Teen writers and their words of wisdom
Backed by Notion Press Publishing House, five teenagers launched their books in the city as part of The International Kindness Festival
CHENNAI: It is said that life often comes to a full circle. While some have to wait for this adage to come true, for some others it happens pretty quickly. Take Aarna Khatri, Sai Akhil Anand, Samara Parakh, Aashna Madan, and Kavya R for instance. The teen authors are still in school and are avid readers. At a time when they are supposed to be having a healthy reading journey, being inspired by the works they read, these five students have written their own books, all of which were launched over the weekend at a library in the city. From picking up books they like and finding their favourite authors, they now find a place amid them.
The authors have come out with poetry and artwork books. Seated inside the wrought iron and double-height interior, connecting metal racks with thousands of books as the background, the book launch at Madras Literary Society on Saturday was a prelude to The International Kindness Festival 2023. The festival is a global celebration and platform for spreading kindness.
Meet the authors
As much as it is important to be kind-hearted, it is also equally significant that you extend it in your work. One such poet is 15-year-old Aarna. “Being a part of the foundation was the first step in understanding the power of kindness,” she says. Writing poetry was a hobby for Aarna, and it only deemed fit to bring out a book on kindness. Her journey towards empathy, compassion, and kindness helped her write The Rippling Effect.
While Aarna has explored the aspect of kindness, 12-year-old Sai Akhil is fascinated by the complexities of tribal art forms. He is passionate about Indian Art forms like Madhubani, Warli, and many others. “When I see stripes on the body of a zebra or a tiger, I see patterns. They are everywhere, even our ears are a Fibonacci spiral,” he says. His book The Heart of Math is a collection of his journey and paintings that he has explored in nature.
Samara started her writing journey at the age of 12, and published her first book, Through The Looking Glass, at the age of 15. It is a mirror to reality. She pens down her thoughts and observations from a teenager’s point of view. “This is a book that you can pick up in a grocery store to read. To be able to have a personal connection with one person who has read and enjoyed this book means so much to me compared to anything else,” says Samara, whose top priority was to write and publish a book with the launch being the most significant moment of her life.
The day was an eventful one for all these children. Their thought process and clarity on the subjects they have explored captured everyone’s attention. Aashna’s Imperfection Exploring Emotions, Embracing Imperfections made the audience ponder. It made us pause and think about how each of us keeps running to be perfect. The book based on personal events makes it relatable. “We tire ourselves out trying to be perfect,” points out the young author who read a poem from her book, ironically titled Perfect.
Moving on from one facet of perfection to another of striving to survive, Kavya’s book Reclaiming Sunshine Through the Eyes of a Typical Teen captured the essence of thriving with a baggage of insecurities and intrusive thoughts. The struggles that a 14-year-old goes through in her familial relationships, and among friends form the premise of the book. “Writing is my passion. It is not just a hobby but something that I indulge in. It is more like a statement for me, I carry it around as a badge of honour,” shares Kavya.
The books have been published by Notion Press Publishing House. Writing is a craft and Notion Press is encouraging it from a young age. “It is great to see this initiative playing out and what is heartwarming is that there is so much mentorship and support for young people who want to write,” shares Srilata Krishnan, former professor of IIT Madras and a writer, who was the chief guest of the event. As the launch event came to an end, with the same compassion and blooming love for the art, the authors signed their first copies and discussed their list of ideas for upcoming books.
Meet the Author/Artist Corner as part of The International Kindness Festival 2023 will be held on December 9 & 10 at Lady Andal School.