As The India Writing Project’s  Season 2 came to a close, it did so by illuminating the essence of storytelling, in its most pure, beautiful forms. Providing a stage for writers to articulate their diverse perspectives, this initiative has invigorated the literary community in India, nurturing talent while breaking down barriers of language, age, and experience.

In an impressive array of submissions, one poetic work managed to captivate our hearts, taking us on a sentimental journey back to the days of childhood innocence and simple joys. Awarded the coveted second prize, Pallavi Krishna Kasala’s poem, “The Childhood,” evokes the nostalgia of youth in a way that is both poignant and universally relatable.

For many of us, childhood memories are tinged with a unique blend of joy and melancholy, a feeling that Pallavi has encapsulated perfectly. Her poem touches on the nuances of growing up, from the innocence of playing games to the sweet rebelliousness of school pranks. The poem serves as a vivid canvas that paints every small yet significant detail of childhood—each line offering a glimpse into a past world, which, although long gone, has shaped us into the adults we are today.

Pallavi’s poetic craft extends beyond mere reminiscing. Her work encapsulates a certain sentimentality that urges us to push ourselves out of our adult inhibitions and to rekindle that childlike joy and wonder. In an age that often strips us of our innocence too early, this serves as a pertinent reminder of the beauty in simple pleasures and the importance of cherishing those memories.

As we look forward to an even more electrifying Season 5, let us pause to celebrate this extraordinary piece.



Title: The Childhood

Type: Poem


The games we played when young

Angry neighbour Aunty’s face when her doorbell rung


Silly fights we picked on friends

The innumerable toffee spends


Money that got stolen from dad’s pockets

Whiskey bottles to send Diwali rockets


Holidays that got immense joy

Fallen grades only make you cry


Grandparents who pampered you

Fear of ghosts was always true


White polish and black shoes

Running nose, cough and sick day blues


School uniforms, belts, and ties

Catching colourful butterflies


Pretending sick to skip school

Little pranks on April fool


Morning school bus that waited long

Hopping, skipping and singing songs


Running races, bruised hands and legs

Little joys like cracking boiled eggs


Colourful dresses on Birthdays

Waiting for those overdue Sundays


Scribbling through homework to go out and play

Overlooking sun in the summers of May


Pink Panther, Tom & Jerry, and Looney tunes

Missing lunch boxes, forks and spoons


Signing test papers in the morning

Names on board for continuous talking


Contra, Mario, Road Rash and Tekken

Tears that flowed when toys were broken


Waiting for dads last news to get the remote

Running to a friend’s home for missing notes


Countless sibling fights

Can you forget those colourful kites?


Hide & seek and the unfortunate denner

Still love the smell of fevicol, petrol and thinner?


Imaginary characters and stories we bake

Can a pastry beat that honey cake?


Giant wheel, dancing cars, and hurricane

The unexplained hatred towards greens and grains


Stones at mangoes and climbing trees

Pelting hives and running from bees


Classroom, boards, and coloured chalks

Early morning blues and invisible socks


The sun didn’t matter nor did the rain

A paper wasted always called for boats and planes


Funny haircuts we couldn’t deny

Bidding a loving friend, a sad goodbye


Good or bad, this was our childhood

Did all the things a child should


When we couldn’t tell right from wrong

Though vulnerable still thought strong


Look we can’t go back there again

But that child in us hasn’t complained


Push yourself out and wear that smile

Angry aunty’s doorbell hasn’t been rung in a while

We can’t wait to see the narrative marvels that will unfold in Season 7. May this excellent work inspire even more writers to contribute their voices to India’s growing literary scene.

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