Crooked Lines

January 23, 2022

By Zehn Kashyap

A freshly minted teenager, Zehn Kashyap, is currently based out of New Delhi, India. She is a student of Grade 9 at Vasant Valley School. Zehn is a passionate, empathetic, focussed student with an incredible capacity for hard work. She represents the growing population of students worldwide who have special needs. Zehn has developed a special brand of empathy (her own superpower!) that arises from being able to walk for a mile in her fellow students’ (albeit rather painful!) shoes! Her story of rising above her disability and not letting it define her, is exemplary and inspiring for all students. Recently selected to be a member of her schools Outreach Council, she feels strongly about and is committed to giving back to the community that has enabled her to be what she is today. Zehn is grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the Mental Health Workshop for Girl Up. Having seen how it literally takes a village to pitch in she hopes to be able to pay it forward in a meaningful way by virtue of her rich experiences.

Pledge to Take Action

My name is Zehn, and I am a 14-year-old student currently based out of New Delhi, India. I  represent the growing population of students worldwide who have special needs. I have developed a special brand of empathy (my own superpower!) that arises from being able to walk for a mile in my fellow students’ (albeit rather painful!) shoes!

A published, award-winning poet and international speaker, I am passionate about advocating for causes close to my heart namely destigmatizing disability, mental health and girl and women’s rights, specifically in the context of disability.

Through generations of conditioning, we, as a society have arrived at the rampantly prevalent definition of what is normal and what is not. However, in doing so, we often ignore the power that ‘differentness’ bestows upon us. If we aspire to move from being good to being great – we must actually celebrate our im’perfections. As a first step, we must accept the fact that every one of us is unique in a very special way. Once we do so, we will be able to take the next step towards normalizing and thereby destigmatizing differences.

My poem “Crooked Lines” is an ode to exactly that – celebrating of differentness and embracing our (Im)perfections to be the best possible version of ourselves!

Check out my poem + my recitation of it below and I do hope you enjoy it and help me spread the sunshine on this important topic!

Crooked Lines

One day I thought of crooked lines and what they mean to me
You see them all around in life, just look around and you’ll see!

To me, crooked lines are perfect and mean that things are right
The beauty of their existence, makes me squeal in true delight
Crooked lines they are so smart, with a mind, of their own
They go this way; they go that way, so brave and so alone
I feel they tell us a story of how life should be lived actually
For perfection is overrated; it doesn’t really exist in reality
Crooked lines are like brave people, who do not hesitate
Every bend has a tale to tell, that is unique and so great
They don’t pretend to be curvy and neither to be straight
They embrace a little bit of both, so they end up great!
Not at all embarrassed of what others of them might think
To the parts that make them up, they all have strong links

Crooked lines, they show us that having flaws is really ok…
That we can truly be ourselves, no matter what people say
Let’s try to be like crooked lines and deeply understand
By owning up our personal story, we can live a life so grand!
So take it as a compliment, if they say a crooked line you are
Simply live up to your values and in life you will go very far!

Pledge to Take Action