Pandemic prism of young writers

The COVID pandemic has deeply affected children around the world, mainly because of the confusion, fear and new social norms it has created. When adults have only been critics, it is the children who have looked at the global crisis through a prism of their own. Their experience of the pandemic is the theme of a new book recently released by Talking Cub, the children’s imprint of Speaking Tiger.
A Bend in Time: Writings by Children on the COVID-19 Pandemic is a collection of 12 pieces drawn from across the country and social groups to convey varied viewpoints and responses to the pandemic and resultant lockdowns. The introduction is written by award-winning children’s writer Bijal Vachharajani.
A unique and timely book, it puts forth the emotions and thoughts of children and young adults about the greatest global crisis in recent times. Funny, thoughtful, wise and empathetic, this collection showcases the creativity and the mind of the present generation.
The book is now available on Speaking Tiger Books.
“As the pandemic and the lockdowns continue across the country, we are seeing how the children around us are dealing with a sudden upturning of their usual patterns of life. What is going on really in their minds? How many children are being asked to express their fears and insecurities in this situation? The pieces in this book depict a variety of minds. They cover different aspects of life and society, as well as straddle the personal and public. And since they are written by children, there is an underlying humour, cheekiness, and angst in them. Art is what keeps us alive and sane in difficult times.,” says publisher Sudeshna Shome Ghosh in a media statement.
In this collection, we see unbridled imagination and empathy as they write about what is happening around them. While one writer wonders why her dreams have gone missing, another turns to history to see what lockdowns would have been like in ancient times. There are heartrending and deeply emotional stories of lives lost and the stark inequalities that the pandemic has laid bare. Some writers wonder if the star of hope will ever shine again, and others look for relief in scientific thought, in writing, and in books.
Throughout the collection, there runs a sense of time lost and gained — of how this phase of global history is a bend in time. Intensely honest, wise yet innocent, thoughtful and full of hope, this anthology, introduced by Vachharajani, is a peek into the mind of a generation that could re-imagine our world
and, if we are lucky, make it safer, wiser and more compassionate.
In her introduction to the book, Vachharajani writes, “These 12 children and young adults reflect so many thoughts, questions, narratives. The depth of their thoughts doesn’t astound me — children are way smarter than groan-ups. But not all children get to tell their stories. Not all of them have access to the internet, facilities, online schooling… While some are safe at home, many have to walk for miles to get to their homes. Inequalities have come to the forefront, and it’s vital that privilege be examined and challenged. And so many children in this book are thinking about that.”
Publishing since 2018, Talking Cub has established itself as an imprint with exciting books, both fiction and non-fiction, for children of all ages.

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