Q: So, tell us yourself?
A:I am Aaqib Shaheen from south Kashmir. I am 21 years old. I am a poet and author of an Urdu novel, titled as “wo jo khwab hi raha”.I have co-authored many anthologies. I started my early schooling at Iqra Islamia Educational institute Litter, I feel I have shaped sketch of my life there. Currently, I am pursuing B.A.
“My mother played the role of duo in my life and she always encouraged me not only in my writing journey but also in other things. Moreover, she is my close friend with whom I share everything”.
Q:How you started your journey as writer?
A:I don’t remember the exact date when I started writing but yes,I became more interested in reading and writing when I was introduced to a one of the regional religious students organization which brought spring to my desolate life. Then, Mr. Faisal Iqbal, my beloved friend and my teacher, my heartfelt friend, Shagufta Asif, who have a grand role in my life, encouraged me and helped me write more and more. Praises to Almighty, with the prayers of my loved ones and friends, I have written dozens of poems, articles and short stories in English, Urdu and Kashmir languages. Apart from valley dailies, my writings have also been published globally.
Q:Do your parents support you in to be a writer?
A:I was six years old, when my Abu left this world and therefore created a non filling void in the building of my life. My mother played the role of duo in my life and she always encouraged me not only in my writing journey but also in other things. Moreover, she is my close friend with whom I share everything. She is my mentor, my guide, a soothing spring to my parched branches of existence and above all a heavenly shade to rest breathes. She’s always been happy and proud on me, but more so nowadays.
Q:Why do you write?
A:I write because it allows to me focus on something and helps to release my stress. I see the circumstances where I die many deaths everyday and then retain life again only with hopes that bad things are meant to fade away. I enjoy writing because one can write the facts based on how one does feel the moments, he is surrounded by. The most of my writings reflect concern over youth and my unfortunate land. Writing helped me express my thoughts which I could have never expressed if I wasn’t a writer. I believe that if a writer utilizes his/ her pen properly he/she can bring maximum benefit to nation.
Q:Any difference you feel in yourself because of writing?
A:Yes, off course! I have changed a lot since I started writing. I prefer to be in solitude because Ithink; you get ideas from day dreaming. I spend time alone and think upon the issues which scream out cries, need to be listened and addressed as well. So, I have developed a niche to spend my time alone apart from the buzz of busy life. I get ideas from being bored. This fuels me somewhere and compels me go forward. I don’t know if it happens with everyone.
Q:Tell us about your novel?
A:My novel narrates a story of a young man who in the facade of hopelessness finds very difficult to live happily. It focuses on the current circumstances of valley and how everyday it denies the access to happiness and peaceful life. It tells us how the daughter of a playful nation could perform her duty alongside with her sons, how she also could accompany the male youth in churning out the desired results.
Q:Any author you are inspired by and whom you admire a lot?
A:If I have been interested in reading social, political, religious sciences since my childhood, then obviously I have had the opportunity to read books by many authors from who I was very impressed by. The most credit of inspiring me goes to i Syed Maudoodi, then to Hassan Al-Banna Shaheed and Allama Iqbal. Besides the above mentioned gems I have been very impressed by my beloved teacher, Muhammad Altaf Wani, Principal Iqra Islamia Educational Institute Liter who is not only a teacher but also a benefactor for me.
Q:How you handle negative response from your audience?
A:It is necessary not only for me but for any writer or for every person who is eager to do something for the nation to bear what comes and approach in the most positive way. There should be patience in writing. We must hark back at our glorious history and think how our seniors approached negative responses and created some best things one ever could read.
Q:How Reading helps to grow as a writer?
A:In my opinion, reading increases knowledge in man and the same thing is a pathway to good thoughts and when knowledge grows in man, when he tries to convey this knowledge to the people, he can become successful speaker and a writer too.
Q:Your message to aspiring writers would be?
A:My massage to aspiring writers is that be unique in your writing. Write but choose quality content as your choice, it is way to worth reading piece. Practice more, showing discipline, experiment and discover new mysteries to write down. Be open to criticism. Above all, live like you are the spokesman of the nation. Your pen is the pen of the nation and you are not an individual but a nation.
Q:It was great time with you, Aaqib. Best wishes!
A:Same here. Thank you so much!
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.