Theruni Visakya Hettithanthrige, a 12 year old student of The British School in Colombo recently launched her debut publication, “A Chocolate Box of Poetry” at the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute of International Relations and Strategic Studies. An original compilation of poetry written from scratch by this Year 8 student, provides a fascinating view of the world and highlights one's obligations towards mankind. Her anthology captures our world with a different eye and the publication is a smorgasbord of delightful thoughts and observations. Her poems are profound and genuine, as she captures the touching, joyful and humorous perspectives of life for others to enjoy and to give a light for the needed lives.
Theruni’s debut publication has opened up many doors of opportunity to some of the differently abled and underprivileged children to contribute to her work by doing illustrations for the poems. All income earned from sales of the book will be fully contributed to needy children of Sangamitta Girls Home in Pamankade, Dehiwela and she is in the process of establishing the Theruni Hettithanthrige Foundation to continue with this worthy task to fulfil the wants of underprivileged children in our society. Helping needy children has been one of her principal aspirations. Theruni requests everyone to support her, to promote “A Chocolate Box of Poetry” that will in return help the needy.
Speaking about her collection of poetry Theruni said, “I penned my first poem at the age of 7. When I was in Year 3, our class teacher assigned us with a task of writing a colour poem and I wrote a poem called “What is Blue?” It was a very basic poem where I wrote about certain things which are blue. But it was my second poem that I fancied writing most. My penchant for horror stories persuaded me to write about Witches and I named it "Gross". I was endeavoring to emphasize the standard fear based imagination of a small girl about stereotype Witches. There was nothing exceptional in both poems, but when I recall I realize that I did not have to make much effort in coming up with those two poems. Since then I have written many poems whilst developing a liking to read poetry. Our weekly visits to the school library enabled me to engross in one of my favorite hobbies; reading horror stories and poetry. Memorizing poems and reciting them at Speech and Drama examinations were quite petrifying and enjoyable at the same time. I believe that my love of poetry comes from those readings and recitations too, as they leave a deeper impact on me than I realize at that particular moment”.
She further added, “Most of my poems are based on various aspects of life. Whilst conveying a message to the adults to be more responsible in their obligations towards children, it was my intention to communicate to kids that we should be able to be content with small things in life; that we can be unique in our own way without having to succumb to social or peer pressure and we should be strong enough to disregard negativity and hindrance and move on in the right direction”.
Simon Harwood - Deputy Principal (Head of Senior School) of The British School in Colombo in the Foreword of the publication states “This Chocolate Box presents a wonderful journey; a delectable and unforgettable collection of thoughts, observations and reflections by a gifted young writer, who, I hope will continue to speak to the world in the future”.
Thanking her school, The British School in Colombo, for building confidence and believing in its students, Theruni said, “My school offers a wide range of opportunities to its students to excel in whichever path they choose in life. We are encouraged to perform not only in academic work but in many extra-curricular and co-curricular activities. This publication wouldn’t have been possible without the constant encouragement and guidance I receive from my school.”