Vol 2 / Issue 1 / 56 Pages / January 2013 RNI No. APENG/2012/44693 R50
Your Educational Search Begins Here re
t Tear-o3u 201 r Plannee Insid
Cooking Young Learning from Junior MasterChef
Win-win with Negotiation How parents can resolve conflicts
Opening Your Creative Eye Fashion designing as a career
Mission Mentor What students want most from their teachers
The True Expression Body language for teachers
Mug up Block Parents speak up
BERLIN More than a million people attend the New Year’s Eve (Silvester) celebrations here. Clicking photographs of the midnight fireworks at the Brandenburg Gate is a must!
NEW YORK Thousands of people gather at the Times Square area to witness the lowering of the Waterford crystal ball, which symbolises the beginning of a new year.
LONDON The London New Year’s Day Parade held on January 1 every year is counted among the biggest New Year’s Day street events.
ITALY It is said that, apart from setting off midnight fireworks, Italians eat lentil stew at the midnight bell — a spoonful per bell — while wishing for good fortune.
New Year o Around the w rld on
PARIS The ChampsÉlysées area is said to be the most spectacular place in this city on December 31.
JAPAN The Japanese prepare to welcome the New Year’s god, Toshigami. They also visit shrines and cleanse themselves with the water from holy basins.
HONG KONG There are fireworks displays and night lights, including a special exhibition called the Symphony of Lights.
INDIA While people in most cities go out for dinner or host or attend get-togethers on New Year’s Eve, many go to temples and perform pujas. Also, around this time, Kochi in Kerala acts as the venue for the Cochin Carnival, which sees midnight fireworks, the burning of pepper on the beach, and a lively carnival.
SYDNEY The Sydney New Year’s Eve is known for its magnificent music-synchronised fireworks displays, with the Sydney Harbour Bridge being the main attraction.
Map not to scale
Dear Parents, Teachers and Students, I would like to wish each and every one of our Crystal Quest readers a Happy New Year. I’m sending out my best wishes to all of you for 2013, which seems to be a promising year in many ways, and hope that all your dreams are fulfilled. According to me, there are two types of dreamers — those who dream and forget about their dreams on rising and those who wake up feeling motivated to turn their dreams into reality. Let’s aim to be among the latter kind of dreamers and work on resolutions that take us closer to achieving our dreams. And what’s a better month than January to do so! January is also a month of vivacious celebration and festivity. From the bright, dazzling firecrackers dotting the sky when
the clock strikes midnight on January 1, to the colourful kites on Makar Sankranti which appear as if they are trying to reach the highest point of the sky while they gracefully glide on the shoulders of the wind, there is so much about this month that I love. We should consider ourselves lucky to be part of this rich, cultural heritage, where celebrations know no boundaries. This month, I also celebrate my birthday, which makes January doubly exciting for me. Talk about non-stop celebrations!
You may want to see firecrackers on New Year’s Eve or fly kites on Makar Sankranti. But an even better way of celebrating these occasions is by working on your self-improvement. So, why not write down your resolution on a kite and stick it at the highest point in your room? This way, you would always see your goal and be motivated to achieve it. This method also allows you to celebrate the festival without inconveniencing others. Now, this is what I call a win-win situation!
The month of January has been named after the Roman god Janus, who had two faces — one to reflect on the past and the other to look at the future. There couldn’t have been a better name for this month, as it marks a new beginning and a time for drawing lessons from all those events in the past year that did not meet our expectations.
So, begin this amazing year with your chin up and a big, broad smile. You can learn more about maintaining the latter with our Grooming article, which shows you how to take care of your pearly whites.
Neelambari Shelar EDITOR
Nostalgia transports me to the New Year’s Eves during my school days. It brings back all the excitement for the New Year, the promises made, the New Year resolutions decided over the years, and so on. I have learnt that resolutions are not that difficult to stick to. All you need are three important Ds — Discipline, Diligence and Dedication — along with a little guidance and management. Keeping in mind that our readers, especially our young ladies and gentlemen, need these for achieving their goals, I have put together something special for all of you in this issue. So, go ahead and make that resolution or promise that you will honour and hence win appreciation from your family and friends.
CQ Your mantra for 2013 should be the three Ds:
CQ TEAM EDITOR Neelambari Shelar
CREATIVE DIRECTOR Neelambari Shelar
FEATURE WRITERS Neelambari Shelar Nandini Sengupta Roma Dindi Samrat Biswas Rashida S. Arsiwala Kiran Mehta
GRAPHIC / WEB ARCHITECT Niranjan Kumar Palla
CONTRIBUTING WRITER Dr. Rajni Mukherjee
GENERAL MANAGER Jayasudha Gantasala ASST TO THE EDITOR, MARKETING AND PROMOTIONS Sandeep Kamble
MARKETING AND PROMOTIONS Deepa Bajamahal
EDITORIAL Priyanka Agarwal Sana Krishna
ASST TO EDITOR Shelly Sidhu
DIGITAL IMAGING Ninad Jadhav, Rohit Nayak, Tulsidas
LOGISTIC & DISTRIBUTION Reddy Ram Kumar DESIGNED & PRINTED BY Spenta Multimedia
CONCEPTUALISED AND PUBLISHED BY Neelambari Shelar
06 08 09 10 12 13 16 18 20 22 24 26 27 31 32 34 36
Feature – Cooking Young Makar Sankranti Special Republic Day Special Career – Fashion Designing School Review – Goa School Review – Hyderabad Feng Shui – The Energy of Life Education Abroad – New Zealand Know Your Syllabus – CBSE Passion to Profession – Theatre Techno – Calculator Interactive Page New Year’s Special Grammar – Punctuation Expert Talk – Importance of Vitamin D Sports – Basketball Parent Talk – Rote Learning
37 38 39 40 42 44 45 46 49 50 52 53 54
Teacher Talk – Classroom Diversity Student Talk – Mentoring Confessions of a Prankaholic Little Globetrotter – Sri Lanka Grooming – Dental Hygiene Soft Skills for Parents – Negotiation Soft Skills for Teachers – Body Language Soft Skills for Kids – Planning and Organising Recipe – Waldorf Salad Eco Page – Trashing Right My Moral Strongest – Honouring Your Promise Yoga – Breathing Right On the Shelf – The Arabian Nights
Crystal Quest Magazine Editorial Office: Flat No. 402, Trendz Developers, Rushikonda, Opp. Gitam College, North Gate, Vishakhapatnam: 530045, Andhra Pradesh Tel.: +91-97011 10566 Hyderabad Office: Srinivas Nagar Colony, Shivam Road, Hyderabad: 500013, Andhra Pradesh Tel.: +91-87909 41414 Goa Office: Edcon Towers, Unit No. 306, 3rd Floor, Near Fidalgo Hotel, Panaji: 403001, Goa Tel.: +91-95525 65923 Mumbai Office: 36 Turner Road, Unit No. 201, Turner Road, Bandra (West), Mumbai: 400050, Maharashtra Tel.: +91-97011 10566 Website: www.crystalquestmagazine.com Helpline No: +91-97011 10566 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising Enquiry: email@example.com
Published by Mark International Cover Credit: © Thomas Perkins | Dreamstime.com, © Cristina Popescu | Dreamstime.com Credits for images inside: Shutterstock / IndiaPicture, Dreamstime.com, Dinodia photos, Alamy / IndiaPicture, IndiaPicture DISCLAIMER: Duplicating all or any part of this magazine, including photocopying, recording, facsimile transmission, electronic or physical transmission, or otherwise, is prohibited. This magazine and its articles are for information purposes only and do not constitute an offer to sell or solicitation to buy any products or services. The content of this magazine does not seek to influence the opinions/behaviours of the readers. The views and opinions expressed in the articles contained in this magazine are those of the authors and do not constitute the views of the publisher, Mark International, or the printer, Spenta Multimedia. The publisher and the printer are not responsible for any damage or loss resulting from reliance on or use of any information provided in this magazine.
Cooking Young Kids these days are not to be left behind on any front (pun unintended). They are smart, intelligent, and possess a go-getter streak that many adults envy. So, when a child decides to turn chef, one can only encourage him/her; who knows, he could be the next Anthony Bourdain and she could turn out to be a Nigella Lawson! RASHIDA S. ARSIWALA FUN TIMES As a kid, my favourite thing to do in the world was to lie on the couch watching television while eating the yummy food my mum had made for me, all day long. But times, as they say, are a-changing. Children today are no longer happy with just being fed; they like to feed others, and with gourmet meals, no less. A large portion of the credit for this goes to cookery-based TV shows, particularly MasterChef. The Australian version became hugely popular, and, of course, Akshay Kumar raised the popularity of the Indian franchise by playing host in the inaugural season. As active media consumers, kids can hardly be expected to remain immune to the ‘great food wave’ that seems to have taken over the world. MEDIA MATTERS The kitchen is hardly a place a child usually wants to be at. The odd game of ‘Keeping House’ aside, cooking is not high on kids’ list of playtime activities. However, Junior MasterChef Australia has changed much of that. The participants on this show were truly wonder kids. For instance, they could use techniques on chocolate many grown-ups couldn’t even pronounce the names of. Junior MasterChef has, thus, been a great influence on kids and has encouraged their interest in cooking.
Junior Masterchef was influential for kids on more levels than one. For starters, the whole idea that kids can also cook was extremely innovative and, some might say, even path-breaking. Seeing kids that young (an eight-year-old was among the youngest contestants on the show, and boy, could she wield a ladle!) cooking up dishes in front of their own eyes had a huge impact on the impressionable little ones. Sometimes, even well-meaning adults can fail to recognise their kids’ talent, thinking of it as a mere whim. But watching the kids on Junior Masterchef and seeing the pride on the faces of the parents of those kids rang true even with the viewers’ parents. Thus, the TV programme was beneficial for kids in more ways than one. Post Junior Masterchef, one has to only run a search on YouTube with the words ‘kids cooking show’ and see how many videos pop up; clearly, the Australian show has not just encouraged kids to take up the culinary arts but also spawned a whole series of smaller, DIY-version videos online. MUMMY KNOWS BEST Okay, and so does Daddy! Parental guidance is a must for children who are interested in pursuing and sharpening their culinary skills. Kids’ talent as cooks should, no doubt, be encouraged. However, it is important to remember at the same time that, at the end of the day, they are just kids.
SAFETY RULES As mentioned earlier, parents must walk the tightrope between being encouraging and at the same time also ensuring kids’ safety. Here’s how adults can help:
Besides ensuring the kids’ safety, parents must also take care to ensure that at no point should the kids feel disheartened or underappreciated. As with all human beings, kids, too, like a good dose of appreciation served with encouragement. We live in an increasingly competitive world. In such a scenario, it is possible that not all of a child’s culinary dreams may come true. For instance, if a child wants to participate in a television reality cooking show and doesn’t make the cut, his parents need to support him and make him understand that it’s not the end of the road and that there are always more opportunities available. This attitude needs to extend not just to a big event such as a television show but must be practised within one’s own home as well. Kids who are just beginning to learn the ropes should be encouraged at every step, even when they make mistakes. In fact, it is when they make errors that they most need encouragement so that they don’t get disillusioned and consequently give up cooking altogether. This is not to say that parents and adults should not say anything negative to kids. When they make errors in judgement and do something wrong, by all means, they need to be corrected. However, the way in which this is done is crucial. Parents and guardians should give honest but gentle feedback to children; they must communicate the issue without making a child feel silly, and therein lies the biggest challenge for grown-ups. That’s why we say, Mummy and Daddy know how to do this best!
1. Oversee and take care : Everything in a kitchen is potentially hazardous — gas stoves, knives, matches, hot and boiling liquids… the list is endless. So, even if your child has been identified as a chef version of Doogie Howser, it’s best to exercise extreme caution, no matter how young or old he is. This is not to say that he shouldn’t be allowed to do anything at all; it’s just that there should be adult supervision at all times. 2. Start small : Only things that don’t need cooking on gas should be allowed in the beginning. For instance, sandwiches are the safest and best way for children to learn and hone their interest in all things culinary. Apart from requiring next to no cooking, making dishes such as sandwiches teaches kids how to put together ingredients, thus developing their understanding of food groups and pairings — an invaluable skill for any cook. 3. Include baking : Another option is helping your children bake cakes. The fact that almost all kids love them works as a definite advantage in their favour! With just some flour, eggs and cocoa powder, the little chefs can work up a sweet deal good enough to tempt anybody! 4. Be age-wise : While there’s no rule set in stone that says at what age kids should start using more ‘dangerous’ ingredients and equipment, anything below five years is generally considered too young. Thereafter, individual cases may differ based on parents’ discretion and children’s level of understanding of the dangers involved in using certain ingredients.
So, kids, what are you waiting for? Go on and cook up a storm (well, not literally!) and show the adults that you will not be left behind when it comes to displaying your cooking talents. Also, remember to clean up after you’ve created the aforementioned storm, because it’s not fun for somebody else to do that. Besides, no true cook leaves behind a messy kitchen, does he? Rules aside, who’s up for an ‘adult versus kids’ cook-off?
