Letter to the Readers : How To Make Paperboats and Newer Beginnings

We’re back! In saying goodbye to the graduating seniors of the Scribe, the last edition was bitter-sweet. We’re delighted, however, to come back with a whole new take on the magazine. While we loved being a purely creative magazine, we believe we hold a far more substantial responsibility in the privilege of being a homegrown entreprise read by such large numbers of you. On that note, the Scribe is  growing into something of a cultural magazine : with commentaries on music, food, movies, books and even an opinion-based current affairs column! Alongside the regular creative pieces, of course.

In light of our new purpose as a magazine, we’re really excited to introduce you to our incredible new team! Each and every one of them has worked tirelessly on crafting their own pieces to perfection, while also curating content created by their peers. We’re incredibly proud of their work on this first edition and can’t wait to see what they come up with next.

We’d also like to thank you, our readers, for continuing to support The Scribe. Thank you for reading, contributing to and engaging with the content we publish in any way. We love and appreciate you, our lovely community of people, very much.We urge every single one of you to express yourselves, in any form you can imagine — photography, poetry, art, or prose  through this magazine. You can also send in opinion-based pieces on really anything under the sun, even if it does not have a strong creative basis. It’s a huge honor to be able to enable a platform for the Aditi community to voice themselves, creative or otherwise.

Finally, we’d like to thank Mr. Jayarajan and Ms. Joshi for their constant support of The Scribe, without which none of this would be possible.

The theme for this edition is : “How To Make Paperboats”. The paper boat is a symbol of the  new and innocent- while also, representing ambitious beginnings, and adventurous voyages.

We really hope you enjoy reading this magazine as much as we enjoyed creating it!

Chief Editors: Panu Hejmadi, Meghna Gaddam, Siya Kumar and Ishana Girish

‘How To Make Paperboats’ : a creative interpretation II

You sit with eyes glued outside, cheeks cupped in your tiny hands. The gentle rain drops splatter against the smooth window pane. A brilliant spark. Gleefully smiling, you appropriate an a4 paper, a discarded newspaper, a tissue paper. Crease by crease, hands trembling, an intangible excitement envelopes you. Your creation is ready. You run outside your house, barely keeping up with your feet. Crouching towards the ground, you gently place your work in the nearest puddle, allowing its sailors to take over. As the rain pours, with soaked hair streaked over your forehead and the cool caress of monsoon wind, you marvel as your vessel comes to life. It teeters along the rippled surface, setting off on its voyage. Your hand shoots out, fingers stretching as though to grab your bit of art. It seems just out of reach. That’s the beauty of it. The rain pounds your outstretched hand. Crease by crease, fold by fold, your paper boat carries away a small piece of your childhood. Never to return.

Akash Shroff, 12 AICE

‘How To Make Paperboats’ : a creative interpretation I

It’s children with messy hair and crooked smiles who find happiness in the little things. Jumping into puddles with your friends, making little boats and setting them afloat, laughing for no reason at all, it’s about joy in it’s most unadulterated form. It’s innocence, carefree grins, crinkled eyes and open minds. It’s making a paperboat and setting it to sea, certain that it would reach the farthest corners of the earth without a tear. It’s loud laughs that surprise you as they escape, it’s skinned knees and cartoon bandaids. It’s happiness simply for the sake of it, bereft of worries and anxieties and inhibitions. It’s living in a whirlwind world, slowing down, taking a breath, savoring the moment. It’s about making a little boat and letting it go, the feeling of being part of something unfathomably bigger than yourself, the idea that maybe, just maybe, that boat could float forever.

Avaantika Vivek, 11 ISC 

Music Review: Joji

In 2017, fans of the YouTube channel TVFilthyFrank were gutted to hear that the creator of this content, George Miller would be hanging up his YouTube boots and taking on a new project under a new persona, and thus began the career of Joji. Joji’s genre can only be described as music for rainy days, some of it elating, others deflating, but all carrying the unique vocals of Joji. The production of all his tracks are superb and remind us of the likes of Supertramp and Pink Floyd. His work is also very experimental, constantly looking for new sounds to incorporate in his ‘lo-fi’ vibe, this has resulted in some very different sounds, like the use of bottles in the song Demons. Having released one EP (In tongues), one album (Ballads 1) and several singles (most recently sanctuary) Joji continues to impress with the pushing of new vocal and sonic limits. Some of his best songs include Slow Dancing in the Dark, Sanctuary, Demons and Pills.

Aryan Mackhecha, 11 ISC

Music Review: The Hidden Gem’s ‘Hawaii : Part 2’

For most people, December 12th,2012 was a normal day, however, in a small corner of the internet an album was released under the pseudonym of ミラクルミュージカル (English: Miracle Musical) called Hawaii: part 2. This once in a lifetime operatic album carries a wide range of symphonic, melodic and lyrical styles and does so unapologetically. Two stand out songs in this album for me would be “White Ball” and “The Mind Electric”. White Ball, inspired by Western classical styles, features a beautiful string section and features amazing vocals courtesy Joe Hawley (the man behind Miracle Musical). The lyrics themselves speak of a graceful love between two individuals and convey that feeling beautiful using very powerful imagery. “The Mind Electric” combines classical and electronic in a way that is fresh, powerful and enrapturing from the first beat. The lyrics convey the story of the capture, trial and sentencing of an individual for a crime he didn’t commit and it could not be more impactful. With amazing piano and guitar sections, this song is truly unique. Hawaii:Part 2 is a fresh new take on what constitutes and album and how to be inspired by various styles. It is this fresh new take that hooks one on to the album and keeps one listening right till the last note.


