Saturday, 31 December 2011

Happy New Year!

video


Muhammed Jinshad of III BA Economics sends this to all Heartians!

Friday, 30 December 2011

Tandav Once Again!



The Commerce Department of Sacred Heart College is back with Tandav: The Annual Inter-Collegiate Fest where sparks fly high. 

For all the details, just click here

click on the picture for an enlarged view

Don't forget to watch the promo video by our own boy Muhammed Jinshad of III BA Economics.
Spielberg, watch out! See how he sets fire on screen...


Saturday, 24 December 2011

This is What We Need To Say Now


Notwithstanding Christmas

Here is a review of an unusual Christmas story by the British writer Louis de Bernieres (author of Captain Corelli's Mandolin). The article was published originally in Thresholds, University of Chichester, UK (http://blogs.chi.ac.uk/shortstoryforum/?p=7904) on December 21st, 2011.

Louis de Bernieres (Photo by Jose Varghese)

Longing Beyond Life

in Louis de Bernieres’ ‘This Beautiful House’


by Jose Varghese, Department of English

This Beautiful House’ by Louis de Bernieres opens in a direct, yet curious way: ‘I love it at Christmas. I just sit here at the end of the garden on top of the rockery, like a garden gnome’ (195). There is no gimmick, bait or philosophical observation to force readers into the complexity of the story. However, it is not the typically cheerful Christmas story that the apparently simple opening lines suggest. The unusual mix of the gleeful and the gloomy, the soothing and the eerie, the expectant and the disheartening, makes it a story worth reading again and again.  Each time, the reader stumbles upon new discoveries.


This is the story of a man who keeps watch over his family’s house, and reflects upon the lost bliss of childhood, family togetherness and the celebratory atmosphere of Christmas. As he views the house from a distance, the unnamed narrator explores the unusual attachment he feels to his childhood home and revisits the relationships he had within it.

There are no clear boundaries with regard to time and space in ‘This Beautiful House’, and it is this fluidity that makes the surprises in the story so effective.  It may remind one of a well-edited movie with deliberate time shifts: a Hollywood classic that experiments with stylised understatements or an art house film that explores the inner workings of the human mind through select images.

The story is from de Bernieres’ most recent collection, Notwithstanding (Vintage, 2010), a book which takes its name from the fictional English village where the stories are set.  Here, strange yet endearing people, often with an outlandish sense of dress, roam the streets, and bizarre occurrences are the daily norm: birds crash into windows by the droves, a senile General goes shopping without his trousers, and Mrs. Mac happily interacts with the dead. Yet amid the many unfortunate events that take place in Notwithstanding, a spirited playfulness permeates the landscape. As is often the case in British humour, it is the idiosyncrasies of the not-so-perfect characters that saves the stories from tipping into gloominess.


 
In the first half of ‘This Beautiful House’, de Bernieres deliberately keeps the heat of the story very low, exploring in minute detail the particular mindset of the unnamed protagonist. This character vividly describes his house and the people he shared it with – his parents, twin brothers, sister, brother-in-law and Tobermory, the cat – as well as the birds, rabbits, model aeroplanes and tin soldiers which filled it in his youth. This special world he describes is clear and colourful, unlike his current existence, which is curiously vague and hard to visualise in any concrete terms. In the second half of the story, one shocking revelation after the other leads to an ending that is both eerie and beautiful.


The narrator’s opening comparison of himself to a garden gnome remains in the mind as he continues to speak passionately about the house: ‘Other people may not think it beautiful, but it’s beautiful to me mainly because I always loved it’ (195). We learn that the narrator was sent to Korea for military service, but returned to Notwithstanding to settle down to the life he was born to. He goes back to his childhood home and secretly pays rent to his mother, even as his brothers and sister move away. Thinking back on his youth, he reveals how he loved his upstairs room where he kept his model aeroplanes and tin soldiers, and how he shared a special friendship with his sister Catherine – on whom he enjoyed playing pranks. He tells us how he would try to scare her in the night, only for her to take her revenge by leaning over the banister and spitting on his head.  In such scenes de Bernieres draws us into the emotional depths of our narrator’s world.


The brooding nature of the narrator is hinted at with the description of the big dusty attic which had been fitted out for a servant to live in. Here, he fixed a dartboard to the wall and spent hours on his own throwing darts, ‘backhand, underarm, over [the] shoulder, every possible way.’ Tellingly, he reveals that ‘I used to go up there when I was miserable as well because no one would know I was weeping’ (198).


