Tuesday 30 April 2024

The Secret Behind Her Productivity - Shambhavi Nautiyal

Surabhi was a 14-year-old straight-A student who always tried to make the most out of her time. She didn’t make friends, or maybe it’s just that her friends didn’t stick with her. She had been moving through her day, keeping much to herself and studying as much as possible. Then, a new transfer student ‘Kavita’ entered her life.

She was smart, confident, uninhibited and open about her feelings. She always looked so happy and ‘perfect’ in Surabhi’s eyes. It made her wish that she could be like her. Then, one day, Kavita came up to her and said “Hi!” She complimented Surabhi’s hair and how pretty she looked, which made her drop a tear or two.

Kavita kept probing her until Surabhi confessed how her mother never let her sleep, how she could not study ‘enough’ and just couldn’t make time, and then Kavita told her how the same things happened to her, and so she tried a new timetable which helped her.

Kavita asked Surabhi how she felt then, but she said "Nothing can ever help me". Then Kavita suddenly got all serious and said “If you don’t let yourself be helped, you won’t be helped”. Surabhi ran to the girl’s restroom, looked in the mirror, and realised that she had been betraying herself by telling herself that she could never succeed and everyone else was ahead of her not making any mistakes.

She told this to Kavita, when she confirmed to her that everyone including herself always went through times when they simply couldn’t achieve their goals overnight and had to do the job bit by bit. Surabhi was hit by a wave of discernment, how she had been gatekeeping a lot from her friends without actually knowing. When she was with them not much came out of her mouth and she just tried pushing her fears and problems under the rug because why would she trouble them with her problems, wouldn’t that just make her ‘uninteresting’, ‘cry-baby’ or ‘too sensitive and uncool’.

Kavita told her that it’s always okay to feel your feelings and first sort her things out before approaching a friend. Surabhi felt renewed and comforted for the first time in weeks and just decided to be grateful.

------------------------------------------- The End ---------------------------------------------------------------------

Shambhavi Nautiyal 
Class- 10
Ahlcon Public School

All's Well That Ends Well - Shambhavi Nautiyal

I feel like I did connect with the story in some way as I could resonate with the goat when it felt happy for itself being freed and sorry for the person next in line for sinning. 

I too have been in a situation like that, where I did something wrong and realised it as soon as I had the asseveration of whoever I had wronged and just wished to be freed from that burden with the same thing happening to me. 

Soon the same scenario was created and I felt better that, at that time, I was on the right side but I felt bad seeing the other person going through the same thing I did years ago I tried convincing them at times and sometimes I did not. 

But regardless of the final story, it was all pre-destined, whether I was left disappointed, I enforced my boundaries and protected my energy or they listened to me and tried mending my ways, one thing holds absolute truth and It's that no one is indeed aggrieved. It is all fair, happening just the way it’s supposed to in line with those people’s past deeds.


Shambhavi Nautiyal 
Class- 10
Ahlcon Public School

Never Stop Dreaming - Shambhavi Nautiyal

One should never stop dreaming because if you stop dreaming, you lose vision of your future and your life purpose. So, instead of waiting for some fairy to show up and tell us where to find our passion, we should create it ourselves. This means we should take on hobbies, find what resonates best with us, and make it our life purpose. 

We should keep doing it until we become the best at it and then find something new, which would probably be around the corner because the universe renders us the energy we send out. 

If we have a productive mindset and want to keep working to keep ourselves alive; it is the purpose the universe will fulfil because the universe is constantly hearing our thoughts. 

So, if we tell the universe we want to evolve and become a straight-A student, it is the kind of path the universe will weave for us. And, this is the basic manifestation that we do daily, sending out messages to the universe through our mind and receiving replies with the same level of energy in the form of our life events. 

That's why, we should surround ourselves with the best kind of people, content and music to have positive thoughts. I am currently healing from this, I have renounced friends, I used to meet daily, who didn’t match my vibration, but now, I need to stop bonding with the foundation of trauma and sadness. I want to stop relating to people based on sadness and make it the foundation of my relationship with them. 

So, maybe, now I will not make any such friends when I am depressed, and if I do, then, I shall try my best to avoid them, otherwise. If I have friendships like that, then, whenever I hang out with them, I will feel depressed because that may turn out to be their inherent disposition, or we might never be able to interact about the good things in our lives because we would be so occupied with trying to cook up a conversation based on our melancholia. 