Aryan Mackhecha, 11 ISC

Music Review: Vincent by Don McLean

The third song in his 1971 album “American Pie” Vincent tells us the story of the pained artist Vincent Van Gogh. In what amounts to an unbelievably beautiful performance, McLean uses his two best instruments: his voice and his guitar to take us through the life of the troubled artist. The tone of the song is reminiscent of one of his winding, calming yet emotional brush strokes. This bare bones song has the power to move one to tears using only an emotion filled voice and a simple acoustic guitar. All of this is enhanced by the brilliant lyricism that contains vivid imagery, so much so that it can almost be classed as poetry. An all time great song, “Vincent” truly sets the benchmark for ballads today.

Rating- 9\10

Aryan Mackhecha, 11 ISC

Music Review: The Logical Song by Supertramp

The second song in their hit album “Breakfast in America”, The Logical Song is a sharp and effective criticism of the way we perceive education and knowledge. Specifically, its legitimacy in a “PC” culture. Just as Pink Floyd did in “Another Brick in the Wall Pt.2”, Supertramp urges us to shun societal standards and value our thoughts and intelligence based on our own system of morals. The theme of being eccentric and unique is conveyed through the effective use of a Staccato saxophone solo which ends the song. An extremely powerful song, its lyrics hold true even today, 40 years after its 1979 release.

Rating- 9/10

Aryan Mackhecha, 11 ISC

Music Review: Thus Always to Tyrants by The Oh Hellos

A single from their 2015 album “Dear Wormwood”: this song bookends the adventure driven album by providing us with a sense of freedom and discovery, both sonically and lyrically. The stand out feature of this song has to be the amazing arrangement of the instrument section, giving a fantastic open feeling to the whole song. The stand out instrument would have to be the guitar, which conveys the whole theme of adventure beautifully. The singing is also spot on in this single, with strong and powerful performances from both members of the band.

Rating– 8.5/10

Aryan Mackhecha, 11 ISC

Music Review: Sanctuary by Joji

Sanctuary is a new release by YouTuber turned artist Joji. Featuring themes of loss and fulfilment, Joji uses the medium of hip hop and synth wave to convey his thoughts. Lyrically, the song is very strong and is a great example of writing done right. Joji’s characteristic falsetto carries the song through the chorus and adds a deeper, ethereal feeling to the song. Over all, a very solid single.

Rating– 8/10

Aryan Mackhecha, 11 ISC

Food: A recipe for handmade pasta

What you’ll need :

-plain flour (maida) 



Handmade pasta is probably one of the easiest things to make, despite how difficult and unapproachable it sounds. And anyway, a pasta machine is (almost) completely unnecessary. 

So, the first thing to do is gently tap out an unmeasured, unsifted amount of flour onto a tray or just an ordinary kitchen countertop. Make sure it forms a gentle sloping mountain, and using an egg— make a well in the centre of the flour. Lift the egg out, only to crack it right into the depression, crack some more, and get right in there with a fork. Whisk gently and using your hands push more and more flour into the light eggy, golden pool, approximately a tablespoon at a time until the mixture is too sticky to whisk anymore. 

Lift the fork out, and using your hands, wipe the excess mixture off of the fork and back into the pool. Now, add the flour in more liberally. it’s a good time to get messy and start kneading lightly as soon as the dough starts to come together. Place the ball of dough onto another lightly floured surface and begin to knead. Kneading involves flattening the dough with the palm of your hand, only to fold it back onto itself and repeat, until the dough, when poked, comes back at you immediately, indicative of a well developed gluten network (proteins in the wheat, that provide structure, strength and flexibility to the dough, when hydrated). Kneading requires at least 10-15 minutes, this makes the pasta bouncy and soft. 

After the dough is done, wrap it up tightly in plastic wrap and let it sit untouched for at least one hour, this makes it easier to roll out later. Once it’s rested, flour your work surface liberally, and start rolling out the dough with firm but gentle strokes, try to form a smooth rectangle, and if the dough has rested enough, it’ll offer no resistance to the rolling, keep rolling until it is transparent enough to see your fingers through the dough. A dusting of flour will again stop the dough from sticking and after that fold the dough into thirds, keeping the folds uniform and well floured, with the slightest of pressure so as not to damage the delicate filo. Once folded, start cutting strips along breadth wise, about a centimetre wide. 

Finally, with your well floured hands, pick the noodles up carefully and unfurl them, leaving you with beautiful fettuccine ready to be boiled for just a few minutes in salted water and then tossed in a luscious light sauce (preferably involving Parmesan!)
Mehak Bathla, 12 AICE

Food: Parmesan!

It isn’t a secret that most of us love cheese. No one can resist an ultra creamy plate of pasta drenched in the creamy delight. And can anyone really say no to a ham sandwich with a slice of cheap, yellow, processed cheese hidden in between layers of the pillowy white slices of bread and live of folded honey glazed ham? It’s just impossible to resist— and don’t even get me started on pizza. 

BUT the one thing that most people are truly missing and are completely ignorant of is the existence of Parmigiano Reggiano, or as better known to us common folk: Parmesan cheese. Native to the region of Parma and Reggie Emilia, Italy. This delicacy has been enjoyed since 1348, sprinkled over hot dishes, soups, atop hearty handmade pasta (look forward to the recipe below!), or even savoured just on its own with a drizzle of honey and a pinch of black pepper. 

I’m not talking about the parmesan found in cheap plastic bottles in a local grocery store with that conspicuous green labelling. No! No! NO! True parmesan loses its flavour and heavenly aromatic compounds if stored too long in arid, disgusting conditions: not unlike being imprisoned in a plastic container. 

Real Parmigiano must be treated with respect. Real Parmesan must be carefully wrapped in light wax paper and sealed with an inch of scotch tape before being hauled into a cool refrigerator in the fruit and vegetable drawer (the humidity being ideal for a salty, dry, aged cheese like this one.) And now, you’re probably wondering what it tastes like. 

