Saturday, April 02, 2005

5 to 13 - Namrata Amarnath

At age 3.5, Namrata Amarnath began to read the Noddy series of books.
At age 7, she won her first writing competition.
At age 10, she began to author a regular column for children, in Shopper’s Digest magazine.
And now, at age 13, she won a silver medal for a story and a poem in Shankar’s International Children’s Competition for Painting and Writing 2004, receiving the medal from no less than the Hon’ble President of India, Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam!
Namrata Amarnath is every bit as articulate as I expect her to be. After all, she took to words very early, and the passion has continued over the years, nurtured by the constant encouragement of her family. She also counts herself as lucky to have the support of Dr. Bhavani Shankar, the Principal of Chettinad Vidyashram, where she studies. As is evident from her achievements, she can effortlessly switch genre, but she admits to being partial to science fiction.
Coming back to the Shankar’s International Competition, Namrata recounts, “As multiple entries were allowed, and the prizes were not based on entries alone, but the writer’s proficiency, I sent in 5 stories and 1 poem, of which, 1 each were selected. The story was called ‘The Autobiography of a Bisleri Bottle’ and the poem, ‘The Magic of Love’. It was such an honour to be one of 15 silver medallists from all over the world in this competition!”
Namrata’s favourite book is Barbara Taylor Bradford’s ‘A Woman of Substance’ which she enjoyed immensely, for its language. The young writer’s advice to those starting out, “One must write what one feels rather than thinks, this will communicate directly to the readers’ hearts. There’s no such thing as a writer’s block, one just has to find the right trigger. To be a writer, one needs to read a lot – this helps to broaden one’s mind as well as improve the vocabulary.”
There is a possibility that we may soon see Namrata’s work on bookshelves, as she’s approached a publisher with a novel and a collection of short stories. “My novel took six months to complete, and is about the dreams and experiences of a girl from an economically underprivileged family. The short stories have been written over the years, but I revised a few of them recently.”
Here’s wishing the young wordsmith, many more accolades in the future, and her readers, countless hours of pleasurable reading.

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