Through her poems, Charvi spreads awareness about the systemic differences Image Credit: Supplied

A grade 12 student at JSS International School, Charvi Khandelwal has been consistently winning awards for academics since she was in grade 4. Now pursuing English, Maths, Physics, Economics, and Commerce, she is also involved in her school’s athletic and debating teams, the student council, and in community initiatives including volunteering.

Most recently, she has published a collection of her poems – Metamorphosis (available on Amazon.com). Charvi plans to pursue economics at college.

Excerpts from an interview:

What stoked your interest in economics?

Every time I read or watch the news, I realise that most wars and crises arise from issues relating to economic power, economic growth, and economic control of scarce resources. Countries with the most political influence compete with each other in terms of monetary power. Our world is driven by money. Studying economics will allow me to investigate further into this driving force.

What do you plan to pursue for your higher education, and why?

I want to pursue Economics with minors in Financial Mathematics and Government Studies. I haven’t figured out the precise courses I want to choose yet and this is why I want to study at US universities – for the flexibility they offer. I want to enter the finance and commerce-related field as money management, investments, government fiscal policies and the demand and supply forces pique my interest.

Tell us about the collection of poems you published. What are your inspirations? What subjects do you explore?

Metamorphosis is a collection of 18 poems. I was inspired by the world around me – my school, my mother, friends, and my own experiences, and most importantly, the unvoiced struggles of the millions of underprivileged girls around the world. A few of my poems touch on the topics of body dysmorphia and eating disorders, which is a predicament for girls and boys alike.

What do you attempt to say through your poems?

My book consists of three parts. Part one encompasses the macro social issues of girl education, gender inequalities, stereotypes for males and females alike, and traditional cultures. At the same time, I have written an ode to the female race as a reminder that our feminine qualities are beautiful and we should learn to love ourselves despite the cruel world around us.

Part two relates to experiences unique to me like body shaming, inequalities, the weight of expectations, and my victory in finding peace by vowing to focus on myself and tune out the surrounding negativity.

Part three is a journey of self-discovery where I attempt to help my fellow readers to introspect and be motivated (through questioning prompts and positive affirmations) against a judgemental world.

Through my poems, I attempt to spread awareness among my readers about the systemic differences. However, I do not continuously criticise society around me, instead, I explain the effect it has on me and later I delve into how I uplifted myself. I hope to awaken and inspire my readers through my poetry.

How did you go about getting them published?

I used KDP, Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing platform to self-publish my book. After my manuscript was ready, I uploaded it to KDP, where it underwent screening procedures to ensure the best printing quality for my book. KDP was quick in its responses and also gives its users a free ISBM (which otherwise costs around $125). While the publishing process is free of cost, Amazon takes about 60 per cent of your total royalties.

How are you preparing for your university applications?

US universities look over your transcripts and extracurriculars over all your four years of high school. Currently, I am focused on maintaining my grade 12 grades and building further on my previous extracurriculars rather than beginning a new venture. I have started drafting my Personal Statement and will begin university research shortly.

To learn more, visit haleeducation.com.

Anand Raj OK

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