“Observe people, life and your environment very carefully and don’t be in a hurry because if you are, you won’t find anything”
Could you tell us how you came up with the name of the book and how it describes the book?
I think I would give the credit of ‘Zikr’ to my publisher. Zikr is a good name, so I went with it. In essence, this book is about Zikr — talking about people whom I have met, who shaped my life, and whom I have, to some extent, shaped. It’s a compendium of stories, projects, places and anecdotes of people. That’s how it came to be.
Looking back, what is any one thing that you regret, and one thing that brings a smile to your face?
I think there are no regrets. This is because I have followed my heart. Whatever I have done, in reflection, brings a smile to my face. Obviously, there have been numerous journeys, tasks, love and unfinished poems in my life. Nevertheless, I followed my heart and tried to do whatever was my calling. Therefore, no regrets.
Who are your favourite writers and which books do you read?
I have a very strange combination of reading. I read English, a lot of English poetry, read lots of translations of Rumi and read a lot of Urdu poetry and Persian poetry. I’m a very poetry-driven person, and I also like to read classics. I believe whatever has shaped me is in this book.
One key takeaway from this book for your readers
Observe people, life and your environment very carefully and don’t be in a hurry because if you are, you won’t find anything. The observation must be of deep intensity. This is also something that I learned from my father. Many people don't observe their parents. They don’t go into what has made them and how parents are concerned about their being what they want their child to be. Every parent wants them to be good human beings, I don't know any parent who doesn’t. But when you observe them, there is much to be learned.