2021: The Year Gone By

Featuring a few of the deeply insightful work we received in the year gone by!

Yours or Mine

We watch them thrown onto the streets.

We watch them being shoved apart.

We watch their worlds being shattered.

We watch pain pierce their hearts.

But why should we mind?

Their struggles aren't yours or mine.

We don't see their hopeless eyes.

We don’t see their bowed heads.

We don't hear their broken cries.

We don't feel their sinking dread.

But why should we be anything but blind?

Their struggles aren't yours or mine.

Do we see their tear stained cheeks?

Why do their tears taste like ours?

Do we feel their trembling heartbeats?

Why does their pulse sound just like ours?

If our tears and heartbeats are of the same kind,

How are their struggles not yours or mine?

Will they watch us drop to our knees

Once our ill-fated autonomy has passed?

Will they watch us fall from the skies,

The so-called angels, devils at last?

But even if they do, why should they care?

Our struggles will not be theirs.

~ Gia Arora, IX-B

Life of a Refugee

Homes, lives and dreams destroyed,

Death etched in the memory of millions,

Discrimination, war and dictatorship,

Affecting Cubans, Afghans and Syrians.

Children denied education,

Families torn apart.

Fictional human rights,

Hospitals and Schools demolished,

Bombs and Guns, a common sight,

Homelessness and pitiful existence.

This is the life of a Refugee,

A life abandoned disgracefully.

Malala Yousafzai and Anne Frank Had to flee,

To find a place to belong.

Sacrifices had to be made,

to ensure survival for some,

But so many more were left aflame,

And forced to succumb,

And those who did survive,

Left so much behind.

This is the life of a Refugee,

A life abandoned disgracefully

So, what does it mean to be a refugee?

It means losing all aspiration and dreams,

And clinging to a fragile thread of hope.

It means losing faith in your country.

And trying to find a new home.

It means evading death,

But struggling to survive.

It means to die every day,

But still thankful to be alive.

Waiting for acceptance,

Waiting for ascendance,

Waiting to end the misery,

Waiting for mercy.

This is the life of a Refugee,

A life abandoned disgracefully.

~Naisha Gupta, VI-D

I need Feminism

I need feminism,

Because all girls have heard, "Let him be,

Boys mature slower than you," but never

"Look to her for inspiration, she matures faster."

I need feminism,

Because the first thing he said when I mentioned equality

Was, "Does that mean boys can hit girls, too?"

(As if they don't anyway.)

I need feminism,

Because not enough people know what that word means.

It doesn't mean that women deserve better -

It means that they deserve the same.

I need feminism,

Because patriarchy is so deeply entrenched in society

That a call for anything else

Is seen as misandry.

I need feminism,

Because people think that only women can be feminists.

Apparently, they believe that your anatomy

Affects whether or not you believe in equality.

I need feminism,

Because when I say that I'm a feminist,

Their eyes go wide as they ask the same question,

"But why do you hate men?"

~Gia Arora, IX-B

The Untouchable Boy

I see a boy,

On a lonely track.

Maybe it was me,

A long time back.

He has a forlorn expression,

Pain dripping from his eyes.

With no one to support him,

All he could see was his own demise.

All he needed was one kind word,

Maybe a helping hand.

Someone who could share his pain,

Someone who would understand.

Someone who could appreciate him,

And tell him he did right.

A breezy gush of wind,

To guide his lonely kite.

All he wanted was a compliment,

To balance every insult he had heard.

A pair of wings,

To support his flightless bird.

Maybe once in a while,

He would get a tight hug.

Make him feel needed,

Not trampled on like a rug.

Even if an acknowledging nod,

Was all that he received.

He would not feel alone,

He would not feel deceived.

If no such thing was possible,

A handshake would’ve been a good sign.

To tell the little boy,

He was the diamond of the mine.

But the boy got no such thing,

Not one stood up for him.

Even if one would’ve helped,

The situation would not be so grim.

Not once did anyone come,

And thank him for his help.

Not once did anyone hear,

His sad sorrowful yelp.

