Word wiz­ard

JAN­HAVI MAL­HO­TRA, 18, Poet

India Today - - SIMPLY PUNJABI COVER STORY -

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.

Con­tact: yo­jammy@hot­mail.com

“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. ”

RAVI S Sa­hani/www.in­di­a­to­day­im­ages.com

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