Ellipsis 2015

Ellipsis is the intra-collegiate literary festival of St. Joseph’s College of Commerce to be held on 11 August 2015.

Ellipsis, a sequence of three dots, can express what a lot of words can’t. It is the silence after speech. It communicates more than words. This festival is an attempt to explore the interstice between speech and silence; words and the three dots. It hopes to create an atmosphere where words acquire meaning through silence and silence through words.

The festival has two sections:

Breaking Waves – Speaking events

Drifting Earth – Writing events

The festival will conclude with Divergence Debates, a grand student debate on a contemporary issue.

  • Breaking Waves – Speaking events

Wave One: Scheherazade – Narration contest

Narrate a story or an incident and hold the attention of the audience for five minutes.

Wave Two: Socrates – Disputation contest

Speak. Dispute. Defend.

Make a statement and defend it from your opponent’s disputations. Listen to your opponent’s statement and dispute it.

Wave Three: Shakespeare – Soliloquy contest

Prepare and perform a soliloquy based on a scene given to you.

  • Drifting Earth – Writing Events

Drift One: Persona- Fiction writing contest

Use the visual and aural cues to create fiction.

Drift Two:  Reminisce – Autobiographical essay contest

Write an autobiographical essay based on the theme provided.

Drift Three: Motif– Poetry contest

Use the visual and aural cues to compose a poem.

Contact Nimi Mathew at 8867581242 for further details.

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Flight of Fancy

– Kimberley Debra Pinto

I’m really excited to meet my friend- she’s been on a six week long vacation, four of which she’s spent completely off-the-grid. As I wait for her to arrive, I shuffle impatiently through the postcards she’s mailed me, the only proof of her existence in those weeks. They’re from Berry, Somme, the Loir Valley- the stamps tell me it is France, but definitely not the France I’m used to hearing about.

She soon bursts into the café, a whirl of braided hair and jangly bracelets and swishy shawls. This is new, I don’t think I’ve ever seen her so colourful. Before I can wrap my mind around it fully, she has plunged into rapturous descriptions of “French this and French that.” Having spent my summer watching trees grow, her stories give me a chance to live vicariously so I don’t really mind.

She doesn’t seem to have had any plan-“just wherever I felt like” is not good enough for me. The very thought of going someplace unknown with no forethought is enough to terrify me. What if you got lost? How could you possibly holiday with no connectivity to the outside world? People would forget your existence after a while!

I never get an answer to these questions but when she’s done talking I think maybe I don’t want it answered.

She tells me of old world cobblestoned towns, where the buzz of modernity hasn’t really hit and where legends and superstitions are not just stories to be told.  A secret little valley in the Berry region surrounded by pine and mystery, the fabled birthplace of French witchcraft; the cliffs of Elcalgrain Bay, where wreckers lured unsuspecting ships onto the rocks by shining deceptive signals; endless white beaches where the “sea and sky meet, I swear!”

She shows me a scar she got when she was learning to surf, I get the recipe for the best ‘escargo’ soup conned from a jazz artist in Gers. I hear about churches with frescos, museums and lavender fields.

I ask for photographs and she laughs.

“I never really thought about taking photos. And anyway, it’s all there in my mind, better than any camera could ever capture. I don’t think I can forget it.”

I’m wondering what has possessed my normally sane friend. What is it that is so different about her, that’s changed? She’s almost radiating it. I spot the horseshoe necklace she bought when she hitched a ride with the Romani gypsies. And I think that’s when it clicks.

You can never schedule an experience like that. You don’t plan for it, it just happens. And ultimately that’s what travel is about. Freedom to experience what you never planned to.  To discover new things, well, new to you anyway. It’s about people forgetting you exist and you not caring about it. Ultimately it’s a battle between what you think you are looking for and what you find – and that’s where the magic is.

Obviously at that time, I didn’t really get it. But when I reach home, I find I’m fighting wanderlust-to see a different sun everyday and to get lost in places where I don’t speak the language.

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Helping Hands

– Shreya N Chopda

The meaning of life is to give meaning to life.

