# THRESHOLD

A page from the (fictional) autobiography of Karna

              Threshold


It was spring time. The time when nature was at the threshold of rebirth. There was greenery and freshness all around. A sweet breeze was blowing. The birds were chirping merrily. But nature in all its beautiful shades, failed to warm my soul. At a time when everything around me was bubbling with life, I was feeling melancholic and miserable. To add to the sinking feeling, I heard owls howling and dogs barking which sent shivers down my spine. My whole life had been like a bad omen and I could have done without another. Hesitatingly, I asked myself - Was it a premonition?

I didn’t have to wait for too long to get an answer, for the person who gave me birth decided to pay me a visit. This was just the beginning of the most ill-fated day of my life, for what I heard from her knocked the day-lights out of me. And to my horror what Krishna told me earlier had come true. My whole life turned on its head after hearing these two cold facts:
I am the son of Kunti and Surya.
My enemies-the Pandavas, are my brothers.

The profound impact these revelations had on me couldn’t be expressed in words. I was numb. My mother came silently but left me shattered like broken pieces of mirrors. Her words had sucked the life out of me. My destiny was in my own hands and my decision would decide my fate. On one side, stood my family, my own blood which would return my dignity and give me the respect I deserved. On the other, was my friend Duryodhana, who bestowed me with honour at a time when I was publicly humiliated in the assembly, and when my own mother had turned a blind eye.

Who am I supposed to choose? God, weren’t the curses hurled at me throughout my life enough? Should I rejoice at the reunion with my family or be angry at their selfishness? Can I fight a war against my own brothers? Should I betray my friend? Questions were all I had at that moment. I had nobody to provide me with answers. As if the ignominy and humiliation inflicted on me all through my life was not enough, I was unfairly put in this unenviable position of choosing between family and friendship. At this moment I felt a schism in my soul. It felt as if the entire universe had conspired against me. A feeling of total helplessness had enveloped my whole being.

For a second my mother, Kunti, was able to melt my heart, for I must admit the hope of reuniting with my family was indeed tempting. But how could I betray Duryodhana. After all he was the only being in the universe that stood by me and gave me the right to live with my head held high.

There was also a much larger significance attached to the choice I make because it was not only a choice between family and friendship. On a much larger plane, it was also a choice between “dharma” and “adharma”. I was fully aware that the Pandavas were manifestations of dharma on earth, with Yudhisthira being “dharmaraj” himself, while Duryodhana represented adharma and his clan was doomed. This realization made the choice all the more difficult, assuming greater proportions, given this context. There was no way I could escape this moral dilemma. I had to make a decision. I decided.I am not so selfish. I will stand by my friend when he needs me the most, knowing that this will lead me to my death and that history will remember me for choosing to fight for “adharma”. Nevertheless, I will fight my brothers in honour of my friend and repay his debt. My soul is torn with this decision but I being a Kshatriya will cross this threshold resolutely.

Karna
(son of kunti or friend of duryodhana)

ARUN ARORA
3RD YEAR

# THE DEEPER SHADES OF BLACK

Scientifically, the colour black is considered to be no colour whereas the colour white comprises of all the seven colours.While black has always been representative of evil, white has been symbolic of peace and truth.This contrast not withstanding, the layers of meanings and interpretations attached with the colour black is fascinating.

Traditionally black has been associated with death but is interpreted differently by different cultures.For instance, the Japanese treat black as a symbol of nobility and experience. The colour of the highest belt awarded in martial art is black thereby making it a symbol of achievement and excellence. The Chinese look at black as an elegant colour and it is the traditional colour worn by boys.While the Christians wear black clothes on funerals, the Indians wear white clothes.

Stereotypically black is used to refer to something negative. It has always had dark connotations attached to it. For instance, in the English writer Joseph Conrad’s Heart Of Darkness, the colour black denotes the void that the protagonist “Kurtz” feels within him as he stays in the wilderness of Africa. Africa itself has been called “the dark continent” reminding us of all the negative connotations that the colour black has, especially in the minds of the white men. The recent racist attacks on Indians in Australia also highlight the bias the white world has against black/brown people. Interestingly black which symbolizes death and destruction also leads to rebirth in a sense. Especially the Indians believe in life after death implying “white after black.” So by this reasoning black is also the colour of hope.

