Reasons To Love Jane Austen
I know what you’re thinking. That Jane Austen can only be enjoyed by history buffs, literary nerds and the more senior inhabitants of our society. I cannot begin to express how wrong you are. Let me put it to you this way… You know how, when you’re discussing the magical, phenomenal, incredible world of Harry Potter with your friends, and the poor Muggle of your group just stands there, blinking? And you have no idea how to explain just how wonderful the series is, so you fervently urge them to just read the books already! That is pretty much how Janeites of all ages feel about Austen’s novels, while the rest of their peers remain oblivious to this literary genius. And, just as your Muggle friend finally picked up the book and was swept into the fandom, I can guarantee that you will discover an intense love for Jane Austen.
Now the thing with Austen’s novels is that, as you probably know, they were written about 200 years ago. You would think that leaves us absolutely nothing in common with that generation, but it would surprise you how immensely relatable and funny her novels can be. Yes, her novels are primarily romance, and yes, they are written in the old-fashioned, formal style of writing. Despite that, I promise that you will easily get accustomed to her writing style. Her narration is positively dripping with sarcasm and filled with passive-aggressive digs at the society she grew up in. For example, her novel, Pride and Prejudice, begins with the famous line: “It’s a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.” Honestly, I cannot think anyone could be even remotely serious while writing that line.
Aside from her revered style of writing, Austen created brilliant characters, each with their own sets of flaws and strengths. They are all relateable in their own ways, and she expresses such a powerful message through all of them. You might find her plotlines to be cliché and predictable, but that’s only because a majority of pop culture is based on her novels. In case you do not find yourself enamoured by her characters and stories (which I highly doubt), you could always try reading retellings of her books, or even (*sigh*) watch the movie adaptations. I could possibly find it in my heart to forgive you. Her novels feature relatable, strong- willed, often rebellious teenagers, and confident, dashing heroes, who sometimes make you want to punch them. But that’s okay, because, come on! He’s Mr. Darcy. You have to love him. Although, I can’t decide between him and Captain Wentworth. They’re just… so… *screams*. You’ll see.
-Joanna V, 11-B
The Indian Disappointment
This letter is to all the members of the older generation who are responsible for discriminations made on the basis of an individual’s educational choice in our country. Dear old-school uncle/aunty or a distant relative who spoke to me regarding their concerns about my choice of dropping science and hoped that you could change my mind. This letter is not to make you feel any more important than you already assume you are but it is because many people younger than me will meet a bunch of people like you, and may doubt themselves and their ability to achieve their dreams.
Now, as you continue to read this and may have the urge to look away after reading a few lines because I promised brutality in my honesty, here goes:
The stream I chose after doing science in the ninth and tenth was Humanities. It is not Arts, so if you wish to continue you may want to learn this first, because I plan to educate you, as you make your way through this letter because you seem to lack it. And also because you assume that I’m only going to be capable of being a teacher because I chose the stream I chose. By the way, you wouldn’t have been able to read this letter in the first place if it wasn’t for a teacher, yes you are welcome. I thought you needed a gentle reminder.
We have five projects each term, these projects consist of at least two months of hard work and a plenty of sleep deprived nights, so while you may brag about how engineering causes caffeine addiction trust me we don’t learn about substance dependence in psychology just for kicks. We experience it every day. So when I say I chose humanities, and it isn’t the easier way out it’s the truth. There is a reason I say it, and it is because it was a conscious choice and I was no abandoned puppy that ended up losing its way.
As for the misperceived size of our textbooks, we don’t have a prescribed text book for a majority of our subjects because we have three large reference books for at least one subject, I can count by the way even though I dropped math, it is okay for you to be surprised, if I were you I would be surprised too. You haven’t had much exposure, I understand. I truly do.
Now as most of you continue to think how obnoxious I am, for being able to say these things about your narrow minds out loud, let me stun you a bit more. Even Michelle Obama was a humanities student, but you probably don’t know who she is because if taking humanities is ruining a one’s life, you must believe that gender equality is a terrible thing as well.
Many people may tell you that they did their BA because it was the easier way out, multiple students commit suicide due to the pressure in Indian Institutes of Technology all over India, how do we fail to see the easy way out here?
It is not your fault my dear reader, because I truly believe that it is our generations. We were born into homes where most parents believed that a child’s success could only be accounted for by the money he/she earned, and then spent on going to a psychologist (who has a high chance of being a humanities major themselves) in order to understand life’s worth and the psychologist, makes more than your son/daughter does in a month because almost one-fourth of your child’s salary is spent on visiting them in just one week, another mathematical reference. Oh, and for your information your child’s problems are indirectly related to the inability to persue what they wanted because you believed that their passion could never become a career. Please don’t die of shock, I do not want to go to jail just yet. So is it too much to ask for? Then I request you to show a little kindness and revive the goodness in humanity. I apologize, but I just had to add that pun there, because trust me I know that our generation is nothing like yours and while some of you may gloat about it, you may want to know that our goal was never to be like you in the first place.
Love always, the Indian disappointment.
So, what exactly are we in the grand scheme of things? What sort of an image of ourselves do we leave behind for aliens of a higher life-form to find? In theory, at 65 million light-years away, an alien- being, probably named Richard (cause who’s ever met a dumb Richard?), can observe the dinosaurs having a gala time here on Earth. This is simply because light travels fast, but not as fast as space.
So, let’s say in another large number of years (at max.), humans are either dead because of mass extinction, or gone because somehow we managed to develop ourselves to become a Type III civilization (look it up). Our talented friend Richard- who, for the sake of this essay, is an immortal being, and passionately desires to observe the evolutionary process on our strange blue dot of a planet- finally, observes through his telescope the light given off by us humans.
Richard watches us grow, develop, make stupid mistakes like exterminating a whole bunch of people and not particularly learn from them the first time (or any time actually), focusing on exploration and coming up with wacky names for different kinds of paradoxes. I guess he’s also thought about why humans are so afraid of being alone in the dark Macrocosm (that’s just Richard’s fancy way of saying Universe, guys). We send shiny toy-like satellites out into the cosmos with hundreds of songs that we think encapsulates our human essence, and pictures of us doing quotidian things, like eating ice cream, and our anatomical structure, which according to me wasn’t a good move because not every alien is as diplomatic as Richard and sending out a detailed blueprint of our physique for aliens to find isn’t necessarily the safest option.
I wonder if Richard owns a device that can perceive the waveform on which our internet runs, because then he can find some of the coolest creations man has ever made, along with some of the darkest ones too, and not to forget weirdest ones either. I’m only going to talk about the cool ones because everyone already knows about the Deep Web and Salad Fingers. Sure, there is the omniscient Google and Wikipedia, which stores most, if not all, the human data to ever exist. We have YouTube where we upload videos of ourselves for the rest of our species to see. Nonetheless, if Richard could use only one site, I’d want it to be the Library of Babel. The Library of Babel is a place where scholars can research, artists and writers can get inspired and anyone with a curiosity or a sense of humour to reflect on the weirdness of existence can have access to- in short, it’s just like any other library. If completed, it would contain every possible combination of 1,312,000 characters. Thus, it would contain every book that ever has been written, and every book that ever could be- including every play, every song, every piece of scripture, and so on. At present, it contains all possible pages of 3200 characters, about 10 to the power of 4677 books.
