God’s Own Country: Kerala

-Vaisakh Nair, 2nd Year, EP




It all started in 1497, when Vasco Da Gama, the great Portuguese explorer, landed in Calicut in Kerala. That small step by him was indeed a giant leap for putting Kerala on the global map. Thereafter, many other explorers and saints from different parts of the world came to Kerala and got mesmerized with its beauty. All this led to the sobriquet that Kerala earned: ‘God’s Own Country’.

But many Indians still ponder the fact as to why Kerala is hailed as ‘God’s Own Country’. There are many other states in India as well as other countries which are known for their natural charm and tourist appeal. So why has Kerala been called ‘God’s Own Country’? Here are six reasons to support this sobriquet:

  • Kerala is beautiful from its northern most point in Kasargod district to southernmost tip in Trivandrum. Every district in Kerala has tourist spots that attract millions of people from all over India as well as the world. These include the popular backwaters, hills of Munnar, forts of Tipu Sultan in Bekal and Palakkad, Athirapally Falls (which featured in various movies like Guru, Raavan etc.), beaches of Kovalam, Kochi and Calicut among others.
  • Nature in Kerala can be found in its most pristine form. Most of the villages are still untouched by industries which hamper the blissful environment of villages. Yet, the development in Kerala is unparalleled. The country’s largest IT hub (Techno Park) is now in Trivandrum, the capital of Kerala. This city is expected to overtake the position of Bengaluru as the next IT hub. The airports at Trivandrum, Kochi and Calicut cater to the needs of more than 1 million people flying to various parts of the world, especially the Middle East.
  •  Kerala is also known for its cent percent literacy rate. Education is given utmost importance in Kerala. With the establishment of various higher educational institutions like IIM, IISER, IIST and proposals for the creation of IIT, AMU and AIIMS, Kerala is definitely a leader in higher education. The remarkable feat lies in the fact that in the year 2013, 45% of the students admitted through various medical exams were from Kerala. Also, Keralites mark their presence in the top 10 list of civil services rank list every year.
  • Kerala is also present in the list of states having lowest unemployment rates in India. The governance of Kerala is also highly commendable.  The ‘Jan sampark’ programme launched by the Kerala government earned laurels even from the U.N. ,  winning the award for the best programme by a state government for the benefit of the people. Several pension schemes bestowed upon the rural population ensure that they are at par with their urban counterparts.
  • Kerala is the cradle for various forms of music, dance and food. Kathakali, mohiniattam and koodiattam are the typical dance forms of Kerala. Kerala has also proved its mettle in the field of music by producing legends like Swati Thirunal Maharaja, Chembai and Dr. K.J. Yesudas among others. Kerala is also the birth place of Raja Ravi Verma , the world renowned artist. Martial art Kalaripayattu also found its roots in Kerala.
  • Kerala Kalamandalam is a unique institution totally dedicated for development , teaching and propagation of various cultural forms pertaining to Kerala and other states.

There are several other factors that makes Kerala such an amazing place such as the nature of Keralites. They are so friendly and warm that they even allow other states to own their dams. The people are tourist friendly. The cost of living too is very low in Kerala.

These factors work together and justify the sobriquet ‘God’s own country’. So next time, make sure you visit Kerala in your vacations and cherish each moment spent in the lap of God.

(The writer is not being paid by Kerala tourism development board for this but is writing his heart out from his recent visit to Kerala.)



-Vishal Gayakwar, 3rd Year, IT


Last week, my cousin brother came up to me for help and asked me whether he should drop a year or enroll in a college. At first, it seemed like a normal question asked to me a numerous times before but after a while it got me thinking. My advice to him would somehow affect his decision regarding his career and in the future if he encounters any problems, I will be the one responsible for it. Hence, giving career counselling may not be as simple as it seems to be.

