This I Believe

Visi - Ashland, Massachusetts
Entered on May 19, 2006
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: integrity

How Kaavya will cope and get her life back to normalcy…

The summer holidays are here. School and university students get their three-month break to recover from 10 months of lessons and homework. This is their time to rejuvenate, energize and ready themselves before another school year begins. It’s the same for Kaavya Vishwanathan, who is a mere 19 years old, but is dealing with a misfortune that even adults find hard to stomach.

While everyone talks about how she failed, and how she may never write again. No one seems to be thinking about how one so young is coping with this calamity between school and exams. Yes, this is the story of the 19 year old that shot up to fame and came crashing down even before she reached the top. The story that has been in every media one can think of. Her downfall was an even bigger story than the $500,000 contract itself.

I had the pleasure of spending an hour and a half talking to Kaavya Vishwanathan, about a week before this controversy. I talked to her not about her book, but more as a teenager, how she got to where she was and why she was doing all this. What were her interests in life, what were her likes and dislikes, her goals and ambitions?

I came away believing, then and now, that this was just another likeable teenager with quirks of her own. She was charming and beautiful, young and bubbly, audacious and opinionated. She was rushing from one interview to another, while managing classes and her many extra curricular activities. She is a foodie, who loves to cook, shop and travel. She loves the theater and the arts and hopes to become an investment banker. She loves her parents but scrunches her nose at their choice of music and clothes. She is just another teenager.

What forced Kaavya to take on so much, at so young a life? Who was pressurizing her to maybe perform more than she could give? Or was this just a teenager on hyper drive who wanted it all? Is this going to change her personality from the bubbly person she was to a more withdrawn and quiet person? When will her life return to normalcy? So many unanswered questions.

Bottom line, she was and is just a teenager who has her whole life ahead of her. She needs to be left alone so that she can cope with her emotions. One misstep cannot and will not mean the end of one so young and vulnerable.

This I believe… Kaavya is an extremely resilient teenager with a drive and ambition that will see her through. . She will return after a summer of recovering and recouping and continue to work through school as successfully as she did before. In time, she would have learned from her mistakes, achieved her goals, and become a successful person. Time is healer time will mend…