Issue 21

Home Vol. III Issue 21

Editorial

 

I want to start by wishing you all a very happy Diwali. Diwali is undoubtedly the most welcomed festival by us children. After all, we get holidays from school. Then there is no need to make excuses for having sweets every other minute and above all who can miss the joy of burning crackers and watching the amazing light show in the night sky afterwards. Yes yes, I know the pollution it causes, but then if we can pardon you adults for going to the office everyday in your own car and not the bus then surely you can forgive us for one day of fun.

This edition is all about children so I feel that I should write something about our lives. So here it goes…

A typical day in our lives begins with the horrid sound of the alarm clock at 6 am. I wonder which maniac came up with its idea! Then follows the tedious task of taking a bath, brushing and some other business…well you get the idea. All that getting ready, definitely gets you late and leaves you with the option of rushing with your breakfast in one hand and tie in another, running after the school bus. It’s the time when you realize that the school bus is that vehicle which runs twice as fast when you are after it as when you are in it. By some luck we manage to hop inside the bus and reach the school.

The only joy, is meeting up with friends. Although we meet every day, we still have loads to chit chat about. Whether it be a status on FB, a new song/movie trailer or how Pankaj Sir of economics dozed off in the bus. Then the periods begin and the teachers come into the class with a tired smile plastered on their faces, conjuring up new ways to vex us. Ok I know that is overstating it a bit, but then some cause happiness wherever they go and others whenever they go. For the children, the Teachers are usually the latter. And that is exactly the reason why we love the five minutes break after the Science teacher leaves and before the English teacher comes in or if we manage to muster up enough courage, bunking the History period is an utter bliss. On and on our classes go on but then at one-thirty school finally comes to an end. Just reaching the school gate from the top floor through the stairs is a roller coaster ride. You just need to stand in one place and the rest is taken care of by the pushing and shoving to move you downstairs.

After reaching home, it is again the homework. We have to write “short” notes on totally absurd topics, which aren’t exactly short, considering we have to “research on the topic thoroughly before hand”. But then Internet zindabad! Copy a line from here and one from there. It is funny how teachers consider copying from one site as plagiarism and from many as research. Well anyways that is how the day comes to an end.

Yeah…life sucks! Don’t we have anything better to do than mug up for exams? And this is what we will always say. But many have told me that you miss these school days and the teachers even, the most when you grow up and start thinking about money, jobs and other boring stuff. So I am trying to make most of it even though if it means annoying the teacher by talking in between class, or stating every bizarre excuse for not submitting the homework.

Well anyways I can go rambling on… so I will just stop and hope you enjoy the edition.

 

SONAL GUPTA

GUEST EDITOR

An evening with Jahnu Baruah

By Srikant Chaudhary

Juba Pratim Gogoi

Napam (Tezpur) March 31

 

There is no need for wasting words for an introductory paragraph on who Jahnu Baruah is. Yet for those who don’t know and had been racking their brains till now will probably recognize him as the director of a critically acclaimed Hindi film, Maine Gandhi Ko Nahi Maara. He is one of the most prominent and versatile filmmakers of India, awarded both nationally and internationally and to his credit has the distinction of having directed several Assamese and Hindi films.

Last month we caught up with him in the Tezpur University campus while he was quite busy with a weeklong schedule for the dubbing of his upcoming film Bandhan. In spite of having a tight schedule he managed to spare a couple of hours to interact with us a few media students of the University. The interaction was worth every minute and now we itched for a personal interaction. On our request he promptly agreed. To have such an unexpected interaction with a filmmaker like Jahnu Baruah is sheer luck and the experience was absolutely thrilling. We couldn’t help feeling anything but privileged. For the experience

Amidst the enigmatic aura that had settled in the room of our guest house, the humble and simple personality, who generally attires himself with a plain shirt, engaged us in a fantastic conversation. Sharing his thoughts on the university, he commented that it is by far one of the best campuses he has been to, in terms of a pleasant atmosphere. As unlike other universities it is situated far from the hotch- potch of the city which provides a stimulating learning environment.

Answering why talent from northeast is not visible enough on the national scale as compared to the Bengalis, he said that he didn’t believe in the comparison. Assam is land of rich culture and diversity. One will come across numerous ethnic groups, cultures and religions in the region. With such vast differences it will take time for the people to work together as one.

Looking back at his experiences, he added that, “certainly we have talents but only talents are not enough, talent has to work, and should be nurtured properly”. He also pointed out that they had to develop the sense of belongingness with the country to be recognized.

He then raised a question that, “How much do we know about ourselves? Have we ever tried to explore our own region, leave aside the Bengalis?” Answering his own question, he remarked that this is because we don’t have the urge to know the unknown around us. He suggested that as media students we should have the inquisitive nature to know the world around us. Then only one can do justice to his or her own talent. Whenever we plan any excursions we straightaway think of Mumbai, Goa, Bangalore and other metropolitan cities, running after the modern world. We never think of Kohima, Aizwal or Arunachal Pradesh. Do these places not bear any significance to us?

Coming back to cinema he claimed that Indian Cinema is still far behind the world cinema. He could only think of Satyajit Ray who had achieved that level. Disappointedly, he divulged that we have good film makers but we lack a cinema friendly environment. He felt that for this the film makers are responsible. They don’t have the urge to see the films of other languages. For an instance, an Assamese doesn’t wish to see a Malayalam film and vice-versa, and unfortunately World cinema is nonexistent to us. We always tumble within Hollywood and Bollywood.

