Published: 23rd September 2019
Why 18-year-old Hyderabad girl Maryam Fatima's poetry will stir your very soul
The Last Lecture, Life Is What You Make It, The Alchemist, Tuesdays With Morrie and of course, the Harry Potter series are among Maryam's favourite books
It was the great English Romantic poet William Wordsworth who once said, "Poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings: it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquillity." And no truer words have been spoken, especially in the case of Maryam Fatima's work. Though she is humble enough to say that, "It comes out of nowhere," it is when this self-admitted amateur poet finds herself down in the dumps, furious or deeply disturbed that she finds herself reaching for that pen (yes, she actually 'writes' poetry not types it) and letting those powerful feelings find their outlet on paper. "I don't often edit my first draft," she says with quiet confidence.
Maryam has participated in several poetry recitations, debates, open mics and so on
So, when there are so many budding poets out there, why are we talking about Maryam? It's because one of her poems was published in the e-magazine of Delhi Poetry Slam. And not only this, she also has a big paper presentation coming up on the 'Evolution of Indian Literature Post-Independence Era' in a national seminar being conducted in her college, St Ann's College For Women, Hyderabad, on October 14. This seminar is being organised by the Indian Council of Historical Research and Telangana State Council For Higher Education. Clearly, there's lots for the 18-year-old, who writes poetry in both English and Urdu, to look forward to.
Maryam also feels strongly towards the environment and is a part of Fridays For Future and Citizens of Hyderabad. "The destruction is happening right in front of our eyes and the signs are everywhere — bad summers, deficit rainfall and so on," says the youngster who was adjudged Best Outgoing Student of St Ann's College For Women when she was pursuing her higher secondary. She also intends to raise awareness on social issues through art and literature, which could include poetry writing, poster making and other such activities and is working out a plan with her friend. With so many ideas buzzing in her head, we wonder what is most essential for this youngster, who also happens to be a pro orator? "The three essential components of my life are books (reading), a pen (writing) and a mic (public speaking)," she says wisely.
An excerpt from a poem by Maryam
"Why did I give birth?"
Might be the thought of the Earth.
We call it our Mother,
Yet behave like there exists another.
Enough it has cried,
Perhaps why the water bodies have dried.
Man's recklessness has stopped the rain,
Regretting now is in vain.
After all, when you drain,
There has never been any gain.