This attracts a kind of reality even further in my life, feeds that scarcity mindset, and brings down even my positive vibration. However, I have also had many nice friends made on this basis, those who understand me, empathise with me and don’t judge. But I have also had negative experiences where the negative would just linger and not go away. It boils down to enforcing your boundaries. I can go around, sharing my grief, but then it makes me dependent on external validation. 

Shambhavi Nautiyal
Class 10
Ahlcon Public School

Monday 29 April 2024

The Diary Of A Girl Who Is Definitely Not Anne Frank - Rishona Chopra

Date: 2nd December 2024

Diary Diary,

What an exciting and adventurous day it was today! Let me tell you all about it.
It was day two today of camping in the rainforest. I had expected it to be a plain and boring day with no events to look forward to but today something really surprising and unusual happened.

I was strolling in the forest wearing my white high-neck sweater as it was freezing which was in fact a bit odd for the rainforest we went to but either way, I was not enjoying myself. I just wanted to go home soon. While strolling through the forest, I was lost in my own world, gathering my thoughts together, thinking about how I would pass time with absolutely nothing to do as all the books I had got were nearly finished and since I had no access to the internet, reading online was no option either or watching television.

I desperately needed some form of entertainment. I did have my parents of course but they are not really the best form of entertainment. So all these thoughts were just rushing through my head and suddenly I tripped on a rock and fell flat to my face. I wasn’t hurt in case you were wondering but I definitely was very annoyed and frustrated. I looked back to look at the rock I had tripped on and realised that it was actually a very pretty one.

Rocks are usually black or brown and have the most ugly shapes (sorry Mr. Rock!) but this rock was really pretty. It was pure white with no spots on it and it looked less of a rock and more of a furball! I touched it expecting it to be hard but instead, it was as soft as snow. I thought it would be a snowball but for a rainforest like this one, it was quite unlikely. I held it in my hand and kept it safe in my jeans to show it to my parents later.

As I headed home, I could sense some sort of movement in my pocket. I took out the rock/snowball and it was very well still in the same shape. I checked my pockets but didn't find anything. I held the rock/snowball in my hand and I had almost reached the campsite when the rock/snowball moved. It opened up and its short thin tail stuck out. It was only then that I realized that I had been carrying a snow dragon in my hand.

When I saw its face, I immediately dropped it to the ground as that creature had stopped me dead in my tracks. It was then that I noticed its frightened eyes and its adorable face. I felt like picking it up again and hugging it (who could resist hugging something as adorable as that?) but that was the moment I also noticed its scary teeth and that is what prevented me from holding it again.

The creature then sat up straight and looked at me expectantly as if it expected me to hold it and hug it and that is what I did. I held it with shaking hands and at that very moment, its mouth curled up in such a manner as if it was smiling at me. I warmed up towards it and held it close. Its little hands were held up and were hugging me back. It was quite a heartwarming moment. It would be best to take it home with me.

As I carried it to our tent, I thought of how the dragon could have come here in the middle of a rainforest when it belonged on the mountain peaks? The possibilities dawned upon me. I realized that due to climate change, the mountain tops are melting and as they melt, their homes melt away too. That is how they end up in different habitats where they can’t survive for long.

I then decided that I would keep the dragon close to me for quite some time and then we would have to take it back to where it belonged with its actual family. As much as I really don't want to leave the precious snow dragon, the little dragon deserves to be with its own family and live a happy life free from all worries. So yes, soon we will have to bid him goodbye but that isn’t the end of it; I will cherish all the time we have together and will make the best out of it.

Good Night!
Rishona Chopra
Grade 8
Gyranshree School, Noida

The Art Of Orignality - Rishona Chopra

In today's fast-paced world, we have lost the art of originality and have forgotten its value. Today, books, songs, music, and poems can easily be written with the help of AI. It can write flawless articles, with perfect grammar but what we need to understand is that the flaws are what make the work so real and beautiful. 

When we write things ourselves, it has our thoughts put into it and our feelings which are a thousand times better than anything AI can create. Yes, we make mistakes and our work may have flaws but those flaws are what show us what we can improve on and make it better. The power of the mind is the greatest and if we don't put that power to use, it gets dull. It's like a knife, If not used, it eventually gets blunt and loses its sharpness just like we can lose our creativity wit. 

Let us take songwriting, for example, something that AI creates may be quite nice but when the mind creates that, there is a uniqueness to it and your creative touch can be felt. Originality is not doing something first, it's doing it with the power of the mind and by yourself. 