Our screen time is only as much as there were expressions in The Room by Tommy Wiseau- almost insignificant. Fortunately for us, we still have some of it left. Let’s make sure our dedicated friend Richard gets to see more of the creative good stuff before he finally gets bored and moves on to some other beings, leaving us unnoticed in this dark, mysterious and dangerous Macrocosm.
A letter to you that envelops an experience.
This is the first time that I have ever addressed you directly. I hope everything in your life is at least alright, if not absolutely amazing. You’ve been asking about my trip to New York University for quite some time now. My jet lag has kept me from writing to you until now.
However, let me begin by telling you that my journey began long before I landed on JFK Airport. It began the day I received an email saying ‘CONGRATULATIONS’. A single word has never made me smile and cry at the same time before. The email left me ecstatic to know that I was going to go to NYU’s Steinhardt University. Little did I know how much I still had to do before I could even pack my bags to leave. Student visas, you see, are not the easiest things to acquire. They involve filling out multiple forms, waiting for a 2 minute visa interview for 5 hours at the US Consulate and much more. From then on everything gets relatively smoother.
New York City. Summer School. These weren’t just words anymore as I gulped down stale bread buttered with a coat of reality on the strenuous flight to JFK.
I will still never get over saying that I lived in my own shared ‘dorm room’, in a ‘residence hall’ at the mere age of 16. Do not mistake my honesty for gloating. I just want to let you know how rewarding this journey was, and one can only understand why it was so rewarding if hey are aware of all the tiny moments that made it so. New York City doesn’t really give you a chance to regret much. Yes, I missed my family and friends but, I got a taste of what my life can be next year and it certainly got me wanting more. Watching Broadway musicals and swiping my credit card through Times square. Things I would love to get accustomed to.
I created art there everyday and the days that I didn’t create art I had lessons about art and it’s controversial history. Various museum trips to the MoMA, Metropolitan Museum of Art, etc. left me starstruck in the wild, packed city that has so much to offer.
Days turned into weeks. The teachers were more than just teachers or educators. They were so genuine and humble and left me inspired and motivated to pursue the one thing I’ve always been in love with…. art. My art.
For a month my humble abode was two blocks away from Washington Square Park, but now I sit two blocks away from Five gardens, writing to you. Don’t get me wrong there’s nothing wrong with ‘Aamchi Mumbai’. However, there’s something wild and electric about ‘The Big Apple’ that gets you hooked on.
By now, you’re either tearing up with joy thinking about yourself in this scenario or tearing up with anguish for not being the one sharing a great summer school experience. But, I know you’ve done a lot this year. In no way does attending summer school determine how much more capable an individual is.
Yes, it takes you to a world beyond your own, makes you socialise with people of all age groups, cultures and from different walks of life, gives you a taste of what your education in the future will be like, gives you a palette tingling sensation of what independence might taste like and not to mention a tonne of images captured on your phone… so yes, I’d recommend it to you, but if you choose to overlook the suggestion, that’s fine.
I flew back home heavy hearted a few days back but, excited to come back to a life I’ve become way too familiar with. This life has its comforts and its great perks, the main one being that this life, this world has my family, my home.I know if I don’t step out of my bubble of comfort and warmth I won’t be able to make a difference or cause a change because my art will just remain mine and the rest of the world will be oblivious to its existence.
So, in conclusion dear reader, I want to thank you for patiently reading till the end. I’d love to catch up more face- to- face, it’s been a while and I don’t know when I may see you next. This time next year I’ll once again pack up and fly off to another journey that will last for 4 years, which will be slightly longer than the journey I’ve just come back from. I’ll keep writing to you though. Don’t forget me.
Vikram sat back as he counted his money, feeling slightly disconcerted. “It isn’t much,” he thought, “but enough.” It was late and he had to get some sleep. Tomorrow would be like every other day for everyone else, but for him it would be completely different. He kept the money back in his little rustic, metallic box and sat back, contemplating how he had arrived at the situation he was in.
A young Vikram ran and gave Baba a hug. It was early in the morning, around 2 am, and Baba had started preparing tea for his early corporate customers. Vikram asked him, “Baba, why do these people catch such early flights? Why can’t they just fly during normal hours like the others?” Baba gave him a smile, and keeping his hand on his head, said, “These people are flying international. They are leaving India and going to another country, where the time will be different.” Vikram, obviously fascinated by the idea of countries other than India, started dreaming about these quaint lands.
That night he lay down on his bed and dreamt of lands full of trees which had chocolate as their barks and aam papad for its leaves. His dream had sweet men with quaint beards and caring women who gave free candy. Lands full of vigor and happiness, devoid of everything bad: poverty, hunger, fear. Devoid of every evil in his own country.
So, as he grew up, he started collecting, bit by bit, rupee after rupee, so that one day he could go to these lands. Of course, as he grew older his perception of these countries became more realistic and his dreams changed to those which were more probable to be true. But his fundamental dream remained the same: to move to a land where life was better.
Every night, after a hard day’s work of making and serving tea at the airport, he would lie in his bed and think of the ‘better lands’. Lands where he could be happy, where he wouldn’t worry about getting by and surviving every day. Then he would turn over and look at his little box. He would open it and admire the money he had accumulated. “This is not just money,” he would tell his frustrated wife Lata, “this is dream money. My dream money!” In a sense, they were his dreams.
Today, as he counted his money, he realized he had enough. Working every day at the airport, he had managed to ask one of the Customs workers the cost of a ticket to a nearby country called Singapore. Now he could afford to go there and start a life of happiness.
Lata looked into his room and knew. A very real fear came over as she realized it was finally happening. She always knew of Vikram’s dreams and although she didn’t feel the same way, she didn’t want to take away them away from him. She had prepared all of her married life for this moment. But as it finally arrived, it felt like it made no difference whatsoever. But she put on a brave face, saw her husband staring at his ‘dream money’ one last time, and went to sleep.
She woke up the next day, ready to be the angel who saved the early corporates from the morning blues with a pot of tea. As she reached the airport, she saw her husband standing there. Surprised, shocked, maybe even a little appalled, she went up to him furiously. Vikram looked at her and, unaware of the reason for his wife’s rage, got his running stance ready. “What are you doing here?!,” she yelled, “aren’t you supposed to be in your dream land right now?” Vikram looked at her.
“All my life I have imagined the perfect land where life will be better and happiness will abound. But if I go there and it isn’t how I imagined it will be, it’ll shatter me. I want everything to be perfect, like it always has been in my head. And I know that won’t be possible. So, I’m happy here itself. I’m better off dreaming about these lands because it gives me hope. And I don’t want to take hope away from myself,” said Vikram.
Lata, somewhere deep inside, wished he stayed for her. He probably did too. But she knew he’d never tell her that. So, she stormed off with her face full of anger.
Vikram, completely clueless as to why Lata reacted that way, started thinking of what he could do with his collected money. “Maybe I could get a color TV, so Lata and I can see my dream together,” he thought to himself.
– Siddharth Sarda (12C)
Rain- The Real Pain
I understand that after writing this article, I will be faced with great opposition and even hate from some. But today I’ve decided to go against the majority and express my opinion on what others call a “beautiful phenomenon”- rain. Living in the city of Mumbai, every second person is eagerly waiting for the monsoons to arrive. Mumbai rains are supposed to be an experience of a lifetime or maybe even the end of one! Now, if my sarcasm and pretty obvious title hasn’t already given it away- I hate the rains, a lot. And here’s why.