Clearly black continues to be the most fascinating colour and more layers of meaning continue to be added to it.

ARUN ARORA
3RD YEAR

# THE ROLE OF YOUTH IN CURBING CHILD LABOUR

As soon as i start thinking about this word, the first thing that enters my mind is the images i see often of young, 8-12 years old children working at the small restaurants, road-side dhabas,selling things at roads in the midst of heavy traffic jam of Delhi; with so much of proficiency, with so much ofregularity that one might even forget for a moment that they are just kids after all. There is no child-like expression on their face-there are hardly any smile in their eyes, their face seems to have lost its innocence and a child's excitement. it almost looks expressionless. all they seem to have is loads and loads of work, with very little hopes of a bright future, or rather a present like any other normal child-this is all what i can remember of.

In India, child labour has been a problem for a very long time now. But still there isnt seem to be ab end to it. It is not like nobody tried to do anything against this evil-many schemes, many programes have been launched for N no. of times to sort this problem. But the result... where are we lacking then? and whats the area we can still work upon and take its help to remove this problem called child labour. Government is doing its bit of work. Or so does it says...but we, the youth of india can also have a fair share of efforts, and can bring a drastic change in the present condition of major part of the present working class- i.e children. The youth in india, or should i say, even i being a part of youth, feel that we need to put our share of efforts to help our country become better. But the question is how? its not that we dont want to help, youth of today is very enthusiastic about bringing a change in society. But what we lack is the true guidance of how to go for issues like this and how to tackle them. So, first of all we need to guide them and make them aware by conducting programs.so that they can use their energy and enthusiasm at the right place. secondly, we need to accept this, that with the present senario of poverty in India its really hard to stop this evil at one go. what we can perhaps do is to take small but significant steps to keep things in check and so control it progressively.

Next on the block is to understand the reasons for which young children get into this petty world of child labour- food and lack of education. food, the main necessity of all human beings unless there is not enough amount of foods per required,they have to work. they wont stop working unless there is a security of food , and shelter for them. So, this thing needs to be taken care of.

Second comes lack of education-almost all the parents of these child labours are uneducated and so money being their prime agenda for survival, all they teach their kids is how to get work for them as soon as possible.For this even the parents need to be educated and who better than the youth of today can do this.Young students can put up street plays and awareness programms for the parents.Simultaneously,they can also take part time classes so that they can become self-dependent and donot rely on their meagre wages only.The main idea behind this thing should be that studies should not be a burden for them.For this the youth can team up and provide them small but valuables things like books,pencils etc.There are also many NGO's working presently to eradicate child labour across India.One can always join them and do their bit for poor young children to help them save their childhood and to have their dreams and as well as to retain them.

By
Garima Shah
3rd year

# POEM

Life has loveliness to sell
All beautiful and splendid things
Blue waves whitened on a cliff
Soaring fire that sways and sings
And children's faces looking up
Holding wonder like a cup
Life has loveliness to sell
Music like a curve of goal
Scent of pine trees in the rain
Eyes that love,arms that hold you
And for ur spirits still delights
Holy thoughts that star the night
Spend all you have for loveliness
Buy it and never count the cost
For one white singing hour of peace
Cost many a year of strive well lost
And for a breadth of ecstasy
Give all you have been or could be

3rd year

# AN ERA OF PESSIMISM

Its but common these days and extremely convenient at that,to turn a deaf ear to our country's unabashed screams to free her from the shackles,unleash her from the dreary depths of dirty politics and shallow mindedness,petty bureaucracy and untamed treachery.
Another way of thinking that has become common is that if not completely oblivious a person gets his peace in bickering or merely having a laugh at the state of affairs in the country,little realising his indebtedness to it.
Everything including the sullen and sickly is so taken for granted(which certainly suit some better)that there is no yearing for change ,or the wanting for the correct ways,for the incorrect ones seem to be much more curing and easily accessible. A little misguidance (lent primaly by the power greedy,the so called leaders of our country) or injustice goes a long way in explaining the series of conococtions that occurs due to a man's wrong doing.Or what else can explain the innocent murdered,helpless raped or guiltless whipped?

