*14-year-old Tanisha Avarsekar*, is the eldest daughter of Abhijit and Shweta Avarsekar, and student of grade 9 in Hill Spring International School, Tardeo in Mumbai.
But this young girl is a bundle of talent with her second book of poems. *Her second book of English poems ‘The Journey To Freedom’ is now being launched in Crossword, Kemps Corner, on Friday, 13th April 2012 by Prahlad Kakkar and Vivek Oberoi. Priyanka Alva Oberoi also made her presence felt at this occasion.* Avarsekar’s first book of English poems “Some secrets lie beyond the horizon” was an instant success with bookstores as well as with readers. It was published by Embassy Books and launched at Crosswords Bandra in Dec 2010. It was positively reviewed, getting critical acclaim from the Editor of Times of India- Mr Bala and theatre personality Raell Padamsee.
Avarsekar started expressing herself through poetry while still in the 7th grade, and has written 300 poems since. She uses various literary techniques combined with a unique style of writing. Her opinions and words pull at the strings of your heart, and both evoke and provoke your thoughts.
Besides being an avid writer, Avarsekar is also an accomplished Odissi dancer who has finished her Manch Pravesh (Arangetram), and an amateur pianist and photographer. She is also an Editor of her school.
*Excerpts from an interview with child prodigy Tanisha Avarsekar…*
*When did you start developing an interest in poetry?*
I have always had interest in reading poetry, but I started writing it only since May 2010, when I had gone for a school camp but found myself stuck in a tent with nothing but a book, due to a knee injury.
*What prompted you to compile them into a book?*
My friends at the same camp gave me the idea of compiling them, because I wrote on a very frequent basis and was quite consistent.
*Tell us about your ambitions. what would you like to be when you grow up? A poetess?*
I would like to be a lawyer or a journalist. Poetry will always be a passion.
*You are also a gifted dancer and pianist. Do these help you in your expression of poems. How?*
I don’t know about that, but I have been told that dance and piano give me a sense rhythm which can be seen in my poems.
*Give us some more details on your current book. How different is it from your last book?*
My current book is different from the first, because the poems are of a whole different level. I have worked hard on improving myself as a writer and I think it shows. The poems in this book are more mature than the ones in the last.
*Why not a book of stories or prose? You are also the editor of your school magazine…*
I am currently working on a novel called “Tidal Waves”, but poetry comes easier to me than prose. I enjoy the freedom while writing poetry.
*The encouragement of parents matter a lot. How have your parents encouraged you and helped you reach here?*
My parents support has mattered a great deal. They have been extremely responsive and encouraging to all my talents, I am very lucky to have them.
* What about your sisters and brothers…. anyone who is following your footsteps?*
My brother has an over appreciative, and sister mildly critical opinion of my poems, giving me a fair idea of how good or bad they are generally and helping me know if there are any changes to be made. Both my siblings are very dear to me so what they have to say makes a huge difference. Also, my sister has also started writing poems so I may say that its my positive influence on her.
*What else do you love?*
I absolutely adore beaches. The sea is my most favourite thing in the world. In addition to that, I am also very fond of Mumbai. I love everything about the city! I also love my school, I have the most amazing peers and teachers. And it’s a great environment. School is actually like a second home for me.
* Does your being a celebrity of sorts with released books affect your status in school? how do your friends react? And how do you react to them?*
It doesn’t affect my status in school, because I myself do not believe I am anything different from others. Just a particularly lucky girl, who has been given many opportunities by life.
*What is your take on children being famous. how do you still retain your flavour of the teenage?*
Except for heaps of a appreciation, encouragement, and a few jokes about my chosen line of profession, my friends ant normal. I react to them with nothing but gratitude.
*If there were three things you would ask from God, what would you ask for…*
I really don’t have a take on that. But I guess it depends on who you really are at heart. I am a 100 percent teenager at heart so for me its not hard to retain that, its harder to retain my seriousness and image as a poet!
*Anything else you would like to add…*
I haven’t really thought about that, but one of my wishes always is the long and healthy life for everyone I love, another a lovely sea facing apartment of my own somewhere in the city, and the third a nice career that I enjoy!