He further added that good films, good poetry and script which raise questions are not supported by the system. Many good film makers are struggling for the very reason. He considered that, “Whatever films I have made, are all my individual effort, have not gained any support from the system.” He was of the opinion that media in India plays a greater role in creating a cinema friendly environment. It is always interested in Bollywood gossips. He suggested to us that as media students we must also share the responsibility to create a proper environment for cinema. Moreover he criticized that we lack the strategy to market sensible films. When a corporate house produces a film they don’t discuss the film rather it’s all about the stars.

In the end, remarking on what makes a good film maker he said that a film school does not make a good film maker, it is about generating a good idea and executing it into a film. It requires a lot of hard work and patience but it’s worth the shot. 

Cultural Paradox

By Rupasi Gupta


Oh common I know this for a fact that these ladies today are fearless. They are not scared anymore. They beat men bugging them with their purses and karate kicks they learn from the movies. The fight off abusing husbands in courts and take out much money from them. They go out during the nights and wear all kinds of clothes you can think of. Be it shorts and skirts to skin hugging strapless tops. They are not afraid of anyone. They have broken all social limitations you can think of.
You over hear one of your uncles saying this to other men, with much confidence and evidence. But what we see every year sometime in August is quite the opposite. These same ladies tie rakhis to their brothers just like your uncle and ask for their protection. They ensure that this brother- sister relationship never ends. They ensure that their brother is still around for them and also protects them.

I will invite ten kanyaas in my house this time during Navratras. I will seek blessings from them all. Why should I not, are they not divine. It will bring peace, joy and money in my house. I have also decided to give them a feast and gifts. They will all feel very happy.
You hear your neighbor aunt saying that she believes that these small cute girls represent our Hindu goddesses- Maa Saraswati, Maa Durga, Maa Laxmi and what not. But when you read the morning newspaper, instead of finding new government policies, we see how many of these little girls were raped at night or tortured during the day. How they were sold in the market for mere thousand rupees. How they are deprived from their right to go to school. And the worst, how they were killed in their mother’s womb.

My wife doesn’t need me. She makes her own money, and spends her own money in her own ways. She is financially independent. She handles the whole house and even the kids with so much ease and grace. Even my mother wasn’t that good. She knows how to drive and has her own credit cards, so I don’t even have to go with her for her shopping. I know for sure that even if I am not at home for a week, she will manage everything. She is a superwoman.
One man is discussing with others over a beer. But they don’t realize that the same woman eats nothing for hours and prays for the eternal lives of their husbands every year during karva chauth. This ensures that their husbands will be with them until they die, i.e. the wife will die before the husband does. The same woman seeks permission from her husband to go and meet her family or just hang around with her friends.

I love my parents. They are always telling stories of fairies and Santa Claus to my children at night. Their experiences and mistakes are so much of value to me. I learn so much from them. They are so wise and loving and caring. I wish they always remain with me and help me forever.
These same kids throw out these same parents to streets. They are forced to leave from the home, they built themselves with their own money and dreams, by their own children .Then they live their remaining lives (if they are able to) in a cranky old age home full of guilt and remorse.

Nothing can ever happen of India. It will remain the land of snake charmers and mystics. The difference is that earlier it was the British and now there are corrupt politicians and their duplicity. India will never become anything. It will forever stay like this.
The not-so-proud Indians who say these words out of derision, fail to recognize the very fact that now days India is on top of everything. Be it the production of wheat and rice or the most educated young population who can be hired by MNCs. We have got our music maestro A.R. Rehman, with two Oscars; our master blaster Sachin Tendulkar, with hundred hundreds; our evergreen actor Amitabh Bachan, with over 175 films to his credit; I can go on but I am afraid I will run out of time. yes, it has its fault but then which country doesn’t? I don’t know when we will be able to overcome them but what i do know is that if we only sit and complain then nothing is going to change.
I wonder when these cultural paradoxes will come to an end, and we, the people, will be able to live our lives in peace.

Begin to be now what you want to be in the future. (smirk!)

By Srajan Bhatnagar

 

I wonder how Hitler used to plan in his childhood for what he became later on – A genocidal dictator who will never be forgotten (though for the wrong reasons).  I am sorry to start on a very cynical note but the whole idea of wanting to be someone notable though, is very natural, but still very, should we say, dicey. Jack the ripper must have psychological leanings for violence since childhood, but would that advice hold true for him- of starting from now on what you want to be in the future? Horror isn’t it? We would say so only if we were supposedly wanting to be- Engineers, Doctors, Astronauts, Leaders, and so forth.  It would be drummed in our heads to start! Start! Start studying from NOW and not to waste some precious moments in futility as time is short and also precious…  So the bottom line is that the above statement holds true only if your ambition is on the lines of doing something great for humanity, for your country, your family or for the greater good.


But let’s not dwell on that controversial bit now and instead stick to the topic of striving to be now what you want to be in the future. In other words you have to strive, persevere, or push yourself. But how do we know we have chosen to be what we should be, aptly? Don’t they say every human being is destined for a purpose? We are bestowed with a particular talent and the key is to identify it. Now here comes the tricky part. What if we haven’t identified correctly, then?  Don’t children want to be someone whom they suddenly fancy? And isn’t that the reason why they keep on changing their ambitions? Pilot if they watch Air Force one, a cryptologist after reading  Dan Brown, a policeman after they see Salman Khan swaggering around in his khakis, a rockstar when Bon Jovi came over here and sometimes in weirdly childish ways, even Wizards and vampires.  So how do we know we are meant to be what we want to be? Or even ambitions and purposes that are thrust upon us by parents, friends ,relatives? I guess we do not have a definite answer to that. Everything is a blind shot – well almost.  In a way there is simply no guarantee that you will be what you want to be if you begin to be that from now on. Of course it is a different story if it is something abstract and widely encompassing like being a good person, helping others, happy man, selfless man and so on and so forth.  To be those you can begin from any point of your life time and still achieve what you aim to achieve. Hence earlier you start the better it is. Yes point taken.