He also remembers happier times, as when he and Catherine would ring the doorbell to fool their mother, and how once, when she opened the door, she found Tobermory the cat sitting on the porch looking up at her as if it was he who had pressed the bell. He remembers that Tobermory was named after a talking cat in a story that his father read to them. And he remembers the vivid nights when he would try in vain to impress his girlfriends by imitating his brother Sebastian who could identify the stars and planets.


And then there are memories of that one white Christmas, and of Catherine wearing a lilac coat with white rabbit fur framing her beautiful face. At this point, midway through the story, the narrative moves from touching descriptions of the festive day to horrifying recollections of ‘that dreadful night of the fire’ (200).  Suddenly, the whole perspective of the story changes.  The narrator goes on to describe how the candles on the Christmas tree set light to the curtains, causing the fire that burned down the house.  His memories of waking in his bed, choking and fighting for breath, are recalled in detail up until the moment he passed out.  After that, he can remember nothing more of the night’s events.


In a cinematic way, the scene cuts to our narrator sitting at the end of the garden looking back at the house and its Christmas tree with electric lights. The house has been re-built, and he observes how ‘It doesn’t die, it just keeps evolving. The house is alive. It watches over me always, and it’s watching me now’ (202). Then, in a shocking revelation he tells us: ‘The house may be alive, but my family aren’t’ (202) and we learn that everyone else, including the cat, perished on that fateful Christmas night.  Death, however, doesn’t stop them from coming back.


All of his family members come to him as though they are still alive: they touch him and speak to him as if there is no difference between their existence and his. Concerned about his behaviour, they try to persuade him to stop ‘watching the house’, and his brother-in-law the baronet tells him it is high time that he leaves the place altogether.  The narrator, though, tells his family that ‘[I]t’s really the house watching over [me]’, adding, ‘[A]nyway, you’re all dead (203).’ The next chilling revelation comes as Catherine confronts him: ‘When are you going to understand?’ (203). The possibility that he is also one of the dead strikes us here, and this idea is stressed again when his mother and Catherine kiss him on the cheek.  He observes that ‘[I]t’s surprising how you can distinctly feel the kiss of someone who is dead’ (203) and recounts how his father once took his head in his hands and kissed him on the forehead.  That kiss, too, had felt real. Now, his twin brothers subject him to more claps between his shoulder blades before everyone turns, waves at him and fades away. Only the family cat lingers on for a little while, and just before leaving, ‘reaches up to touch a claw to [my] hand, as he used to when he suspected that it contained a morsel of Cheddar cheese’ (204).


The protagonist lives in a world that is alive beyond the reality of death. Memories bring back an existence that is more real to him than reality. He is perfectly contented with his existence, and as he sits atop the rockery in his garden, by moonlight, the story ends:

I love it here. I love this beautiful house, I love the way it holds me as if it had hands and I was cupped inside them. I sit here and it watches over me, I feel absolute happiness, and there’s nothing I’d rather do. (204)

De Bernières deliberately distracts the reader from the narrative’s main course of events with his stunning descriptions, locating important revelations within these passages in order to take us by surprise. What impresses me the most is the casual, and at times unreliable, way in which the story is narrated.  It is not too perfect to be true, and the narrator, with his fragments of vivid memories held loosely, with a lack of clear organisation of thought, is entirely convincing. That is as real as it gets, I feel. And the eerie Christmas is as beautiful as it gets too, just like the beautiful house and the haunting image of the man sitting on the rockery, like a garden gnome.



Bibliography
De Bernieres, Louis. Notwithstanding. Print.London: Vintage, 2010

Friday, 23 December 2011

Christmas Gift

On the closing day of this year at college, the Heart-Bytes team presented the blog, their humble Christmas gift, to SH College.
The Principal launched the blog after the Christmas carol competitions and the College Union Christmas celebrations.  
Now that all our teachers and students know what Heart-Bytes is all about, we expect more participation from all. 
Blog On!

The tech savvy members of the blog team, Arun Kumar S (III BA English CE), Nirmal S (III BA English CE), Devika TS (I MA English), Joseph Joy (I MA English) and Jude Lopez (II BA English) introduced the blog and did a Powerpoint Presentation at the college auditorium. Mariam Henna (I BA English) had a very good idea for a promotional video, and her mother Fatima Zareen (C-Advertising, Dubai) made it for her. That's what we call the blog-age! We played the video during the launch and the audience response shows that it rocks. 

