Answer: (Jarawa in Andaman, Lepcha in Sikkim,Jaunsari in Uttarakhand, Kondh in Orissa,
Bodo in Assam, Khasi in Meghalaya, Gond in Madhya Pradesh, Gaddi in Himachal Pradesh,
Rabari in Gujarat, Bhil in Rajasthan)
He was alone. His heart ached with hate and hopelessness. She had seen his crushed soul and aloofness even before I had noticed it. He was treading the thorny street of sorrow, lonely and terrified. No one could have guessed that she had made it her mission to redeem his soul.
One dark morning, something changed. His spirit, as though escaped from his body, leaving his face ghastly. I was too immature to understand his condition. But she noticed at once. She approached him day after day, sat beside him during recess. A few weeks later, they began to share tiffins and exchange smiles.
After all, seeing an eighth grader so silent, scared of every movement around him, was a rare sight.
Once I overheard her asking Anirudh, “Son, how are you?” Instead of walking off, he looked at her, his eyes glistening; his face, almost happy. But his lips were still sealed. Days passed, and every morning, she asked him, “How are you?” and told him, “Take care of yourself.” Anirudh remained silent, but it was evident that he had found solace in her words.
One day, she didn’t come to school, and he uttered his very first words to me, “Where is she?” I was too young to assess the gravity of the moment and ran off to the swings.
The next morning, she came, again and asked him, “Son, how are you?” A few minutes passed before he said, “Am I imagining you?” She smiled compassionately, and said, “I’m as real as it gets.”
Days passed, a few words had begun to be exchanged between them everyday. I could see him change. One day, I saw them talking in an empty classroom, and waited outside, hoping to find out something. I couldn’t hear a thing, but did see him exiting the classroom with red eyes and a happy face.
After much persistence, the teacher and I decided that if I agreed to play with him and chat about unrelated subjects at school, she would tell me about his ordeal. I agreed. What happened next changed my outlook forever.
Terrorists had broken into his house at night, while he was asleep. Haunting screams woke him up; he was tied and gagged up. He recognised his mother’s scream, which was silenced by a gunshot. The episode had wounded his very being. But now, he could finally let go. I do not know what she did or how she did it, but I have never seen such an extraordinary renewal of human spirit.
He had discovered his guardian angel, she had discovered her infant, and I discovered the purpose of human life.
Gnocchi in burnt
butter peanut sauce
Shreyasi Sircar, AIS Gur 43, XII A
Flour 1 small cup
Salt… as per taste
Basil leaves 5-6
Peanuts half a cup
Red chillies 2-3
Oregano leaves a few
Boil the potatoes until soft.
Mash the potatoes, add flour and a pinch of salt.
Now knead the dough until it holds together.
Make thin peals of dough.
Roll it into thin long cylinders, cut into small, equal fragments (pasta).
Boil water in a container with some salt, add the pasta.
Let it cook until the pasta floats on the surface of water.
Drain the water.
Add butter to a pan.
Wait for the butter to achieve a light brown colour.
Add basil leaves, red chillies, oregano and peanuts. Sauté well.
Add pasta to the sauce.
Toss the pasta until well covered in sauce. Your yummy pasta is ready!
Aman Arora, AIS Gur 43, XII S
Let the veil cover my eyes,
let the shroud cover my body.
All I hear are the distant cries,
of my people singing my threnody.
Carry me to the place,
where I shall discern God’s grace.
A place where mortals cannot pry,
where angels serenade, fairies cry.
Let my soul remember my people,
who lost their battles early.
In some far Ulysses or lands cripple,
let them be told, they were bold and burly.
Let the watchmen with lamp,
carry me to the place beneath the clamp.
My new home, my new refuge
six feet wide mammoth, not huge.