Date:25/06/2011 URL: http://www.thehindu.com/thehindu/mp/2011/06/25/stories/2011062550360200.htm
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History meets growing up

Lakshmi Prathivadi's Tiger By The Tale reminds Indian youth of the sacrifices our ancestors made for the country's freedom



STARTING YOUNGLakshmi Prathivadi's written her debut book at 17

“Tiger By The Tale”, the debut novel of 17-year old Lakshmi Prathivadi is set in pre-Independent India, mapping the protagonist, Ram's tumultuous journey through poverty and betrayal in colonial India as he tries to avenge his parents' murder. Lakshmi Prathivadi, who has lived in the U.S. since she was eight, drew inspiration for her book from her vacations and childhood experiences in India, enthralled by the rich history and culture.

“Many mediums inspired me to write — movies like ‘Shaheed' and ‘The Legend of Bhagat Singh', and other books and autobiographies. I was influenced by the way J.K. Rowling writes and I tried to incorporate her straight-forwardness and attention to detail in my book,” she announced at the launch of her book recently at Bangalore's Reliance Time Out, by popular playback singer Kavita Krishnamurthy.

Praising the 17-year old for her maturity, Kavita said, “Writing a book about pre-Independent India requires a lot of courage, more so, for someone who has been staying outside India for so long.”

Lakshmi says the point of the book was to convey to Indian youth the kind of sacrifices that our ancestors made for the country's freedom. “This book is the story of a teenager. But It is also about his journey as he grows from a child into an adult. It is about courage, determination and sacrifice. And finally, it is about the characters' struggle for something beyond them, just the way our ancestors sacrificed themselves for our country's freedom. We, as India's youth, should never forget that,” Lakshmi said passionately.

She wrote the book in 2010 before her last year of high school. Writing the outline and starting the book was challenging for her. “But once I started, I just wrote everything that came to my mind.” She is now due to attend Stanford University where she will be pursuing a major in Biochemistry and a minor in Creative Writing. “Wherever I am, I will always continue to write more books.”

HARSHINI VAKKALANKA

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