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The girl who writes

Yamini Prashanth Photo: R. Ravindran.   | Photo Credit: R_RAVINDRAN

Yamini Prashanth speaks as though she’s given countless interviews. She breezes through, with no trace of self-consciousness. The 14-year-old author has two books to her credit, and speaks to us ahead of the launch of her third, Uma, Not-so-Perfect. “I just think I’m extremely lucky,” she says, seated amidst rows of plastic chairs that will seat the audience for her event.

Being a published author at a young age is an achievement, but Yamini takes it in her stride. “I’m not ecstatic or anything. I’m neutral,” she shrugs. “I don’t think I’m really that great.” But her third book found a publisher without much effort on her mother’s part, which speaks for her work.

Yamini started writing when she was seven. She wrote sequels to books she enjoyed, such as Malory Towers and St. Clare’s. Mishti, a novella she wrote during her class five summer holidays, went on to get published by Unicorn Books. The story is set in India of the Nineties, when children spent their evenings playing outside instead of staying indoors glued to gadgets. Yamini put together a world she heard of from conversations with her mother.

Her second book, Best of Granny’s Stories, is a collection of short stories. Uma, Not-so-Perfect, which is about a girl who moves to the U.K. from India, deals with finding one’s roots in a new place, “without compromising on who we are,” explains Yamini. Her love for writing comes from her love for reading, which was instilled in her by her father. “Reading is a very big part of who I am,” she says. “Even if I don’t carry water to a place, I don’t fail to take a book with me.”

Now that she’s in Class X, writing has taken a back seat; but she does write poems when she finds inspiration. Despite finding success with writing, Yamini is sure of one thing: that she’ll not take to writing full-time. For, “I want to write for the love of it. If I’m forced to do it, it’ll be under pressure,” she says.

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Printable version | Oct 24, 2020 9:34:27 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/meet-14yearold-author-yamini-prashanth/article8498636.ece

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