You can watch the video here :

video


Special thanks to Fatima Zareen for the time she spent on the two brilliant versions of the video, and Arun Kumar for  personalizing it so efficiently at short notice.
Heart-Bytes wish all of you - students, teachers, parents, alumni and our readers from across the world - a Merry Christmas!

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Santa, See Them Please!


 Mariam Henna of I BA English Copy Editor 
would like it if the young generation can make a difference 
in this world. 
Santa, if you are real, we need you to be with 
some special young people this Christmas!

Santa Claus is back in town once again! While everyone is talking about going away on a family vacation, partying, and the fun things that the youth of today are upto, who among any of us actually think of spending time among those little innocent children who are living a life deprived of everything that we (the lucky ones) take for granted? Even Santa seems to have forgotten about them. Below is a true account of what I experienced on my visit to an orphanage.



Caged Lions : The Real World



"Smiles going miles, with a

Small hug. Waiting for the rays

Of a Brighter tomorrow

To dawn  on them, They wait like

Caged lions, Fighting the world

For their survival"




Those innocent faces lighted up the moment we walked into the Orphanage, which almost looked similar to being locked up in Jail. Their smiles craved for attention. Although most were shy at first, the other little ones kept rambling on about their days just to have someone to share it with. Some danced, some sang, some drew flowers and houses, while some just sat close to us, in order to reciprocate the feeling of love. Each of them were eager to show us their abilities and talents and get appreciated for it. The memory of how an eight year old talked to me about his dreams of tomorrow lingers deeply in my heart.



Most of us are lucky enough to have  a home with parents to love, share, fight and laugh with along with being privileged to  having other  materialistic things. While we end up taking all these for granted, for those young ones even little things like having someone to smile at them or hug them makes a big difference in their lives. Moroever having the privilege of education is a faraway dream for them. Even when we taught them simple things within our knowledge, they listened to us with rapt attention.

I am a person who believes that it is better to have loved and lost, rather than not having been loved at all. My eyes still brim with  tears when i think of the plight of the kids who have been left on the footsteps of the orphanage, or on the roads, by the very people who gave them birth. A vision of them wailing..crying..little realizing that they would never see the faces of their parents flashed before my eyes. Throughout the nineteen years of my life, i have never felt as much happy at heart than when I spent the few hours with the kids. They showed me a different perspective of life - the "real life" outside the safe zone of our home!



While the youth of today are often criticized for living in a hazy world, self-centred and insensitive, it is time we step ahead and make a change to the world. We need to counter the misconceptions regarding our attitudes! We need to change if necessary. This is just one part of the world. There are still a lot of untold stories about the gruesome conditions of children living on the street, about ‘grandmas and grandpas’ left to mend for themselves at old age homes by their own children. Now it is up to us to rewrite their stories and make it a happier one filled with love!! 


P.S : If anyone is interested in making a real difference this Christmas, please do get in touch!

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

The Heart-Bytes Team

 Here we are!

A New Era of the Mob


Did you know that a few students from SH College were part of 
the Flash Mob at Oberon Mall this month?
Well, if you don't even know what a Flash Mob is, 
here is Raj Kumaraswamy of II BA English Copy Editor 
who tries to explain it and its cultural significance
  

Please do click on the following link before you read further                                                    

 http://youtu.be/N_PN8bjmC54
                                
Now, that is what I call a pulsating public spectacle! 

Well, before you jump into the conclusion that those were just a bunch of local dancers performing in a recreation centre, let me explain the scene. What you have streamed through just now is an internet phenomena of the Twenty First Century, called ‘Flash Mob’. The term came into existence in the early 2000’s and was first experimented in Manhattan, United States (obviously, where else  could it be!)



The widely accepted meaning of the word ‘Flash Mob’ is that it is the performance of a predefined action; typically a brief dance by a group of people gathered at a public place who disperse rapidly after the event has concluded. But in actuality, Flash Mob is not just about dance even when Internet provides you with a great lot of Flash Mob dance videos. Flash Mob can be anything that sends a memorable message with the help of a few minutes’ entertainment. It is organized using Social Networks, Viral e-mails or websites to inform the members of the venue, time, practise sessions and such details.

