Imran Batra: Imagine


I wrote this poem after the death of a young boy named Aylan. A death that signified the need for the Syrian genocide to end; the need for these “immigrants” in Syria to be recognized for the refugees they really are.

A young boy on an overcrowded boat

Lost at sea, trying to find a place to call home.

Imagine the vessel starting to crack, capsizing slowly…

Imagine the dim, distant moonlight, the night sky, filled with fireflies, fading away;

The last moment of a three-year life…



A young boy washed up on the Turkish shore

His soft cheeks rubbing against the rough gravel

The boy’s father opening his mouth to find silence, unable to believe what he sees!

Imagine the boy’s mother and brother–resting, still, at the bottom of the seas.



Aylan was just one of many on that boat.

For all we know, there may be millions of children drowning right now!

We just saw what was veiled from us, and we started ranting and raving about it all!

Well, it’s been over a month now, and nobody remembers!


What will become of this world if we carry on like this?

Will these incidents even matter?

Because we say that we care, and we do, for a week…

But then this story gets buried under television, Youtube videos, books, and our Facebook newsfeed

And Aylan is forgotten; embedded in the subconscious depths of our distracted minds.





This is our society–our day, our night

Bloodshed everywhere, it’s a global trend!

Violence seems like a never-ending hell everywhere we go.



Don’t you ever feel like ending it?

Leaving this contaminated world?

Do you have any desire left, desire to live on this godforsaken planet?

Do you want to end this nightmare?


Or do you want to stop this madness,

Fix the world for generations to come?

We’re stronger than we think we are, at least as a whole!

We can change the world if we want,

We can move mountains!


We ARE the society!

We’re modern gods, you and I!

While erasing violence, we’re the eraser

While pulling the trigger to end inhumanity, we are the finger!

While rebuilding this society, we’re the mortar!

We’re the medicine for this world, not its virus!


We couldn’t save Aylan, but we can make sure there are no more like him…


Imagine a world with no boundaries, no disputes, no genocides, and NO MORE DEAD CHILDREN WASHED UP ON BEACHES!



Imran Batra is fourteen years old and studies in Class IX at Step by Step School, Noida.



Jerry Pinto: Some Ways Not to Write a Poem

This is the first of the ‘On Writing’ section on The Teen Zine, where poets and authors will occasionally write about the craft of writing.

Jerry Pinto is a poet, novelist and writer of splendid non-fiction. These are his suggestions to young poets.


  1. Please don’t try and rhyme. If you do it all the time, you will end up wasting time.

You see what happened there? I started by saying don’t rhyme and then I thought up a nice rhyme and I thought it would be a crime not to rhyme this time and suddenly I wasn’t saying what I wanted to say but I was saying what the rhyme wanted me to say. The last word was suddenly ruling the rest of the sentence. So you don’t have to rhyme. But the words must sound nice and musical. See if you can set them to a beat, a thumpetty-thumpetty-thump.

  1. Don’t be sloppy and soppy.

Please don’t tell me you love your Mummy, she is so sweet, she makes nice things for me to eat.

Oh Goosefeathers, I’m doing it again. I know it is your Mummy and I know you love her. We all love our Mummies. The Egyptians love their Mummies so much they put them in glass cases and charge people to see them. Ha ha.

  1. Don’t write a poem like another poem

If you write a poem that is like some poem that already exists, you’re really wasting time. That poem is already there. It is on the internet. Everything is on the Internet, including pictures of you as a baby, because your parents went mad with pride when you were born and put you up on the Net when you looked like you were a piece of strawberry that had been trod upon by a camel.

  1. Write about what you know.

Write about school. Write about recess. Write about how annoying it is when a samosa breaks when you bite into it. Write about icecream dripping on your shirt. Write about hockey. Write about selfies.

  1. Don’t write inspirational stuff.

Teachers like it when you write:

I will try my very best

in everything I do

But if I don’t win the prize

I won’t be blue

For I know that taking part

Is important too.