Just think about it, if the advice to a student has severe repercussions to his career, who is responsible for it? Is it the student who chose this path or the person who first put an idea in his mind to pursue that path? There is always an equal possibility of success and failure and whenever you are about to give any counsel to anyone, your words can literally make or break a student’s career. The answers to the above questions are not easily answered but one must prevent giving the same set of advice to all the students because each individual has his or her own set of capabilities and what works for one student may not work for the other. This is the ultimate hurdle of giving career advice because when a student asks a career counsellor about his future (who is a complete stranger), he shall not be able to provide him with the best solution as he is not aware of the student’s calibre and skill and may end up giving him bad counsel. Thus, it is also a student’s responsibility to not completely heed others advice and judge whatever is good for them. The optimum solution would be to STOP giving free counsel to anyone to avoid any dire consequences that may occur in the student’s life in the future. Only provide suggestions about the field in which you have excelled rather than giving your opinion about every field there is.

According to me, career counselling is a dangerous profession as the future of many students is at stake and a bad advice may put the student’s career in jeopardy. So if anyone wants to be a career counsellor, THINK AGAIN, as you will have the burden of shaping the future of the next generation of our country and also the additional burden of any student’s career gone bad.

Good Luck with that!!


Kunal Mathur, 1st Year, M.Tech.(CD)


A moment of silence for all those who have already witnessed this disaster!

Once is accident, twice is coincidence. But, if you repeat it further, it becomes a habit. This is exactly what has happened with Sajid Khan. The poster of his latest movie, Humshakals proudly endorses the movie’s tagline ‘9 Times the Fun’. But believe me, the movie is nothing but a two and a half hour torture. The story’s plot is the same old story of a rich businessman Ashok Singhania (Saif Ali Khan) whose KANS mama (Ram Kapoor) is trying to take over his business empire, helped by an evil scientist friend who has prepared some juice for the temporary restructuring of chromosomes. This way Ashok and his best friend Kumar (Riteish Deshmukh) end up in a mental asylum. The asylum also has its own set of humshakals of Ashok, Kumar and even KANS mama.

The rest of the movie is all about pathetic jokes, uninteresting songs and insults to various communities such as the mentally handicapped and the LGBT community. Though Saif, Riteish and Ram tried to do their best but there was not even an ounce of comedy in the script. Taking cue from his previous movies, Sajid Khan is so hell-bent on creating confusion to induce comedy that he got confused himself: he forgot to give substantial roles to the actresses i.e, Bipasha Basu, Esha Gupta and Tamannah Bhatia. It is no wonder then that Bipasha Basu was upset with Sajid Khan and didn’t turn up for any of the movie’s promotional events. The third pair of humshakals entered the mess in the last 25 minutes, making the movie unbearable. I don’t understand why there is an unnecessary song in this movie which is very similar to the songs in Housefull and its sequel where the actors and actresses are dancing in their night dresses in a mansion. How does Sajid not understand that the same thing will not work every time? Sajid Khan, perhaps it’s time for you to enter a mental asylum too.

Not Just Music: Classical Music

-Garima Mishra, 2nd year, EEE


Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Dha Ni Sa…..

These are the notes that almost every second person knows by heart. That’s Indian Classical Music for us. This is where classical music begins and it interlaces in these notes to give some of the best songs heard till date.  There have been contestants on reality TV shows who can interpret the ‘sargam’ of any song. Yet, when we listen to a bollywood song, we never comprehend the fact that it is made using permutations and combinations of various forms of these notes and many basic ‘raagas’.

The Indian Classical Music is a part of the Indian heritage. From the time of kings and queens, there’ve been classical singers who sang in ‘darbars’. From Krishna bhakt – Mira and Tansen to Kishor Kumar to Shubha Mudgal, vocal music has traversed through time, changing but still staying the same; staying melodious and original. Not a lot of people listen to classical music as a hobby; the heritage is vanishing slowly with time. It is only in a few areas that the art of performing pure classical vocal music is seen.  With English songs setting base in India and between Mika Singh and YoYo becoming legends,’ raagas’ are little heard of or talked about.

Classical music is even believed to have the power to make it rain on cloudy days with ‘Raagas’ like ‘Raaga Megh Malhar’ which is known to affect the clouds and make it drizzle when the song is sung. As an ancient myth goes, this raaga saved Tansen’s life at the Fatehpur Sikri Fort when he was challenged by the emperor Akbar. Tansen was challenged to light up lamps simply by singing. But in doing so, the singer figured he would burn too so, he asked his daughter to sing ‘Megh Malhar’ right after all the lamps were lit to cool the terrace where Tansen would perform to save him from getting burnt.

