Food is Fun


 By Kabir Bhargava

I am a big foodie and love a variety in my food. But as I am a little thin, I have had a lot of people worried about my eating habits. Most adults get so concerned on my leanness that they start giving ideas of what or how much I should eat. I may have considered eating a waste of time as a toddler but for some years now I have looked forward to a good meal.

The food that pleases me instantly is Italian, Chinese, Mughalai, or what people refer to as junk food. Even from these categories, I prefer the outside version to homemade. My Mother tries to create food that I run after, at home, and that becomes her sure way to get me to be obedient! Home cooking is fine if it goes beyond Dal-Roti-Subzi.

Chicken Lasagna

I enjoy chicken in almost all forms. I love it in Lasagna, Pizza, Pasta and other Italian dishes. In Chinese I like a good red curry with noodles and momos—much like most North Indians. For my school Tiffin, I like all varieties of junk food and mostly non-vegetarian as they get me fame. You would wonder how? Well, I can then trade food for more food from other tiffins. That’s to say, junk food appeals to most of my class mates. So I take Salami sandwiches, jam sandwiches, pizza on toast and any other special dish that was made the previous evening like Pastas or Pitta Pockets.

My idea of a perfect snack is to eat various sorts of munchies with a cool drink while watching TV. I also take pleasure in eating Thai, Lebanese, Mexican or other specialties from various places. I don’t know whether I would like the original dishes from these cuisines but I do like the Indian version. I never refuse a good dinner outside and wonder how is it that I earned the label of a poor eater? I only insist on a variety and to my mind it’s the glamour and presentation that make the food tastier!



Pink Panther 2

Pink Panther 2

By Kabir Bhargava

Pink Panther 2 has generally been recognized as a badly made movie but I found it quite funny. It is a continuation of the previous movie and Steve Martin has to protect the Pink Panther diamond in this one too. Steve Martin with his accent and clumsy ways gave me great laughs. He is the hero and is called Inspector Clouseau. Aishwarya Rai, an Indian actress was surprisingly chosen for an important role in this Hollywood movie. Another comedian whom I like is John Cleese and he is playing the role of Chief Inspector Dreyfus.

There is a thief called The Tornado who has been stealing priceless valuables from museums. Chief Inspector Dreyfus assigns the case to Clouseau who has been giving parking tickets to people outside the museum where the Pink Panther diamond is kept for show. Clouseau was being sent to join the Dream Team of Detectives who were going to solve the crime together. He was reluctant to leave France because he thought the Pink Panther might get stolen. As he was exiting France it was all over the news that the Pink Panther had been stolen. The Dream Team reached France where they were investigating the theft of The Pink Panther. Clouseau goofs around a lot which makes the team members fire him. Sonia (Aishwarya Rai) is there to help the team as she has written a few books on the thefts done by The Tornado previously. The rest of the team finds the missing items and the case was solved. Then Clouseau himself says that the Pink Panther 2 was missing. He was able to catch the thief who turns out to be Sonia. She had a gun and tried to escape, all the detectives went after her and there was a lot of confusion and the result was that she shot the diamond. The diamond shattered into several pieces leaving everyone aghast. Then Clouseau took out the real one and said that the one she shot was the replica. He had secretly switched the two thinking it might get stolen. The movie concludes with Clouseau as the hero of France again.

I love the jokes cracked in the movie and Steve Martin’s behavior with The Pope whose ring was stolen and many such funny moments. It is a movie one should definitely watch. Do share your comments and views.



My School Days

I study at the Shri Ram School Aravali. It is an ICSE board school which is considered to be quite tough. From 7 in the morning to 3 in the afternoon, I am out at school. I can confirm that school life is tough.

I wake up at 7 but get out of bed by 7:15. After getting ready and eating breakfast, I leave for the bus stop at 7:50-55 and it is about a two-minute walk. I reach school by about 8:15. School starts at 8:30. The entire day is dedicated to studying with an hour for breaks and on some days of the week an activity like Games, Drama, Library etc. The school provides lunch that is pathetic. We serve ourselves only half a spoon of each dish and spread it, leaving the effect that we ate a lot. The best part about any day at school is being with friends and talking. I get really tired throughout the day and reach home only by 3. Then I have to do any incomplete work or homework.

