|Spirit animals beautifully drawn by Romessa Ahmad|
My Dad was my first storyteller. I am told by my parents that I was never tired of listening to stories. One story after another, Dad use to make a new one just to bring a smile on my face. Being born a night owl, my favorite past time was to not let my parents sleep. Still they are kind enough to say that I was a nice baby *grins*
Seeing my interest develop, my parents bought me books and I am so thankful to them for introducing reading into my life. I remember writing stories and Essays and never let anyone read them. My very own small cupboard aka mini library used to be my safe heaven. Later in life, I wrote and submitted my work to publications. I can never describe the joy I felt when someone considered appreciating or critiquing my work....I was happy that they found time to read me.
One thing led to another and then I got my first online magazine published named Identity Magazine. It was a joint venture of me and two best buddies. It was a thrill you know to have our very own magazine on the internet. Crazy it was back then. We were a team of three managing the Editing, Proof-reading, Content, Page making, Marketing etc. with no whatsoever help. Stuck in such a state can help you push your limits and achieve greatness. The mag ran for a year and mind you, we were students at that time managing our assignments and grades along with the mag. But then life happened, everybody went their separate ways. I had my home to look after too and my job took a toll over me. Every now and then I use to look at a magazine and would think I would write for it but the day never came. Such a bookworm like me was left with no time to read a book. The pain is excruciating tbh.
A month back I saw a Facebook post of Daastan offering their first ever Literary Fellowship. This was it!! My very own chance to Write again. *Insert halo music* My mom went crazy though when I told her of this. An already tough schedule and then this. I was so close to being grounded (for the non-desi people out there, us desis are eligible to get grounded at any age) For all those unaware, Daastan is an award winning First Self-publishing Platform and literary forum working to revamp writing industry in Pakistan. If you have a manuscript, do hit them up.
Coming back to the topic, a whole bunch of talent participated in the Fellowship. It literally hit me by surprise that I got selected. Still thankful to the jury for giving me this opportunity despite of my persevering schedule. The Fellowship has kick started and I am having the time of my life. Surrounded by such supportive and proficient writers and poets is just euphoric. We are further divided into teams and the one I belong to is among the coolest. Go Technocrats!!! Starting from our Captain Sidra Amin, to MahnoorNaseer, Samee Ghazaal and Romessa Ahmad, all are bundled with flair. Through their words, they have the ability to see through the human experience and express it in a way like no other. This dream team has inspiring stories to tell with powerful writing that jolts and challenges. Even break through prejudices and assumptions.