Who Am I?
By Devaraj – written in 11th Grade

Am I the same little boy, who got up to play
With mud in the cold winter mornings?
Or am I the one who sat on my brother’s shoulders
Watching him take care of sheep as they grazed
The almost barren lands in the small village?
Or am I the one who jumped around in the little hut
While my mother and sisters cleaned it up?
Or am I the one who sat in the shade of a huge banyan tree
Watching my father carrying loads of bricks to fill up tractors?
Or am I, am I . . .

No, I am the same little boy who wept for
His parents late into the night.
Growing up to find a new home as paradise
On the outskirts of Tamil Nadu.
A place which holds so much values toward
Love, care, and responsibility.

A world which changes anyone entering it
Into someone who will uphold the greatest of virtues
Throughout their lives.

I am a 16-year-old boy
Who enjoys his friends
Who will never leave his side,
Who learns from teachers and aunties
Who never stop showing him the right path,
Who eats the tasty food cooked by the kitchen staff,
Who takes pride in growing up in a family
Who will always be there for him when he needs them.

I am a 16-year-old boy
Working very hard to get a 100% in everything he does.
I am Devaraj Kali
From the paradise we call Shanti Bhavan,
A haven of peace.


Hidden in a Place Where No One Knows
By Rethika – written in 6th Grade

Hidden in a place where no one knows
Deeper you go, darker it gets.
There stood something really tall,
So tall, that the clouds hid the tip of it.

All this hidden in a place where no one knows
Deeper you go, darker it gets.
Suddenly, a light attracts you,
Lead you to a door
With a slow creak you open it.

All this hidden in a place where no one knows.
Now deeper you go, the more curious you get.
Surprise to see a man covered in black
He turns towards you,
His look is weird.
He opens his mouth.
And all he said was Book, Book, Book

All this hidden in a place where no one knows
The closer you get, you feel shivers going down your spine.
Turning around to look,
All you see are books.
Huge ones, small ones, thick ones and thin ones.

All this hidden in a place where no one knows.
The man had a thick book,
That held the secrets of magic powers.
The world was searching, for this thick book.

All this hidden in a place where no one knows.
With a touch, the book and the man all disappeared.
Walking out confused, then, you notice that you were
Inside a tall skyscraper with the disappearing man who wrote
The Book of Magic Power.
All this hidden in a place where no one knows.


Two Worlds, One Me
By Boovitha – written in 12th grade

Living through the darkness and wounds of alcohol
Swaying myself with breeze of hopelessness and impossibilities
Gliding through my path of uncertainty
At last it has to a stop . . .
This ecstasy of fumbling has come to an end
As I am reborn in this new second world.
Two worlds, one me
I choose the one taken by fourteen unique bonds
Creating a ball of happiness that is inevitable
Radiating throughout.
Love, dreams, live within me due to the spark
Created by one man.
Fears live no more in this world
The bond of affection . . .
The colours of talents
The sounds of laughter
The hope for a better future
The immense knowledge I yearn with great depth
All live together in these chapters of my life
I deeply acknowledge
My school, my home.


I am . . .
By Ganga Prakash – written 9th Grade

I am from a sandy ground in Bangalore,
Fed by sweet food along with gobi.
I am from people repeating,
“You are a girl, stay in the house!”
Yet, I am the owner of smiles,
Raised by the loving rope and iron tied together.
The iron?
Nothing else other than my traditional parents and teacher.
And the rope?
It is my treasured trove of friends that help me overcome situations.
As my life goes on, the ladder stretches into the sky.
Stretched so I could become that broadway actor,
Who would build a Shanti Bhavan and eradicate poverty,
By sharing my knowledge and helping a million more.
I am the light who keeps away from the dark.
But in my own way,
I believe that, I am the singer, the actor, the bravest woman
And the birth of happiness in the world.

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