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Teen-y Books

Four budding teenage authors writing up a storm

It is no secret that teenagers are melting pots of emotions, thoughts, and innovative ideas. Four teenagers in India who were brave enough to pen their emotions on relevant topics are Diya Shah, Kriti Sarawgi, Navya Sahay, and Rhea Rangarajan. Mental health and the stigma attached to it, and homosexuality are merely a couple of the bold topics they have dared to explore in their teen-y books. 

Teenagers are authors, too. I believe this is something we tend to forget and overlook. Read on for more about what these young authors have to say about their literary works of art. 

  1. Diya Shah, One of the Authors of ‘A Date With Poetry’

“ ‘A Date With Poetry’ is a poetry anthology of sorts published by Artson Publishing House in 2019. There are 4 contributing authors —of which I am the youngest— who have written 20 poems each. While I frequently contribute to poetry collections, this has been an important development in my journey as an author for it has brought me closer to my goal of one day becoming an esteemed poetess and earning literary acclamations.”

The book can be bought from the following link–

  1. Kriti Sarawgi, Author of ‘#THROWBACK

“As young adults in today's world, when we think of ‘Indian Traditions’ we often picture an outdated way of living that we would never dream of adopting. As a generation, we pride ourselves on many things; our powerful activism, our value for diversity and acceptance, and not to forget our killer meme game, but in this process, did we forget our roots? Where along this journey did we start to regard traditions purely as beliefs and superstitions?

As a teenager (15 years old) growing up in India, I have always been exposed to Indian traditions but never found a logical and scientific reason for following them. After conducting surveys, I came to realize that many children, much like myself, are in the habit of either mindlessly following these traditions or neglecting them completely. Every day, we choose what kind of lifestyle we want to live. How you choose to experience your life doesn’t need to be defined by which traditions you believe in and follow. It is defined by how sensibly, intelligently, and with how much awareness you perceive the world around you. In this book, titled #throwback, I have compiled a list of traditions that we, people living in today's world, can easily turn into habits to help enrich our lives. Each of these traditions has been selected to best suit the life of an average young adult but apply to people of all ages. With each tradition, a scientific explanation is provided along with my personal experience following that tradition. 

It is high time that we accept that science and tradition are converging lines that eventually merge and we cannot forget our culture that was consciously designed to suit what is best for a human being.”

  1. Navya Sahay, Author of ‘Two Roses and Water’  

“Writing is a powerful act. It is sometimes even more powerful than speaking, because often as imperfect beings, we are unable to articulate in the moment, the full essence and extent of our feelings, yet, it is so much better to write it in cleverly phrased sentences that express well-meaning messages. It was with that intention of conveying a message that I wrote ‘Two Roses and Water.’

The book is about two twins: Meghna and Rahul. Their journey begins in 1960, India. They live in the upper class of Bihar, with the best possible life. They have rich, liberal parents with a very liberal outlook on life. They have a great school, amazing friends and a bright future. But the story is about how Meghna discovers a part of her identity that changes everything and how Rahul, along with other people, help her. 

Although I do not want to spoil the story, unfortunately, I cannot say anything else about it, without doing so. The topic I write about in the novel is homosexuality and as most of you must have guessed, Meghna finds out that she is gay. But, do not stop reading this article, satisfied in the knowledge that the novel is simply about that. The novel explores concepts of sexual identity, yes, but it also explores the ways of society, Indian society, to be precise. 

The reason I chose to write about homosexuality is because I noticed that no one in our society talked about it. I didn't even know of it's existence, until I was 13. Even then, it was communicated to me by a friend who knew no more about it than me and it was spoken of between us youngsters as something scandalous. I am ashamed to look back at those times now as due to my ignorance, I had a negative reaction to it. However, as I got to know more about it, I understood that homosexuality was not that different from hetrosexuality, it was just different in the nature of the love people felt.  Over my teenage years, I read works of fiction that portrayed gay characters and the more I read, the more astonished I was that entire societies were condemning people for the way they loved. Then I watched the show,"Anne with an E", which portrayed a homosexual living in the 1900s, when it was illegal. That made me wonder. I had never thought of the fact that for entire centuries, homosexuals would have had to hide such a vital part of their identity. I observed the society around me and as I heard of their views, I realized that even the most liberal minded of us in India, had primitive notions when it came to this topic. Hence, inspired by the show, I thought of a story about a homosexual living in the past and the struggles she would have to face. Thus, I wrote the novel because I felt that there was a need for the younger generations to start talking about this topic so as to influence Indian society.”

The book can be bought from the following link -

  1. Rhea Rangarajan, Author of ‘Another Sinking Feeling’

This graphic novel is an illustrated book about a teenage girl’s perspective on the recovery from depression and anxiety. The book demonstrates how one feels when they are suffering from these illnesses and also the role that others play in their recovery. The metaphor that depression is a big black dog was coined by Winston Churchill and I have incorporated that into the novel by portraying the main character's (Zarina) inner voice as a dog.

Why I felt the need to write this book:

If someone is sick, they go to the doctor, right? So if someone is depressed, why don’t they just go to a therapist– why is the process so complicated? As a victim of depression, I know it’s not that simple. I know it's not easy to reach out for help, and that is why I created this novel. I have noticed that there are many others going through similar things that I had gone through; and yet no one speaks about it. No one is willing to share their feelings and thoughts, and a lot of people are getting worse because they're afraid to reach out. I wanted to make sure that those in need know that it does get better, and that you must talk about it. I hope by sharing my experience with these illnesses, I inspire others to do the same and encourage them to reach out for help. And as for the others who aren't suffering, I hope that this helps you be more empathetic and understanding of what one might be going through”

PDF for the novel:

Another Sinking Feeling
Download PDF • 5.64MB

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