But let us again come back to striving and persevering early onwards for a better result. I do not entirely disagree to that either because it holds true that to excel in any field you have to start early- be it academics or arts or even sports. Our ancestors were very wise when they started the Gurukul system where their teachers used to push them hard from a young age. I have heard that Nadia Commanecci the first gymnast to score a perfect ten in Olympics had started training from the age of three.  And there will be many such examples of greatness in history.  So it is true that the earlier you train to be what you want to, more pronounced will be the results.  Time has an essence and the more you utilize it, the better will it be for you. But the question was never about starting out early. It was whether you have really thought out appropriately what you want to be? Your choice is the key. If you choose to be what you naturally were meant to be or wanted to be, then everything will follow automatically- the training, perseverance, dedication and sincerity.  It will be as if all the pieces of a jigsaw have fallen into their rightful place automatically.  But one discordant factor and everything stands the risk of going awry.

You don’t have the head for maths yet your heart wants to be a pilot. You have a hopeless sense of notes and pitch and you want to be a musician. You cannot tolerate the sight of blood yet you are slogging for a career in medicine. You have two left feet yet you want to be a quick silver of a dancer. Now such a situation will cause some moments of pain and reckoning. No matter how much you train early, it will be difficult to attain perfection or satisfaction in such cases. Hence the next best thing here will be a switch. Switch over to something you can do – something that you had not exactly planned to be and had not even trained to be in the least. Yes – just an alternative. A plan B. And start all over again.

There is no harm, nor shame in failing to be what you wanted to be in the first place. It could have very well happened to anyone. You tried your best. You tried early on but things were not meant to be. There are things that are beyond one’s control- luck, destiny, human limitations and we have to accept that gracefully and in a mature way. For a second chance you are never late. So what if that was not exactly your idea of being the person you wanted to be. So what you did not start being that , during your early years, but it is never late to be at least SOMEONE.

 

It is true that you have to start being from NOW onwards what you want to be later for success but in case , per chance you do not become what you wanted to be, then it is never late to start all over again to become someone who is equally good.

 

Increasing facilities, decreasing aptitude

 

                                                                                                                                                                      Tishta Tandon

 

Mr. Rao, an English teacher, highly enthusiastic about the new CCE system introduced by the CBSE, gave a project to his students to submit an essay on “Changing Attitudes and Values in Society”. What he definitely had not expected was that he would get thirty identical essays, copied from ‘easyessays.com’, from his class!

Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation, a system, introduced with a vision of inculcating creativity and originality in students and mold wholesome all-rounders has been reduced to a sham; all thanks to increasing facilities like internet. CCE’s agenda of promoting ‘learning by doing’ has been shattered since every project, report, poster, etc. is available at the click of a button! Consequently, the culture of working hard and dedicatedly has been completely eroded. The ultimate result is that in spite of the efforts and intentions of educators, schools are not producing individuals anymore; they are just fostering clones or robots that have no definite set of values or opinions and are incapable of thinking for themselves. Honestly, the first thought that even I had while writing this essay, was to access the internet and copy something from there! Agreed that internet has made our lives easier and we can’t even imagine our world without it, but, I would argue that is the cost at which we’re getting these benefits, really worth it?

With facilities like satellite television channels having invaded our living rooms in a big way, children of an impressionable age are increasingly becoming addicted to the idiot box. Some experts even say that prolonged sitting in front of TV and computer screens, over and above its impact on eating habits and exercise, may cause metabolism changes that contribute to unhealthy cholesterol levels and obesity. That really is the couch-potato syndrome! Not just the internet and television, video games and mobile phones have also shifted the focus of the younger generation from knowledge gaining activities to entertainment. E-books have replaced the culture of going to libraries; addiction to virtual gaming has overpowered the desire to go out and play with friends. In fact, the social norms have become so that if I am reading a book instead of playing on PS-3 then, I’m considered a bore!

 

What’s more, increasing facilities like television and internet have an even deeper and mind boggling psychological impact on children. For instance, the TV reality shows, especially the ones showcasing children’s dancing, singing or acting skills are a cause of grave concern. In addition to hampering these children’s healthy physical growth, such shows put an undue pressure on kids to excel and win. Instead of promoting the spirit of competition and nurturing the values of companionship, love and care in the participants, these shows teach the children to trample others in the race to win; means are not really important for them, ends are. Some kids become so demotivated when they lose that it becomes very difficult for the parents to bring them back to reality and renew their faith in their talent and aptitude.

The social values that TV and internet are promoting are equally astounding. In a recent survey conducted to analyze the mindset of the youth of the country, it was revealed that 70% of youngsters don’t consider lying and cheating to be inappropriate means to succeed. Keeping the prevailing scenario in mind, Chetan Bhagat’s words reverberate the sordid reality. As he says, all that young India wants is well paid jobs, flashy cars and girlfriends and what they are not bothered about, at all, is to earn that living honestly, with integrity and excellence and without compromising the core values that build our society. The youngsters first want to fulfill their selfish needs and only after that are they willing to support a certain cause. So we all watch ‘Satyameva Jayate’ and show our pseudo sympathy by posting statuses and tweets but, we don’t want to participate or take responsibility for bringing about a change in the society.

