Categories
Index

Borderless, May 2021

Editorial

And this too shall pass… Click here to read

Translations

Songs of Seasons: Translated by Fakrul Alam

Bangla Academy literary award winning translator, Dr Fakrul Alam, translates six seasonal songs of Tagore. Click here to read.

Temples and Mosques

Kazi Nazrul Islam’s fiery essay translated by Sohana Manzoor. Click here to read.

Purify My Life

Kazi Nazrul Islam’s poem, Purify my Life, translated by Shahriyer Hossain Shetu. Click here to read.

Waiting for Godot by Akbar Barakzai

Akbar Barakzai’s poem translated by Fazal Baloch. Click here to read.

Solus

Aditya Shankar translates a poem by Sujith Kumar. Click here to read.

The Last Boat

Tagore’s Diner Sheshe Ghoomer Deshe translated by Mitali Chakravarty with an interpretation in pastels by Sohana Manzoor. Click here to read.

Poetry

Anasuya Bhar, Scott Thomas Outlar, Saranyan BV, Matthew James Friday, Nitya Mariam John, RJ Kaimal, Jay Nicholls, Tasneem Hossain, Rhys Hughes, Vatsala Radhakeesoon, Ihlwha Choi, Himadri Lahiri, Sunil Sharma, Mike Smith, Jared Carter

Nature’s Musings

Photo-Poetry by Penny & Michael Wilkes. Click here to read.

Poets, Poetry & Rhys Hughes

Lear and Far

As a tribute to the 209th anniversary of Edward Lear, Rhys Hughes writes of his famous poem, ‘Owl and the Pussycat’, and writes a funny ending for it rooted in the modern day. Click here to read.

Stories

If at all

Shobha Nandavar, a physician in Bangalore, depicts the trauma of Covid 19 in India with compassion. Click here to read.

First Lady

Rituparna Khan gives us a brief vignette from the life of one of the first women doctors in India, Dr Kadambari Ganguly. Click here to read.

Mr Dutta’s Dream

Atreyo Chowdhury takes us into the world of unquenchable wanderlust. Click here to read.

Neemboo Ka Achaar or Maa’s Lemon Pickle

A compelling flash fiction by Suyasha Singh hovering around food and a mother’s love. Click here to read.

The Literary Fictionist

In A Lunch Hour Crisis, Sunil Sharma raises humanitarian concerns that though raised in a pandemic-free world, have become more relevant and concerning given our current predicament. Click here to read.

Musings/Slices from Life

Serve the People

Danielle Legault Kurihara, a Quebecker in Japan, writes of differences in rituals. Click here to read.

Why I write?
Basudhara Roy tells us how writing lingers longer than oral communications. Click here to read more.

The Quiet Governance of Instinct

Candice Louisa Daquin, a psychotherapist, talks of the importance of trusting our instincts. Click here to read more.

Musings of a Copywriter

In Nations without NobelDevraj Singh Kalsi takes a fresh look at national pride with a soupçon of sarcasm and humour. Click here to read.

Adventures of the Backpacking Granny

In Visit to Rural BaoyingSybil Pretious travels to spend a night with a local family in rural China in a ‘hundred-year-old home’.Click here to read.

Essays

Four Seasons and an Indian Summer

Keith Lyons talks of his experiences of seasons in different places, including Antarctica. Click here to read.

Rabindranath and the Etchings of His Mind

Anasuya Bhar explores the various lives given to a publication through the different edited versions, translations and films, using Tagore as a case study and the work done to provide these online. Click here to read.

My Experiments with Identity

Tejas Yadav explores identity from the context Heraclitus, Rumi down to his own. Click here to read.

Can Songs be the Musical Conscience of a Film?

Prithvijeet Sinha uses Gaman (Departure), a Hindi movie around the pain of migrant workers, as a case study to highlight his contention that lyrics and songs convey much in Indian films. Click here to read.

Bhaskar’s Corner

In Manoj Das – The Master Storyteller, Bhaskar Parichha pays a tribute to one of the greatest storytellers from the state of Odisha, India, Manoj Das( 1934-2021). Click here to read.

Book Excerpt

Excerpted from A Bengali Lady in England (1885): Annotated Translation with Critical Introduction to Krishnabhabini Das’ Englandey Bangamahila by Nabanita Sengupta. Click here to read.

Book Reviews

A review of Feisal Alkazi‘s memoir, Enter Stage Right: The Alkazi Padamsee Family Memoir by Rakhi Dalal. Click here to read.

A review of Shakti Ghosal‘s The Chronicler of the Hooghly and Other Stories by Gracy Samjetsabam. Click here to read.

Bhaskar Parichha reviews Raising a Humanist by Manisha Pathak-Shelat‘s and Kiran Vinod Bhatia. Click here to read.

Interviews

Communication scholars and authors, Manisha Pathak-Shelat and Kiran Vinod Bhatia, discuss how to bring up children in these troubled times, based on their book, Raising a Humanist, which has just been released. Click here to read.

Sonya J Nair of Samyukta Poetry talks about the Samyukta Research Foundation and its affiliates and its festival, Anantha. Click here to read.

Sara’s Selections, May 2021

A selection of young person’s writings from Bookosmia. Click here to read.

Categories
Editorial

And This Too Shall Pass…

“April is the cruelest month, breeding
lilacs out of the dead land…”
-- TS Eliot, Wasteland

April and May have been strange months — celebrations withered to anxieties. As the pandemic took on demonic proportions in its second wave, devastating millions with death and darkness, paralysing with the fear of losing friends and relatives or ones’ own life, festivities gave way to mourning. April this time truly seemed like the cruellest month as expressed by TS Eliot in the start of the Wasteland, turning our joyous thoughts on healing to a devastating reality of swirling smoke of pyres and graves that continue to throng certain parts of the world. However, mankind needs hope like the Earth needs rain, hope to survive. Great literature and writing inspire to give just that.

This month is also the birth month of three greats who were able to generate that kind of hope with their work: Rabindranath Tagore, Edward Lear and Kazi Nazrul Islam. We launched our new Tagore section on May 7th with Aruna Chakravarti’s translations of the maestro, Songs of Tagore. Do visit us at Tagore & Us to read them and more. We plan to keep adding to this section on a regular basis. This time we have Bengal Academy Award winner Fakrul Alam’s translations of six seasonal songs of Tagore, a translation from Borderless of a poem by the maestro that is not quite accepted as Rabindra Sangeet as the tune was given by the eminent musician Pankaj Mullick. An essay by Dr Anasuya Bhar highlights different lives given to Tagore’s writing by his own rewrites, translations, and films – an interesting perspective. We also carry tributes to Tagore in verse from Ilwha Choi of Korea, Mike Smith of UK, Himadri Lahiri and Sunil Sharma from the poet’s own homeland.

We celebrated Edward Lear’s birthday with some limericks and Rhys Hughes essay placing the two century old writer’s poetry in the present context and a hilarious conclusion to the sequel of Lear’s famous ‘The Owl and the Pussycat’. Upcoming is the birth anniversary of the rebel poet from Bengal, Nazrul. Sohana Manzoor translated a powerful essay and Shahriyer Hossain Shetu, a poem by this legendary writer who believed in syncretic lore and married a Hindu woman. Now the national poet of Bangladesh, Nazrul even wrote of Hindu Gods in many of his songs and essays – a lore that yearns for revival in the current day where politicians have fragmented the world by building more walls, using the names of religion, race, economics, caste and culture.

We have a poem from Pakistan by eminent poet Akbar Barakzai translated by Fazal Baloch using the lore of Samuel Becket’s Godot and yet another translation from Malayalam by Aditya Shankar of Sujith Kumar’s poem. Our poetry section is exciting with an exquisite poem from Jared Carter on a yeti, resting on the ephemerality of its presence; a funny one from Rhys Hughes and a diversity of poets from many countries, including Bangladesh. We also started a new column called Nature’s Musings which will combine poetry or prose with photographs by award-winning photographer Michael Wilkes and Penny Wilkes, who joins us now as a writer-in-residence.

In stories, we carry a COVID narrative by a real doctor, Shobha Nandavar, based in Bangalore and interestingly another about a doctor, the first women to adopt the medical profession in Bengal. Sunil Sharma in his narrative has highlighted a crisis in humanism. There are many more stories which would make for an interesting read. In musings, other than Devraj Singh Kalsi’s witty take on countries without Nobel Laureates, we have a Canadian writer’s perception of death rituals in Japan. Sybil Pretious has shared with us her strange adventures within China this time. Don’t miss the backpacking granny!

The May issue has a wide range of essays and musings ranging from Candice Louisa Daquin’s write up on the need to trust instincts to Keith Lyon’s residency in the Antarctica with interesting photographs. He writes that you could wear shorts in summers! Bhaskar’s Corner pays a tribute to the Padmashree Odia writer who passed away last month of old age, Manoj Das.

Our book excerpt is from an unusual book by Nabanita Sengupta, A Bengali Lady in England (1885): Annotated Translation with Critical Introduction to Krishnabhabini Das’ Englandey Bangamahila. We also carry reviews by Rakhi Dalal of Feisal Alkazi’s memoir, Enter Stage Right: The Alkazi Padamsee Family Memoir and by Bhaskar Parichha of Raising a Humanist by Manisha Pathak-Shelat and Kiran Vinod Bhatia. Shakti Ghosal’s The Chronicler of the Hooghly and Other Stories has been reviewed by Gracy Samjetsabam.

Our interviews this time are more on practical issues than literary – with the two authors of Raising a Humanist and with someone who supported our Tagore section by inviting us to talk on it in an online festival called Anantha, Sonya Nair. A friend and an academic with decidedly avant garde outlook, she is part of the twenty-year-old peer-reviewed Samyukta Journal that homes many academics. Pause by and have a read to see how they serve.

I would want to give heartfelt thanks to Nidhi Mishra and Archana Mohan for hosting Ms Sara’s Selections from Bookosmia this time as they help many battle the pandemic with hope, especially young children growing up in a world inhibited with masks and social distancing. I would also like to thank all the writers and my whole team for rising above the darkness by helping us get together this issue for our readers who I hope do find solace in our pages. And thank you readers for being with us through our journey.

There is a lot more in our pages than I have written. Do take a peek at this month’s issue and enjoy.

Best wishes,

Mitali Chakravarty

Categories
Young Persons' Section

Sara’s Selections, May 2021

Edward Lear with a painting of his famous poem, Owl & the Pussycat. Courtesy: Creative Commons

Greetings!

Other than hosting the World Laughter Day, this month also houses the birth anniversary of at least three great writers. On May 7th, 1861, was born the first Asian Nobel Laureate, Rabindranath Tagore. Do you know he even wrote a book to teach young children Bengali with rhymes and poems for young children? Then, on May 12th, 1812, Edward Lear was born in England. He painted, drew, wrote funny poems and popularised limericks. You might have read Owl and the Pussycat by him. May 25th, 1899, was the birthdate of Kazi Nazrul Islam. He was a Muslim who married a Hindu and wrote for harmony intermingling the lore of both these religions. With three famous poets born in May, it is perhaps time we stepped into poetry here. Let us begin. And here is the fantastic Ms Sara. So what do we have this time?

This time we have a strange mix! Penguins and rainbows and much more… Let us start with poetry.

Poetry

Eight-year-old Harshika Khanna, from Kolkata pens an enticing poem about edible rainbows! What flavour would you want?

If I could taste the colours of the rainbow
By Harshika Khanna

If I could taste the colours of the rainbow…

I think that the violet would taste like mouth-watering grapes,

Indigo, like tiny sparkly blueberries,

Blue, like a fresh drink of blue lagoon,

Green, like the pretty pastel in shade matcha,

Yellow, like dreamy butterscotch,

Orange, like the delicious delight of freshly pressed orange juice.

Nine-year-old Vedika Sriram from Bangalore had tea for the first time and she loved it so much, she wrote a poem about it! Isn’t that Tea-rriffic!