Since your unrest suggests me to stop doping ‘Wikipedia stuff’ and get down to business, let us go back to our video clip. That particular video clip covers Kerala’s first and biggest ever Flash Mob, in terms of  the number of participants, and the campaign for settling the burning conflict over Mullaperiyar issue, organised at Oberon Mall, Cochin, on 16th December 2011. It was inspired by the huge success of the Rang De Basanthi Flash Mob number organised at Chhatrapati Shivaji terminal (CST), Mumbai, which honoured those who died on 26/11 attack. However, the Cochin Flash Mob could not hold a candle to its dramatically organised counterpart which kept the essential surprise element for a Flash Mob, until the music started from nowhere and which was such a down-right dhamaka so that many witnesses, regardless their age, joined the dancers and grooved madly to the tunes.

Yet the 150+ dancers of various age group ranging from 8 to 52 stupefied the Kochiites who were enjoying shopping as the Santa rang the Christmas bells. The witnessing crowd was up-staged and had a gala time enjoying the bouncy-animated dance. It was after the event, which was tag lined ‘No-Hate Mate’, the underlying message of the vibrant celebrations which read ‘Not Keralites, Not Tamilians, But Indians’ was revealed along with the logo on beautifully handmade banners. To emphasize the theme, the group brilliantly chose our National Anthem to conclude the event which was rocked by a Contemporary, Hip Hop and a couple of Bollywood dance numbers.

So how did the Flash Mob fever, starting from Mumbai, hit the shore of Cochin via Delhi? It all happened as a result of sincere determination and pioneering of two hard-nosed youngsters - Sharath George Benny, an MBA student and Mathew John who work with a city firm. “Sharath and I wanted to do something on the Mullaperiyar issue", says Mathew. "We wanted to give the people a clear perspective of the issue and the Flash Mob in Mumbai happened, and we felt that it would be the best medium to showcase our message to our brothers in Kerala, Tamilnadu and the rest of India.”

Along with sheer determination, a good team of organisers and participants, they proved that it was indeed a ‘Mission – Possible’, (which was initially considered an impossible venture). When we are at this, I have to say that a cool bunch of students from our college deserve appreciation for taking part in this praiseworthy initiative. They are Lekshmi Danendran, Mahesh Chitraprakash, Stenin Joshi, Adithya, Maxon and Ciciley Santhosh.

Though the impact a Flash Mob can have on a life and death issue like the Mullaperiyar conflict is open to question, I would like to be quite optimistic and get inspired by what the master-brains of Cochin Flash Mob shared with media: “Let us not forget over water and safety concerns that we are not Keralites, not Tamilians, but we are all Indians.”

If you would like to see a couple more of excellent Flash Mobs, just click the following links: 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cftW6YMVMI4&feature=related (Why This Kolaveri in Auckland!)
                                                      
http://youtu.be/7MiMAt-J54U
                                                         
http://youtu.be/Iyt16efRrBo                                     
                             
       

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Highly Recommended


 Our teachers have a lot to pass on to us, the younger generation. 
But everything that they have to tell us may not be conveyed 
effectively in the short time we have in the classrooms. 
We needed more from them, and just went to our teachers in the Department of English and asked them what we needed to know. 
This time, it's only about that one book and one movie 
that they would recommend to us. 
More to come in the coming weeks!


Roslin K Mathew & Tintu Thomas, II BA English Copy Editor

The quest to find the favorite books and movies of the faculty of the English Department was interesting. It helped us understand their varied taste in literature and arts. The senior faculty, with some exceptions, preferred the time-tested brilliance of classics while the new teachers showed an inclination towards the new, experimental works. 
Let’s have a kaleidoscopic view of the favorite books and movies of our teachers.
One of our senior faculty members, Prof. P J Philip recommended the book Shape of the Beast: Conversations with Arundhati Roy. He opted for the newly released movie Indian Rupee. According to him it is a typical Ranjith movie, understated and evocative. Its engaging nature and realistic way of narration also attracted him. 


 
Prof. Binu K D sticks on to the world famous autobiography of Mahatma Gandhi, My Experiments with Truth. However, in the film category he goes contemporary, choosing Kuttisrank by Shaji N Karun. He admires the work for its powerful depiction of minority communities.



Prof. Tom C Thomas chose Herman Hesse’s The Prodigy in the book category and Benhur directed by William Wyler for the film category. He says the film is the revelation of the immense potential buried in everyone.



