New to the Indie scene, Shaheen Darr has recently dropped her very first novel, Kismet, but she’s a poet from way back. Shaheen thought that the transition from poetry to romantic fiction just makes sense. When asked about her inspirations, she gave a poet’s answer: “The beauty of nature, the purity and innocence in children, the support of a loved one.”
Making her home currently in Great Britain, Shaheen has roots from much farther east, and she shares with us her thoughts on living as an immigrant in a western culture.
I have a habit of making diary notes about interesting events and people I encounter in day-to-day life. All these notes came together when I decided to write my debut novel Kismet – A Desi Rhapsody in London. My story is based in Southall, a borough in the West of London, which is home to a diverse number of communities. Each community has carved out a niche for itself so that it can feel at home in a foreign country. I don’t live in Southall, but this borough has always fascinated me. When I visit Southall, it is as if a part of India and Pakistan has been recreated in Britain. Slowly but surely a group of characters began to materialise on the pages of my book. These were the desi people (people with origins in India and Pakistan) whose kismet it was to live abroad.
She has taken the richness of her experiences and built them into her fictional offering, as so many authors do, however, she feels her transition to a new world, a far different culture and clime, have added to her writing significantly. She even shares with us a snippet of her poetry on the subject.
Though I call you my Homeland
My heart aches to touch the soil where my ancestors sleep
Buried with them is the richness of my culture, my traditions
I stand naked, vulnerable, just a nomad
Call me back home, Mother Let me sleep in the comfort of your arms again
Tell me this was but a dream, out of many I dreamt
Tell me when I wake Mother, I am home, my sentence over…
Anyone who follows my blog knows that poetry is my dirty little secret, so had to sneak that in there. It’s not everyday we get a poet on here, people. Her future lies in fiction, it seems, however, as she informs me that she is currently working on a selection of short stories and a new novel that need her undivided attention.
Shaheen is a fellow wordpresser, so take a look at her blog, if you will. She can also be found on Twitter and Facebook . For those of you who, like me, are closet poets and poetry connoisseurs, Shaheen has a kindle offering right up your alley. Soul Searching, with a whopping 5 star rating is available on amazon.