Often i feel a few unsettling questions clouding my mind .During these times more than others i am painstakingly conscious about my responsibility to our country and am overwhellmed by the feeling of making a change,changing the world.And i am slowly realising that changing the world ,as much as,i feel compelled to, is presently notin my control,but changing myself is.And so it dawned upon me the if each one of us strives to change ourselves,to be just a little more sensitive towards many a burning issues ,to make a difference,we would atleast be making a start in the right direction.It is time we realise that shying away from initiation is not exactly the best we can do to awaken our country to that heaven of freedom which Tagore dared to dream and so beautifully described,replete with all expectations .Hopefully it will be fulfilled one day with the burial of CYNICISM!!

By;
Harpreet Kaur
3rd year

# Elegy to the pestering pest

Busy little bug, buzzing with impatience
once entered my room
dodged my hands
ducked my broom
and beganruling over my room in my presence

To his Majesty, I became his royal court my head was his royal seat If I took a shot, he would fly with god speed
and my head would take the punishing beat
for he was the black Pegasus whose actions Lucifer would himself promote

Dejected and exausted, I gave up the fight
the sun descended into the horizon and darkness covered the ground
to my agony , lights went out and in darkness I was found
so I lit up a candle and pronounced:
LET THERE BE LIGHT

The dancing flame caught his majesty's intrest
The daredevil. the fly propelled by a blasphemic desire
his wings began to melt as he plunged into the fire
there I witnessed his funeral pyre
and said AMEN to the annoying pest

By:
Mridu Pawan Saikia(3'rd year)

## Quote for the tee-shirt:

MY books laugh, scream, bleed,
I listen, I feel, I react
By:Mridu Pawan Saikia
3rd year

# An Open Letter to Mr. Omar Abdullah

"I am a Muslim and I am an Indian"
kudos to you sir for having dared to make such a bold statement.

A section of people would consider you anti-nationalist. They would argue that by placing your religion ahead of nation, you are actually going against the notion of secularism- for which India stands but little will they understand that a country is formed by its people and not vice- versa. Your views are not against secularism. You have every right to celebrate your religion. Doing this does not make you less patriotic. After all India thrives on pluralism, where people of different religious and political beliefs come together to form our nation.

I am a 1st year English Honours student of the Delhi University. We discussed the speech, that you delivered in the parliament on 22 July 2008, in the class while reading about Tagore's views on Nationalism.

After reading the part of the speech which said- "the enemies of Indian Muslims are the same enemies that all poor people of India face...", I thought to myself- here is a young leader trying to make an innocent attempt to highlight the sentiments of a particular section of the society that for long has been looked at suspiciously and their people have the right to call themselves Indian as much as the people from other dominating communities namely the Hindus.

I think India has had enough of her politicians trying to use religion for their personal gains. Parties like BJP do not shy away from using religion as a tool to fill in their petty vote banks vying for power..it is very convenient for them to blame a particular community for a mishap.. it is such dirty politics that i am against.

India needs young leaders like you who

1) are aware of the problems faced by India

2) are honest in admitting them

3) work towards getting rid of these problems and own accountability

Countries like USA also face problems like poverty, unemployment,etc but its the way they handle these issues that makes them stand apart.

I think India has the power to lead the world. We have a nice blend of experience and youth. The need of the hour is to solve our internal matters and collectively work towards the realization of a better country based on the higher moral principles like love for humanity,sympathy with mankind...which our forefathers like Tagore and Gandhi dreamt of.

I the youth of this country appeal to you to always listen to your conscience and take decisions that benefit not just your constituency but also act as a model for the entire country..

You have an ominous task in your hand in Kashmir of bringing together the conservatives and radicals and ensuring peace in the terror hit state...i wish you all the best for the same.

ARUN ARORA
1st Year

# The spirit of rock … \m/

Okay the spirit of rock ?? eh ?? thats a very tricky question to answer .. There is a simple reason behind it , that many people mistake rock to be like anti religion , or as many Christian Catholics say , anti Christ . Rock ain’t Anti GOD , or anti Christ . Rock is all about rebellion , all about standing against the people who run the society . or as Jack black says in his movie The School Of Rock , rock is all about sticking it the man …

Yes my friends , rock is all about sticking it to the man .

Rock is one layman’s term . Or to put in other words it is a very big genre of music , just as you have blues , jazz and pop . Rock has many sub genres for example ,

Classic rock , Grunge Rock , Hard Rock , Punk Rock , Progressive Rock , Soft Rock ( yeah rockstars are soft also .. ) Psychedelic Rock , Country rock , Alternative Rock and many more . And each genre has its own style of conveying a message .

