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Straddling poetry and tech, Tanvi is on a high

A Btech student, Tanvi Agarwal emerged as one of the co-authors in three anthologies in a row with the advent of 2020. How did she become a poet while dealing mostly with coding and other tech tools? Fayz finds out.

Since childhood, my life has been a roller-coaster ride. I was a very studious student, regularly featuring in topper’s list all the time. This became my habit and naturally, my parents' expectations grew more and more. So, every time when I look at my parents, I felt inspired by that hope in their eyes telling me to fight and survive. Since my school time I have been all-rounder though with the passage of time, I could not focus on everything, but still, I tried to leave a mark in everything I did.

When I was in Class VIII, I tried out something very new for me: composing a poem in Hindi. There was a competition in the city and few students from schools were supposed to be selected for the same. I was determined to give it a try and I participated at the school level and wrote a poem, but unfortunately, I was not selected. I was upset and but I did not want to give up so easily. So I decided to attend that competition as part of the audience so that I can figure out what I lacked. And there I felt amazing throughout the competition session; students of different age groups reciting their self-composed poems, while others were offering lessons and as far I remember there were humorous poems too. After that competition was over I felt that this was not so difficult. So I started my first English poem with the topic: “Mother - Figure of Love and Affection.”

With the passage of time, I started writing better and in Class X, I got a chance to participate in an event asking for “collection of poems”. Armed with 25 poems, I took part in the competition and received the third prize. This was just a beginning. In the same competition after two years, I went up with around 100+ poems but unfortunately, judges rejected my collection telling me this could not be a student’s collection. They even suggested I was lying.

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I was hurt, but something that cheered me up was the audience's response. Many people introduced their friends to me telling them, “dekhiye is board me jo b topic hai us topic ki poem apko iski diary me milengi.” I was so happy at that moment as if I have achieved a new record. That day was a big lesson for me.

I continued with my passion and for further studies I went to Kota for coaching and later got admitted to a government college in Uttarakhand called Govind Ballabh Pant Institute of Engineering and Technology for BTech in Computer science and Engineering. In my first year, I decided to share my poems at a global level so I decided to create a Facebook page with the name “Being Alive” (as my poem sounds) and I have been active on my page since then.

Also, I participated in Third Button Studios, Speak It UP Season 1 where I showcased my slam poetry. Through their videos and excellent network, I was covered by a huge audience which motivated me to write more. And now I am in my final year still I crave my passion for my technical skills.

2019 was really good for me. I won the first prize in English poetry competition held in my college. That was then I came to know about Google Assistant Actions. I built a quiz app with the name “Authors and Their Books” and published it on Actions for Google in July and was awarded Google action goodies. Later in August and September, I extended this in two other languages viz. English and Spanish.

I helped many of my friends to earn these goodies and showcase their talent and everyone was very happy to receive goodies from the Google Action Developer Community.

Then the unthinkable happened. My teacher referred me to contribute to an anthology, and I sent one of my poems for the same and later two more poems. I got a chance to contribute to this international anthology of English poem with the title : “Pebbles into The Water: 2020.” When this anthology was in its developing stage, I got another opportunity to contribute to 'Reasons and Laughters', an anthology with the title “Coffee and Echoes”. This led to another anthology, Reasons and Laughter, with the title: “Ashes” (yet to be published).

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If I feel low or demotivated, I just hold my pen and start expressing it in words. Build a passion and follow it. Life will never be the same again.

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