To me, reading an article with broken English and grammar yet beautiful with feelings and creativity is always better than one with flawless language and a lack of feelings. 

If we turn to AI  to do our tasks, then it just shows the lack of confidence we have in ourselves. The Art Of Originality is to not fall into the trap of betraying your mind, it is to follow through and follow the mind. 

Shakespeare didn't use ChatGPT to write "Comedy Of Errors" and look what a classic it is! We don't need AI to be successful in our work, what the mind can create is far more powerful because you can feel it. 

Rishona Chopra 
Grade VIII
Gyanshree School 

What makes us Human - Rishona Chopra

 What really makes humans human?

To me, it's the power to choose that makes us human.

Animals have a fixed way of living. They have a limited variety of foods, have the same schedule every day, and live the simplest of lives. Humans, on the other hand, have many options, different paths to choose and choices to make. A question then arises, is the power to choose a good one? 

Animals live simple yet organised lives. Humans on the other hand have made a mess of their lives. So many things to do and lack simplicity. But, the power to choose is a great one if used correctly. In life, we have two paths, one of spirituality and goodness and one of wrong choices. We all get distracted between these paths because everyone is not on one path. There are many on the path of wrongdoings and it's okay because once we realize what the right choice is, we make it. 

The power to choose shows us all the ways life can turn out and allows us to live it to the fullest. The one challenge is choosing the right path. 

The confusing thing about these paths is that both give us happiness but one gives us pleasure only for a short while whereas the other ensures long-term happiness and success. 

There is no "right" way to identify and choose the correct path because inside all of us, we know the right choice, and as life unfolds itself, so do our decisions. Life is like a book, every page turned, directs towards a new beginning and different ending. 

Rishona Chopra 
Grade VIII
Gyanshree School

Water: A Precious Resource - Rishona Chopra

The most precious thing on Earth,
One which has priceless worth.
The very thing because of which everything survives,
Without it, we won't stay alive,
Nature would die,
At the mere sight of it, one could cry.
No life on this precious planet of ours,
No PLAN B to save us from the tough hours.
If that one precious thing was gone,
We wouldn’t live to see the dawn.
The oceans would die,
The birds wouldn’t fly.
No resources in our life,
Because without water, how would we survive?

Rishona Chopra
Grade VIII
Gyanshree School

Sunday 28 April 2024

Reflection for the week - Sunday 27th April 2024

-From Jataka Tales- 

1. Why do we read about the Jataka Tales?

2. Did the story connect with you today and why? 

3. What learnings can we take away from the story "Feast for The Dead"?

4. We are victims of circumstances 

5. Karma and Life

6. Have you ever heard the voice inside you?

7. What learnings can we take away from the story "Four Miracles"?

- From The Hidden Life Of Trees- 

1. What is the importance of soil?

2. What can we learn from the chapter "In The Realm Of Darkness"?

3. What do you think the soil beneath the Earth looks like?

4. How was soil created?

5. Life of a weevil

6. The Art Of Forest Bathing - Shinrin Yoku

These are some suggestions you can choose from. Looking forward to seeing your wonderful and thoughtful reflections! 


You can email your reflections at - 


Monday 22 April 2024

Significance of Jataka Tales- Anmol Kashyap

Jataka tales, originating from Buddhist literature, are profound narratives that carry immense significance across cultures. These stories depict the previous lives of the Buddha, known as Bodhisattva, before attaining enlightenment.

Through various characters and scenarios, Jataka tales convey moral teachings and spiritual wisdom. One key aspect of Jataka tales is their emphasis on virtues such as compassion, kindness, and selflessness. Each story showcases the Bodhisattva embodying these qualities, serving as an example for others to follow.

By illustrating the positive outcomes of virtuous actions, Jataka tales inspire readers to cultivate these qualities in their own lives. Furthermore, Jataka tales highlight the concept of karma, the law of cause and effect.

They illustrate how one's actions, both good and bad, shape their future experiences and spiritual progress. This teaching encourages individuals to be mindful of their deeds and strive for virtuous conduct to create positive outcomes in their lives. Moreover, Jataka tales provide valuable insights into human nature and the complexities of life.

Anmol Kashyap
Sunbeam School, Lahartara 

Knowledge Vs Learning - Tejas Kumar

Knowledge and Learning are closely related but distinct concepts. Knowledge refers to the information, facts, and understanding a person possesses about a particular subject or the world. It involves knowing specific details, principles, or theories.