Krzysztof Kieslowsky is an all time favourite of Prof. Jose Varghese. He recommends the Polish director's trilogy Three Colours: Blue, White, Red. Watch them for the regular reasons: great story, excellent actors, stunning cinematography, neat editing, haunting music and the unique colour theme in each film. But more than all these, they are worth watching for the way they disturb you, for life! Among books, he recommends Gabriel's Gift by Hanif Kureishi. It's meant for the young generation who care for creativity, he says.



The Last temptation of Christ by Nikos Kazantzakis captured the interest of Sreeja ma'm. She thinks it's a book that everyone should read. Her favorite movie is Downfall directed by Olivier Hirschbiegel. She says her selections may just reveal her personal taste, but would be happy if we could find out for ourselves what they are. 






Arundhati Roy's very first work of fiction, The God of Small Things, which was critically acclaimed worldwide, impresses Sunu ma'm. Lagan is her favorite movie, which also created waves in the Indian film industry, and was nominated for academy awards.



The book which narrates the pseudo-didactic love On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan tops the list of Prof. Aravind's favourites. Its subtle humour and brevity are the most intrinsic aspects of the book, according to him. The movie he recommends is Lost in Translation directed by Sofia Coppola.




Non-Stop India, the latest book released by Mark Tully has caught the attention of Prof. Rajesh. It is a sociological, cultural analysis of India the nation. Circumstances, the Iranian movie, directed by Maryam Keshavarz, which deals with a controversial and unorthodox subject liberally, is recommended by Mr.Rajesh for all.



Both Prof. Bijo and Prof. Sunil opted for the book, Zorba The Greek. It shows a rather curious convergence of interests. According to Prof. Bijo it is a chronicle of resurrection from failure, frustration and dejection. 'It is a book that affirms life', says Prof. Sunil. When it comes to movies, Jonathan Livingston Seagull tops the list for Prof. Bijo and for Prof. Sunil it is Love in the time of Cholera and Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter and Spring.



We had a great time interacting with the teachers and they surprised and inspired us with their choices. It was really a pleasant experience when everyone came out with their unique choices and explained why they would recommend those books and movies to us.

To Sketch a Sunbird


Time: 4pm
Location: The Department of English.
Enter the Artist. A thick sketchbook is held firmly in her hand.
She places it on the big table.

Artist: So, you have just started a college blog?
The Heart-Bytes blog team  (in a sheepish tone) : Yes, WE have.
Artist: Well, I'm an artist, and I have some work to show you. See if it can be used for the blog...
HB Team: Please go ahead. We are in fact looking for some artists who can work for the blog.
Artist: Okay have a look then...
She opens her sketchbook, and we see this


 By Amitha Badar of II BA Economics  
(click on the picture for an enlarged view)

Artist: So, what do you say, can it be posted in the blog?
HB Team: It's already posted!
Artist: (Surprised) Really? So fast?!
HB Team: Yes, that's what Heart-Bytes do. You bring your good work here, and we post it fast! 
Artist: (With tears welling up in her eyes) At last an artist gets some respect! Oh, there's some dignity left on earth...
HB Team: No, please don't cry. Just bring more work next week.
Artist: I will (wipes her face and tries to smile)
HB Team: Thank you so much. We'll be in touch with you when we need some illustrations.
Artist: Thank you! I'll be happy to help, any time. Bye for now.


Exits stage left.

Monday, 19 December 2011

The New Normal


Are you ready to face tragedies in life without losing your dignity?
What does it take to be a true survivor? 
Collins J Peter of II BA English Copy Editor 
shares his views on the topic.
                                                                     
Recently I read a book  titled  Touched By Suicide by Michael F. Myers and Carla Fine. The book deals with real life cases of suicidal trauma, but I tried to glean something else from it.  Among the series of events described in the book, a father’s plight caught my notice.  

‘A father who had returned from work found his daughter hanging from a back yard tree’  - this was the incident that caught my attention. This was cited as an illustration for a particular topic.  Later, through the course of reading,  I realized that this incident was narrated by the same father who had witnessed that traumatic scene.  What made him live after this ? How had he coped? ... Optimism ?  Hope?

The very evolutionary trait of homo sapiens equip them to cope with or adapt to the cosmos and its variations. When technology helps us transcend our physical limitations, we achieve a great deal of progress.  Then, what is our coping strategy towards social issues when we are on the verge of complete deterioration of social  rapport?

