IITs: We want a separate exam ! June 16, 2012Posted by Akriti Bahal in 2012, Education, India.
The big question doing rounds these days is, should IITs be allowed to hold a separate engineering entrance exam as opposed to the Union Government’s decision to conduct a common engineering entrance exam for all institutions?
When even the internal bodies have conflicting opinions on this, as among the IITs, IIT Kanpur and Delhi oppose the decision, while the remaining five claim to be on board with the Government, then the masses surely have a lot to say, with widely differing views, of course.
With regards to the curiosity and taking into account my engineering background, I conducted a small survey (mostly among the people whom I know) to get an idea of what people (of different ages and different backgrounds) think. As I had thought, and as it is with our country, people who are not really related with the field or an issue that does not concern them, usually are insouciant towards it, and hence don’t have a say for it. And so was the case, where people who couldn’t get enough of their everyday problems, found it cumbersome to get involved in ‘other’ matters, (‘Other’ matters? The country’s matters!) and just came up with ‘I really don’t care, since I have no linkage with engineering at all.’ Well okay, then even I don’t have a say in XXXXs (just to remain discreet) are a minority group and should be made eligible for the minority quota (actually I do, but anyway).
But, I did find quite a few sentient people, who did have a say and didn’t hesitate to express their opinion on it. Of course, a former IITian, he had to say that ‘IIT is the most prestigious engineering institution in our country, which has its reputation not only here, but also throughout the world, hence what they can incorporate is only the cream and that to sifted cream, because it’s the world reputation that they hold.’ Another man, whose son tried into the IIT, but couldn’t get through, expressed, ‘IITs seem like a separate body of institution, they seem out of reach to most of the students, but they do have other exams for which they feel capable of, which again boosts confidence in them. Making the engineering entrance exam as a common one, not only creates extra pressure on the child, since it would be an all-institution exam (including the IITs), which is enough to scare them off, moreover what if the child isn’t able to do well in that single exam, are there any other exams which he can look forward to? No! Hence, his year gone.’
Good points, we have here, but there were many who supported the inclusion as well. For instance, according to my teacher, she feels, ‘No doubt IITs are the esteemed institutions, but who is taking that tag away from them? They will still remain the same. The smarter lot will anyhow get admission in them based on their performance in the test, which obviously will be outstanding even if IITs have a separate exam or a common one.’ Acceding to this opinion, my mother, too, feels that a common entrance exam will only help to reduce the pressure on the child, and not endanger the quality of the students it intakes. Although, my father is in the favor of having a common exam as well, but he made a good point, ‘What if due to some unforeseen circumstances, the child isn’t able to show up on the exam date, then what? No more exams. The single exam gone and the child has to wait for one whole year.’ Well, I agree to that point.
Finally, coming to my opinion, I think what I have gathered here are sporadic pieces of opinions, which can be combined together. Personally, I agree with the Government in having a common engineering entrance exam, but only to a certain extent. What I believe is that if in most of the countries in the world, SAT is the exam required for undergraduate study, and GRE/GMAT for graduate, then why can’t it happen in our country? For instance, Stanford, Harvard, Cambridge, all are the dream institutions of most of the students, aspiring to study abroad, all of them have these common exams, based on which they decide the merit of the applying student (there are other criteria too, on the basis of which decisions are made, but let’s not go into them, for now). There are no Stanford entrance exam or Harvard entrance exam, so why in our country? Can’t our education system be so flexible as well? Moreover, just having a common exam is not enough, what more is required is what is asked in the exam. I think, apart from the concrete subject knowledge testing, the student’s logical thinking must also be tested, and of course, English too! This will not only improve the student as a whole, but also help in preparing the child for a more worldly environment, which is usually required in these prestigious institutions (IITs, to be specific). Lastly, I also think that just like the rest of the ‘worldly’ exams, this common exam should also be held on regular basis throughout the year, and there should not be just a single ‘do-or-die’ day for the exam. This will not only help the student to get acquainted with the exam in the first go, and increase his possibility of doing fairly in the second go (without wasting a year), but also this increased strike rate in the exam will help in increasing the standard of education of our country even more.
