From Bullying to Bestseller: 12 Year Old Kaashvi Mangal’s Inspirational Journey


Her captivating smile and curly locks, hooked me to her photo. The photo which would often appear as a suggestions on my Facebook to add her as a connection. When it came as a suggestion for the 7th time, I decided to zoom in. It was her mother’s profile but showcased this bright girl’s picture with a book ‘The Curled Verses.’ Perhaps, because I am also a poet, Meta was reading into my posts so this came as a suggestion?

I smiled and didn’t connect.

Exactly two days later at Delhi Poetry Festival, December 2023, this little girl was sitting right across me. And I knew that we were meant to connect for some bigger reason. She was awarded 1st position in the On – the – Spot poetry contest in Delhi Poetry Festival Junior Category and even felicitated with some more things. Her vibes left me with no option, but to walk up to her mother and speak to her: Kaashvi would you like to appear in an interview at The Think Pot. With calm and composure she nodded with a bright smile. So here goes THE THINK POT in exploring the journey of Kaashvi Mangal, a 12 year-old budding poet and writer from New Delhi. 

Kaashvi Mangal has a 10-year-old sibling Kavish, who is also growing under her wings as a budding writer! 
The first question was obvious : how did her journey as a poet begin?

She smiles and starts narrating, “Primarily, it was my parents’ evergreen support and motivation.  I used to write on occasions or in moods, be it birthdays, anniversaries, when in sorrow, or pleasure.  As I presented my work to my parents I was heartwarmingly cherished by their encouraging comments which inspired me to keep on with writing. I desired to spread my thoughts, expression and passion for poetry to the world. Most importantly, since I was teased for my curly hair and called funny names such as “Maggi Or ‘Top Ramen’, I used my writings as a strength and mentioned the first poem in my book, “The Curled Verses’ about my curly hair which now I abundantly embrace. This also brought me to a learning to acknowledge our blessings and be proud of whatever gifts we possess.

Sad right, how bullying is a norm, but how bright and intelligent of her to create something unique out of her sadness? Now that’s an inspiration, right?

She goes on to tell how she write her first piece, “Most probably it was a poem on Women’s day I wrote for my mom when I was in grade THREE. My mother read my poem and according to her, she instantly fell in love with it. Since then, I have made a decision to continue writing . One day, I was suggested by my mother to compile all the poems I had written over the years and add a few more and compile the same as a poetry collection in the form of a book!”

I could see a glimpse of me in Kaashvi, as I began penning at the age of FOUR, and that memory made me dig deeper into how her family or teachers reacted when they discovered her talent.

She looks into the oblivion once, to gather her memories and thoughts, “For me, it was my parents first, they motivated me to pursue my passion and take it further. Thus, acknowledging their suggestion, I made a decision to write my book. I recollected almost all my poems I had written over the years and wrote a few more whenever I got the chance to. After it was published, my school and teachers came to know about it. They began to know me for my talent, invited me to the stage for assemblies, held interviews for me to motivate others, and began asking for copies of my book to place at their libraries and for children to read.  I am immensely content with everyone who gave me a chance to remark on my voice and inspire my peers to embellish and express their passions.

She has various charms to her poetic art, like the contribution of a Poem titled ‘Compassionate Joys’ in Poem Anthology named “Words of Bliss’ ‘. And another contribution of a short story entitled ‘Family – A Special Bond’ embedded in ‘And the Kind Dragon Creates Magic’ to just name a few.

So I am bound to ask her next as to how has her writing style evolved over the years?

“Earlier, I used to follow the same rhyming scheme while writing most of my poems, However with time, experience and learnings from my interactive mentors, Mrs. Guneet Kaur and Mr Sumit Sehgal, I began to weave poetry using different rhyming schemes. I traversed various types of literary and poetic devices. Not only that, I have now begun exploring distinctive styles and forms of poetry such as haiku(s), Limericks, Nonnets, tankas along with freestyle. Besides poetry, I have begun writing short stories too and desire to accomplish the goal of writing a novella,” she shares all without the pause of a breath. And I am gaping at her in awe! This little one has really been reading and learning – something that we don’t find in her generation as a must-do norm! 

Obviously next was to ask her – Kaashvi, do you have a favorite genre or theme you enjoy writing about?

Once again she flasher her captivating smile and begins sharing, “I like to read murder mysteries!” And I give her a Hi5, because I am also a fan of Sherlock Holmes and Agatha Christie and more! She chuckles back to Hi5 but gets a bit defensive, “I know, this might sound a little odd for a wanna be poet, but I find them intriguing.” And I tell her that it’s OK to read what you like because I too love that genre and I am a poet too! She is elated to know that and goes on to explain her view point, “Murder mysteries are a unique ‘find WHO genre’ which forces the brain to think! Where no one knows who the killer is, the main character keeps on hunting for clues, goes out of the way to solve the issue, experiences setbacks, overcomes them. Especially the endings, they are always the climax, the loose ends are tied up and they leave the reader in utter suspense!” And I feel I have rediscovered myself in her to a large extent! We do another handshake and move on to the next question. 

