Ms. Paro Anand Author's of 'The Other' Visits PWS Pathways World School, Gurgaon
The visit of Ms. Paro Anand on the recent release of her book 'The Other' lead us to mull over the following quote by Erik Pevernagie -
"When words remain unspoken and emotions are left unexpressed, just a glint in the eyes from otherness can inflame the mind and rouse a shower of empathy. ("Only needed a light ")
On Monday, 24th September, Grade 8 was honored to meet Ms. Paro Anand, a renowned author of 28 books for children and young adults, including plays, short stories, novellas and novels. She is also published in several anthologies and has written extensively on children's literature in the country.
She has been honoured with the Sahitya Akademi Bal Sahitya Puraskar Award, 2017 for her book Wild Child, now published as Like Smoke with additional content. Her book, No Guns at My Son's Funeral was on the IBBY Honor List and has been translated into German and Spanish.
She headed the National Centre for Children's Literature, The National Book Trust, India, the apex body for children's literature in India. She is involved with many projects like" BBC Hindi selected her for their #100 Women Project, a project highlighting the challenges and achievements of women in India.
Ms. Anand's novel, 'The Other' is a compilation of short stories about exclusion, apathy and our fear to be alone. Her question - What makes us different, what makes us an 'other'? made us to further probe to the figurative meaning rather than the literal one. To an extent, each of us would regard anyone opposite us as 'The Other', simply because we are not perfectly alike. A sense of belonging and inclusion in a community comes only when one can find clear similarities and has no obvious point of contrast.
An author who writes about sensitive issues for the younger population, Paro Anand treated us as equals in the discussion that took place. During the Q&A, students asked for tips to improve their writing skills and to help them hold on to their line of thought. Others asked about how she was able to unfurl different perspectives. The answer was simple – 'Observe'.
Paro Anand's book, 'The Other', is a striking piece. Through this book, she subtly criticised our tendency, as a society and as individuals, to make ourselves ignorant to certain issues and to control our urge to speak out because of our fear of being alienated. A change in the way we look at situations and the addition of tolerance to our characters may not decrease the number of obstacles we have as individuals, but it will make us happier people and will make it easier for us to get past those obstacles.