Well, imagine a combination of fruity, salty, nutty, and gritty put together in an undeniably creamy slice of straw-coloured cheese, but only better. This gift from heaven is savoury and melty and packed with layers of umami carefully layered and speckled in the flecked crystals of tyrosine dorking— it is edible gold. It owes its god-like qualities to its high glutamate content, commonly found in tomatoes, mushrooms, seaweed, and most popularly— Monosodium Glutamate, AKA MSG! But Parmesan’s flavour complex pushes the salt to a whole new level. 

Well enough talk! Go make a fresh basil pesto and toss in a hunk of the most delectable cheese! 

Mehak Bathla, 12 AICE

Current Affairs: On the Issue of Kashmir


On August 5th, Amit Shah announced that his freshly re- elected Hindu nationalist party will move to abolish Article 370, a provision of the Indian constitution which was drafted in 1949 and considered to be sacrosanct for a very long time, until last month. Article 370 provided the highly disputed region of Jammu and Kashmir a high level of autonomy in creating and exercising laws, except in matters of defence, external affairs and communications. By revoking the article and changing the status of J&K from a state to a union territory the central government has gained unprecedented control of the region which for the past 7 decades has been in one form or another been resisting Indian rule. 

J&K has always been a highly contested land both for its diversity and beauty and also for its extremely strategic location for trade and defence, located between three major world powers: India, Pakistan and China. This comparatively small state is one of the most important geopolitical Regions in the world. The two complications that the government must address now come from both internally in India and also from our neighbours. 

The first and currently ongoing is that the muslim majority state has now fall into unrest and protest fearing aggression by the right wing central government and also radical Hindus in the mainland who overwhelmingly supported Modi, who made the unification of India a key campaign promise. 

In anticipation of this, the army has deployed 35000+ troops to the region to quash an uprising, the government has issued statements saying these soldiers are there to uphold peace, but several reports have surfaced of soldiers harassing, raping and oppressing locals without cause. In addition they have imposed a strict curfew, severed phone lines and put two members of prominent political families on house arrest, former J&K CM Mehbooba Mufti called this the “ darkest day in Indian democracy”. This decision comes at a time of already significant tensions between Hindus and muslims in the country following a sensationalised election which had religion as one of the central campaign focuses creating a widespread and deep ideology of Hindu nationalism within the country. 

The next major worry is that this move will cause higher tensions between the nuclear armed countries of India and Pakistan (and by extension China) both of whom claim authority over this land. The prime minister of Pakistan Imran Khan has called this an “illegal annexation” and an “ethnic cleansing” of muslims, the scary part is, he’s not entirely wrong. Even before the decision the two were on very poor diplomatic relations following attacks by “Pakistan based and supported” (as the government calls them) terrorist groups on Indian soldiers and Indian air strikes on Pakistan territory which the army says was a terrorist training camp which was used to train and launch terrorists who attacked India. Kashmir has always been a flashpoint for war, causing 4 

already in the history of these countries, the problem is that now both are heavily nuclear armed and have massive foreign support. 

There seems to be a large resistance from the people of J&K, who identify more with Pakistan rather than India, and rightfully so. As with Brexit, the people of J&K should’ve been allowed to discuss and vote on this matter, their thoughts should’ve been voiced before any decision was made. It’s important to note that in a democracy, so diverse and different, a government raised out of fear and chaos cannot stand and will never be legitimate in the eyes of the people. 

Many people in the state are concerned as to whether they will be allowed to stay on their own land, after the passing of the new legislature, Indians will be allowed to buy land in the state, which might open up opportunities for nationalists to aggressively buy land and push out muslim communities from their own land. These are truly worrying times for the muslim population in J&K and the government immediately needs to put in place measures that protect the local communities. 

We can’t govern J&K as we have all other states, because it simply isn’t like any other state. The government needs to represent all citizens, Hindus and Muslims alike. Our foremost priority should be achieving a peaceful power balance in the 

state between the central and state authorities and also between Hindus and Muslims. 

This has the potential to be one of the most impactful and consequential times in the history of our country. Being the future of the nation, the things we do today are going to impact us for the rest of our lives. We’re lucky that we live in a time where we know we can voice our opinions and be heard, we shouldn’t take that for granted.

Raghav Jain, 11 AICE

Book Review: Uglies by Scott Westerfield

‘Uglies’ by Scott Westerfield

In Tally Youngblood’s world, everyone is born ugly. Ugly, that is, until their sixteenth birthday when they undergo cosmetic surgery to become one of the ‘pretties’, who live perfect lives in their own pretty side of town. The logic is essentially that evolutionary biology dictates that certain features allow for an ideal body and, therefore, ideal world.

When her best friend becomes a ‘pretty’, Tally can’t wait to turn sixteen and join him. 

However, she discovers a secret society of people unwilling to subscribe to the operation called ‘Smoke’. When one of her friends runs away to join them, Tally is faced with a life-altering choice- help the authorities uncover ‘Smoke’ or remain ugly forever.

‘Uglies’ is just the first book in a four-part series. What I found interesting about this series is how similar certain events in the novel are to real-life conversations surrounding ‘the ideal body’. Unlike a lot of moralising dystopian novels that force lofty principles down your throat, this story builds both sides of the argument surrounding body image with equal care, allowing the reader to come to their own conclusions. 

Scott Westerfield’s quirk contemporary writing style makes the book a light easy read, perfect for a free Sunday evening. At the same time, it forces us to ask ourselves what we value as a society, perfection or individualism? 
Shivani Gowda, 11 ISC

Book Review: The Tin Ring: How I Cheated Death by Zdenka Fantlova

For Zdenka Fantlova, life was blissful. It revolved around her family, her schooling, and her boyfriend: Arno.  1938, however, tears apart this perfect picture, marking the beginning of the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia. In her book, Fantlova describes the tortures of concentration camps and the gruelling horror of surviving it all. Amidst all this darkness is one symbol of hope given to her by her love- a tin ring. 