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Makar Sankranti Special
A Day towards Light and Brightness The festival of Makar Sankranti symbolises the onset of a fresh start, considering it marks the end of the season of harvests and an important solar phenomenon. SANA KRISHNA Makar Sankranti is an extremely auspicious festival in India, celebrated in almost every state all over the country with huge enthusiasm, devotion and optimism. Falling in the Hindu calendar month of Magha, it is mostly hailed as a harvest festival and celebrated on January 14. We all know how much fun it is to fly kites on this day! There is a really interesting phenomenon behind this festival. Makar means Capricorn, whereas Sankranti refers to transition. It is believed that the sun ends its southward voyage (Dakshinayan) at the Tropic of Capricorn and begins to move towards the north (Uttarayan) for the Tropic of Cancer on this day, signifying the end of the month of Paush. Makar Sankranti is also said to mark the commencement of shorter nights and longer days. Astrologically, there occurs a Sankranti every month as the sun moves from one zodiac sign to the next. The festival has different names in different parts of the country and is celebrated with varying customs and rituals. Additionally, Makar Sankranti honours the commencement of the harvest period and the end of the northeast monsoon in southern India. Interestingly, it is one of the few Hindu festivals that are observed on a permanent date every year — January 14 (sometimes on January 15). IS THERE ANY OTHER SIGNIFICANCE TO MAKAR SANKRANTI? There are plenty of other stories that explain the birth of this festival. For example, some say that on this day the sun god
RANTI? R NAMES FOR SANK WHAT ARE THE OTHE by diverse local names: own In India, Sankranti is kn desh, Sankranti — Andhra Pra or ti Makar Sankran desh, Pra ya dh Ma a, tak , Karna Bihar, Goa, Jharkhand ur, htra, Orissa, Manip Chhattisgarh, Maharas and, West Bengal kh ara Uttar Pradesh, Utt Pongal — Tamil Nadu hal Pradesh Lohri — Punjab, Himac l, Gujarat, Rajasthan ha nc Uttarayan — Uttara achal Pradesh, Punjab Maghi — Haryana, Him Bihu — Assam Magh Bihu or Bhogali sh de Khichdi — Uttar Pra shmir Ka — at Shishur Saenkra rnataka Ka — a an Makara Sankram 8
ascended into the northern hemisphere and he told children “Tamaso Ma Jyotirgamaya”, which means “May you always go higher towards the light and never towards the dark”. The Hindus believe that the sun signifies knowledge and insight and is a source of sacred light. So, for them, this festival denotes the need to move away from the darkness of illusion that we live in and to take pleasure in a new life with an even brighter light shining inside us. HOW IS THE OCCASION CELEBRATED IN DIFFERENT PARTS OF INDIA? As we mentioned earlier, Makar Sankranti is celebrated in different ways across different states of our country. Here are some examples: In Andhra Pradesh, a day before Makar Sankranti, people of all communities create bonfires. Also, it is a custom for people to practise Bommala Koluvu, i.e. keeping a tiered arrangement of dolls and figurines, during these celebrations. The day after Makar Sankranti is celebrated as Kanuma when all the equipments of the farmer as well as his farm animals are adorned. In the state of Maharashtra, sweets made of white sesame seeds and jaggery (til-gud) are distributed to near and dear ones with the words “Til gud kha, god god bola”, which literally mean “Have sesame and jaggery and speak sweet words.” On January 13, the Punjabis celebrate Lohri. They create a large bonfire and offer rice and sweets to it. In the southern states of Tamil Nadu and even Andhra Pradesh, Pongal is celebrated over three days to mark the end of the harvest season. On the first day, families gather together and make kolams with rice flour outside their homes. The second day sees people thanking the sun god for the warmth he provides to their crops and cooking sweet rice and milk. On the final day, cattle are worshipped.
Republic Day Special
Long Live the Republic! Itâ€™s going to be 63 years since India became a republic. Letâ€™s understand how India achieved this status and how this system works. P. PRASAD Have you ever wondered why some countries are called a republic and others are not? As the Wikipedia page will tell you, a republic constitutes a form of government elected and represented by the people of a nation. India is one such privileged country, having been freed from colonial rule in 1947. Times have changed and generations have passed, yet we always commemorate and remember the efforts of our freedom fighters on this important day. HOW IT ALL STARTED Although India achieved independence on August 15, 1947, it is Republic Day that has far greater significance, for it was on this day that the Constitution of India came into effect, making our country a true sovereign republic. When India attained independence in 1947, she was in need of a proper constitution. Hence, a Drafting Committee was set up and was headed by Dr. B. R. Ambedkar, and the nittygritty of the Constitution was deliberated by the Committee for over two years before the Constitution was adopted. WHAT HAPPENS ON JANUARY 26 EVERY YEAR? Each year, the Prime Minister of India pays homage to the martyrs of a bygone era by placing a wreath at Amar Jawan
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Jyoti at India Gate in New Delhi. After this, the President hoists the national flag, signifying the moment for everyone to sing the national anthem. This is followed by a gun salute. The grand parade comes next, with the armed forces out in all their grandeur. Files of defence personnel and their cavalry march down Rajpath, starting from Raisina Hill, past India Gate, and towards the Red Fort. The parade also includes a magnificent air show by personnel of the Indian Air Force. Showcasing the rich diversity of our country, the parade is followed by displays of cultural items such as folk dances from the various states. It is a spectacle worth experiencing and will surely strengthen the patriot within you! Apart from celebrations in the capital city, ceremonies are also conducted on a smaller scale throughout our nation. CELEBRATING REPUBLIC DAY IN SCHOOLS Republic Day, particularly in schools, is celebrated with gusto and patriotism. Usually, a Republic Day programme begins with the unfurling of the national flag, followed by the singing of the national anthem and speeches by students, teachers and the principal of the school. With participation comes greater understanding and thus learning. So, for a better appreciation of the significance of the Republic Day, some schools organise cultural parades, which exhibit the diversity and grandeur of the various cultures of India. What is a better way to understand what our freedom fighters went through than by showcasing their struggle in a play on pre-Independence India! Art and craft, quizzes and storytelling sessions are some of the other ways to memorialise the occasion; these media not only make the freedom movement come alive for the children but also make it all the more enjoyable for students to learn.
Career — Fashion Designing
Fashion Designing is indeed one of the most sought-after careers among today’s youth. Designers have now become trendsetters, with each of them displaying their own special style. Besides bringing out one’s creative flair, fashion designing also entails meeting the rich and the famous and exposure to their unique glamorous styles. Fashion designing involves not only designing but also cutting the fabric and sewing it. The final part of the process is showcasing the work, which takes the form of ramp shows and write-ups in fashion magazines, on the Internet, and in newspapers. WHAT DOES A FASHION DESIGNER DO? A fashion designer mainly creates designs for garments, accessories, etc., for men, women or children. Designers find out their clients’ needs and create attractive clothes and accessories for them, based on these needs as well as on latest trends, market conditions and weather. They also observe the material, colour, texture, style, size and fit of the garment.
The basic tasks of a fashion designer mainly include the following:
Opening Your Creative Eye If you want to excel in the all-glamorous world of fashion designing and dress up the absolute cream of the world, here’s how you can go about it.
• Drawing a sketch of the original idea • Shaping the pattern pieces that form the garment • Drawing the pieces in actual size, cutting them out from a rough material, sewing them together and fitting them on a model • Making sample garments from the final fabric based on the rough model • Exploring, researching on and acquiring a knowledge of fabrics and materials, weaves, draping qualities, colours, designs and trends
SKILLS REQUIRED To become a fashion designer, you need two kinds of skills — natural and acquired.
OUR YOUNGEST FASHION DESIGNER — PRACHI BADVE Prachi is barely in her teens and has showcased her collections at big fashion events such as the Pune Fashion Week, the Kolkata Couture Week, and India’s first Kids’ Fashion Week. She is also the owner of a store named Grutachi.
You may feel like asking, “How did she get all these opportunities?” Well, the answer lies in her dedication, hard work, and passion for fashion designing. Prachi’s interest in the world of dresses and designs began when she was six years old. Whenever she would go to the tailor with her mother, she would collect scraps of clothing from the shop and create patterns out of them. At the age of nine, she sketched her own version of actress Priyanka Chopra’s Miss World gown. These activities reached the level of such a fiery passion that one of Prachi’s schoolteachers telephoned Prachi’s mother and expressed her encouragement for Prachi to pursue this special talent. Today, Prachi is one of Asia’s youngest fashion designers and considers Manish Malhotra her inspiration.
The following form the list of natural skills required: • An artistic and creative bent with the ability to express ideas through sketches. • Knowledge of textiles and other elements and how to effectively use them and mix and match colours, shades and tones. • The ability of thinking in three-dimensional terms and converting imagery into stylish garments. • Awareness of market requirements and trends through constant reading of international fashion journals and books on history and art. • Experience in basic tailoring steps such as cutting, sewing and draping • The ability to differentiate among various fabric qualities and choose a good material • Excellent communication skills and clarity of ideas, which are important for successful fashion shows • Originality • A good taste in design and a refined aesthetic sense • An eye for detail Acquired skills mainly consist of an education and qualification in fashion designing from a recognised institute. You could join a full-time or part-time certificate course. Students generally take up a course after completing 10+2, but even graduates and people with a higher qualification can pursue it. If you are looking for super specialisation, you could opt for any of the numerous short-term part-time certificate courses available, which train you in technical and creative thinking skills. POPULAR INDIAN FASHION DESIGNERS • Manish Malhotra • Aki Narula • Pria Kataria Puri • Abhishek Dutta To read more about career prospects • Arjun Saluja in the world of fashion, visit www.crystalquestmagazine.com.
Apart from being a gifted fashion designer, Prachi is also said to be a good student. It has been seen that she can juggle both her profession and her studies extremely well.
Image courtesy Manish Malhotra
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School Review — Goa
Saraswat Vidyalaya High School, Khorlim, Mapusa
• • • • • • • •
SOME IMPORTANT INFORMATION ON THIS SCHOOL Playschool • Day School • Residential School Address: Telang Nagar, Khorlim, Mapusa, Goa Phone number: +91-0832-2262850 Website: www.saraswat-edu-soc.org Syllabus: NCERT Admission month: April School strength: 1,294 students Timings: 8 a.m. – 1.20 p.m.
HISTORY AND BRIEF INFORMATION ON THE SCHOOL Established on March 2, 1911, Saraswat Vidyalaya is one of the oldest institutions in our country, having provided services in the field of education for the last 100 years. In 1910, the monarchy in Portugal was replaced by a republic. Under the new banner of the ‘Government of the People’, Portugal proclaimed itself ‘secular’. The Hindus based in Goa used this development for creating paths of their own progress. During the Portuguese regime, schools were started in order to teach Portuguese to the local subjects. As local languages were not taught in these schools, a few well-to-do Goans sent their children to other states of India to make them learn English and Marathi. A Marathi-medium school with English and Portuguese as other languages was set up by late Shri Babasaheb Dabolkar and late Shri Kakasahed Danayat. This school was none other than Saraswat Vidyalaya, an institution which started with merely 37 students in a rented room
but has now grown manifold with pre-primary, primary and secondary sections with over 1,200 students and a huge building. ACHIEVEMENTS AND ACTIVITIES The students of the school have excelled in not only academic but also extracurricular activities. Some of them have participated in sports and have won medals at the national and international level. Every year, the school, along with the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA), organises special camps during the Diwali vacation. Besides this, several educational tours and field trips are conducted throughout the year to make students aware about their surroundings.
DESK e AL’S P I f th C RIN ent o wat P m E p TH aras evelo FROM -round d otto of S arting ll a imp the m ides ol The is t scho s n e e d B e u h t s t s ctivitie laya. ucation, er a s are Vidya h d t e o nt al al textu ts sever tto. Stude enges c ll o u a d con ieve its m o face ch and a t h e c d c to a rage xuberan ose ncou e s. Th n m le also e penness, b pro titutio o solve is ins face with o h t t s s m e ro ely readin raduate f o resolut t g y o it bil wh the a ar have deals. wadk r a h r D o life’s rabhu njiv P a S — Text and image courtesy Saraswat Vidyalaya
School Review — Hyderabad
Bachpan — A Play School • • •
• • • •
SOME IMPORTANT INFORMATION ON THIS SCHOOL Category: Playschool Address: Bachpan, Durgabai Deshmukh Colony, Hyderabad: 500 013 Branches: Durgabai Deshmukh Colony, Nallakunta, Gandhinagar, Mansoorabad, Vanasthalipuram, Bandlaguda Phone number: +91-040-3298 7715 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.bachpanglobal.com Syllabus: Course content designed by experts with the aim to make it more suitable, more recreational and less stressful for children Grades: Daycare, Nursery, Lower Kindergarten, Upper Kindergarten Admission months: All year round for Playschool and Nursery, January–June for Lower Kindergarten and Upper Kindergarten School strength: 580 students Timings: 9 a.m. – 12.30 p.m. (Daycare and Nursery), 9 a.m. – 2.30 p.m. (Lower Kindergarten and Upper Kindergarten) Facilities: School infirmary, Montessori activities, audio-visual room, free play, ballroom, doll house, splash pool, sand play, indoor-games room, and gym, among many others
F FROM THE COORDINATOR’S DESK All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. A Playing is not only a basic need but also every Pl child’s right. It helps bolster the physical growth child and development of kids and is also a medium through dd which they learn things by practically involving all their senses and faculties. Nowadays, children are not getting enough exposure to outdoor play and are instead becoming glued to techno games. There’s no doubt that technology helps in the development of a child’s cognitive and creative skills; however, at the same time, it is also hindering their physical, socio-emotional and aesthetic growth. Apart from teachers, parents too play a vital role in shaping a child’s personality. Hence, I request parents to spare some valuable time from their busy schedule for their kids and shower lots of love upon them. Gift your kids your presence, not just presents. — Mrs. Vasundhara
HISTORY AND BRIEF INFORMATION ON THE SCHOOL Bachpan was started in 2006. At that time, the strength of the school was all of 150 students. However, with time, it expanded from just one centre — at Durgabai Deshmukh Colony — to a total of six branches in Hyderabad.
Text and school images courtesy Bachpan – A Play School
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FROM THE PRINCI
man most valuable hu Children are the tion na a of future resources, and the cial so the is It nt. me velop depends on their de ery ev t tha re hool to ensu responsibility of a sc nsible po res a o int grows e, and child studying there libr ca e character, uniqu adult with a strong . profound knowledge pressionable years are the most im As a child’s preschool a preschool for nt extremely importa period in their life, it is ch a way su in m ulu rric ture its cu rather or playschool to struc ure as ir school life as a ple count ac that children treat the o int ed ne s n has taken thi than pressure. Bachpa its students able environment for and ensures a comfort is aimed at m reover, the curriculu time and again. Mo ildren and ch of nt me listic develop o has a bringing about the ho als ir needs. The school avours is reviewed as per the de en ich rained faculty, wh er of mb qualified and well-t nu a gh ou thr education to impart meaningful fun-filled activities.
