Meet ‘The Woman of 2017’ honoured by Your Dost India’s first and the largest counselling platform. Somaya Iqubal Khan is our featured campus celebrity from Jamia Millia Islamia. She hails from Bhagalpur, a small town of Bihar, currently she is in her final semester of MSW in Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi. Her distinct flare for writing and painting, makes her a campus celebrity.
Of late, she turned the university campus a chattering club when she launched her debut novel “NUHA – Some Dreams are Too Pretty to Live”. The Novel is inspired by her experiences and losses, she has suffered in her life, she herself has been into depression and writing has helped her to cope up with this issue. The novel is winning hearts around the country and making its way to bestsellers gradually.
She has worked with Ernst Young and working to help people with mental health issue by inspiring them to find the purpose of their life by making them establish their faith in love. She is working towards the cause of mental health in collaboration with various organizations and un temps du temps she has been conducting awareness sessions in various colleges. She was recently invited as one of the speaker at Youth Summit – 2017 by Change Star Foundation.
Here is an excerpt from a conversation of Asna Azhar of Aapka Times with Somaya
What inspired you to write a novel?
Being an introvert, writing has been the best form of expression to me. It has helped me to speak my mind on various platforms like blogs, social media, and print media through articles, essays, and stories. But writing turned out to be the most crucial thing of my life when it became the only healing tool that helped me to come up with my depression. This novel is the journey of all the turmoil that I went through after I lost my eldest sister to a bad marriage and how writing about it pulled me out of the severe effects of depression. Thus this novel is the journey through my depression and how I learned to cope up with it.
Jamia is a not just a campus, it’s a home for many, How was your journey so far?
After coming here, I was exposed to different community set ups, NGOs, social issues that needed to be addressed was an eye-opening experience for me. It motivated me to work for others than to sit and do nothing about my condition as social work not only a help to others but it is a process of self-healing. My professors, supervisors being the constant help and mentors who always guided me to the right direction. I completed writing half of the novel after my enrolment in Jamia hence I owe a lot to my campus.
Now, you are a published author are there any other ambitions you want to achieve?
Besides being a writer and a social worker, I am trying to approach larger part of the population through public speaking and talks on public forums, raising awareness about mental health disorders among youths. So, yes I aspire to become a motivational speaker.
What are your future prospects for higher studies and as a writer?
I have started working on my third book, which is a journey of a Muslim woman in the post-independence era that would cover four decades of her life’s journey. It aims to bring out the changing pattern of the patriarchal role in shaping and breaking a woman’s life. I am also looking for a career in academics.
What contributions would you like to make in society?
I believe in ‘Pen is mightier than the Sword’, therefore I have chosen words to bring the change and make a difference. Each and every life has or will be touched by traumatic experiences, some manages to come out easily and some gets stuck and are ruined. I was stuck too but the way I healed myself, I wanted to present that before everyone who can learn through my story, who can get inspired through my journey and find their own course of self-healing. If this novel, Nuha can inspire even a single person, my job would be done.And being a feminist, I believe every woman should learn to voice their opinions rather suffering in silence, further I will be working in the sector of education as education is the true empowerment one can contribute to the society.
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Asna Azhar is an Interviewer at Aapka Times and one of her interview of Lady Biker was picked up by almost all mainstream medias including BBC