Meet the Intern – Thushena Ganesh

We consider ourselves lucky for having the pleasure of collaborating and working alongside such talented and dynamic interns at the Centre for Stories. Over the course of 2019, a number of interns made their mark at the Centre in some way—so let’s celebrate them!

Meet Thushena Ganesh. Thushena is a hard-working, curious, and open-minded person with a passion for people. A multitasking expert, Thushena has made an impact through her beautiful writing and thoughtful conversations with all who stepped through the Centre’s door. Her spunky attitude and genuine interest in others shines at the Centre for Stories.

Tell the readers about yourself.

I’m not entirely sure what to say here. I’m always so bad at these things and get stuck, but I guess I’m just another 23-year-old who’s lost and trying her best to figure out what she wants to do with her life. I don’t think there’s any shame in being lost though. I think its terrifying and painful but builds so much character. I think I’m slowly figuring things out, though. I guess for a fun fact, I love reading about forests for some odd reason, and right now I’m reading a book by Joan Maloof called Nature’s Temples which is about old-growth forests and why the earth needs people to stop messing with nature!

A young woman sitting on a blue arm chair in front of a book shelf

In your time interning at the Centre for Stories you collected a series of stories called, Love, Always. Tell us about the series and what inspired you to collect these stories

Love, Always is mainly about kids of my generation who end up drifting from their parents as they grow older. Something I think about a lot is how we start off literally clinging to our parents, vying for their validation, affection and love, and then as we get older, we talk to them less and less, and we just end up inevitably growing apart. Time literally chips away at that bond I think, and I guess that intrigued me, and made me a little sad, so I wanted to find out more about the experiences of other people in relation to growing either apart or closer to their parents as they got older.

What has been the highlight of interning at the Centre for Stories so far?

I’ve really liked working with the other interns, they’re so lovely and kind, and I’ve liked listening to their story collection ideas as well, because it makes you realize how people are literally the biggest treasure troves. Each individual has all these memories and dimensions to them that we don’t really see at first glance, unless we dig deeper. And I guess that’s something I’ve learnt from doing my story collection as well; that everyone has a story, multiple even, and these are stories that we can all learn and grow from. I guess the story collections are something incredibly unique to me, that I never would’ve thought of before interning with Centre for Stories. You realize that humans are all little universes of their own, and that’s incredibly beautiful.

You’re an international student with ties between Perth and Singapore. What has been the biggest hurdle in living away from home? 

I think I mostly just miss having people to come home to. I miss the warmth of a house that’s actually filled with people. Sometimes on sad days, I’d much rather come home to my brothers watching some stupid show on the telly at home, instead of an empty one-bedroom apartment. I miss the noise I guess; of a house that’s lived in and familiar. And of course, I miss that the fridge is always so well stocked back home!

We love a good story. Tell us a short story about a time when you encountered something remarkable. 

I think that most people wouldn’t really consider the things I find remarkable, remarkable. But I find a lot of everyday moments beautiful and visceral. I see lots of remarkable things happen every day, I think. But I’ll mention two things that come to mind.

I’m a huge romantic, and a few weeks ago, I saw an elderly couple in their sixties walking down the street in Freo, and the husband stopped to pluck a huge flower from a bush and tucked it behind his wife’s ear without saying a single word. He did it like it was the most natural thing in the world. She smiled of course, and slipped her hand into his, and they continued walking, like they were in this little bubble of light together, that no one could see unless they looked hard enough. I think love is one of those things that just makes me feel warm inside all the time, and seeing how humans show love, so purely, in different ways is incredibly remarkable to me.

And then, last weekend, a friend and I drove down to Margaret River for a few nights. We stayed in a dirt-cheap hostel pretty much, and didn’t shower for three days, because we didn’t bring thongs, and didn’t want to get foot fungus, because the toilet floor was filthy. But on the first day that we arrived, we went to this place called Sugarloaf Rock to watch the sunset. You could see the ocean from there and it was kind of on top of this hill, that made you feel like you were quite literally on top of the world. We had to climb onto these rocks, and there were people everywhere. It was like this little community that had gathered to watch the sun go down. There were lots of couples perched quite far out on these rocks with wine and snacks, and friends huddled up together looking out at the ocean. At one point my friend turned to me, and said ‘doesn’t nature make you feel so small?’ It was so beautiful, and quiet, and most people weren’t even talking. They were just drinking it all in; the sky and the ocean and the people all around them.

What’s on the horizon for you?

I think I’ve decided that I really want to work with pre-school/kindergarten kids in the future. I’d like to go into special needs in particular and be able to teach kids who are deaf or autistic. Most schools don’t really cater for that kind of education, or even think about these kids, and how difficult it must be for them to go through mainstream education, and so I’d like to be someone who’s patient and kind with them and help them through their childhood. We often forget as humans, that not everyone is built like us, and I think we should strive to understand and reach out to those that aren’t, to communicate with them in ways that they can understand, and to help them get through life and make it feel easier, and lighter for them.

Check out Thushena’s story series, Love, Always here.

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