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Bachpan Celebrates Grandparents’ Day Bachpan – A Play School presented a wonderful occasion and a happy time to the e grandparents of its students at its Durgabai Deshmukh Colony branch. The occasion of Grandparents’ Day is celebrated every year in the month of September, mainly in the United States. It started in 1978 and is now officially recognised in many other Western countries. It is also known as National Grandparents’ Day, when children spend time with their grandparents and have fun together. Grandparents brim with love, care and patience and end up sacrificing many things for bringing up their children and grandchildren. This is what inspired Bachpan to make this day special for its pupils’ grandparents.
aya, a l n hiyaa aya, s u h k aya, dhna sikh a! a n a a p y Bach an jaake p aan bana p ah Bach likhake m hwar Rao, ree Jignya .S a es aram student G Padh . G. P –
r an by M achp Poem ather of B f grand
A TRIBUTE BUTE TO ALL GRANDPARENTS Bachpan – A Play School celebrated Grandparents’ Day in Durgabai Deshmukh Colony, Hyderabad, by inviting over its pupils and their grandparents and entertaining all of them with fun games and contests.
The special guests may have been elderly but were charming, enthusiastic, cheerful and energetic all the way! They took part in all the events and seemed overjoyed. They apparently carried back home not just return gifts and prizes but also many happy and memorable moments, which they can cherish for life. The fun-filled environment pulsated with joy, laughter and applause, taking everyone into a colourful world, which was magical and touching!
EXCITEMENT UNLIMITED! Among the several exciting programmes held that day were mehendi, clay activity, games such as making a pyramid with water glasses and picking thermocol balls with straw, boatmaking, memory tests, blind man’s buff, placing the bindi with the help of one’s partner, throwing balls in the same coloured tub, jewellery-making with flowers, treasure hunt, spoon race with green peas, and many more. One could say that these events helped transport the elderly guests back to their childhood days. The audience applauded Mr G. Parameshwar Rao for his poem and for turning the environment into an energetic, emotional and fun-filled one. The programme ended with a prize distribution and a speech thanking all grandparents, parents and children. It can thus be inferred that such a programme plays a dominant role towards helping one realise the value that grandparents hold in their life. It helps one develop a sense of gratitude in their children and also serves as an inspiration for everyone in the society and the nation. A programme like this is all it takes to bring a smile on the face of the elderly and makes them feel cared for. And going by the happiness on the special guests’ faces, it can be proclaimed that the programme was a grand success! Text provided by Bachpan – A Play School
YOUR EDUCATIONAL SEARCH BEGINS HERE
Simple Solutions Harmonising with Nature
The Energy of Life Learn how your children can grow in positive ways following the beautiful art of Feng Shui. NEELAMBARI SHELAR
WHAT IS FENG SHUI? (PRONOUNCED ‘FUNG-SHWAY’) Feng Shui was born in China over 3,000 years ago. It is an ancient art and science that gives us a basic knowledge of how to balance the energies of a living space to facilitate the good health, good fortune, and safety of the people residing in it. Feng Shui teaches us the ancient Chinese art of placement of colours, elements, shapes and symbols, among others, on the basis of the movement of natural energy called Chi through our environment. Feng Shui also shows us how to use positive energies called Shen Chi and repress negative energies, which are known as Sha Chi. These energies are brought by Wind (invisible force — Feng) and Water (visible force — Shui). With the help of Wind, Water and the elements in our surroundings, we can eliminate stagnation and bring back the desired motion in our lives. • Feng Shui governs all our cardinal directions such as North, South, East, West, Northeast, Southeast, Northwest, Southwest, Northeast 1, Northeast 2, Northeast 3 and so on. • Each of these directions has its own element, colour, shape, number, season, family member, body part, etc. • These directions are also dedicated to different areas of life such as health, wealth, career, friends, relationships, children, education, travel and trade, and fame. • There are basic five elements in Feng Shui, which produce, weaken and destroy each other. • Each person is governed by a Kua number, which is calculated depending on their date of birth. • This Kua number is related to one cardinal direction for each person.
• In turn, each person is governed by that element. • The Kua number gives each person his four good and four bad directions. These can be used to optimise one’s success by eating, sleeping, working, praying, facing the good direction and completely avoiding the bad directions. • The cardinal directions also govern different body parts and illnesses. HOW MANY OF YOU WOULD RELATE TO THREE OR FOUR OF THE FOLLOWING SITUATIONS? • Children putting in their best efforts for exams but getting results that don’t turn out well or as expected • Children not being able to concentrate • Fights among siblings • Low energy levels • Low confidence level • Hyperactive nature • Ill health • Falling down and getting hurt • Lack of interest • Having nightmares • Lack of enthusiasm If your answer is ‘Yes’ to any three or four of the above situations, then stop for a minute and think about the reasons for the same. As I mentioned earlier, there are many energies that govern our lives. Some are good and some bad. All the aforementioned situations can be caused due to a disturbance in the children’s space, i.e. the West or the Northeast of the house (the education area) having incorrect Feng Shui. By incorrect Feng Shui, I mean the incorrect use of colours, shapes, elements, etc. in a specific area. The presence of Sha Chi too can cause disturbances. These are caused due to external forces like poison arrows, transformers, the sharp edge of a neighbouring building, a straight road, etc. Sha Chi
can also be caused due to clutter in the house. I personally focus more on clutter in the house or living space, which causes 70 per cent of disharmony. (I will explore the topic of Decluttering in subsequent issues.) Also, if your child is in pursuit of scholastic excellence, having good Feng Shui will, in fact, maximise his chances of super success! As for education luck, the important areas to consider are the bedroom and the study area. Firstly, it is not advisable to place the study desk in the bedroom. The bedroom is a Yin area in the house, while studying or preparing for exams is a Yang activity. SOME POINTERS TO KEEP IN MIND • Your child might feel tired while studying if the study desk is located in the bedroom. Also, the child can lose their focus due to the conflict of Yin and Yang energies. • The study desk should preferably be in a bright and spacious area of the house. Make sure that your child sits with their back towards the wall for support. • Place a glass pyramid or a candle on your desk to help your child concentrate while they study.
CYCLES OF GENERATION AND CONTROL )
s ract Ove
tes ea Cr
+ST EARTH Crossing (Heng) -SP Creates
Cre +UB WATER Drilling (Zuan) -KD
Overacts Illustration by Nilesh Juvalekar
) Ke e(
Yin is anything that is mild, soft, low, inactive, slow, dark, etc.
+GB WOOD Crushing (Beng) -LV
• Negative • Female • Night • Moon • Intuitive • Cold • Soft
FIVE ELEMENTS +SI +TH FIRE Exploding (Pao) +HT -PC
+LI METAL Splitting (Pi) -LU
• • •
Yang: • Positive • Male • Day • Active • Sun • Logical • Hot • Hard Yang, on the other hand, is hard, high, loud, bright, fast, rough, active, etc.
as foul odour, which can unfavourably affect the process of studying. The desk should be neat and clean at all times. Try to clean it with soap and water at least once a week. Old books, broken pens, unwanted erasers, and sharpeners should be discarded. Stationery such as colour pens, crayons, colour pencils, water colours and art material should be neatly maintained. Cover your books and replace torn book covers. Discourage children from scribbling in textbooks. All projects should be filed properly or displayed in the South (for fame), the Northwest (mentor luck), the West (children area) or the Northeast (education luck).
The space of education luck is the Northeast, and the component in this sector is Earth. To trigger your child’s education luck, you must make the Earth element in the Northeast stronger. You can do this by placing a good number of earthenware and crystal objects in this sector. The Square shape can also be used in curtains or bedsheets. Keeping the Northeast area brightly lit will also help, as the element of Fire will produce more Earth, which will in turn enhance your scholastic luck. How well we understand our universe and nature and how we use them in life for positive effects is in our hands.
CYCLES OF IMBALANCE
• The candle trick helped the daughter of one of my close friends in her preparation for the entrance examination to a prestigious institute in India. This sweet, hardworking mother-daughter duo had faith in my tip and succeeded. • Also, try to keep the study desk away from a toilet. Make sure the study desk is not below, above or even next to the toilet, as the toilet releases negative Chi as well YOUR EDUCATIONAL SEARCH BEGINS HERE
For consultations, contact: Neelambari Shelar Feng Shui Simple Solutions, Harmonising with Nature Flat No. 402, Trendz Developers, Rushikonda, Opp. Gitam College, North Gate, Visakhapatnam: 530045 Email: email@example.com 17
Education Abroad — New Zealand
Isles of Learning An attractive study destination by all means, New Zealand offers a brilliant advantage over many other countries in the form of well-structured curricula, warm and friendly people, and, not to forget, a beautiful, scenic environment. NANDINI SENGUPTA Do you know of that tiny country, which seems to be at the bottom of the globe, is full of vast stretches of greenery and huge flocks of sheep, and celebrates a warm Christmas every year? It is none other than New Zealand, and if you are planning to study here, it will be a one-of-its-kind experience indeed. SCHOOLING IN NZ In New Zealand, school education is spread over a span of 13 years, starting from the age of five. Children spend the first six years of their school life in primary school. On turning 11, they study for two intermediate years in either a primary or an intermediate school. At the end of their eighth year in school — generally at the age of 13 — students go to high school, which is also known as college or grammar school. Years 9–11 are in the junior high division, and the last two years are in senior high. Parents could enroll their children in a ‘state-integrated’ school that is based on religion (for example, Catholic schools), a state school or a private school. Schooling is free at state-integrated and state schools without any fee required to be paid, but parents are required to incur nominal costs such as those involving schoolbooks, 18
stationery and uniforms. Private schools, on the other hand, charge fees, which may range from $4,000–$14,000 per annum. School education is mandatory for all children aged 6–16 years. During years 11–13, students also have to study for the National Certificate of Education Achievement (NCEA). If they gain the required number of credits in this assessment, they automatically get an entry qualification to an internationally recognised university. Students also have the option of leaving school after the completion of year 11 or 12. However, on doing so, they will not be eligible for university education but can rather gain admission into a training institute such as a polytechnic for applied learning of a trade. Unlike in many countries, the state school sector in New Zealand includes many of the most successful and prestigious schools in the nation. Most parents choose state schools for the education of their kids. Children generally go to a state school that serves their respective geographic zone. FOCUS AREAS In New Zealand, both academic and practical education is valued and the stress is on skill-based achievements.
The youth are encouraged to be flexible, ask questions, and seek their own answers. Also important are sports and outdoor activities, which contribute towards the production of resourceful and confident young learners who are ready to face the world. In short, New Zealand’s schooling system trains students to be prepared for various challenges, a trait which is indeed the need of the hour. STUDY ENVIRONMENT AND CURRICULUM New Zealand has a student-friendly atmosphere. Learning is stress-free with minimal pressure to perform. At the same time, discipline too is emphasised. Most schools start at 9 a.m. and run till 3–3.30 p.m. A school year is spread over four terms from January through mid-December with a two-week break for each of the first three terms and a six-week summer vacation at the end of the year. (Remember, it is summertime in the southern hemisphere during December.) The first eight years require students to master basic literacy and numeracy. They are also given the opportunity to understand the world around them so that they can decide the stream they want to pursue, which could be science, language or arts. Developing a good command over English, too, is important during these years. Secondary-school students can choose their own subjects but must include English, Math and a few other disciplines such as Physical Education and some essential sciences. From year 11, all students are expected to meet minimum WHAT ARE THE STUDY OPTIONS IN NZ? Schooling: Choose a city-based school offering the International Baccalaureate (IB) syllabus or the Cambridge International Examinations (CIE). Undergraduate level: You will be awarded a general bachelor’s degree after three years of undergraduate study. A degree in Medicine or Engineering takes 4–5 years, where your studies will be focused on limited but specialised subjects. Post-graduation and PhD: A postgraduate course lasts two years and a PhD three. A student of another country needs an IELTS or a TOEFL score besides the basic qualifications to gain admission into any of the eight brilliant universities in this country. YOUR EDUCATIONAL SEARCH BEGINS HERE
standards in English or Maori and Mathematics. The rest of the subjects depend on the school and the student, but most students opt for five or six subjects. This school year also sees students commencing some research work and preparing for assignments they will later do in university. These assignments can be done individually or in groups and play an important role in assessments. For year 12, most schools offer students an opportunity to develop a combination of old and new skills. Students can decide their field of study based on their plans and skill sets. Also, a student who wants to pursue a science or a language other than English and Maori from year 13 should have studied that subject in years 11 and 12. So, if you are planning to study abroad, here is another option!
Know Your Syllabus
This month, we look at what constitutes a regular CBSE curriculum and how successful it is in fulfilling your child’s educational needs. NANDINI SENGUPTA
• The CBSE syllabus follows the hierarchical curriculum, where topics for a particular grade are built on top of those administered in the year before the last one. For example, in Mathematics, the topics of linear and quadratic equations, which are introduced in standard VI or VII, are dealt with in greater detail in higher grades like standard VIII or IX.
THIS MONTH, WE BRING YOU AN ANALYSIS OF THE PRESTIGIOUS CBSE BOARD CURRICULUM We have numerous educational boards in our country, which are similar in one way or another. However, choosing the right board is still a matter that needs to be given sufficient thought, as it is a child’s future which is involved. With this section, we dissect an educational board each month to help you parents choose better. WHAT IS CBSE? • The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) is a body under the Government of India and is a Board of Education for public and private schools. It is one of the largest educational organisations in our country. • The CBSE syllabus is set by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) for classes from lower kindergarten to standard XII of schools affiliated with the Board.
