My editor's note as Youth Editor for the 2001 Kannada Koota Magazine

I loved reading this year's excellent submissions to the Youth
Section of the Kannada Koota Magazine. I always find pleasure in reading
young people's work. Children and young adults write in many different
voices: some bold, some tentative; some silly, some serious. But reading
any young person's work, especially a young Indian-American's work, not
only reassures me of the endless potential of youth, but also reminds me
of my own childhood in a literary household.

My mother and father, as you probably know, encourage Kannadigas
the world over to write both poetry and prose. My sister and I were no
exception, even when we were very young. In particular, I remember one
day fifteen years ago when my mother deprived my sister and me of a day
off school by making each of us write a short story. My sister's effort,
a thrilling tale of baby-snatching and mysterious baby-sitters, was later
published in the school literary magazine. Mine (thankfully) seems to
have disappeared in the mists of time.

My parents, being parents, save as much of my writing as they can,
and sometimes I see it, years later, and feel proud of my younger self.

Then again, sometimes I see it and wince. Like all writers, I often write
things that seem great ... at the time. But, when I wince at my previous
work, I try to remember that it's not the work that's changed; it's me.

We're all growing and learning; a new perspective lets me see new sides
(some of them unpleasant) of what I did before. I say to myself, "I could
do that better now, if I did it again." And that means that my life
between then and now has been worth it.

I hope that, years from now, when the children whose poems and
stories and articles you're about to read are entering adulthood, they
find some time to look back on their younger selves. They might even read
the words in the following pages that they themselves wrote so long ago.

And I hope that they will see, with surprise, how much they've grown, and
take hope from that, because when we see that we have had reason to hope,
that gives us reason to hope again.

Enjoy these voices from tomorrow's past.

Youth Editor
Sumana Harihareswara