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March 2007 - Featured Young Writers.

My Brother Visits India

By Vedika Chhibber


When my cousin brother Gautam visited India in the summer of 1998, he was five years old and I was just a week old baby. My mom tells me, he used to feel very hot and would ask her-Massi (name given to mother’s sister in Hindi) when will the rains come so I can bathe in it and feel cool. He could not go out of the house because the weather was so hot. The mosquitoes troubled him. He had never seen one in America, and didn’t even know what it meant when my grandfather said-Gautam scratch yourself!” One day the rains came down and he was so happy. He ran out in the rain all excited and got totally wet!


He came to visit us eight years later and this time in the winter of 2006. He is now a tall thirteen year old and I am eight now. I was very happy to see him and made some beautiful decorations to welcome him. I also made him a pencil holder and a card. I asked him, “Do you remember anything about your visit eight years ago? He said, ‘I remember very little. I remember the heat and that my uncle gave me a video game to play as I had to stay indoors, most of the time.”


Then he taught me how to play chess because he is a chess champion back home. I also read a joke book with him, but he did not find the jokes too funny. He said they were just written to fill the pages of that book.


Then I said okay lets play the game version of the famous TV show Who wants to be a Millionaire, or Kaun Banega Crorepati, as it is called in its Indian version. When we started playing the game he found so many spelling mistakes in the English and they were very funny and made us laugh. Fifty was written as fifity, and follows was written as foolows, address as adres.


The next day we all went sight seeing. He saw many temples, a museum, and a nature park. He said the nature park was very beautiful. We also went to a temple built among caves. One of those caves takes you all the way to the holy spot of Amarnath, if you enter the tunnel and keep going. They have shut that tunnel down right now.


He stayed with us only for two weeks and then left for Delhi, Jaipur and Agra to visit more fun tourist spots. I miss him now that he has gone and I wish he could have stayed with us a little longer.

Vedika is 8 years old and studies in 3rd grade in Jammu, India. 


The Duet

By Shalini Ramchandran


It is when the eerie strings of my neighbor’s guitar

drift softly through my curtained windows


as Night’s seductive fingers hush the crimson sunset

and charm the bluebells into an oblivious sleep


that I remember your pleading, sunken eyes, cupped

by bony hands, peering through the tinted window.


The lone guitar cries out under the stars,

playing to the rhythm of nature’s even breath.


The haunting melody unsettles the well-groomed grass,

sending tingles up my spine, chilling the tips of my fingers.


Your young, dark face was shining with layers of sweat

that dripped from your temples like fresh tears.


I know only too well that there is refuge in silence.

There is comfort behind the swathing cloak of towering, dark trees.


I only pray to faraway gods;

I only swing on deserted playgrounds,


reaching for the puffy clouds that I know

will dissolve at a single touch.


You were only asking her for ten rupees, to buy

some betel leaves for your father and milk for your sister.


I reach for the piano and begin to play in the darkness,

releasing dust of a thousand years of unsung heroes, of unheard tears.


Softly, on dim yellow keys, on strings softened with care,

we begin a duet, playing through tears for


Your large black eyes gazing into mine in the baking Madras heat,

rejecting my pity, emasculating yourself solely for your family,


the wrinkled hand whose youth has effaced into eraser shavings,

the hollow, unkissed cheeks of an unloved baby.


He begins to sing softly with his voice,

a quavering song without words, yet beautiful.


In the horizon, the sun, a weary soldier accustomed to

wrenching cries in his battlefield begins to rise.


I tried to tell her to give you money,

but she told me you were not being honest.


I know the truth. I followed you in my heart

until you disappeared among the intersecting lines of traffic


Into the glow of the sun. 


Shalini Ramachandran is an 12th grader at Parkview High School who enjoys reading, hanging out with friends, watching television, and playing piano. She has enjoyed writing from a young age, since her first publication about a weird sofa on "KidPub,", an online kids’ publishing database. She aspires to become a journalist, humor columnist, and a children’s book author.  

My Hero, Sahil


By Pranavi Narula



Do you have a hero? Someone you admire so much that you would do anything for him? I do. His name is Sahil. Sahil Khatod is no ordinary person. He is the only person who I can talk to about anything. It is because of his advice that I am strong. Sahil is one of my best friends and I do not know where I would be without him. He has always been there when I needed him the most.


Even though I do not see him a lot because he lives somewhat far, nobody can replace him. He is so unique in his own way. There was a day where I was in the worst mood and he cheered me up when no one else would. Sahil is the most amazing guitarist and songwriter. He has written very beautiful songs. It shows that underneath his bright smile and chirpy personality he has a sensitive side and that is what I love about him. That is not the only thing I love about him. I could go on and on but I decided I would at least try to entertain the people who are reading this. Sahil is the bravest human being I have ever met. He has gone through a lot. I’m not saying bad stuff like death or something but he has gone through lots of mishaps and he is still strong and standing up tall.


Sahil does have his moments where he thinks I am so annoying he just wants to smack me but I usually beat him to it. I would always randomly love to slap and hit him. But you can never be mad at him. If you are he just smiles and says he’s sorry and you have to forgive him.


Sahil is a genuine friend. I know I can always count on him when I need a favor or I need advice. Sahil will always be one of my best friends. No matter what happens.

Pranavi Narula is a 6th grader at Webb Bridge Middle school

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