Interviews

“Their words, their world!!” Urdu finalists – Daastan’s Season 4 of “The Stories Untold”

MOIWrites is honored to interview the top 5 authors from the Urdu category, who emerged as finalists during the Season 4 of “The Stories Untold” organized by Daastan. 

AMNA SHEHZADI

AUTHOR OF “LAAL DUPATTA”

https://www.meraqissa.com/book/451

 

EXCERPT FROM HER BOOK

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FAVORITE LINE FROM HER BOOK

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1. When and how did you start writing?

As long as I remember, I started writing when I was very young. I used to write down my feelings and problems that I found very difficult to express. I used to write short stories in 8th & 9th standard but never took it seriously. I had this urge of writing but couldn’t find the confidence so never thought of pursuing my career as a professional writer. Laal Dupatta was my first ever attempt that I completed.

2. Your favorite Pakistani and Western (non-Pakistani) author(s)? 

I am not a bookworm. I do not read much. I tried to read few writers such as Umaira Ahmed, Nimrah Ahmed, Razia Butt from Pakistan and Elif Shafak and Paulo Coelho from West.

3. Your favorite novel(s)? (Both from Pakistan and abroad)

I liked Peer-e-Kamil (Umaira Ahmed) and Jannat kay Pattay (Nimrah Ahmed) and Forty Rules of Love (by Elif Shafak).

4. Which author is your inspiration and why?

I really like Mumtaz Mufti Sahab. The way he portrayed shortcomings in his story Labaik was amazing. It is a difficult task to show the real colors of a character and he nailed it.

5. The motto you live your life by? 

Just keep breathing & move forward.

6. Tell us about the book that made you become the finalist at Season 4 of “Stories Untold”?

“Laal Dupatta” a short story on child abuse that highlights the emotional and vulnerable bond between a father and a daughter. It also highlights how easily someone can use religion as a shield, and how the greed can be used to manipulate and cover sins. The biggest challenge was to write in a way that it should not be taken as a fantasy. So I kept the focus on the pain of the victim’s family. The other challenge was the portrayal of the perpetrator as I was very keen to not show any sympathy towards him by showing a traumatic or empathizing backstory of him. I just wanted to portray that he was bad and he chose to be bad.

7. Your message to aspiring writers?

I myself is an aspiring writer. I had this urge of writing and I followed it. If you wish to write then go head and write, and keep writing.

FASIULLAH 

AUTHOR OF “AAGHAZ-E-ZEEST”

https://www.meraqissa.com/book/432

 

EXCERPT FROM HIS BOOK

 

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1. When and how did you start writing?

I first wrote in Fsc from my college Defence Degree College Lahore as there was a competition in Minhaj University and college had to send an article too. Minahj university had sent invitations to write to several colleges and universities of the country. I got the second position in that competition.

2. Your favorite Pakistani and Western (non-Pakistani) author(s)? 

Ashfaq Ahmed and Bano aapa among Pakistani writers and Paulo Coelho as a foreign writer.

3. Your favorite novel(s)? (Both from Pakistan and abroad)

Ishq ka Aain by Aleem ul haq haqi and Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo.

4. Which author is your inspiration and why?

Ishfaq Ahmed- To me, Ashfaq sahab is a great level of guidance. I am a big fan of his Sufi way of writing and making things easier(Asanian Taqseem karna). He is a source of inspiration for anyone who wants to write in High Standards and try to teach readers in such a pleasant way that everyone wants to get lessons.

5. The motto you live your life by? 

Live positive even when the whole world has gone negative; make a difference

6. Tell us about the book that made you become the finalist at Season 4 of “Stories Untold”?

“Aaghaz e Zeest” is a story of a little girl and her mother who had gone through immense pain. It tells that no matter what happens there is always a way to fight against the oppressor. It teaches to believe in adhering to light. Even if you have the faintest idea that there may be light in a direction when you are in dark then you should move in that direction and keep moving. You may not find light in that direction but till then you would have learned the art to survive in dark and no darkness is eternal. The challenge was to complete the whole story in less than 6000 words and make it as a hope for every oppressed kid. But every challenge means a chance to get success so here I am.

7. Your message to aspiring writers?

Do what you want to do before doing anything look at the mirror and ask yourself “Will I be able to look at the at myself in the mirror after doing that”

MONAA SOHAIL

AUTHOR OF “AIK KIRAN ANDHEERON MAIN”

https://www.meraqissa.com/book/405

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EXCERPT FROM HER BOOK:

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FAVORITE LINE FROM HER BOOK:

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1. When and how did you start writing?

Some things are never started they just happen like “Aik Kiran Andheron Mein”, the theme urged me to write. It’s my first writing ever and by the grace of ALLAH I made it through successfully.

2. Your favorite Pakistani and Western (non-Pakistani) author(s)?

Normally I read stories and writing pieces that grab my attention irrespective of who wrote it but the writings of Bano Qudsia and Ashfaq Ahmad in Pakistan and Nora Roberts from abroad have always been in my favorite list.

