What am I?

Done by one, but the credit goes to many.
If I’m done badly, then it won’t go to any.
Scream all you want, but at the end of the day,
You’ll have to do it all, there’s just no other way.
It’s all on you and there’s nothing you can do
If you’re lucky, people may say, “Oh, poor you!”
Friend circles shrink with every new one you get,
And that’s a change on which I’m surely willing to bet.
I can keep you guessing, but I’ll tell you what I am,
A group project, yes, the word’s a bloody scam!

Ritika Rachel Thomas
B.A. PYEJ
Batch of 2014-2017

Death

Feared, told in Dreadful tales.
Myths,legends and nightmares.
Lift that tired stained veil.

ROMANTICIZE DEATH.

When those red feathers fluttered around you.
Didn’t you hear the leaves rustle.
Didn’t you feel the icy touch of the winds,when it touched your flushed red cheeks.

ROMANTICIZE DEATH.

With the signs pronounced ,you held him with your gaze.
Did you wait for him to touch the tips of your fingers, to which your body responded with fleeting care to exist.
With the poison released you could fly with no wings.
When the desire to feel no pain engulfed the reason to live.
When the blazing heat of the fire inside you extinguished.
When the chakras exclaimed, that the yin and the yang could flow onto each other.

Divya Rajappa
B.Sc CBZ
Batch of 2015-2018

Bertha Mason

You can’t do that!
That is not how a lady behaves!
The voices were soft and deafening
Such a pretty face!
What a pity she’s a creole!
The whispers were loud and heart-breaking
This went on for quarter of my life,
And didn’t stop when I decided to marry
A rich man from English nobility,
I hoped he would love me unconditionally
Alas! What he loved was my half Jamaican beauty
And what he loathed was my free thinking mind
A woman should not be so passionate,
He said, your manners are inadequate
I sought solace in the arms of other minds alike
He branded me a lunatic and locked me up inside.
Bertha Mason was a smart, bright woman.
Bertha Rochester? A strange, animalistic, wild creature.

Apoorva K
B.A. PYEJ
Batch of 2015-2018

Whispers of the Willow Wind

The temptress stood
clasping her breathe as
she enveloped me softly
in her windy embrace.

Her whispers, transfixed,
carried me along the shores
and sands of an hourglass, into
another time and another life.

A life where the rain drops
hurled from the sky, a curse on
mankind, melted on the skin
in her windy embrace.

She carried the currents
and the grains of lives,
of times and of shrines.

How then, can her whispers,
not make you believe
in the beauty of what is
never seen?

Netra Kadambi
B.Sc CBM
Batch of 2013-2016

Apostrophe 2015!

Mount Carmel College’s annual Literary Festival, Apostrophe, is back! This much awaited fest is scheduled to span over two days- the 3rd and 4th of December, 2015. Not only does Apostrophe 2015 have a lot more events than its predecessor but it is an inter-collegiate affair! Exciting, isn’t it?

Mr. Zac O’Yeah, author of the book “Hari, A Hero for Hire”and “Mr. Majestic!” is set to be the Chief Guest and the keynote speaker of the event. As for the judges, we have eminent people such as Ms. Prabha Kamath, and Ms. Sharon Puthur who work extensively in the Literary field. Our judges have agreed to lend their expertise in order to pick the best entries of the lot.

With events like Mono-acting, Photography! Cosplay, and Staged Poetry, Apostrophe 2015 will definitely put your skills to test.

Do join us for two days of rigorous activities which test every faucet of your higher cognitive abilities!

The list of events may be found below. For any questions, do not hesitate to drop us an email at trishima.reddy@gmail.com. For registrations, do call on the number +919880942795.

EVENTS FOR APOSTROPHE 2015

1) EVENTS BY THE LIT SOC*

Events on Day 1:

1. Playwriting We give you a synopsis of the story so far. You give us the last act of the play. It’s not easy, we admit. However, it’s definitely a great opportunity to get those creative juices flowing.

2. Children’s Story Writing We give you a topic and you write a story. Simple enough? But, wait. There’s a tiny twist to this tale. Your audience are children. You will have to write for little kids. Feeling challenged yet, participants?

Entry Fee Rs 250/- for both events

Event on Day 2:

Cosplay Participants, bring out those costumes and brush up your performing skills. You finally have the opportunity to dress up as and transform into your favourite literary character. But that’s not all. You ought to convince our judges too!

Entry Fee Rs 100/-

*All events by the lit. soc are solo participation events

2) EVENTS BY THE DEB SOC

Event on Day 1:

Staged Poetry

Rules:

– Individual participation

– Team limit: 2 per college

– Participants will have to enact original poetry

– This enactment must include drama, emotion and should make the audience feel involved

– Time limit- 5 minutes

Entry Fee Rs 300/- per participant

Event on Day 2:

Paper Presentation Topic: Dalit literature written v/s Non – Dalit literature.