Granted, the rains bring us the ever so precious water needed for drinking, washing, bathing, rain water harvesting, hydroelectricity and all the other things we’ve been learning since 2nd grade but what it also seems to bring along with it, that too in great amounts, is an inconvenience. The fact that we can’t even step out of the house without the fear of being drenched in droplets of polluted water is inconvenient enough. Therefore, you end up adding an extra few grams to your already heavy school bag carrying your raincoat or umbrella along.
Now, being a high school student is hard enough with the constant doubts of “what am I going to do in life?” “Which college should I go to?” “should I take a gap year?”. However, the rains decide to bring along with it another question for us, “do I protect myself from getting wet or my bag?” There you are, trying to make a decision and telling yourself, “My books are obviously more important. I mean, who cares about my newly washed hair, right? And I’m sure mum won’t mind standing with a hair dryer for two hours, drying my uniform.” And as you step out, completely unprotected from the rain, you can feel those perfect curls on your head turning into the much-dreaded frizz. But, you keep walking, convincing yourself that it’s okay.
You get into your bus with loud, obnoxious children and their wet raincoats which they’re unwilling to take off and try finding one seat which isn’t already wet, but eventually, you give up and sit wherever you find a place. The over excited children get more annoying by the moment and so does the traffic. You look out of the window in the hope of seeing something scenic and instead find yourself staring at flooded roads with sewage floating on the top to embellish the brown, muddy water. And just as you get off the bus, a motorist will splash you with puddle water and leave you a soaking wet mess on the side of the road.
At this point, you are pretty much done but decided to give one last chance to the monsoons. So, like every other film, you put hands up, shut your eyes and embrace the rain. All you get in return is some dirty tasting water droplets in your mouth and the voice of your mother screaming, “What are you doing?! Sardee ho jayegi!”
P.S. Please refrain from posting Snapchat stories saying “FIRST RAINS <3” The harsh reality is painful enough. Thanks.
– Zara Humranwala
Voices I hear turn into colours I create. The objects I touch, I realise were never true and never held form.
What do emotions look like? What is despair? What is joy? This life that I live is nothing less than a cruel joke. If life is a game, which level am I on? How far have I reached? How far will I reach? Who will understand? Who will want to understand?
I have questions, to which answers I do not seek. I have questions that are not grammatically correct. Questions that take up five lines. Questions that end with ten question marks.
I am desperate. Desperate for love, pain, heartbreak and loneliness. Desperate for this cycle that eventually leads to nothing. I am desperate for nothing because right now, I feel everything. I cannot explain it. It is as if everything I experience is a dream that lasts forever. Maybe I wake up every day to feel, to collect these voices I hear. Maybe I live in my dreams. Maybe I should. Who can harm me there?
Why must fear chase me when I do not run? I am not afraid. There, I am contradicting myself. I am not afraid of you. I am afraid of myself. Apprehension. What will happen next? I hear what you are saying about me. You must think I am crazy. Being called crazy is not bad until you actually reach that point of self-destruction. Maybe I am crazy.
Black, black, black in just one shade. It is my beginning, it is my end. Every colour that I make slowly turns into this horrible, selfish, haunting black. You have not experienced darkness like I have. You have not felt void like I have. You will never.
I cannot see beauty because it lies in the eyes of the beholder. I cannot do evil because I have never seen it. I can see madness and chaos because that is what I have become.
What is a man without water to drink? Simple, he will be what I am without music- dead.
I had always been told that life gives you loads of doors to open. But what no one told me was how I could open them. I soon realised why this was an untold mystery because the answer is different for everyone. For me, the key to each door was music. You don’t just need a key to open doors. You also need courage. Amazingly enough, music played both those roles for me; mainly, heavy metal music. Now the reason heavy metal music resonates with me is that the whole process of composing it and executing it successfully needs you to feel a certain amount of pain. However, you need to overcome this ‘pain’…and by pain I don’t mean the pain you feel when the protagonist of a TV series dies, or the pain when you realise that your crush is an absolute jerk. I am not even referring to the pain you feel when you lose a friend or a pet. I am talking about the pain you feel when you lose yourself.
Losing yourself in the endless black world, not of physics equations, but of expectations. The second form of pain that I am referring to is the pain you go through when someone breaks your trust. Someone you loved. Someone you thought would give you all the support you need, a someone that most others have. Funnily enough, none of the heavy metal artists had this someone in their life. It’s only when you have a void in life that you can find something to fill it up with. And on realising that, I, in a very movie-like manner, picked up the guitar and became someone else. I transformed into someone with more self-confidence, someone with a higher capacity to tolerate criticism and someone who had a much easier time letting go of things that hold you back.
My guitar was and is my best friend. One may ask what it has done for me. Well, it makes me feel worth something. And trust me, that is the best thing, and the only thing something/someone needs to do for you, for you to be eternally grateful to them.
As mentioned previously, my guitar boosted my confidence. I evolved from being an antisocial ‘nerd’ into an approachable and enthusiastic person. This made it much easier for me to grab opportunities and taking these opportunities only gave me more experience. Apart from this, my skills as a guitarist and a performer developed. Cut to today, I have no fear of performing in front of others.
It is pretty obvious to you by now that my guitar has made me who I am today. That is why my guitar isn’t just a part of me. My guitar is what others see when they look at me and what others hear when I talk to them. It’s like an ID card for Scottish students. It is a necessity for me to be accepted. Lastly, since this article is going up as anonymous, you might not even know, but you may have already spoken to a living guitar.
“Psychology?! Okay then tell me, what am I thinking about right now.” asked the well-intentioned lady who happened to be curious about the subjects I had chosen. I fell into my well-worn explanation of what the field is really about. This wasn’t the first time someone had plopped themselves in front of me in a quest to have me tell them how they are feeling. The misconceptions about the subject reflected in the dismal condition of how mental disorders are treated in India.
This May is Mental Health Awareness Month around the globe. More than 1 in 10 people in our country suffer from mental disorders which need immediate intervention from professionals. Unfortunately, most of these people either go undiagnosed, or the diagnosis is overlooked due to fear of social stigma.
Mental disorders in our country have heavy misconceptions attached to them. A large part of the educated, self-proclaimed ‘modern’ members of society still believes that these disorders are nothing but a state of mind, and are ‘not real’. People suffering from depression are told to think about happy things and snap out of it. Anorexic teenagers are told to eat, “How difficult can that be?” And if someone admits to suffering from schizophrenia, they are given a confused look. These people are tagged as ‘weak’ or called a burden on society. When in reality all they require is a little help and patience to accommodate them.
To all the people who suffer from some form of mental disorder, this country may push you down. They may never realize how hard it is to get up every morning and come to school, go to work, or do seemingly simple tasks like making a meal. You would constantly be told that the ‘you’ stricken with the disorder may not be good enough, or that you’re just a broken version of your younger self, that you don’t matter. You may not be neurotypical. The chemicals in your brain may be rebellious. And that’s okay. Some days are going to be good, the others not so much, but you are going to pull through the day, just like yesterday, and the day before. And if you feel like you’re going through something, even the tiniest bit of uneasy or unusual feelings, then address it. Better safe than sorry, right?
-Rishima Shetty 12A
Fathoming The Unfathomable Darkness
Munnar, Kerala, was the place that got me enthralled with space. Walking at night around the hillside resort, my eyes never saw the ground. All I could see was the long, winding band of stars, which we call the Milky Way. It looked beautiful and mysterious. I wanted to further explore it- the dark skies beyond.
