More than 10,000 copies of her books have been sold, but Abhijita Gupta has her heart set on becoming a doctor, though she would like to try her hand at horror writing, too. The TOI #Unstoppable21 jury has picked the Ghaziabad girl as one of the Unstoppable 21 Indians under 21 years
Writing isn’t her hobby. Yet, she has penned three books and a fourth is in the works.
Being an author, she insists, is not her wish. Yet, she has a host of awards and recognitions to her name – Grandmaster of Writing by Asia Book of Records and Global Child Prodigy 2022, to name just a few.
All of 10, here’s Abhijita Gupta for you. She prefers the stethoscope to her pen, likes biology more than literature and wants to perform a surgery on her dolls rather than think of her next line.
“She wants to be a doctor, not a writer,” her mother Anupriya laughs at their Ghaziabad home. She knows the reason, too. “Her grandfather is the source of her inspiration. She has been wanting to become a doctor ever since she visited his clinic in Delhi when she was just four.”
The ‘preparations’ have started early indeed. When Abhijita comes home from school, she dresses the “wounds” on her dolls. At times, an “emergency” resuscitation is also done on them. It’s not for nothing that her purple and pink dollhouse has all the “emergency services” for her “patients”.
“I can’t wait to go to higher classes,” she says. And why? “I want to study human anatomy and learn more about it,” she tells TOI, focusing on her Barbie’s arm as she puts a Band-Aid on it.
First Book At 5
Ever since she started going to school, Abhijita put into words almost everything she saw around herself. Be it the rain, nature, friends or parents, there was ‘Happiness All Around’ – which is the name of her first book.
At 7, she had the book published as well. It was a collection of short stories and poems, one of which was dedicated to her father.
“Wake up, it’s sunrise, it’s father’s day today and we have lots of surprise…,” is how the poem starts. “I love you the most, you are my hero and I became your princess from day zero.”
Her second book – ‘We Will Surely Sustain’ – captured the pangs of the pandemic and how the lockdown affected her family. Her third book – ‘To Begin With Little Things’ – underlined hope through her short stories. It was launched virtually during the pandemic by Charu Wali Khanna, a member of the National Commission for Women and a writer herself.
Over 10,000 copies of her books have been sold collectively on various platforms.
Abhijita may want to become a doctor, but writing, it seems, is in her blood. She is the great granddaughter of poet duo Rashtrakavi Maithili Sharan Gupt and Santkavi Siyaramsharan Gupt. Though her family owns a publishing house, it didn’t make it any easier for Abhijita to find a publisher.
“We did not use our connections to find publishers for her. We took her scripts to nine different publishers before one of them agreed to it,” says Anupriya.
She has a four-book contract with the Gurgaon-based Invincible Publishers. Ajay Setia, its founder, says he rejected Abhijita’s script when it landed in his office initially.
“It’s only after talking to her that I realised that her writing belied her age. We knew she could face the camera and we could send her books for awards,” he says.
Bonding With Bond
Abhijita is fascinated by fantasies. She has finished the Harry Potter series, except for the final book – ‘The Cursed Child’. “It’s not appropriate for her age,” says her mother.
She is slowly getting introduced to the works of Sudha Murthy and Ruskin Bond. Someday, she wants to meet Bond, sit by a riverbank, sip hot chocolate and write about her experiences – “just like he does”.
The little writer clearly leaves her readers happy. But can she scare them as well? “I wish I could write a horror story. But spooky things just don’t come to me,” she rues.
When she is not writing or putting Band-Aids on her dolls, Abhijita can be found sketching or building indoor tents with her friends. She also loves to play the conch – the mornings at the Gupta household begin with her “alarm”.
Abhijita, her teachers say, is a bright student and has represented Presidium School, Indirapuram, at various competitions.
“We are lucky to have a student like her. Abhijita is extremely talented,” says Ritu Jha, who has been her class teacher for two years.
At home, the 10-year-old’s parents want her to stay away from the limelight as much as possible. “We don’t want success to get to her head. She has seen much of it at a young age. We want her to stay grounded,” Anupriya says.