It isn’t unusual for people to say that they want to give back to the society that cradled them. But how many actually take the detour out of their routine to serve? This query of mine was answered not by words but by the actions of students in our very own college.

A casual talk with Kavya Sekar from I B.Com ‘A’ turned into an informal interview when I got to know that she had trained the students in a government school in the use of computers. As I dived for further details, Kavya obliged by telling me how her first step in this direction was as a mere volunteer for the VNS Jyoti drive. Happily admitting that the contentment then overpowered her and after the downfall of the former project she associated herself with India Forward Movement, which is the first NGO to be run by minors. The memories now flashing back in her eyes, she accepted that guiding the children of Reaching Hand Orphanage was a humbling experience. It has helped her not only acquaint herself with students of the same age on ‘the other side’ (as she calls it) but also appreciate all that she has. A subtle smile curved her lips as she said, ‘it might sound cliché, but I have changed as a person and look forward to reach out to many more.’ Though this ended my interview with Kavya, it wasn’t the end to my hunt for an answer.

A few days after this talk with Kavya, a chance encounter with a photo pushed me to have my next interview with my classmates Tanish Jain and Siddharth Mohan. A quick talk soon unfolded the facts of their volunteer-work for the movement OATH, started by their mutual friend Kushal Jhajharia. When I asked them to share their experiences, Tanish began by saying that the increasing incidents of child sexual abuse had screamed out to them to educate children and help them be aware about their surroundings and more importantly their own bodies. It seemed like a viable cause, Siddharth chipped in. On a more serious note, continued Tanish, these issues are usually hushed up and children become victims because they are unaware. He adds that parents need to treat their children as friends and create a comfort zone. Siddharth pitches in here to explain more about how they went to schools and showed people what is right and what is not okay. Tanish puts up his hands and makes quotations in the air saying, ‘the concept of Izzat Ka sawal Hai’ must be eradicated. It is the base of all the problems. In the end they both agree that the movement still has a long way to go but with a positive outlook they are happy to take that journey.

Looking at me take these interviews a friend then introduced me to Aaron Rego, Daniel Rosario and Calvin D’souza who have been a part of AICUF in their PU years. As I posed my usual questions on the nature of their work and their personal experiences, their expressions gave away the coy attitude of their work. Calvin broke the ice by outlining a memorable Christmas when they gifted the children of an orphanage an LCD TV and spending time with the children there. They jeered at each other as the struggled to remember the name, ‘…dan, s…dan, it was some …dan. Snehadan! That’s it Snehadan.’ After this warm-up Aaron adds that he isn’t sure how huge an impact they have made to the people out there, but they definitely saw great changes in themselves. We are blessed with almost everything, but now we know that sharing what we have is our greatest source of happiness. Exchanging knowing glances, Calvin continues to explain that they have learnt not to squander money on materialistic pleasures anymore. At this juncture, Daniel points out that what has changed the most are their instincts. He shares an incident of just a day ago when they saw a beggar fall into a pit in the footpath, instead of being indifferent, they helped him out. And we closed the pit too, confirmed Aaron. So as a whole the trio are satisfied with what they do and look forward to another year of contentment.

Feeling now that my doubt has been completely waived, my little chats with these students changed my perspective of giving back to the society. They made me realize that money is not the only way to bring about a change; good intentions with the will to act on those intentions suffice. If not anything, even spending time with those who feel lonely is a worthwhile attempt. And if not that, a mere smile is all I need to make someone feel better. Well maybe we can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone.

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A chat with Chetta

– Anjana Narayan

Have you ever wondered how the Josephite hangout place came into being? I recently had a chat with the Chettas owner. He went on to tell me the story.


Chetta’s (PC: Daniel Rosario)

It was established 15 years back by Mr. Thamban. He is a malayali and  is the owner of  ‘SK Bakery and Juice centre’ or how we Josephites belovedly call it ‘Chettas’. The word ‘Chetta’ means brother in malayalam. The story behind the name of the bakery is quite fascinating. The senior Josephites used to place their orders by addressing Mr. Thamban as Chetta and hence the name.

