‘Voices has taught me many life lessons, but the most important one is to dream big and believe. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from, as long as you have faith in yourself’…Coordinators pay tribute to a unique friend-cum-guide
 

Though I’ve become a Coordinator quite recently, Voices and I share a rich and colourful history. When Voices first came out way back in the 90s, my mother would collect the issues and preserve them in a cupboard with the hope that one day, her child will discover it like a hidden treasure, and peruse those yellowing ancient pages with undisguised glee and enjoyment.

She would support me in all my childish artistic endeavours .She enrolled me in art school, inspired me to draw and paint, and would even regularly send my artwork to Voices. And I would wait, with bated breath for every issue, to know whether my drawing had won the first prize.

During the turbulent years of growing up, I turned to Voices for solace and companionship. The myriad articles encompassing practically every subject under the sun, spoke to me like a friend, consoling me, pacifying my fears, increasing my knowledge, improving my vocabulary, make me laugh, cry and smile. I would hungrily devour those four sacred pages, like a tasty birthday cake, and still not be satisfied. If only it were published every day!

The "Serve" column was my favorite, addressing the issues that were on my mind but had not the courage to ask, and I would savour every word and sentence."Eco-watch" made me sensitive to the plight of Mother Earth, the Q-Files updated by GK, and last but not the least: the most cherished and awaited "Poet’s Corner". The fact that people who were more or less the same age as me, could write so eloquently, adorn their thoughts in such beautiful metaphors and similes ,and so magnificently express their innermost emotions in such succinct and mellifluous language, inspired me to write and rewrite, push my limits and set new goals and make sure I achieve them.

In fact, the first article of mine that was published was a poem on child labour. I wasn’t even aware of it, till my school vice principal congratulated me for my "achievements" and encouraged me to send in more articles. I also remember as a child, pondering over the meaning of the word "Coordinator". In almost every Voices article this mysterious, magical, exciting word was printed. And when my mum explained to me what a Coordinator does, I decided that one day, I’ll be a Voices Coordinator. The dream seemed too ambitious, and impossible, perhaps these so called elite Coordinators were highly intelligent, talented super-humans with powerful writing skills! Surely, a little girl like me with big dreams wouldn’t stand a chance!

Therefore it had come as a pleasant surprise when I was selected. Paralyzed with excitement and unable to believe that my dream had finally come true, I felt like Cinderella attending the ball with Prince Charming!

The day I was handed the coveted Coordinator&’s card is firmly etched in my memory. It was such an honour, a blessing, achievement, a sense of unspeakable fulfillment and happiness-the feeling that I was not just another random teenager struggling with the pains of growing up, but somebody special was too beautiful and amazing. Then came the first Coordinators Meeting. I was finally going to meet the people I aspired to be. How would they react when they saw this amateur, confused scared person? Would I not feel out of place amid these budding journalists who were several times more mature and experienced than I?  

Needless to say, I was welcomed like a friend, graciously ushered into their midst, and within seconds all my fears vanished and I felt like I’d known them for years, that I finally had found a place where I belonged and a family that made me feel loved, wanted and at home. 

Never had I met such a curious blend of funny and talented people, witty, friendly, helpful, empathetic and utterly adorable!

As Voices approaches its birthday, I would like to take this opportunity to thank every member of this warm family for accepting me, and for giving countless school children a platform to showcase their talents, a chance to speak their minds, for organszing fests such as Vibes, for giving us an opportunity for our Voices to be heard and making our dreams come true.

 Voices has taught me many life lessons, but the most important one is to dream big and believe. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from; as long as you have faith in yourself and believe that nothing is impossible, you have the power to make all your dreams come true! I wish the Voices and the Statesman team success in all its endeavours and may God shower his blessings on this newspaper most benevolently. Happy Birthday and Viva La Voices!

 

archita mittra, Class XI Calcutta Girls’ High School

 

And a teacher too

Last year in the month of October, I stepped inside a monumentally huge office for the first time. A sudden wind of legendary and greatness  blew assuring me that I had stepped inside Statesman House. A place which witnessed many thing, bitter and sweet, for the last 137 years. Its only a year since then, actually, to be accurate, it&’s just 11 months! 

   Getting the opportunity to become a Voices coordinator was a proud moment of my life. If anyone asks me what Voices actually, I don’t think there is any explicit expression. Voices, according to some, is their sister, some others say a brother. While some worship her as their mother, I consider Voices to be a "Teacher". 

Yes a teacher: someone who gave me an opportunity to improve  myself, helped me in earning a name for myself.  And the birthday of Statesman Voices falls in the week of Teacher’s Day. Thereby, justifying its role as a teacher. The Voices annual fest Vibes had been organised few days before. It was a hit show. Again a learning field for all~participants,non participants as well as coordinators.  There are innumerable students of this teacher, who have benefited and have been  helped. Voices ~ you gave me valuable input, unaware of the fact that how much I could reciprocate, but I definitely tried. You made my school days special, something to remember, to cherish! And now this loyal and a proud student of yours wishes you "Happy Birthday"!


barun das, XII, St. Joseph and Mary’s school