But, everything can’t be as simple as it may seem, they certainly do encounter some problem or the other, and similar might be the case here also. So, I am not the central body, the Government is, hence they have to decide. I can just express my opinion, and that’s all I had to say.
My First Experience With Voting April 15, 2012Posted by Akriti Bahal in 2012, India, Patriotism, Politics.
As the city enjoys the pleasant weather and the unexpected shower the follows, with the cool breezes disseminating a new splash of life away from the mundane heat; the city also steps out, today, to cast votes (at least some of them do) for the MCD elections.
Anyway, not much of a “party-political” person myself, but what it was for me was a FIRST TIME – with Voting! I feel big already (no, not in size, but in senses and maturity!).
In this place where preoccupation is your second name, your best friend as well as your enemy too, I had never really stopped to realize that “twenty” years had actually passed, or maybe I just closed the eyes, each time, to the very thought of it.
I remember how I used to go with my parents, as a kid, to the same voting place as I went today. It used to be a sort of game, clicking on the button, getting that ink mark on the finger, and then telling my school mates that, “See, I too have cast the vote.” And today, I have a “real” mark for my own vote.
Ambivalent feelings inundate my heart. I don’t wanna grow old so fast. I wish time could turn around, so that I could freeze it and keep my childhood, the best time of my life, with myself forever, because the life that lies ahead is harsh and very hard, and I don’t know until when I’d be able to withstand it.
Anyway, till I deal with my tribulations, happy voting!
I Stare At The Girl Who Stares Back At Me January 19, 2012Posted by Akriti Bahal in 2012, Feelings, Fiction, Life, Peace, Sad, Satisfaction.
Tags: girl in the mirror, having faith, lonely, mirror image, reflections, woman in the mirror
Rummaging through the dressing table of my thoughts, fiddling with the hair clips and the barrettes inside the chaotic silver box; searching for that tiny dazzling piece, fishing for an iota of glow and lease which can wash away all the filthy grease; I glance at the mirror. I look at the reflector sitting right in front of me, with a quiescent face much out of haze, gazing at the striking work when light meets its base. It engenders a new soul, which will always remain.
It sees you through when you cry. It hears you, sits with you when you don’t want anyone to pry. It supports you in the scorching Sun, it stays with you in the dark night’s run. When even the street lights fail to ease the plight, it moves along with you in the form of your shadow, so that you don’t lose your way through the seedy plateau.
I stare at the girl who stares back at me. Yeah, the girl in the mirror looking right in my eye with fervor.
Look at me, she says. Do you really recognize me, she surveys. You may think you see who I really am, you may feel you know where I come from. A mere mirror image, is what you call me. But, I am the ‘you’ which nobody besides me gets to see. Now, if I tell you about my part, I’m not just a figure lost in the gloominess of the dark; you can fool the world, but not my heart.
Back in time, you rebelled about the Mask that covers each one of us; trusting your thought, having faith in your insurgent slots, I hoped for more of your adamant chants, if that’s what made you rant. What happened to your expressions now, what blockades them from extruding out? Are they somewhere deep in hiding, or are they just safely residing?
I gaze at the woman in the mirror in amaze, wearing the same mask as me, but with a transparent veil and a higher sage. I utter with unrest, maybe even a little detest, “Who is this girl I see, staring straight back at me?”
I am now, I am you. I am someone that you were to transform and imbue, she expresses with a slight rage as if wanting to come out of the mirrored cage. This time with a saddened look, she shook, I don’t know what lies behind the glassy wall, is it a world where you are forced to hide your heart, or is it something you chose yourself to depart? I don’t know, I just don’t know, but one thing I would echo. There’s a heart that must be free to fly, that burns with a need to know the reasons why, when you keep it beneath a thickened ply.
I scowl as I raise my voice and frown, “Quit or I shall leave. Everybody arrives with their own set of preachings, coming close and then screeching. They know how to categorize and theorize, but nobody really knows how to empathize.”
Her countenance deepened, her brows wrinkled due to the feelings that under went vigorous fissions. And, this time she asked, “Who is this girl I see, staring straight back at me?”
