7 Ways to Ignite Your Child's Dreams - Pittsburgh Parent

He gazed at the ebony sky, his eyes glowing like magical stars with a desire to learn, 

He was encapsulated by aspirations, for knowledge he had an insatiable yearn, 

He lived amid a jungle, in the thick Amazon– yet his dreams were wild, 

He dreamt of friends, blackboards and all that he had read in books- the fantasy of a child

He closed his eyes to find himself in a school, surrounded by fun and frolic, 

He didn’t find himself amidst riches nor in a majestic palace. 

She stared into a window of her village shop that sold coloured bangles each day,

Her eyes were full of glee for she could go to her village school-she had earned enough today,

She lived in a coastal town of Pakistan– yet dreamed of a journey to the zenith and beyond, 

She dreamt of the pursuit of knowledge-not princesses, palaces or a magic wand

She sold utensils in the day, studied under the night light-many times under the moon, 

Her textbooks were her best friends-they were her solace, her only boon. 

Two parents with folded hands sat in front of the headteacher- “Please” they pleaded, 

Let our children study in this school, we have nowhere else to go”-they repeated, 

He said- “They can’t study here anymore-this school is for the elite castes.

Two children in India-their shoulders drooping as they walked out of the school gates, 

They dreamt of a school where they wouldn’t need to sit apart from the others, 

A school where they would be treated as equal, not inferior to their brothers. 

An empty classroom, children but no teachers-somewhere teachers but no children too,

Hollowness like in the middle of the desert-chalks, classrooms, pens-all so few,

Somewhere a girl child restricted from achieving her potential-being treated like a slave,

Another country-some miles away black children can’t attend school for they were sold into trade, 

Another city-a specially-abled little boy in his wheel chair-hopeless and ceased by despair, 

His life, his education, his knowledge-constrained by the limits of his small wheelchair. 

196 countries, thousands of children-they all deserve to be educated and make their living,

They all have the right to strive for zenith, and to hold books, from the very beginning, 

One teacher, one student, one pen, one pencil and one book- that’s all to make a start,

The passport to the eradication of poverty, oppression and discrimination, lies within our hearts,

If the world comes together, we all stand to educate, we will make the world a paradise,

Chart the most extraordinary destiny of each ordinary child’s life. 

This poem was first published as a part of the ‘Takthe Voice of Views.’


Empowered women empower the world" - Feminism - Feminist Art - Illustration  - Illustrated Hand Lettering - Art by Ke… | Feminist art, Feminism art,  Empowerment art

I sat in a dimly lit room and began to flip the dusty journal’s pages, 

‘My life’- the first page said- ‘Every detail in this journal I have narrated’

My grandmother’s words, her handwriting preserved perfectly through time,

“This journal begins on 18th September 1800, it will end with the end of my life,

They call me a warrior, they call me a fighter-mother, lover, daughter too,

I have been all of them, not a single day of my life has been rued, 

When I came into this world they labelled me as a housewife-nothing more,

A slave-born to live and die inside four walls- “What more is a girl even worthy for?”

“You must die with your husband, he’ll live with you for seven lives,” mother said, 

(He’s twenty-seven years elder to me-he’s on his death bed)

(How can I die before I have begun to achieve my dreams-Yes! I have dreams too,

How can I jump into a fire for him-I will not, mother dear, I will not do this for you).

They told me to marry him like my mother did when I was barely nine, 

To sacrifice my body, my mind- devote myself to their service-for my lifetime, 

I was loaded with a cart full of riches, my value calculated in bills and money, 

Father- “He will treat you well, dear- we have given him whatever he wanted as dowry”

While he read the Gita, he commanded- “Lady, go get me some hot tea.”

I took the book from the table, while he slept-the letters like designs looking quirky, 

That’s how I learnt to read the Holy books, pen down biographies and write, 

That’s how I went on to lead India’s freedom struggle-studying under the night light.”

A tear flowed down my cheek, I snapped back into my reality, 

To a world where there are thousands of women-no longer oppressed with brutality,

A world where there has been progress, there have been massive leaps and bounds, 

Today women are astronauts-reaching the stars and clouds, rising above the ground. 