I’ve read a lot of holocaust survivor stories but what sets ‘The Tin Ring’ apart is Fantlova’s raw, vulnerable writing. It’s full of heart-wrenching pain and loss and definitely should be read alongside a box of tissues. At the same time, there are warm fuzzy moments of beautiful young innocent love.

 The book will terrify you with the unimaginable extent of human cruelty but it will also leave you with bright glowing optimism at the strength of human endurance and the ability of love to thrive in the darkest of places.

Shivani Gowda, 11 ISC

Book Review: The Hungry Tide by Amitav Ghosh

Piya is an American marine biologist of Indian ethnicity travelling to India for the first time in search of rare species of dolphins found in the Sundarbans. Kanaia Dutt is an Indian businessman visiting his widowed aunt to collect some pieces of writing left to him by his deceased uncle. By chance, their paths collide when Piya hires an illiterate local fisherman, Fokir, to guide her through the unfamiliar islets of the Sunderbans, and Kanaia becomes her translator. 

The book is a unique characterisation of modern India juxtaposed against the secluded rural villages of coastal West Bengal. It was addicting to read and like all of Ghosh’s books– extremely well-researched. What stood out to me was the love and sheer passion with which the author paints a picture of the dangerously beautiful volatility of the Sunderban tides, the wealth of its ecosystem and the depth of its people’s roots in the wet, marshy soil they call home. Most importantly, it explores language; not Fokir’s Bengali or Piya’s English, but the language of growth and destruction that transcends all man-made differences- the language of the tide country.

Shivani Gowda, 11 ISC

Book Review: Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

Camorr is a Venice-styled fictional dukedom, complete with canals, gondolas, opulent architecture and, most importantly, Camorr’s speciality– thieves. 

Ruled by a ruthless mob lord, this dark, cutthroat underworld is home to Locke Lamora and his gang of nimble-fingered con artists. Quickly growing infamous for their ingenious schemes, the “Gentlemen Bastards” (as they call themselves) are on a mission to pull their greatest heist yet. 

However, the arrival of a mysterious Gray King threatens to unravel the delicate order of the Camorri underworld. To save his friends, Locke must defeat the Gray King and his elusive sorcery or risk losing everything.


The reason this book is always high on my must-recommends is the seamless ease with which Scott Lynch weaves stunning visuals of his imaginary world without once compromising on the fast-paced action of the plot. The dialogue is sharp and witty and has you falling in love with all the characters. The series is continued by two other books (with another book apparently in the works), which further develop the character backstories.

 If you want a hilarious book with a lively, engaging story-line, you have to pick up ‘Lies of Locke Lamora’. I promise you won’t be able to put it back down.

Shivani Gowda, 11 ISC

Movie Review: Fight Club

Fight Club will leave you blown away. It’s not just the rush of seeing Edward Norton and Brad Pitt in a groundbreaking film. Nor is it watching amateur fighters bare-knuckle each other in rundown basements. The entire premise of the movie is like nothing seen before. It’s an aggressive, often brutal satire that’s quite possibly one of the more brilliant movies made.


The film’s narrator (Edward Norton) is an insomniac slave to his corporate job. An insignificant cog in a never-ending machine. He only finds joy in going to as many self-help sessions as he can. They provide him with an escape from his lonely sleepless nights, that is, until Marla Singer (Helena Bonham Carter), a trashy chain smoker enters his life and disrupts everything.


The narrator then meets Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt), a charming soap salesman. 

One night, after the 2 men have bonded over beers, Tyler asks the narrator to hit him. At first it seems like an absurd request, but after they pound on each other a strange feeling overcomes them. They feel a sense of release and satisfaction from inflicting pain on one another. In a world where everyone is desensitised to everything around them, the physical contact of a punch to the gut wakes them up and makes them feel truly alive. 


With more people joining these fight sessions, the Fight Club becomes an underground sensation. However, it becomes readily apparent that Tyler has more elaborate plans than just organising brawls in bars.


Fight club is a film that consistently remains true to its anti-consumer, anti-society, anti-everything message— leading right to the very last frame. What makes fight club a subversive delight is not only its refreshing anti-corporate message, but also how it delivers this message. The film is a cinematic punch to the head as it challenges the status quo and offers a wakeup call to people immersed in a materialistic world. This film urges us to tear down we have known and accepted. Reject corporate giants and try to figure out what we really want out of life. 

Fight Club is a dangerously brilliant film that entertains as well as enlightens. If you are willing to step out and challenge the status quo— this is definitely a film for you.
Nikhil Polsani, 12 AICE

Movie Review: Once Upon A Time In Hollywood

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is not like Tarantino’s other work. Nor is it like any other modern movie. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is a melancholic, slow-burning comedic love letter to an age of Hollywood not many people can relate to.


Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a faded action star struggling to hold into his career and fame. Each scene with Dalton was nothing short of entertaining, as he internally argues with himself to be better than he already is. Unable to find work other than a typecast villain, he chooses to go overseas instead. 


Dalton is an alcoholic and deals with a lot of anger towards himself, and the lengthy scenes showing him act out his part as the villain in the Western are extremely entertaining as DiCaprio does a truly brilliant job portraying different roles within the same movie. 


After returning from his journey overseas, he dons a new Italian wife and a whole new wardrobe straight from Europe. Dalton doesn’t do much towards the end, except burn a Manson follower alive in his pool – a routine Tuesday if you ask me.


Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt) is Daltons stunt double and was probably the most Tarantino-esque character in the movie. He requires no historical context or empathy to understand. He’s a stunt double who lives much worse than his star, Dalton, and is a no nonsense badass with a muddled past. His scenes were incredibly fun, as Pitt brought a certain energy to each scene that glued you to the screen waiting for his next move.


With all of its references, obscure or in your face, there is a delicious amount of information to swallow. Tarantino has the viewer sit back, and imagine being right there with the characters in a wonderfully painted portrait of a Hollywood long gone. This is one of Tarantino’s better films and will stand the test of time for movie lovers everywhere. Truly a must watch. 

Nikhil Polsani, 12 AICE 


Cartoon Clouds

People, he’s come to realise, are made of the stories they’ve lived. In a certain timeline, from a certain perspective, it could be said that his story began with his father. Not in a pretty, poetic sort of way but in a way that left ugly marks on a young boy, left him with an arm that never healed right and a hesitancy towards goodness. Permanent damage. 

If you asked him, he’d say that his story began when he moved out, the summer he turned seventeen. He moved into the flat his grandmother had left him, far away from cold eyes and raised fists and the faint whisper of family. A really great thing about stories is that they can start afresh. That’s what this summer was for, a shot at new beginnings and happier endings. A chance to reclaim his own life, to be part of something bigger after spending the last seventeen years engineering himself to be very, very small. 

He got a job selling ice cream in the park next to his place, and it helped, feeling as though he had a sense of purpose- that and the money was pretty useful too. The large majority of his clientele were children, and it stung a little, to see them carefree and happy; glimpses of a childhood he never got to enjoy. They would come up to him with chocolate stained smiles and grass stained shoes and parents that look at them with warmth shining from their eyes. They come with notes clutched in grubby hands and dimpled smiles, and he does not quite know what to make of it. 

They come with their friends, sometimes, squabbling over who has to pay what and who gets a turn on the swing next. He finds himself strangely endeared by their brashness, their sing-song friendships built on skinned knees and helping hands and shared laughter. He’d had friends too, sure, but his childhood had been heavy with cold days and colder nights, and this sort of laughter, the loud, weightless kind, was foreign to him. What these kids are faced with was the vast immensity of simply being a child, of getting dirt in their hair and ice cream on their socks and not doing a thing about it. Their stories have no consequences, days and days that tumbled into each other without having to worry about a tomorrow. He noticed that they don’t really talk- they rave, they enunciate, they sneer. Nothing they say is half-hearted, and he is almost overwhelmed by their constant effervescence. They are aggressively present in a way he has never seen, much less been.

He noticed that they ate slowly, not wanting to finish their ice cream too quick, enjoying every bite even as it melted and ran down to their elbows in sticky streams. He always ate fast, a skill honed at a young age. Sometimes it was because he knew any morsel left untouched would vanish if left alone for too long. Sometimes it was to assuage a bone-deep hunger that ached with the desperation of something that he knew could never be satisfied. Sometimes it was because he knew that the bullies in school loved taking their pickings of the smaller kids’ lunches, and he had no interest in being part of another victim’s demographic. Sometimes, it was just because. No one had ever taught him to appreciate the smaller things in life. In a metaphorical sense, he simply did not know how to stop and smell the roses.

It was over the course of that summer that he truly felt the haunting weight of the life that he had missed out on. Hands carelessly held and smiles lazily shared, little gestures passed around like nothing. He watched as they made flower crowns and sand castles and paper boats, doomed in their impermanence and no less beautiful for it. Their eyes sparkled with the naiveté of wonder, shimmered with dreams and suns and stars. Theirs was an ethereal sort of existence, devoid of repercussions and all the better for it.

It was cathartic, witnessing these remnants of a childhood that might have been his, the culmination of all the could-bes and maybes and should-bes that he’d spent so many nights dreaming about for so many years. If you asked him now, he would say that the summer he turned seventeen was when his life really began, when the crushing weight on his shoulders began to ease at last, bit by bit. He’d recount stories, of children held together by an unshakeable promise of togetherness, of girls with nervous smiles and crinkled eyes, of boys with ugly laughs and messy hair. He’d tell you about the boy he used to be, all bared teeth and bruised elbows, a little too jumpy, a little too grown up. He’d tell you that the stories you’ve lived are only as important as you allow them to be. He’d say that he still thought about his father sometimes, and all the things he would never understand: hearts as big as mountains, grins so wide they hurt your cheeks, and a boy who found hope in melting ice cream and sticky fingers.

Avaantika Vivek, 11 ISC – Staff Writer

How To Make Paperboats

I press down on the paper with my jaw, 

Wrestling with it. 

Commanding that thin sheet was much easier before, 

Swift, lithe folds: 

The boat would magically appear, 

Zero effort, taken for granted. 

The computer screen flashed at me, 

‘How To Make Paperboats… ‘ 

I chuckled. 

I’d have scorned at such a site not long before; 

Being the paperboat purist I was, 

Pointing my once slender finger at any user, 

Laughing, my fangs bared. 

Now using my forehead as a pivot, I had to press down on the sheet. 

Skull dug deep into the fibres, the raw pores on my skin cried as 

The slow, enunciated movements sent jolts down my spine; 

If my head shifted, my boat would spring back into its A4 form. 

When I made paperboats, I didn’t hear the sultry caress of the waves anymore, I heard the cackling jeers of onlookers, 

“Look his boat has no mast, he’s doomed. ” 

“Such a crumpled mess that is!” 

Maybe my having been one of this group, 

In the impulsive, trigger happy days long gone past, 

Attracted the bacteria; 

Invited it to glut on my hand, 

Feasting finger by finger: 

Going in for seconds and thirds until its slimy tongue, 

Slithers up my arm. 

It’s welcome massively overstayed. 

My hand holds down the folded sheet, 

One step from completion: 

I bite onto the dry paper, 

Tugging it as my vessel comes to life. 