It was only a year and a half back that our school got a new Principal. Since then, things have advanced a lot. The current school building would become the senior wing and there is a junior wing coming up on the side. It is said that we would have lockers in corridors instead of desks and there would be subject classrooms. I am looking forward to that day. Also, a Friday- stay- back started. There were groups allotted. I was in the Photography group. The others were Dramatics, Cookery, Horticulture, and Debating. This was only done for the senior school. Since the junior school went back home, there was a shortage of buses. The stay- back was from 2:30 to 3:30. Three buses were combined to one and then we left. So, in a 50- seater bus there are 70 students. After three Fridays, the clubs stopped. Since then we have been having inter- house competitions or matches. On Fridays, I reach home  around 4:30 pm due to badly organized buses. The exam schedule has also changed. The rule of exams from class 6 has been replaced by weekly cycle tests. This was done to avoid too much studying and tension. The cycle tests carry 40 marks and are held every Wednesday. They are quite easy and manageable. But exams start at the finals of class 8 once again. I have given a year of exams and a year of cycle tests. I am giving half a year of cycle tests and then exams since I am in class 8 now.

School has become very strict about student presentation and discipline. There is insistance of tucking in of the shirt and keeping short hair where students prefer the opposite for a casual look.

I am always looking forward to the next weekend or a long break. Last week we had a five- day break. Wednesday was Holi, Tuesday was Eid, Monday was declared a holiday and the weekend before that. Due to the holiday on Monday, the next Saturday was school. So we got only a day’s break which was Sunday. School to me means something dreadful! What did yours mean to you?  

Books – Friends or Foes?

By Kabir Bhargava

Books to me usually mean a job to finish. Especially the long winding ones which put me to sleep. But there are those that I just can’t stop reading and they are mainly the humorous ones. Some that I recall are The Horrible Histories series, The Captain Underpants series and The Rotten school series. The names themselves suggest how funny the books might be. Don’t they?

I have read mystery books of Famous Five and Secret Seven but found them dull. The books I use the most in my life are my school ones. They are very tough and get tougher each year. There have been only a few that have given me pleasure such as Gerald Durrell’s My Family and other Animals that I read as part of my course last year. It made me want to roam about in the sun like Gerald exploring little creatures.

There was a time I was taken in by Roald Dahl’s style of story-telling and Quentin Blake’s illustrations accompanying the text. So I read a lot of Dahl books I could get hold of – Boy, Matilda, BFG, The Witches, James and the Giant Peach, the Enormous Crocodile, Esio Trot, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, Magic Finger  – impressive, isn’t it – considering that I don’t call myself a book-lover?

I have also read four Harry Potter’s but they were a struggle. The movies are of course more enjoyable.   

I read a lot of car magazines — my favourite being Autocar and Top Gear. I have subscribed to the world’s most popular sports magazine called All Sports. Comics are one of the dearest genres of books to me. I have a vast collection and read some of them repeatedly. Especially, Calvin and Hobbes. I have sixteen Calvin and Hobbes books and have read all at least once and a few two or three times. I also have Asterix and Tintin which too give me big laughs. I have some Marvel action comics and a few Archies which are not worth talking about.

Tell me what you think about the ones you have read. Also any tips on how I should make them friends from foes.


Kabir 2009

By Kabir Bhargava is an open source event that takes place every year. Various long-term users come and give talks during the event about a specific aspect of open source. People attending it are mainly newbies or college students. The venue for the event for a few years has been the Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi. My father is one of the managers for the event and works very hard to make it a reality. This year it took place on 20-21 February.  

One of my friends, who is an expert on python – a programming language, Senthil came to to give a talk. He was there only for a day and just to give that talk. His topic was about designing a game using python. The idea of designing a game interested me enough to attend the first day of the two-day event. It was a Friday and I had school, and also a Physics test. But I bunked school and went to meet him to understand python since I love playing games. Before the session, he showed me various things that can be done using python. He made a worm game (snake) and also a ship game. He explained the logic of the code that was otherwise a jumble of words to me. Though it was tough for me to memorize the commands for the game, I do remember they were somewhat like this: create spaceship, to move left, left arrow, to move right…then, fire with space, if shot hits another ship, +1points. If an opponent’s bomb hits player, then loud explosion and end. This was the first time I saw and sort of understood any code.  It was also the first time that it occurred to me that action-packed games that I play so often require knowledge of programming and patient checking and rechecking of a series of words and punctuation. I was also convinced about using python!

I found the event quite helpful because if just one session could convince me to know python, then I felt that others would be learning a lot more. For this year of, surprisingly, 15 people from my school faculty had registered. I met my computer teacher who I learnt is an expert at open source applications. Interestingly, he was earlier our guitar teacher.

At the end of the first day, the volunteers and managers partied and ate together—it was clear that to them meant lots of fun along with some work!

Music to my Ears

By Kabir Bhargava

I have gone for three concerts so far. I have found them all quite fun. My heart vibrates a lot with the loud sound and I quite like that feeling. And the fact that one gets to see a celebrity.

The first concert I went for was Shakti 2006. That wasn’t a real concert, because one, we had to sit; two, my heartbeat remained normal through it; and three, the crowd was quiet and didn’t stand up or scream. But the players played quite well.  There was Zakir Hussain, Shankar Pandey and a few more.

