Young brigade

 Child authors from Bengaluru speak about their books written during the lockdown period 
Jiya Gangadhar
Jiya Gangadhar

BENGALURU: If we asked you to use your imagination and picture an author of four fantasy novels, what would you see? Would it be an ageing man or a woman hunched over a desk?
We often associate accomplished authors with age and experience. But today, young authors are changing the dynamics of the publishing world.

Fifteen-year-old Rakshan Pandian had the intense desire to write during the lockdown in 2020. His debut novel Chronaethion, a high fantasy novel, is for children of 12 years and above. The book is an immersive, adventure fantasy novel that follows a banished prince, princess and their guardians through a time-distorted land, guided by a mysterious boy.

Rakshan, a grade 10 student from Inventure Academy, describes the book as ‘magical literature’. “It was all my imagination and was very spontaneous,” he says when asked about the creative process behind his writing. A fan Brandon Sanderson and William Shakespeare’s work, Rakshan says that his grandfather inspired him to write the book.

Why did he picked fantasy and what were the challenges he faced?  “I was able to fully immerse myself in fantasy and use my imagination. The editing process was a little strenuous,” he shares. 
Rakshan surprised his family with his creative prowess. His mother Rajeshwari says that she was taken aback at first. “Rakshan is an avid reader,” she says, adding, “But, when it came to writing, we had to force him to write anything more than a sentence right from kindergarten. This (book) came as a surprise to all of us.”

Seven-year-old Jiya Gangadhar, studying at Ekya Schools, JP Nagar, is the author of a children’s book L is for Lockdown - Jiya’s Journal of Lockdown Lessons. It’s a creative non-fiction piece, transcribed from the diary she kept during the pandemic, where she wrote about the experiences and challenges she faced.
“When the lockdown was announced, we started our online classes. I had a lot of time to spare as I was at home; I started to write all my experiences in a diary. When my book was published and I saw it on Amazon, it was the happiest moment for me,” says Jiya.

“We were happy to see a book authored by one of our students. Jiya had imbibed a good habit of writing in her diary and the effort of her mother to recognise her passion for writing is really appreciated,” says Sreepriya Unnikrishnan, principal, Ekya School. 

Speaking about young authors, Upamanyu Dhar, a literature enthusiast, says, “India has a pool of very talented authors. It is heartening to see young authors make a name for themselves. The world 
needs more books written by young people.”

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