But is this what you feel? If you write a poem because a teacher will like it, you are not writing poetry. You are writing suck-uppery.

  1. Write about what you feel. (But do remember point 2 above.)

And finally read lots of poetry. Read it aloud. Read a poem a day. And you might one day write a poem. That will be reward enough.

Saumya Kamdar: The Fall of Pride

There was a man, haughty and proud,

‘Bow to me,’ he yelled at the crowd,

Rude he was and harsh was he,

And he cried, ‘Respect me!’

‘I am immortal,’ he challenged nature,

And God thought, What a foolish creature!

Committing sin after sin, he roared, ‘Foolish people, I’ll surely win,’

And his face lit up with a boastful grin.

Until one day, the God came down,

The foolish creature still had a frown,

He couldn’t withstand the forces of nature.

Lost were the dream of this mortal creature.

No one can ever overpower God,

After all he is our ultimate lord.

Saumya Kamdar is sixteen and a student of Class XII of Rukmini Devi Public School, Delhi.

Ragini Zutshi Anand: Her Life

She stood in her school corridor,

All alone.

She stood in her school uniform,

All worn out.


She had been wandering around throughout the day,

Sometimes here,

Sometimes there.


Bunked all her classes,

Didn’t speak to anyone.

Missed all her work,

Didn’t ask anyone.


To her,

It was all monotonous.


Every day she would go to school,

Give her attendance

Then go break the rule.


She was a good actor,

She made us into fools

Acting about how she wasn’t surrounded by a pool.


By a pool of her own tears,

Consisting of sorrows and pains

That she never really shared.


What she didn’t realise was that we could see right through her act,

And that we would obviously react.


So that day we made a pact

To restore her happiness, make an impact.


Ragini Anand studies in Class X of Sanskriti School, New Delhi. She blogs at

K. Gayatri: Why Can’t I?

Why can’t I sing like others?Why can’t I dance like Hrithik?

Why can’t I act like Sharukh?

I never ever did a job, I just wanted to be like others.

Others dance and sing and laugh and cry

And I was always scared, wondering

Whether I could be like them.

Everyone wanted to cheer me up

I couldn’t understand it. I wanted a successful life

Belonging to me and only me.

But I had no confidence in me.

And now, in this vast ocean of experience

I tell you my friends, Nothing is impossible.

K.Gayatri is thirteen years old and studies in Class VII of Foster Billabaong High International School, Hyderabad.

Imran Batra: The Letter

They say that people are judged by what they leave behind, not what they were…

Well in that case, I can’t be judged.

Would you have liked me, I think?

Would you have taped my first walk, my first word, my first birthday?

Would you have helped me out in bad times,

And rewarded me in good ones?

Would you scold me for stealing biscuits from the top shelf, at 12 o’ clock at night?

Or catch me, help me and share my delight?

Would you see me off everyday, to school?

Would you laugh, when I’d smell your brownies and drool?

Would you be proud of your daughter?

Would you treat me like a queen?

And would you know I’d love you even if I had called you mean?

Would you cry of happiness, seeing me graduate?

And clap the loudest, when I’d get engaged?

Would you hold my hand when I’d be sad?

And keep your cool, never get mad?

Would you love me the way I’d love you?

Well, now, we’ll never know.

If only you had said you wanted a daughter,

If only you would’ve let me live,

We could have been happy,

But you chose abortion instead…


Imran Batra is thirteen years old and studies in Class VIII at Step by Step School Noida.

Daksh Gandhi: How It Used to Be

I remember how it used to be,

When nothing else mattered but you and me.

I miss you, I wish you could see me now.

I remember when you said how happy I made you and you really meant it.

I miss those days when you’d call just to say “hi” or “I love you”.

The days it was so hard just to say goodbye for a while.

I remember how wonderful it felt the first time you held me in your arms.

I miss the old us and how we could talk for hours without running out of things to say.

I miss us as I remember how it used to be, when nothing else mattered but you and me.

Daksh Gandhi, aged seventeen, studies in Class XI of St Andrew’s School, Agra.