I think I can safely conclude that we are a generation that survives on Facebook, Google, Twitter and Angry Birds. In a bid to become modern and ‘cool’ by exposing ourselves to the advanced facilities, we’ve actually become ‘individuals’ who act and think alike. We as the youth of the nation are supposedly its future. And if we are the future, I’m sorry to state the obvious: Nobody is in safe hands!

 

The Dream

                                                                   By Bhabana Pathak

 

 

It was a vast forest.

Vines twirling down from enormous shady trees; and a river like body slithering across the land. She swam in it, occasionally gasping for breath. And then she started running, running for her life. Suddenly all she could hear was a shrill cry……an ear tearing shrill sound and before she could turn around…she woke up! She woke up in a supposedly half felt adrenaline rush.

Arundhati was disappointed! She brushed through her morning chores, still fumbling to herself- why did her dreams have to be so queer.As if from a different world. A parallel universe.

She worked in local news daily as a part time. Creative writing was her forte when she had attended her mass communication classes but as job demanded, she settled down with feeble beginnings-small reports on the local football club or an exhibition collaborated by the new artist’s house.

She had found for herself a new beginning….in that new place. She knew she had places to go-that she laid lowest on the ladder of success. She knew she would climb it and move up, for “up” was all there left to go.

As the evening would come down, she traced back her way to the apartment. Arundhati would make herself a cup of coffee, play Jagjit Singh’s soulful melodies and gaze at the waves breaking by the shore. It was one time of the day she looked forward to everyday. As she looked across the sea, memories of her youthful days would swim up to her and she smiled…..sometimes in deep melancholy. Like any other day she was again reminded of a promise…a promise that she had made as a young girl years ago…to a face that has now gone vague somehow. She had once promised to gift a shirt to her most favorite person in the world-her friend, philosopher and guide. And the gift shall be with her first salary. She did remember about her promise. But circumstances prevailing, the gap of communication for years and two different cities were reasons enough for the delay. She had kept away a sum in a manila envelope aside, hoping for a day to use it for the right task.

It had been a tiresome day. Arundhati retired to her bed and by the lamp opened Rebirth. She slowly lost herself in it and as night crawled, she fell in a deep sleep. That night she dreamt of a shirt….a purple shirt flying high like a kite and she, like in a lost world, chasing it. Against a canvass blue sky, the shirt just flew-some unseen charm in it. And she simply ran, faster and faster through old mazy streets, through an open field.

Today she took it out. Counted the money kept aside and decided that it was time….time to buy that shirt. It simply wasn’t a shirt. It was a belief somebody had upon her to stand up on her feet one day. It was affection beyond prejudice.

It had been years now since she called him, least seen him. Maybe his hair has greyed; she thought to herself and smiled. It was raining heavily. She stood outside the store and suddenly a stream of anticipation washed her down. An anticipation to visit her old city and to that faceless friend whom she had promised a shirt, once

 

 

 

Metro- ism. Curt-Cuisine

                                                                                            By Manu Sasidharan
Manu Sasidharan is a student-cartoonist/graphic novelist. His  passion towards art has led him on his way in creating comic strips, caricatures & graphic novels. He has undergone 8 years training in art, which laid the foundation for his comic works. Now, he sketches cartoons and illustrations for private clients & college magazines.
Deccan Chronicle had featured him and his comic dreams at http://wwa.deccanchronicle.com/tabloid/all-rounders/finding-humour-everyday-life-411
He is planning to develop  Metro-ism : his comic strip series about a couple living in an Indian metro city of which the following strip is a part of.

…Tale of a Broken Family…

This fiction has won the third prize in the Sci Fi ECLAT competition held by IIT Guwahati

 

By Abhigyan Kashyap

Class: X

Don Bosco Higher Secondary School, Baghchung, Jorhat, Assam.

Lying on my bed, I stared at the twinkling stars through the open roof. The flying vehicles coupled with the spaceships obstructed the mesmerizing sight of the night sky. The clock struck 11 and the lights emitted by the soundproof walls of my room were automatically switched off.

My baby robot suddenly jumped over me and hugged me tight.

Ouch! Not again,” I let out a cry.

Before I could say anything, he slid the roof close and my thoughts drifted towards him. He was the most expensive robot of the 25th Century. His body emitted blue light and his eyes were the cutest of all baby robots.

I moved my hand in the air towards north and my image slid open on the roof.

Hello Sam,” the computerized screen greeted me. “What would you wish to see today?”

Reset the wallpaper,” I commanded. “I want the portrait of the twinkling stars.”

The wallpaper was reset within a micro second. Meanwhile, the walls emitted a spectrum of white light. It was a video call from my friends.

Hey guys,” I spoke and the wall displayed each of them separately. I saw them penetrating through the traffic at a maddening speed on their flying bikes.

Hi dude,” Zimex said. “We are on our way to your home and…”

Happy birthday in advance,” Isha shouted interrupting him.

Thank you,” I said smiling at her.

We are going to reach there within few minutes,” said Karan.

Hey, cops are after you,” I suddenly screamed as I saw the police vehicles behind them.

They turned back. “They are after us coz our speed is at about 450 km/hr,” Isha said. “I think we need to slow down and…”

Speed up guys!” shouted Simi before Isha could complete her sentence. I watched their scary faces as they were speeding up. They activated the invisibility mode on their bikes and the cops were finally left behind after a long chase.

Here we reached,” Zimex said as they parked their bikes outside my room. The computerized wall scanned their retina and it slid open automatically. No sooner did they enter my room, than they hugged me wishing me a happy birthday. Dad had arranged a special party for the next night and they were the first guests.