• The syllabus is mainly made up of objective-type questions and problems. This style of teaching is instrumental in helping students prepare for national-level competitive exams in the future. LATEST MODIFICATIONS • The CBSE syllabus for standard X has been modified for the year 2012–13, which includes Hindi (Part A and B), Communicative English, English Language and Literature, Mathematics, Science and Social Science. • The medium of instruction prescribed is either English or Hindi. The standard XII syllabus after modification includes subjects such as Hindi A, Hindi Part: B, Hindi Core, English Elective, English Core, English Functional, Mathematics, Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Accountancy, History, Geography, Business Studies, Entrepreneurship and Economics. • The CBSE syllabus for the annual exams is experienced through classroom discussions in government and private schools.
• All Kendriya Vidyalayas, Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas and private schools, along with most of the schools approved by the Central Government of India, are affiliated to the CBSE. The Board holds final examinations for classes X and XII every spring.
• All CBSE-affiliated schools in India have to follow the examination system and teach the NCERT syllabus according to the Board’s ground rule.
• The CBSE conducts two board exams nationwide: The All India Secondary School Examination for Class X and the All India Senior School Certificate Examination for Class XII.
• The CBSE has introduced the Mandarin Chinese language for class VI onwards, starting from the academic year 2012–13. To cater to the diverse needs of students, the Board offers them an opportunity to learn 32 languages at the secondary and senior secondary level, out of which 12 are foreign languages.
HOW CBSE WORKS • Apart from syllabi preparation, the CBSE Board provides certification for classes X and XII. This certification is internationally recognised for further education under various universities across the world. 20
WHY CHOOSE CBSE? • The CBSE aims to provide student-centric, stressfree and holistic education without letting the quality of education suffer.
• The Board also intends to monitor the quality of education provided under its banner. Hence, it collects feedback from the various people involved in CBSE work.
CBSE’S VISION AS GIVEN ON ITS WEBSITE “The CBSE envisions a robust, vibrant and holistic school education that will engender excellence in every sphere of human endeavour. The Board is committed to provide quality education to promote intellectual, social and cultural vivacity among its learners. It works towards evolving a learning process and environment, which empowers the future citizens to become global leaders in the emerging knowledge society. The Board advocates Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation with an emphasis on holistic development of learners. The Board commits itself to providing a stress-free learning environment that will develop competent, confident and enterprising citizens who will promote harmony and peace.”
• The CBSE advocates recording student progress in a teacher- and student-friendly manner. • It aims to make rules and regulations that will help it implement its vision and various programmes and supervise the agencies under its ambit. • It has also set sights on the achievement of academic excellence in accordance with psychological, pedagogical and social principles. • Its vision is on par with the national goals. • It also conducts programmes to provide further training and empowerment to teachers.
For more CBSE-affiliated schools in Hyderabad, Goa, Mumbai and Vizag, visit www.crystalquestmagazine.com.
SOME REPUTED CBSE SCHOOLS Here is a list of some of the renowned CBSE schools in Hyderabad, Goa, Mumbai and Vizag: Hyderabad Goa Mumbai Bodhi-Vriksha Prime Academy St. Joseph’s High School Orchids - The International Kendriya Vidyalayas Ryan International Group of School Institutions Delhi Public School (DPS) Loyola High School, Kendriya Vidyalaya INS Hamla Margao
Vizag Visakha Valley School The Presidential School Gowtham International School
C B S E VS STATE BOARDS VS ICSE VS IGCSE CBSE provides students an opportunity to choose six subjects from 20. The syllabus and paper pattern aim towards the development of logical thinking and a scientific aptitude among students.
State Boards have, so far, seen maximum enrollment. The syllabi cover a blend of theoretical, practical, vocational and value-centric elements. Teachers, textbooks and other resources are frequently updated.
YOUR EDUCATIONAL SEARCH BEGINS HERE
ICSE does not have a fixed syllabus. Instead, it provides guidelines for each subject, which schools can use to make their curriculum relevant and effective. Also, the Council offers vocational education for classes XI and XII.
IGCSE is part of the Cambridge Assessment Group and is recognised in more than 157 countries. It is renowned for its balanced curriculum, which is on par with international standards. The Board focuses on the development of oral and practical skills and gives equal preference to individual assignments and team projects. 21
Passion to Profession — Theatre
The ‘Play’-ground of Art A theatre performer is like any other artist — a dancer or even a painter. After all, the job is all about creative expression. Here’s how theatre can be a profession too. NANDINI SENGUPTA Right from mimicking people to convincing them and making them laugh, everyone’s life is filled with drama. If you have the traits of a performer or dramatist, why not carry your talent onto the stage! Yes, you can use your artistic side and your imagination to turn your passion and skills into a full-fledged profession. Drama and theatre indeed brings out one’s emotions, creative skills and performing abilities to the fore. Through this medium, artists can vividly convey to the audience what it is like to be in a particular man’s shoes. No wonder Oscar Wilde regarded theatre as “the greatest of all art forms.” WHAT IS THEATRE ACTUALLY LIKE? Unlike many arts which are unidirectional, theatre is an experience that can be shared between the artists and the audience. It has a more human touch. Theatre tells us what men and women do and why they do it, and, through this medium, we as an audience discover an unusual aspect about our world as observed by the dramatists and actors. It is one of the most powerful modes of human expression, as it occurs in the present but can transport us to other times, eras and places using a blend of characterisation, design and technology. THEATRE IN VARIOUS COUNTRIES It is said that theatre was born in primitive times when people would dance in order to calm supernatural powers that were believed to dominate mankind. From that time till this date, theatre across countries has undergone a slew of transformations, depending upon a nation’s economic, cultural and social context. If you check out the theatre in the East, you are likely to witness its symbolic nature. The actors don masks, sport make-up, or use props to portray their respective characters. When in Japan, try to catch a performance of a traditional theatre form known as Kabuki, which is characterised by dance and heavy make-up. Traps are made on the stage floor to raise and lower actors. Japanese theatre also saw the introduction of the revolving stage, which eventually became part of Western theatre too. As for the theatre environment in Europe, it developed in the Middle Ages. Plays would normally be held during Easter, depicting stories pertaining to the festival. English theatre too has been enjoying renown since times of yore. However, the country’s prime theatre era was the Shakespearean period, also the time when England’s first theatre, simply called The Theatre, was built in London. You will find this strange but, till the 17th century, women would never
be cast in English plays. It is said that they were given a chance to appear on stage only from this century onwards. Global theatre underwent changes in the 19th century with the advent of the Industrial Revolution and the consequent migration of people to cities. Artists began experimenting with innovative concepts and created new genres such as melodrama, a story of conflict between the hero or heroine and the villain, like how it happens in most of today’s movies. The artists also enacted romantic plays, experimented with burlesque (a genre that mainly involves making fun of people or situations), and recreated classic stories. Theatres in Britain had always been lit with gas lights. However, in the 19th century, they were replaced with candles and oil lamps and later with electricity. With modern technology, theatre now uses special effects, music, settings, lighting, and electronic effects. IS THERE SUCH A CONCEPT AS ‘STUDYING THEATRE’? Yes, you can not only watch or act in theatre but also study it! A course in theatre and drama can enable students to get a base acting, direction, designing and construction, along with subjects such as history, politics and psychology. It also allows them to hone their communication and organisational skills, which are of utmost importance in not just the performing arts but also other careers. Some of these skills include presentation skills, the ability to perform in public and effective control of voice and body language. Studying theatre also endows one with improved concentration ability, listening skills, observational skills, an aptitude for creative problem solving, critical thinking, and the ability to work independently as well as under pressure while maintaining composure. WHAT SKILLS DO I NEED FOR THEATRE? Here are the skills you need to possess and develop to make a mark for yourself in the world of theatre: Vivid imagination and creativity
Strong communication skills
Basic reading, writing and editing skills
Brilliant attention to detail
Appreciation of aesthetics
Good work ethics
Effective presentation and public-speaking skills
SCHOOLS AND INSTITUTES FOR STUDYING THEATRE
Did you know that European theatre was invented by the ancient Greeks? They enjoyed watching plays, and most cities had theatres, some of which were spacious enough to occupy 15,000 people at a time! Only males were permitted to be actors. The performers would wear masks to depict their character’s happy or sad state. Some of these masks would have two sides, so if an actor had to portray a different mood for another scene, he could simply turn his mask around.
For an idea of what professional theatre is like, do enrol for a course in any of these institutions:
DESI DRAMA In India, folk-theatre forms such as Ramlila and Chauu had many children participating in them. Some of these kids were trained by traditional gurus hailing from theatre families. Many a time, female roles would be essayed by boys. The children participating in Ramlila are called swarup or reincarnations. In fact, some of them are said to have become so much involved with the respective characters they played that they almost assumed themselves to be those characters.
GURUDEV’S GUIDANCE The first person to have regarded children’s theatre as an organised one was Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore, who included theatre in Shantiniketan’s curriculum and oversaw all rehearsals. All productions were made open to students, as he considered them of immense educational benefit. WHAT ARE THE OPPORTUNITIES I CAN TAP IN THEATRE? Opportunities in the realm of drama and theatre are vast. Here are some popular career choices: Actor
Special Effects Designer
YOUR EDUCATIONAL SEARCH BEGINS HERE
New Delhi • The National School of Drama (NSD) offers a three-year course, which leads to a post-graduate diploma in dramatic arts. Mumbai • The Barry John Acting Studio offers diploma and certificate courses in acting, among other courses. • Whistling Woods International offers various courses, including a two-year course in acting. • Anupam Kher’s Actor Prepares institute offers full-time and parttime courses in acting. In India, the institute has branches in Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Chandigarh. Other Cities • The Rabindra Bharati University in Kolkata offers Bachelors and Masters in drama. • Lalit Kala Kendra (Centre for Performing Arts at University of Pune).
OPT FOR OPERA TOO Opera is a theatrical form in which actors, singers and musicians collectively perform a drama. Sometimes, there is an accompanying orchestra too. Opera uses both solo and choral singing and is commonly performed in countries such as Italy, England, Germany, Russia and France. Opera has its origins in 16th-century Italy, from where it subsequently spread to the rest of Europe. Mozart, the legendary musician, was the most famous opera artist of his time. The word ‘opera’ is the Italian equivalent of ‘work’. The words spoken in an opera are known as libretto, which means ‘little book’. Nowadays, with varied media around, operas are performed not only on stage but also on radio and television. However, modern-day operas are somehow not as elaborate and grand as the past ones. There is a lot of cost cutting going on, and, unlike the traditional ones, today’s operas focus more on contemporary stories than on the history gone by.
For a list of additional institutes and more career opportunities in theatre, visit www.crystalquestmagazine.com.
Techno — Calculator
The calcula tor is now a common sig ht across offi ces and institutio ns. But how was it born and w hat is it made of? Let’s hear it from the ga dget itself!
17th century. I was given a pocket-sized look only in the 1970s, following the invention of the microprocessor developed by Intel for the Japanese calculator company Busicom. Hello dear reader, I am delighted to introduce myself as the intricate but humble calculator. My main job is to carry out arithmetic operations for you anytime and anywhere — at home, school or office. When I am in my most basic avatar, I can carry out only addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. However, when I get into an advanced form, I can also execute complex operations such as finding roots, logarithms, trigonometric functions and hyperbolic functions. HOW I WAS BORN Someone told me that my birth was in the form of a concrete-state electronic calculator sometime in 1960. I was dubbed as a follow-up to the abacus — a friend of mine who exists from around 2000 B.C. — and the mechanical calculator, who came into this world in the
HOW I FUNCTION I am built of buttons or keys, a plastic front and back, and screws that keep my body together. There are a few parts that are not visible, unless you open me. (A tip: If you have an old one at home or in Daddy’s office that is barely used, you could open it to see what my parts look like.) My keyboard membrane and keyboard sensors detect which keys you use and in which order. They are also programmed to perform a suitable action when you give it a command such as add or subtract. The front of my display case is visible. While most members of my species work on the power of lithium battery, certain members have started functioning with solar energy. Hence, in case of the latter, you will need to work on them in a brightly lit room, if not sunny outdoors, as these calculators gain their power from artificial light or the sun. WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU PRESS THE KEYS ON ME When you hit a button on my keypad, you simultaneously press a rubber button below that key. These rubber buttons stick up but are hollow (with a pocket of air) below. The rubber button creates electrical contact with the keyboard sensor below it and the processing starts. The data is then sent to the processor chip placed inside me. The processor chip determines the keys that have been pressed and then sends the information to the display case. That’s how I solve your mathematical problems.
Keys or Buttons Wires
Keyboard Sensor Button Cell
Illustration by Nilesh Juvalekar
Plastic Case I HAVE A POWERFUL MEMORY… When you get to see the first batch of numbers on my display screen and then hit the command for addition, subtraction or multiplication, I store this first group in my register or memory area. After you feed in the second number and press the ‘equal to’ button, I obtain the stored data, solve the problem, and present you the answer in my display case.
HOW YOU GET TO SEE THE NUMBERS ON ME Every number uses a combination of seven lines, which are all in the shape of the number 8. I am programmed to identify the right combination of lines for all the numbers from 0–9. So, whenever you press a number key, the number goes straight into my memory and I show you the correct display of lines, forming the number you press.
So, whenever you need to calculate something in a less amount of time, you can always rely on me. I will help you out with my innovative build.
THE ABACUS Still in use in some parts of the Far East, the abacus is a primitive form of a calculator. It has groups of beads, which represent numbers, and does not need a power source. The beads are placed in parallel rows and can be moved up and down while practising arithmetic operations. It is believed that a skilled abacus user can perform calculations as quickly and accurately as one using a battery-powered calculator.
YOUR EDUCATIONAL SEARCH BEGINS HERE
CROSSWORD Puzzle 1 1
Mail us your solutions for Crossword Puzzle at firstname.lastname@example.org. The solution for Crossword Puzzle 1 will be printed in the next issue.