The First time I had tea
By Vedika Sriram

The First time I had tea it was just amazing,
It was super hot and very pleasing.

It made me ask my mom for more tea,
Which meant for me to plea and plea.

She made tea every day just for me,
So that I could be happy.

I just loved tea like anything,
And for me it was everything.

So there I was, the tea lover of the world
In happiness, I swirled and twirled.

Full five-and-a-half-year-old Wrishik Ghosh from Kolkata loves to write poems. And his favourite subject is his dad! 

My Dad, My Hero
By Wrishik Ghosh

My dad is my friend,
He is always there at my end.
He spoils me a lot,
By giving lots of toys.
He is the best in the world,
His heart is made of gold.
Dad, I love you, you are my hero,
And you love me too.

Stories

Now we have these imaginative stories. Eight-year-old Prathmesh Chokhani, a Bookosmian from Kolkata makes us laugh with a funny story about a sweet teacher who forgets the way to school! 

The Teacher Who Forgot The Way To School

By Prathmesh Chokani

There was once a teacher named Priya. She loved to teach children and was very kind hearted. The children loved her classes. She was very punctual at school. But she had one problem-her terrible sense of direction!

Even though she went to school everyday she still needed a map to reach there.

One day, she had to be early at school. She woke up early in the morning, took a map, wore her prettiest dress and started walking to school.

She was holding the map. Then suddenly, a breeze came and the map flew out of Priya’s hand. She began to chase the map. But before she could, a dog caught it and ate it. Then she said to the dog in an angry voice “Eh! naughty dog,” and began advising the dog as if it was one of her naughty students in class.

Though the map was lost, she knew where the school was. But then by mistake, she stepped on the dog’s tail. Then the dog began chasing and barking at Priya.

Finally, the dog stopped chasing her and left her alone. She was now, completely muddled and had lost her way.

Then she remembered, she had her phone. She tried switching it on, but it had run out of charge. As usual, she had forgotten to charge the phone!

Now she had no option, but to ask someone for directions. She asked a person the direction and he said. “Take the right then you will reach a by-lane, then go straight and then you’ll reach the school.”

She walked and walked until she reached. She went inside the classroom and wished her students a good morning, but it was too late as it was dismissal time!

Priya joined the students as they all laughed at the incident. She may not have had a good sense of direction but she was the best at keeping the class in good spirits!

Penguins! Do you like penguins? Nine-year-old Aashritha Surya Prakash from Bangalore writes a cute little piece about a baby penguin’s sweet and happy life. Let’s get on to our happy feet too!

The happy life of a baby penguin

By Ashrita Surya Prakash

Crack! Crack! Wow what a beautiful place!

I just came out of my plain, white and warm shell into a magical place full of colours! Haaa! What a warm place! But why am I in between the legs of this person? Why do I like it here? Ohh this is my dad! But, but where is my mom? The one who laid my white, warm egg? Well now, I am a bit hungry.

Now…wow! What a nice surprise! There comes my mom! She got me some yummy fish and squid! I love it! Thank you mom! Now, after that yummy meal, I will go and meet my friends.

We played all day, my friends and I, and I am tired now, but I loved it! Tomorrow, my mom says I have to go to penguin school. There, we will learn how to fish, swim and ride on our belly down the hills full of snow!

I am so excited!

Today I went to school! It was awesome! My new teacher is great! She is very kind.

In recess, we learnt how to slide on our belly! It was very fun! I am going out to practice now, so bye!

Nine-year-old V Avyukkt from Hyderabad writes a powerful story about handling bullies. 

Learning To Face My Bullies

By V Avyukt

I am a zebra named Jack and I had three friends named Jane, Alex and Phillips. They always used to bully and tease me as I did not know how to walk on a tightrope like them.

After some days, I felt sad and suddenly a zebra was walking by. I asked his name. He said his name was Zebby. Zebby said, “I saw your friends bullying you.”

I told him it was because I can’t walk on a tightrope.

“I know tightrope, I can teach you,” he said.

Zebby tied both the ends of rope to sticks. I was not able to do it at first but I kept practicing for some days, weeks and months.

One fine morning, my heart was beating with hope. I decided to try it. I took my first step and continued walking on the rope without looking down.

Finally, I reached the end! I thanked Zebby and I told him it’s time to show the three bullies. To my surprise, he said it’s not over yet. Zebby said it was now time to learn to walk a tightrope over a fire. I was nervous but I trusted Zebby.

I closed my eyes took a deep breath and took my first step. Nothing happened so I reached the end and opened my eyes. I had done it! I looked at Zebby who was so proud of me.

I thanked him and decided to show the bullies what I could but to my surprise, Zebby said not to. He said I knew that I could walk on a tightrope over a fire and that’s all mattered.

I got over my fear of bullies and found a new best friend! 

Essays

And just as we learn to tackle bullies, we learn never to give up. Twelve-year-old Kavya Mehta from Mumbai writes an inspiring essay about not giving up despite the hurdles that come your way.

An Expert Was Once A Beginner

By Kavya Mehta

Do you think that every expert was born skilled or were they a beginner at first and had to go the extra mile to achieve their ambition? Learning is life. To achieve something, we have to burn the candle at both ends. Giving up is the path towards deterioration.

If every beginner gave up when things got tough, there would be no expert. Every time we hit a roadblock, we cannot simply throw up our hands and say, “I Quit,” you would never get past that. When you know you have failed, you would understand where you made a mistake. You can only learn, never feel discouraged by your failures and also never stop learning. Try to learn from the mistakes and be the best you can be.

If you want to succeed, never draw any conclusion from those who have achieved. They are not lucky. They may make success look easy, but no one knows how much hard work has gone into making them reach this position. Everyone starts as a beginner and takes that first step, and only by moving forward can they reach that expert level.

Late. Dhirubhai Ambani was one of the biggest examples. Dhirubhai Ambani-the son of a poor village teacher achieved his ambition by his confidence and passion. He faced numerous failures, but by his efforts and hope he started a business and thereafter gained huge success.

Ambani suffered through many hurdles in his life but he never gave up and fought tooth and nail. Following that, today his company is among the world’s best. This shows us that whether you are rich or poor you will get many obstacles as you move towards success and you have to choose the correct path without limiting yourself.

To push yourself to the next level, you need to put in the extra effort. With proper dedication, persistence, consistency, we learn to do our best. The same is the case with reaching your goal. It is not that difficult, and anyone can do it with a will to learn and implement.

Therefore, just believe in yourself and you can do the impossible.

So, before you give up always remember,

‘An expert in anything was once a beginner!’

 Eight-year-old Vedant Garg from Noida pens a heartwarming essay about a little hamster who found his home with him.

My New Pet Hamster

By Vedant Garg

It was a sunny morning when I was walking in the park. While returning home, I saw a small hamster pecking on pieces of apple that were littered on the grass.

The hamster was lonely but was contentedly enjoying his meal. He was stout-bodied, with a tail shorter than his body, tiny furry ears, and wide feet. He had very soft and silky fur.

I took the little hamster in my hands and carried him home. I was going to keep it as a pet. The little thing struggled to get out of my grip. I petted him and kept walking.

When I reached home, I rushed in and exclaimed, “Mom, Dad, see what I have got with me!”

My parents came to the living room where I had been playing with the hamster who had now fallen asleep. When they saw him, they shrieked in fear. I told them that there was nothing to worry about, it was just an ordinary hamster. But that didn’t comfort them at all. They got brooms and tried to shoo him away. I blocked their way and promised them that I would keep the hamster away from them. They agreed and stormed off.

From the very first day, I started to call the hamster Fluffy. Fluffy was very happy staying with us now. For him, it was a new dreamy life. But I was still facing some problems with him. He kept running around the house and aggravated my parents. Feeding him was very difficult too as he never wanted to eat anything, and I had to force him to eat to keep him healthy. I still had to keep him away from my parents though.

Whenever my parents would come, he would pretend to sleep but I knew that he had found a true friend in me and an affectionate house to stay.

In his hearts of hearts, Fluffy liked troubling my parents as much as I did.

I had found my companion too.

This beautiful essay by eight-year-old Jia Kataria from Kolkata, succinctly lays out the extraordinary bond we share with our mothers.

My Mother, My Best Friend

By Jia Kataria

My mother is my best friend, with whom I share all my secrets. Like a true friend she is always there with me in good and bad times.

She makes sure there is always a smile on my face and I am always free of all troubles.

She pampers me with good food, toys, dresses and a lot of love.

My mother’s presence always makes me happy and in her absence I feel very lonely.

I hope this bond blooms with every passing year.

And with that we wind up our young persons’ section for the month of May, which heralds the start of summer in the Northern hemisphere and winter in Southern. Have you even thought that while you sweat it out people in Australia would be wearing sweaters!

( This section is hosted by Bookosmia)

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PLEASE NOTE: ARTICLES CAN ONLY BE REPRODUCED IN OTHER SITES WITH DUE ACKNOWLEDGEMENT TO BORDERLESS JOURNAL.

Categories
Index

Borderless, April, 2021

Greetings from Borderless Journal for all Asian New Years! Click here to read our message along with the video and a translation of a Tagore song written to greet the new year, with lyrics that not only inspire but ask the fledgling to heal mankind from deadly diseases.

Editorial

New Beginnings

A walk through our content and our plans for the future. Click here to read.

Interviews

In Conversation with Arundhathi Subramaniam: An online interview with this year’s Sahitya Akademi winner, Arundhathi Subramaniam. Click here to read.

Sumana Roy & Trees: An online interview with Sumana Roy, a writer and academic. Click here to read.

Poetry

(Click on the names to read)

Arundhathi Subramaniam, Jared Carter, Matthew James Friday, Michael R Burch, Aparna Ajith, Jenny Middleton, Rhys Hughes, Jay Nicholls, Achingliu Kamei, Vatsala Radhakeesoon, Ihlwha Choi, Smitha Vishwanath, Sekhar Banerjee, Sumana Roy

Photo-poetry by Penny Wilkes

Poets, Poetry & Rhys Hughes

With an introduction to Blood and Water by Rebecca Lowe, Rhys Hughes debuts with his column on poets and poetry. Click here to read.

Translations

The Word by Akbar Barakzai

Fazal Baloch translates the eminent Balochi poet, Akbar Barakzai. Click here to read.

Malayalam poetry in Translation

Aditya Shankar translates a poem by Shylan from Malayalam to English. Click here to read.

Tagore Songs in Translation

To commemorate Tagore’s birth anniversary, we translated five of his songs from Bengali to English. Click here to read, listen and savour.

Tagore Translations: One Small Ancient Tale

Rabindranath Tagore’s Ekti Khudro Puraton Golpo (One Small Ancient Tale) from his collection Golpo Guchcho ( literally, a bunch of stories) has been translated by Nishat Atiya. Click here to read.

Musings/Slice of Life

Pohela Boisakh: A Cultural Fiesta

Sohana Manzoor shares the Bengali New Year celebrations in Bangladesh with colourful photographs and interesting history and traditions that mingle beyond the borders. Click here to read.

Gliding along the Silk Route

Ratnottama Sengupta, a well-known senior journalist and film critic lives through her past to make an interesting discovery at the end of recapping about the silk route. Click here to read and find out more.

The Source

Mike Smith drifts into nostalgia about mid-twentieth century while exploring a box of old postcards. What are the stories they tell? Click here to read.

Lost in the Forest

John Drew, a retired professor, cogitates over a tapestry of the Ras lila. Click here to read.

Tied to Technology

Naomi Nair reflects on life infiltrated by technology, by Siri and Alexa with a tinge of humour. Click here to read.

Adventures of a Backpacking Granny

In Inspiriting SiberiaSybil Pretious takes us with her to Lake Baikal and further. Click here to read.

Musings of a Copywriter

In Tributes & AttributesDevraj Singh Kalsi pays tribute to his late mother. Click here to read.

