Mehul Bhattacharyya of Xaverian Brothers HS ’24 is Writing Stories to Change the World

When you first meet Mehul Bhattacharyya, a seventh grader at Xaverian, one thing is abundantly clear: he has a lot to say. Mehul, 12, and his brother Ruemen, 14 (a student at Sharon High School), have been avid storytellers since they were little, something for which Mehul credits his father.“When I was four and my brother was six, my dad told us stories at nighttime,”said Mehul. “When my brother turned eight he started writing his own stories, and a few years later I started coming up with my own ideas. I wanted to be able to tell my stories, too.”

What started as a budding interest in storytelling has turned into a full-blown family affair. Together, he and his brother have proudly published two books, and both Mehul and his dad have worked together to illustrate them. Mehul said they draw inspiration from the world around them when they create their stories. They’re influenced by movies and books they like, as well as things that have happened to them in their own lives.

In 2016, the boys published a collection of five short stories titled, “A Handful of Hope.” Mehul described the stories as having a consistent message about facing hardship and coming through the other side stronger and more full of hope. They donated the proceeds from the book to the Syrian American Medical Society Foundation (SAMS), an organization working to support Syrian Refugee children in Zaatari Camp. They also sent copies of the book to the refugee camp for the children to read. “I hope that if a Syrian refugee reads this, they’ll know that one day they can do something big; that future generations - their grandchildren - will have a better life,” he said.

In addition to their fundraising for SAMS, proceeds from their book sales are donated to local and global charities of their choice,such as Raising a Reader (RAR), a national non-profit promoting literacy.There’s a good chance we’ll continue to hear from Mehul in the future. He’s pretty certain that no matter what career he has, he’ll always make time to write. “I think in my free time I’ll write any idea I have. Like on the weekend if I’m not doing anything, I’ll probably just write a story.”

Mehul and his brother recently completed their second collaboration - a storybook called, “A Bizarre Basket.” Keep your eye out for it on Amazon!

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