Hello, we are looking for young artists who can give us our iconic students Miss Crystal and Mr. Quest. Please send us your art works to email@example.com. The winning entry will be selected every month and carried next to the Editor’s Note.
ACROSS 1. The season between winter and summer (6) 3. A play in the written form (6) 6. ___ and column (3) 7. The largest city in New Zealand (8) 9. ______ Mehigan, one of the judges on MasterChef Australia (4) 11. Statement made by someone (5) 12. Performance that is given alone (4) 14. Goal or objective (3) 16. The nutrient found in citrus fruits, which helps prevent gum disease (7,1) 18. Apply or consume (3) 20. Person who works under an expert for a fixed time to gain experience in a profession (10) 23. Software that helps a fashion or product designer in drawing (3) 24. An association of basketball teams, which holds matches (6) 28. Shop that sells stylish clothes and accessories (8) 29. Spinach is a _____ vegetable; a colour (5)
DOWN 1. Small pieces of cloth you can pin in a notebook to learn about fabrics (8) 2. List of instructions that tell you how to cook a dish (6) 3. The Australian city famous for its iconic opera house (6) 4. A piece of old cloth (3) 5. Test that determines your ability to play a sport (3,3) 8. “_____ to say no” — this rule will help you make only those promises that you can fulfil (5) 10. Check whether a calculator has this before you buy it (8) 13. Opposite of under (4) 15. Deciduous tree leaves which can be spread around a plant to nourish the soil (5) 17. Science, commerce and ____ (4) 19. A city in Sri Lanka (5) 21. Name of ancient Greek philosopher (5) 22. Australian bird (3) 25. ___Tube (3) 26. You carry your books in it (3) 27. What our eyes do (3)
Compiled by Priyanka Agarwal
Do you have some more ideas on creative, constructive New Year Resolutions? Please mail them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
MISSING IN ACTION Test your mathematical and logical skills with our game by guessing the number that should occupy the blank in each of the series given below
ANSWERS : 30 10 44
New Year’s Special
How To Stick To Your Resolutions
STUDIES SPORTS RISING EARLY HELPING MOM
How do you plan to make your New Year different from the past ones? The best way to do so, we feel, is by making constructive resolutions and following them. It is definitely possible to succeed in this — all you need is a strong willpower. Plus, our suggestions. PRIYANKA AGARWAL This happens every year, doesn’t it? We make a promise on December 31 to do something diligently in the next year, but somewhere in us there is a temptation to disregard that promise and live the way we have always done. However, by doing so, we are actually stepping away from the improvement we have dreamed for ourselves. That’s why it is essential to inculcate a sense of discipline so that we stick to our New Year resolutions and see a new, improved us. Here are five tips for help!
Add details: Define a resolution as specifically as possible. “I will study every day” won’t do; try something like “I will study a chapter of one subject for two hours daily before I go to play.”
NY RESOLUTIONS AND WILLPOWER There is indeed a strong connection between our success in fulfilling New Year resolutions and our willpower. According to a research published in The New York Times (NYT) last year, the best way to succeed is by anticipating “the limits of your willpower.” We are said to have very low levels of willpower, and when we use all that for our urgent priorities, we are left with none to focus on our resolutions. So, one solution is to “borrow” willpower from someone else, who could be parents, teachers, tutors or friends. Discipline imposed by others normally works better than the self-imposed one, so enlist the help of all those who, you know, will ‘disallow’ you from withdrawing from your resolution. Also, remember, the trick is to keep doing something consistently — it will eventually become a habit.
Result-oriented: What is the point of studying every day if your marks are still the same or there’s no worthwhile addition to your knowledge base? Hence, ask your parents or teachers to review how you act on your resolution, and give you their feedback.
Have role models: Parents and teachers can cite examples of all those people who followed their New Year resolutions and got or became what they wanted.
Reward yourself: Ask your parents or friends to treat you whenever you stick to your resolution. In case you don’t stick to your goal, ask them to charge you a fine. Always keep the reward in mind.
Even if there’s a break while you follow your resolution, you can always make a fresh start, so don’t give up. Find out what went wrong and decide how you will face that problem while you execute your plans.
Easy to follow: Firstly, make sure your resolution is easy, realistic and achievable. You could have a goal to study for two hours every day, but promising yourself not to play at all will naturally remain only in words.
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New Year’s Special
ess: Cleanelvienr litter and will w
Super Six for 2013
“I will n in to thro a dustb r fo keep k o lo will help en. I . e g a in garb and gre et clean my plan ase, as far as h le I will purc roducts with litt t p , h le w use a possib ging, re a k c a p cle to or no ed, recy ste, and s u re e can b m wa ealth fro create w cts of recyclable du buy pro ls.” a ri mate
Based on six essential values that each of us needs to spread love around, here are some resolutions we have compiled that are worth your time and discipline this New Year.
Respiveectu:tmost respeclft atond
“I will g n myse l lder tha o I wil le p o pe dignity. h it w ss m treat the erly person cro y ld m e help an nd get up from on a rs the road w an elderly pe in o ll a to sit seat to woman t n a n g or a pre e.” my plac
“I will r sty: ef lying t rain from o othe rs and to my se will alw lf. Honesty a best p ys be my olicy.”
“I will ners: g with a reet everyb o s respe mile. I will dy I meet ct my alway s make elders s incon ure they a and ve re nev e when nienced. For in r ever I stanc am a a bus e, th o place r train, or ome, in in ,I elderly will offer m a public y sea p e rso a plac t e to s n who can to any not fin it.” d
“I will be extremely considerate to the less fortunate. I will help them with whatever they need and will disallow anyone from making fun of them.”
“I will sa does someone every time r me, ‘please’ fo something ething, g for som in k s while a ake a ’ when I m and ‘sorry ciate will appre mistake. I e. I will done for m the things ssings, rather ble count my and issatisfied d l e than fe .” k for more always as
Remember, believe in yourself, stick to your resolutions, and see what an amazing change that makes. 30
Grammar — Punctuation
What if they go on a holiday If punctuation goes on a vacation, then language will indeed be in grave trouble. After all, punctuation is one of the most important aspects of written communication. We use it to provide meaning to a sentence. There is a reason for doing that. While speaking, it is possible for us to alter the tone of our voice to indicate emphasis. However, when it comes to written communication, we can’t do the same. Hence, we use punctuation in a piece of written text to indicate our tone and emphasis. You must keep in mind that the usage of punctuation can make or break the meaning of a sentence. A wrongly placed punctuation mark can give out a completely different meaning from the one that you intend to convey. Hence, we must know all the punctuation marks and their appropriate usages so that we can write correctly and, more importantly, convey the desired message.
Frequently used punctuation marks in English and many other languages include the following Period
Wrong: The teacher asked how many of us had done our homework? Right: The teacher asked how many of us had done our homework. Right: The teacher asked, “How many of you have done your homework?” Most of us are prone to making this mistake while converting direct into indirect or reported speech. The first sentence is a statement, and we should never put a question mark after one. The period is the most appropriate punctuation mark to end a statement with, as shown in the second sentence. The third sentence is an example of direct speech, where the actual words spoken by the teacher are enclosed in quotation marks. As these words form a question, we have to put a question mark after them. Also, do notice the tense and person in the correct sentences. Wrong: This is amazing!!!! Right: This is amazing! We must avoid using more than one exclamation mark in a row.
Let us examine a few sentences to understand how we can avoid common errors of punctuation.
Wrong: The merchant bought a box of Burmese, red rubies. Right: The merchant bought a box of Burmese red rubies.
Wrong: The boys mother has come home. Right: The boy’s mother has come home.
The comma in the first statement functions as the word ‘and’, and it would be wrong to say that the merchant bought a box of ‘Burmese and red rubies’. Hence, we should refrain from putting a comma in between.
In the above case, we need to put an apostrophe before the ‘s’ after the word ‘boy’, because a possessive adjective has to be shown. Wrong: The bracelet costs `10,000, the rich man is going to buy it. Right: The bracelet costs `10,000. The rich man is going to buy it. Right: The bracelet costs `10,000, and the rich man is going to buy it. The first sentence of this example shows the error of ‘comma splice’, which is the case when two complete statements are joined with a comma. We can prevent this error in two ways. We can either treat these statements as two distinct sentences by separating them with a period or, preferably, insert an appropriate conjunction between them. YOUR EDUCATIONAL SEARCH BEGINS HERE
Wrong: Before going to school Joe stopped at the bookstore. Right: Before going to school, Joe stopped at the bookstore. Don’t you find the second sentence more readable than the first? That’s why we should use a comma to separate the main and subordinate clauses in a sentence. So, you have seen the power of punctuation. You will immensely need this knowledge for writing letters, essays, stories and even emails. To master the correct usage of punctuation, grab a newspaper or a good book and see how punctuation marks are used in the sentences given. Doing this everyday will take you a step closer towards becoming an expert in this subject. 31
Expert Talk — Importance of Vitamin D
ABC DE F D’s The Way Vizag-based paediatrician Dr. Rajni Mukherjee elaborates on the importance of vitamin D and how one can overcome a deficiency of this ‘sunshine’ nutrient. or soft bones. Rickets would, sometimes, prevail from birth when bone tissues would not mineralise properly. But we now know that vitamin D is essential for our general well-being too.
Vitamin D is an extremely important nutrient. After all, it helps our body effectively utilise calcium and strengthen our bones. Vitamin D is also instrumental in keeping a number of health problems at bay. It is called the sunshine vitamin because our body produces vitamin D in response to sunlight. So, we must ensure that we get enough sunlight to have more of “Sunshine on my this vitamin in our body.
shoulders makes me happy…” — My favourite song by John Denver
In the past, it was believed that a deficiency of vitamin D would cause rickets, a disease in which there are skeletal deformities
SOME OF THE RISKS OF VITAMIN D DEFICIENCY ARE AS FOLLOWS: The chances of suffering from cardiovascular diseases increases manifold. The brain may not function well in older adults. Children become prone to asthma. The possibility of getting cancer rises. Body pains and aches may increase. Vitamin D plays a preventive role and is also used in the treatment of diseases such as type 2 diabetes, multiple sclerosis and glucose intolerance. Apart from sunlight, you can also derive it from foods such as fish, fish liver oil, some dairy products, grains and egg yolks. Foods fortified with this mineral are also available; these include orange juice, curds, cheese, breakfast cereals, bread and even infant-food formulas. Vitamin D can also be taken in the form of supplements. Deficiency is mostly caused by a strict vegetarian diet, avoiding the sun or being allergic to milk.
HOW MUCH VITAMIN D DOES OUR BODY REQUIRE? Daily Requirements Infants and children: 5 mcg (200 IU) Adults: 2.5 mcg (100 IU) You can also get yourself tested for vitamin D deficiency. The most accurate test is a blood test called the 25-hydroxy vitamin D test. For healthy people, the adequate count should be in the range of 20–40 nanograms per millilitre (ng/mL). Deficiency is caused when the level is less than 12 ng/mL. We humans have been designed to live outdoors, but changing lifestyles, sedentary living, and bad habits are preventing us from even seeing the sun for days on end. Besides, with the scare of skin cancer and the increasing preference for sunblocks, even a minimum of 20 minutes of exposure to the sun without applying a sunscreen is feared. But did you know that nature has a foolproof mechanism of preventing an overdose of vitamin D3? Yes, if the UVB sunrays lead to the production of vitamin D3, the UVA rays tend to destroy its excessive circulation in the body. So, soak in the sun sans the sunblock for at least 10–20 minutes a day. RISK FACTORS FOR LOW VITAMIN D3 LEVELS Elderly people, children and adolescents with sedentary, indoor-confined lifestyles Pregnancy and lactation Residence in places on higher latitudes Winter season Dark skin Less exposure to sunlight and excessive usage of sunblock Poor dietary habits and inadequate food fortification Malabsorption syndromes Obesity Diabetes Cardiovascular, bone, kidney and liver disease Chronic pain Hip fracture Multiple sclerosis Cancer SUPPLEMENTATION At most times, there arises a need for taking supplemental vitamin D3. Bear in mind that vitamin D2 is an inferior synthetic version of vitamin D and that one actually requires the active form, i.e. vitamin D3, which is available in the form of tablets, capsules and powders packed in sachets. CONFUSION SURROUNDING VITAMIN D3 RECOMMENDATION You are not alone in case you are confused about how much vitamin D you should be taking. However, recommendations by the Endocrine Society are as follows:
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Infants: 400–1,000 IU Children and teens: 600–1,000 IU Adults: 1,500–2,000 IU Obese adults: up to 10,000 IU New recommendations by the American Academy of Pediatrics require breastfed newborns to be given 200 IU of vitamin D3. FUNCTIONS OF VITAMIN D AND ITS METABOLITES Promotes intestinal absorption of calcium and phosphorus. Boosts normal mineralisation of bones, enhances bone desorption and has an effect on collagen maturation. Increases tubular reabsorption of phosphate and sometimes of calcium in the kidneys. Helps in the normal growth of all organs. CONDITIONS THAT REQUIRE LARGER DOSES INCLUDE THE FOLLOWING: Allergies Back pain Fibromyalgia Heart disease Conditions such as seasonal affective disorder (SAD) Multiple sclerosis Skin cancer Type 2 diabetes Obesity (Treatment recommendations for the above conditions vary, depending on the cause of deficiency.) On this note, here’s wishing all Crystal Quest readers happiness and sunshine in the coming years. Stay tuned to the new research. WHAT IS VITAMIN D3? Vitamin D is a hormone precursor present in two forms — Vitamin D2 (Ergocholecalciferol), which can be found in plants and some fish varieties, and Vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol), which is synthesised in the skin by sunlight. Imagine a nutrient that can help build bones, strengthen immunity, and lower the risk of illnesses such as obesity, hypertension, diabetes, heart and kidney diseases, and cancer. Emerging data points towards the role of vitamin D beyond building bone health and preventing rickets and tooth decay. For instance, overwhelming evidence is now available that vitamin D3 even protects us from swine flu (H1N1). Moreover, taking large doses of this vitamin, which was hitherto considered unsafe, is actually being recommended today, provided one stays within the prescribed dosage, as an overdose can be harmful. 33
Sports — Basketball
Get the Bounce Dribble… dribble… pass the ball and shoot the hoop... Basketball, yes it is! Let’s get to know this game better.
