UniverCell - Times of India

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UniverCell - Times of India
PHOTO COURTESY: RAHUL DEV
6 MARCH 2010
If I've had a
tiff with my
parents or a
misunderstanding
with my friends,
I write them a
poem. I write
exactly what
I'm feeling at that
moment and it
helps the other
person understand
encouragement and tell me to continue
writing, but my parents are my biggest
critics. My teachers also give me a lot of
positive feedback and this keeps me
motivated," she says.
However, for a 15-year-old, one thing on her
wish list is a "normal" talent. "Sometimes I
dislike being a poet. I wish I had normal
talents. I know that my parents will never
stop me from writing nor will my friends, I
guess if something inspires you then you
should never let it go," she muses. What else
makes Saraswathi? "I love films. I'd like to be
doing something in films and media later in
life. I also participate in a lot of debating
competitions. I've stopped reading because
when I do read I'm hooked and at this point
in time I can't afford it," she says. After her
board exams, she's waiting to get her reading
habit back and also is considering the
International Baccalaureate board for
classes 11 and 12 as she thinks it "doesn't
limit my options in college". Interestingly,
she also likes mathematics but only when
she's not writing an exam, "My concepts are
strong and I like the subject and I'm pretty
good, but I get panic attacks at exam time!"
Wordsmithing
fter using considerable
linguistic skills to get a
contact number for
Saraswathi Menon, daughter of
ace cinematographer Rajiv
Menon and advertising
executive Latha Menon, we get
down to talking about her craft
and what she really likes about
it. "I started writing poems
when I was eight, but they were
really bad poems," laughs
Saraswathi. "I went to the US
when I was 11. We were in
Boston and I decided to take up
a short course in poetry writing
when I was there," she says. "My
writing has improved a lot since
then," she adds. She wrote a lot
more after her course but being
as she is in class 10 and
preparing for her board exams,
her poetry has taken a
A
sabbatical of sorts. "I hope to
write more after my exams," she
says hopefully.
A student of Arsha Vidya
Mandir, Saraswathi's debut in
Chennai's poetry scene was via
the Prakriti Foundation. "My
parents know Ranvir Shah and
had told him about the course I
had taken. After going through
my work, Ranvir said I should
have a reading and that is how I
took part in the Poetry with
Prakriti festival," she says.
Apart from her school magazine
and friends and family, not too
many people are aware of
Saraswathi's work. But, with
the publication of the Poetry
with Prakriti anthology, she is
now a published poet. What are
her inspirations really?
"Anything around me is
interesting," she says, "What
interests me may or may not
interest other people, but I write
what I feel. I'm not someone who
can concentrate for too long on
something. Poetry gives me a
focus."
Saraswathi uses her poetry
very interestingly. She lets them
do the talking when there is a
problem, "If I've had a tiff with
my parents or a
misunderstanding with my
friends, I write them a poem. I
write exactly what I'm feeling at
that moment and it helps the
other person understand," she
says. These apart, when she
writes a poem, her friends,
English teachers and parents
are her support and feedback
mechanisms. "My friends
usually offer me a lot of
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Fifteen, studying for her board exam, a young poet in the city wishes for
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