JANHAVI MALHOTRA, 18, Poet
The girl who was recently asked to autograph her book for Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and felicitated by the Punjab Governor and UT Administrator Shivraj Patil for her outstanding contribution to art and literature, tells us she started her literary career with a poem on a cockroach! A student of psychology from MCM DAV College for Women, Chandigarh, Malhotra has been writing poetry since she was seven, “I never thought my poems would get published,” says Malhotra. “After my parents read my first poem, they encouraged me.”
THE MEMOIRS When she turned 14, this Chandigarh girl started compiling her musings into a book called Aloft on the Wings of Grit published in 2007-08 by Little Magic Word, a non- profit start-up. A collection of 28 poems on death, separation, poverty, illnesses and child labour, the book holds Malhotra’s random thoughts in verse, inspired by the journey of a resolute caterpillar into the sky.
FAME CORNER The book has been appreciated by many including Khushwant Singh, Ruskin Bond, Shobhaa De, Pavan Varma and M J Akbar. Apart from having sold 12,000 copies so far, Malhotra's poem Enlightenment was ranked among the top few poems at the SAARC Youth Festival last year.
“Writing is therapeutic and it gives me a great deal of satisfaction. Whilst writing, I tend to become a bit of a dreamer that sometimes gets in the way of my daily routine. ”