ROMA DINDI Basketball is a game which is played between two teams, with each team consisting of five players. The players from each team try shooting the ball into a basket — which is horizontally positioned at a certain height — to win points. The basket, known as hoop, has a rim, which is 18 inches (46 cm) in diameter and 10 feet (3.0 m) in height, mounted to a backboard. A field goal can be scored by a team when any of its players shoots the ball through the hoop. The shooting team scores two points when a player either touches or is nearer to the basket than the three-point line. If, however, he is behind the three-point line, then he scores three points. As with any game, the team that scores the
maximum number of goals wins the game. In case of a draw, extra time is given. The game follows a pattern whereby players cannot run across the court with the ball in hand; they have to bounce or dribble (bounce the ball up and down while moving) the ball while moving. However, they can stop to pass the ball to a teammate. Violations include fouls such as unrestricted physical contact and pushing. It is an advantage in this game if one is tall because the tallest members of a team can play as centre forwards, power forwards or small forwards. On the other hand, those who have great ball-handling skills and speed can play as point guard or shooting guard. HOW DID IT ALL START? Basketball was invented by Dr. James Naismith, a physician from McGill University in Montreal. As a teacher of physical education at Springfield College — then the YMCA International Training School — Naismith was in search of an indoor game for students that would provide them with an “athletic distraction”. He then recalled the game of duck-on-a-rock from his childhood; in this game, a player has to knock off a “duck” placed on a large rock by tossing a small rock at it. With this thought, he created a set of rules and thus was born the game of basketball. The first game of basketball was played on a court that was only half the size of a modern-day one. A soccer ball was used, and the hoops were in the form of two peach baskets nailed to 10-feet-high posts. These baskets had their bottoms intact without a hole, so the balls scored into the basket had to be poked out with a long dowel each time. Dribbling was not part of the original game. The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) is an association formed by national basketball organisations that oversees international competitions. The FIBA Basketball World Cup is
an international tournament for men’s national teams held once in every four years. Teams play it out for the Naismith Trophy, named after the creator of the sport. HOW BASKETBALL ARRIVED AND GREW IN INDIA In our country, basketball was played for the first time in 1930. The first national championship was held in Delhi in 1934. The year 1950 witnessed the birth of the Basketball Federation of India. Being about a lot of intense activity, basketball found immense popularity in schools, colleges and universities. The game is also played in certain government departments as part of their recreation regime. Some of these departments include Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) in New Delhi, Indian Bank in Karnataka, Indian Railways, Indian Overseas Bank in Tamil Nadu, Kerala Electricity Board, and ONGC in Uttaranchal.
WATCH THESE PLAYERS IN ACTION! Try Googling about these legendary basketball players and learn about their mastery on the court! Allen Iverson Bill Russell Carmelo Anthony Dennis Rodman Dirk Nowitzki Dwyane Wade Gary Payton Jerry West
John Stockton Karl Malone Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Kevin Garnett Kobe Bryant Larry Bird Lebron James Magic Johnson
Manu Ginobili Michael Jordan Pau Gasol Shaquille O’Neal Wilt Chamberlain Yao Ming
EVER HEARD ABOUT THE 13 RULES OF BASKETBALL? Yes, James Naismith created this set of important guidelines to regulate the sport, some of which have been revised over time. Time to brush up your knowledge! A player may throw the ball in any direction with one or both hands. A player may bat the ball in any direction with one or both hands but not with the fist. A player is not allowed to run with the ball. Instead, he must throw it from the spot where he catches it. However, an allowance can be made for a player who catches the ball while running at a remarkable speed. A player must hold the ball in or between the hands and not use his arms or other parts of the body for holding it. No player is permitted to hold, shoulder, push or strike a member of the opponent team or make him trip. A foul can mean striking at the ball with the fist, along with violation of rules 3, 4 and 5. If either team makes three consecutive fouls, it translates into a goal for the opponent team. A team scores a goal when the ball stays in the basket after being thrown or batted from the ground, with no touching of or disturbance to the goal by the opponent team. If the opponents move the basket while the ball rests on its edge, it is counted as a goal for the team that throws or bats the ball towards the basket.
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If the ball goes out of bounds, the first person who touches it gets to throw it back into the field and play it. In the event of a dispute, the umpire will throw it into the field. A time frame of five seconds is given to the thrower-in. If he holds it beyond this time frame, the ball will be passed on to the opponent. If any team persists in delaying the game, the referee can call a foul on them. The umpire assumes the role of a “judge of the men” and has to keep track of fouls and inform the referee in case of three consecutive fouls made by any team. Moreover, he has the authority to disqualify players if they violate rule 5. The referee is the “judge of the ball”, who decides when the ball is in play, when it is in bounds, and the team to which it belongs, as well as tracks the time. He also decides when a goal has been made and keeps a count of the goals scored, along with performing any other duties that are generally done by a referee. The duration of play is two 15-minute halves separated by a five-minute resting time. The side scoring the most goals during this play time is declared as the winning team.
Parent Talk — Rote Learning
Mug Up Block* This month, parents discuss an issue that can act as a stiff barrier to their children’s education and development — rote learning. My daug daughter is studying in standard IX an and is under a lot of pressure. Her final exams are just around the corner, and she has th already started studying a ssome subjects of standard X, apart from the full course X content of her current c academic year. She has a been told that simultaneously be studying for standard X while stu she iis in standard IX will help in lessening the load on her during the lessenin academic year. However, I fear that next academ she will not have her basics in place if she keeps studying like this. Another worry is that, because she does not have the time to understand the text, she is memorising it. I am not happy that my child is employing this method, and I think it will hamper her cognitive processes. This method of parrot-like learning urgently needs to be put to an end. I strongly advise teachers and parents to stop treating the board exams as the ultimate end and realise the futility of studying for two different classes at the same time. The education authorities should give preference to awarding full marks for answers written in one’s own words and ban pressurisation of any kind. — MRS. SHAH Nowadays, in the constant struggle to be ahead in the rat race, many students up pressurising themselves end u for achieving their goals. Gone are the days when 90% was a ar tremendous goal to achieve; tr currently, 95–96% and above c iis in vogue. I was shocked when my own child was w memorising for a physics m practical exam! Doesn’t pr that negate the purpose of tha practical exam altogether? I a pr understand that one has to learn underst alphabet, numbers, etc. by heart, the alphabe but when it comes to examinations, I feel that schools and teachers should impose a strict ban on rote learning 36
* According to the Oxford Dictionaries website, to mug (something) up means to “learn or revise a subject as far as possible in a short time”.
and give marks to only those answers that students write in their own words. A more fundamental transformation is needed in our education, and the theoretical nature of examination modules should be fully changed. The focus should now be on helping students apply what they learn in class. More experimental projects, which make the child think rather than just read and reproduce, should be introduced. Teachers should make their classes interesting by using techniques such as storytelling, charts, reading, and inviting students to teach the class themselves. — MR. ARORA One may be sharpening their memory skills by rote learning; however, it is still surface learning, not real knowledge. There are people who believe that children can easily remember song lyrics and movie dialogues because they are ‘interesting’. But do majority of our kids even know the meaning of these lyrics and dialogues in the first place? Hence, we must make our children remember lifelong the essence of what they learn. This can mainly be done through practical activities, application and association. If you teach a child how to operate a computer, he will learn it faster by working on a desktop than by memorising programs and functions from a book. Even mathematical formulae need application through sums and problems for stronger retention. However, besides teachers, I think the responsibility also lies with us, parents. We need to take out time to explain things to our kids and encourage them to answer questions based on what they have understood. For instance, when my son started learning the tables, I took the time to explain to him how two twos are four and two fives a ten. That way, he could master the tables of other numbers, as well as other mathematical concepts. Even for something like science, history and geography, we watch some interesting documentaries together, make flow charts and drawings, and experiment with stuff. — MR. KUMAR
Teacher Talk — Classroom Diversity
Uniting Differences Our teaching fraternity brainstorms over dealing with diversity in the classroom. In a diverse country like ours, classrooms are bound to have students from different backgrounds, including social and economic. While diversity is a good thing because it encourages knowledge and tolerance and teaches one to accept others for whatever they are, sometimes it may result in certain problems. For instance, many teachers complain about the formation of cliques based on socioeconomic backgrounds, which they feel limit interaction between students and hamper valuable learning. So, the child who can’t be part of such a group may retreat into his shell and avoid participation in any kind of activities.
This behaviour may also reflect on his academic performance and overall education. Teachers are the ones who understand these situations the best and are in a position to implement measures that can breed understanding, tolerance and true friendships. While they are aware of their responsibility of infusing equality and harmony in the classroom, they feel that even parents need to guide their children on the path to becoming good and humble citizens. Here’s what some of our readers from the world of teaching suggest.
There is a need for students to be acquainted with one another, irrespective of their backgrounds. As a habit, I create groups for all projects and ensure that no two friends are together. We do a lot of role-playing in the classroom where each student is put in real-life situations that are unique to a particular class and the students themselves come up with solutions. This helps them understand each other’s problems in a better light. Similarly, parents should encourage their children to befriend, play with, study with, and help different kinds of kids, irrespective of their socioeconomic backgrounds, and be just and fair. They should realise that it’s the goodness and innocence of the child that matters and not his/her background. — TEACHER 1
Parents and teachers can take children to places such as orphanages and old-age homes, where the visitors can interact with different kinds of people and identify with their problems. Such meetings prove to be a brilliant learning experience, as both the residents and the visitors realise what the other side goes through. Also, parents should set examples for their children by treating all kinds of people equally. — TEACHER 2
Schools should establish a minimum number of extracurricular activities that each child must participate in. However, at the same time, there should be an upper limit in terms of cost for each of the activities. Parents can then encourage their children to participate in these activities, which are instrumental in their longterm growth and development. — TEACHER 3
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Student Talk — Mentoring
Mission Mentor Some of our young readers express their viewpoints on the importance of mentorship for students. I am in standard X and feel that there is a dearth of guidance offered to students to help them choose the right careers. I am afraid that, after my board exams, I may end up in a state of confusion over which stream I should study — arts, science or commerce — if I don’t get the right mentorship. It is important that we, students, are provided wholesome counselling and educa education. After all, apart from o our parents, it’s only teac teachers who spend so much time with us and mu kknow us so well. That iis why I suggest we have some one-onone sessions before our board exams, in which each teacher w is assigned one or two students and then tw patiently listens to what patie these sstudents have to say. Based on tthese conversations, teachers can find out the students’ aptitudes and interests and guide them accordingly. — ROHAN (STANDARD X)
I am strongly in favour of mentoring, and here’s how I feel it needs to be done: • Apart from patiently and keenly listening to us, an teachers should also provide teac us with wit constructive feedback and take interest in our intra- and extracurricular activities. The connection should go beyond the academic to a social and emotional one. Teacher mentors should especially be part of those school occasions where our parents are unable to be present. Also, in case of children whose parents do not have the time or expertise to discuss their future with them, teachers should step in to guide these children. A few other rules for mentoring: being youth-driven and non-judgemental, respecting differences, providing encouragement as well as guidance, and being realistic. Basically, the student should look at the teacher as a wise, reliable and trustworthy friend. During our mentoring sessions, teachers can take us for a walk, have lunch with us, make us talk about our favourite book or movie, play games, or draw and paint with us. They will have to be patient.
Needless to say, mentoring students also has a positive impact on their marks. But even more important for teachers is investment in social capital. Hence, apart from teaching us, teachers should assume the role of a mentor and give priority to building strong communication channels with each of us. — KUNAL (STANDARD X)
I am an avid volleyball player and, at the same time, excel in studies.. Constantly, I am faced with the dilemma of choosing between the two.. People tell me that I must focus only on my studies, but my sports coach h believes that I am not devoting enough time to volleyball practice. I need guidance, as I don’t know what to choose. I am confident that myy teacher can help me out there, but considering the number of studentss per class, will she be able to give me her undivided attention for even a few minutes? I feel that every school should conduct ‘Mentoring Day’ once a week or fortnight, a day when each teacher is assigned students for one-on-one mentoring. Instead of taking classes on this day, teachers should focus on spending valuable time with students and understanding what’s going on in their minds. Even 10–15 minutes per child before, during or after school hours are enough. This method willl surely help in lighting up the paths of confused souls like us. — SUHASINI (STANDARD VIII)
Confessions of a Prankaholic
One morning, on entering my classroom, I was shocked to find something on my desk that wasn’t supposed to be there at all — a rectangular stack of `500 notes held together with a rubber band! I asked around whether the bundle belonged to anyone. A friend then started laughing at my state of confusion and asked me to turn the bundle over. On doing that, I found that the bottom of the bundle was hollow. I also realised that the entire thing was made of plastic. What was a bundle of notes in my eyes was actually a toy that looked like one! We wanted to try this prank on our teacher, so we placed the toy on her desk. When she arrived, her face was filled with shock on seeing the ‘currency notes’. We could not afford to see her so tensed, so we told her the truth. She laughed and inquired about the price and availability of the toy! SEEMA AHUJA, 14 YEARS
Once, we decided to play a prank on this plump friend of ours. One of us stood behind the door of the school water room. When our ‘target’ friend walked in and bent down before the tap to drink water, the boy who was hiding inside tore a piece of cloth with full force. Our plump pal thought it was his pants and, red-faced, ran out of the water room with his hands hiding the ‘torn’ area. When he came out, we admitted to playing the prank on him and treated him to some delicious pastries of his choice. AKSHAT KAMAT, 12 YEARS
This is about a really exciting prank we once tried on our friends. We assigned each of them a tongue twister and announced that we would reward all those who managed to get it right ten times in a row. But we had a catch in mind. As soon as a contestant started with the tongue twister, we sat in front of them, started eating some tamarinds, and made slurping noises while eating. As a result, none of the contestants could succeed beyond even two attempts. They all moaned, but we made them happy by giving them chocolates. DHRUV GHOSH, 13 YEARS
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SRI LANK A
Named by British Airways as the most important destination in 2013, Sri Lanka has plenty of treasures for all kinds of travellers — beaches, heritage zones, cultural attractions and what not. NANDINI SENGUPTA Off the southern tip of India lies the beautiful tropical island of Sri Lanka — once known as Ceylon — a country which has always lured visitors with its enchanting natural beauty. It is blessed with the presence of both the sea and the hills, which beckon a horde of tourists every year, making it a top travel destination. This fascinating island is much like India, yet is so different. An hour’s flight from Chennai takes you to the capital city of Sri Lanka — Colombo. However, your destination 40
could be anywhere — the hills of Nuwara Eliya; Kandy, which is home to the famous Buddha’s Tooth Relic temple; the beaches of Bentota; or the numerous forest zones. The countryside of Sri Lanka is blessed with a bounty of extraordinary beauty and diversity. From the dry plains to the hills filled with tea plantations and the picturesque tropical scenery of the wet-zone lowlands, there is everything this nation boasts of to surprise and captivate one and all. And who can forget the beaches, lined with golden sand for great distances, on which
stand swaying palm trees that provide relieving shade from the scorching afternoon sun!
