Sixty Minutes With: Sushmita Jitlall

By Michael Balbuena

Sixteen year-old Sushmita Jitlall is an aspiring writer born in Guyana with a burning passion for literature that expresses her own emotions. She also holds great devotion for musical bands such as the Beatles, Maroon 5, and traditional Indian music itself. In an interview she gives us the inside story on what her life is truly like, being from a traditional Guyanese family and having certain expectations to live up to.

Moving to the United States at the age of nine, Jitlall has always known that her intellectual strengths focused around historical knowledge and literature. She attends DeWitt Clinton high school, which is currently downsizing. There, she takes as many opportunities to write as she can obtain before she is forced to move into a smaller school. Mathematics has been a point of struggle and confusion for her. Her passion for history extends from her great love of architectural structures built throughout the ages.

Being the oldest of three siblings, Jitlall strives to set examples for those younger in her family.

When not working on school assignments, she enjoys browsing the internet and visiting sites such as tumblr, as well as watching her favorite television shows, which include “Supernatural,” “Teen Wolf,” “Breaking Bad,” “Psych,” and “Graceland.” She also enjoys cracking open a romance or mystery novel. When further questioned about her reading habits Sushmita said she enjoys listening to music while she turns a book’s pages.

“It’s like going into a different dimension” she states, “where time does not exist. I will start reading at ten o’clock in the morning and next time I check it’s ten o’clock at night.” Such a lack of awareness shows her devotion to reading.

Jitlall also loves action films, especially those with superheroes, such as “Iron Man”, and “Fast and the Furious.” She also enjoys films that contain elements of fantasy such as “Harry Potter.”

Jitlall discussed her high school experience, the good and the bad, her high points and her low points. Her friends see her as a person that can be questioned when struggles are present and says that she can be counted on when looking for a solution. But if anyone was to question her and ask for an opinion, Jitlall will give you the cold hard facts without any cushion, she says. “If you ask me a question I’m going to tell you how it is,” She says. Although it cost her a few of her “so-called friends,” Jitllall thinks this attitude will favor her as she hopes to pursue a field in which people seek the truth without distortion.

Sushmita also recalled an episode of bullying that occurred to her, and instead of seeing it as a negative occurrence she says she sees it as a way of reforming herself into someone that she can be proud of. When asked to give a word of advice to those who may be going through similar situations she says, “as time goes on things will get better.”

Raised in an Indian family, which holds certain traditions close, Jitlall is not as restricted as one would initially believe. She does in fact attend temple services with her family and understand certain pastimes, but when it comes to aspects of everyday living her family understands that they live in a changing world in which new ideas are being born every second.

Her father, who is a strong role model for her, has a saying, which Jitlall says will stick with her as long as she lives and wherever she goes, “don’t live your life fast or you’ll die young.”

When the mood and time presents itself Jitlall listens to music, and particularly music that can “speak with the soul.” Piano is in fact one of her favorite instruments and whenever she hears certain songs with the correct piano pitch and correct harmony, shivers run through her, she says.

Along with her many passions and love of all things written, Jitlall wishes to travel the world and visit cultural landmarks and places that are rich in history. If offered a vacation on an island in the sun she admitted she would turn it down to visit a place such as Turkey.

“I was born in the wrong generation,” she said of her love countries with an ancient history.

Jitlall’s relatives include three aunts who moved to the United States from Guyana and went through their entire educational career “without a hitch,” two of whom are currently employed at bank offices as CEOs. Jitlall explains that her aunts are well off and content with what they do, but she adds that she would want to work for something she loves rather than have a job that pays handsomely but is not enjoyable. She believes that her aunts hold the keys to understanding how life works and welcomes their opinions and suggestions at any time.

Jitlall’s sister, Smita Jitlall, who is only only one year younger than her, states that the older Jitlall is a person that she can look up to due to her persistence when it comes to academics. She also tells of the level of trust that is held between the two, which comforts her because she clearly knows that if a time of need were to arise her sister would be there to “lighten the baggage.” When asked if she felt comfortable asking for the help of her older sister, the younger Jitlall stated that she was confident that, whatever the problem, her sister would be able to help.

Jitlall has the will and personality of a person who is capable to accomplish great things in the future and with the help of those around her and her own determination any dreams are soon to become a reality.

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