UAE: Meet the 6-year-old whose book of poems is available in 4 languages

According to her parents, she expressed a wish to spread her message to children of all backgrounds and that prompted them to approach translators



by

Nasreen Abdulla

Published: Tue 8 Nov 2022, 9:12 AM

Last updated: Tue 8 Nov 2022, 10:12 AM

A 6-year-old child has wowed audiences at the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF) after releasing a book of poems in four languages - two of which she has written.

Ridhani Kadhembhari, who began writing poetry at the age of four and a half, has released a book of poems in both English and Tamil. Her work has been translated by other writers into Malayalam and Arabic as well. According to her parents, she expressed a wish to spread her message to children of all backgrounds and that prompted them to approach translators. The title of the book, 'Left Pen Right Thoughts', was inspired by the fact that she is left-handed.

At a book launch event held at SIBF on Saturday evening, the Grade 1 student was appreciated for her verses which speaks about nature, animals, human beings, how humans should live in the world and how they must help the environment. “It is amazing how observant she is at such a young age,” said Ismail Meladi, who translated the book into Arabic.

The child was also honoured by World Books of Records as the youngest author to publish a bilingual book. Hailing from the state of Tamil Nadu in India, Ridhani was supported by her parents in her endeavour. “We are absolutely delighted with what she has achieved,” said her father S. Thiyagu. “We noticed her passion for poems from a very young age and we actively encouraged her to explore the passion,” said her mother Dr Sri Rohini, a writer and researcher.

Early age

According to Dr Sri Rohini, Ridhani began reciting poems at the tender age of three. “We were in lockdown at the time so we couldn’t travel,” she said. “At the time Ridhani was really missing her grandparents. So while walking around the house, she would recite ‘Virus Virus, why are you here’ and continue making up her own verses like a poem. First, we were shocked at how she could come up with verses like these. Then we started encouraging her to keep doing it.”

Fanned by her parents’ encouragement, Ridhani’s passion for poetry grew. Her mother then recorded a video of her reciting a poem and uploaded it on social media. “It was just out of curiosity that we posted,” said Sri Rohini. “However, it ended up going viral. People appreciated her verses. That is when we realized how talented she was.”

Soon, her recitation of poems turned into writing. “She would never go anywhere without a paper and pen,” Sri Rohini said. “I would see her scribbling something and then throwing it away. When I pick up the paper, sometimes it would be a picture and sometimes it would be verses. We started collecting all the verses that she wrote and decided to compile it into a book. The published work is just a very small part of what she has written.”

A warm heart

Not only is Ridhani a poet and nature lover, but she is also someone with a big heart. At the age of 4, when her class teacher gave them a task to make a sadaqah (charity) jar in school, the young girl was fascinated with it. “Since then, she started collecting money in her jar,” said her mother. “At first I thought she would use it to buy something for herself but at the end of the year she asked me to donate it to a local charity.”

Sri Rohini said she was surprised with the empathy her child displayed and how she actively worked for it. “Whenever we go out, she will help me carry bags and then request me to pay her one or two dirhams for it,” she said. “She also does household chores, and we give her monthly allowance of five or ten dirhams. She collects all of it and every year she tries to increase her contributions by at least one dirham. She believes that when she helps people, they pray for her, so she gets more blessings.”

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