Published: 25th September 2019
How Chennai high-school student Architha's essay on living with tech went viral
She was one of 20 young authors whose narrative pieces were published in an anthology called Pen to Paper
This is one of recently deceased author Toni Morrison’s most powerful quotes and has served as a guiding principle for aspiring writers around the world for many years now. Among that number is Architha V, a Class 9 student of Sri Venkateswara Vidhyalaya, in Chennai, who swears by these words. Though she is yet to write her magnum opus, she recently became a published writer after her essay titled Living with Technology appeared in Pen To Paper — a book comprising essays on eclectic subjects, authored by twenty young students from Classes 9 to 12 from across India.
Penning thoughts: The book is an initiative by Edupeer in association with ICICI Lombard
So, how exactly did this young, budding writer manage to achieve this feat? “It all began after my friends and I saw an announcement on our school notice board that a nation-wide essay competition was going to be held. We were very excited and eager to take part. For the first round, we were asked to write a piece on a person who has inspired us, and I chose to write about J K Rowling. I chose this particular person because her rags-to-riches story was truly one of a kind and motivating too,” says the bubbly 14-year-old who was not expecting to move into the next round though she was very confident of her writing skills. “I was pleasantly surprised when I found out that I had been shortlisted as one of the 150 winners of the regional round, and then after writing another essay on the spot, I couldn’t believe it when the organisers said I was one of the 20 students from the country whose essays would get published in a book!” she says, adding that it was the support of her parents and teachers which enabled her to give her best shot at this ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity.
She also attributes her success to author and journalist Vinitha R, whose one-on-one guiding sessions helped her perfect her essay. “Vinitha ma’am advised me to write the essay keeping the reader in mind. It was her suggestions that gave me the impetus to make every word and every paragraph shine, without which I would have been completely lost!” quips the youngster whose essay is a comprehensive commentary on how technological innovations and the increasingly robotised world have resulted in the present generation straying further away from interpersonal relationships.
In addition to writing, Architha loves painting and travelling and is a class topper too! An opinionated teenager who has clear views about everything, she believes that today’s education system puts a lot of unnecessary pressure on students. “The extended school hours and emphasis on rote learning make students tired and fed up. There is hardly any time left for creative pursuits. The adage, ‘All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy’ is very true in the case of youngsters today. I think students should be encouraged to spend a significant portion of their time in a constructive hobby like music or sports. How will they become well-rounded individuals, otherwise?” asks Architha.