Rules:

– Team size- 2 people

– Team limit- 2 teams per college

– On Day 1 of the fest an essay of 1000 words has to be submitted. Participants can use essays, novels and poem as a point of reference.

– On Day 2 of the fest the people who clear the first round will be asked to make a presentation on the paper submitted the previous day.

– Time limit- 5+2 minutes

Entry Fee Rs 500/- per paper

3) EVENTS BY THE PHOTOGRAPHY ASSOCIATION

Event on Day 1:

Online Photography Competition Theme: BLUE. (Any subject that is enhanced by the use of the colour blue, whether it is a single dot of blue or a completely blue image. The colour blue should enhance the narrative of the works subject as blue can imply many emotions, symbolism or feelings, from the blue marble we call earth to our emotions expressed in Blues music. Blue can express the future, good feelings, happiness, prosperity, ocean or sky, we can feel blue, etc. Work can be expressed in realism to abstraction)

Rules:

1) One entry per person only.

2) Last date to submit the entries is 1st December, 2015.

3) Description of the picture should not exceed 140 characters.

No Entry Fee

Event on Day 2:

Treasure Hunt

Rules: –

-2 members per team

– Clues will be given in the form of pictures.

Entry Fee Rs 100/- per team

4) EVENTS BY THE DRAMATICS ASSOCIATION

Event on Day 1:

Street play

Rules:

– 10-15 members

– Props and costumes can be used

– One team per college

– No vulgarity

– Any theme can be chosen for the performance

– Time limit: 8+2 minutes

Entry Fee Rs 300/-

Event on Day 2:

Monoacting

Rules:

– Solo event

– Props and costumes are allowed

– No music

– 5 participants from one college

– Any topic can be chosen for the performance

– Time limit: 3+2 minutes

Entry Fee Rs 200/-

Student Elections

Students campaigning for elections mortifies me every time because of the amount of waste generated during these campaigns. By writing this piece, I hope to shed light on all that’s wrong with the way campaigns are held and what can be done differently, while being eco-friendly and still effective.

What the scene is: We’ve all walked into college at some point and gone crazy with all the posters, leaflets, designs, colours and pictures that mark the beginning of an intense and competitive campaign season. Each candidate goes all out in the hope to get voters and unfortunately, this always seems to be at the cost of large amounts of paper.

Why it needs to change: Not only are current campaigning practices wasteful, they are also extremely ineffective in winning votes. Think about it- if each candidate has 50 posters pasted all over the campus and is handing out leaflets to every prospective voter, then each candidate is just one among the many candidates doing THE EXACT SAME THING.More often than not, these leaflets just end up in the bin without voters having the slightest idea as to who the candidate is and what post the candidate was standing for. Posters and scattered leaflets may even cost you a few votes if students get pissed off by the lack of comfortable sitting places on campus because your posters and leaflets, just like that of the other candidates, is taking up all the space on campus!

How it can be done differently:Just because you don’t print a thousand posters/leaflets, doesn’t mean you can’t go all out with your election campaign! Here are a few ways that I can think of to make your campaigns all the more effective:

1. Videos- You can make simple, short videos urging students to vote for you and these can be screened in college itself with prior arrangements made with college authorities. Posting these videos on social media would turn out to be a lot more effective than posters. It’s more likely that people will stumble upon your video on social media than it is for them to identify your name amidst a multitude of posters.

2. Electronic posters- With the kind of technology available today and the number of people using it, you’ll be surprised by the number of people you can reach through posters or pictures put up online to promote your campaign; and then you SHARE SHARE SHARE.

3. Classroom speech- Election candidates spend a good deal of time going from one class to another and talking about why students should vote for them. If you ask me, the only people I remember among all those who had their posters up, were the ones who nailed their classroom speech. They came well prepared and did something (a dance, singing, playing an instrument, etc.) to show us a little bit about themselves and then went on to urge us to vote for them. A creative and interesting classroom speech can win you more than half your voters simply because you did something different and if nothing else, it’ll at least ensure people remember your name and what post you’re standing for.

4. Final speech- We all know the importance of this final speech in winning voters which is why most students take special care to prepare a winning speech. If you’re standing for elections and you don’t think this is important, then please start.

5. Posters/leaflets- Despite all of this, if you’re still keen on printing posters and leaflets, then limit yourself to a number. Don’t be vague about it and say you’ll print ‘lesser’ this time. ‘Lesser’ is subjective. Give yourself a number and stick to it. Five catchy, well made posters pasted at strategic locations on campus can do a better job of grabbing voters’ attention than a hundred regular posters placed all over. I still shudder at the thought of five posters per candidate, but we’ve got to start somewhere!

