short story competition winner announcement
Beatrix Ong, M.B.E., multi-disciplinary designer and author of The Bee and the Tree has kindly offered a signed copy of her book to the winner who had submitted their stories when they too has felt small and how they overcame it. We are very happy to announce our winner...
Sophie Chan (9 years old)
And THANK YOU to all those who have submitted your inspirational stories, below are the top 4 that we have selected to share with you.
SOPHIE CHAN (9 years old), London, U.K.
This happened with a friend at camp. She was the oldest in the club and I was second oldest. One day, when I was looking at my DIY bird, she walked up to me and said,’ I don’t like you.’ was shocked and heart broken. I felt cold sweat rolled down
my face as she walked away. My throat was dry and tight; I couldn’t speak. I felt like I was shrinking; I must be smaller than an ant. I took a deep breath, sat down and told myself to relax and calm down. After lunch, I went up to her and asked her if she actually hated me. I told her my thoughts, my feelings and my reactions. She looked down and asked if I wanted to play with her again.
FARZANA KHAN, London, U.K.
I was 5 years old and my mother shouted for me to go fetch something from the basement and I came back with something else. She realised something was wrong with my hearing. Took me to the hospital and I found out I had holes in my ear drums and needed to wear hearing aids. I came home wearing them with pride at least I could hear. However, when I got home, my cousins began calling me disable and laughing at me and my siblings joined in. I was so
traumased and I threw them in the drawer and never looked back. I decided I would to let my hearing or lack of it hold me back. I did have to sit at the front of the classes and ended up doing well. I know I missed so much over the years and as me went on I needed to be tested again and again. Luckily the hearing has not got worse and I have managed to educate myself at Masters levels, worked in 6 different countries and have two people daughters. I do tell people I am deaf in one ear and just get on with it. If I go fully deaf, I will learn lip reading to go move to the Hindus Valley and become a walker with tourist.
It was the year 2019. We had shifted from our home country to start afresh in a foreign land. The alluring promise of a better career for my husband and dreams of a better quality of life motivated us to take the plunge. I found myself in an unknown land, having left behind my friends and extended family.
The change in culture, customs, and weather played a toll. My husband and daughters settled down in no time. They were happy with the change. I found it disconcerting that my daughters (tweens) could manage their tasks on their own. They didn’t need my help with homework or projects anymore. Their growing independence amazed me, but I felt unwanted and not needed.
I don’t know if it was insecurity or selfishness, but their joys made me unhappy. I spent my days and nights wallowing in self-pity. Nothing made me happy anymore, I was drowning in a sea of despair and loneliness.
And on top of it, I was approaching the dreaded 40s. I had never felt more insignificant in my life. This chapter in my life reminded me of how I had achieved nothing. Every day I was sinking further and felt no one could understand my dilemma and pains.
There seemed to be no end to the darkness which had engulfed me. When I was about to give up, words came to my rescue. I started penning down my deepest fears. Pages after pages got filled with my pain, fears, and sorrow.
I started sending my poems and short stories to various online forums. The feedback I received boosted my self-confidence, and encouraged me to hone my skills further.
In no time, I realized my potential.
I was on the path to rediscover myself and create an identity for myself. It was gratifying to be known for myself, and not just as someone’s wife or mother. Today it gives me immense joy to see my works being part of many anthologies and online journals.
I have just begun, and there are many blank pages in my book waiting to be filled.
Life’s journey will always be filled with ups and downs, but I won’t give up ever. I have realized I was not insignificant after all. My story has just begun!
SOMA MUKHERJEE, Bangalore, India
I was born in a middle class family in a beautiful town called Jamshedpur.
My parents gave me best food, education etc. I was good in my studies and extra curricular activities.
I was a good looking gal too though a bit plump so kids often bullied me in school.
In college ,I suddenly became so good looking that men used to follow me in the streets. I did get few modelling offers then but my dad was not keen on it.
His wish was to marry me off in my twenties. I wanted to be a doctor which my family did not approve.
While studying MBA in long distance from NIPM , Kolkata I got married and finished my Viva in Bangalore where I shifted. I traveled few states after my marriage and gave birth to two daughters in two different states. I had a desire to have a career which was difficult due to balancing home and work. I had put on massive weight after delivery.In between my pregnancy, I dabbled in jobs which I had to quit.I also tried my hands in few MLM selling products and did quite well all I could not manage any more because of constant rule changes by those companies.I have worked in HR, Admin and in between I did few courses to become a corporate trainer.
I have trained and counselled thousands.
I lost 18 kg weight to start modelling, acting and finally winning few paegents despite not having slim or tall stature. I am Mrs Karnataka ,super mom 2018 and this women's day beating younger women won Miss photogenic central mall, 2021.
Personally I also dealt with losing my dad and young sis law few years back.Life was devastated that period .But I managed to pull my family from grief to sele them .
I won many achiever awards this year from best model, corporate trainer to Best professional person.
I have done lot of movies and advertisements.
I also judge fashion shows.I motivate many to be empowered.
I have started writing books.Most poems or short stories started coming in u tube or in blogs.
I intend to do things differently post pandemic.
Sky is my limit.