Today girls attend school, girls know of their rights, girls are have travelled miles,

Today girls know that they needn’t be clad in red sarees- they are beautiful when they smile.

Today girls can go to temples, churches, mosques- follow their heart’s calls, 

Girls are overcoming barriers, crossing obstacles and breaking suffocating walls. 

In my diary, I began to write- ‘My life’-each and every detail I described, 

“I was born in 2000-welcomed as not a ‘boy’ or ‘girl’-but simply a child,

I went to school with my brother, went to college too, 

They said-be a doctor, an astronaut, lawyer- do whatever you want to pursue.

The era has changed, the world is slowly turning into a paradise, 

Female foeticide has reduced, people have begun to value the girl child’s life, 

Women can step out of their house safely after the so-called ‘curfew’, 

They can all blossom like flowers whose petals are coated with fresh dew,

That’s how the era has metamorphosed-like a caterpillar and butterfly, 

To the next generation reading this diary-

Make the world a finer place, never lose the spirit to try and try.”

This poem was written for the Abhivyakti Fest 2020- Poetry Writing Competition 2020 by ASN Senior Secondary School held in collaboration with the United Nations Information Centre for India and Bhutan. The Global Summit on UN SDG’s 2020.




A wise wanderer once said,“Happiness can be found in the darkest of times, only if one remembers to turn on the light.” This saying has stood the test of time, and is truly encapsulated in the picture. The vibrant hues-red, blue and green-in the backdrop of the yellow, dry and dusty desert seem to come alive and demonstrate that even if the canvas of our life seems to have lost colour, our attitude, resilience and the power of optimism can enliven it. The trees in the backdrop have dried up due to the heat but the spirit of love and solidarity among the women is steadfast. Furthermore, the picture seems to convey the message of women empowerment and how small steps towards change can make a deep and lasting impact on the society. It seems to say to its viewers that despite being shrouded by the veils of despair-one must hold hope close to one’s heart for every cloud has a silver lining. Indian women clad in the traditional dress of Rajasthan, joyfully dancing to the tune of their heart-is the most raw expression of true beauty and eternal happiness. Instead of being restricted by the traditional duties assigned to the woman of the house they are performing them with utmost cheer. Probably on their way to collect water from a well, these women have found their peace and contentment in being together. In a way they seem to say that if they stick together, there is no obstacle that they cannot overcome. Thus, to conclude, the picture has said a thousand words, by simply capturing a moment in the lives of a few traditional Indian women. It is true that “Sadness, gloom and misery-are found within. Happiness, joy, contentment-they are also found within. The victory of which over which-the choice also somehow always lies within.”


“Get out of our way, weirdo!” they shouted,

I felt like I was being crushed under a mountain,

My heart pounded in my chest, tears came next,

I felt lonely, fallen and devastated.


They took my specs, flinging it to the ground,

All my tears melted their words into the background,

I hadn’t the will to walk another mile,

Their chains of words bound me to the soil.


The end. Those words resounded in my mind,

So with blood and a little hurt, I would not be confined,

In the barriers of their words- no longer a loner too,

No longer being stung by words, punches, and shoes.


So that night, when the stars glowed,

Weirdo!” in my ears was what echoed,

The night sky sneered at me,

It seemed to resonate, “Fatty! Fatty!

The horizon was caliginous, like my soul,

If only someone said a few words to console,

If someone had said to me that I was not-

‘Weird, lunatic and lost.’

That I was more than a lock without a key,

That slitting open my wrists wouldn’t set me free.


If you all had told me a day before yesterday,

Like you did today, in hospital, where I lay,

That being so wonderful was not a crime I committed,

That a ‘nerd’ is not dim-witted,

That you might think I’m weird, but that does not define me,

That I was a slave of your words but could always be free.

However hard I tried, I couldn’t become one of you,

Because I was weird and wonderful, all through.