With this she vanished in the hour of commotion, but she still remains with me with the same notion.
2012: The Year Of LIFE December 31, 2011Posted by Akriti Bahal in 2012, Excitement, Feelings, Happiness, Life, Love.
Fill the dark night bright.
Amidst the winter breeze humming
Chic dresses and pricey tuxedoes come gumming
Swanky places inundating with exhilarating faces hands-down
Spirited beats and raps; merry and jolly; wild music roaring filling the town.
~♣ ~But, when these plastic faces, lost in some races and graces; crack~ ♣~
Emerges a cherubic little kid; far from this flaunt and backslid.
Behind the sparkling lights and the thundering music
Resides a tender heart obtaining bliss
In the smiles of the family
And its loving
Metamorphosing from teenager to adult, 2011 surely marked for change; yeah transformation is the word. Another Shanghai Twister is stepping towards its end, stashing away all the priceless memories into the locker of my heart; I call for a new head start.
But, before my recollections are ensconced in their place; warm and into the core, let me make a quick jotter of what the year had planned for me in its own way.
January– As the temperature continued to dip with force, this month brought in a new Sunshine; a new breeze of acceptance and understanding, into my life. Getting up from each chagrined fall; I tag January as the month of new consciousnesses and new bonds.
February– Growing up, is the appellation that this month brings along. From completing a circle of love to making new moulds for life to fit in; it was one of my best months of the year. Support and care; its connotation is what I still remember distinctly about this month.
March–As the heat began to sneak into our pores; my Mom and Dad’s birthday dropped by and we celebrated them with utmost joy and elation.
April– This month was one of the many times of the year which I call as banal, because the exams were approaching fast and anxiety seemed to be percolating through our pores with even more swiftness.
May– Hatred is the word for this month. And each time I am reminded of it, all that does pour out are the stories of antipathy towards it. Yeah, exam times are the ones with which we all have always had a strange enmity.
June– The heated resistance; as the Earth raged in fire and the places sweltered in their own way; anger was the devil that had to break out at every step of this month, oh actually that was a thing that never stopped to mark its existence throughout the twelve month year.
July– The month of the irrevocable transition. 20 seemed to knock on the door so abruptly; it was the one that told me, birthdays are not the only days to celebrate, you have an entire lifetime with each new day marking as a new beginning to each fallen yesterday.
August– A step towards the future, is how I will remember this clammy month. Endeavour and survival of the fittest, is what I learnt from this month.
September– As much as it was for the monsoons casting its spell; this month brought in a breeze of new thrival and never to look back.
October– The Northeast beauty stood by its name; and Atithi Devo Bhava, they always followed this in their heart. This month brought me some solace along; away from the concretes and the pollution-coated Delhi, it was surely a pleasant experience to keep in my bag.
November– Dull-ly and sluggishly is how the eleventh month came into my reign. Scare and anxiety rose to its maximum domain. Yeah, exams had again poured it rain.
December– Heartbreaks were the misfortunes of this month; why did it come, I should have sensed it with its odour that stunk. And now I sit here seeking peace; yeah I called this the best time with Christmas acting as the adorned frosting. But, this time it just worked its black magic, merry was left to a mere word and ‘I’ always stood alone, very tragic.
But, with 2012 ready to knock the door, I look towards it with an optimistic hope. The year would be eventful, that- We all know; but making it among the best, that- We have to work on and not let it go.
• ~A very Happy New Year~ •
Project: 50 movies I need to see by the end of the Year September 16, 2011Posted by Akriti Bahal in 2012, entertainment, Happiness, Movies, Nature, Peace, September.
What? Now stop your wide-eyed phenomena and stop scaring your screen to the extent of dying! Look, it might just start crying now! Of course, I can watch 50 movies by the end of this year, I mean it’s just September, and calculating the 3 months left, it makes it 106 days to finally scream “Happy New Year”! ( I mean ya, despite the fact that we all know that we’re are gonna die by the end of the baby-year. What? Ya ya, of course, I believe that we are gonna die, why not! After all, my cupboard has a cave-man living (Jumanji) and I’m from Narnia!). Anyway, it might be a dreaded year for some, (although I know that ‘some’ is limited only to the ancient lot but, yeah we do have some senile neophytes too, after all it’s 2012! C’mon! forgotten the eminent prediction? Yeah, right! ) but for most of us, it’s just something awaited, so that we can just plunge into, on 13/12/12 and say, “Ahaa! I’m still alive.” (Though we don’t really care.)