Taking a step back, I observe it; 

A tattered ship, crushed but desperate to exist. 

I smile as my hand scrolls down on the webpage: 

“How To Make Paperboats with one hand.” 

Akash Shroff, 12 AICE – Staff Writer

Carpe Diem

Seize the day. 

If nothing else, I am astonished by the sheer ubiquity of this phrase. It is littered on our Instagram profiles and on countless motivational quotes. Like a watchful desi aunty, it seems to judge our every move, tut-tutting as we waste our time in idleness. It prompts us to strive ceaselessly towards perfection and like wolves howling at the moon, longingly look at the infinite that will never be our reality. 

Yet tonight I can’t help but wonder. 

What if we have it all wrong? 

Maybe it is not up to us to seize the day. 

Maybe the day seizes us. 

I think it was when I heard you laugh. It was the first ray of sunshine after a sleepless night. It was the clinking of wind chimes that accompanied the cool winter air. It was a torrent of joy and peace and fulfillment that rushed into my ears and filled my soul. And for the first time in a long time, it felt like everything wasn’t terrible. 

But it disarmed me. You locked me up within the walls of my own helplessness and threw away the key. I think I will always remember today as the day when all I wanted to do was to tell you I love you. But I didn’t. And I find myself feeling strangely okay with it. After all, it’s not as if I expect you to love me back. You exist. And for me that’s enough. 

I mean, what is love but a creation of our feeble mortal minds in a universe that couldn’t care less? We are but tiny lumps of clay on an insignificant rock hurtling through the nothingness. Maybe love makes us feel like something more, even if just for a second. And maybe some of us are destined to hold on to that second for the rest of our lives. 

I am writing this down because maybe tomorrow I’ll wake up and I will not think any of these thoughts again. I guess this story is my way of holding on to this feeling. Because even though you might never know how I feel, I don’t feel terrible. 

Right now, not terrible is a pretty good thing. 
Siddhanth Satapathy, 12 ISC

The Sun

And then there was light.


Brilliant fiery radiance expanded across the universe, lit up the world. Where there was once darkness, there was now illumination. What was once surfeit with nothingness, now boasted a riot of color, movement and raw primal violence- the cacophony of creation.

The cosmos was alive.


Centuries consumed and withered away, in mere seconds. Time ebbed and flowed, till, in one quiet corner of infinity, a star was born.

The potent vigour of his parturition ignited the wide unknown, lit streaks of flushed brilliance that spread like throbbing veins of electricity. In adoration, heavenly spheres encircled him; pledging their lives, their eternal devotion, and undying love. A family of nine, bonded by love and by duty, to revolve around the one sun.


They basked in his radiance. His love was warm golden yellow nectar that embraced them wholly, unconditionally. It burned in their crimson stormy tempests, curled into their mauvish clouds and cajoled their hard unyielding ice and rock until it relented.


The sun was caring and kind. In the dark depths of pitch black, he was the bright new day. His bubbling laughter warmed even cold Neptune; he sprouted lush forests and delicate flowers that threw back their heads and laughed gleefully in the sun’s light. In childish animation, the sun smiled back, tinted shades balanced precariously on his cartoon nose. Happy.


The generosity that blossomed in his heart entwined the planets and bound them under the yoke of love. All their life in service of one god. One sun.


But no happy family is without its squabbles. In this one too, on occasion, sporadic bursts of anger and arrogance shot out in vivid blazing flares. Sharp pin pricks of pain inflicted upon his loved ones scattered blisters of grief across the galaxy-but it did not concern him. No matter his kindness, no pretense can hide that a star will always consume all those around him. It was his nature to burn.


Yet, it is in a family’s nature to forgive. So the anguish is brushed away, the tears dissimulated, hidden from the world’s view. Gratitude is constantly stained on their smiling lips, bright cherry red of sickening sweetness. Their hushed dissent disappears on the brink of another sunrise.


That is how a family loves its sun- with immovable loyalty and untouchable partiality. Only they, in the face of tides of hatred and angst, can conjure the memory of a forgivable gleeful toothless grin. Only they can bless a poisonous soul with tender adoration because only they can remember its innocence. Only they can persistently believe in reform. Only they can swallow their pride, only they can forgive. Only they can love a monster.


And one day, the sun lights up in sudden feverish fervor and the Milky Way trembles under his rage. In an instant, the planets melt away and dissipate into darkness, like they’d never existed in the first place. Like a careless child sweeps away a drawing in the sand, there are no planets, no sun.


And then there was only night.


Baby Shoes

For sale: baby shoes, never worn

The words incite feelings so forlorn

A primal emotion of grief

All is lost, with nothing to gain.

The heaviest coffins are often the smallest

Those little ones with their smiles so earnest

And the proud parents standing close behind

Hoping that no evil befalls their precious child.

Alas fate has no sense of emotion

No feeling of joy or pain

It merely exists as a reminder to us

That reality is oftentimes too painful to bear.

Some children lose their parents to age

Some children lose their parents to crime

But something that no parent wishes for

Is for their own child to die before their time.

Life is all but a tasteless charade

A mere quest to find some form of meaning

All that one really has to live for 

Is to find something worth believing in.

Life may be long; it may be short

Fate being nothing but a risky gamble

One must always face these situations

With a sense of defeat and acceptance.

Losing a loved one is a pain like no other

Something that no amount of mourning can ever cure

But what one can do to move forwards

Is to accept it as a loss against life.

There is no way to prepare for death

Nothing to do to lessen the pain

All we can do to honour those we lost

And live our lives remembering their names

Accepting grief, loss and pain

Is a process that takes years or even decades

But what it gives when finally achieved

Is a memory to honour the ones who passed on.