Essays

Reflecting the Madness and Chaos Within

Over 150 Authors and Artists from five continents have written on mental illness in an anthology called Through the Looking Glass. Candice Louisa Daquin, a psychotherapist and writer and editor, tells us why this is important for healing. Click here to read.

At Home in the World: Tagore, Gandhi and the Quest for Alternative Masculinities

Meenakshi Malhotra explores the role of masculinity in Nationalism prescribed by Tagore, his niece Sarala Debi, Gandhi and Colonials. Click here to read.

A Tale of Devotion and Sacrifice as Opposed to Jealousy and Tyranny

Sohana Manzoor explores the social relevance of a dance drama by Tagore, Natir puja. We carry this to commemorate Tagore’s birth anniversary. Click here to read

Photo Essay: In the Midst of Colours

Nishi Pulugurtha explores the campus of a famed university with her camera and words and shares with us her experiences. Click here to read.

Bhaskar’s Corner

Oh, That lovely Title: Politics

A short piece by Bhaskar Parichha that makes for a witty comment on the forthcoming Indian elections. Click here to read.

Stories

Pothos

Rakhi Pande gives us a story about a woman and her inner journey embroiled in the vines of money plant. Click here to read.

Elusive

A sensitive short story by Sohana Manzoor that makes one wonder if neglect and lack of love can be termed as an abuse? Click here to read

Ghumi Stories: Grandfather & the Rickshaw

Nabanita Sengupta takes us on an adventure on the rickshaw with Raya’s grandfather. Click here to read

Flash Fiction: The Husband on the Roof

Carl Scharwath gives us a story with a strange twist. Click here to read

Flash Fiction: Flight of the Falcon

Livneet Shergill gives us a story in empathy with man and nature. Click here to read

The Literary Fictionist

A playlet by Sunil Sharma set in Badaun, The Dryad and I: A Confession and a Forecast, is a short fiction about trees and humans. Click here to read.

Book reviews

Bhaskar Parichha reviews Reconciling Differences by Rudolf C Heredia, a book that explores hate and violence. Click here to read.

Nivedita Sen reviews Nomad’s Land by Paro Anand, a fiction set among migrant children of a culture borne of displaced Rohingyas, Syrian refugees, Tibetans and more. Click here to read

Candice Louisa Daquin reviews The First Cell and the Human Costs of Pursuing Cancer to the last by Azra Raza. Click here to read.

Book Excerpt

Excerpted from Raising a Humanist: Conscious Parenting in an Increasingly Fragmented World by Manisha Pathak-Shelat and Kiran Vinod Bhatia, the focus is on media and its impact. Click here to read.

Sara’s Selection, April 2021

A selection of young person’s writings from Bookosmia. Click here to read.

Categories
Young Persons' Section

Sara’s Selections, April 2021

April is a time when summer or spring comes knocking at your door in the Northern Hemisphere and in the Southern, winter starts to peep with autumn doing a somersault. In India, we welcome our traditional new years along with many other countries like Nepal, Myanmar, Thailand, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. New Years have so many names just like a frog has varied names in different languages: qingwa in Mandarin, kb in Thai, bang in Bengali, mendak in Hindi and we could go on and on. The reason we talk of frogs is because some even observe April as the National Frog Month. You can read all about it by clicking here.

But frog stories aside, we would like to wish you all a fabulous new year this April, a traditional new year. Here we always celebrate with the glamorous Ms Sara. So, Ms Sara what do we have this time?

We have a fabulous collection of poetry, stories and essays about so many things that happened between March and April!

Poetry

In keeping with the theme of frogs and variety is a rainbow. And here is a young man who talks of tasting one! Seven-year-old Savvya Gupta talks of the flavours.

Taste The Colours Of The Rainbow
By Savvya Gupta

I tasted the colours of the rainbow.

Red told me to be slow,

Blue gave me a taste of the sky,

Indigo was very shy.

Yellow was very dear,

Green colour did not fear,

Orange told me to be sweet.

But Violet didn’t want me to eat!

Thirteen-year-old Nazera Sheikh from Dahod, Gujarat misses the rains and the hot snacks that are perfect for the weather and she has put it all in a poem!

Missing The Rains And The Hot Snacks 
By Nazera Sheikh

Raindrops falling down
All around.
From high up in the sky
Touching the ground and saying bye.

Missing the rains and the hot snacks,
 
There is water everywhere
Some say it isn’t fair.

Children come out with their boats
And wear their raincoats,
Throw water on each other
Whether they are friends or neighbours.

Missing the rains and the hot snacks.
 

Mothers trying new cooking hacks,
We all love eating hot snacks!

Rain rain come again!

How nice! Eleven-year-old Dhriti Keni from Chennai dreams big and wants to follow it to the end.

Following My Big Dreams 
By Dhriti Keni

You are the driver of your destiny

Passengers none

Dreams are held deep inside us

Better to fail by faith

Then not do anything by fear

You are a shining star

High in the sky

Glowing like a legend

 

Following My Big Dreams
 

Wishes come true

If you work hard

And believe in yourself

 

Following My Big Dreams
 

Try and Try

Until your dreams come true

You may fall down

But you have to get up

Show courage and faith

Stories

Aha! Now we start with stories. Nine-year-old Ishani Ghosh, a Bookosmian from Kolkata writes a heartwarming tale of two girls who meet a homeless girl and help her find what she was looking for.

Making An Unexpected New Friend

By Ishani Ghosh

It was new year’s day of 2019.

I woke up, brushed my teeth and went downstairs for breakfast. My parents then surprised me by telling me that my best friend was coming over to celebrate the New Year’s day with us.

When she came over, we had lunch and then after some time, we went to the park. We went on the swings and then to the sandpit.

My parents then took us for a ride on a beautiful white horse called Milky. I went first and had just got off the horse when I noticed a little girl standing near the horse.

She was wearing ragged, torn clothes and was very skinny. My friend got off too. I showed her the girl. She told me that it looked like the girl wanted to ride the horse too but had no money to do so. We both told my parents about the girl.

We asked the people giving rides on the horse and found out that she was poor, homeless and had no parents. We were terribly sorry for her when I got an idea. I told my friend first and then my parents.
I suggested that we talk to my aunt Nora and arrange for the girl to move to her house. My aunt was very lonely. She lived all alone in her house and came to visit us often.

My parents thought it was a great idea and talked to my aunt about it. She was delighted and so was the little girl when we asked her.

We found out that her name was Judy and she immediately said that she would love to live with my aunt.

Now she is living happily with my aunt and is also one of my close friends.

Twelve-year-old P.N. Hitaesh from Chennai imagines a scenario where naughty little dragons play near a volcano.

Adventures Of The Dragon Family

By P.N. Hitaesh

Once there lived a family of dragons named Draco, Mushu and Drogan. Draco was the father, Mushu was the mother and Drogan was their son.

One day, Drogan went to play in the forest with his friends. All dragons were warned not to play near the dangerous volcano but Drogan and his friends were curious so they went there.

As they went there, the volcano erupted! The dragons ran to safety but Drogan, unfortunately, got stuck in a place where his father’s enemy lived.

When Drogan was not home, Mushu and Draco searched but he was not to be seen anywhere. Then Draco’s enemy came and said “Your son is with me. You need to fight with me and my group if you want him back.”

The fight started in the evening and it was a hard fought one. Finally, Draco and Mushu won the fight and Drogan came home.

Ten-year-old Annaya Aggarwal from Delhi tells us a lovely story of three sisters and how the shy sister, Star, finally learnt to express and communicate better. 

The Day Star Overcame Her Shyness

By Annaya Aggarwal

Once there were three sisters – Sun, Moon and Star.

Sun and moon were snobbish but popular in their kingdom. Star was shy but kind-hearted and a lovely girl but she wasn’t popular among her people as she hardly spoke.

One day, they got an invite for high tea from their aunt and uncle (Lightning and Thunder). They had never met them and were very excited.

So, when the day came, they got dressed and went in a beautiful carriage to the party. At the party, they were having so much fun that they lost track of time and were late for their dinner with their mother.

At home, their mother Galaxy was getting worried. Soon, she heard the sound of the carriage outside the palace and heaved a sigh of relief.

Mother galaxy thought that her kids would be as hungry as her. So, she asked them to set the dining table but Sun and Moon didn’t care much about their mother’s feelings. They went to sleep but Star saw tears in her mother’s eyes.

She joined her mother at the dinner table and told her all about the party. Her mother was very happy. Star realised that talking about what you feel is not so hard after all!

After that day, Star gained confidence and started helping her mother with work. She made an effort to speak to everyone and soon, she became the town’s favorite princess.

Essays

Time to think of travel? Well, once the world is rid of the pandemic, maybe we can visit this safari park called Kabini.

Let us for the time being find out about what eleven-year-old Yohaan Marda from Kohlapur, saw during his safari.

Meeting A Tiger And Sloth Bear At Kabini Safari

By Yohaan Marda

I was six when we saw this magnificent sloth bear with her cubs. We actually had stopped to see a Brahminy kite. But the sloth bear turned up out of nowhere!

It was an amazing moment and the first time ever that I had seen a sloth bear. Seeing the sloth bear with her cubs was very rare because sloth bears are shy animals and tend not to bring their cubs out so much. As we were seeing the sloth bear, the guide yelled “Tiger! Tiger!”

We all looked around and there she was! We were all very excited. Then as soon as the tiger saw the sloth bear she went charging towards the sloth bear.

This trip to Kabini was a family trip and about 55 of us went. Kabini is a wildlife sanctuary in Karnataka, about 200 kms from Bangalore. It is an amazing place for nature lovers with activities like safari, trekking, boating and plenty of animals and birds to see. We did not expect much when we booked the safari but we were lucky to see these majestic animals. At the time I thought seeing a sloth bear is not a big deal.  I thought it was a common animal but how wrong was I!

And now let us move on to the festivals we celebrated in March and early April. First let’s talk of Holi… which was a bit muted for nine-year-old Aarshiya Agarwal from Kolkata because of the pandemic. 

An Organic Holi With My Loved Ones

By Aarshiya Agarwal

Holi is a festival of colours.Holi is celebrated because of the death of Holika, Hiranyakashyapu’s evil sister.

She was killed by her nephew, Bhakt Prahlad. Every year according to the Hindu calendar, it is celebrated but on different dates. It is usually celebrated in March in the spring season. One day before the festival, there is a puja or prayer held called Holika Dahan.

On the day of Holi, we play with water and colours. We throw water balloons and put colour on each other. We also play with water guns. After playing, when we go for our bath instead of using soap on our body, we apply a body scrub to get rid of all the colors.

We eat sweets with our friends and family. This year it is going to be my 2nd holi with my little brother. Nowadays, some people make colours which have bad chemicals. These ruin our skin and cause infections and irritations. So that’s why people have started using natural and organic colours.

I celebrated Holi with my parents, little sibling, grand and great grandparents and cousins. This year because of the coronavirus, we were not celebrate fully. I reused my old water guns because it is not safe to buy new ones from outside. I hope you all had a very happy and safe holi!

And the other festival in the time period some countries celebrate frog month, is Easter. Eight-year-old Riddhima Mishra from Kalyan, Maharashtra, tells us more about the festival with rabbits (not frogs) and chocolate eggs!

Why We Celebrate Easter

By Riddhima Mishra

Easter is a festival that is celebrated by Christians all over the world. This festival is always celebrated on Sundays between March 22 and April 25 every year. The festival is also known as Easter Sunday; or resurrection Sunday.

The word, Easter, was derived from the word “Eastra” which means goddess of springs. It celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ which occurred on the third day after he was crucified on the cross.

Forty days prior to Easter, Christians follow lent, which is supposed to be a period of prayer, penance and fasting. The week before Easter is known as the holy week.

