There was a buzz of excitement last week because 16 year-old, Preetha Peter, won a Times of India Literary Award for her poetry. Preetha has filled three books with her poems over the years and, when the school heard that there was a competition, the hard part was choosing which one to submit. Apparently it was the right one and on Republic of India Day, she was presented with her prize. She was the youngest of 12 winners (the rest were all university students ranging from 19-23). Their short stories and poems were published in an anthology, New Voices in the New Age, and Preetha’s poem is below. Preetha has lived at SB since she was three-and-a-half. It is wonderful that her poetic talent has been fostered and  recognised.

Peace or war?

In the depths

Of their darkened hearts

In every memory

And moment to come

Deep within they ask

Only one thing

To all those

With weak emotions

And no self control

To all those still falling for

Twisted truths


Blind in faith

Even in

The most serene of places

All that is seen

The blinding vision

Of splattered red

The choking sensation

Of loss, fear

Of screams and pleas


The deathly, hollow


They want to ask

Why the innocent?

Why can’t we live, breathe?

Between you

Between us

Is it peace or war?


An elated Preetha and the Vice-Principal after the awards ceremonyMs Beena

An elated Preetha and the Vice-Principal, Ms Beena, after the awards ceremony

 What is particularly interesting is that this is not Preetha’s first published poem. Her first was published when she was 14 in an anthology put together by She’s the First, an organisation dedicated to encouraging young women who are the first in their families to succeed.

We think it is also worth inserting here:

Peace, My Own

The peace,

my peace,

my own inner peace.

Only wish

that drunken fool

to discover his and let

his wife, find hers.

and that scrawny kid next door,

thinks he’s no good.

always blue, blue, blue

and blue.

I only pray he knows

that, deep within,

a light called peace can make me smile.

‘Cause I’ve found mine

after reaching out,

just a little bit.

Preetha in front of other famous Indians

Preetha in front of some other famous Indians