Nobody wants to be confined within a particular social institution such as family, or religion.  ‘Leaving home' is the norm of today’s social world.  The fact is that, as distance advances between the individual and social institutions, there is more chance of being entrapped in various ‘anti’ behaviours.  Perhaps this idea is closely related to the views of the humanist scholars of the 15th  century:  ‘Man makes a constant attempt to strive for good but often finds himself caught in a trap of evil.  At a time he is caught between the desire for immortality and of earthly fame’ (quoted from Shapers of Destiny by Susan Varghese).

The realisation that one is far away from home often leads to ‘self-disintegration’ which may manifest in the form of suicides, now mostly among those in the per-adolescent age.  The trouble- shooting ability of our younger generation has been lost in the ‘e-world’ which caters them a virtual environment for anything and everything.  The risk factor is when ‘e-world’ depicts the life on a screen where problems could be solved with a single click, it is not at all possible once the system is shut down. 

The reason for the girl’s suicide in the incident, at the beginning of  this essay, is not mentioned in that particular book.  Later, her father begins to reach out to others who undergo a similar trauma in their life.  He is now adapted to a life without his daughter.  You might have noticed that your pain or  a mental anguish gradually tends to cease as time moves on.  At first with minutes,  then  hours, then days and as this goes on, your worries dwindle to nothing.  When the year draws to an end,  a few  wish for a normal, better start. All we need is a ‘brand new normal’, more than a normal, where we study to live along with the past trash and future surprises.  May be, that desolated father had learned this very tactic of life at the end.

Reference
Varghese, Susan. Shapers of Destiny. Print. Trichur: Current Books, 
     2010
Myers, Michael F and Carla Fine. Touched By Suicide. Print. Gotham 
     Books, 2006


An Excerpt From a Novel in Search of a Name by Jude Lopez


 Jude Gerald Lopez of II BA English Copy Editor
started working on his NaNoWriMo project from the midnight of November 1st. 
What he needed to do to become a winner in the project was 
to write a novel of 50,000 words by the end of the month, but he crossed the word limit by the 25th. It seems he took the writing too seriously that he can't stop writing now. We are waiting for the finished first draft, and he promises to produce it by this Friday.
In the meantime, here is a teaser of his fictional world, 
which is all Italian! 





Synopsis: Tobias, who happens to find his life and its occurrences too stagnant and boring, begins to put pieces of his past and imagination on to paper. At the height of routine and boredom he sets his imaginary double in the 17th Century Italy, a time and place that continues to arouse curiosity in his mind. He seeks to re-discover himself through his fictitious double Carlo Bianchi. The tale of Carlo that Tobias writes surfaces in his insight and over time begins to merge with the real world. As he immerses himself into the labyrinths of his tale Tobias finds himself in a rather awkward position in which he writes in order to satisfy his desires. The thin line begins to dull, and a continuous cycle of confusion erupts leading to bitter confrontations between Tobias and his creation Carlo Bianchi.

 Excerpt from the Novel

Timothy Abraham had now moved from occasionally sick to fatally ill according to the reports he received from his doctor. The old man, after his long slumber that lasted for twelve hours, got up and with the help of his driver, who was rarely employed, went to the city hospital. Tobias was still asleep when he left and found out about this only when Timothy phoned him from the hospital. The phone bell rang waking Tobias from his sleep at around ten in the morning. His father also told him not to expect him till evening at least, owing to some visits he had to do. Tobias was a bit puzzled and felt guilty for not accompanying his father who happened to be in such a condition, even though it was really not his fault. Such news came as a shock to him.

After breakfast he was tempted to call Bianca who was bound to be sitting around with her aunt with absolutely nothing to do. He didn’t know his aunt’s number by heart and so he went to his father’s room for his phone book. He went straight to the desk and opening the left drawer he immediately laid his eyes on the black leather bound phone book, the pages of which had been creased and stained. He also picked up a few more white sheets and went downstairs. It was raining now and he took a moment or two to gaze at the strands of water that kept falling from the skies. After a few minutes still in a trance the rain put him in, Tobias left for his room with a couple of white sheets of paper in one hand and his aunt’s number scribbled in the other's palm.