Who are your favourite authors and sources of inspiration?

As I continue to read, my favourite authors are changeable. However I do research and look forward to ordinary  personalities who have accomplished something indeed extraordinary  in their motivating lives. I try to adapt their morals and implement them in my own life. When I finish a book, I  explore the author and embark on finding a few value points from their spiritual path, how they write, what they write, what have they done in their ventures so far. I tend to combine a few habits from many authors and form an identity of my own,” she duly informs me in a very detailed manner. 

Next I ask her, how are her answers so detailed?

She asserts, “So that many more like me see through the journey and make it their own!” I smile, she smiles back shyly, looking at her Kavish who is just 10 and another blossoming writer. I turn to her mother, who grins in defence, “: Oh no, don’t look at me like that Mahima, we as the parents have not asked her to speak like this. Ha ha ha, we hardly have any such creative genes! These two are God gifted,” and we all laugh. 

We move on…

Kaashvi, now can you share a bit about your creative process when developing a new story?

She nods, “Sure, Nowadays I’ve been working on stories as well. I first brainstorm a few ideas and decide on one final one. Later I think of an ending, however, it can change as I begin to write the story. Additionally, I ensure to add a dilemma, climax, ways to overcome it. As the story is taken further, there are new characters and settings merged, the motive or concept of the story continues to evolve. After I’m finished with my first raw draft, I sort of become a nitpicker. I look for faults in my piece, improve the plot, fiddle and explore with a few ways I can add a twist, how I could maybe add some humorous, intelligent phrases.” A lesson for many, even new-age journalists who don’t allow edits or get agitated when someone edits their copy.

She adds, “Moreover, after all my possible edits and continuous reading of my story, I present it to my parents and mentors who advise me while providing feedback on what more or less could be done. Finally, I modify the piece and consider it as the final draft.”

Kaashvi, you are so well versed but I am sure as a young author you might have faced certain challenges. How did you overcome them?

She takes a pause to recall and gather her thoughts, “I would say, lack of experience. As a young personality I had not explored and experienced many topics. This was challenging to me as it made me unsure of what to pen down on the paper and decreased the vastness of ideas. Furthermore, I embedded my hands on writing that concerned mature topics such as widow remarriage, toxic masculinity, poverty, child marriage and many more. However, the world seemed to ignore it just because it came from a child. Nevertheless, to overcome these issues I began to expand the number of perspectives inside my mind by gaining knowledge. I obtained it by reading books, watching interviews by famous authors, certain debates and  conferences.” 

The next we speak about the accomplishments in her writing journey that she is especially proud of. And she says….

 “After my book was published I received recognition from my teachers, school authorities and great personalities. Additionally, I am glad to share that I was featured in Hindustan Times too. I was invited to Delhi poetry festivals to receive awards and  was in conversation with various platforms. I also was conferred the Youth Award received in Young Dragon’s Literary Hub Festival. But the best reward of my work is how a few of my juniors headed to me, seeking advice and also sharing what they like about my works & poems. I have been able to inspire children my age and below my age as well to unleash their own passions! So that’s a bigger reward when the aspiring writers are motivated to pen a book of their own.” 

Have your inspirations changed as you’ve grown older, Kaashvi?

Kaashvi asserts a Yes, adding, “I believe, as time evolves, we do too.  At first, My inspirations were the mighty and fierce fictional characters I read in magazines, newspapers and books. I was in awe about how they handled dilemmas and the endings always finished with a ‘happily ever after.’ However, as I continue to grow older, I am becoming more realistic . Now my inspirations, as I mentioned, are  non – fictional personalities from whom I attempt to build myself as a better human being and writer.” 

Kaashvi you are just 12, and to be where you are in your thoughts, you must be spending a lot of time reading beyond your school curriculum. How do you manage to balance your writing with your school responsibilities?

She says she has compartmentalised her tasks and life already! “I tend to write on weekends or vacations. Using this practice I manage to balance both academics and writing. However, yes, If I have a deadline I must adhere to in the field of writing, I have to manage my time, push a few tasks here and there. Usually I have to learn to prioritise a number of tasks. Writing comes naturally to me, I don’t take it as a burden. Thus, I gradually tend to note down my observations I perform in regular life. These include thoughts that occur, while simply looking out a school bus window, communicating with my friends or while doodling in my leisure time. I attend literary festivals taking place on both the weekends. On such a Sunday afternoon where I have just returned tired from a fun festival, I provide myself some time to rest, later, I get back to my academic commitments, namely homework or preparation for an exam. It does get a little hectic for me, but I have learnt that I have to walk an extra mile if I desire  to accomplish my dreams.  During final terms, My writing does get affected because I have to spend more time studying. However, I cope up during summer vacations by writing to my heart’s content!” Such a dedication at such a tender age!