Jewish Christians were the first who celebrated Easter around the middle of the second century in Jerusalem. Churches are specially decorated on Easter day. On this day, prayers are done for the welfare of the whole world in the church. Along with this, candles are lit in the church and at the same time candles are lit in homes.

Chocolate-filled eggs or brightly painted eggs with sweets inside (Easter eggs) are common gifts exchanged on Easter. Churches and homes are decorated with white lilies also known as Easter lilies.

The symbol of Easter is ‘the Easter bunny’ depicted as a rabbit bringing Easter eggs. The day also witnesses lavish feasts and a variety of traditional dishes being cooked and served.

Hope all of you had a happy Easter!

And with that we come to the end of the Bookosmian adventures. Hope you all have a fantastic month. Here is wishing all of you a wonderful start to all your new years in April!

( This section is hosted by Bookosmia)

.

PLEASE NOTE: ARTICLES CAN ONLY BE REPRODUCED IN OTHER SITES WITH DUE ACKNOWLEDGEMENT TO BORDERLESS JOURNAL.

Categories
Young Persons' Section

Sara’s Selections, March 2021

Mad as a March hare… everytime March springs into action, flowers turn the season into a rainbow of wonderful colours. And I start to think of imagine a little white rabbit running with a clock for a tea party in Mughal Gardens (next to the Indian President’s home) or in the sprawling lawns of the White House, where lives the American President. Where do you think the white rabbit came from? All the way from Lewis Caroll’s creation, Alice’s wonderland. If you have not read the book, do so now — it is a lot of fun! The idiom was popularised by the Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland in 1865. Incase, you want to check out a free copy of the book, click here to read.

The Mad Hatter’s tea party in Alice in Wonderland

But, that is enough about March hare madness. We cannot keep Ms Sara waiting any more. With a hop, skip and jump, we hand the stage over to Ms Sara… Thank you for your patience Ms Sara — we are now ready to visit your wonderland.

No issues. I have been munching on this packet of popcorns… from the Mad Hatter’s tea party. Now, did they have popcorn on the menu? Maybe, I will click on the link and check out. It is always nice to re-read a classic like Alice in Wonderland. But, let us start on our adventure in the Bookosmian wonderland with poetry.

Poetry

Eight-year-old Saanvi Baheti from Bangalore brings to us a delightful S poem on the inviting salty waters of the sea.

The Salty Sea

by Saanvi Baheti

The salty sea slaps the shore,
I can see the seagulls soar.
I can see, sand slipping through my hand,
The sun was shining for a short span.

I went swaying slowly in the sea
Splishing, splashing, Silly me!
The sun was shining stupendously,
Oh! How I love the salty sea.

Nine-year-old Shifa Zahra Touseef from Lucknow imagines what would happen if a book could talk…

The Book On The Hook 

by Shifa Zahra Touseef

I am a book

Clinging on a long hook.

I can talk.

I can say Quack, Quack.

Happily, I fly over a shack.

Now, I am starting to think

That work was done in a wink,

Was great and fast,

When humans disappeared at last.

 

I did, I combed furry whiskers of the blue ant

And styled the long, pink hair of an elephant.

I scrubbed the dirt off the feet

Of a grumpy lump of concrete,

While no one fed the old tiny whale

Her favorite piece of yummy little kail.

 

The squeamish whining of the snail

Attracted a noisy yet

Beamish chorus of dinosaur-whales.

Those frowning faces of whales

Couldn’t stop drooling on the shale.

 

A foosh-foot named Brango

Missed his beloved yellow flamingo.

The yellow one chorped-chirped

Until sad Brango burped.

The burp was loved by Mr. Moon

The parrot, the talking riddle, and the raccoon.

Now, the foosh-footed one fled

In the forest covered with green bread.

 

This is lovely, said the ‘Quack Quack’ book

Now, resting under the sun with a coloured look.

Seven-year-old Navitha S from Mysore pens a lovely little poem about her favourite place at home, her garden.

My Precious Garden

by Navitha S

My favourite place is my garden,

Where there are flowers and plants and breeze.

 

I feel very happy when I go there,

The wind gives me joy and peace.

 

Wherever I sit in the garden, I feel the breeze.

The garden is the most beautiful thing in my house.

 

I feel that my garden is precious

It is a colourful thing which I like the most.

 

I sit and have my meal in the garden

 

It is very cool.

Let us move on to Essays. And here we have one on returning to school after the lockdown.

Essays

Sandya B Rajan, a 14-year-old Bookosmian from Chennai went back to school after 11 months and shares what that was like.

Back To School during Coronavirus

by Sandya P Rajan

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, schools were closed but learning continued with classes conducted online.

After nearly eleven months, the school reopened for classes (grades) 9,10,11, and 12. After hearing the news I was very excited but sad too.

Reopening of school meant waking up early in the morning and missing the comfort of home. But I was so excited to be in school with all of my friends. No more comfortable clothes, gadgets, and online quizzes. But we could interact with the teacher and get our doubts clarified in person.

The day before school, I packed my bag, bought sanitizer and an extra mask, and got ready for school. I went to bed very early that day. I woke up and got ready for school. My parents dropped me at school. I usually go by van to school, but due to the pandemic, my parents are dropping me to school.

The temperature was checked at the school gate. Only twenty students were allowed to sit in a classroom. So the class was split into two. We had classes. We got our doubts clarified. There were a lot of safety precautions followed in my school which made me feel safe and secure inside the campus.

After coming to school, I had to sanitize my bag and other belongings, which was an extra task I would have to do regularly. Even though it wasn’t a normal school day, it was a new experience for me. Let us hope for the best in the upcoming days. ​

Konark is a town in Odisha where there is a famed temple of the Sun and a dance festival takes place there every year. Ten-year-old Divyanshi Das from Bangalore takes us to Konark.

Odisha : A Mix Of Heritage And Natural Beauty

by Divyanshi Das

Odisha is a truly impressive and​ spectacular place, famous for its heritage sites, unpolluted beaches, pilgrimage and more.

Odisha provides a lot of sightseeing opportunities which attracts many tourists every year. So, let me introduce you to two astounding festivals from the state.The first is the sand art festival of Konark usually held from 1st to 5th December at Chandrabhaga beach, Konark, Puri.

Sand art is the art of making sculptures using sand. The artists who participate are expected to follow certain rules. They can only use the beach sand, water and hand tools. No machinery tools are allowed.

Artist are supposed to start their work on the first day (morning) and they need to be ready with their sculptures by the evening when the festival is inaugurated and opened. The festival lasts five days so the artists have to make a new sculpture every day. Artists have to keep in mind that their sculpture should not hurt the religious sentiment of the people in any way.

The second festival I want to tell you about is the Konark Dance festival . Have you heard of the Sun Temple at Konark? It is a world heritage site and the site for the dance festivals. Some of the best dancers of the country come to perform here. The aim of the festival is to promote Indian classical dances.

 Hope you liked reading about the festivals.  Do visit the wonderful state of Odisha!

Wow! Two essays that show that this year might be better than last year. In any case, the future is always better than the past. Isn’t it? Here is Jessica Rachel who dreams of one and it is a story by her.

Stories

Nine-year-old Jessica Rachel from Chennai had a vivid dream about a happier and better world and has an important message of how we can make our dreams come true.

I Dream Of A Better Tomorrow

by Jessica Rachel

Every day was the same. I went to school, I studied and came home and slept and the pattern repeated. Wherever I went, there was hardly any greenery and a lot of pollution. I saw people were homeless and their kids had a lack of education.

Then one day, Covid-19 came along and affected the whole world. Those who were poor had no money to even get basic necessities for themselves.

We were instructed to sit at home and many people lost their jobs. The government tried to help those people. Some children could afford to attend online classes but not everyone was privileged.

One day I was thinking about this as I was falling asleep.

I had a lucid dream and found out that I could change the world however I want.

So, I first planted lots of trees. I planted seeds in every garden and empty spaces. I planted about 10,000 trillion seedlings around the world. Then I tackled the pollution from factories by enhancing the flora around them.

Then I channelled the lakes and rivers around the world and connected them to every home in this world. Now everyone could have fresh water to drink every day.

Then I went to the lands that were barren and built a playground using soil and water. I dug a deep hole and made a slide and filled the bottom with fresh water]. I kept some floats nearby. Next, I went to another barren land and filled it with snow. I created a snow playground.

I woke up and realised that this was all a dream. But I knew that it is not impossible to make this dream a reality.

We can make this come true by working together towards a beautiful environment. Until and unless we work together, we can never make our dreams come true.

Now, nine-year-old Nandini Maheshwari from Delhi brings us a story about a monkey that learnt to conquer its fear thanks to a wise old Orangutan.

The Day Muchilal The Monkey Learnt To Jump

By Nandini Maheshwari

Muchilal was a very handsome monkey. He had a big moustache. He wore a colorful turban. He was very polite and friendly. But he had a problem. He was afraid to jump. He used to think he would fall down if he tried to jump. Many mean monkeys in the tribe teased Muchilal a lot for being afraid.

He decided to go to the old wise orangutan to learn how to jump. The orangutan told him to fast for one day and Muchilal did so. He didn’t eat anything, not even his favorite bananas. He was starving badly.

Then the old wise orangutan hung some bananas on a very high branch of a tree. As soon as the fast got over, Muchilal was eager to munch something to satisfy his hunger.

The orangutan told Muchilal that now that his fast has got over, he can eat his favourite food – bananas. But to eat them he has to jump over the highest branch.

Initially, Muchilal was nervous but he was so hungry that he jumped to the highest branch with a big leap. Muchilal gulped the bananas and he also realized that he could finally jump.

This is how he overcame his fear.

What happens if you have to walk up dark stairs at midnight after watching a horror movie? Another story about conquering fears by twelve-year-old Nethrra S from Salem.

A spooky walk up the stairs

By Nethrra S

It was 11 pm on a rainy night. I was about to go to bed after watching a horror movie when my mother told me to go and close the terrace door. I was shocked!

In my house, to reach the terrace we have to climb two floors. I didn’t want to be alone since the horror movie was still in my head but I said ‘okay’ to my mother. I switched on the light to the stairs but unfortunately, the power failed.

I got a torch but there was no battery in it. I thought of taking a mobile phone but my mother was on call, my father was busy doing something with his phone.

I felt scared despite having agreed. I silently went to the stairs and stepped on it frightened.

I started to climb when I suddenly heard thunder as it was raining. I stepped on to climb to the second floor when I heard someone shouting my name loudly. This frightened me more. I started to chant religious mantras as they say ghosts are scared of Gods.

Suddenly, I heard my favourite song and wondered who was playing that when there was no power?

Finally, I reached upstairs and closed the terrace door.  I took a deep breath and ran downstairs fast.

As I reached down, my mother said that she was calling me aloud and it was my sister who played my favourite song on her phone. My father asked me how I had climbed up in the pitch dark. I didn’t respond but I was glad there were no ghosts up the stairs!

A little girl gets lost in a cave. How does she manage to get out? Read this story of kindness and courage by seven-year-old Iksha Kalwal from Pune.

Finding A Treasure At The End Of The Rainbow

By Iksha Kalwal

One beautiful morning, Olivia went out for a walk. While keenly observing a stick insect, she fell into a cave. She was trying to walk slowly to find a way out. She was scared in that dark cave, anxious not knowing how she was going to get back home. Olivia remembered that her parents always said to be calm in this kind of situation and look for something to help her find a way out.

She saw a thin ray of light reflecting on her. Olivia ran towards it and bumped into a pot. She saw a small plant with a face asking for water. She quickly took out her water bottle and watered the plant. It smiled at her like a flower in the spring.

The plant asked her, “Will you please take me out of this filthy cave?”
Olivia replied, “I will.” Olivia took the plant with her and found an exit to the cave.

After walking for a while, she saw a beautiful palace. A lonely bird was sitting at the window and humming a song. That hummingbird happily flew and sat on Olivia’s shoulder. Now Olivia had two friends as she continued walking to find a way home.

