“Endurance” by Kasturi Pananjady, age 15
National Public School Indiranagar, 10th Grade
While I have harbored a desire to write since I first understood the power of words, I was first exposed to idea of writing as a craft in a creative writing workshop in Bangalore. It helped me understand that the way we tell a story could be remarkable in itself. It also opened my eyes to the different genres of writing, gave names to story elements I had only partially understood up to that point and gave shape to a dream that I had not even dared to voice out loud.
I believe that good writing combined with empathy has the power to change the world, one reader at a time. I try my best to explore views contrary to my own through writing because I find them to be the most challenging and interesting stories. I also believe that struggles don’t necessarily have to be on a massive, epic scale to be of consequence, but that just coming to terms with everyday reality can be quite complex. I chose to write about Kenya because it combined elements that I understood very well with those I could scarcely begin to imagine, and I think that at the heart of it, the themes of ‘Endurance’ are universal.
Writing for Peace came at the perfect time for me, when I was ready to share my stories with the world, and I am lucky enough to have found someone to listen.
2014 Progress report
Since Writing for Peace, I have become bolder in terms of sharing my work and putting myself out there. My writing has appeared in The Hindu, a leading Indian daily, and Voices of the World, a Projects Abroad initiative. I was also shortlisted as one of forty finalists out of over seven hundred young hopefuls around the world in the Laura Thomas Communications Short Story Competition, 2013 and have recently been shortlisted as a finalist in the Laura Thomas Communications Poetry Writing Contest 2014, my first foray into writing serious poetry. I have also dabbled in non-fiction writing over the course of the past year, and just last month I placed first in an essay writing competition.
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