There is already taboo around mental health and when it comes to children, the struggles get accentuated. So many kids and teens have got impacted post the pandemic, and we need to support them as they deal with a range of emotional upheavals. The first step, we believe, is to give them a platform to come forth and bare their souls. They need this safe space to express and hence, we were more than glad to collaborate with WICCI National Mental Health Council for a one-of-its-kind open mic for children held on 18th September 2021. This beautiful and important endeavour led to 20+ kids stepping forward and vowing us with their profound and deep thoughts. Some made us smile, some made us cry and some made us ponder.
“You’re doing it wrong.” I jumped. Mother rolled her eyes, “The strokes should be horizontal. Not vertical,” she said.
“Oh!” I said as she took the paint brush from my hand, demonstrating the correct way.
“I spent all these days trying to grow a few roses for your grandmother, but they always die. The ones you grew lasted for weeks. Maybe you can help me.”
Book Title – Woof!: Adventures by the Sea
Author – Aparna Karthikeyan
Illustrator – Sagar Kolwankar
Genre – Fiction (Pets & Animals)
Publisher – Red Panda
Recommended Age – 8+ years
2020 – even reading this makes you sigh, doesn’t it? I feel the need to fetch a dictionary or else I would run out of words to describe the roller-coaster 2020 has been! Be it mentally, physically or emotionally, 2020 has changed us all in numerous ways. This year holds great significance in everyone’s lives and not just because of the adversities we all have been through but also because of what we have achieved and who we have become post overcoming all the obstacles that have befallen in the way.
Book Title – Pinkoo Shergill Pastry Chef
Author – Vibha Batra
Illustrator – Shamika Chaves
Genre – Realistic Fiction
Publisher – Scholastic
Recommended Age – 7+ years
The ringing of bells and the chanting of priests echoed resonantly through her ears. The smog from the fire was soaring higher and higher in the air. The waft of incense sticks hovered in the room. The instant Neha came out of the room, she felt as if she could finally take a breath. Nobody understood how troublesome it was for an atheist to be a part of a pooja. For her, it was like being somewhere she did not belong. She didn’t understand the purpose of believing in God because she could believe in herself and that belief was what mattered to her. Although, she didn’t have much choice. Most of the times, when anyone heard about her being an atheist, they would get startled; all the more because for people around her an ideal girl should have been following their rules of devotion. Her mother believed that religious worship was crucial as she thought that God was the only one who could protect her at all times.
My first foray into the world of literature was when I was three. My dad got me a magazine called ‘Magic Pot’ and simply said ‘You’ll like this. Read.’ I admit, I initially read only for the free stickers that came with the book, but as I grew older, most of my time was spent swimming through pages of monthly magazines and storybooks that my cousins passed on to me.
A sunflower sings this for its beloved lover and caretaker- the sun.
Always has it been a boon for me,
Adjudging the sight of you;
But, time flies; and so do you, at dusk,
Leaving me with, but
Gloom and hope.
I wake up to find myself handcuffed to the hospital bed. The drug they injected me with to tame me seems to be wearing off. Ugh! This again. Better to get it over with, I guess. I drag my free hand into my bun and retrieve a small blade. As usual the dumb police never bothered to check in there thinking a man’s bun would just be a fashion statement. I twist to my side and turn the blade in the keyhole clockwise. My hand comes free. I learnt to pick locks when I was young, one of my many talents. I shake my hand hard to get rid of the stiffness and get up from the bed.
You may not have given us what we want,
But have taught us what to do and what shan’t.
You may not have acquainted us with flight,
But might’ve given us the potential to fight.