The true meaning of respect,

Was then understood by the boy.

It was that sticky glue,

Which fixed every broken toy.

That day he understood,

What it meant to be a Dalit.

He was that piece in a puzzle,

Which would never fit.

He understood the meaning of a word,

That he had brushed so casually in the past.

Those five letters snatched his identity,

And people called it caste.

~Annsh Kapoor, XII-A

Qualms of Quintessential Young Adult

"What if I can not do it? I will be labelled a loser".

"Stressed? Tell me something new".

"How are they able to do it and not me?"

To someone who does not belong to this generation, these thoughts may seem like definite signs of anxiety. However, for the youth of the 21st century, this is business as usual. It is almost as if our entire generation is on a bell curve-everyone striving to be in the top 1% in every aspect. Despite being the first generation to vocalise the importance of mental health, Gen Z has put aside their mental health to achieve something intangible-perfection. But why?

That past decade has seen massive growth in consumerism. Economies have boosted, lifestyle has elevated, the world has become global in its truest sense. This concept has caged our mindset to such a degree that we have subconsciously started applying it to humans—more specifically, the youth. They have been subjected to a consumerist culture that has led to diminishing them to mere products that must cater to specific needs rather than healthy individuals who can impact the world. If this culture continues to prevail, the world will inherit stressed, narrow-visioned individuals—those who can deal with stress but do not know how to reduce it, those who can work hard but do not know how to work smart, those who can improvise but cannot invent.

We must realise that this generation, just like any other, can fail, be imperfect and have their challenges—having the best of everything does not guarantee avoiding all of these things as they are a part of life. We must grow out of the consumerist culture and adopt a culture of evolution, learning and holistic development where the only competition is yourself. Prioritising mental health should become a topic that is preached and practised. The world has an abundance to offer—all we need to do is remove our blinkers and pave our own trajectories. As John Keatings rightly said, “Medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for."

~Anusha Roy, XII-D

Who would've thought...

“Keep me away from the wisdom which does not cry, the philosophy which does not laugh, and the greatness which does not bow before children.”

- Khalil Gibran

COVID changed everything.

We went into the most stringent 3-month lockdown in the world! March...beginning of new term...this urgency, to explore new online platforms and tools to adapt! We were clueless…the helplessness...late night exploration of new tools… anxiety...as classes went online, suddenly-almost overnight!

Planning for the year ahead, lessons, corrections, the new platform, connecting with new faces through a screen, cameras off...are you there…can you hear me..do you understand...please put your cameras on...the struggle...

My place of work and home became one.

Lines between when school ended and home began, blurred! Wake up...emails, WhatsApp, kids, preparing breakfast, lessons, dog, lessons, doorbell, lessons…endless!

Nap time and park time! The yearning for these increased. Let’s pack in as much as possible! Where’s that To do list…check, check, check...today was good, I managed most!

Thank god for the support at home! Though there were times, while making dinner after a long day, I would catch myself thinking, why rotis...let’s just have sandwiches, or soup...kids don’t like it...okay...

Five minutes extra in the shower… please. Sometimes crying from the sheer emotion, isolation and exhaustion was cathartic.

While the lockdown brought the family physically closer and together, it did away with the distance needed to strengthen those connections. Living together didn’t always mean being together.

And then COVID came home. The uncertainty, the fear, stress, anxiety; ironically left me with a clearer mind. It was okay. Okay to not feel like doing work, okay to not be in the mood, okay to not finish everything on the To-Do list, okay to feel disconnected, okay to just let go and be!

Gratitude. For the pause and understanding, that there are different realities for everyone and to give attention to the things, and the people around me, that is all that matters.

The pandemic brought me and my reality to light.

My work, my purpose is all about learning together. This certainly isn’t limited to the classroom, especially now. To connect during times of vulnerability and share those moments, to motivate, to have faith, in the unseen road ahead, to protect from the binaries of success and failure, to emphasize individual uniqueness; requires one to be at a certain place to speak convincingly! This year and a half has shown me that.

It took a pandemic to understand and accept...who would’ve thought!

~A Teacher