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Devonport High School for Girls

Congratulations to Georgi from DHSG

Teenager inspires Octogenarian to write book during COVID-19 lockdown

What have you achieved during lockdown? Many of our readers have broken down their barriers and leaped out of their comfort zone to do things they never thought they would. This was the case for 80-year-old Anil Koshti MBE and his 16-year-old family friend, Georgi Wilton. It all began when Georgi emailed a piece of her English creative writing work to Anil. It had been praised by her Devonport High School for Girls English teacher and Head Teacher, and Anil asked if he could read it too - little did they know the story writing wouldn’t stop there.

Anil started telling Georgi all about his life; his memories of living in India and England and the contrast between living in the British Raj then to Plymouth now, and 15 weeks later, they published a book - Poona to Plymouth.

Georgi was so interested in his unique experiences, she encouraged him to continue telling her these stories and suggested he wrote them down for his family. Anil was not confident in his ability to do this so Georgi offered to help with the editing. Once started, more and more stories were remembered, and the idea of a book was brought to life. Anil researched self-publishing companies, who were very touched when they were told about the origins of the book. Georgi continued to speak to Anil on a daily basis and edit his stories whilst beginning her A-level preparations and waiting for her GCSE results.

Final proof reading began in May and then the book was submitted to the publishing company for production. During this whole period, no one was aware of this project – it was to be a surprise for Anil’s family as they had been asking him to take on this challenge for over twenty years.

On 26th June, which happened to be family birthday as well, Anil and Georgi let out their well-kept secret to their astounded and proud families.