Learning, on the other hand, is the process through which knowledge is acquired or absorbed. It encompasses the activities, experiences, and efforts involved in gaining new information, skills, or understanding.

Learning can occur through various means such as formal education, informal experiences, observation, or self-study. While having knowledge is a part of being educated, it is not the sole factor. Education involves more than just accumulating facts or information. 

It also encompasses critical thinking, problem-solving skills, creativity, communication abilities, and a broader understanding of the world. Education is about applying knowledge, adapting to new situations, and continuously seeking to expand one's understanding and skills.

In essence, having knowledge is a component of being educated, but true education involves the ongoing process of learning, growth, and development across various aspects of life.

-Tejas Kumar
-IX 'D'

People and their differing aims - Tejash

Happiness: Many people strive to lead a happy and fulfilling life. This might involve pursuing activities, relationships, and experiences that bring joy and satisfaction.

Success: Success can be defined in various ways, such as achieving career goals, financial stability, personal accomplishments, or making a positive impact on others.

Health: Maintaining good physical and mental health is essential for overall well-being. People often aim to lead a healthy lifestyle through exercise, proper nutrition, and stress management.

Meaningful Relationships: Building and nurturing meaningful connections with family, friends, and romantic partners is a fundamental aspect of life for many people.

Personal Growth: Continuously learning and growing as individuals is important for self-improvement and development. This could involve acquiring new skills, gaining knowledge, or working on personal qualities.

 Sunbeam School, Lahartara 

Importance of Leadership - Shubhangi Kashyap

Importance of Leadership

Leadership is pivotal in nation-building, providing direction, motivation, and decision-making. A leader's vision inspires citizens, fostering unity and trust. Effective leadership manages change, fosters innovation, and promotes inclusivity, vital for societal progress.

By nurturing international relations, leaders secure peace and cooperation. Transformative leadership enacts reforms, leaving lasting legacies that shape a nation's future.

However, leadership alone cannot determine a nation's destiny; societal, economic, and cultural factors also influence its development. Yet, a strong leader can galvanize collective action, navigate challenges, and steer the nation towards prosperity, leaving an indelible mark on its history.

Shubhangi Kashyap
Sunbeam School, Lahartara

What is Faggot Bearer?- Animesh Kashyap

What is Faggot Bearer?

PC- Pinterest

A "Faggot Bearer" is a critical component in traditional timber framing, specifically in roof structures. This horizontal timber beam runs parallel to the rafters, providing essential support for their ends. 

The term "Faggot" originates from bundles of sticks or small wood pieces historically used in construction. Positioned at regular intervals along the roof's length, these bearers distribute the weight of the roof evenly, ensuring structural integrity and preventing sagging. 

While the term may have historical connotations, it's purely technical in contemporary construction, denoting a vital element in traditional timber-framed buildings, particularly in regions with a heritage of such construction methods.

-By Animesh Kashyap
-Class- IX D
-Sunbeam Hostel Lahartara.

Sunday 21 April 2024

Reflection of the week - Sunday 21st April 2024

- From Jataka Tales - 

1. Which language were Jataka Tales written in? When were they written?

2. Did the story connect with you today, and why? 

3. What learnings can we take away from the story "King Makhadevas Grey Hairs "?

4. What are the things one aims for in life?

5. What learnings can we take away from the story "The Cold Half Of The Month "?

- From The Hidden Life Of Trees - 

1. What is Gulliver in Lilliput about?

2. What can we learn from the "Tree or Not Tree" chapter?

3. What is coppicing?

4. How is Trees' age measured?

These are some suggestions you can choose from. Looking forward to seeing your wonderful and thoughtful reflections!  

You can email your reflections to - nk@learningforward.org.in. Feel free to call Neetu, Monday to Friday, 10 am to 7 pm, +91 135 2710958

Monday 15 April 2024

What Are Jataka Tales? - Shambhavi Nautiyal

What are Jataka Tales? What do you know about them?

Jataka Tales are a voluminous body of literature which is a compound of stories from the life of Gautam Buddha as well as his previous births.