SEVEN REASONS TO VISIT SRI LANKA
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Sri Lanka has beautiful lagoons, beaches, mountains, wildlife-filled jungles, waterfalls, wetlands and rivers. The country is home to eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites: • Sacred City of Anuradhapura • Ancient City of Polonnaruwa • Golden Temple of Dambulla • Ancient City of Sigiriya • Sacred City of Kandy • Old Town of Galle and its Fortifications • Sinharaja Forest Reserve • Central Highlands of Sri Lanka Sri Lanka is ideal for undertaking adventure sports such as windsurfing, waterskiing, surfing, sailing, scuba diving, snorkelling, speed boating and banana boating. Negombo, which is a region on the western coast, is recommended for water-sport activities. Festivals are celebrated all year round. Some of them are: • Thai Pongal (January 14) • Sri Lankan Independence Day (February 4), • Mahasivarathri (February or March) • Gangaramaya Navam Perahera (February) • The Sinhala and Tamil New Year (between April 12 and 14) • Easter • Wesak (May) • Esala Perahara (a procession that takes place over ten consecutive nights, with the final night marking a parade of about a 100 elephants) • Diwali • Christmas For more tourist attractions, fun things to do, and a history of Sri Lanka, check out www.crystalquestmagazine.com.
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You will find the Sri Lankans hospitable, warm and friendly.
Sri Lankan cuisine is really delicious. Rice is the staple food, served with an array of curries, seafood, chicken, green banana, etc. There is also a wide range of fruits that you will enjoy, such as wood apple, mangosteen, custard apple and beli.
Wildlife is a delight to watch in the national parks here, and one can encounter elephants, leopards, wild boars, sloth bears, sambar, spotted deer, barking deer, hogs, porcupines, anteaters, giant squirrels, civet cats, loris, and monkeys such as the macaque, the purple-faced leaf monkey, and the grey langur, among many more.
TRIP CHECKLIST BEST TIME TO TRAVEL Sri Lanka is an all-year-round destination, so you can visit at least some part of the country anytime. However, November through April is the ideal time to travel to the southwest coast and the hills, as these regions witness a dry season during these months. If you’re planning to tour anywhere on the eastern coast, schedule your trip anytime around May through September, as the region sees dry weather during this period. GETTING THERE There are several flights in a day. It takes only one hour to fly from the Chennai International Airport to Colombo’s Bandaranaike International Airport. Innumerable taxis are available outside the airport in Colombo to take you into the city.
Grooming — Dental Hygiene
For Your Pearly Whites When you have your healthy, joyful smile with you, you feel confident and invincible in life. Here are some ways to preserve your oral health. SANA KRISHNA Did you know that when you open your mouth you only see the crown of your teeth? The root of every tooth of yours lies much deeper — right below the gum line — and forms approximately two-third of the tooth’s total length. Each tooth is protected by the enamel, a hard material that forms the outermost cover of the tooth. The enamel guards the tooth from festering and prevents cavities. Our dental system is indeed a marvel in itself — it has been brilliantly created to help us achieve our basic functions of chewing and ingesting food. To prevent any problems affecting this system, it is important to adopt the right habits from the start. If you find that
you are not practising any of these steps at present, you should begin right now!
STEPS TOWARDS BRILLIANT, HEALTHY AND SHINY TEETH Ideally, you should brush twice a day — once after breakfast and once before bedtime. This is because, when we are awake, there is enough saliva production to clean our mouth of germs and plaque; however, at night when we are asleep, there is not much saliva created. Hence, to keep our teeth clean and germ-free when we are sleeping, we should brush after dinner.
• • • •
Brushing in the morning guarantees further cleanliness and even freshening of the breath. Spare at least 2–3 minutes every time you brush. (Tip for parents: If you play your kids’ favourite song or rhyme while they brush, it’ll divert their minds and, hence, your children will devote more time to brushing.) Be gentle on your teeth. Use toothbrushes with soft bristles. Floss your teeth after every meal. Clean your tongue regularly. It will keep your breath fresh. Plan a visit to the dentist at least twice a year to get your teeth checked for any problems. Avoid sugar and eat more fruits and vegetables. Substitute water for soda. Keep that smile on!
THE RIGHT WAY TO FLOSS • Take around 18 inches of dental floss and wrap an end each, around each of your middle fingers. • With both the thumbs and the index fingers, gently drive down the floss between two teeth in a saw-like motion. • Once at the gum line, bring both ends of the floss to create a ‘C’ shape against one tooth. Hold the floss tightly and move it up and down against that tooth. • Repeat for all your teeth. SOME FUN FACTS
One out of every 2,000 3,000 babies is born with a single or more teeth. Children aged five or six have 20 primary teeth, while grown-ups have 32 permanent teeth. Cats have 30 and dogs have 42 teeth. An elephant’s tooth can weigh six pounds or more!
The mouth produces an average of 1 2 quarts of saliva every single day, which turns out to be over 25,000 quarts in a lifetime, a quantity enough to fill two swimming pools!
Just like our fingerprints, our dental even identical patterns too are unique twins have different teeth.
YOUR EDUCATIONAL SEARCH BEGINS HERE
Soft Skills for Parents — Negotiation
Win-win with Negotiation
I’ll “Dad, y m clean r.” ate room l
“Okay, so will that b e before we have dinn er at 8 p.m.? ”
Here’s a foolproof way that you can use to connect with your children and resolve conflicts. NANDINI SENGUPTA There are instances when you tell your children, “It’s time for bed”, “Let’s go”, “Do your homework” or “Come for dinner.” And the children intone the same reply to all of these —“Five more minutes.” It’s natural for you parents to grow weary of saying ’No’ to such replies and fighting back. But doing so not only gives you undesirable results but also hurts your relationship with your children. So, what should you do? Obey your kids, scream at them? Or instead take a different path — that of negotiation? As a parent, you cannot escape this path, no matter how much you try to avoid it. And how can one forget that kids are great negotiators themselves! To quote Scott Brown, author of the book How to Negotiate with Kids Even When You Think You Shouldn’t, “The negotiation between parents and kids can actually be a great learning experience for your kids. If you don’t negotiate, your children may not learn how to deal with conflicts constructively. If you don’t teach them how to work with you, they may never learn how to work with others.” Negotiation with kids is often a major challenge because your patience may be tried, tested and stretched. You may not even be in a good frame of mind to negotiate. However, what most of you forget to do is manage your emotions, which is important at this point because, under pressure, a human being’s negotiating skills drop sharply. So, to deal with conflict resolution, it is essential that you effectively manage your emotions. TO COME TO AN AGREEMENT WITH YOUR KIDS, YOU NEED TO KEEP CERTAIN THINGS IN MIND: • Not beginning your talk with an argument. • Choosing the right words, a step which is very important when talking with children. (Consider “Would you like to set out the plates or the spoons?” versus “Set the table now.”) BY FOLLOWING THE ABOVE STEPS, YOU ARE LIKELY TO BE SURPRISED WITH THE COOPERATION YOU GET. A few more points for you to keep in mind while dealing with children: • Make your child feel involved: If it’s time to go to school and the child is not getting out of bed, you may try asking, “How many minutes do you think you need to get up and be ready for school?” If stressing on discipline, you may put forth 44
the question “What do you think will be a reasonable outcome if you don’t do your chores?” • Express your point of view: You could try saying, “We have to leave the football ground and go home because I have to cook lunch.” It’s good to give a reason to a child and then wait for their response. If they say, “I want to play, I’m not hungry,” you may reply with “I am hungry and so is your father.” • You need not always give in: You can bargain because it is not always about winning or losing; it is about getting your point across and understanding the other person. • Negotiating can be as per age: When school-going children do not like to eat a particular thing, it’s a good idea to give them a choice or an alternative. • The method of dealing with a toddler could be different: If you are a parent of a toddler and you want them to eat their food, which they are somehow not doing, you can give them food in interesting shapes. This too is negotiation. • Respond to criticism with a reasonable question: It is always advisable for you to positively respond to the criticism given by your children. For example, if your child asks you to stop nagging him, you can offer him choices and, at the same time, deal with him with an open mind. You can ask him something like, “Alright, if you don’t want to do it now, when would you like to do it?” When angry, it is always better to have your emotions under control before tackling the child. At the same time, it is a good idea to be open to criticism. • Let the child win at times: It’s wise for you to choose your words carefully and change your mind whenever required in order to agree with the child. You could, in fact, say something like “I agree with you, but I would also appreciate if you listen to me.”
Reasoning, clubbed with negotiations, will only make your child smarter.
Soft Skills for Teachers — Body Language
The True Expression Research has shown that around 90 per cent of our communication is nonverbal. This underlines the importance of the right Body Language, which teachers need to especially adopt in the classroom. NANDINI SENGUPTA It is the positive body language of a teacher that determines the students’ reciprocal behaviour. The time spent by kids in school is sometimes much more than at home, and what they see has a great impact on their behaviour. Hence, it is the teacher who should be a model example of positive and good behaviour, someone whom the students can emulate.
Human beings tend to remember things more vividly when they see something rather than hear. After all, anything visual has a greater impact. That explains why facial expressions and body language have a lasting impression on people and why positive behaviour and a good body language are an essential part of human etiquette. As a teacher with an experience of more than 20 years, I can confidently say that intelligent kids can read their teacher like a book. That is why, when we are in the limelight, we have to be conscious of the things we do in the classroom; after all, 40 pairs of eyes are always following us around. In fact, it is at the beginning of the school year that children form an impression of their teacher. Sometimes, the first impression is the last one. Hence, it is important for a teacher to conduct herself well right from the start of the academic year. Body language is something that precedes our words. It is, in some way, the more fundamental language. When teachers manage their body language well, they can positively determine how their students may perceive it. A positive body language inevitably sends out messages that encourage positive reciprocal behaviour. WHY SHOULD TEACHERS KNOW AND USE CORRECT BODY LANGUAGE? When a teacher’s body language and behaviour are in tandem, they can easily win their students’ confidence.
STRATEGIES FOR ADOPTING BRILLIANT BODY LANGUAGE Teachers can weave in the following steps to develop a powerful body language to communicate with their students: • Use your expressions to communicate, i.e. smile, make eye contact, etc. These are powerful tools of communication. • To deal with negative behaviour, take the student away from the classroom and speak softly with them. Do not reprimand them in the presence of the entire class, otherwise negative pressure will be created. • Refrain from folding your arms or pointing fingers. This discourages students to open up and be themselves. WH • If a child approaches you for AT L A NGU DOES something, do not push Acc B ord AGE M ODY him away or avoid him, i n E e g to t AN? otherwise the channel of Dic dition he t o communication will be is “ ionary f Web 1997 com , s hindered. At the same time, mun body la ter’s ng i c give students their personal ges ation t uage t h u rou or a space. They will appreciate it r gh ttitu es and respect you. des .” • The key to good control is to appear •
• One of the keys to effective teaching lies in a teacher’s ability to read the emotions, expressions and actions of their students. The better the teacher can perceive this, the more effective will be their teaching. Moreover, when this happens, it becomes easier to handle students and even foresee and discourage undesirable behaviour.
relaxed and unstressed. Always display a good posture, as sagging projects a lack of confidence. Students believe in teachers who appear sure of themselves. A light tap on the shoulder or arm of the student triggers a subconscious response that helps build a rapport. Dress with care. The appearance of the teacher too is important. A teacher with unkempt hair or foul-smelling clothes is often a source of distraction, as is one who is overly fashionable. Do not wave your hands more than is required while teaching, otherwise it can distract children. Always use eye contact with your students. Do not stay at your desk all the time — this obstructs effective teacher-student communication. Instead, you should constantly go around the classroom.