This poem was published in the Children’s World Magazine and won the second prize in the Annual Your Pages Competition 2019. 

adult alone anxious black and white
Photo by Kat Jayne on


When solitude surrounds me, like the charcoal darkness of night,

The memories of you, weaved with artistry begin to come alive,

The tracks of the moments we lost, drag me back persistently,

Our closeness, feels like moments ago, makes me realise time’s fragility,

I’m filled with the hues of your memories, when I’ve lost my colours,

When there’s silence that echoes in my ears, I hear your soft whispers,

When I’m in need for guidance, your wise words ring in my mind,

I feel your presence deep down in my heart, as my guiding light.

The moments that life presented for us to share, are my dreams today,

Once I dissolve into your eternal bliss, you’re no longer a lifetime away,

It has been a long time since you are gone, the roses have bloomed and died,

But memories of you, only grow sweeter and more cherished as time flies,

The weather has changed and all the seasons keep running along,

It has been quite a while; days, months and years have gone,

People have changed but our love still stands strong,

With our delicate memories, I shall uphold our love, lifelong.

Even though you’re gone, you live in me, like pieces of broken glass,

Your memories pierce my heart and it shall bleed for you, till the very last,

At times, I take a dip into this

sea of memories and I want them all to go,

They spill into my dreams at night when I let this bag of your memories overflow,

These memories, my soulmate, shape my path of destiny,

The moments spent with you, have been a beautiful journey,

I like to replay them repeatedly, bearing the pain, so I catch glimpses of you,

Our old memories are close to my heart, just sprinkled with tears which are new.


Dear heart, I ask you questions many times,

What makes you happy, why are you so sad sometimes?

When I hear your answers I’m surprised,

You tell me to give, but that’s something I despise,

Then why should I part with things that belong to me?

Give them to someone without any cost, just for free?

Then I heard your answers and, I was taken aback,

To hear you say, that the path of giving in life, is the right track.

Dear heart, why do you say to spread affection?

And that we must part with our precious possessions?

Dear heart, why do you want me to share?

Share my knowledge with others about whom I don’t care.

Dear heart, why do you want me to teach someone?

Someone who would have very little to give me, probably even none,

Dear heart, why do you put this dilemma before me,

Give me some answers, heart, I plead.

O’, I tell you so, because when you give, you become someone’s God,

When you part with things, to someone you’re their Lord,

Their smiles make me happy, for in them beats another me,

Another heart which feels, to this you must agree.

And when they become happy, this joy spreads,

Weaving its way like pearls in their threads,

That’s why you feel happy when you give some of yours away,

It’s the way you feel when you receive, full of happiness, relieved of all dismay.

Tanvi Nagar 

This poem was spoken as a part of an assembly at Delhi Public School, Gurgaon (of IX-H). 



Dear rose, you don’t utter a word, yet I hear your soft whispers,

Every time I hear you, questions rise within me, satisfy my hunger,

When spring has just arrived by a loved one’s graveside, why do you bloom?

On corners of graves, which behold memories, long since entombed.

O’ majestic flower, how do you keep your spirit through storms?

And dance in the rain, without waiting for the darkness to be gone?

You’re a flower with much to tell, share some with me,

I’ll hear your musings, I’ll be your sole company.

Dear rose, do you nod to the stars, in the dark blue skies above,

O’ flower you carry tales of thousand hearts, some fables of endearing love,

You’ve seen some hearts shatter, you’ve seen agony,

Dear rose, share a part of you with me, for I’ll be your lone company.

Why do your petals shed pearl-dew tears, when a loved one dies?

Why do your petals, mysteriously smile when you’re a beloved one’s surprise?

Dear rose, why does your presence comfort me, why do I feel so soothed?

I’ll keep your secrets safe, tell me some, if you feel I’m worthy to.

Dear rose, when you are carried with the winds, somewhere far away,

Lost to the lands in the distant, to rise as a new rose, on another day,

Dear rose, the voidness and pain of losing you, will sting so painfully,

You will not be forgotten, for I would have lost my lone company.

This poem won the third prize at Your pages Competition organised by Children’s Book Trust Magazine. 


