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Poetry is her forte


Shanthala Rao proudly displaying her book. Photo: K.R. Deepak

"Studies are not everything. One should live life to the full," says young poetess, Shantala Rao, who has already published a collection of 31 poems, "Reflections".

Studying Junior Intermediate at Narayana College at present, she had started writing poems, when she was barely five years old. Her poem `The Seamstress', was her first step towards becoming a successful poetess.

"Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, who dreamt of building a modern India, is my source of inspiration," she says. A strong admirer of Chachaji, she describes him as `a great statesman and architect of modern India, who aspired for the welfare of children'.

What had started as a childhood hobby has become a passion with her. She has penned over 30 poems in the last 10 years and dedicated her collection to Nehru. Her poems reflect her deep understanding of various issues and keen observation.

Apart from poetry, Shantala also writes essays and commentaries. She won a number of prizes in elocution, debate and extempore speech competitions. A voracious reader from childhood, her constant source of guidance are her parents: Commander K. Prabhakara Rao of the Navy and mother, Udaya Rao, vice-principal of the AQJ Degree College.

Shantala has several awards to her credit. These include: a gold medal in poetry writing at the "All-India Child Art Competitions" conducted by the Child Art Club of Hyderabad in 1999 and prizes at the intra-school and inter-school competitions. She had won the first prize in the essay writing competition conducted by THE HINDU in 2000.

She is also into singing, dancing and swimming. Despite her preoccupation with poetry and pursuing so many hobbies, she has had a brilliant academic record, being a first ranker in the school until her school final examination.

As Shantala would say in so many words, parents should spot the latent talent in their children and encourage them instead of trying to impose their own ideas all the time. After all, one should live life to the full.

B.M.G.

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