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Reshma's wonderland

Short stories written by a 14-year-old reflect lives that struggle to break free from the clutches of society...


It becomes special when a 14-year-old writer converses to the aged rather than her own age group.

A. Reshma, daughter of the renowned painter, Austin Konchira, has published her collection of short stories named `Ramu'. The book, distributed by Current books, has 10 short stories written by Reshma. She wrote her first story when she was in the third standard.

Reshma's stories reflect lives that struggle to break free from the clutches of society. In `Ramu' and `Pookkalude Hridayam', she sees life in a very special perspective. "Reshma's subjects are always elderly to her. The world of her school mates does not seem to impress her. A clear vision and a matured style of writing reflect in Reshma's stories," observes P. Surendran, who has written the foreword for the collection.

"I like solitude. I enjoy the sadness and plight mirrored in most of the contemporary stories. Maybe that has influenced my writings," says Reshma.

Reshma's favourite story in the work is `Ramu' -- the protagonist of the story is modelled on a friend of Reshma's father. `Ramu' depicts the dilemmas in the life of an artist.

`Puzha' (The River), `Madakkayathra' (The Return Journey), `Yathra' (The Journey), `Kuppichillukal' (The Glass Pieces), `Deshadanakkar' (The Gypsies), `Meenakshi', `Santa' and `Kadal' (The Sea) are the other stories in the work.

"I have travelled a lot. And my father has a very good library. All these have helped me to start writing at a very young age. My father helps me edit my stories. When the book came out, my teachers were full of appreciation," says Reshma. She doubts whether her classmates have read her stories.


Reshma is also blessed with painting skills. She did hold a painting exhibition while she was in the first standard.

One of her paintings makes the cover page of `Ramu'. Each story has illustrations by the author. She admires Van Gogh, da Vinci and, of course, her dad, Austin Konchira.

Reshma does not believe in feminist thoughts. "I don't believe that a piece of writing by a woman author is chained to gender. When I grow up, I won't let these discriminations affect me."

Currently, Reshma is busy with her next short story, `Kotteruma' (a kind of beetle seen in rubber plantations). She hopes to write novelettes.

Reshma's favourite authors are M. T. Vasudevan Nair and T. Padmanabhan. A student at Saraswathi Vidyalaya in Vattiyoorkavu, Reshma wants to become a writer/doctor.

RAJMOHAN
SUDHAKAR

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