Past dragged me into it’s venomous tracks, I couldn’t escape,

Those days felt like they had been recorded on a tape,

So crystal clear they are,

I drifted into that world that is away from this one, very far,

That world is full of black, grey and blue,

Slowly my vision blurred, my thoughts too.

Amid the puddles, pools and the hawker’s cries,

Those who took cover or were just passersby,

We sung to the melody of each rain droplet,

I saw the shelter seekers down our tree, curse the rain or just fret,

Some smiled, perhaps, to their own tune,

Those last moments on the Banyan were just a granted boon.

Tears seemed to be the only language I knew,

The gloom encircled me, guilt only grew,

How many tears should I shed?

To wake him from the world of the dead?

The world seemed black, full of despair, mystic, just a lie,

I knew he wasn’t far, I would find him, I would try,

I searched far and wide, in vain,

Until I knew I would find him, up the tree, still waiting for the rain.


Dear love, I have always wanted to understand you more,

But first of all, you must know you are the one who I most adore.

Dear love, will you stand by me through the most rugged journeys of all?

Dear love, as years pass by will you be there still standing strong?

When there’s solitude that surrounds like the charcoal darkness of night,

Will you be there, like a solid rock strong by my side?

When gloom envelopes me, when pain is only what I feel,

Will a single touch of yours make my wounds and scars heal?

Dear love, when my life is nothing but a misty, smoky mirror,                              

Will you be the sunlight and beat life’s grey weather?

Dear love, when the sprinkler of affection waters our gardens of destiny,

Will you be treading upon this path with me as zestfully?

Dear love, when distaste is the only thing that binds us,

Will in our relationship arise a sense of distrust?

Dear love, life will put forward tests, how many would you beat?

Would circumstances change, would they be bleak?

Without words would only my silence be enough to communicate?

Would we know what destiny stores for us, our fate?

Dear love, when I’m absorbed in the deepest of darkness,

Will you still love and not consider me wicked and heartless?

Dear love, when we are separated by the barriers of cold war,

With all your heart and soul, will I be the one who you adore?

When my glass hopes and dreams are shattered and I bleed at heart,

Remember life and death can not tear us apart,

Once soul mates, we will always have a single heart,

Having a single soul, we’ll live together, together we’ll depart,

Our souls are united forever, regardless of storms or thunder,

Our’s is just an ordinary story of two extraordinary lovers.

It was also published in TOI Student’s Edition

It was also published in Delhi Poetry Slam’s online magazine. 


My heart aches for another breeze to brush by me gently,

My road of life is shaped by the curvaceous path of destiny,

My dwelling is in every creek, in every cave by the mountain side,

I don’t have a solitary who keeps my secrets, in whom I confide,

I am not garlanded by pearls, I am adorned by the solar systems’s star dust,

I keep one foot after the other, inspired by my soul’s own wanderlust.

My heart aches for the dingy forests and scent of the fresh roses,

I do not regret over the roads in life I have left behind, unchosen,

I am enchanted by this stupendous world, by every blue river and stream,

I seek pleasure in the untruthfulness of my illusionistic dreams,

I do not wish to bear the weight of the finest of silk nor purest gold,

I only yearn that mysteries of this world, with my wanderlust, I can unfold.

When my heart aches for the magic of nature, the brilliant shades of rainbows,

I am not bound to choose the grassy road neither the one with snow,

I do not reside in the lavish houses in the country,

The lap of nature is enough to soothe my weary body,

My pockets are filled with emptiness like the core of my longing heart,

This immortal longing of mine, is satisfied by nature’s exquisite art.

My aching heart, desires to see all of life’s zillion hues,

For my soul’s lust for adventure, the earth is it’s muse,

With nothing more than an ignited desire of adventure,

I have no tales to tell of heroism, cowardice or valour,

Yet, wander lust takes upon my soul in a thousand different ways,

It is this unusual desire that shapes my destiny, the world says.

This poem won the third prize at Your Pages Competition, organised by Children’s Book Trust.