The best part is that you can brag about being a responsible candidate with an eco-friendly campaign and that’s sure to win you a few brownie points from inspired voters! Here’s hoping that future elections are different!

Ritika Rachel Thomas
B.A. PYEJ
Batch of 2014-2017

A master in disguise

This article describes the stealth technology that Influenza virus possesses and how immunologists have cracked the code and revealed its true identity. Of course let us not forget the role of the doctor who simply reads the literature and applies the invention to diagnose the disease. I still wonder why they seem to be the heroes of the story!

Have you ever wondered why flu and common cold are a daily menace? On the other hand chicken pox seems to occur only once in an entire lifetime. The causative agent of flu and chicken pox is a virus. What sets the Influenza virus apart? To get the answer we need to deconstruct its structure and understand the relationship it has with our body.

Fierce battles with a foreign pathogen (germ) are usually enough to create a long lasting memory among our immune cells. Therefore if Varicella zoster(causative agent of Chicken pox) happens to make a pit stop once again, our immune system will make sure it remains a harmless pit stop. However the Influenza virus outsmarts our body’s defenses on innumerable encounters. It is truly the master in disguise!

The envelope of the Influenza virus has a glycoprotein that is recognized by our immune cells. This glycoprotein is a molecule that triggers “distress signals” culminating into recruitment of armed cells ready for a full blown battle that might even turn into a “bloody” war. However, every battle requires a strategy and prior knowledge of the enemy’ weaknesses. Imagine our body encountering a pathogen for the first time. It needs to decipher and gather information about the enemy in order to recruit the best of its soldiers. Meanwhile the enemy has caused enough havoc to send you to a doctor while your immune system is screaming at you for patience! The second time you encounter the same pathogen your immune system is ready to surmount a full blown attack.

Imagine if the distress signal is different for the same pathogen in different encounters! How does this happen? The virus undergoes mutations eventually leading to changes in the biochemical nature of the “distress signal”; the glycoprotein on the envelope. Our body is led to believe that it is encountering the same virus for the first time and hence, the virus buys enough time to cause sweet havoc.

After appreciating the nature of the clever Influenza virus, let us turn to the heroic underdogs of the story; the immunologists. They devised a protocol that could enable diagnosis and capture of the disguised virus. Their method is used in hospitals today to diagnose someone with, for instance, H1N1.

A characteristic feature of Influenza is haemagglutination, which in crude words, involves the attachment of the virus to red blood cells rendering them functionless. This is seen in form of visible clumping and hence, the term haemagglutination (haem- blood, agglutinate-clumping). This feature was exploited by scientists to develop a diagnostic tool for the virus.

The antiserum of a patient suffering from Influenza or H1N1 is obtained. An antiserum is simply a fancy word for the serum that has antibodies. When a person is suffering from a disease their blood is a reservoir for antibodies that are highly specific for the virus. For diagnostic purposes all the cells are removed from the blood and what remains is the serum that contains soluble antibodies.

Different strains of the Influenza virus are then added along with sheep red blood cells to the patient’s antisera placed in several “wells” present on a plate. If the patient is suffering from H1N1 and we placed the H1N1 virus along with red blood cells in well 4 assuming we have 10 wells in total, then all the 9 wells will show visible clumping and haemagglutination. In well 4 there will be inhibition of haemagglutination which is a confirmation that the patient is suffering from H1N1.

Why is there inhibition of haemagglutination? The antisera of the patient is specific for H1N1, hence it binds to the virus and prevents it from binding to the red blood cell. The antibodies therefore become the Messiah for the red blood cells.

A simple observation of haemagglutination in Influenzaled to a diagnostic methodology! This sheer simplicity of answers to tough questions is what Science is all about. Next time, think twice before showering the entire credit onto a doctor.

Netra Kadambi
B.Sc CBM
Batch of 2013-2016

red

I looked at her.
a beauty, I thought.
Clad in a white dress,
her smile caught my eye.

her lips, red,
I couldn’t help but think that it was just her colour.
she wore red well.
so, I walked toward her to pay her a compliment
and perhaps even buy her a red rose.

but there wasn’t a rose in sight
and she started to look incomplete, devoid of colour.
I couldn’t have that.
she was the white canvas, I was the painter.

so, I reached for my paintbrush.
with long, fluid strokes, I started,
but soon, I was consumed by a peculiar kind of madness, an obsession;
I delivered shorter, quick jabs.

the colour drained from her skin, but started to show in her dress.
the blood made beautiful, haphazard patterns.
one could take the ink-blot test,
I could well be Rorschach.

The knife dropped to the floor.

Vinaya Grace Mary
B.A. PYEJ
Batch of 2013-2016