“I wish my hundred versions to die for the rise of education, rationale and death to the ignorance.”

MALIK SUHAIL GULAL-

Excited to know about you, Zakir. Welcome!
Sure. Thank you!

Q. So, Tell us about yourself?
Hi! I am Zakir Malik from Trehgam, a townlet from North Kashmir’s Kupwara district. Grown-up with a vision to lead the space of ink, paper and ideas. I’ve been a student of Psychology, Philosophy and Political Science,  presently making an effort to rewrite the half-filled legacy of my shattered valley, by taking refuge in poetry and fiction. 

ZAKIR MALIK

Q. What was your parent’s reaction when they got to know about your writings?
Verily, they were happy once they eared about my writing, moreover, writing is a noble job, it’s a pre-eminent quality to write and then to write the upheaval in society is appreciative and respective. And then sometimes, parents don’t expect some kind of a thing that people applaud more from their loved ones, and as far as my parents are concerned, it’s warmer for them to be greeted for my attempt. 

Q. Why do you write? 
I write to revive the revolution. We are a nation in making, we need the soul to our nation, which can only be achieved through writing, we almost need everything of writing that comes our way, from our ‘mother tongue’ to focus on our religion, reconstruction of Islamic thought, that can guarantee us zenith, provided we strive for the cause, live by cause and die by the cause, all social evils could hence be curtailed by pressing more on religious studies, passing the legacy from generation to generation. In order to direct my energies, I write. Though there are various ways of agitation, I choose this way. I strongly wish to utilize the talent of my youth in the various fields of research, innovation and conflict resolution. I write to pave several solutions for my frustration prone youth. Then to write for my centuries to remember me for the attempt I made in some corner, lying in a grass field, behind the woods. Writing is the way, great revolutions swept, currently, I focus on ‘literary revolution’ when a thousand brains gather, they achieve the height, ability and potential to redirect the wind of ignorance, injustice and oppression.
“I wish my hundred versions to die for the rise of education, rationale and death to the ignorance.”

Q. How you started your journey? 
Well, I have dreamt of writing a book since my early childhood, during my study in class 8th I began jotting down poetic verses, and my notebooks were always crammed with my own quotations, paragraphs, poetry verses in both Urdu as well as in English. Back then I often used to write my ‘mental condition’ over the drawing sheets and then to hang them from the walls of my room. I never stopped myself from reading anything, whether it was related to my academics or aloof from it. Here I must say, one must have a lot of knowledge while composing a book, even if the subject matter will have no linkage to the draft you compose, at last what matters more is to pass the ‘difficulty stage’ which actually makes sense. Once I passed my matric, I stringently took on composing the diary and penned a few years as my autobiography, but mostly I was attracted to poetry. Poetry was my primary focus because it eludes from explaining everything, one says a lot in only a few words. Anyways, I came up with my book ‘The Wail of the Woods’ as a voice to those announced as dead by the world. It is my two years hard work and finally, I shaped into an anthology of ‘protest through poetry’. 

Q. Any difference you feel in yourself because of writing?
Definitely, when it comes to being a writer, you must be proven responsible with words, speech and the way one acts later. A writer is seen as a model, an inspiration and the guide to steer the talent through the tough waves of conflict and mend the convulsions, turmoil’s time faces at certain junctures. One more difference I felt is that it seems to me I know nothing, and the thirst for more, at this stage I realize that books are food to the thought, only then one comprehends the conspiracies, illicit campaigns and the highlighting the fractured history. Bending more on mistakes, negative ailments rather than capturing on the positive side of the story, and the past. 

Q. You have written a book, titled ‘The Wail of the woods’. What’s it all about?
Well, its a philosophy I carry, journeying from the social stratification, social evils, its solutions in light of the reforms.
It’s a guide for the youth to work for nation-building, reconstruction of modern Islamic thought, pressing on people towards peace, consultations for frustration prone youth in the revival of Islamic Culture and traditions. Moving away from cultural hegemonic, colonial aftereffects, its tactics to crush the unity, harmony among cultural diversity. The root causes of psychosis, an abundance of depression among intellectual sect to the base of economic disparity, human security, human development. Apart from highlighting these problems, their amendments, solutions and suggestions after proper research are what I expect from my youth. Prominence on inspirational, confidence-building segments. More of depth to the transformation of ideology from traditional to empiric and scientific altitudinal highs of thoughts. Aspirational in the welfare of Holy nation, love for motherland to the prosperity of the suppressed masses. 
A collection of ‘protest poetry’, an anthology of cries and their causes, the ultimate need of the time and a dream yet to realize. 