The date changed as the clock struck 12 and they were precisely on time. We sat down on my bed and started chatting. The wall slid close. Meanwhile, Timmy, my baby robot, jumped onto Isha’s lap and she, in turn, smiled at him.

We need some sleep,” Karan said.

Yeah,” Simi added.

Pressing a switch on our clothes, we changed to our night dress. I gently tapped my bed twice and the bed started emitting a green light. This green light stores the dreams of a person which he can see after waking up.

Suddenly, an unfamiliar image slid open on the roof and the computerized screen spoke: ‘Unknown object detected’.

What’s this?” I asked pointing above. “An unknown object is detected in our store room.”

We jumped down and ran towards the room. As we entered the room, Isha picked it up from the floor. It contained printed pages and few words were inscribed on the cover:
My Diary…2010!!!

This dairy belongs to the 21st Century,” Karan said.

Isha opened it and………. The first page contained my photo!!!

It’s you Sam,” Zimex said in surprise.

Me?” I blinked my eyes.

I took the diary in my hands and stared at the photo for some time. Turning the page, we discovered that it was hand-written. I read:

Hi dear, this is Samir…

I skipped a few pages and stopped in the middle seeing a poem in one of the pages. I read:

23rd May, 2010:

Mom,” I said looking at her photo. “Your son, Samir would be eighteen today.”

I was sitting alone in my room and was thinking of my dead mother and sister while guests were waiting outside for me. Dad says that they had left this world in a car accident. Looking at mom’s photo, I wrote a few lines:

..MISS YOU MOM…..

The birds hymn a melancholic tune as they fly,
Lightning flashes your name in the sky,
A fairy seems to dwell among human beings
Feels like a butterfly has spread out its wings.

The gentle breeze feels like your touch,
It’s the night sky that I love to watch
Coz the twinkling stars reflect your face,
Feels like you are an angel from space.

Flowers whisper your name when it’s twilight,
The wind seems to carry your fragrance in the night,
Even storms can’t stop your love to sail,
Feels like a fairy is out from a fairy tale…

Sometimes, like a baby in its mother’s lap,
I long for your care,
I look up silently at the moon,
To see if you are hiding there.

Sometimes, it is your voice that I hear,
Whispering my name from beyond the clouds,
Closing my eyes, I try to feel you near
While opening my eyes, I get a drop of tear…

I kept aside my diary and walked to the hall and the guests gave me a warm welcome. I cut the cake and came to my room and kept the first piece of cake under my mom’s photo. I walked back to the hall.

Even being in that crowd, I was feeling lonely.

“Samir,” Dad called me. “Kindly bring my cell phone from my room.”

Yeah,” I said and ran towards his room.

I opened the shelf. Something caught hold of my eyes. I saw the picture of a spaceship on the first page through the transparent cover of a file. I turned few pages and saw the photo of my mom which was captured inside some spaceship. I went through the file and discovered that dad was a scientist in NASA who had designed that spaceship fitted with a time-machine.

Meanwhile, dad himself came to the room as I was late.

“What’s this dad?” I asked.

Why did you open this?” he retorted.

Why did you hide this from me?”

Sit down here,” he said blinking his eyes. “I will tell you.”

I faked a smile at him and he began, “I was a scientist in NASA but my mind had always drifted to something beyond imaginations. Time-travel was the most complex concept that I never understood and hence I spent days and nights researching whether it is possible for man to go to the future or to the past. The year was 1980, when I first designed the model of a spaceship fitted with a time-machine. I did something in reality which people couldn’t even imagine in their dreams. With few workers, I started building the spaceship. It was 1995 when my dream turned into reality and the spaceship was named Angel. Meanwhile, you were a three year old baby while your sister, Priya was just 7 months old.

Accordingly, along with Priya and you, we stepped inside the finest spaceship of all time. Your mom wanted to see your future but I wanted to go to the 25th Century. She had never refused me and that time too she did the same. Soon, we reached there. But…”

But…?” I asked watching a drop of tear in his eyes.

The natives thought us to be aliens and the aircrafts attacked us. Angel couldn’t resist their powerful attack and she started burning from the end. Then the spaceship started shaking vigorously. Your sister fell down from your mother’s hand through the broken glasses. She too jumped down to save her daughter. I somehow walked to the control room and pressed a switch which took us back to our own time. We were saved but your mom and sister had died because of me. It was my fault to wish to go to the 25th Century and…”

Dad was crying. I was crying and along with us, nature was crying. It was raining. Dad sat on the floor. I sat down beside him. “Perhaps they didn’t die…” I muttered. “They may be still alive there.”

May be,” he said.

Can’t we bring them back?”

He didn’t reply.

What happened to Angel then?” I changed my question.

After we reached here, I somehow took you out. Angel was still burning while the rain poured down and the fire stopped. I made an underground hall near our garage and hid the spaceship there. I promised that I will never touch Angel again and she has been lying there for fifteen long years. I could have published my researches over the spaceship. But I didn’t do so for people too will wish to see the future and will face the same situation.”

But…?”

I need to attend the guests,” he interrupted and left the room.

I left a letter for him on his bed:

Dear dad,

I am taking Angel to the 25th Century without your permission. It’s my promise that I will return home only with mom and Priya. I am sorry dad. Without them, even a second feels like ages. I want to touch my mom’s feet. I want to play with my little sister. Please dad, forgive me.

Yours lovingly,
Samir.

