Success reward for perseverance

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By 2017-09-10

By Ranga Chandrarathne

What is remarkable in young M.J Zindi Taara Asgari of Gateway College Colombo (Grade 11) is that she has won a first place at a Short-story competition organised by Elite International School in Mongolia. Of course, she got the fullest support and encouragement from her teacher of English Mrs. Nimali Jayatissa and her student's adviser Vasantthi Wittinton. More or less Asgari's success was due to her passion for reading and writing which she developed when she was very young and kept the flame by continuously writing to school magazine and essay and creative competitions at school. She used to read Harry Potter and fantasy books, poetry by Auden, Shakespeare, W.B. Keyes, and Wordsworth. Then she has started to read philosophical books by Nietzsche. Eventually she started to do her researches on famous poets and their work. Immediately before she wrote the short story for the competition, the book which really inspired her was Demian by Hermann Hesse.

Carpe Diem, the short story Asgari submitted to the competition and won, deals with a psychological journey of a youth, coming to terms with the reality in city life. The protagonist is full of expectations and at times feels that he lives for the society and not living the kind of life he wants to live. However, there are positives and negative sides to this. He also realises that he can find happiness he wants.

Currently she has started to write on a couple of stories. Those stories are her views on life and her new experiences which have often reshaped her worldviews and ideas of life. Asgari is a grade 11 student of Gateway College Colombo and her interests are diverse ranging from taking part in Essay Competitions, Broadcasting competitions and Debating Competition. However, most of the time she likes to read and listen to music. She has also taken a keen interest in Journalism. She is a board member of the college's Journalism Club and Media Club. She also takes part in Model United Nations and attends conferences. She won a Silver medal at the recently held Queen's Commonwealth Essay Competition -2017.

In junior school she became the champion debater at a time that she was deemed as a soft spoken girl. She won World's Scholar's Cup and many medals including 15 medals (6 silver and 6 gold medals). She also took part at Announcing Competitions. Apart from writing short stories, Asgari also writes poems.

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