The warm summer’s night welcomed me as I went up to the balcony that overlooked the Grand Canal. The Palazzo Gritti was a rectangular structure that had two facades unlike typical Venetian structures that solely overlooked the canal or a courtyard. Even though the building is said to have a Renaissance influence, it was clear that it had unnoticeable amounts of Gothic influence as well. The second façade (which I visited later) was also equally appealing in splendour and faced the Campo San Geremia. The party was reaching its heights and when I stepped on to the balcony there were just a few guests who pillared themselves in a few corners. I got there un-noticed, paying just a few courteous smiles and nods on the way. The ambience was something that I find hard to describe right now as my mind is losing touch of the images and sensations of splendour and have grown accustomed to the dingy cell that has been made my home. What I remember of the balcony experience gets overlapped with my similar encounter in the inn, so I intend to spend less time describing the enchantment I was subjected to because I feel sure that all I’ll be doing then is recounting things that have already been recounted. I know that you’re running out of patience and I…I am running out not of a tale but of paper, may be if needed, I’ll take this mad tale to the walls. But I promise you that I will be true to my promises.

So once the charm of the night city was spent, fruitfully I must add, and once I got bored and tired of the continuous flattery the city showered on me I decided to go find Pierto and Papa and spend time in their company. But things were not to be as I had planned, for destiny - she had other ideas.

I went down the stairs that led back into the hall and as I descended down those three steps I noticed a pale creature with its eyes fixed on me. Turning back I motioned towards this lovely lady who looked desperately in the need of fine company. As all respectable women do she turned her eyes away from me as soon as they met. She was not a mere creature after all, in her scarlet gown studded with sequins that twinkled with the help of the drops of light the moon shed she stood there awaiting my company (I hoped). Her hair tied back, with a few brown curls that lay as a veil that protected her hazel eyes. The pale skin tone she had seemed to be intensified with the lighting and as I approached her, I felt liberated and inclined. Was it my luck that the gentlemen of Venice had such pathetic taste? I was glad they failed to recognize beauty; it was understandable when one lives amidst such splendour. For if it was not for such an attitude of theirs I do not think that I would have been so lucky; not even with the use of my father’s name. 

“I see, you too share the same enthusiasm for the warm summer moonlit night!” I said trying to put the wheels of a charming conversation in motion.

She was a bit shocked, I noticed, but then I went on to notice far more charming characteristics of her personality. “These parties tend to lose their charm when one has to go to them every other day” she said in tone that melted hearts as hard as stone.

“Let me introduce myself, for I feel that it is what I am obliged to do.” And just as I was to say my name, she gave me permission to do so. I did not expect that for no one does that and when someone goes about to introduce himself he might ask permission in literal terms but then he anticipated that no one would bother about such formalities, but she did. And it showed that she wished to remain in control. I must confess that at that point of realization I forgot all her external charms, all her beauty and grace, for that last quality she made visible…yes that was what struck me. Cupid's arrow had hit right on target and that was what made me do all the things I did. Like I said I regret not the things that I have done. I regret nothing.

“I am Carlo Bianchi from the town of Lenzari in Sardinia.”

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Prof K V Thomas Endowment National Seminar

click on the picture for an enlarged view
Inauguration of the 10th Prof. K.V. Thomas Endowment National Seminar 2011 on Recent Trends and Sequels in Chemistry organized by the department of Chemistry.

The seminar was formally inaugurated by Padmavibhushan Dr. K. Kasthurirangan, former ISRO Chairman and member of the 12th planning commission

In the keynote address, he stressed on the need for intensified researches in the field of science and technology and shared his view that science and technology should strongly contribute towards the areas of education, healthcare, agriculture, economic and social growth, national security and environmental sector - the key areas of 12thplan. 


He observed that research is not the end word of science. Its benefits should be made available to the nation. 


The programme was presided over by Rev. Dr. Prasant Palackappillil CMI, Principal. 

Dr. Kasthurirangan released the proceedings of the 10th national seminar and HeartBeats – the official news bulletin of SH College. 

He also distributed the K.V. Thomas Endowment Scholarship to selected students from PG and UG classes. Faculty and students from various colleges attended the programme. Dr. Thommachan Xavier, Coordinator, Prof. P.J. Joseph, HoD and Prof. P.M. Joseph spoke at the function. 

The technical session on Nuclear reactors and Principles of Radiation Detection was conducted by Dr. M.T. Jose, Head, Radiation Safety Division, IGCAR, Kalpakam. It was followed by an oral and poster presentation competition.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

A Short Film on the Mullaperiyar Issue by Collins J Peter

Click on the following link to watch a thought provoking short film directed by Collins J Peter of II Year BA English Copy Editor on the Mullaperiyar Dam Issue:

Damn Breach

Way to go Collins!