They saw footprints and followed them. “That might be the way!” said the plant. As they walked following the footprints, the bird sat on an arrow sign.

“Great, my friend!” exclaimed Olivia. They followed the arrow sign and reached a hut. Curious, they went inside the hut and found a puppy with an injured leg. The three friends quickly agreed to take care of him. Olivia took out her water bottle and gave water to the puppy.

Olivia, the plant, the bird, and the puppy, set back out to find home and finally reached a riverside. Olivia could see her village far away across the river! They saw a man sailing a boat, and he offered to help them cross the river.

As they crossed the river, Olivia reflected upon her journey, grateful for the friends she made along the way and was delighted that she found the treasure – her village – at the end of the rainbow!

I hope you enjoyed the visit to Bookosmian wonderland because I am off to read now … and figure out if they had popcorn at the tea party in Alice’s adventures! See you in Borderless again next month. Bye!

( This section is hosted by Bookosmia)

.

PLEASE NOTE: ARTICLES CAN ONLY BE REPRODUCED IN OTHER SITES WITH DUE ACKNOWLEDGEMENT TO BORDERLESS JOURNAL.

Categories
Young Persons' Section

Sara’s Selection, February 2021

Nothing is so beautiful as Spring – 

Spring by Gerard Manley Hopkins

And spring is not far. There is so much hope, so much to look forward to that I am sure, Ms Sara will be bringing us a lovely collection this month too. I wish you all a colourful spring and a fabulous journey into Ms Sara’s world… (pssst… if you get the time, do look up the poem I have quoted by Hopkins). Now over to Ms Sara…

Thank you. Yes, it is a colourful spring that we look forward to. Let us begin with some writing on nature…

Essays

While we wait for spring, twelve-year-old Anoushka Chopra from Kolkata writes a small personification of the wind… which reminds of the beginning of Shakespeare’s Blow, Blow thou winter wind

‘A Strong, Loud Wind’

By Anoushka Chopra

The wind leaped across the sky, howling in anger. It lifted its powerful arms and destroyed everything that came in its path. The grey swirling wind gave a malevolent grin. It blew with great force and speed, like an angry person craving for revenge and smashed the glass windows and rattled the doors.

Then, gradually it slowed down, its speed dropped, its force seemed to vanish and within a few minutes the strong, damaging wind turned into a small breeze, smiling innocently as if it had done nothing more than blow gently around.

Thirteen-year-old Aanya Surana from Kolkata uses a letter writing (or epistolary) technique to write about the scarlet ibis, a bird that is as vibrant as spring in it’s colours.

The Scarlet Ibis

By Aanya Surana

42 Ribbon Street
Kolkata-700023
26th November, 2020

Dear Riya,
Its been a while since we have caught up with each other, I hope you’re doing  well. I know we’ve lost touch ever since I moved to Brazil for my further  studies, but I really miss you and would do anything to stay as attached and close as we were before.

The weather here is so beautiful as the autumn season is passing and the winter is setting in. During this time of year, we generally have  expeditions. As a part of the science class activity, we went to a bird sanctuary. It was so beautiful.

I was in charge of a group of children from class six and we were led by an ornithologist. He was so experienced that he  could identify the only check with their chirping noise. We saw a number of  birds but across the lake there was a beautiful flock of vibrant, colourful,  scarlet coloured birds which was were rare species known as scarlet ibis.

I was so mesmerized seeing the beautiful red bird that I could sit there forever and enjoy the calmness around her. Our ornithologist told a lot about that bird  and I found it very interesting . He told us that the scarlet ibis is a sociable and gregarious bird, and very communally-minded regarding the search for food  and the protection of the young. I thought that it would be a fun activity to feed the bird so the students and I asked our guide what it ate. He said that it had a varied diet and that it and it ate stuff like crabs frogs worms and insects. Hearing this, the students stepped back from feeding it because they were terribly scared of worms and insects themselves!

We went  further inside the sanctuary and saw numerous and rare species of  the bird. It was a trip to remember.

Give my greetings to uncle and aunt and I hope you like the pictures I have sent because I know you love nature and everything about it.

Hope to see you soon.
Your loving friend,
Radhika

Next, we move away from nature for a bit. Eight-year-old Nirav tells us what he thinks school uniforms are necessary — he believes it strongly!

All Students Should Wear School Uniforms

By Nirav

Uniforms are an excellent idea that can help school students be more disciplined. It is my belief that uniforms are a great way to maintain a level of social equality. Dress code eliminates competition and creates an equal environment.

If there is no uniform, children, who are rich, will wear branded clothes and children who are poor will wear regular and simple clothes. The poor children will feel left out because they will be different.

Without school uniform, students will spend more time on picking out clothes rather than doing work. School uniforms, thus, help maintain a school’s academic standards.

I belong to an Institution which is almost two hundred years old and I take great pride in wearing my uniform and it identifies me to an educational institute which is the finest in the country.

My winter uniform is the best as it makes me looks good and everybody calls me handsome.

Poetry

We start with a poem to Earth.

Six-year-old Mayuri Sriram speaks from her heart in this poem to save the Earth. May we all feel as passionate about saving nature.

Dear Mother Earth

By Mayuri Sriram

Dear mother Earth,
You are our saviour,
You are our best thing,
We show respect to you.

You are the planet with blue and green
You are our mother Earth!
I wish people would stop polluting you,
What a graceful presence you are.
I will save you!

Earth is really the best home we can imagine, isn’t it? We can breathe easily in its atmosphere. There is water to drink and so much of greenery and food. And we have developed so many lovely things … like music and the piano.

Twelve-year-old Asmita Ramalingam from Houston, Texas, has penned a beautiful poem expressing her gratitude to her piano.

I Am Grateful For My Piano

By Asmita Ramalingam

I am grateful for my piano --
The black and white checkered across,
The cool, hard touch,
The crisp sound.
Music in my head is never lost.
 
Sharing the delightful melody,
With my teacher,
Friends,
Family,
And the list does not soon end.
 
My fingers move like a waterfall.
As I flip the pages of my book,
The tune draws me in,
As if it’s a hook.
 
“Music takes you to a magical place I say,”
And I am grateful for my piano,
Today and everyday.

We have another poem on what we all have been doing the past year — online learning. Eight-year-old Jhanvi Shah from Mumbai pens this relatable and funny poem about the perils of online learning.

Disconnected Teacher

By Jhanvi Shah

The teacher gets disconnected,
From the meeting.
The host does not let her in.
The teacher says, “Hey… that’s cheating”!
 
She gets disconnected,
Again and again.
Everyone is happy.
Even bored little Ben.
 
She has got bad network.
“What’s the problem with that anyways?
I’ll fix it all up,”
The teacher says.
 
So the next day she comes,
With a computer brand new.
She tells the students,
“I’ve got to talk to you.”
 
“Listen, listen students all,
Corona will end anyways..."
But there she gets disconnected,
“Not again!”, the teacher says.

Stories

And what an interesting ouvre we have this month. We start by stepping out of this planet — towards a large, large universe…

Eleven-year-old Adwaith Menon from Chennai brings us a story with friendly aliens.

A Day With The Aliens

By Adwaith Menon

Hey guys! My name is Ray Jones and I am about to tell you a strange incident that happened to me.

Two years ago, I was sitting in my room studying for my exams. I was so preoccupied, I even refused my dinner.

After preparing for my exams, I went out to get some fresh air. I looked up at the dark night and said, “How beautiful!” I saw a streak of light in the sky and followed it. Suddenly, I felt myself beamed up into the sky. I fainted.

I woke up to the sound of a person yelling, “Species number 661 captain — they are called humans.”

When I opened my eyes, I saw that the speaker was an alien. Another alien being, with big bulging eyes, said: “Thank you Commander.”

He paused to look at me. “So, human…”

I interrupted him, “How do you know my language?” I asked.

“Who are you and where am I?” I screamed.

“Calm down my friend. My name is Twackey. We have a machine on board called the Languaphone which allows us to understand and speak other languages and are plugged in inside our ears. You are on board the Starlight V-7,” he said. Then he helped me stand up.

“Brrrrr”, my stomach started to growl. I hadn’t had my dinner and was hungry.

“Hungry, are you? Well, me too,” Twackey said with a smile.

He led me into a huge room and offered me food. I was happy and shocked at the same time to see that it wasn’t some alien food but something that I was used to eating.

“Our chef, Mr Rabuto, knows how to prepare all kinds of food that different species eat,” Twackey explained to me seeing my reaction.

After eating, he took me on a tour of the spaceship. He showed me a 5-D simulator, a theater for space shows, an in-built amusement park and a library. Seeing all the books in the library made me think of my home and I started feeling home-sick. Sensing me, Twackey said to me, “ Feeling homesick huh?”

“I am sorry but I have to go home now,” I said. He smiled at me affectionately. “I understand. Bye Ray!”, he said.

I bid him goodbye too.

Then, in a flash, I appeared on my bed. But…but…I thought. I didn’t go to bed, or did I? I looked up hoping it had all been real.

 

If you were a pet dog what would your life be like? Eight-year-old Mahit Verma from Kolkata believes he would be a loyal and courageous dog with a thirst for adventure.

My Life As A Pet Dog

By Mahit Verma

Hi everyone! I am a brown bulldog born in the woods and as soon as I turned a month old, I was transferred to a pet shop.

As luck would have it, I was bought by a small boy called Ronan. On his birthday, he bought me as a present for himself. Since I was a present, I was decorated with a stylish bow dog collar. Ronan picked me up and I licked him all over, being the affectionate dog that I am!

Ronan believed I was his best gift and I felt very proud about that. But I think he gave me the best gift – himself and my name ‘Bringo’.

Everyone loved me in the family, especially Ronan, who treated me like his own brother.

Sundays were much awaited as I went for longer walks near the river and got more dog treats and scrumptious food. The other days I used to get a drive in the car( but I like open air more and running in the garden )as I went to drop him to school.

Let me tell you all humans are not the same. Some boys used to come kick me and pull my tail at school. I too have my friends at the dog shelter where I am taken weekly and, boy, do we have a gala time!

All in all life was fantastic. But as they say with the good comes the evil. The date 25th September will be etched in my heart forever.

On that frightful dreaded night, the sky was overcast with dark and misty clouds. The wind was blowing hard. Nature was at its darkest best. We had stepped out for our evening walk along the river but my fright got the better of me and I jumped onto Ronan’s lap. And Ronan skid over the muddy surface. The next moment my Ronan was gone. The strong river current had sucked him in.

I yelped for help but not a single soul was around. I ran along the river bank but there was no sight of Ronan. The very thought I could lose him forever made me muster courage and, splash, I was in the middle of the river!

Fighting the current, swimming for miles and miles, braving the storm, I felt I had donned the Iron Man’s suit. At last my prayers was were answered when I saw Ronan holding onto a bushy shrub. I grabbed him by his leg and swam ashore.

Finally we were home. Everyone shrieked with relief and shed happy tears on seeing us. I was gifted a gold made collar for my bravery by the Rescue Academy.

Five years have passed since that day and we have opened a dog training institute where I flash my gold collar as a chief instructor.

And let us stay with our animal friends…Six-year-old Shanaya Singh from Kolkata saw something amazing while she was out playing in the garden. Do read to know what she saw!

A Happy Squirrel Family

By Shanya Singh

One fine morning, while I was playing in my garden, the weather was so good. The wind was blowing on the branches of the trees. I could hear birds jumping around me. Suddenly, I heard a husky barking around the tree branch.

On hearing the sound, one squirrel came and sat next to her father on the branch. Next, I heard both of them squeaking and calling ‘Kiki’. Then another squirrel came out of the hole. I heard similar chirping and I saw one more squirrel joining them on the branch. All of them squeaked and barked together.

Kati, a tiny squirrel came running and sat next to them. They all started to swing in the air and play happily. How loving and caring they were! I also named the father squirrel Kally.