Years went by. I read books, saw documentaries on space. Carl Sagan and Stephen Hawking became my guides. I wanted to make NASA my playground, but life has its ways. While meandering through school years, I realised Science as a subject was not my cup of tea, but I still held a particular love and interest in the night skies! The urge to explain the unexplained and what lies beyond our planet never left me.
A couple of years ago, my friend and I were watching a documentary by Stephen Hawking in which he mentioned the Higgs-Boson, popularly known as the God particle. The Higgs Boson is to the atom, what the core is to the Earth. My friend asked me a simple question, “How do you feel the Higgs-Boson affects the atom and its working?” I thought over it for a few minutes and came up with the answer. Well, the answer was not just a few sentences, but a few pages long. I came up with a theory, not just about the Higgs-Boson, but also about how the universe and the atom have a relationship. It has set many experienced scientists thinking and as a humanities student, I feel proud and happy to have accomplished it!
The main question that went through my mind while writing was, “How does the Higgs Boson get the energy to affect the working of the atom?” I came up with the idea that within it, the energy might be stored in the form of strings and these in all probability provide energy to the atom to sustain itself.
In simpler words, the God particle is nothing else but a container for pure energy stored in vibrating strings. The same energy that helps in providing charge to the electrons and protons of the atom as well as keeps it in shape.
We have atoms all over our universe. According to me, the universe is made up of various dimensions or layers, each bursting with atoms. These layers give the universe its shape and properties, similar to how in a cake, its layers give it its shape and distinguished taste.
I feel that when two of the dimensions come in contact with each other, they produce a type of energy called Dark Energy. This energy is still an enigma, but my theory tries to explain it. It is the Dark energy that interacts with the vibrating strings inside the Higgs Boson to produce the different types of energies we see today such as, Light, Gravity, Sound, etc.
Dark energy is one of the biggest mysteries scientists around the world are trying to unravel. Light will be thrown on it hopefully soon, but to me, it forms the basis for understanding our universe and will help us reveal many more of its secrets.
-Ameya Sanzgiri, 12A
The Oxford dictionary tells us that the word ‘stranger’ means a person whom one does not know or with whom one is not familiar. There are two other ways to look at the word, however. One is the sore thought of how no one truly knows you, how you don’t have any true friends. The other, on a more positive note, is the prospect of new and better people finding a permanent spot for themselves in your life, the forever you were looking for. But if we’re being honest with ourselves, most of the people in our lives, although we call them friends, are, in fact, strangers. Strangers aren’t just people who we do not know or with whom we are not familiar, but they’re people who are unfamiliar with us as well. To know someone is to know every bit of what truly happens in their lives. The people who meet you and know only the surface should, in my opinion, also be considered strangers. The probability is that you, too, know only their surface, for friendship is a two-way street. One needs to be willing to listen to the other, and vice-versa, to actually know anything about each other.
We’ve all seen these movies where people go to parties to escape, to forget about their troubles for just a while. In fact, a lot of us have done the same. We teens are more or less alone in this world of adults, since “our problems are insignificant” or because “we’re just a bunch of seventeen-year-olds who don’t have real adult-sized problems”. Well, at these parties, you’re bound to run into a few people you don’t know. When you say, “Hi! How are you?”, do you really expect them to say something along the lines of “Well, my girlfriend just broke up with me and I’m failing my Math paper” or just “Good and you”? I’m betting on the latter. And the sad part is that they expect the same from you! But when someone is genuine, you should just spill your guts, because chances are they’ll help you laugh through your problems and thus will start a new flame, or they’ll just think you’re weird and it’ll end there. The fear of the latter, though, is the reason that most strangers remain strangers.
First impressions are very important. Quite recently I met someone who told me that majority of the time, forty to sixty percent of a person’s character is assumed in their first meeting with someone. College interviews, job interviews, even dates all depend on what the opposite party thinks of you the first time they speak to you. And it’s true! In this modern day and age, where a person’s looks and clothes are more important than their personality, where it’s not who they are, but how much money they have is what’s more important, this very thing keeps a stranger, just that…a stranger. People don’t take the time to get to know one another anymore. If they did, I doubt this world would be as sorry as it is.
I used to be one of those people, who cared too much, who felt that I wasn’t good enough or “cool” enough (the aptest word I could think of). Well, I learned the hard way that, not matter what you do or say, you can’t please everyone. So I stopped caring! To a certain extent, I still have that nagging feeling in the back of mind: If I say this, what’ll they think? What if they don’t like me? What if they think I’m weird? But I just push it back, because at the end of the day, if someone’s meant to be in your life, for forever or not, they eventually will. I may not believe in God, but I do believe in Fate and Destiny. Your Fate may be in your hands, but essentially, your Destiny is in theirs.
Math or Wrath?I never really thought that I would be writing on this, but very honestly Math is the only thing I’ve been doing for the past three weeks. What surprises me the most in Mathematics is that numbers aren’t the centre of the subject at all, because now we deal with ‘x’, ‘y’. We deal with how they always seem to get lost and how we always have to go ’finding’ them.
It is that moment you realise that you’ve done too much of math when you start cracking jokes like sin gerine /cos gerine =tangerine. Or start comparing pain to a sine graph, when you’re dance moves start reminding you of the modulus graph and when you start telling people time in terms of ‘x’ and ‘y’. Math is a subject which sometimes makes you feel like a missing ship in the Bermuda Triangle where you have absolutely no clue what’s going on. On the other hand, it gives you a chance at feeling like Einstein when you speak about Calculus to your friends who haven’t taken Math.
You don’t always have to be good at something to like it, but you have to like it to be good at it. Math isn’t just about a bunch of numbers, variables, slopes, equations, circles and theorems, but sometimes it can also be about music, predictions and the way you think. Mathematics is a “go-to” subject that you can do when you’re stressed or it could just be the one that gives you stress. However, I suggest giving it a try before you give up and remember, when someone says you’re as good as zero, zero is probably the most important number through the history of Mathematics.
Good old days
It’s a testament that we’ve been brought here by Fate.
This place taught me to love all, no hate.
The years I’ve spent here seem like a fabled story.
This institution is the reason I’ll be guided to the glory.
And as the sun of our lives set,
My heart is filled with Joy and no regrets.
I’ll miss the back benchers and the teacher’s pet,
Because school life is something I’d never forget.
Choosing this place, is one decision I will not lament.
Expectations are up, Heartbeat is roaring
The end is near and the emotions are soaring
I’ve lived the best years of my life here.
Its end is the only thing I fear,
But I hope we all succeed in the new quest of life, my friends.
Pull your socks up, buckle your belts. Let’s begin again.
So we are bound to face new challenges everyday.
When the things won’t go your way,
Just keep your head up,
Because only through the rocky roads you reach the red carpet
Keep your head in the game and don’t give up.
Even if the days and time seem quite rough,
Even when people around you act all tough,
Keep that flame of hunger burning because It’s never enough.
And we remember the school life as one big melting pot,
Even if you are not the best of the lot.
Set your soul free and put in some thoughts over,
because only Phases end.
To Behave Or Not To Behave (Like An Adult)
“Behave like an adult if you want to be treated like one.”
“You aren’t a child anymore!”
