‘Great things take time, sweat and blood to be achieved.’
Today we have Qasim Kashmiri with us. Qasim is an author of three books. You’re welcome sir.
Thank you for this opportunity. I’m humbled.
• Tell us about yourself?
I am Qasim from district Baramulla of north Kashmir. A dreamer from middle class family, serving myself as English trainer, Columnist, coordinator of NGO (saffron) and trying my hands on poetry and fiction.
• How long you have been writing?
Well, I have been writing since 2015. I always tried to write a book but when I did masters in English literature then I thought to shape it better and have a good start.
• What inspires you to write?
Look, inspiration may have various sources but for me, I should not hesitate to say that my despondent childhood taught me enough to do something different that sounds strange. Although if I’ll talk about my inspiration from reading, I must start from Moulana Rumi, Alama Iqbal, khalil Gibran sheikhul- alam, john Milton and Paulo Coelho.
• How do you think being a writer has helped you as a person?
It is like you live two lives in one life. I personally conceive that it gave me something that I had never imagined of. Writing helped me to grow mature, a pleasing experience that I can’t dress up in words.
• Great. You have published three books till now? What are they all about?
Alhamdulillah, I have published two collections of poetry “Behind the veil and “Scret of dark nights” and THE ASHES, novel in 2020. When I published my first book in 2017, I consider myself the second famous writer in the world but now after publishing even my third book I think I have not seen a corridor of writing yet.
• How is the response from readers and how you deal with good and bad Reviews.
In the beginning I had thought that my cousins will read my books but it came with colossal response from the readers. I feel shy when I receive calls from the people and they want me to teach how to write. Apart from that I don’t believe in good reviews and bad reviews, although I accept both but they don’t engage my wits to stay in them. I listen to everyone but I do what I crave to do.
• What’s your attitude while interacting with your readers.
Laughing, seriously I have been very tough sometimes but I like to uplift those who interact with some solid purpose. I love to deal with my readers.
• What it takes to publish a book here besides knowing readership as low as nothing?
See we have a very poor culture of book reading in Kashmir, but now we experience a great flow of readers here which may boost some habit of book reading in future that we hope for.
• There are still readers, less or more who read. How important is reading to a Writer?
Those who write without reading may write good or ridiculous but I strongly believe that a good reader can be a good writer. If you don’t read books, do not expect readers to your own work. If books are not important then schools would have taught something else. But no, they are! Youth of today is wasting time on online games and no one read wills to read. Personally, I love reading books as much as I can buy. If someone wants to gift me something I demand for a book.
• Whom you admire as an author much particularly from Kashmir?
My expectations never met the encourage path in Kashmir. I was harshly criticized in the beginning which will be always alive inside me. No inspiration or assistance from contemporary writers of Kashmir. Sorry to answer this but I can’t conceal the truth.
• Writing a book is not easy. So how important is research before you begin to write a book?
I am still in line, just a learner. If I make my personal suggestion to this, I would say that when we start writing a book, it exists somewhere within. We write what we plan. I think research is as important as nothing to write a good book. Things should not be written blindly.
• What is the most difficult thing about writing characters from opposite sex?
For a creative writer gender barely matters to be described. I think if someone gets blocked to give more insights about the either sex, he/she needs a Holiday.
• While writing a book, what are the things you think that a writer should keep in mind?
There is variety of suggestions that come forward from Authors. However, it differs from one to another. Look poetry has some other level and when we hop to fiction that brings some other taste. I think if we focus on impressing the readers it will produce an idiot writer. What is written by heart will surely touch the heart of reader.
• Aspiring writers lack clarity, basics of writing a book. So, tell us, how they can improve themselves.
If they dream to become best seller in overnight, they should stay at the shores, no need to leap into ocean. Great things take time, sweat and blood to be achieved. Learning is the tool that teaches everything.
• How many drafts does your book generally go through before publishing?
Sorry Suhail I could not clutch this question but I would like to say, I never seek publisher during I write a book. I always connect with them after finishing it. Searching a publisher during writing would depart you from thought process. So, don’t select a country to visit without passport; it will only take you nowhere.
• Publishing has become much easy now and so many authors regret after publishing their works. Any suggestions for them.
Publication is just a source to come up with book, I believe that good books make their entry anywhere. If we talk about self publication that is way to enter the book world and get published but most of the publishers in current hour ruin the good books. Choosing a good publisher is difficult but one should not make hurry to leap blindly.
• What are merits and demerits of publishing a book in Kashmir?
Living in Kashmir means expecting nothing from any field. It gives you respect and bring you as madman from the other side.
• In Kashmir, social media is platform for budding writers. Through light on merits and demerits?
Surely, there are thousands who learned from these blasting sites. It is good to be here on facebook, instagram and on other sites to get interacted and write but it has put some wrong impression of writing as well. I hate when a write comes up with two, three, four lines in the first juncture of writing as no writer in history has written lines but they have written books. Your quote app in phone should not fool the person that he is the writer.
• What would be your message to aspiring writers?
I want to give a clear message to them. If you are getting a great appreciation or I must say more than you deserve, it may spoil your capacity. Real artists surge after a tough oppositions and criticism. If you believe in yourself no one is going to put you down.
It’s was really nice experience with you. We wish more power to your pen. Keep us on reading you!
Sure. Pleasure is all mine. Thanks once again.
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.