It was a pleasure to see the beauty of nature. Did you know that animals and birds communicate with each other?

What a lovely drawing of the squirrel and her family. Thank you Shanya and all our good friends from Bookosmia. We look forward to the madness of March — let us dream of a colourful spring and a lovely year ahead. This is Ms Sara wishing you all adieu!

( This section is hosted by Bookosmia)

.

PLEASE NOTE: ARTICLES CAN ONLY BE REPRODUCED IN OTHER SITES WITH DUE ACKNOWLEDGEMENT TO BORDERLESS JOURNAL.

Categories
Young Persons' Section

Sara’s Selection, January 2021

Hello folks!

A very Happy New Year to all of you, and especially to Ms Sara. We always hope for a better future — let it be filled with magic, stars and rainbows! And may we all be able to interact with all our families and friends… This time Ms Sara has a cheerful collection giving hope in the New Year — 2021! Presenting Ms Sara in 2021–

Thank you! Ms Sara is back again. Hey there everyone, wish you a fabulous New Year on this page, both on behalf of Bookosmia and Borderless.

Poetry

We start with poetry welcoming the New Year. Here is a jolly poem talking of a jolly time, by 9 year old Noah Batolar from Gurgaon.

A Jolly Time of the Year

By Noah Batolar

Christmas is a jolly time of the year

Where everyone opens up to good times and cheer.

Nothing can stop this holiday

Almost everyone celebrates this day.

All negative thoughts are thrown into a pit —

Christmassssssssssssss, what a jolly time.

Put up the decorations,

Light up the fireplace,

Sing the carols and

All of that is just the beginning for a cheerful new year!

7 year old Anvi Sankhyan from Gurgaon now gives us a fun poem about Aliens!

Green Blue No Clue

By Avni Sankhayan

In the black space

Two Aliens in their UFO’s

were having a race.

They stopped

As their view was blocked

By a ball which was blue

But they had no clue

It was green which nobody had seen.

What is this beautiful place

Which has stopped their race?

Mountains, rivers, beautiful humans, desert, snow —

They wanted to know.

They went into a little girl’s dream

So that she would not scream.

The little girl said this:

 My mother Earth full of trees, life which makes it green 

Which you haven’t seen.

The water makes it blue. 

Now you got the clue!!

Next, we have a little mischievous take by 10 year old Shreyash Bajaj from Singapore. Warning: Please do not try it out!

How To Bunk School– A Poetic Recipe

By Shreyash Bajaj

Ingredients:

A cup of sleeping
A jar of excuses
A tablespoon of lateness
A teaspoon of secrecy
A bowl of willingness
2 cups of plans
A pinch of cleverness
A spoon of hiding.

Directions:
Wake up late,
You’re doing great!

Go over the plan again,
How and when.

Don’t brush your teeth
Don’t make your bed.
Go over the excuses in your head.

Go and make a fuss.
Try to miss the bus.

When you arrive at school,
Keep your cool.

Find a place,
To hide your face.

And lastly,
Have secrecy.

So now don’t be a fool,
Start bunking school!

Stories

We move on to stories now. Here is 9 year old Prakalya Krishnamurthi from Erode, Tamil Nadu taking us on an exciting marine adventure.

Julia and Dolphi

By Prakalya Krishnamurti

One pleasant day,  I, Dolphi , the dolphin and my friend, Walrus were playing at the seashore. We met a girl, her name was Sarah. She used to come walking with her dad. Sarah loved to play with me and Walrus so we became best-friends and buddies. A week later, Sarah came walking, her face down and smile missing. Walrus and I asked her, “Why are you sad? Come let’s play.”

Sarah said, “Hmmm….There’s a pet contest at my school, Oakland Elementary and I have no pets at home. I don’t know what I’m going to do on that day in school.”

We got an idea!

“Aren’t we your lovable pets and your best-friends and buddies too?”

Sarah was so happy and said, “You guys are so kind! Ok, now let’s get on with the contest. The contest is in a couple of months. So you both prepare the   tricks. I will prepare the props and costumes, sounds good?”

“Yay! Wonderful, I am so happy to be with you Sarah,” I said.

We practiced for the contest everyday at the sea shore.

“Ok, you both are performing very well and I am sure we’ll win the prize tomorrow,” said Sarah. “I will come tomorrow at 8 o’clock to pick you up for the contest.”

“Ok, Sarah, we will wait by the sea shore,” I said.

We were playing happily at the shore without knowing that we were about to be captured. Suddenly, two hunters saw us playing. They came quietly and captured us and sold us to a ‘Sea School’.

The next morning, Sarah went to pick us up but we were not there. She searched the whole seashore. Sarah started to worry and went to the contest  alone. The contest started at the open auditorium, which had a big pool in the center. Everybody performed. At last Sarah’s name was called out.  She went next to the pool with a sad face. Suddenly, she heard voices calling her, “Sarah, Sarah, Sarah! ”

It was us! She was astonished to see us but without another word we started  our performance. We gave a mind blowing performance and won the first  prize. Sarah was really happy but she wanted to know what had  happened. We understood her and answered her question, “Ok, we will tell you,” I said. “That day, when were practicing the tricks, suddenly we were  captured in a net by hunters. They left us at a Sea School. There, two caretakers came to see if we were valuable animals for the school. Luckily,  they were very kind. After we told them our story, they immediately said we will help  you get to your contest.”

Sarah hugged us tightly and said, “You both are the best friends in the world!” Suddenly a big wave of snow fell over us.

I opened my eyes and was looked around. I realized that it was only my dream and I was a dolphin in the dream. Slowly, I, Julia realized that after I went to Shedd Aquarium in Chicago with my family to see a dolphin show, I hadn’t stopped thinking about it. In my dreams, I had imagined my adventure as a Dolphin.  

My whole family laughed and my little brother rolled on the floor when he heard my story.

Here is an adventurous story by 8 year old Kiyan Jal Bulsara from Kolkata that will spur you into action. Aliens, monsters and a young hero….get ready!

Run for your life

By Kiyan Jal Bulsara

One day Mike got up and quickly readied himself for school because he was late. When he reached school, it started to rain very heavily. It just wasn’t his day. Somehow he was able to dash into school in the nick of time.

Mike saw something form in the sky, he was curious. It was a massive portal. After five minutes, thousands of monsters started to fall out of the portal and everyone started to panic except for Mike.

He went out of school and asked one of the monsters why they had come to planet Earth? The monster, whose name was Gigi, told Mike that the most  powerful villain Choba had escaped and was on a killing spree. Choba had  killed the king of all monsters, Nachi, so he could take over the throne and be the next king.

Therefore, they had come to ask for help. Mike called the Monster Busters and told them what had happened. They formed teams and were ready for the  battle. The Monster Busters used special weapons like a lightsaber to battle  Choba. The battle started the next day and finished after ten days and the  humans won but thousands of innocent busters died.

The monsters went back to their planet and promised to live in peace and harmony.

Watch out! 7 year old Aadya G from Chennai has her own Frozen sequel written out and this one is in India!

Anna and Elsa’s Visit to Taj Mahal

By Aadya G

Once upon a time there lived two sisters Anna and Elsa. They lived in Arendale. Christoph, Olaf and Sven were their friends.

One day they were gazing at Arendale’s palace and wondering if there could be a more amazing building. They wondered if there were more such beautiful monuments  across the world.

Christoph said, “I know a beautiful palace in India called  Taj Mahal. It is located in Agra and is one of the seven wonders of the world.”

Everyone got excited and said they wanted to visit the Taj Mahal. They started their trip to Taj Mahal by flying to India.They looked for a taxi ride and finally got one to drive to Taj Mahal. On their  way,  they saw a big giant monster. Anna quickly put a fireball on the monster.

The monster ran away. Finally, they reached Taj Mahal. They were surprised to see the Taj Mahal. They saw that it was very large and   made of white marble. They were excited to see the beautiful  carvings on Taj Mahal. They sang and danced and had lots of fun at the Taj Mahal.

Essays

If you were a bird in a zoo, how would you feel? Would you love it? Or, would you  rather be free?

9 year old Atreyo Bhattacharyya from Kolkata shares his perspective, in this epistolary (letter writing) piece.

Exciting Egret

By Atreyo Bhattacharya

Dear Grandpa,
I am very sad as I have been locked up in this cage. I am in an enclosure named ‘The Egrets’. But people still admire me for my beautiful snow white plumage.

We have cages that restrain a bird from flying away. I was brought to this zoo by a man named Kalan. He first dug a big hole and then covered it with leaves. Without seeing properly, I stepped on that and fell into it. I miss my freedom and how I used to roam around and jump from one tree to the other.

But the advantages of this zoo are that I regularly get good food to eat and big bowls of water everyday. My life in this zoo is comfortable because the people give me food and water at the right time and take care of me properly.

But I feel lonely here because I can’t talk to my friends. Slowly, I am forgetting  how to fly as this is a small cage, nor do they allow us to fly much. My flight feathers are becoming of no use. I miss my freedom and abhor this life of a prisoner.

Hope I could fly back to you whenever I wish as I used to do….

Miss you Grandpa
Yours lovingly,
Jack

This thoughtful essay by 9 year old Sia Patel from Ranchi is one that unites the whole Earth under a single rainbow.

The Seven Colours of the Rainbow

By Sia Patel

When I was small, my dad always told me how important it was to love and  respect every individual, be it our own family members or strangers.

He always gave me the example of a rainbow.

How people looked forward to see the rainbow after the rains. The colours, when united look, so beautiful and have a unique identity, just like our  country. Unity in diversity.

The seven colours of rainbow always lived happily together.

One day the colours started to fight among themselves on how important and powerful they are individually.  They forgot how beautiful they looked united.  Each colour wanted to show off their own importance. Because of their differences, they started living separately.

Children were disappointed as they could no longer spot the rainbow when the sun shone after it rained.

Rainbows were only in stories and pictures now. Soon people stopped looking for a rainbow in the sky. The colours were so busy fighting that they never realised that slowly they were losing their significance.

The colours, who had started living separately, felt sad and lonely.

They lost their charm.

One day a little girl heard stories about rainbow from her grandmother. She  was upset to hear about their fights and decided to help the seven colours become friends again.

Slowly the colours realised how powerful and beautiful they looked when  united. Together they brought smiles and happiness into so many people’s life. They  never fought again and promised to stay together.

If every individual realises their role and importance in staying together, there will be no hatred in the world.

Hey friends, Sara here. 10-year-old Khushyati Sachwani from Hoshangabad, Madhya Pradesh shares her heartfelt experience on how her dad and her family faced the Corona virus.

My Father is a Corona Warrior

By Khushyati Sachwani

I was disturbed from the moment I heard that my father has tested positive for coronavirus. I immediately Googled and tried to find out the ways to help him get rid of it but it was not as easy. 

For a few days, we had to separate from him. He had to be admitted to a hospital. Initially his condition was not too good. It was difficult to stay with other patients who were also suffering from the same but he did not lose courage. He was deprived of love, family and home food but he kept our spirits up by assuring us that this would last only a few days then he would meet us soon, hale and hearty. 

His optimism felt heroic to me and I realised that my father is certainly a warrior who, with his positive bent of mind, defeated this disease and came back home safely. 

Here is the last essay, hoping 2021 will a year full of hope, hope embodied by the young writers who write here. We hope for a future which can only get better. Sia Patel from Ranchi gives as another lovely piece — a wonderful welcome to the new year, even after a very tough 2020.

It’s Time to Leave 2020 Behind

By Sia Patel

2020 wasn’t as exciting as I thought. It was more like a prison but it was good spending quality time with my parents, my sister and my pet dog. In this pandemic I hardly bothered about day, date, and month because everyday seemed the same to me.

Soon online classes started. Initially, it was boring as no one understood the instructions given by the teachers. They did not mute themselves and time was wasted. We could not talk to our friends which was the worst part. If it  would have been school I could have played with them at lunch break but there was no school so no playing and mostly no talking.