For instance , Grunge rock include bands like Nirvana , Alice in chains, Pearl Jam and many more .. There lyrics don’t make sense at all with the music and the lines are quite counfusing , but as you look at the lyrics as a whole , you will understand that the lyrics convey some potential meaning after all ..

Rock also gave birth to one of the genres that todays youngsters are really fascinated about .. – METAL

Yes my friends metal , this is a much bigger way of showing rebellion to a particular organization and it also has its sub genres . thrash metal , death metal , brutal death metal , heavy metal , gothic metal , psychedelic metal . and many more ..

First Metal band to name was BLACK SABBATH , who gave birth to one of the most famous names in entire rock history – OZZY OZBOURNE

And then in 1980’s came three bands , Metallica , Megadeth and Iron Maiden , bringing a revolution in the metal history and changed history of metal forever .

But there is one saying that sums up which of the bands gave the most to metal fans .

Black Sabbath created metal but METALLICA perfected it , and the rest is history To sum up Rock is not Anti God . Rock is standing up for yourself , it is all about freedom of speech , freedom of mind from the shackles of laws that people have to abide by to live in it , but they do not know that these very rules and laws are the ones that feed upon them and brings upon them suffering . Rock goes against such rules , but you see as the famous song goes by Pink Floyd people are “ COMFORTABLY NUMB .

By:
Samarth Goyal
2nd year

# MY ALMA MATER

A lot is there to be said,
A lot is there to be heard.
But it is time which is scarce
And a plenty of work is to be done.
On the verge of beginning a new phase.
And leaving behind the memories of school days.
A dilemma now surrounds me,
Like the mist in the wind.
Is there something to be said and done,
Or is it just a myth in my mind!

Tears are in plenty in my eyes.
But, none of these shed away.
It's so hard, that I tried
For even a single drop to fade away.

-KANIKA CHAWLA, BA (HONS) ENGLISH; 1ST YEAR

# The Killer Eve

MORE OF DARK AND LESS OF LIGHT
THIS CAME EVIDENT IN SIGHT

PEOPLE, FORESAKEN AND ALONE
SEARCHED FOR THE LIVES OF THEIR OWN

BLOOD WAS ROLLING DOWN THE STAIR
LIMBS LAY LACERATED HERE AND THERE

SOME WERE WEEPING, SOME IN CONTROL
LIFE WAS TAKEN OUT OF THEIR SOUL

FATHER RUSHING TOWARDS SAFDARJUNG
TO CLAIM THE REMAINS OF THE YOUNG ONE

WHAT CAN I DO, NOW HE LAMENTS
IT IS ALL DONE BY SOME FALSE FRIENDS.

-KANIKA CHAWLA,BA(HONS.)ENG;1ST YEAR

# FACE THE REALITY

Every night? Rented a day
To do all that I have to do
Every day? Rent a night, to
Dream what I’d love to do.

A rented life and broken dreams
The obvious is not what it seems,
My smiling is not just an art,
It is to mask an aching heart.

No buddy…some of it is mine too…
The rented night, broken dreams, mask and an aching heart.
Yesterday? Too rented the night
To dream what I love to do,
I did not leave my cozy bed till I saw what I wanted to.

My dreams break during day time,
I still try the second time.
But I don’t always win and
At such times dreams appear like sin.

I too have an aching heart…
I’m sure it aches less than yours.
I too sport a mask but its
Not as good as yours