Yes, I agree and I’m very much familiar (infact we all are) with the problem that Earth is facing in the present day and age. Of course, we all (here in Delhi) experienced the abrupt, but austere earthquake on 7th September 2011, and we are experiencing it daily, the furies of Mother Nature, in forms of acrid rains with staccato thunders and the hasty weather conditions subsisting. It’s just the wrathful Mother Nature giving us a -‘WARNING! DEAD END AHEAD!’ and alerting us that it’s high time, we start looking into our humanly-destructive-actions. C’mon, if not now, then when guys! Surely, we don’t want these abrupt rains (and such weather anomalies) all the time.
Anyway, not deviating from my movie-madness anymore now, (although I know, I’ve already crossed all the limits of digression, but it’s better late than.. Oh! C’mon! Deal with it!) Okay, so coming back to my calculation of 106 days. Yeah, that seems quite an affluent time, no? I mean of course, cutting down 6 days for my next-most-recent exams plus 4 more days for my one set of practicals (plus 8 more for the other set) plus 30 more days for more exams and also, not to forget the crazy schedule of my dear college, so cutting another 18 days, I get a sumptuous time of (drum-roll) ’40′ days, surfeit no? Huh.
But, just when the cruelties of my college transcends , I rise up with my new madness (Haha). Movies are something I have enjoyed watching my whole life, but it wasn’t until a few years ago that I had fallen in love with them. As a casual fan for so many years, I missed out on a lot of great movies. In order to continue to push myself to see more great movies, I have compiled this list of 50 movies I must see before the end of the year. Fifty seemed like a low number — and it probably is — but now I think it would be a fair amount to squeeze in amidst the winter madness. These are 50 movies from all eras, and I made sure to include some genres and directors that I want to familiarize myself with. Some are more important than others, but these are all films that I have heard quite a bit about and therefore would like to indulge in them.
This will be an ongoing project with my ultimate deadline being to have seen all of these by the end of the year.
The Final List:
1.) It’s a Wonderful Life 
2.) The Sound of Music 
3.) The Godfather 
4.) The Godfather: Part II 
5.) Annie Hall [1977, Allen]
6.) Breaking Away 
7.) Norma Rae 
8.) Airplane! 
9.) Grave of the Fireflies 
10.) My Left Foot 
11.) Scent of a Woman [1992, Martin Brest]
12.) Unforgiven 
13.) A Few Good Men [1992, Reiner]
14.) A River Runs Through It [1992, Redford]
15.) Schindler’s List [1993, Spielberg]
16.) Philadelphia 
17.) Twelve Monkeys [1995, Gilliam]
18.) Braveheart 
19.) Earthquake 
20.) Good Will Hunting 
21.) Volcano [1997, Mick Jackson]
22.) October Sky 
23.) Dancer in the Dark 
24.) Unbreakable 
25.) Mr. Holland’s Opus 
26.) Training Day [2001, Fuqua]
27.) Minority Report 
28.) Chariots of Fire 
29.) Road to Perdition [2002, Mendes]
30.) The Pianist 
31.) Seabiscuit 
32.) Hulk 
33.) Hotel Rwanda [2004, George]
34.) Hidalgo 
35.) Million Dollar Baby 
36.) The Machinist 
37.) Crash 
38.) National Treasure [2004, Turteltaub]
39.) Ray 
40.) Coco Avant Chanel 
41.) Munich 
42.) The World’s Fastest Indian 
43.) The Prestige [2006, Nolan]
44.) The Departed 
45.) Zodiac 
46.) The Kite Runner 
47.) Dark Knight 
48.) Wall-E [2008, Stanton]
49.) Shutter Island 
50.) The King’s Speech 
And now, the clock has begun. Tik Tok! Tik Tok! Tik Tok Tik!