Let your mind flow in the stream of notes and you’ll recognize the beauty of the sounds of the tanpura, table and sitar just as their songs cause the players and singers to lose themselves in the sounds and melody.  Yes, with rock and English music comes headbanging, with bollywood there comes dance, but when you listen to classical music, you can’t help but close your eye and utter a few “waah’s” the Indian style.


By: Shubham Sharma, 3rd year, ECE


I was happily spending my weekend at home, glued to my Nexus, whatsapping my friends, my elder sister doing the same, I switching to Quiz Up for a bit, she to her Candy Crush level 464, the usual.. After losing a ‘Guess the Celebrity’ game, I switched back to my messages, where I’d finally received a response from one of my closest friends. His elder brother had his ring ceremony that day. The message I read surprised me: ‘’ Yaar, bhai ki ring ceremony ho gayi ;( ‘’. I quickly asked him the reason for the crying face, to which he responded: ‘’Yaar, I never thought that he’d get married and go off to the US so fast. It suddenly struck me today. And that made me realise how important his presence was around here. Uski vajeh se toh sports me I’m this good’’. And this, coming from a guy who doesn’t care much about the world around him, truly appalled me. I just looked over to my sister, probably looked too long, and she said, ‘’what?’’, briefly glancing towards me before returning to her quest for level 465.

And that actually made me realise how much our siblings have truly affected the shaping up of our personality. Now I’m sure we can’t generalise this, but I genuinely noticed this among my friends: A guy or a girl who has an elder brother generally tends to be sportier, more nonchalant and more accepting to things around them. A guy or a girl who has an elder sister generally tends to be more passive, more understanding and more thoughtful personalities. And a guy or a girl who has a younger sibling always is more caring, protective and affectionate to people around them. I’m sure many would agree to disagree, but a majority of my friends have given positive results for this observation.

Gender really doesn’t even show the magnitude to which our demeanor is affected by our siblings. I’m pretty sure every younger sibling loved to imitate their elder brother or sister, thereby facing their wrath. And that’s where we have developed all our tastes and reactions. Think about the last fight you had with your sibling and the last fight you had with a friend. Notice how similar you were in your response to each.

So what really happened to this brotherly or sisterly love? We always tend to associate the phrase ‘moving on’ with relationships. What we don’t realise is that our first experience of ‘moving on’ was in fact with our siblings. At that moment, no one does understand what’s happening; I never did. But now think about it: What happened to the quarrels? The fights? The hiding each other’s secrets? The talking all sorts of nonsense with no one judging around? We’re so consumed in our ‘own lives’, even detaching those siblings from these ‘own lives’, that it takes either us or a sibling to get married to realise how much we should’ve valued them.

So get off your phone or your laptop. Whether you meet your sibling for a day in a week, every day or even once a semester, make it a point to spend time with that person whom you would have countless childhood memories with. Savor every moment with them. I know that this sudden change would appear too absurd and it is perhaps not possible. But even the smallest of actions that show you care would put a smile on your siblings face.

Reminisce the past and make your present an amazing memory for the future. After all, we must ensure that our sibling doesn’t reach that next candy crush level. (evil grin)

Monsoon: Do(n’t) come Soon

By: Prateek Singhal, 3rd year, EEE




“A long summer means an even longer winter”- GoT superstition

Sure, winter might be coming (and with this scorching heat, winter can never come quickly enough), but before that chilling winter arrives, we will have a blissful period of monsoon, where we can enjoying steaming hot cups of chai with samosas, or go play football in the rain, barefoot.

Such enticing imageries are constructed in our minds at the prospect of these rains that we can’t be blamed for hoping that every little shower, or even the murky gathering of clouds, might mean that monsoon might finally be around the corner.

Hold your horses, though! Before you look up at that cloudy sky with eyes full of hope, ask yourself this: are you even ready to let go of this summer season already? Have you had enough of these summers, or is it just a temporary respite from the heat you are wishing for?