As our conversation progressed, he told me that he opened the bakery in its current location as it would bring in a lot of customers which include students from St. Joseph’s PUC and College of Commerce. On an average, he earns about Rupees 5000 a day. He also mentioned that on the days when the college remained closed, he lacks business.


Mr. Thamban aka Chetta

A typical day in Mr. Thamban’s life starts at 7 and continues till 11. Students start crowding at the bakery by 7.30 in the morning. There are various choices displayed on the menu, they include milkshakes, puffs, samosas etc. The preferred drink of the students is the most celebrated one on the menu, ‘The Oreo shake’. When I asked Thamban about his personal favourite he laughed and said that he liked all the items on the menu.

The classic Oreo Shake

The classic Oreo Shake

Thamban doesn’t work single- handed, he has 4 members on his crew to help him with the day-to-day chores. One prepares the beverages, the other takes orders and the third sits behind the cash counter and Thamban makes sure that all the work done is co-ordinated and leaves the customer satisfied. He also mentioned that he had competition from the stores around his bakery. He maintains a good rapport with students. He gets along well with them. Mr.Thamban being a successful entrepreneur, I asked him about his advice to Josephites who want to stand on their own feet and start their business. He said, ‘If you have an idea, go ahead and execute it!’ He also added that, one shouldn’t be afraid to take risks and must have the courage to face any situation.

Chetta's Menu

Chetta’s Menu

Stories like these of ordinary people often go unnoticed. Mr. Thamban is a prosperous owner of a bakery and he has overcome numerous hurdles to reach the position he is in now. Students who have passed out from the institution often meet at Chettas to relive their old times. It is also a place where friendships blossom. Chettas holds a very special place in every Josephite’s heart. Years later when we look down memory lane, we will cherish the moments we shared at this homely place called ‘Chettas’.


Photo Credits: Daniel Rosario

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First Bell

– Pratima Prakash

As I grumpily shut my alarm clock, the sunlight streaming through the curtains jolted me to reality. Today was the day I graduate from being a “school student” to a “college girl”. Today was my first day in college.  On my way to college, a zillion anxious thoughts about my first day crossed my mind.

“Am I going to be socially accepted?”
“Am I making the right decision?”
“Am I going to enjoy the next 3 years of my life?”It was series of never ending ‘am I’s’, and even the calm Bangalore weather could not  to compose me.

As I walked into my new college campus, my second home for the next 3 years, fear and nervousness gripped me. I was overwhelmed by the  groups of energetic, cheery teenagers, all excited to begin a new chapter in their lives. Making my way to class, I settled myself into a quite corner, too shy and nervous to interact with anybody. A pang of nostalgia hit me, as I missed the familiarity of my old school, and the laughter of my friends. Soon, a friendly lecturer walked in, introducing herself as our class mentor, and asked us to introduce ourselves. By the time it was my turn, I so nervous that I ended up tripping and fell flat on my face. A few people helped me up, while the entire classroom howled in laughter, instantly making me turn red with embarrassment. However , looking at my teacher’s amused face, and my classmates’ cheeky grins, I felt weirdly at ease. Having completely forgotten about my earlier fiasco, I went on to introduce myself to the class, particularly emphasizing on my clumsiness. As the day progressed, I learnt to let go of my inhibitions and fears, and began to interact with the people around me. It was then that I began to take note of my surroundings. The entire college had a very positive and enthusiastic vibe, with bright corridors, a series of cultural activities and a friendly faculty.

When the bell rang, I watched as groups of eager students piled out of class, talking animatedly to each other. This time, however, I felt a strange sense of belonging and acceptance amidst these people.  In some ways, college is a lot like Bangalore city, always bustling with energy and activity .The cosmopolitan crowd, a myriad of opportunities and the optimistic attitude of the people, all bearing a strong resemblance to namma Bengaluru. As I was leaving college, I read the board saying “St Joseph’s College of Commerce” and  smiled to myself. I was now officially  a  Josephite.  Here’s to new beginnings, and a bucketful  of everlasting memories.

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She glanced at herself, and winced.
Trailing her fingers across the mauve smudge of battered dreams,
right above her cheekbone.
She reached out for her second skin, lying packaged in a pale pink tube.
It’s concealed.

