“Sometime’s writers are driven by temptation to use particular word, or add something which results in over exaggeration”.
Sir, Happy to see you here!
Honored. Thank you!
Tell us about yourself?
I am Sufi Auqib, from charar I sharief. I’m author of the book “TRUE COLOURS”, and a lyricist of song ‘Dead eyes’ that was dedicated to pellet victims of Kashmir. I have also contributed lyrics of song ‘ROHINGYA-a silent genocide’ to give voice to the voiceless people of Rohingya. I was nominated for CRDP awards for the song Dead eyes.
I have also done B.com Honours from Islamia College of science and commerce, and nowpursuing M.COM from Central university of Kashmir.
I hideto read books at home, to avoid my family, who might want me to do a chore or two. I also love to go out and explore nature.
How you started your journey?
I took baby steps to write from 7th class. Actually, whenever I had to deliver light on some topic at school, I didn’t like to copy paste some lines from books or magazines but rather I wouldfirst write in my own words and then I used todeliver that at the podium of morning assembly. It inclined me towards writing, and then I was writing continuously. Newspapers and magazines always enticed me, and I loved to give it shot, and it also encouraged me to write.
Eventually, I started writing poems after taking inspiration from the works of Agha Shahid Ali, Emily Bronte and Hellen Keller. Then, I started contributing articles for some magazines and newspapers.
What was the reaction of your parents when they got to know about your writing?
I had concealed it from my parents, earlier. They wanted me to go for higher studies, and I was also interested in formal education, but I would also study the books that they don’t give in schools, and I never allowed myself to stay confined to JKbose and UGC syllabus. However, my parents came to know about my writing when one day I was carrying out sting operation ofa politicalprisoner. I wanted to write about it, for that I needed help of my Dad’s friend, and then my parents learned about my writing.
Let me share with you, One day on a shutdown callI was reading a novel, as there was nothing else to do, and suddenlymy Dad called me.I thought, I can’t finish this book now as I will be busy with some chore, but I was surprised to see that he had designed a bookshelf for me. He had noticedthat old one is saturated, so he made new one.
My parents have invested everything on me, and most importantly they keep close eye on me. They have always supported me, encouraged me and appreciated me.
Why do you write?
When you live in conflict torn land, your heart will storm up thousand times a day. So, in order to give vent to my sentiments, feelings and anguish I resort to writing. Also, most of times what I wish to Convey is what prompts me to write.
Any difference you feel in yourself because of writing?
Writing is my passion. It has given me a new recognition and status. It keeps me busy, and has made my life organized because I have to be disciplined with my work.
The difference that I feel today is that it has changed my all priorities, and my friends find me maverick in some way now. I contemplate a lot, and getlost in the reverie’smost of the time.
Writing has shaped my life. It has made me ambitious. I find an activist, warrior and guardian in myself. I want to write untold stories of Kashmir.
You have written a book, ‘True colors’. What it is all about?
” True colours-adult fiction is an un-platonic and unconditional love story about teenage boy and girl. The story has stemmed out of conflict when Aaina gives refuge to Faizan who is being chased by masked cops. It is the story of Aaina, a Kashmiri girl who is shrine of innocence, temple of trust but worshipped by an atheist, who dupes a girl in a love relationship, which is more like a long term rape”.
The book questions about the role of parenting, as instant gratification has spoiled teens. Parents need to keep eye on their kids, as the teens of today are more vulnerable, and are exposed to many distractions. We live in conflict torn land, there are insurmountable issue’s hovering on our head, and the issue’s relating to our future generations get neglected and it leads to exploitation of teens as they become the architect of their own destruction. I have written this book with some purpose, so give read to it and my job will be done.
How reading enhances our writing skills?
Reading is a key to write better, as it encourages us to think analytically. We get acquainted with new styles, plots and the genres of writing. It gives us idea how to start, how to carry on the story, how to polish our work, and how to end a story. I believe, every budding writer should read a lot; keep writing more than reading, and that can enhance ones writing skills. Although, there are many exceptions where writers don’t read much but are more prowess in writing.
Writing book is never easy. So how important research is before you begin to write a book? How to craft a good novel?
To my advantage, I was well versed in research but I mostly relied on my own thoughts, feelings, imaginations, inner-voice and instincts. Ideas kept cropping in my mind when I was walking, traveling, in washroom, on bed and anywhere. I put my words on paper and enjoyed it! Though, it was very challenging for me as I lived in female gender about two years as the main character of my book was demanding it. But I decided to go for it, as I burned the candle from both ends to write this book and sometimes I needed to do a lot of research to get into any scene, and handle it perfectly. I positioned myself in different roles like fashion designer, make-up artist, parenting, teacher, sibling, friend and what not!
When I was just toying with the idea to write a book, I researched a lot as there is profound importance to do research before writing a book. It validates feelings with facts. Every good writer wants to know about his own book before writing it. I often needed to do research to know well and write.
While writing a book, what are the things you think that a writer should keep in mind?
The basic thing is to maintain discipline with your work.A writer always needs to be organized, and every writer should try to avoid procrastination. Sometime’s writers are driven by temptation to use particular word, or add something which results in over exaggeration. Also, there is no need to rush and get desperate for publishing but in the first draft you actually write trash, and then you have to restart working on it. Good editing polishes it and makes it worth to read.
What are the merits and demerits of publishing a book in Kashmir?
The merits are that you get a native audience, and when you give book in their hands they are able torelate and connect their self with story, and it helps in keeping the reading culture of Kashmir alive. When you publish a book here, people take inspirations and many people start the prudent way of expressing their self in the form of writing and giving vent to their sentiments.
However, there are myriad demerits as the reading culture has faded. We have 50inch TV’s at home but alas! No book shelves. Also, Kashmir is conflict torn, continuous shut downs and internet ban discourages and disturbs sale of books.
What would be your message to aspiring writers?
There are many untold stories that need to be written. Every aspiring writer should come out of the shell now, read analytically, write each day to hone the knacks and sharp art of writing because no one is going to read you if you aren’t really you on that page.
Thank you for sharing with us your experiences and thoughts. Good Luck for future.
I’m pleased! Thanks a ton!
MALIK SUHAIL GULAL- An Interviewer is a budding Writer, columnist and poet who is Pursuing Honours in Political Science at CUS. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.