What happens when five young writers come together on one platform and through their literary works connect with the idea of youth, restlessness, and ambition? This was a pure collaboration of ideas where each author explored the theme in context to their social environment, opinions, and life experiences.
The ‘Naale Baa’ venue saw Rajith Savanadasa, Sangeetha Srinivasan, Shubhangi Swarup, Snigdha Poonam, and the interviewing author Roanna Gonsalves talk about the display of youth across space, geography, and time.
Mr. Rajith’s Sri Lankan birth, Australian emigration and the confluence of cultures he experienced through the duration of his life experiences gave birth to the character of Niranjan, a nuanced reflection of the author himself; his journey with achieving change, the weight of his perspectives over those of others, and the root of it all in the privilege of his upbringing. The discovery of a more politically contextual youth can be seen in his book, “Ruins”.
On the other end of the spectrum, we had Ms. Sangeetha Sreenivasan, providing a very culturally rooted perspective. Her novel explores youth and restlessness in the context of her state Kerala. She spoke about youth and the accompanying judgementality that comes with high levels of idealism. The excessive amount of energy, may it be biological or psychological, needs an outlet for dissipation. When invested in the right places, it allows constructive development but an over investment in social issues, isn’t the best means. Once one learns to fail better, the restlessness that comes with anxious inexperience of the youth, slowly subsides.
Shubhangi Swarup saw the theme through the lens of eco fiction. Eco fiction has a strong environmental consciousness, sometimes even at the cost of a driving plot. While her eco fiction takes nature and the planet as its muse, two oldest and calmest elements existing, it is the youth that receive it with great fervour. Their understanding of immediacy of the situation and the need for change helps them appreciate ecological opinions percolating through literary expression.
Another aspect of the theme was explored in the context of restlessness in the striving to explore a world beyond physical boundaries. Snigdha Poonam in her book, ‘Dreamers’, gives us a journalistic account, replete with facts and figures. Her account was based on the personal experience of following up on the lives of six youth members. Their access to social media has redefined the idea of possibility. They knew exactly what they wanted, but the driving force behind those wants is a foggier concept.
The contrast and comparison on a topic so general elucidated the potential the dimensions and aspects have for thought.
About the Author: At 19, Deepika Aiyer is an avid reader, crazy kdrama fan and loves to explore the What ifs of the world in her spare time.She currently writes for Bookstalkist.