Shortlist | Writing

Jamia Millia College Student’s Love for Literature Will Inspire You To Chase Your Dreams

“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed,” he briefly quoted Ernest Hemingway to describe what it is like to write, to pour his emotions on ink. For Saiyed Farooq Jamal, a third year literature student from Jamia Millia Islamia, what started off as Harry Potter fan-fiction, turned into an ambition and turned into his book, ‘Hijr’, that was published in November 2016.

Farooq comes from the land of Munshi Premchand, and has loved expressing his thoughts on paper from an early age. He had wanted to be a writer ever since he knew that it was a profession. His parents, however, were a little iffy about it earlier, considering the possibility of it not paying him enough to sustain himself. They eventually realised that literature was the only thing that Farooq really cared about, and are very supportive of his dreams now.


When asked why literature inspires him, he replied,

“Literature has always been an escape for me, regardless of the fact whether it is English or Hindi or even Urdu. It compels you to ponder on emotions and situations which are often neglected or left unseen in the real world. As for writing, it gives me freedom. The freedom to create a whole new world. I have the power to create someone. It’s like I am showing my world to this world.”

Ever since he read The Alchemist, he became a fan of Paulo Coelho’s writing style – the kind that does not require his readers to refer to dictionaries, while also maintaining the complexity of the plots. Closer home, Farooq is inspired by Satyajit Ray and Rabindranath Tagore’s storytelling, and Gulzar’s poetry. “I have also been told by some people to read other poets too, but the serenity which I find in myself after reading Gulzar sahab’s poems cannot be found if I read any other poet,” he says.                        

Farooq’s book, Hijr, draws a unique outline of the struggles of life. Through the realms of fiction he garners the phases of reality. Hijr is a wonderful story revolving around the hopeful of reunion of a girl named Rukhsaar with her brother, amidst a horrifying communal riot.

Susan Sontag beautifully said, “A writer, I think, is someone who pays attention to the world.” Farooq has definitely done his bit. We wish him all the best, and hope that he keeps creating magic with his pen shaped wand.

Love reading? Check out short stories and poems by’s very own talent here.

Written by Lipi.

Edited by the Editorial Team.