– Vijetha Jessica

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Shutter up the photo-man

                                                                                                                                       – Srikar

He was wiping his Canon Lenses with his specially imported Chinese Silk fabric. Still unsure how he succeeded in bargaining by talking in Malayalam with those Mandarin tongued yellows, he was proud of himself. After all he was the next big thing in the little world of photography!

He could make big things look small and small things look big. And more importantly, his line of expertise included the art of ‘Candid photography’. He would make the select few folks pose according to the parameters set by him for it to be called as ‘Candidness’ and clicks their photos! And oh boy, aren’t those ‘Candid pics’ a treat to our eyes?

He at last finishes wiping his Canon lenses. He was getting himself ready for the big day. A photographer has to deal with a lot of Crop and Crap, and undoubtedly this young chap had to face the latter every day. But that was his big day. After working from different angles and getting his focus right, he finally bagged his perfect picture moment of having called to shoot a famous Television serial actor’s Cab Driver’s house warming ceremony! Well, that was indeed an Aperture in his Photographic life. But in his real life, his aperture wasn’t that bright, all because of the void that his ex-flame created, the exposure that he still couldn’t fill in.
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Because Sometimes, The Journey is the Destination

                                                                                               – Stephen George & Rahul Jojan 

Having done the first 40 kilometers of our ride, I turned back and asked Rahul, “Why are we doing this? For what ledger, exactly, and kept by whom?” Even though he didn’t have an answer, it got the both of us thinking about life and why we do the things we do.

That’s the best part about cycling, even though it is nothing more than an athletic undertaking it somehow always makes you pause and think about the general direction your life is heading in. There’s something paradoxical about how each time you pedal, the cycle inches forward towards your destination, but on the other side of the same coin your mind travels backwards putting you in a reflective state of mind.

We took our first break at McDonalds which is located a few kilometers before the International Airport. It was about 8:30am by then and the Sun was being quite unforgiving. After a quick breakfast we hit the road again. We had a general idea as to where Nandi Hills was but just to make sure, we would often stop by the side of the road and make enquiries with the locals. The locals would always give us this priceless expression of utmost unbelief whenever we mentioned the words “Nandi Hills” because in their opinion, getting up there on a bicycle was impossible!

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Take One

How many times have you wrapped your lies

In shards of glass and fancy bow ties?

Then enveloped in glitter, you hid your pain;

And mixed your tears with drops of champagne.

Your bones weakened in the frozen starlight,

Your veins tightened, mocking your fright.

And as beauty comes, in vain it goes;

Often pompous, like the cries of crows.

The tips of your fingers long for skin,

But touch instead a life that is paper thin.

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The Clash of Cultures?

                                                                                                                            – Marilyn V Nagaraj

“I can imagine nothing more terrifying than an Eternity filled with men who were all the same. The only thing which has made life bearable…… has been the diversity of the creatures on the surface of the globe”- T. H. White

Hello, Hola, Kem Cho, Marhaba, Ni Hao, Ainu, Hej…

My earliest memories are of me being in primary and being bombarded with questions from my friends and other classmates as to why I happened to speak 2 languages at home while they happened to speak just one. I was too small to comprehend and understand as to why I spoke 2 languages??This made me feel so alienated from the others. I remember coming home from school and eagerly questioning my parents frequently as to what was so different about our family and those of my friends, and the reason for us to speak two languages. As a child my parents did try very hard to make me understand. But, I must admit that it took a while before I finally understood and accepted my cultural and linguistic identity. It was very difficult initially as my cousins felt my communication skills in Telugu was way too poor to keep up with theirs. And, hence whenever I did go out with them I was often the odd one out, kept out of their close-knit group because I was considered only Half-Telgite and not a complete one. However this has changed today and Oh Yes!!My Telugu has improved and has come a long way from what it was then.

Growing up as a child I often felt like straddling between two cultures and two languages, never completely one. Growing up was always about that constant push and pull between two cultures and languages. Here I was, trying to perfect my Telugu. Who knew there was something more?? As if, perfecting one language wasn’t enough, I was to learn yet another two languages-Kannada and Hindi, as I entered into the middle school.

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