Which teenager has ever wanted to be treated like an adult? And how come legal age starts mattering when it’s about consuming alcohol or driving, and all of a sudden, ceases to matter when it’s about the legal age of being an adult? The annoying part is how elders mend the rule of ‘being an adult’ to their convenience.
Somehow, we’re not old enough to watch A (Adult) movies, but we’re too old to be watching cartoons. Somehow we’re old enough to stay up till 3 am working on an assignment but we aren’t old enough to be out till that late.
We’re old enough to ‘take responsibility’ and remember to submit all those 10,000 assignments, but then how come we’re not given the same rights of an adult to say- vote? Some would say, “we can’t give the responsibility of choosing the next government of our country to a 15-year-old!”
So then how come at 15, when we’re just in high school, we’re criticised and looked down upon on when we say we don’t know what we want to do ahead in life? What is being implied is that 15-year-olds are old enough and mature enough to make a decision they have to stick with the rest of their lives, but they’re not mature to choose the future of our country, when they are continuously told, “You are the future of this country!”
A few decades ago, if children or teenagers were asked what they wanted to be, they’d choose to be an adult over being a lawyer, an artist or an engineer! In fact, movies like “13 going on 30” were based on the idea of a teenager wanting to be an adult because she was extremely fascinated by the idea of having your own house, earning your own money, being able to buy anything you want, going out and coming back at any time you want.
However, just a few decades later, teenagers now shudder at the idea of adulthood. We were unfortunately not allowed to stay in our bubble for too long and were exposed to the harsh realities of adulthood. We know about all the due dates, the deadlines, the taxes, the electricity bills and all the things that are hidden behind the fascinating life of an adult.
We’ve all heard of bachelor and bachelorette parties, right? They are to cherish and celebrate those last few moments of leading an unmarried life. Well, our teenage life is exactly like that. It is a period of reminiscing our last few years of being a child. But somehow, it is spent preparing to be an adult. The thing about a married life is that unlike adulthood, it might not last forever.
So, this is to all you adults out there who tell children to act like adults. Why should we spend our last few years of childhood trying to be adults, when we have our entire life ahead of us to do so?
-Zara Humranwala, 11A
-Varun Venugopal, 11C
‘How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard?’- Winnie the Pooh
Saying goodbye to Scottish has indeed been the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.
Everything that I used to dislike and complain about is now a part of the bittersweet memories that I have of this great institution.
Bombay Scottish was never just a school to me. It was and will always be my second home.
As I pulled up in front of the school gate, I thought of all the times when I had rushed to this very same place, early in the morning after having missed the school bus because I had been too busy grumbling about the early hours.
Now, I can give up anything to have just one more day in that same school.
The sight before me was all too familiar- the watchman shepherding children across the lane outside Gate No. 1, the KG students waiting impatiently in line for their ‘bus didis’ to escort them to their respective buses, while the older kids crowding around the favourite Shri’s Franky Shop to get their personalised frankies!
It was then, that I realised just how much I’ve missed it all.
I met a few of my ex-teachers and friends – delighted to see them all after a long time.
We chatted animatedly about the times we’ve had together- the good times and the bad. We talked about the Annual Christmas Concert, which used to be the highlight of my school year. Sometimes I still can’t believe that I will not perform on that stage ever again!
We reminisced about the assemblies that I once found long and boring, the various Inter House competitions that we’d always want to be part of (only to have an excuse to get out of class), and most of all, our friends.
We giggled at the way we used to run to the canteen in the hopes that we would be one of the lucky ones to get the delicious brownies, our endless lunch break chatter, the way our entire class used to come together during concert time or while organising projects for the science fair! Most of all, we talked about how we missed our spectacular teachers that made my last year in school, one of the best years of my life!
It all seems so far away now; like another soul living another life… I watched the yellow buses full of exhausted but still excited children drive by, leaving me in a cloud of grey smoke- not alone, of course, for Sunil Sir’s ever-present voice conducting the buses accompanied me.
Staring at the impressive grey gate, I watched wistfully the students who came out of it.
Each of them with a different story to share, different life to live, different experiences to narrate.
However, we had one thing in common- we were all part of the Scottish family, and I have never been prouder to belong to something so extraordinary and unique.
“Come on Kashish, let’s go!” one of my friends said.
“Just saying goodbye..” I replied. But even as I turned around to leave, I knew in my heart that this wasn’t a goodbye and it never will be.
SUPW TRIP TO GOVARDHAN ECO VILLAGE
I don’t think you’ll easily find a teenager living in a city like Mumbai who is willing to leave his/her comfortable house and live in a village for 2 days without the luxuries of an AC and Wi-Fi. But, if it is a part of their school curriculum, and is a social service trip, awarding each student with 48 hours of social work, they will report to school with groggy eyes and bags filled with food and clothes (and mosquito repellents), and so did I and my classmates. On the 20th of October, the girls from the ISC section of our school set off to go to Govardhan Eco Village. From the moment we stepped into the breathtaking village of Govardhan (pretty literally considering we had to walk about 2kms to get there) we were doing various types of activities. We were warmly welcomed by a monk who was our guide for the rest of our stay. Our first activity, amongst many, was to design our own Eco- village and crazy, unique, brilliant ideas were all put together. After presenting we were shown a model of an actual eco village and the importance of organic farming and soon after we were ready to do organic… Eating, and the lunch certainly filled our stomach and hearts. Post lunch, we took a tour around the Gowardhan Eco Village and learnt about their Green building projects and sewage treatment facilities too. After the tour, we went to the fields where fruits and vegetables were grown using eco friendly and organic methods and got a ‘hands-on’ experience while being involved in the process to make their manure. After an experience like that, truly nothing can s(t)ink your ship. To give us a breather and allow us to calm our minds before our journey continued, we had various students chant mantras, recite hymns and help us meditate. Unlike stereotypical bonfires, ours didn’t need even the bonfire aflame for too long, because our hearts were lit with excitement and fervour and it erupted via dance and song and we were accompanied by some of our teachers to, who frankly took over the dance floor! After a refreshing early morning Yoga session, and an exhausting game of Treasure hunt, we knew it was time to leave. The trip was a lot of fun yes, but also educational. Change begins with ourselves and this trip engrained in our minds the things we in the city with our A.C. and Wifi take for granted. Small things will lead to a great change, like the small step to widen our horizon and take a trip to an Eco- village has now changed us, be open, make a change.
– Srushti Ruparel, 11A
SUPW TRIP TO SAGUNA BAUG
The thing about being a Scottishite is that you’re never short of experiences for life. This year, Scottish organised an SUPW trip to a place where we would have to step out of our comfort zones, and adapt to the unattended and underdeveloped rural areas. I think I speak for all the boys when I can say that Saguna Baug was a wonderful experience, which reminded us where our roots are. Before reaching Saguna Baug, we went to an animal farm, where inter species bonding was promoted. Students got the chance to mingle with 86 wounded, stranded or estranged dogs, horses, donkeys, cats, and other animals. As a prospective doctor, and a keen observer and volunteer, I got to help operate three animals, which included removing maggots from inside the bodies of two dogs, and the sterilisation of a male cat. From the animal farm, we made our way to Saguna Baug, where room allotment was both a priority and a cause for temporary alliances, false promises and other such regular deals. Once we settled in, we went for a nature trail, where a guide walked us through several species of plants, most of whose names were pure fantasy to us. Boys being boys began to name each other using these names! Imagine calling someone Triticum Aestaevum (wheat). In the evening, we had a bonfire, where the students had to organise a skit, a song and a dance. The night was chaotic but at the same time, extremely good fun! When teenagers are told something, in all likelihood, they will do the exact opposite. So, when we were told to sleep early, you can imagine what would have happened! We talked, played cards, and retold ghost stories which we all pretty anticlimactic. The next morning, we woke up to go to a school, so that we could donate stationery to the children there. In our own small way, we wanted to help the underprivileged children who deserved all these amenities, just as much as we did. That brought an end to the activities that had been organized for us. The students were then free to try activities within Saguna Baug, which included cycling, rifle shooting, archery and zip lining. We used the empty stretch of land to play cricket, football and generally pass time until lunch, after which we would leave for Bombay. Finally, it was time to bid farewell to Saguna Baug. Back in the bus, every single student sat down and caught up on the sleep we hadn’t got in the past two days. The long awaited ‘SUPW trip’ had finally come to an end but it was just the start of the repeated inside jokes and the everlasting memories that we took with us from this wonderful trip!
