Akmal Balrampuri: The Shayer from Jamia you just have to know !

Akmal Balrampuri was born in a small village located near Balrampur district of Uttar Pradesh. His earlier study is from a Madarsa and he has done his 10th and 12th standards from a UP Board school. Shayari has been his passion since childhood and he used to used to borrow shayari books from a maqtaba for two hours and read them. So far, he has done many stage shows in big cities and even participated in Mumbai Mushaira.

He is a journalist by profession and wants to pursue Masters in Social Work or Masters in Mass Comm from Jamia. He just completed graduation in Urdu from Jamia.
Akmal Balrampuri

Here are excerpts from an exclusive interview were we had with him:

Sandeep(Aapka Times): Every achiever has a story behind the great success achieved. What incidents or experiences do you have?
Akmal Balrampuri: You’re right- every person has a story behind his success. But I don’t have any stories to tell, I have a reality. Doing shayari was my hobby since childhood. In 2006 I was studying in Aligarh. I was approximately 12 year old, and at that time I had already developed an interest in Urdu shayari and literature. I had some financial restraints, therefore could not buy books of good writers. And the warden permitted us a maximum of two hours in the evening to get out from hostel. Other students wandered and played in those two hours, but I utilised that time to read Urdu shayari. I made a request to the shop owner of maqtab of Jamia to be kind and allow me to read the books in his shop for two hours each day for free, as the books were expensive and I didn’t have enough money to buy them. Surprisingly, he agreed. And I never looked back after that. For two years I read shayari. I thought of many writers. Gradually I started to write shayari of my own.

I appeared with my shayari for the first time on 31st March, 2011 at a stage in Pachperwa, a small town in Balrampur district. But when I appeared on stage to present my shayari, I forgot half of it. Somehow, I managed and read it. After that a grand program was organised in my home town on 7 May 2011. I made lots of request to the convenor to allow me to present some shayari on stage. They allowed me, but as I had commenced to read the shayari, after a short time of span, the convenor make a negative comment and asked me to get down from the stage. I was so embarrassed, I could not even face myself. I was insulted in front of a huge public, of which my own friends and relatives were a part. It was a defamation for me to having to get down from the stage.

But I didn’t give up and kept trying. Gradually as public heard my shayari and nazam, they liked it and accepted me….and it is their true love that has raised a small artist from a small town and invited and honoured him in Mumbai, Nepal, Madhya Pardesh, Delhi and a lot of other big places.

Sandeep: What or who is the main source of motivation in your life?
Akmal: During my journey of struggle there were lots of ups and downs. There were some people who supported me and some jibed against me. But their jibing gave me courage to avail opportunity and grow in life. I just told myself that if I gave up my dream today, they would always make comments on me. So I continued with my journey. My family gave me full support and encouraged me through all the phases of my journey. Apart from my family, there is one special name- Zafar Mohammadi, my cousin. He gave his full support to me. It was because of his effort that I received an invitation from Mumbai Mushayara for the first time. At that time I was only 17 yrs old and you can say that I was youngest of all shayars. It is Allah’s grace and mercy that people liked me and they gave the name ‘Akmal Balrampuri’ to me.

Sandeep: How did you cope up with your academics in terms of time devotion and dedication?
Akmal:If I talk about my studies I would like to tell you that I don’t study for a lot of time, but just for an hour. But yes, I put my whole heart into my studies when I am into it. Most often it happens that my exam date clashes with program’s date or the programs are organised in other states. In this case I study while travelling. I always have my subjects’ notes and reference books with me in whichever program I go. Sometimes if reading isn’t possible i record the topic which I have to read and I listen to it during the journey. And I think if we laboriously give merely 2 hours to studies, that would be enough.

Sandeep: How does it feel when you, with your determination and lots of hard work, are able to make so many people proud of you?
Akmal: I feel great when I return back after performing in big cities and my friends and my parents feel proud of me and hope for my best in future. When I go to perform in Mumbai, most of the people there are from UP or from my city. Sometimes there are people who are not very interested in shayari but when they hear my name, they say that this boy is from our domicile and they travel 200 kms just to listen to me. It is the great respect they show to me that keeps me going. My people love me very much and I am indebted to them for this love.

Sandeep: Being an inspiration for the youngsters, what message would you would like to give to all of us?
Akmal:My message to youngsters is to pursue your passions. Don’t be afraid of hindrances- they are a part of human life.

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