3. Your favorite novel(s)? (Both from Pakistan and abroad)

“Raja Gidh” by Bano Qudsia in Urdu Novels while “The Obsession” by Nora Roberts are my all time favorite.

4. Which author is your inspiration and why?

My inspiration for writing is not a person but behavior of society.

5. The motto you live your life by? 

I have spent my life moving around only one thought “It’s not the wings that can make you fly but your intention and determination.”

6. Tell us about the book that made you become the finalist at Season 4 of “Stories Untold”?

“Aik Kiran Andheron Mein” is the story of a child who has been suffering from emotional abuse throughout his childhood by his own mother. He faced the negligence of his mother and grew up with the broken personality and complexes. His inferiority complex pushed him into the darkness of hatred and envy. Then suddenly the destiny turned around and he found a ray of light that pulled him out of the darkness and showed the enlighten path to move on. But the shadow of his childhood was too dark to darken even the brightest days of his life ever after.

7. Your message to aspiring writers?

My message to all of the aspiring writers is to have faith in your abilities and be original. If you have potential believe me the sky is the limit.

AFRAAZ JABEEN

AUTHOR OF “CHOCOLATE”

https://www.meraqissa.com/book/430

EXCERPT FROM HER BOOK:

Untitled.pngFAVORITE LINE FROM HER BOOK

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1. When and how did you start writing?

I used to write short quotes, short stories, prose, articles back to my college days. One Day, I saw a short story competition on Facebook organized by Dastaan. I participated in the Stories Untold season 1 competition and got published. That first publication embarked my voyage of writing in a proper way.

2. Your favorite Pakistani and Western (non-Pakistani) author(s)?

Well, a difficult question. Ahmad Nadeem Qasim, Ahmad Ali, Leila Aboulela, Gabriel García Márquez’s and the list goes on…

3. Your favorite novel(s)? (Both from Pakistan and abroad)

I like Dozakhnama by Rabisankar Bal, Minaret by Leila Aboulela, Animal Farm by George Orwell, Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid, My Feudal Lord by Tehmina Durrani and the list goes on and on.

4. Which author is your inspiration and why?

Well, my inspiration is not an author. My inspiration: There is only answer my parents. I saw them in good days, bad days, in miseries, in pain. Their patience, will and strong belief in God always inspired me. They are blessing in disguise. Their influence turned their brat into an author.

5. The motto you live your life by? 

Well, the motto of my life is : jiyoo or jeeny do. (Live and let live)

6. Tell us about the book that made you become the finalist at Season 4 of “Stories Untold”?

My book entitled “Chocolate” is a story, justifying the given theme gives deep insight into the untold stories of our own society. It’s a story that unfolds two plots shedding light on the importance of so many neglected aspects of our society. It’s a story of a girl whose past haunts her whole existence.

7. Your message to aspiring writers?

My dear fellow authors, Write, write as much as you can because in the present socio-political circumstances we need to dismantle all the things with our weapon and that is our pen.

Sarah Omer

AUTHOR OF “IK AUR ZOYA”

https://www.meraqissa.com/book/374

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EXCERPT FROM HER BOOK:

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FAVORITE LINE FROM HER BOOK

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When and how did you start writing?

I was about sixteen years old when I started writing. I was young and enthusiastic but I did not have the courage to face challenges and failure. One of my short stories was published in Kiran Digest and after that one novel was rejected. This rejection was a full stop for me and I paused for twelve years until now, when my short story was selected as one of the finalist stories by Daastan.

Your favorite Pakistani and western authors?

I read western authors only in textbooks while studying English literature. As far as Pakistani authors are concerned I like Ashfaq Ahmad, Bano Qudsia, Farhat Ishtiaq, Razia Butt, Mustansar Hussain Tarrar, Alim-ul-Haq Haqqi, Umera Ahmad but my favorite is Nemrah Ahmad.

Your favorite Pakistani novel?

“Jannat Kay Pattay” and “Halim” by Nemrah Ahmad. I also love the series of “Ishaq ka aain, sheen, and kaaf.”

Which author is your inspiration and why?

I have read many authors but there is no like Ashfaq Ahmad.

The motto you live your life by?

The motto of my life is to avail all strengths which ALLAH has given me. These are the powers I can use to change myself and the world. We should not waste our time and powers. We should utilize it in the best possible manner. For example, I have an ability to write so I want to use this ability to convey my message to others. My purpose of writing is only to create awareness. My focus is the better this society.

Tell us about the book that made you become the finalist of the Stories Untold season 4?

IK OR ZOYA is about the pain I cannot express. I was stressed, I was restless, I wept whole night when I heard the news of Zainab. I wrote this story in one night with my tears and pain. This is the story of Zoya who faced horrible realities of life.

Your message to the aspiring writers?

My message to all aspiring writers is to remain focused and devoted to their work. Read all writers but never copy anyone. Always create your own story and your own style. Always show your creativity. People are always attracted towards new stuff. New ideas and thoughts are always appreciated by readers. Never think yourself as a perfect writer as no one is perfect. There is always room for improvement so never miss the chance to improve your writing.

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