Aryaman Neelakantan, 11 ISC


The first time I heard the world ‘lesbian’, I was seven years old. I was sitting in front of the TV on the living-room floor, half-heartedly flipping through my maths textbook, when Regina George told Cady Heron that Janis was, in fact, a lesbian.


I remember the disgust on her face very clearly. I remember tracing the word with my lips for the first time and wondering what could be so powerfully repulsive that it could earn social isolation from the entire school, and even from a best friend. Better yet, I vividly remember sitting on the floor, the definition splayed out in thick matter-of-fact lettering on my standard school-distributed Oxford English Dictionary, feeling nothing, nothing but white cold shock.


It never occurred to me that the word could be so sharp; that it could ever hope to describe the way it felt when the light hit her hair and glimmered in streams of dazzling purples, reds and yellows; the tiny shivers of electricity that jolted through our interlocked hands, the way her eyes would crinkle at the edges as her laughter bubbled out in waves and waves of uninhibited joy. The word felt nothing like the warmth that crept up my face, to the tip of my ears, when I sat next to her, knees touching, grinning like a large bumbling buffoon against her small delicate frame. I never thought a word so coarse could envelop the innocent giggles hidden behind small hands that contained the world in them;  the silly made-up ‘playing house’ games, the treasure maps to nowhere; the music lessons with her snoring head balanced precariously on my shoulder, trusting that I would guard her sleep and never let her fall.


The word was so heavy, so much heavier than the light butterfly kisses on my forehead. 


The word was like lead. It sank to pits of my stomach and festered there. At night, it would rise up to my throat and threaten to spill out of my mouth. It would drip out in tiny salty tears from my bleached shuddering face, bent over the toilet seat. It would swirl round and round in my head, a delirious carousel of nightmares. I remember, one night, the cracks in my skin split open and I bled steaming hot lava, smoke rising up in devilish curls like I was already in hell.


I threw myself into work. It made me a terrifyingly good student because when my head was in a book, I was no longer a person. I was words and numbers, figureless and emotionless. I never looked up at her again, my nose was too far buried in a novel. The friends I did make I held at arm’s length, afraid that I would make the same mistakes again. 


I took my isolation to be the holiest penance for my crime of existence. Some days, my laughter would choke and die on my tongue and compliments withered away before they reached me. I felt like a fraud. “If only they knew,” I’d think, “If only they knew the truth about me.”


It took my years to pull myself out of that hellhole. It was her again, showing me that I wasn’t alone. It was her love for me that let me love myself again.

At the end of the day, I don’t blame the Mean Girls franchise. They catered to a different audience, at a different time when social standards were different. Their purpose was to portray an authentic American public high school, not to introduce a closeted kid to the fact that women could love women. I do, however, wonder how easily Regina George’s script was written. I doubt they’d ever have imagined that the ease with which they printed out that sentence could make it still so difficult for an educated sixteen-year-old, studying at one of the most liberal schools in Bangalore, to spit out “yeah, she’s my girlfriend”.


I mourn all those missed sleepovers, all those experiences I never had, the nights and days I spent trying tie up my feelings. I regret all those words that shamefully cowered away from the light of day, all those ‘i-love-you’s that got stuck in my throat. I wish I could do it all over again. This time, maybe I could be a child, maybe I could love more freely, have the strength to put myself out there. 

Maybe, this time, I could set my paper boat out into the world.


Maybe, this time, it would float.

– B.R

come back home

come back home to me? 

red fears live in my bones, 

blue darts of electricity

sweep through the narrow corners of my heart. 

a beat barely makes it out alive when thoughts turn to you. 

are you with me? 

flashes of your velveteen hair and baritone voice 

play over and over in my head. 


irreplaceable memories of your soft head 

on the smooth lap of my skirt are on repeat. 


nothing makes sense anymore, 

fire burns in my blood, 

both numbing and burning through the shackles that chain me 

to the sentient sorrow of your absence. 


come back home, come back home.


Paper Boats


She watched Dad’s fingers act

Swift and nimble

As he folded a paper boat

That would grow to be a symbol

Of times she didn’t care of yet


Adamant to learn 

She mastered the art

To set sail with her pirates

A new journey to start

As they voyaged the seas of their backyard


New dawns awaited

Her paper crew and mates

As rain poured 

Like buckets on their face

She was the captain of her little paper fleet


But glorious ships and braveheart sailors

Don’t always last 

Once you get older

They’re all things of the past

Mighty floats are just paper boats


But still she sits

Soft comes the rain

And she folds paper boats

Filled with the pain

Of someone who wants to go back


She sets them sail 

A gentle goodbye

With the hopes and dreams

Of times gone by

She hopes one day she’ll see those dreams


Paper boats

That float to missing seas 

Do gently move on little streams

Carrying cherished memories


Oh childhood, be at peace.

Nikita Tatachar, 10 ICSE

Paper Boats

The autumn sun peeking out through the clouds,
The warm rays embracing the shallow puddles and pools,
The young children eagerly set out,
To enjoy the welcoming evenings after the monsoons.

The carefree laughter echoing in the streets,
The gleeful splashing spraying water everywhere,
The children with their hearts so open,
Their minds so free without a care.

They release into the flowing water,
An armada of little paper boats,
One for each child,
One to go the farthest and make them all proud.

Each crease so carefully folded,
The boats carry the creator’s pride,
One by one they all sink,
One by one their little smiles die.

And after a few minutes the laughter is back,
The children are happy once more,
For unlike us adults who hold on too tight,
The children know when to let something go.

Life is nothing but a series of paper boats,
Each one carrying a single aspiration,
They all travel as far as they can,
Yet one by one they will all sink.

We must learn to accept and move on,
Life is too short for us to hold on,
To all the unnecessary pain and grief,
We must begin anew, turn over a new leaf.