Soon we made a friends group on mobile and we started doing zoom meetings but that also did not happen often as our parents restricted our screen time. Because of this pandemic, I wasn’t able to meet my new class teacher or my  new friends in the class.

I did get to learn many new things while staying at home like  doodling from a  book by Liz Pichon known as Tom Gates. I read lots of books, yes, a total of 31 books! Few things were really fun doing while staying at home.

What I missed most was celebrating festivals like we did earlier and vacations to a new place. Everything was restricted with a limited number of friends and relatives. I even lost my grandfather in September this year due to his illness. I miss him so much. He loved and pampered my sister and me a lot.

The only thing that was good this year was I got my first pet dog, Bingo.  He is very cute and mostly a good friend of mine. I had so many plans for 2020 with my friends. We had already discussed our ideas for celebrating our birthday parties with different themes but nothing could be executed because of  coronavirus. We did most of the celebrations virtually this year.

Now that it’s time for the year end of 2020 so let’s welcome 2021 and say goodbye to 2020. Let’s  stay strong for facing all the problems in future and  hope that 2021 brings lots of good time and positivity to everyone.

And now this is Sara wishing you hope for the new year and a fantastic future.

( This section is hosted by Bookosmia)

.

PLEASE NOTE: ARTICLES CAN ONLY BE REPRODUCED IN OTHER SITES WITH DUE ACKNOWLEDGEMENT TO BORDERLESS JOURNAL.

Categories
Young Persons' Section

Sara’s Selections, December 2020

Halloo Readers!

We are back this month with a collection of poems, stories and essays. Christmas, Hannukah, New Year and more… What will the festivites and the new year unfold? Here is writing with hope and happiness for a better future. It never ceases to amaze how wise and full of fun Bookosmians are! So, at end of the year, we handing over now to the glamorous Ms Sara, our favourite presenter.

Thank you for the compliment. And our festivities continue into December with more fun and dreams that draw us closer to your fantastic ideas. We start with poetry.

Poetry

10 year old Dhriti Keni from Chennai speaks for so many of us, when she talks of the world books unravels for us.

What I find in books 

Travelling throughout the world
Meeting new people
Living the life
Being lost all alone
In a completely new land.

.

Seeing the tall and high mountains
The enormous sky
The hot burning lava
Visiting new lands.

.

Feeling the happiness
Of reading books
Meeting kings of the past
Saying hello to the green goblins.

.

Dancing with princes and princesses
Living at royal castles
Solving new adventures
Swimming through enchanted oceans.

.

Opening hidden past lives
Discovering new doors
Solving mysterious adventures.

.

Some say reading
Maybe a hobby
But for me it’s my life.

.

In unknown lands
There are mysteries
Awaiting to be solved.

Here is a wonderful nature poem on the ‘ Golden Crowned Crane’ by 8 year old Arkendu Banerjee from Kolkata.

Golden Crowned Crane

A bird from the family of crane,

With a grey coloured crown.

We will call it a grey crowned crane,

With a speciality itself in its name.

.

A bird with grey crown,

Not found in the Indian town.

It’s the national bird of Uganda,

Not less famous than Anaconda.

.

Displays its dance  in the rains,

It is omnivorous and eats insects and grains.

And makes a honking sound,

When it moves around.

13 year old Riva Agarwal from Kolkata has something special to say to her dad. Read on.

A father’s love is underrated

We all have seen movies and read books,
On how hard our mothers work and cook.

.

It is true, they work hard, but so do our fathers,
Their love should be appreciated more often too.

.

I have always wanted to be like my father when I grow,
He makes me see the world with a different view.

.

Whenever I have problems he is there to assist,
The ways he has helped me, would make quite a list.

.

His wisdom and knowledge has shown me the way,
And I am thankful for him everyday.

.

I might not tell him often enough,
But he is the one I truly love.

And here are some interesting stories.

Stories

8 year old S.Sanjana from Chennai shares this powerful story to wake us up to the issues of deforestation.

An Old Neem Tree

“Wake up, you are getting late,” said my Mom.

I am a part of a Science Club in my school and my teachers were planning for a  visit to the nearby local forest, to help us learn about plants and insects. All of us were excited!

We reached the forest. Our teacher  asked us to pair up and we started  walking into the woods. The sad part was that we were not able to see much of trees there. We saw some shrubs, bushes and some butterflies. Here and  there, we saw some huge trees.

Suddenly, I heard some noise. When I turned back, I saw a tall old neem tree.I continued walking. Again, I heard the same noise.

With confusion and curiosity, I saw the neem tree weeping. I could not believe  my eyes. I went near the tree and asked how could it talk, and what was the reason to cry?

The tree said that a gang of people used to come at night and cut down the trees. The people residing near by were not aware of it. If this continued, the forest will be destroyed. “Please help us!” said the neem tree.

After hearing this, I called my friends and told them what had happened, but no one believed me. So I went and informed some people residing there. I asked them to monitor the forest at night.

Next day the same people came to my house and said that they caught the gang and handed over to the forest department. The people appreciated and thanked me.

Next week I went to the same forest with my parents. The old neem tree was so happy and it shed its leaves and flowers on me.

The neem tree said, “Thank you so much, dear. You saved the forest.”

Even now I can’t believe it happened. Did we become so inattentive as humans, that a tree had to come alive and talk to us, to save our own forest?

Avoid deforestation.

Neem tree with flowers: Photo courtesy; Wiki

A powerful story by 12-year-old Karthik S from Bangalore gives a perfect lesson as the COVID vaccine seems likely in the near future. Hoping the execution would be smooth and well thought of, leaving our past differences behind!

COVID Vaccine for Animals

Far, far away in the Gir forest in Gujarat, there lived animals and they all had a meeting for settling the issue of creatures panicking because of COVID-19 and the lockdown started by King Simba in the forest of Gir. So, some animals came and asked for the vaccine.

King Simba announced a forest meeting at his den near the big rock and asked the royal messenger, Mr. Ping to spread the message to the respective administrators– Mr. Sharko, administrator for the sea; Mr. Oogway, Minister of the sea; Mr. Toadhog, administrator for the amphibians; Ms. Bunny, Minister of rodents; Mr. Jerry, Administrator of the farms; Mr. Pete-Administrator of the sky and Ms. Buzz- Administrator of the insects.

At last he called his royal priest, Mr.  Ellyvant and his royal minister for the meeting, Ms .Pam Pam. Mr. Goat, who had spoken against King Simba last time was not invited.

They all sat down comfortably near a tree and started discussing the issue.

Elephant: Where is King Simba?
Panda: Yeah! Where is he?
Shark: We are where he told us to come.
Turtle: Let us wait. I think he is getting ready.
Lion: ROAR!!!!! I am here.
Parrot: At last he is here.
Rabbit: King Simba, what were you doing all this time?
Mouse: Everyone is getting scared of going out.
Camel: No one is coming out for water because of the fear of this virus. We need water supply and the canal is a little far.
Bee: None of the insects are coming out. Bees are not making honey as they cannot go out to collect nectar.

Lion: Yes, I understand all your concerns and that’s why I have brought Mr. Ellyvant the elephant. Mr. Ellyvant knows about Ayurveda and he has prepared  a vaccine for us. Is it ready Mr. Ellyvant?

Elephant: Yes! Of course, I have prepared it so we can overcome this virus  anytime but there is a problem. This medicine needs tulsi leaves and I do not have any. The animals were unsure of what to do. Some of them got scared.

Goat: Wait, there is a small tulsi plant near the farm.

Everyone looked at Mr. Goat in surprise. Wasn’t he banned from the meeting?

King Simba walked slowly towards the goat. The animals were sure the goat would be punished.

Lion: What are we waiting for then? Let us go.

The animals were relieved.

Some things are more important than small fights. They all sat in a nice car and went to the farm for the tulsi leaves. Soon the vaccine got invented and they  happily lived ever after.

Here is yet another imaginative story by 8 year old Dia Nanavati from Ahmedabad.

A kingfisher named Lucy

Once upon a time in a forest called Congo, there was a Kingfisher named Lucy. She was the smartest kingfisher in the forest. Her friend was a hedgehog called Hosko. One day Lucy and Hosko went to play in the forest. While they were playing, it started getting dark and they got lost.

Hosko said, “We are lost and we don’t know where to go!” Lucy said, “Don’t worry, we will think of something.”

Suddenly they saw something sparkle like a star on the ground. Lucy picked it up to see what it was and realised it was a magic mirror. “Oh wow!” exclaimed Lucy. “Maybe we can use this magic mirror to home!”, said Lucy. But how?

Suddenly the mirror sparkled and a unicorn came out of it! The unicorn said it was sent by the magic mirror’s fairy God mother. Lucy and Hosko sat on the unicorn and reached home. They were tired so they went to sleep.

Another one of Lucy’s friends Sammy the parrot was passing by when he saw something strange on Lucy’s window. He peeked through Lucy’s window and saw a unicorn! He woke Lucy up excitedly and said, “Why is there a unicorn in your room?”.

Lucy said in a sleepy voice, “How will I know? Let’s ask the unicorn what she is doing here.”

The unicorn told Lucy, “My name is Holly and I’ve come to help you become the smartest kingfisher in the forest.” Lucy was thrilled until she realised, she already was the smartest kingfisher in the forest!

7 year old Ayaansh Patni from Kolkata is taking us off on a creative voyage, to Mars, no less. Vroooom!

A science competition, on MARS!

It was a science competition like no other. The location was Mars! 

My friend and I went to Mars in a spaceship. When we landed, we wore a suit so that we would get oxygen and we would not fly away due to lack of gravity. The competition was happening in an alien school. 

We showed off our invention- a dustbin that collected all the waste materials automatically. Then we all went to eat in the hostel and the aliens offered me to eat. I bit it and screamed as it hurt my tooth. It was a stone! What strange things aliens eat!

In their city, there were different types of animals that had big noses and ears. Even the sunset and sunrise were very different. Later we both saw something unusual. Plants were walking and talking!

On  the trees there were many fruits , chocolates and candies. By just standing under the tree we got one chocolate in our mouth. Candies tasted like juicy fruit in our mouth. The red soil made all the plants, trees bright red. It looked beautiful.  

The alien school taught us many different dances and instruments to play music. We were given a translation machine to understand them in a better way. We really enjoyed Mars. It was time for us to come back to Earth. The aliens gave us a lift. We thank our school for giving us this marvelous experience.

Now for some essays…

Essays

What do you want to be when you grow up? 13 year old Moksh Jain from Surat has a ready answer. Read on.

If I Were An Engineer

If I were an engineer, I would be wearing a long, white lab coat with M.E.O. written on it.

M.E.O is the full form of the company I am planning to create- Moksh’s Engineering Organisation. I would also be wearing those weird lightweight plastic glasses that people often wear in labs.

If I were an engineer, would work for the environment. I would make boats with magnets that would calibrate with the earth’s magnetic field and  help them propel from one location to another. Think of how much the  environment will benefit since no fossil fuels will be burnt!

Next,  I would make a device that would absorb greenhouse gases and convert it into oxygen. This device can be used in hospitals for patients on  ventilators who require oxygen to breathe. 

I would also make a spaceship that would be protected against radiation as the biggest challenge in covering planetary distances is radiation. My idea is to put in a machine that vibrates in a loop and produces electricity which will give it enough power to travel in outer space. 

So this in short, is what I would do, if I become an engineer. 

13 year old Gofiaa from Chennai writes on Christmas. Gofiaa is a person who loves to explore new things. She always likes to be unique in whatever she does. Her hobby is learning new languages.

All about Christmas

Hurray! December has finally come, which means Christmas time!

This is a joyful time where we give, receive presents, have big feasts, decorate  our home with lights and bells, having a wonderful time with our family and friends and of course receiving presents from Santa Claus and singing classic carols like jingle bells.