Well I can sometimes be a positive, optimistic and sanguine guy (all three mean the same anyway), and I think since this summer isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, maybe we can focus on the bright side of the sun (I intend no pun). So here are some of the things which I feel are best enjoyed in summers-

1. Banta (or aerated beverages, if you want to sound classy) There was no way this was not going to be on the top of this list. The scorcher the day, the more pleasure you get from a bottle of a chilled coke. A pleasure reserved for summers only!

2. Time to tan! How often have you seen those firangis sunbathing on a beach, just so they could soak up the sun and flaunt their tan? Artificial tan, really? We Indians can proudly say that we acquire a much better tan with much little effort, without even taking the time out to go sunbathing!

3. Shorts. You just have to admit that summer clothing is much more comfortable than putting on layers of clothing for those chilly winters. Just a thin cotton T-shirt and a pair of shorts- can life get any simpler?

4. Showers. Say what you may, but there are times when a cold shower after a hot day feels better than a hot shower after a cold day. And we Indians always were good bathroom singers.

summer 2

5. Siesta. Summer vacations are reserved for staying up late, waking up early, and making up the difference in the afternoon. Will a midday nap feel as right or refreshing in any other season?

6. ICE CREAM. Need I say more?


7. The flu! One of the biggest irritants of the winter season, the flu is just one of the many common ailments which we need not worry about in the summers. Oh the relief!


So there they are. I am sure that many of you can put up many reasons to hate this burning summer, but at least you have seven good reasons to enjoy it before monsoon arrives. Adios!



-सत्यार्थ प्रवीण

नई सुबह, नई सोच,

लगा एक नया दिन था.

पता न था, कुछ बीता हुआ पल,

मृत्यु से भी कठिन था.

घर की यादें, प्यारी बातें,

मन में मैं निश्चिंत था.

सोच ये सब, चेहरे पर मुस्कान,

लम्हा वह अंतिम था.

एक खबर आई, “ख़ास” बताई,

खबरी काफ़ी विचलित था.

खबर सुनी, धड़कन रुकी,

प्राण कहीं, कहीं और चित्त था.

पल भर में, पूरा अतीत मन में,

आँसू अब परिचित था.

रुमाल निकाला, खुदको संभाला,

था सोचना, क्या उचित था.

हज़ारों विचार, मन के विकार,

चीखकर रोना चाहता था.

कुछ और, खुशियों के दौर,

मन भरकर जीना चाहता था.

फिर माँ का ख़याल, भाई के सवाल,

दूर रह कर संभालना था.

गहरे सदमे, किन-किन हद में,

सबको उससे निकलना था.

काश वो पल होता, मैं उनके संग रोता,

पर दूरियों में सीमित था.

शव पर अंबर, विचार निरंतर,

मन, भाव सब संचित था.

सबसे दूर, अकेला यहाँ,

मैं अंदर से टूट गया था.

हर पल, मेरा मुझसे सवाल,

क्यों वह मुझसे रूठ गया था?

कल ही तो बात की थी, साथ की थी,

मैंने ज़रा भी न विचारा था.

कि यह आम सी बात, आज कि रात,

मुझे आगे सबसे प्यारा था.

हर घड़ी, सोचूँ मैं,

काश यह कोई सपना था.

अब उठू, नींद से जगूं,

पर यह शोक अब अपना था.

अब अकेले, एकांत में,

कुछ पल रहना चाहता था.

उस सन्नाटे से, उस वीरने से,

बस एक तेरी आवाज़ सुनना चाहता था.

फिर कमरे से बाहर, लंबी “आह!” कर,

कदम जो बाहर निकाला था,

कसम उसकी, दुनिया जिसकी,

इतना बदला संसार, पहली बार पाया था.

हर एक कदम, हर एक आहट,

हर एक पल विशाल था.

हर विचार, हर ख़याल,

हर होनी पर एक सवाल था.

हम सभी को त्यागकर, विश्‍व से फिर हारकर,

जो तू क्षण में प्रकृति समेत था,

दो पलों के फ़ासले, अब समझ में आ गये,

बीतते हर पल का अब विवेक था.