In an exclusive interview with Fast Kashmir’s Associate Editor, Basharat Rashid, young author Aasif Khan, shared his experience as a writer.
Fast Kashmir: Please tell us a bit about yourself and your career?
Aasif Khan: I am a 23 year old young writer and a poet, belonging to the Nawakadal area of downtown in Srinagar. I have done my Bachelors in Arts from the University of Kashmir and my key subjects were Philosophy and Islamic studies along with Education and English.
FK: How and when did you start writing first?
Aasif: Before publishing “Prisoners of paradise”, i usually wrote my journal. I never thought i would end up writing a novel and become an author someday but life keeps many veiled surprises for you and as we march forward in our lives, they get uncovered.I don’t exactly remember the date but I wrote my first short story in my 12th class in 2012 while studying science.
FK: In the begining, what compelled you to write your book?
Aasif: I had to face many challenges in my personal life and as when i felt like being taken down by them, I used words to escape. Apart from my personal struggles the turmoil of 2016 played a major role in bringing forth this book.
FK: What are the challenges you face as a writer?
Aasif: I had faced many challenges in my personal life. I almost gave up my studies after 12th due to the financial problems which we suffered in our family. I had huge responsibilities upon my shoulders but after reflecting upon myself, i got up and decided to get back on track.
FK: Name one book or article that have helped you in your writing career?
Aasif: “Broken wings” was the book that found the writer in me. The said book has literally helped me in building my writing carrier.
FK: What was the main motive of writing your first book “Prisoners of Paradise” and mention the issues, you higlighted in that book?
Aasif: My main motive of writing this book was to show the other side of conflict to the people. The book highlights the mental stress which our youth goes through brought about by the conflict.
FK: Who supported you in the beginning?
Aasif: My cousin Huzaifa Pandit and my editor ms Mansi Narula Kashyap were the ones who believed in me and my words.
FK: What are your future plans. Are u going to write more books?
Aasif: I have completed my second book and In sha Allah that will be very soon out. My future plan would be to give something new to my readers and i am hopeful that my new book is going to set new standards here in kashmir.
FK: What advice do you have for beginner freelance writers?
Aasif: My advice to them would be to have confidence in themselves and to be focused in their works. We have got immense talent here in Kashmir and I think the pace at which we are taking to writing is quite fascinating.
FK: Other than writing, what are your hobbies?
Aasif: I am a big fan of cricket besides that i like to sing and listen to music and read books of my interest.