Will only harm you buddy…

Leave the past behind and try to control things
And learn to smile…Dil se…

-RICHA KAURA

# WHAT MAKES A PERSON RICH

One day a father of a very wealthy family took his son on trip to the country with the firm purpose of showing his son how poor people are.
They spent a couple of days and nights on the farm of what would be considered a very poor family.
On their return from their trip, the father asked the son,
“How was the trip?”
“Did you see how poor people are?” the father asked.
“Oh yeah”, said the son.
“So tell me, what did you learn from the trip?”
The son answered: “I saw that we have one dog and they had four. We have a pool that reaches to the middle of the garden and then have a creek that has no end. We have imported lanterns in our garden and they have the stars at night. We have a small land to live on and they have fields that go beyond our sight. We have servants who serve us but they serve others. We buy our food, but they grow theirs.
We have walls around our property to protect us, they have friends to protect them.”
The boy father was speechless.
Then his son added, “Thanks, Dad, for showing me how poor we are.”
Isn’t prospective a wonderful thing? Makes you wonder what would happen if we all gave thanks for everything we have, instead of worrying about what we don’t have.
Appreciate every single thing you have, especially yours friends of all the joys.
At times, I’m so discouraged with the problem of the day, I fail to see the joyful things that are along the way when trouble overwhelm me.
Its then my nerves may fray.
That’s when I need to take the time to simply sit and pray reflecting on god’s gifts.
To makes me so aware of all the joys in little things around me everywhere!
I must try to remember though problems come my way not to miss the joyful things and the beauty of the day!!

-RICHA KAURA

# End Is More Important Than Means

Karma kiye ja phal ki chinta mat kar... This phrase from Shreemad Bhagwad Geeta has been one of the most popular phrases but in today’s world this updesh or preaching has lost its charm.

In today’s world it is the end that counts and not the means. No matter what your means are, as long as the end is good, things are good. As the saying goes, all is well that ends well. To see an example consider the kids of today’s world. They live in such a competitive environment that they have been taught from their childhood to study and excel in everything they do. An average kid is nothing, all that matters is brilliance. If your child is not able to score 90% to 95% in board exams then he has no where to go. He has wasted all his time, has ruined his/her career and is probably the most unlucky kid. The end is so very important that the path to that end is never ever asked. Nobody asks you how much fair means have you taken to reach that end. The only thing that matters is that you scored high marks. This is the reason why so many kids who got decent scores try to end their lives. For them marks hold so much importance that not getting high marks takes a toll on them and unfortunately some of them succeed in ending their lives.

This shows how important the end is. Take another example. Both Gandhi and the Revolutionaries aimed at freeing India .both had different means to achieve that aim but still in the end the bottom line was that India got independence. How? Nobody cares. People know as much about Sukhdev and Bhagat Singh as much as they do about Gandhi. Do we bother whether non-violence or violence was used as a means to gain independence? No we don’t. In fact both the ways have their pros and cons. End has always been important not the means. You might have different means to achieve your aim but it’s only the success of achievement that counts. See Sachin, a top cricketer, with so many records in his name. Without Sachin Tendulkar Indian cricket is incomplete. End is so very important that nobody asked hi m the means. He dropped out of school, couldn’t pass class 10th, and hasn’t even completed his schooling but do we bother! He achieved it all and that’s about it. He made India proud and earned a name for himself in the cricketing world. Do we ask him why he didn’t complete his studies? Or how right or wrong his path was. The answer is a simple NO.

I will like to talk about a poem which all of us must have read at some point of time or other-“The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost. In this the poet talks about two paths- one which everyone has followed and has left his/her mark on that path. The other one is where no one has treaded onto and is fresh and new. The one where the poet wants to leave his mark. In the same way, there are endless ways to achieve the aim that you want to reach, some explored, some unexplored. Paths are many but aim is one. No matter which way you take leave your trail on it so that once you’ve achieved your aim you can show others the way. Make your own success story and show others the endless ways to achieve their goals.

-Pallavi,BA(HONS.)ENG;2ND YEAR

# The Same Old Blister

Here I am, looking at the blister on my hand,
that occurred while preparing tea for my mother.
a whole day has passed, initially it was a small one,
but now, it seems to be growing and growing
it feels as if it'll burst out the other moment.
it's paining and I am feeling it
I am studying for my exam,
but the pain is distracting me.
I look at it, I touch it, feel it.

"let it burst out" my conscience is continuously saying this,
but there is something that is holding me back,
somewhere, I know, that only I'll be the one who will get hurt...
but my conscience.
there is something i can see through it,
something that is eager to come out,
something that is eager to spread all around...
and again I look back into my books,
but,
the pain is still distracting me.
what should I do?
should I press it,
let it burst out and
let the whole thing spread all around?

but then, suddenly

I see the time
it's 2.30 am.
I close my books
switch of the light
pray to god and
go off to sleep

leaving the 'Blister' as it is...

Kanika Amera
B.A English(Honours) 2nd yr.