It reminds us of the importance of sharing, caring, living in peace and harmony with our loved ones. Now, let’s go back and see how it all started. During 6th  century B.C in Bethlehem, a baby boy was born in a barn in humble conditions.

Guess who it was? Yes, it was Jesus Christ. So we celebrate Christmas on  account of Lord Jesus’s birth. The celebration of Christmas started from Rome but it didn’t become a major Christian festival. Many Christmas traditions  started spreading little by little until 9th century. After that it became a major Christian festival.

Now let’s talk about Santa Claus, every kid’s favourite person! It is believed  that there lived a monk named St. Nicholas. He gave away all his inherited wealth and started helping the sick and the poor and buying gifts for children  during Christmas. He became popular for his kindness. Many people got  inspired by him and started helping poor and buying gifts for children. That is where the Santa Claus tradition began.

At first, when Christmas celebrations were started, it was only amongst  Christians but now it is celebrated by everyone, no matter who they are or what religion they belong to. On Christmas Eve, preparations are made like  Christmas dinner, decorations, buying gifts etc. It is the best time of the year for both kids and adults.

Christmas’s true message is to give up one’s very self, think of only of others,  bringing the greatest happiness to others and to unite with every human being  around the world. As the pandemic is here, let’s share our wishes and presents from safer distance.

Let us celebrate this Christmas safely and happily.

So, here is Sara wishing you all a fabulous Hannukah, Christmas & New Year! See you again in 2021

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Categories
Young Persons' Section

Sara’s Selections, November 2020


Greetings!

We waft across the seas singing a happy song with the breeze! What a lovely world it is full of colour and festivities! Festivals from all over the world hop into this page — festivals through October and November. The fabulous Ms Sara will flit around the world on a festive spree through Deepavali, Durga Puja and Halloween and stories and writing around them.

Thank you for the lovely introduction. Hey everyone, your best friend Sara here!  What a time of the year, for celebrations ! We will start with the one closest. Diwali or Deepavali, the festival of lights.

Poetry

Eight year old Nirav Prakash from Kolkata shares his excitement for this amazing festival, in both words and pictures.

Bright And Booming!

Oh this is a beautiful festival of lights,
On this day, all friends and relatives unite.
We eat chocolates and sweetmeats with delight,
Decorate each corner with lamps and candle lights.
And enjoy firework all through the night,
I love Diwali, the festival of light.

I am a firecracker, I go “Boom,”
After making a mess, mother needs to broom,
My uncle loves me the most, who will soon be a groom.
I burst high up in the sky with the sound kaboom,
And my pet hides like a cartoon in my room,
I am a firecracker, I love to “Boom!”

Ibrahim Abdulkader likes to play table tennis and loves playing with his NERF guns and doing nerfwar with friends.

Oh ! I Cannot Wait For Diwali 

Diwali is the festival of lights
No dark nights , everywhere it is bright
Sparkles, crackers and fireworks at height
Brightens our hearts and souls with delight.

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Colourful new clothes we all wear
Girls with pony tails and decorated hair
Diyas I light, to decorate the windows and doors
Mom makes a beautiful rangoli to adorn the floor.

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No darkness and evil fills the night
Happiness shines with all its might
Think of those who know not what it is to enjoy
Together we can fill their hearts with lots of joy.

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Oh ! I cannot wait for Diwali
Wishing everyone a Happy Diwali .

While Durga Pooja was celebrated last month, nine year old Sruthika Murali from Kerala shared this creative poem on what would happen if Durga were to come alive.

Sruthika is an ardent reader and quite imaginative. She jots down few lines once in a while in her diary. She likes to observe things around us.

When Durga Comes Alive…

When Durga comes alive,

She will kill the evil ones and give us peace.

When Durga comes alive,

The trees will shiver and the floor will shake.

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When Durga comes alive,

She will be strong and very big,

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But really she is calm and quiet.

When Durga comes alive,

We should join our hands and pray.

And now Halloween, which was different this year because of the lockdown. But we had friends who could spook us out with their stories and poems! Nine year old Arunava Sengupta from Delhi, is doing just that. All set?

Arunava Sengupta enjoys reading books, painting, singing, playing cricket,  badminton, cycling and watching TV. He goes to Manava Bharati India International School, Delhi and is a student of Jabberwocky Speech and Drama

What A Spooky, Spooky Night!

On a dark and spooky night,
This day, everyone gets a FRIGHT!!
Your lights are blinking, is it a shock?
Oh, what a spooky, spooky night.

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A little rumble, a little creak
Your muscles are missing! You are weak!
A light is shining , it is so very bright
Oh, what a spooky, spooky night!

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Your door is banging! Somebody’s knocking!
Your lock is stuck, preventing you from opening!
A log was brought! The door was down!
Why it was me, dressed as a hound!

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“Mom!” I said. “I loved the outing!”
“Now I’ll go to bed.
Tomorrow is Halloween! I need some rest.”

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So he slept. His mask was beside him.
He’ll be bright the next day. Not dim.

Stories

And now we bring you stories around these festivals. Here is one by twelve year old Vania from Kolkata keeping our spirits high in the Durga Pooja festival, with her fantastic tale! 

Vania is a student of Modern High School For Girls, Kolkata. She is an avid reader and loves writing. During this lockdown, she has also published two books on Amazon Kindle.

Warrior Durga AKA The Female Alpha

Adorned with gold accessories, I leaped down to earth on my beloved pet lion, ten weapons in my ten hands — each weapon symbolising a different trait — the sword for wisdom, trident for peace and so on.

But…. silence greeted me. No one was out! There was no hustle bustle of the  early Puja crowd and not even the cawing of a crow.

Something had to be done, I decided. I called together a meeting.

“We need to do something about this virus,” said Lord Brahma.

“I will make the oceans churn and froth till then,” Lord Indra claimed.

“And I will make it rain,” said Lord Indra.

“No, no! That will ruin the humans’ life even more!” objected Parvati.

“What shall we do? Without making people miserable?” Lord Shiva added as an afterthought.

I fiddled with my arrow. It had been more than half a year since this  coronavirus had entered the humans’ life, inflicting damage and misery all around.

And worse? Durga Puja, my festival was just around the corner!  Durga Puja is supposed to be a time of strength, joy and unity. Not a time of sadness and torture!

And even worse? Brahma, Vishnu, Shakti, Shani, Indra — all had tried. But they failed.

“We’ve got to put an end to this,” I agreed.

“How Durga? You can’t kill a virus with your trishul!” Vishnu, my brother said.

It was true — but if Mahishasura could be killed, then why couldn’t this virus?

“What if we do it together? It might be possible then..,” I suggested.

“Yes… I agree. We should give it a try..” Saraswati said.

Slowly the Gods rose up from their thrones. I knew then that coronavirus would have to look out now.

 

Here is 12 year old Suhani Khemka taking us back to an exciting time, when she organised a Halloween party with friends.

How My Own Halloween Party Spooked Me! 

We stood behind the wall waiting for her to come and hoping that our plan  would work out flawlessly. My friend, Scarlett got so frightened on hearing the  name of ghosts that her heart missed a beat. My  friends and I knew how to take full advantage of this.

We had made an ingenious plan which we thought would succeed. We had completely used up our brains in preparing everything needed for our master plan to run smoothly. We stitched white cloth until it was perfect as costumes for ghosts.

The next thing we did, was call Scarlett, coaxing her to come over to my house  for a Halloween party which was difficult due to her disrelish for the festival.  With everything set, we were full of excitement and waited to get a nice chortle the next day.

On Halloween’s day, my friend and I stood behind the wall in our own stitched ghost costumes with the lights switched off. We lit candles and waited — waiting for Scarlett’s footsteps to approach. There was a sound. We played the spooky music and slowly shook from side to side, back to front, trying to whoosh the way we had practiced.

Not hearing any yell, we picked up a candle up to see who it was. On the sight of a black ghost, my friend and I squealed as a chill ran down our spine, until someone turned on the lights. From beneath the black costume, Scarlett and my mother revealed themselves.

A rib-tickling scene it was for my mother, who had heard our plan and played  the prank back on us. Scarlett was on cloud nine laughing, whereas we with  our heads down, went out of the room exasperated. The events of the day  made us pledge not play such a prank again when adults are around.

Six year old Parva Patel from Ahmedabad has a wonderful story that underlines not every dracula is bad. Here is a interesting take on the classic tales.

Dracula Prince and Rapunzel

Somewhere in the middle of long long ago, there was a Dracula Kingdom and it was ruled by a very cruel king.

But there was a ray of hope in the kingdom when the Queen gave birth to a  son. They called him Blade.

Years later, when Blade was trying to visit human land, the king tried to stop his son. He said, “Never go into the human world because they are clever and  can betray you, like I was betrayed once.”

But instead of listening to his father Blade went into the human world because  he was mischievous. He climbed up an old tree to see the view of the human  land. And just while getting down, he fell down but his fangs got stuck in the  branch of the tree. He was crying for help and just then a brave girl who was hunting in the forest, heard his voice. She was the brave princess of human  land.

Her name was Rapunzel.

She was shocked to see a dracula. But she decided to help him. She  immediately saved him and told him that his father was wrong. All humans are  not bad just like all draculas are not bad.

So Blade went to his dad and told him about what had happened in the forest.

The king understood and said that he wanted to meet Rapunzel. When  Rapunzel came to Dracula Kingdom, the king and queen thanked her for  saving their son’s life. The king also said sorry for hurting humans and  misunderstanding them.

Blade and Rapunzel became best friends and helped draculas and humans  whenever they were in trouble.

Essays

Dusshera celebrates the victory of Ram over Ravan, symbolic of evil. Seven year old Darshali Agarwal from Bhilwara, Rajasthan remembers the excitement that entails Dusshera for many parts of the country- watching Ram Lila, burning of giant effigy of Ravana, enjoying the fare in massive grounds, and a very important lesson for us.

Darshali Agarwal is a 7 year old girl with an ever smiling face. She loves to read and listen to bedtime stories.

Why I Love Dusshera

I love Dusshera because it is a very exciting festival.On this day, I get to see a very big statue of Ravana in a big ground. He looks so beautiful decorated with colourful papers and glitters. Most amazing thing is his ten heads.

Wow, a man with ten heads!

On this day, I enjoy the fun fair with my family. And I really jump with joy when Ravana burns and the crackers pop out of it.

Sorry Ravana. We burn you. But my mom told me that one has to pay for their wrong deeds. It is not just you, but a message to burn all the bad thoughts inside us.Thank you dear King of Lanka, because of you, we enjoy a fun filled day called Dusshera. Also it makes us all think, even if for a day, about how we can let go of the bad in us.

Effigy of Ravana burning and exploding with sparklers. Courtesy: Wiki

6 year old Shreyansh Desai from Vadodara shares this sweet write up about what Diwali celebrations in his family are like. He is a student of Cygnus World School, Vadodara.

Oh, The Excitement Around Diwali Vacations!

Diwali  is my favorite festival.

Somethings around us change around Diwali season like cold weather, clouds  and not to forget the excitement around Diwali vacations.

Houses are decorated with colourful lights, candles and diya. We start  shopping for new clothes and fire works. We go to Dahod, Gujarat to meet and celebrate Diwali with my grandparents.. My cousins and I enjoy together during Diwali break.

Delicious food, fire works and family fun are all about Diwali. How can I forget to mention Diwali homework?

This time is a bit different. We will not meet all relatives and go to the temple, due to corona but this time we spread love.

Happy Diwali and Thanksgiving from Sara and her friends! Enjoy the festivals in a new, different way this year… Adieu till next time.




( This section is hosted by Bookosmia)

.

PLEASE NOTE: ARTICLES CAN ONLY BE REPRODUCED IN OTHER SITES WITH DUE ACKNOWLEDGEMENT TO BORDERLESS JOURNAL.