We teachers should also develop nonverbal communication to let students know of our approval in the form of a smile, a nod, or a hand signal, or our disapproval by means of a raised eyebrow, a pause or look, a shaking head, or even a frown. YOUR EDUCATIONAL SEARCH BEGINS HERE
Soft Skills for Kids — Planning and Organising
A Little Planning, a Little Organising Have a goal but don’t know how to go about achieving it? It’s time you developed planning and organising skills to help your dream become reality. NANDINI SENGUPTA Imagine your class without a fixed timetable in place. What a chaos it will lead to, with nothing being properly taught or learned! Thus comes to the fore the importance of planning and organising things such as time, space and possessions. Often, we neglect this task either because we are pressed for time or due to sheer procrastination on our part. But it pays to remember that planning and organising is a crucial tool for personal success and building leadership abilities. While some of us have it in our nature to be well organised, others need to cultivate planning and organising as a habit. Here’s how you kids can start on the road to becoming great planners and organisers:
CHUNKING Break down a complex task into small, easy steps. For instance, a school project to be carried out over a week can be broken down into a series of smaller tasks that can be completed daily. GOAL SETTING AND DEFINING While setting a goal for yourself, make sure it is achievable and define it specifically. So, you could have a goal like “I want to learn to spell 20 new words by Friday” or “I want to save `50 this month from my pocket money.” PLANNING After setting your goal, plan the steps you need to take in the near future to achieve
it. For example, if you want to learn to play a musical instrument in your summer holidays, you can start by hunting for a music class near your house and inquiring about the course, its duration, the timings and the fee. TIME MANAGEMENT Use diaries and planners to keep schedules. Doing so will help you submit your homework or project well before the deadline and thus give you ample time to focus on other activities and tasks. Besides following these four steps, make a colourful chart with ‘A place for everything and everything in its place’ written on it. Stick this chart in your room and look at it as often as you can for the message to sink in.
idea Thus, the nning and behind pla to take is organising o achieve st small step . a big goal For more ideas on honing your planning and organising skills, visit www.crystalquestmagazine.com.
Waldorf Salad An extremely healthy and scrumptious salad for those who do not have much time on their hands. This salad is healthy and will make you happy, as it has a delightful flavour. SANA KRISHNA INGREDIENTS • 3 tbsp mayonnaise • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice • 1/2 teaspoon salt • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper • 1 apple, chopped • 1/2 cup celery, sliced • 1/2 cup grapes, sliced (or 1/4 cup raisins) • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped • Fresh green lettuce METHOD Mix the mayonnaise and the lemon juice in a bowl. Add the salt and the pepper. After whisking, put in the apple pieces, chopped celery, grapes or raisins, and chopped walnuts. Mix well and serve on a bed of lettuce.
Mayonnaise is packed with Vitamin E, which helps protect your heart.
Apples contain boron, which aids in improving bone density.
Celery helps in strengthening your immune system with its vitamin C content.
DID YOU KNOW? The Waldorf Salad was first created around 1896 at New York’s Waldorf-Astoria Hotel (then, the Waldorf Hotel).
It is believed that the dish was invented not by a chef but by the hotel’s maître d’hôtel or the dining room manager, whose name was Oscar Tschirky. The salad became an immediate hit.
TIP This salad can be vegetarian or non-vegetarian, depending on the mayonnaise you use — eggless or with egg. If you are a meat lover, you could even add shredded boiled chicken.
The original version of this salad consisted of only mayonnaise, apples and celery. The walnuts and grapes are said to have been added much later.
PREPARATION TIME 10 minutes
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Trashing Right Before you throw that toffee wrapper in the dustbin, do you ever think whether it is supposed to be thrown in there in the first place? If you don’t, then do read on to learn of the right approach to disposing of and managing waste. NANDINI SENGUPTA
In the course of his life, man uses a variety of materials for his daily needs — be it for eating, working or building something — and, in the process, generates a lot of waste. What he sometimes fails to remember is the importance of disposing of this waste in the right manner. Proper waste management is indeed a part of our social responsibility because we must not create environmental or health hazards for our fellow men. Anyone can practise waste management on their own, including you. Yes, even a small contribution from you can help in keeping this planet cleaner and greener. HOW SHOULD WE DISPOSE OF WASTE EFFICIENTLY? Naturally, the first step is to not litter about. It helps a lot if you refrain from throwing rubbish here and there and wait till you find a bin. However, doing this alone is not enough. We also need to have separate bins for wet and dry waste and dispose of trash in the correct bin.
WHY SEPARATE BINS FOR WET AND DRY WASTE? Because different kinds of waste require specific treatments. By having a distinct bin each for wet and dry trash, it becomes easier to decide whether the waste should be composted (in case it is wet waste) or recycled (if it is dry waste). Because doing so reduces the amount of waste that goes for being landfilled and brings down air and water pollution. Because the segregation can help you generate a lot of dry waste, which can be sold off as scrap. WHAT IS DRY WASTE?
Tr o p h
YOUR EDUCATIONAL SEARCH BEGINS HERE
REDUCE the amount of waste you dispose of. Use products with little or no packaging. You can repair old stuff or donate it. Reuse strong plastic carrier bags instead of buying them, or use cloth bags for carrying groceries. REUSE things for a new purpose. For example, you can convert old tablecloths into cleaning rags, store items in empty containers, and do scratch work on one-sided paper. RECYCLE what can be recycled. Things such as paper, plastic, glass bottles, tin cans, and vegetable matter can be recycled. Consider creating a compost pit in your backyard or garden for kitchen and garden waste. Donate uneaten food to a food bank. REBUY, i.e. try as much as you can to purchase second-hand and recyclable products.
INSTEAD OF DUMPING EVERYTHING AS WASTE, YOU CAN ALSO FOLLOW THE FOUR RS
Maintain two different containers in your kitchen for dry and wet garbage respectively. In another part of your house, have a paper bag for dry waste and a plastic bin for the remaining waste. Ensure that any waste plastic from the kitchen is clean and dry before you drop it into the bin meant for dry waste. Send dry waste out of the home once in a week, and wet waste, daily. Use a paper bag for disposing of sanitary waste.
TEN THINGS THAT YOU NEVER KNEW WERE RECYCLABLE
Cotton swabs or bu
APART FROM KEEPING TWO BINS, YOU WILL NEED TO DO THE FOLLOWING AS WELL
Start from your house or your locality, encouraging people to dispose of trash properly. Request the managing committee of your housing society to put up guidelines and generate awareness among the residents. Teach the newly appointed housemaid to practise segregation of waste. Stick labels on different trash cans so that people know what kind of waste goes into which bin. Educate waste collectors on the need for and importance of separating trash.
Dry waste consists of all those materials that can be kept for a long period without their undergoing any decomposition, such as paper, plastic, glass, rubber, metal, thermocol, Styrofoam, fabrics, leather and wood.
One step by us is a huge leap towards keeping our Earth clean. However, our responsibility does not end here. We have to spread awareness about proper waste management among the people around us. Given here are five ways of doing so. Please feel free to devise your own methods:
TRY THIS EASY WEALTH-FROM-WASTE CRAFT PROJECT Hereâ€™s how you can reuse jars to make vases and reduce the piling up of excessive waste in your bin. Collect empty drinking chocolate, jam or pickle jars. Soak the jars in warm soapy water for about 20 minutes and remove the labels. Take some lace and ribbon, which you can ask your mother or grandmother to give you from their sewing kit, and also some sticking tape and twine if you want to hang your jar. Decorate the jars as you like with the ribbons and lace and use the tape to stick the twine on opposite ends of the jar. SOME MORE POINTERS TO REMEMBER Avoid buying one-time-use products such as disposable pens, cameras and razors; always go for reusable items, as you can recover the initial cost of these items within a few uses. Carry your own bags from home while going for shopping. 51
My Moral Strongest
Honouring Your Promise
A promise means giving your word to someone and committing to carry out a job or a favour. You make a promise with not just others but also yourself. However, how many of us do keep our promises? Let’s see: you don’t call back when you say you will, you don’t repay a sum of money that you owe a pal, or maybe it just doesn’t seem important to you that you should not go about blabbing your friend’s secret. If you do not consider your promises seriously, you lose others’ trust in you and harm your reputation, no matter how trivial those promises may seem. In fact, when you do not fulfil your promise, you betray not only others but also yourself. Let us not forget the proverb “He loses his thanks who promises and delays.” So, remember, make a promise only if you think you can fulfil it. After all, being truthful to your own self is as important as being truthful to others. Here’s an interesting story in which Birbal makes Akbar realise how important it is to value a promise: Birbal had once again managed to impress Emperor Akbar with his wit, wisdom and intellect. The latter promised his favourite minister a gift of a hundred acres of land. Many days passed, but Birbal did not receive the gift he was promised. So, he decided to keep reminding Akbar about it. However, whenever he would raise the topic, the Emperor would turn his head and look in another direction, behaving as if the issue had never been brought up. 52
One evening, Akbar and Birbal went out for a walk and saw a camel coming towards them. Akbar saw the camel and asked Birbal, “Do you have an idea why the neck of this camel is crooked?” Birbal replied, “Your Majesty, the camel was an emperor in his previous birth. One day, he was really impressed with his minister and decided to gift him a hundred acres of land. But the emperor soon forgot his promise and, whenever the minister reminded him of it, evaded the topic by turning his neck and looking in the other direction. That’s how he developed a crooked neck.” Akbar told Birbal, “That sounds implausible.” Birbal said, “It is not, Your Majesty. Seeing the emperor behave like this, the minister cursed him, wishing that the emperor will turn into a camel in his next birth and his neck will always be crooked.” Akbar realised what Birbal was trying to tell him and felt ashamed for forgetting his promise. The next day, he fulfilled it by gifting Birbal the promised hundred acres. DON’T WORRY — IT IS VERY EASY TO KEEP A PROMISE Keeping a promise speaks volumes of our good side, but the most sensible way is to make only those promises that we are certain of keeping. Here are some simple steps you need to follow to honour your promises: Think well: It is important that you think more than once before you make a promise. Run the consequences of keeping it as well as of not keeping it in your mind. If you find that promise worth keeping, build your faith in it and only after that you must commit to it. Keep it real: Stick to only realistic and practical promises, those which you can fulfil based on whatever you have at the time of making them. Make the process visual: Write each of your promises down on little bits of paper and place these bits where you can see them every day. This will help push you to sustain them and hopefully quicken the process. Once you have completed a task or lived up to a promise, you may throw the respective bit of paper away. You can even list out your promises on a poster-sized chart paper, stick it in your room, and strike off a promise whenever you fulfil it. Communicate: Do not hesitate to talk with your parents, your teacher, some other adult, or even an understanding friend if you’re having any problems in honouring a promise. They will surely help you.
Illustration by Nilesh Juvalekar
We continue from where we left off, i.e. honesty, to look at another virtue that requires us to be truthful and committed.
Breathing Right To live is to breathe. But how many of us take care of the way we breathe? It is important to live a healthy life, and exercises such as Pranayama help you monitor and control your breathing. Also featured here is a useful Pranayama exercise for you. PRIYANKA AGARWAL
Irrespective of our age and fitness levels, it is important for all of us to frequently check how we are breathing. Generally, we are so engrossed in our day-to-day activities that we end up doing shallow breathing. This affects our intake of oxygen and our life processes, including our brain functions. Therefore, in order to give our body the right dosage of oxygen, say goodbye to stress, and get bagful of energy to go about, we must take out just 5–10 minutes at any time of the day and get started on these simple exercises. MINDFUL BREATHING 1. Sit down on a chair or sofa or crosslegged on the floor with your back straight. Close your eyes. 2. Breathe naturally and notice how you are breathing. Be attentive to the rise and fall of your chest and abdomen. You could also place your fingers on your chest or abdomen to feel the rise and ebb. 3. You could do this for 2-5 minutes at a time.
Illustration by Nilesh Juvalekar
BENEFITS: • Reduces negative thinking and anxiety. • Improves concentration, awareness and optimism. • Boosts digestion and metabolism. • Enhances the effectiveness of physical exercise and sports.
YOUR EDUCATIONAL SEARCH BEGINS HERE
ANULOM VILOM PRANAYAM 1. Sit down on a chair or sofa or on the floor in the Padmasana or Sukhasana pose. Keep your back straight and eyes closed. 2. Cover your right nostril with your right thumb and exhale from your left nostril. Then, breathe in. 3. While holding your breath, place the ring and little fingers of your right or left hand on the left nostril and breathe out rhythmically from the right. Next, breathe in from your right nostril. 4. Place your right thumb on your right nostril again while holding your breath and breathe out from the left. Relax. 5. Repeat the above steps 4–5 times.
BENEFITS: • Improves concentration and memory power. • Reduces stress. • Eases conditions such as cold, migraine, sinusitis and fever. • Helps in weight loss, improved blood circulation and digestion, and strengthening of organs.
On the Shelf
The Arabian Nights REVIEWED BY KIRAN MEHTA
spree — that of marrying and killing one woman a day. The women in the kingdom live under the shadow of death until a stunning beauty named Scheherazade willingly puts her life in danger by submitting herself to the king. Little does he know that Scheherazade is more than just a pretty face. Blessed with intelligence, she has a plan to save the women of her land. She engages the king with her storytelling ability, and in this manner, 1,001 nights come to pass. The format of the book is such that, within the larger story of the king and Scheherazade, multiple stories are weaved in. Set in a forgotten era, the book transports readers to ancient and medieval Persia, India and Mesopotamia. And the many occult happenings in the book add to the magical feel. If you pick the Aldine edition of the book, titled The Arabian Nights Entertainments Complete, you may find the opening line creating one-too-many images in your head. But push through and you will realise that the phrase “Don’t judge a book by its cover” holds true! As early as the second paragraph, this edition gets much easier to read and grasp. When characters are quoted in the book, the language is archaic but rightly so and adds to the magnificent imagery. Even though the stories have their roots in folklore, they are relevant even today. Revisit this classic time and again and you’re sure to take away something new each time you flip through it. The Arabian Nights is one of those rare tales that boasts of all elements that make for an interesting read — suspense, romance, drama and, most of all, a deeper message presented in a lighter vein. The story starts with King Shaw-zummaun, who is blessed with a prosperous kingdom yet is terribly unhappy, as his wife betrays him. In his blinding anger, he sets out on an execution 54
In conclusion, The Arabian Nights is a book you can skim through and enjoy even on its surface if you’re looking for a light read. Or one that can leave you in deep thought, as you try to unearth the symbolism and meaning of each parable. Whatever your taste in books, there’s a story here to entice you.
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