 The second concert was by Akon. That was a real concert. It involved standing, screaming, dancing and singing along. Akon is a real celebrity. He is very daring because he would jump into the crowd and even tried to push the barricade down between the paid categories. But the concert was very short for what I had paid for it—Rs.2000. It was only one and a half hours. I also had to miss my school trip for it. Akon sang very well, his band members were really good, especially his DJ. I am glad I went for it.

 The last one I went for was of the “Raghu Dixit Project.” They are a South Indian Band who play Indian rock. One of my father’s friends, Gaurav Vaz is the bass guitarist for the band. Since all their performances are for invitees only, we get invited to the Delhi performances because of him. They are a really energetic band as they jump around a lot. The lead singer, Raghu will ask you to stand and sing along and join him in jumping or singing. The drummer has a lot of power and plays really well; the violinist plays in the background and does a fabulous job too. The lead guitarist, Vijay Joseph would make funny expressions and play fantastically. Although, sometimes I couldn’t tell whether the marvelous guitar sound was by the bass guitarist or the lead guitarist. Then Raghu, the lead singer and acoustic guitarist jumps and moves around a lot. The entire group is animated, and has a lot of fun while providing it to the audience. At the end of the concert we got to meet each band member too. They are all very polite and gentle. They crack jokes and make you laugh a lot. I liked this concert and the band a lot! I’m going to be looking forward to their new releases.

 My connection with music is also through my playing piano. I have just finished grade 3, can play a few familiar pieces and want to learn more. I’d like to be able to play Fur Elise and The Entertainer at the very least. I also listen to music on my mp3. My current favourites are Linkin Park, Eminem, 50 cent, Nirvana, Red Hot Chilly Peppers, Santana, Metallica, 3 doors down, Jonas Brothers and a few more.  I love music. Once, during our summer break, my friends and I formed a band and made a piece of our own but never got to playing it anywhere. I was the singer for the band. Our band was called, “The Wilderness.” Our first song was called “Where I Belong.” For now the band has been lost in the wilderness!

I’d like to end by saying Music’s In My Soul (a song by Jonas Brothers)!



Not So Bored Games

By Kabir Bhargava

I love playing board games, but I usually have trouble finding a companion to play with. I like playing long games like Monopoly and Life, and they scare off people!

Most of the games I like have been given to me as gifts. Sometimes I call a few of my friends over and we play for a few hours, or when my cousins come to spend the night at my house, we play together. The only games I can convince my parents to play with me are Word games – Boggle being a special favourite since it finishes fast.   

The word games I’ve got are Pictionary (the senior one), Boggle, Scrabble and Hangman. I like playing Pictionary even though my drawing skills aren’t great. It is a bit tough like once the word on my card was the Wembley Stadium! Hangman is actually called Countdown and is an unknown brand but even then it has given us many hours of pleasure while pouring over its letters.

My collection of games is huge but I don’t use some of them because they offer no challenge anymore. But removing them from my library is not an option. I like to build on my collection without breaking it. The ones that continue to hold my attention are: Mad, which is a really funny game; something called Go to the Head of the Class, which is a general knowledge game; Scotland Yard is a detective game; Monopoly Original and Football version, Pictionary, Life, Cluedo and more. All these games require two or more players so they get used less and less. The games that I can play on my own and I like are Kaleidoscope, Solitaire (Brain Vita), and other games mainly by Dr. Woods, a company that makes mentally stimulating games. Although not a board game, I have Mechanix Senior and something called Mechanix Motorized, which is the same thing just that there is a motor given along which you have to attach and the vehicle can move on its own! I also have the usual games like checkers, chess, snakes and ladders, ludo. Even now I do enjoy playing something like Checkers but I have played them all so much that I find them uninspiring.

Out of this really long list of games my favourite is Mad. It is really funny. For example, the person who loses all his money first is the winner of the game. If you roll the die with your right hand and you are a righty, you win a thousand dollars, so always roll it with the opposite hand. It is a game that must be owned, so put it on your shopping cart. Currently, my shopping cart contains two games by Dr. Woods that are Railroads and Kogworks. Among the old games, I still don’t own a decent Chinese Checkers and have been longing to own one.

Other than these games, I would love to own a Robot that would play any game I want without questioning me.  

Moving On

By Kabir Bhargava

I am now moving on to class 8. The last few days of school are of course the best since we party all day and play on the field. And because we know a break is around the corner. But towards the end of this 

break, we think it was nothing! And then we start our new class.

The books for class 8 weighed about 5kgs and I almost collapsed carrying them. The first few days in the class usually feel very different as there is much more work to do. Also, I always have problems writing my class correctly since I am so used to writing the previous class. Our school used to have exams from class 6. But they stopped them till the finals of class 8 and instead kept a weekly test of 40 marks every Wednesday. So this year I would have final exams. I fear that this year would be a lot tougher because of that. But then I just stop and think to myself that there is no turning back now.

