The words of the year 2018

Updated: Dec 31, 2018, 14:16 IST | Dalreen Ramos | Mumbai

On the last day of 2018, four young storytellers share with us their word of the year and what it means to them

My word of the year
The year has been busy for 17-year-old writer Zuni Chopra who released her second novel, The Island of the Day Before, in August. And when we met Chopra earlier this year, she was scanning the best writing programmes for an undergraduate degree. In December, much has changed as she's all set to be a part of an Ivy League - a metamorphosis of sorts. "This year, I feel like I have taken large strides in terms of both my personal and academic life. Most notably, I was accepted into Stanford University, which is very exciting for me. And that is the main reason why I'm getting a real sense that everything is changing - keeping some parts of the old but at the same time, moving forward and embracing the new," she says.

Anusha Subramanian

My word of the year
For author Anusha Subramanian, 19, the word degeneracy, which implies a degradation of quality or standards, best resonated with her during her first year at UC Berkeley. She explains, "It's just a word that one of my friends started using to refer to our friend group and our completely normal activities in an exaggerated manner. For instance, an overnight trip would be referred to as 'a night of supreme degeneracy' and it totally stuck. I love it because the air of Victorian-era intensity and a bittersweet extravagance to it accurately represents my year."

Ayaan Kapadia

My word of the year
India's youngest published author, 10-year-old Ayaan Kapadia, is quite the wordsmith. He religiously dedicates time every day, in the middle of his school assignments, to not only read but also to pick out new words he comes across and enters it in a book he calls a word bank. Kapadia published two books this year - the most recent one being Maverick's Adventures with the Pirates that released in September. His word of the year 'reverberate' i.e. to echo is a thoughtful pick. "I like this word because on deeper contemplation, we realise that every action of ours reverberates and has a profound impact on all those around us and our environment. So, this new year, let's be alert about how our actions both good or bad impact us and act accordingly," he says.

Yahya Bootwala

My word of the year
It's been an exciting year for spoken-word poet Yahya Bootwala. The 23-year-old was in awe of the lineup when he attended the biggest storytelling festival in the city, Spoken Festival, last year. And now, he's all set to begin the New Year with a bang, as a performer. Honest about his real-life experiences, even on stage, Bootwala's word of the year is a self-coined term. "It implies the epitome of love i.e. you can't love anyone more beyond this point. I coined it in a set where I talk about different types of love, and it was inspired by my love stories," he tells us.

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