So do you look at the feedback readers or elders or organisations give you? Any one that particularly resonated with you?

She smiles and asserts, “My readers have always encouraged me to continue writing more and more. They’ve asked me to explore stories as well. Therefore, I have now published a short story of mine too. I like when people provide me with precise feedback instead of making vague comments. This is because the feedback assists me to improve my writing pieces and reach out to them. The most useful feedback I’ve received is to add as many adjectives as I like to describe something. This practice helps the reader to form an image of a character in their heads and understand the writing better.” 

You told us that you balance school and writing. Do you find that your writing influences your academic work, or vice versa?

Kaashvi Mangal informs, “Definitely, my writing does influence my academic work. Including my answers, essays, poems and other elements. I embed my writing style and vocabulary in them. Not only in the  subject English, writing has assisted me in framing my answers to questions in a better manner and include various points that are to be written. I remember, before I started writing, my answers were never up to the mark, resulting in me losing marks. However, now I am able to pen them down. They are now  favorable to the question and meeting the requirement set by it. Vice Verca tool, I learn a few phrases, styles of writing, vocabulary and most importantly gain knowledge increasing the vastness of ideas inside my head by reading school prescribed books.  I present them when I write and improve my pieces.”

Where do you see yourself across the next decade?

“Ma’am, I desire to establish myself as a writer, writing books for people to read and be acquainted with. Not only to gain fame or money, yet for others to read my work and write books of their own. I acquired inspiration from various characters too before publishing a book. I wish to leave a mark on this world. Additionally, as I had mentioned I ought to comprise an identity through which I am known by mine and further upcoming generations. This idea struck into my head because I read authors who, despite their ordinary lives, managed to be remembered by the globe.”

When you pen your future works, do you have any plots and plans already on your mind?

Well the 12 year-old is already a planner! Pat comes her reply, “Yes, yes…I have always felt for underprivileged people, especially children. They do not receive proper and basic facilities such as education, food, clothes. Meanwhile our continuous demands for temporary joy never seem to end. Thus to share the satiety, warmth and happiness, I desire to always separate an amount to pay to charity. By performing these actions, not only will they be satisfied, I will earn good karma as well, it is always utilised in the worst of situations. I had utilised the first Sunday of the new year performing a compassionate task. I visited a food donation drive and distributed food to more than 400 children. It was truly calming and satisfying.”

I look at her mother and we smile together, because this is called inheritance of a legacy of kindness being passed onto the next generation! 

Kaashvi, as a writer, even I often hit what is called the WRITERS’ BLOCK. Do you also find yourself in such a situation? How do you stay motivated and creative in your writing?

She pauses for a while to share another detailed one, “I stay motivated while I’m writing by keeping in mind that even if the write – up doesn’t get published. It will still remain as my work. I receive satisfaction whenever I read my final drafts. Moreover, as I send my work to different sites, In future, It might be chosen for anthologies or magazines too. There is only one mantra to remain creative in your writing and that is to read, observe and note. This is because, whatever we note will always come in handy one way or the other if we take the initiative to continue writing.”

Lastly, you are so well versed and a deep thought leader already. Via The Think Pot, would you like to share some words of wisdom with future writers of your age or under your age? 

And her response is actually what I keep forcing my Mass Communication post Grad students to do…but do they really do? This little girl who is just 12, Kaashvi Mangal parts with a perfect finishing line which must apply not just to kids but everyone, because in a world governed by social media, her advice is a perfect fit. 

She advises, “Ma’am, I would advise them to never discontinue reading, be it any genre. This is because, at one point of time they WILL run out of ideas. However, if they read at every stage of their lives, they will come up with hair – raising and fresh ones. They would be aware of various types of literature pieces and styles. Introduction to vocabulary, process of writing a plot, ways to end, all of it would be done just by picking up books, newspapers or magazines and carefully reading them. Like I had mentioned earlier, I increased my knowledge through observation, taking notes and reading. It will do the same for others.  Secondly, I would advise them to write a little everyday, it doesn’t have to be a lot of text, this is because by doing so, one will establish a habit. Writing doesn’t only mean trying to finish a story, you could write a letter to someone (like your future self) or about your day.”

Thank you Kaashvi for such a brilliant interaction. And The Think Pot, will perhaps keep coming back to you, when you blossom into a better writer with time. We look forward to reading THE CURLED VERSES, which she has promised to send us. A critique’s review will be posted soon, because she wants only a detailed feedback!