The next big milestone would be to give my boards. That’s the only thing that really scares me right now. Also, every alternate year we get shuffled – our four sections get jumbled up to form four new sections with different students. In class 6 I had made a great group of friends but we got shuffled in class 7. Now there is going to be a new section ‘E’ so to absorb the new bunch of students, we will get shuffled again! I do hope that I get my friends from class 6 again. After all school can’t just be academics without making lasting friendships.

Soccer – The Beautiful Game

By Kabir Bhargava

Soccer is the world’s most popular game. Pele once called it ‘The Beautiful Game’ and now that is a known phrase for it. I have been involved with soccer for about five years, and at the moment consider it my favourite game.

Soccer is mainly played in two forms, International and Club. I prefer Club because it is more involving and there are many more Club matches then International.

International Soccer

Soccer is not much about playing international except for the World Cup which is the most famous tournament held every four years, and countries around the world can play it if they qualify. Brazil is the best in the world cup and I support them. Other International tournaments are the Euro, Copa America, Asia Cup, and African cup. This way almost all countries play some tournament. The most famous of these is the Euro. The Euro is also held once in four years. It was held last in 2008 and Spain won. I am looking forward to the World cup in 2010 where as usual I would support Brazil. In the Euro I supported Netherlands and India in the Asia cup, who won in 2008.


All club matches are important these days. All clubs play leagues. The most famous being the English Premiere League. At the moment, on first place is Manchester United whom I want to win. The best players of this season are Nicholas Anelka, Cristiano Ronaldo, Robinho and more. Then comes the best league (according to me), The Spanish Premiere league. I like it because my favorite team plays in it — FC Barcelona. I started liking it because of my favorite player Ronaldinho. He is now in AC Milan which is my favorite Italian club. But I still consider Barcelona as my favorite. They are coming first in their league and have a 12 point lead from the team on second place. Then comes the biggest league for all, The UEFA Champions league. It is the league in which the top five teams of all leagues play together. I am looking forward to the final on 27th May.

I play soccer everyday with my friends and the days I can’t go out, I make up by playing Fifa on my PS2 . I play Midfield or Attack positions. My school has a league every year and I have been joining it for the last five years. In the league we play serious football every Sunday. Random teams are made and my past teams have had innovative names like Roaring Rapids, Dynamites, Nokia Nighthawks and Smart Gunners (the best I’ve got).

Soccer is like a religion to me. Who is going to worship it with me?

The Games I Play

By Kabir Bhargava

These days I have been playing a lot on my Play Station 2. I usually play God of War, True Crime, Fifa, Burnout Revenge/Dominator and Need for Speed Carbon. I do play a few more but these are the ones I like. I like playing all kinds of games, especially sports, fantasy and violent. The games I have mentioned here are almost one of each genre. I’ll only talk a bit about these games.

God of War: It’s a game about Greek mythology and has all the Greek gods. It is one of the most violent games in the world and is also rated like that. In the game you are this infamous warrior called Kratos, who is the most powerful person in Greece and has now got the help of the gods to remove all evil. His moves are really cool and the monsters he fights look real. The monsters are Basilisks’ (huge snakes), Hydras’ (huge water snakes), Cyclops’ (one eyed behemoths), Minotaur’s, Wraiths, Centaurs and more. The graphics of the game are amazing as I said everything looks real. I am playing God of War 1 but when I’m done I’ll go for the next 3.

Games I play

True Crime: It’s a violent game and a lot like Grand Theft Auto. Except that you are a cop. You do steal other cars, run over people and then show your badge to stop the cops from shooting you. If you get shot by a cop, you can take his job away. You can buy new clothes, change your hairstyle and even go to hotels to eat. Of course all that costs a lot in New York City and one has to save where possible to buy new guns. One thing better about this game than GTA is that you can walk into any shop or door while in GTA some places are locked. The graphics are really good, like when it’s raining, he gets totally soaked and even his shoes start squeaking.

Fifa: It’s considered the best football game in the world. All players and teams are included. Each year all transfers are also made. The graphics are quite good and with the commentary on the side the match looks real. I am now waiting for Fifa 10.

Burnout: It’s a good car game even though it’s not quite racing. It’s more about timing, destruction, running from cops etc. It’s a really fast game and that’s the best part about it.

Need for Speed Carbon: It’s the greatest racing game I’ve got. The graphics are fantastic. A wide choice of cars. Good story mode, nice places to race and fun to play. I think it’s the game with the best graphics I’ve got.

These are the games I play on the PS2. Would be great to know what you think of these games.

Cheers, Kabir.