-Sai Narimetla, 11B
The mere sight of the word makes most of us wince.
We associate fear, with the anxiety experienced in the face of imminent or immediate danger, but that is not entirely correct. Fear can be extremely general, like a fear of public speaking or even a fear of heights.
To fear is natural, to see past it is heroic. It is a normal additive to life, symbolizing that there are new, often extraordinary things to come, to face.
Fear will tell you that you aren’t good enough. It’ll tell you that you will never shine.
And the worst part of it all?
Most of the time, you will let it consume you. And you believe it.
You believe it when it tells you that someone else’s best will always be better than yours.
You believe it when it tells you that you will be judged if you showcase your ability to the world.
It shuts you down when you need to wake you up.
It heightens all your insecurities when you need to kill them.
And before you know it, you are held captive by the demons inside of you, the demons that it gave birth to.
So what do you do?
You just keep on fighting.
Fight, even if you have to leave the beautiful, dark world it has created for you, even if you have to say goodbye to fear itself.
– Akansha Gupta 11th
“Don’t talk like that, she has two young kids!”
“Show some respect, she has a family at home!”
“Don’t make jokes, her children could have lost their mother!”
Every single response that I’ve read about rape has been about pleading for empathy for the woman… except that they’re not really asking you to respect HER, are they?
They’re always saying:
“She matters because she is a mother”,
“She matters because she has people that like her”.
But there was no
“She matters because she is a woman, because she is a human being, and women matter.”
And this is the most common trope when it comes to rape and violence against women; we only matter when our abuse affects someone else.
Every white knight brings out the “what if it was your mother or your sister, or aunt or daughter?!”, as if my worth, the factor that should stop men from raping me, is my relation to a man, and not the fact that I am a human being and no person has the right to hate me, hurt me, or abuse me.
Whether my words are heard by millions or none, I matter just as much. My impact upon the world does not increase or lessen my right to be respected as a human being. I don’t need to be a man’s daughter, a boy’s mother, a person’s anything, to be deserving of respect and empathy, especially in the face of violence.
A woman does not deserve empathy because she is a mother, because she is someone’s daughter, someone’s wife, someone’s sister, or cousin or aunt or godmother or friend.
Every woman who faces rape, exploitation, violence and has that violence trivialized by others, matters because she is a woman.
WOMEN MATTER BECAUSE WE ARE PEOPLE.
-Nishtha Gugnani 11A
The most important lesson I learnt from my journey in school is: you will get through it. You get through all the scolding, the deadlines, the bullying, the fights, the heartbreaks, the drama, you get past it all. As kids, especially teenagers, we feel like our problems are the end of the world but I wish I’d realized that they’re just small chapters in this great novel called Life.
School can be tough and taxing not only academically but emotionally too. Being bullied feels like even though you’re in this protected environment, you can’t trust anyone, that you’re unsafe. But what school taught me over the years is that no matter where you are, what school or standard you’re in, bullies will remain bullies. It is for us to rise above them and not be victims to their anger and repressed emotions. I always thought talking about it or getting help from anyone would be pointless and embarrassing, but it turned out to be one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
Why is the way one looks, the way one dresses, how smart one is used against people? I think the very things that bullies use to bully you are the weapons you should throw back at them. So what if your dressing style is funkier than the others or what if your hair cut is different from everyone else? These are the things make you unique, not an outcast. I wish someone told me back then that they’re bullies and their opinions don’t matter and then that the only person I had to be good enough for, was myself.
Multiple times we see people being bullied, knowing he/she is affected by people making fun of him/her and we don’t do anything about it. I don’t think standing up to a bully on the victim’s behalf is going to help anyone. Instead walk over to the victim, ask them what’s bothering them or maybe just listen. Being a good listener sometimes is the best and only solution to help them. And you never know, that girl sitting on the last bench in the corner sketching at the back of her binder can end up talking to you more than your best friend does.
Whether you’re bullied or not, the key to being happy is keeping negativity out of your life and believing in yourself. And more importantly, remember that not everyone will like you and appreciate how different you are but the main aim isn’t to change yourself to get everyone to like you, it’s finding those few people who love and respect you for who you are.
-Zara Humranwla (11A)
Kitsch Kitsch Hota Hai
Have you ever felt so inspired by someone or something, you were ready to let go of everything else for it? Have you ever expressed and channeled your emotions through a medium, a subject? For me, that medium has been art. Art that lets you splash your anger, your curiosity, your happiness, on a blank canvas… Art that doesn’t judge you, but reflects your emotions.
Art imitates life, and life imitates art.
I have been inspired by a lot of artists; from Banksy and Dali to Da Vinci and Michelangelo; but, somehow, there was never an artist who really hit home.
This year though, I learnt about two artists who reached closer to home than I would expect – a Mumbai based power couple – Anju and Atul Dodiya, who are connected by their passion and sheer love for art, but distinctly set apart by their ideas, inspirations, styles and stories.
While Anju Dodiya has discovered via her art and her inspirations how to be braver and found an expressive way to portray her life’s experiences, Atul’s inspirations have taught him that art in this world is too vast and too tempting not to experiment with, to utilize as a tool to find out miscellaneous ways to explicate one’s stories and struggles. Anju uses water based colors as her medium in her free-flowing, somber and meaningful paintings but, in Atul’s case, his only signature style is not to have one.
Anju began her journey to pursue fine arts in the J.J. School of Fine Arts, has been in constant conflict with the subject. She has always struggled with putting forward her ideas in the most innovative and expressive way possible. Copious amounts of her paintings are self-portraits depicting her in her room or studio trying to think and find the best and most interesting way to pour out her intuitive emotions on canvas.
Winning the struggle against the skin disease Leukoderma intensified her passion to express. Out of the womb of her struggles, battles and inner conflicts were born her art, her style and her ideas. Her paintings titled ‘Rain’, ‘the Portrait Artist’ and numerous others showcase on a large canvas the tussle and war that rages on in artist’s mind before painting.
On the other hand, Atul Dodiya’s story begins with that of another artist, who was the sole inspiration that changed his artistic outlook and journey.
Philip Guston was a famous and extremely talented artist of the 20th Century. He was renowned for his abstract brilliance and was a huge artistic influence on numerous artists.
One day amidst the fame and love he received for his art, he decided to risk it all, and began to try figure drawings and realistic art which was worlds apart from his style. This man was ready to lose his fame, his signature style and his respect to tread on an unknown journey and discover different forms of expression.