I walked to the location of the spaceship. I somehow removed the roof of the underground hall and jumped down. I was benumbed. Angel was a beauty. The charismatic sight froze my movements and my eyes were fixed on her like glue. I stepped inside the spaceship. I felt a sweet fragrance like that of my mom hovering around me. Although, the glasses were still broken and various parts were burnt, Angel didn’t lose her beauty. I went to the control room and typed ‘25th Century’ on the keypad of the time-machine. She transformed into particles and few seconds later I saw the following words on the screen of the time machine: ‘Destination Reached’. Flying vehicles hovered around and I was looking for a place to land.

Suddenly, I saw smoke coming out from the spaceship. They had attacked again…

I took the loudspeaker in my hand from a shelf inside the control room and spoke: We are not aliens. We are your ancestors. I have come to take my mother and sister back from here.

Their attacks continued. I knew I would die.

I promised dad to take back my mom and my little sister. I am not afraid of death but what matters me the most is that I have broken his heart. I have broken a promise. If someone ever finds this diary, please fulfill my promise. Dad will perhaps still be waiting there. Here, I am pasting the photos of mom and sister…

We looked at the two photos in the diary. “It feels like I am somehow related to Samir,” I said closing the diary.

Perhaps he dropped down the diary and..,” Isha beamed.

Stop giving your own conclusions,” Zimex stopped her. “Only Sam’s mom or dad can tell the truth.”

I pulled out the two photos from the diary and we returned to the bed. Questions kept arising in our minds which forbade us to sleep.

Good morning children,” said dad entering my room.

Oops! It was already morning.

Dad,” I spoke. “There is a diary lying in our store room. Signs show that it belongs to the 21st Century and the boy, I mean, Samir, the owner of that diary looks precisely like me.”

Yeah,” he muttered. “It’s said that when someone’s last wishes remain unfulfilled, he is born again to fulfill them. Samir is reborn here in the 25th Century as Sam and it’s none other than you.”

Me???” I wondered.

Yes.”

Is he dead?”

No,” dad replied. “He is still fighting with his life in the hospital. When Angel was attacked by the cops, he jumped down with the diary in his hands. He was severely injured. At that time, I was in my car and seeing him, I drove near and caught hold of his hand. Soon, the police aircrafts were after my car. Somehow, I rescued him and took him to the hospital.”

What happened to Angel?”

Angel was taken to the Research Centre and was rebuilt within ten days.”

As dad left the room, I handed over the photos of Samir’s mom and his baby sister to Zimex and said, “You guys need to go to the Info Centre, and inserting these photos in the machine, collect their information with full details. Meanwhile, I am going to see Samir in the hospital.”

Mounting on my bike, I speeded up towards the hospital while they drove to the Info Centre. As I reached the hospital, I hunted out his room number from the screen flashing out from one of the walls and soon found him lying on the hospital bed.

Don’t be frightened Samir. I am Sam,” I muttered. “Look, you are reborn in the 25th Century.”

My watch beeped suddenly. It was a message from Karan. I projected out the message from the watch and read: ‘We hav found out Samir’s mom. C iz in d rehabilitation centre…’

Meanwhile, my watch beeped again. I projected the message and read: ‘Dude, come here soon. D situation iz urgent…’

See you soon, Samir,” I said and ran out through the wall outside where my bike was parked. Meanwhile it started to rain. Enjoying every drop of rain that drenched my face, I penetrated through the traffic.

Simi, Zimex and Karan were waiting on the ground floor outside the computerized gate of the Info Centre.

Where is Isha?” I asked landing my bike. They looked at each other. They were clueless.

We don’t know,” Karan answered.

What are we waiting for then?” I said and we vanished into different directions. I looked for her in the great hall of the ground floor.

Suddenly the crowd stopped moving. Silence ran from one end to the other. Everyone was staring at the huge T.V. screen of the hall. I turned my eyes towards it. Isha was there in the News Channel.

Mom, dad,” she began and tears climbed down her eyes. “I thought that I was your own blood. But no! Today I had found out my real identity in the Info Centre. I am not Isha. I am Priya whom you had adopted from the orphanage.

In fact, I don’t belong to this world. 15 years ago, I have come here in a spaceship from the 21st Century along with my family. But you, the people of 25th Century attacked us and separated our family. Last month, my brother came here to take us back home. But you people didn’t even spare him. Mom is in the rehabilitation centre from 15 years. My brother is fighting with his life in the hospital. I am here and dad is there at home with a hope that we would return someday. But…”

Her tears concluded her speech. She had silenced the world for seven long minutes. Suddenly I heard the news: Research Centre has surrendered the spaceship.

Without wasting a second, I mounted on my bike and speeded up towards the Rehabilitation Centre. As I reached, I looked at her room number, took the permission to take her along with me and ran into the room. She was sitting down on the floor.

Hello Aunt,” I said. “Come with me. I have come to take you from here. Your children are waiting for you.”

My little Samir and Priya!” she said and tears rolled down her cheeks. She still thinks that Samir and Priya are still babies.

I took her along with me back to the Info Centre. I landed my bike and my friends came running. Meanwhile, Isha too came back and landed her bike near mine. Aunt climbed down my bike looking at Isha. Isha almost jumped off her bike and hugged her mom. Aunt froze on the spot and understood that her children have grown up.

Your son is waiting for you,” I muttered.

Isha made her mother sit on her bike and then, all of us accelerated our bikes towards the hospital.

As we reached the hospital, we landed our bikes. I said, “Angel will arrive here within few minutes. Wait here, I will be back with Samir.”

I ran towards his room and… My eyes were fixed on him like glue. His body was covered with a piece of white cloth. He is no more!!!

I changed my dress and wore his glasses. I pressed my spiked hair down. I rubbed my tears and sat down on his wheel chair and took myself outside the hospital towards Aunt and my friends. Aunt came running and hugged me tight. I touched her feet which Samir had always wanted to do. Meanwhile, Angel arrived and landed near us. I saw Angel for the first time with my wet eyes.