Q. How tough it’s to be a poet here in Kashmir?
Anyone surviving in a conflict zone has a lot to think before choosing a word in his draft, then among certain self-styled poets, it really needs courage, motivation and a constant inspiration to the pulpit on, in and lives by poetry. Although the situations aren’t leaving proficient people to stay lip-locked, while with every passing minute, every dawn and with each death to the day, spurring, inciting fingers, pricking the tunnels of mind to put down images of oppression, the saga of injustices, but then the self-styled monarchs of literature, ignore the fact that we are living in 21st and still to focus on age-old literature is identical to living in caves. Yet, one cannot deny the significance of that period but contemporary times ask even harder questions to us. We need revolutionaries for this age not to live by their only ideas, for troubles are much tougher than one could imagine, its mostly poet’s brain and immunity to come up with solutions that amaze the world, where an ordinary person’s brain fail to reach.  

Q. Authors you have inspired by and whom you admire a lot?
I have always been inspired by Dr Sir Mohammad Iqbal, the most important figure in my list of inspirations, then Aga Shahid Ali, John Donne and Khalil Jibran, Mehjoor are some others I seek inspiration from. There are various figures like Faiz Ahmad Faiz, Dr RabindraNath Tagore, Syed Qutub and Dr Iqbal, Percy Bysshe Shelley and Wordsworth whom I have been admiring for their exemplary works. 

Q. How social media is both sources of contribution and devaluation to art? 
Well, I would say social media is a good platform for all of us to showcase our talent and get insights from the people around. This way, one is free to discuss certain matters, by commenting on the articulation, also with sharing viewpoints of others develops a person into a more accomplished one. And when it comes to criticism, doors remain always open, this adds to the contribution of art. But to the other end, the people often fail to understand at certain points and this demotivates a budding writer, if one learns to accept the criticism, then social media is a better place. Also, the one can not be all-time surrounded by knowledge holders regarding the subject, that also falls into devaluation of art. 

Q. How do you handle demotivating responses?
Every draft of writing has scope for improvement, and one should never shut the doors of mind by disregarding others viewpoints. Here self-motivation does the job, the writer knows better whatever he has composed, incase the viewpoint of the criticiser is valid, I should accept it wholeheartedly and if it lacks that value, then simply I drop that out. Every writer should be having some inner confidence to move forward, and writing is a multi-staged job, it takes time to mould the iron to be shaped, and that is the point that every new writer needs to absorb. 

Q. How reading enhances our writing skills?
Reading enhances our writing with new forms, genres, new trends and afresh terminology. One cannot write free verse by reading classical literature, similarly one cannot write metrical poems, ballads, limerick without actually reading them. Reading is much more important than writing, it provides food to our mind and then it blooms with newest words, vocabulary and pattern of writing. A person who experiences a lot is also actually reading the situations, by observing the surroundings and then when it comes to jotting down he needs the lucid language to put forth into a populace, here one realizes the importance of reading. 

Q. What would be your message to aspiring writers?
Write, write and write! Read a lot, provide words to your feelings, be enough potent to write the exact emotions out before people. Share your valid ideas, its only youth that has the power, ability to drive us to a good end or to put us down into the hell of a history. No great writer had super brain, nor they were angels, make your mind, read the authors that suit your personality, self-introspect and listen to the voices in your heart. Give your ideas a practical platform, start from today, I believe one day you’ll be the best-sellers. History will remember you. Give away the ignorant part of you and follow some one, then there will be a day when you’ll reign.

Zakir, really your vision, experience and thoughts are worth appreciating and peerless. We can’t Thank you enough! All the luck and success with you.

Pleasure is all mine and Thanks for the wishes!