In Atul’s heart and mind this resonated and struck a chord which altered the beat and rhythm of his style, made Philip Guston his artistic hero, much like he became mine.
Atul was now inspired by Matisse, Picasso, Sunil Patwardhan, etc. who never ceased to try out new ideas and styles. He tried out photography, painted with watercolours and oil paints and found new ways of creating, of expressing. His works, like ‘Shutters between us’ – a series of meaningful yet subtle paintings done on shutters of shops across Mumbai – challenge what we consider ‘art’ and not only comfort the disturbed but also disturb the comfortable.
As one reads through summaries of such artistic journeys, one notices and understands how two people can be artistically disconnected, yet emotionally attached. This can inspire an aspiring artist like me to paint and paint and pour my heart out, till no blank space is seen through the kaleidoscope of my emotions and until the voice in my head telling me I’m not an artist is permanently silenced.
-Aarushi Zarthoshtimanesh 11A
“Healing is a matter of time, but it is sometimes also a matter of opportunity.” – Hippocrates.
11th of April is celebrated world-wide as International Parkinsons Day. Parkinsons is a disease which affects the nervous system, resulting in many forms of degeneration of the body, extremely slow movements and other symptoms such as shivering of hands. The Parkinsons disease and movement disorder society had, on Monday, the 11th of April, organized an event for all Parkinsons patients. Many doctors, and other eminent people who have excelled in their respective fields, were invited-of them one was Dr. Nicole D’souza, an ex-student of Bombay Scottish School. We, the students of Bombay Scottish School had volunteered our services for this event.
The program began with a lunch for all the patients present there. We helped distribute the lunch boxes, helped the patients eat them, and then took the patients up to the auditorium. Some of us were backstage helping with the props, backdrops, and communication of messages. We had lot of fun backstage: helping get all the props arranged, seeing to it that everything is in order for the next act, and generally just getting things ready and perfect. We helped the patients wear their headgear, scarves, coats, giving them props and getting them set for their performances. We helped ensure that the event was smooth and continuous. The feedback we got was extremely positive as all the patients were very happy at the end of the programme and had enjoyed it tremendously.
There were many performances such as dances, acts, plays and speeches done by the patients themselves to the best of their ability. These were very inspirational and motivational. We learnt that it doesn’t matter if you are differently abled, you will always find another way. Life might not be the same, but it may just be better!
All of the patients’ acts encouraged everyone to fight against parkinsons, be strong and tell themselves,“I can.” There is nothing that a person cannot do. If there is a will, there is a way! Only the effort may be lacking. There was another important lesson to be learnt, to always be POSITIVE AND HAPPY, to believe in ourself.
Hellen Keller’s words sum up our experience beautifully, “Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of overcoming it.”
Advice From the Future
I am not quite sure how to start this but I suppose I will say that I know how lost you feel right now. I am you, after all. Entering the ninth standard is an overwhelming feeling. It is like jumping into the deep end of the pool without a float and no experience. I know you feel like you are drowning right now, in your studies, your parents expectations, what your teacher says and what others think about you. My advice is just to not think about it. It sounds ridiculous maybe, but you will never be happy if you try to please everyone. Letting go of the fear of what others think is a big part of why I am happy now.
The second piece of very important advice is, stop worrying about how you look. I have seen you trying to avoid looking in the mirror and wearing certain clothes because you think you look bad. I know you do not like wearing dresses because you’re afraid everyone is secretly laughing at you. It is your choice whether you want to wear a dress or not. The pressure to be thin is everywhere, I know. I still feel it sometimes, but I want you to start looking in the mirror and telling yourself that you look good. Do not listen to everyone else, they are no one to comment.
I know you are still trying to get over what happened last year. You feel like you will never trust anyone again or find a friend whom you can really trust with everything. Well, you will eventually, trust me on that. You sit in class feeling unwanted and like you are invisible and no one notices you are secretly unhappy, do not try to deny it. Go up to people and talk to them. You do not need to be told who you should and should not talk to, you can decide that just fine. If you do not feel like talking some days, that is perfectly fine too. It does not make you strange or antisocial. All you need is some time for yourself.
It feels nice to be praised and complimented. When people give you either, believe it. Not all of them are faking it. You can use the memory of all the times you have been praised to cheer yourself up and feel motivated when you are having a bad day. At the same time though, do not go out of your way for validation. Do not become too competitive or try to do what everyone else is doing even if you do not like it, especially then. Learn how to say no. Remember that sometimes, the only person who can make you happy is you. You have many strengths and qualities that other people do not. So make the best of them! People will talk, but then they always do. You were not born to please them, so, they do not matter.
Do not be afraid to speak the truth, and this applies to even the smallest of things, You cannot run away forever, and you will have to accept somethings eventually. Try and enjoy all the little things life has to offer, whether it is listening to your favourite song or the nice feeling you get when you help someone. It can be anything, really. There is almost always a good thing in grey days, if you remember to look.
So, remember to work hard, but also to make some time for yourself to enjoy. You will never get these years back so, you might as well enjoy it. Wake up wondering whether you will learn something new and do the best you can. It will remove the mental block that studies are invincible. Stand up not just for yourself, but for others too. Live life to the fullest and do not have any regrets, I really do love you and I am sorry for all the pain I cost you. I hope this advice helps you make it through the rest of the year.
-Niyati Savur 12A
Nritya: Inter-house Dance Competition
The day started unusually early, with multitudes of production members rushing through the gates of school. All carrying their obnoxiously large and cumbersome yet incredibly beautiful backdrops.
It had all lead to this moment, probably the most anticipated event of the year, our school’s annual dance competition, Nritya. An early head start to this day, although unusual, was definitely necessary. To win the much desired 100 points, the houses had to compete neck to neck against each other. This year, the topics assigned to the houses were the four elements.
Red house with the element, air, spun an intricate tale which personified the feelings of love, anger, rage and loss that consumes a person.
With the element ‘earth,’ green house depicted a story, and with the help of a song-like poetry they managed to keep the audience enchanted with their dance.
The runner-up house, the blue house with the element water, through a passionate dance, awed the audience and the judges alike showcasing the wrath of Poseidon, the Greek god of the seas and water.
The winning house, the yellow house, were to depict their performance on the basis of the element, fire. They told a story of not only the usefulness of fire but also of its destruction through the dance form, ‘Tandav.’ What better way to showcase the beauty and rage of fire?
But these were not the only performances that we witnessed, budding singers and instrumentalist took up the stage and did not fail to keep the audience entertained, and tapping away in happiness. The judges were all praise for the performances, and the efforts of our senior section.
Mrs. Thomas, the senior coordinator even went out of her way to say that this was the best Nritya so far. Making all the performers proud and content, despite the fact they lost or won.
–Yohann Mathew 11B
Social Service: Saguna Bagh
On a hot sultry early November morning, 75 excited girls from the ISC Section took off for a visit to Saguna bagh, a farm nestled in Raigad, about 4 hours away from Mumbai as part of our SUPW project.
We started off at 7 am and reached 4 hours later to what seemed like a quaint, charming and quiet village. Thankfully, it wasn’t as primitive as I had envisaged earlier! The rooms were basic but no one was going to remain indoors, when glorious nature beckoned us outside for a hot breakfast along with a promise of a tour of the village, to he followed by a the demonstration of a special type of yoga called Malkhamb. This was followed by pulling the fish net and trying to get a worthy snap with a large fish in our hands.