Isha and Aunt stepped inside the spaceship. “Where is Sam?” Zimex asked suddenly. I turned back and looked at my friends. I opened my glasses and smiled at them with tears overflowing my eyes. They understood that it was me. All of them ran towards me and hugged me together.

Hey,” I whispered. “I am going in place of Samir who had left us few minutes ago. Aunt and Isha can’t bear the truth. Bye friends.”

We are friends for life,” Simi’s voice shook. “How can we let you go?”

Zimex hit me hard in anger and hugged me tight at the same time. I continued, “If destiny wishes we will meet again in some other life, some other time.”

Then what else? I stepped inside the spaceship which took us to the 21st Century. Angel was no longer needed. She was sent back to the 25th Century, forever and I was made new with a new name, a new life in a new world.
This was just the beginning……..

 

Slavery Begins…

By Jai Luthra
Class Xth

Shaam had scored well in the computer science exam, like always. But he had never liked computers. He hated them because instead of making work easier, for him computers were a burden. He was seeing everyone around getting addicted to them, and he wondered if those dumb boxes had actually made work easier?

His classmates had joined a ‘social network’ on the internet, and always kept discussing about it. But, he tried to keep away from that gossip. Everyone he met in school, asked him if he was on that website, and his own reply made him feel isolated.

Out of curiosity, while searching the internet for his project work, he opened that website and signed up for just the sake of the experience. He sent requests to some of his close friends to establish a social connection with them. He made a habit to check out the website in his spare time for 15 minutes daily, to add new friends and to browse. He started to like it. He was amazed at how a people shared all their information, and busted stress by making their problems public. Spies were jobless now, because the online situation was like people shouting everything about themselves on the streets. If they were going on a vacation, if it was their pet’s birthday, or if someone just bought a brand new car, the first thing anyone did was to post it on the social network.

But the network was so popular because of businesses setting up there and advertising for free! One could get in touch with old friends. And it was quite accessible to contact someone through the network; easier, faster and cheaper than a phone call. People were online through their smartphones, and they sometimes didn’t pick up a call but no matter what, remained updated with the social network.

Technology was made to shorten the time taken to do work, but he comprehended the exact opposite. Thoughts kept racing through his mind, whether these computers are a boon or a bane? This argument inside him always bothered him. Shaam once heard someone say that “machines would one day overpower the human race”, and realized that that time of machine rule isn’t quite close, it is now. We presumably are already slaves of bots.

The End. 😛

North American Holidays: Exploring the Grand Canyon

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    There are thousands of travel destinations in North America to enjoy and explore. One of the premier destinations for those looking for an exciting holiday is the Grand Canyon. With majestic vistas and beautiful valleys, it’s no wonder that the Grand Canyon is visited by millions each year.

    Best Time to Visit

    Those looking for fun-filled North American holidays need look no further than the Grand Canyon between late spring and early fall. Both the North and South Rim of the canyon are opened during this period and all points in the interior of the canyon are accessible. The North Rim is closed during the winter due to snow cover on the road leading to the area.

    Your first step to visiting the Grand Canyon is to choose where you want your journey into the canyon to begin. There are two primary entrances where services such as food and accommodations are offered to visitors. These are the North Rim area of the canyon and the opposing South Rim area. The South Rim is the more popular destination, with several quality hotels to stay at. Both areas offer spectacular views of the canyon without having to descend into the area itself. There are even roads along the canyon rims to drive down if you want to get a broad idea of the vast size of this natural wonder.

    Things to Do at the Grand Canyon

    Most visitors can’t wait to begin their journey down into the canyon. There are three general modes of travel into the canyon’s depths. You can enter by rafting along the Colorado River, hike down using one of the many trails or ride down on a mule.

    Rafting into the canyon can be an adventure all by itself. The Colorado River carved out the canyon over a period of millions of years and still contains enough swift movement to make some areas of it a thrilling and challenging boating experience.

    Hiking into the canyon should be done only if the visitor is in good shape and experienced with long hikes. Several trails have water stations along them where a hiker can refresh their water supply. However, before starting out, hikers should always check with park rangers to determine if the trail they intend to use has this amenity. Campsites are available within the canyon for those who wish to spend the night before hiking back out. The easiest method of reaching the canyon floor is by mule. The mules are generally gentle and offer a fairly smooth ride to the canyon bottom quickly and easily.

    Once in the canyon, travelers can enjoy more hiking along easier trails than those that run into and out of the canyon itself. They can also go boating, fishing or swimming in the Colorado River, or simply enjoy the incredible views. For those enjoying singles holidays abroad in the canyon, tour groups are easily joined to mingle with other canyon enthusiasts.

    There’s plenty to see and do at the Grand Canyon for group and singles vacations, making it one of the ultimate back to nature excursions in North America. There are no permits required for day trips into the canyon, but those intending to stay overnight should see a park ranger to obtain a backcountry permit.

     

     

    AUTHOR BIO:

    Adriana Frederick writes regularly on travel topics including North american holidays and singles holidays abroad for a range of websites. She is an expert in outdoor destinations, having spent time roaming through North and South America as well as extensive time along rarely traveled roads throughout Europe and Asia.

    Dare To Dream-

                                                                                                                                      by Tishta Tandon

    DARE TO DREAM!

     

    Things sometimes don’t go as planned,

    And you’re left, not knowing where you stand,

    All you feel is melancholy,

    In the face of adversity.

    Do you know why you failed, dear one?

    It’s because you were not having any fun!