Aryaman Neelakantan, 11 ISC

Birthday Party

Shrieks filled the air as the children ran in all directions, the little girls bunching up their obnoxiously large frocks, its many layers hiding their face from view. Each one seemed to be competing on how high their ponytail could go, some looking a little alien, their skin pulled back tight. The children played hide and seek for a while, many refusing to accept defeat after being found, claiming they had to be caught. It was then time to cut the cake. 


The swarm of youngsters rushed to the table the cake was set on, each one for some reason eager to situate themselves right next to the birthday girl. Once she cut her cake, the birthday girl was smashed with it, chocolate coating her little face. Her friends then proceeded to claim the chocolate decorations scattered across the cake’s surface, their attitude quite serious towards this. 


I watched all this from a distant table and thought, “I totally wasn’t like this at their age!”

Anika Gururaj, 12 AICE


Crease. Fold. Sail.

A Paper boat is more than just a folded sheet. It represents life. It symbolizes each of us and our ability to breeze through life like a boat sailing atop the gentle waves. We are all a blank sheet of paper that can be used in a myriad of ways, each with the potential to be turned into something monumental, unique and unparalleled. 

The empty page waiting to be painted, written and sketched on, to be molded into countless possibilities and realities. 

Each individual fold depicts a different season of life, changing its course, every time you bend the paper it transforms into something new, seasons too differ, the slushy yet romantic monsoon will not have summer’s glorious shine; a crisp and clear autumn will not have the stark beauty of the enduring winter.

Every little crease holds the key to the next fold, every crinkle reveals a different facet of your personality.

How you adjust to whatever life is throwing at you, how you adapt, how you prepare, determines how deftly you will sail, whether you will float admirably or sink to the bottom overcome by the pressure. 

There will always be waters threatening to envelop and drown you, you need to figure out what to do to stay afloat, which fold will keep you alive? One must be in tune with the winds, constantly adjusting their sails so that they accelerate the journey forward. In the night, one does not look at the dangerous, dark depths of the ocean but towards the gleaming stars to guide them, to aid their adventure. No matter how dark it is around us, there is always light, it just depends on where you are looking for it.

A Paper boat is more than just a folded sheet that floats, it guides your journey across the waters and the many seasons of life. With all the bumpiness and storms– ensure you make your sailing journey worthwhile as you gather lessons after every storm and celebrate every victory as you emerge and evolve into the person you are meant to be. 

Suhani Rathi, 10 ICSE

Worn-down Tiles

I have walked past countless times,

each time driven by a single mind,

driven to meet someone, go somewhere.

Leaving the tiles behind.


Plain are the dull brown tiles,

smooth, and unremarkable.

Never calling for attention,

whilst being a witness to our babble.


I have seen four years of tiles,

four years of ever fading brown.

Four years of selfless service,

and being trod upon.


Few remember the tiles,

and the tiles do not mind.

The road to our purposes,

that we chose to leave behind.


Walking on the tiles underfoot,

strolling, striding countless miles

to get where we need to be,

on the backs of the deep brown tiles


Now I tread the worn down tiles,

for the last time I ever can

too little thanks too late,

for the support on which I stand

Parth Vaitha, 12 AICE

Slay the Dragon


A child’s fantasy

Of wooden decks and torn sails

Tarnished by weeping storms

As mentioned in fairy tales

Riding wave after wave

Like mighty humpback whales

Voyaging to the horizon

Carrying their dreams and vision.


Excited eyes glisten

Droplets roll down window panes

Faces pressed against the glass

Excitement flowing through their veins

Watching lakes form on pavements

And rivers flowing into drains

Scraps of paper fold and crease

Tiny hands make a masterpiece.


Speeding on the sidewalk

They come together

A group of bright minds

All ready to set sail with one another

Drenched hair and wet clothes

Unbothered with the weather

“Forward, to the waters!”

Commands the Captain

“Let’s slay the sea monsters

And the fiery dragon!”


A child’s imagination 

Of untamed wild limitless scenes

No one can hold

And no one can seize

For the sky is their limit

Stretched far beyond the seas 

But what happened to those little happy faces?

Why have they changed to blank empty spaces?


Dreams that were once huge, bright and heavy

Are soon replaced by doubts

And many “I am not ready-s” 

Their old creations and ideas

Struggle to stand still and steady

For one by one their paper boats

Become words scared to leave their throats.


When actions are soon ruled by judgement 

They are in fear of making a ‘wrong’ move

For what if the people around them

Are not going to approve?

Desperate minds clouded with shame

Look at others and think “How can I improve?”

But let me stop you right there and loudly say

Your paper boat is different from theirs,

And you shall do it your own way.


Dream big once again

And make your own creations

Let them sail far and wide

Across the seven seas, rivers, and oceans

Let your eyes glisten once more

Let your veins carry goals and ambitions

Slay the monsters and the dragon

For you are your own life’s captain.

~your paper boat will sail

Samyukta Reddy, 11 AICE





This wondrous world of insignificant things,

Made to look bigger to fret and worry while others see nothing of importance. 

Things are deceptive and cunning and sweet and venom,

Drawn from and to the same that tread its weary surface.

Who comes here now and where will they go?

Questions of every extravagance to fill in the gaps of nothing,

Built from dusty castles and towers of books and imaginations run stale long ago,

Those that trudge here with self-made shackles and blinded by colour so bright,

Though they are colour-blind to hues of grandeur and reality. 

We see not but we stumble in the darkness of our minds and creation.

Perhaps if we turn enough times the cycle will complete and restart,

We write into blank spaces to try and answer the countless doubts we need to know. 

We’ll write ourselves into oblivion so vast we’ll stretch till it snaps.

But we’ll run out of ink.

Soon enough.

Achintya Srinivas, 11 ISC