governor, we left for the famous Monetary Museum. The sight of currency notes and coins dating back to the British and Pre-British era, was captivating, and extremely interesting. After a half an hour visit to the museum we left for the Currency Verification Centre, where we dwelled deep into the role of the RBI in handling soiled, damaged and fake notes, those notes which are rejected by shopkeepers, auto rickshaw drivers, and various other citizens, who can’t handle the sight of perfectly ripped note.
A grand visit, ended with an obvious reality check, when we boarded the bus, and made our way through the 6pm traffic.
–Siddhant Sharma 11 A
ASISC National Declamation competition
On the 9th of September I was selected to represent our school at the AISM Regional Declamation competition held at Poddar
International School, Nerul along with Esha Sridhar of class 11, Nitya Vaidya and Anubhav Dayal of class 10.
A declamation competition is one in which the participant must interpret and deliver a speech given by a famous personality.
I chose UN Women Goodwill Ambassador, Emma Watson’s speech at the United Nations in September 2014. This speech was based on the world’s common misconception of the word ‘feminism’ and her effort to correct this problem at a global scale. She refused to hear the world call feminists ‘too strong’, ‘too aggressive’ and ‘isolating’ and belived that gender equality is needed not only for women but men too.
There were 47 schools that participated and the participants had to go through two rounds of tough assessments. After qualifying as a finalist and facing intense competition, I managed to secure the 1st place in the senior category.
After this my journey continued as I went on to represent the collective of the Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Goa regions at the ASISC National Declamation competition.
This competition was to be held at Bishop’s Wescott School, Ranchi, Jharkhand on the 16th, 17th and 18th of September. With a mere week to prepare for the nationals I was filled with anxiety and excitement.
After seeing the caliber of the participants I realized the true potential that the youth of our country possess and for the first time it hit me what exactly I was going up against. After a morning filled with heated, intense competition I was surprised to receive an accolade for for 1st Runner Up in the senior category. Although due to the clash of dates I had to miss the most awaited event of Scottish, Inter -House Dramatics, I think the exposure I got and the overall experience was definitely worth it.
–Riya Sharma 12B
I recently visited the University of Notre Dame, Indiana for a two-week leadership program called iLED (International Leadership, Enrichment and Development). The iLED program provided a unique opportunity to me, for high school students from around the world to explore the various academic fields of study at Notre Dame. The College of Engineering, College of Science, Mendoza College of Business, College of Arts & Letters, and the School of Architecture delivered a two-week curriculum that included lectures and experiential learning with a focus on international leadership.
We had some extremely brilliant courses such as Personal Branding and the Leadership Seminar; our longest running course at the program was a definite highlight. Even the engineering courses were extremely fun.
The programme also included a trip to Chicago, where we visited the Shedd Aquarium, Millennium Park and ate the famous deep-dish pizza of Chicago, which is as thick as pie!
It was one of the most memorable and culturally-enhancing experiences of my life, and a trip that allowed me to meet people and form relationships I would never have thought myself capable of in a million years.
–Aditi Nagpal 12B
The Game of Economics
Economics is a subject that has really interested me, the moment i started learning it. I had the opportunity to learn economics as part of a Summer School conducted in the British School in Delhi from the faculty at the University of Warwick.
The experience was delightful. Economics was taught through a very practical approach and I along with a few other students from all over India learned what it was all about. Every aspect of the course interested us, and most of all at the end of the corse I saw Economics differently.
I wish to pursue Economics in the future, and this program has certainly taught me to look beyond the text and understand the true meaning of economics in real life.
“Economics is not a subject, it is something applied by every human unknowingly to make himself happy.”
—Aarya Gadkari 12B
Four students of our school, Riya Sharma, Siyona Samuel, Aryan Singh and Aditya Ravi Swami had the privilege of going to the USA for a student exchange programme, for two weeks. They were accompanied by Miss Pawar and their destination was Fauquier County in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Their experience involved immersing themselves in the american way of life. They attended Kettle Run, Fauquier High and Liberty High School and attended classes like US Government, English, Theatre and Earth Sciences.