In these stories, the future Buddha may appear as a king, an outcast, a deva, an animal—but, in whatever form, he exhibits some virtue that the tale thereby inculcates. Often, Jātaka tales include an extensive cast of characters who interact and get into various kinds of trouble - whereupon the Buddha character intervenes to resolve all the problems and bring about a happy ending. The Jātaka genre is based on the idea that the Buddha was able to recollect all his past lives and thus could use these memories to tell a story and illustrate his teachings.

Did the story connect with you today and why?

I think, yes, it did connect with me in some manner. For instance, I like that the king, at least, tried providing for his illegitimate child in the form of a signet ring, because that doesn’t happen often. Most of the time, women get estranged in such cases, by both their parents and the father of the child.

I was also able to relate when the king tried denying the fact that it was his son who had come to the court since although it wasn’t upright, it’s something we all have done in our lives- trying to deny a mistake due to shame and fear of being judged but I was glad when the kind got over it and owned his ‘mistake’ as he had thought.

And I feel like we all can take away something from this, even after thousands of years,i.e., that no child should be denied their parental love despite whatever society might think. This resonates with a thought I came across right after the class, “You need to fully experience the karmic cycle to break free from it” as only after he tried denying it did he realise its ramifications and started operating from a standpoint of love.

So for me, the moral of the story is ‘Own whatever you do, because, after some point, they will get to know about it anyway.'

Shambhavi Nautiyal 
Class- 10
Ahlcon Public School

Sunday 14 April 2024

Reflection of the week - 14th April 2024

Jataka Tales

1. What are Jataka Tales? What do you know about them?

2. Did the story connect with you today, and why? 

3. What learnings can we take away from the story "The King and the Stick Gatherer "?

4. What is a faggot bearer?

The Guru Nanak docuseries

1. Difference between knowledge and learning - Does having only knowledge make you educated?

2. Importance of leadership? How can leaders change the nation?

3. What does it mean to be living mindfully?

4. Live a conscious living

5. What did you learn from the episode today?

These are some suggestions you can choose from. Looking forward to seeing your wonderful and thoughtful reflections! 

You can email your reflections to - 


Post courtesy Rishona Chopra.

Monday 8 April 2024

Jataka Tales: Stories of Virtue and Enlightenment - Shaurya Chaturvedi

"Enlightenment is not a destination, but a journey paved with stories of compassion and wisdom."

Jataka Tales are an extensive collection of stories that originated in ancient India within the Buddhist tradition. They recount the various past lives of Siddhartha Gautama, who later became known as the Buddha, before his enlightenment. Each tale illustrates moral lessons and ethical principles through the experiences and actions of the Buddha in his previous incarnations.

The Jataka Tales often feature a wide array of characters, including humans, animals, and mythical beings, engaging in diverse scenarios and settings. These stories are not only entertaining but also serve as powerful vehicles for conveying Buddhist teachings on virtues such as kindness, compassion, generosity, selflessness, and wisdom.

Throughout the tales, the Buddha-to-be demonstrates exemplary behavior, facing challenges, making sacrifices, and ultimately embodying the virtues central to Buddhist practice. By reflecting on these stories, practitioners seek to cultivate these virtues in their own lives, thereby progressing on the path toward enlightenment.

The Jataka Tales have been passed down through oral tradition and later written down in various versions, becoming an integral part of Buddhist literature and culture. They continue to be studied, recited, and interpreted by Buddhists worldwide as a source of inspiration and guidance on the journey to spiritual awakening.

Shaurya Chaturvedi 
Class - IX D
Sunbeam Hostel Lahartara 

A Metaphor for Life: The Climb to Success - Animesh Kashyap

The best view comes after the hardest climb.

The adage "The best view comes after the hardest climb" encapsulates a profound truth about life's challenges and accomplishments. This saying extends beyond the literal act of climbing a physical mountain; it is a metaphor for the journey one undertakes to achieve success or overcome obstacles.

Some challenges and hurdles in every individual's life demand perseverance, dedication, and resilience. These challenges are akin to ascending a steep and arduous mountain. The climb may be exhausting, testing one's physical and mental limits, but it is during this struggle that character is shaped and strengths are revealed.

The metaphorical mountain represents goals, dreams, or aspirations. It symbolizes the path to personal and professional success. As individuals encounter obstacles, setbacks, and difficulties, they embark on a metaphorical ascent, facing the uphill battle of life's complexities. The journey is often filled with uncertainties, requiring determination and the willingness to endure hardships.

Animesh Kashyap
Class-IX D
Sunbeam Hostel Lahartara

Reflections Since 2021