We went back to the dorm, after a delicious meal(though an avid non-vegetarian, I must admit, that the meal tasted really “farm fresh”). It had been a hot day and after lunch we all retired for a much needed siesta.
After we woke up, we were shown a live snake show by a snake charmer. However, it was time for some actual work and that’s when we were introduced to threshing followed by tugging the udders of cows. A couple of unnaturally brave girls even went to drink the milk directly!
Very soon it was evening and it was time for the bonfire! That truly was the highlight of the entire trip with all of us dancing, singing and acting in performaces that we put up around the theme of women empowerment. Too soon, alas, we were told it was time to go to sleep. But the night was still young and we sat up until sunrise chatting and telling ghost stories until the exertions of the busy day finally took its toll and we fell asleep. It was not a surprise when none of us responded to the first wake up call. The second day promised even more fun with a visit to the local Adivasi school. The kids were well behaved, polite and very smart. We handed over the presents that we had carried to the children of the school, who graciously accepted them. We then toured the vocational training institute for women. The stories we heard opened our eyes to the daily lives of those who aren’t as privileged as us. The Principal and teachers in the school were truly inspirational.All too soon, we had to go back. After a quick lunch finished off with a much-needed gola, we boarded the buses again for our trip home.
It was a wonderful trip, made even more special because of our dear teachers, who remained protective about our safety and comfort but also let down their guard and showed us their fun-loving personas as well. Our journey home was spent dozing off and while we were all glad to be back home, our experience there has taught us lessons we will remember for the rest of our lives.
-Sanjana Gupta 11C
Zenith, the pinnacle
Scottish was fortunate enough to be a part of it. Our school, not only participated but bore fruitful results in both the cultural and sports events.
Scottish secured one of the first three ranks in a wide majority of events in the cultural part, including first in “Retro to Metro” a musical event, second in Zenith’s economic twist on a life-sized game of Monopoly and third in “21st Century, My Dear Watson” which was an event that required a play of about 20 minutes to be put it up.
This play would have to be a 21st Century version of a classic Sherlock Holmes story, but the participants needed to add a character of their own, and a plot twist.
All the participants put in a lot of effort into making Bombay Scottish proud, both before and during the fest. Needless to say with the array of prizes we won, we were not disappointed.
–Tisha Virani 11A
“IT’s” GIFT TO ME (Senior Dramatics)
Do you know what it feels like to be slapped and be happy about it, or live the life of a depressed workaholic? Well I have, and let me tell you, it is the greatest feeling ever!
I had the great honour of representing my house, the Blue house, in the annual senior dramatics competition. It was an experience which now makes me cry but at the same time fills my heart with joy. I miss the foolishness, the craziness, all the shouting and screaming of the numerous practices we held. Not only does my heart jump up with joy because we were successful in winning but because I got a chance to become good friends with some of the most talented people I have ever seen. Dramatics did not only teach me more about art, coordination or team work but it taught me how to appreciate art, it taught me the importance of coordination and it taught me what a gift it is to have a beautiful team for me to work with side by side who will always have me back.
I consider dramatics as my gift. It was a gift to me. It gave me unforgettable memories. It gave me the pride to say, “Yes, yes I was the one who played Kabir, the guy who got slapped practically everyday.”
The Cascade Effect
Cascade, a popular, inter-school cultural fest organised by the Jamnabai Narsee Alumni Association, was a first for our school that revealed many hidden talents within each one of us and got a lot of us to do things we never thought we were capable of doing.
The event that I took part in was, “Darwin’s Wardrobe”. Never did I think of myself as a ‘model’ that would be confidently cat walking down a stage, pausing now and then, to flaunt the dress that I was wearing. If I was told to go onto that stage and dance, I would have done it as if I was breathing. Simple and rhythmic.Cat walking on the other hand was like a foreign territory to me. Unknown. Terrifying. What if I tripped and made a fool of myself? What if something went wrong with my accessories? So many what if’s. But, there’s no point in letting “what if” drive our life. Why must we be afraid of taking chances? Grab every opportunity that comes your way, because each “what if” that turns to “hell yes!” can lead to something big, someday.
So, I took the chance along with 8 other participants and our talented ‘designer,’ Saanika Nasta.
Our theme for the fashion show was evolution of gowns. We went from the Greek gods to today’s most trendy tight fit gown that drapes itself into folds.
We worked for hours after school until the day of our event, perfecting our formations and walks and having great fun along the way. Our event was well organised and a lot of fun; despite the fact that there was a slight delay.
We didn’t end up winning, but we did learn a lot from our experience.
Paint the World
John Ruskin once said,”The purest and most thoughtful minds are those which love colour the most”. Some of these minds decided to add a little colour to the monotonous walls of Mumbai. Wall painting has become a medium for people of all ages to express their opinions, grievances, frustrations, aspirations, dreams and ideals through art. Tarnished walls serve as a blank canvas for those who have something to say, and believe that a picture is worth a thousand words. Each wall painting tells a unique story that enraptured the beholder. Scottishites participated in the movement to make Mumbai a more colourful place by volunteering for the ‘Swatchh Harit Shivaji Park Abhiyan’. Many Scottish students and teachers along with other people of the locality arrived at Shivaji Park on the morning of May 2nd, eager to spread the message of cleanliness and display their creativity. They worked fervently through the morning. The activity thereafter gathered momentum and continued to go on for several weekends after this, till all the walls were covered with paintings, each one with a story to tell. More and more people showed up and the campaign was a success.
–Jieya Rawal (11C)
The Privileges of the Fifth Floor
Over the last five years, have you ever found yourself wondering what exactly it is that the older girls and boys in the blue uniform do all day? I – most definitely – have.
I used to find it so hard to believe that the ISC Section is an active part of Bombay Scottish because, most of the time, I had no idea what was going on up there. Right from the multiple new subjects, to the senior library and the different teachers – the ISC Section has always been a mystery to me, and possibly to a few others as well. Why is that?
Now that I’m in the 11th grade myself, I understand. ISC has always been a mystery because it has always been so unorthodox and self-sufficient.
I’ve found that there has been a drastic change in my environment since I’ve joined the ISC. For instance, I don’t have to walk to the other side of the school to borrow a book anymore. The senior library is really God’s gift to the fifth floor. It’s a life saver!
Another big change is the uniform. Now, when I say ‘uniform’, I don’t mean just the clothes. I mean the change in behaviour that they have caused. For example, just last week, a little child bumped into me while running and then apologised for it while addressing me as ‘Didi‘! It wasn’t that big of a deal, but it got to me because I had never experienced that in the last twelve years I had spent in Scottish.
What’s even more surprising is that it doesn’t end there. The teachers, too, treat us differently. I don’t know if I’m the only one who noticed that classes now have been more informal than ever. Teachers do not hesitate to leave the class unattended sometimes; they talk openly about sensitive matters; class discussions are more active… There are so many small but significant changes in our lives.
The biggest change has been that, now, we’re expected to behave in a certain manner. We are expected to be mature. In my opinion – being treated like an adult, with responsibilities, targets and ethics is what makes ISC so spectacular.
I was pleasantly surprised by this, and I think that others were, too. Hopefully, the ISC experience gets even better over the next two years. But even if it doesn’t, I’m already convinced I want to stay here and unravel some more of the secrets – or should I say – privileges of the fifth floor.
— Raksha Saraf (11 A)