    Don’t get me wrong, the last line is not a pun!

    Time flies by, even when you don’t try,

    So brighten up your days

    Life may surprise you in a number of ways!

    Because life is not about sulking around,

    It’s not about walking with a frown,

    It’s never as grueling as it seems,

    So take a chance and dare to dream!

     

     

     

     

     

     

    JUST LET ME DIE!

    Oblivious to the raindrops, I lay there, gasping for breath,

    And as the horror sunk in, I kept wishing for death!

    Every day I had read about it in newspapers,

    Been warned about it by relatives and neighbors!

    The glares had always perturbed me,

    Every single time my heart had beat fast,

    Still I could do nothing but stride past,

    Hoping that one to be the last!

    A thousand times I had heard,

    My father anxiously exclaiming-

    Don’t go thither, it is not befitting”,

    Don’t be so paranoid”, was all I kept saying!

    What is everybody going to say now when they know?

    Will they forgive me or just let me go?

    How am I going to live with this shame?

    But really, am I the one to be blamed?!

     

    The world by troubling thoughts I had built,

    Is very akin to the reality I now face,

    Because you see I am such a disgrace!

    That life I used to live seems way beyond stars,

    Well, now, they treat me like an alien from Mars!

    Like the walking dead I am going to have to spend,

    The rest of my life without any friend,

    Well, what’s the use now to lament!

    As the one who murdered my soul,

    Is walking free, he has been exempt!

    How can my insanity not ensue?!

    When my testimony is not good enough for them to be true!

    More often than not, I am tempt,

    To curse and kill that monster unkempt!

    But it’s pointless now to fret,

    He would wreck another life soon, I bet!

    So please just let me die!

    Before he again comes nigh,

    Just let me die….

    Just let me die…

     

     

     

     

     

    Vampire Wedding- the saga continues

    By Nidhi Panhcal

    Class IX th

    pic courtesy – google

    They say good things come to those who wait — and no one knows that better than a certain charming vampire. After several cinematic years in limbo, Edward Cullen finally had that moment when a young man gets to say to his blushing new bride: Welcome to my bloodline.

    I know most of you were super excited to see all of the details of the royal wedding back in April,2011 but for some of us, the wedding of the century happened when Edward and Bella tied the knot in the movie ”The Twilight Saga : Breaking Dawn – Part 1.”

    The second last installment of the Twilight Saga, Breaking Dawn part -1 released in the world on 18th November 2011. The next big wedding of the year 2011, obviously, after Prince William and Kate Middleton was of Edward Cullen and Isabella Swan.

    Everything was absolutely amazing, including the very first – the beautiful oval engagement ring set with 13 diamonds. The Wedding scene was beautiful, overflowing with flowers but also with vampires, werewolves and humans!

    What do you expect? It was a wedding where a vampire was marrying a human whose best friend was a werewolf. Edward Cullen looked enchanting as ever but this time it was Bella’s chance to turn heads. She finally stepped out of her tomboyish clothes. Bella’s wedding dress in Breaking Dawn (which is of perfect $ 35,000) was definitely one of the most anticipated looks of the year. Bella’s dress was stunning and it hung to her body like a second skin. It reflected her simplicity and elegance. As she made her entrance, the entire theater filled to the gills with girls sighing in unison. The wedding speeches were hilarious! And yes, “What’s a wedding without a little drama?” Edward finally introduces Bella to his extended family – The Denali clan but apparently they seemed a little uncomfortable and left early. No, not because they felt thirsty around so many humans but because of the werewolves’ presence. Irina still held a grudge for the werewolves and so the vampires angrily made their exit.

    Last but not the least, the best man arrives but without a tux because he was too busy trying the new wolf lifestyle. With Jacob’s arrival, the already mind-boggling wedding became a little more dramatic. The best friends (Jake and Bella) meet each other happily and dance in the forest but separate angrily with Jacob telling Edward-“I’ll kill you.” finally the wedding gets over. Bella tells goodbye to her family for forever (she thinks that). They get into the car and speedily make their exit with Jacob’s angry howling background music. And Oh! To be a guest at that wedding….I was in pure heaven. As Jacob says-“I’ll give them this much, they know how to throw a party!”

    Dundee Cake

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      by Ratika Saxena

       

       

       

       

      INGREDIENTS:-

       

      Flour-                                     115 gms

      Baking Powder-                   1/4th tsp.

      Castor Sugar-                       115 gms

      Margarine/butter                 70 gms

      Eggs                                               2

      Vanilla essence                        1/2 tsp

      Milk                                                1 tablespoon

      Almonds –                                 50 gms

       

       

       

       

       

      Method:

       

      – Blanch almonds by removing the skin and cut them into two equal halves vertically.

      – Keep them aside.

      -Chop finely cashew nuts, raisins and orange peel. Remove the stock of raisins and wash them before chopping.

      -In a clean stainless steel bowl cream margarine( or butter) with castor sugar adding sugar little at a time.

      -Cream till the mixture becomes light and fluffy.

      -Beat eggs with the essence if required and mix this into the fat mixture adding eggs little at a time.

      – Mix in the dry fruits with a pallet knife.

      -Sieve flour with baking powder and mix garam masala with it and fold it into the mixture with a pallet knife.

      -Add milk and stir the mixture very lightly with a wooden spoon.

      .- Transfer the mixture in a 1/2 kg lined cake tin and now arrange the blanched almonds all over the surface in a circular form.

      -Bake at 130 C for 50 to 60 mins.

      -Remove from oven and cool on a cooling rack.

      -The lining should be removed after cooling otherwise there is a risk of breaking of cake

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