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Scholar-Journalist of the Week: The monsters within us

With cases of crime and animal cruelty going up, this week’s Scholar-Journalist winner will compel you to re-think humanity



Before going to bed each day, Aashini Sameer, a class 10 student of Apeejay School, Panchsheel Park, prefers to read. She says, “The time before getting sleep and after lying down in my bed, is when my creative streak comes to me.” In an interview, the student shares how her thoughts, sensitivities, imagination led her to become a writer. Read on:

Why did you choose the topic: ‘The monsters within us’?

One’s mind is never really empty. I feel we must pen down our thoughts and see where it takes us. For this write-up, I let my mind and heart speak. My inspiration for this piece was a workshop conducted by Apeejay Newsroom in which we were encouraged to have our own by-line on the website. Secondly, my teacher, Ms. Manjusha and my family who motivated me a lot. They also gave me feedback on my writing and hence, I was able to put this one together.  

The central theme of your write-up is ‘humans are monsters’. Do you really believe that?

I wrote this story in 2021 and at that time, I came across several news reports on animal cruelty and crime. These cases were not just from India but from across the world. One such was a gory incident in which some people put crackers inside an elephant. I thought, why do people have to do this? What do they get out of it? That’s how the idea for my piece came. I wanted everyone to really re-think what humanity means and act accordingly.

Do you write regularly?

Not really. This was my first piece. But, I am an avid reader.

What kind of books do you prefer?

I like to read fiction and Greek mythology. My favourite writer is Madeline Miller. She is best known for The Song of Achilles and Circe. Rick Riordan is also one of the authors I look up to.

Your tips for student writers?

First, I would say that one can attempt to write in a manner that is engaging. Keep the reader guessing and let them believe that you know something much larger and darker than them. Lead their curiosity and get hooked onto your story. Secondly, trust your process of writing. In the end, your writing will reflect your confidence in it.  

Mrini Devnani is a Principal Correspondent and Marketing Coordinator at Newsroom. She covers student achievements, conducts interviews, and contributes content to the website. Previously, she served as a Correspondent specialising in Edu-tech for the India Today Group. Her skill areas extend to Social Media and Digital Marketing. For any inquiries or correspondence, you can reach out to her at [email protected].