Dr. Shadab Ahmed was born and brought up in resilient and magical North-East India, growing up between guns and roses. Moving pan-India at various ages, his voracious appetite for knowledge and wisdom led him to books, refining his perception and comprehension of the good, bad, and wicked in life. He retains an inner child and has a combustible imagination. He is more adept at the administrative side of things and keeps a heavy hand and heart, though surgeons were always meant to be delicate and refined.
Here is our conversation with Dr. Shadab Ahmed. 🙂
1. As you are a doctor too, What inspired you to compile and write books on poetry?
I would give my disclaimer that I became a Poet first, then became a Doctor. Since my adolescent years, I developed a profound and maniac passion for reading trans-continental literatures. Narrowing it down over the years and comprehensing that no one can attain complete knowledge in the limited life span we have as human beings, I narrowed it down to Poetry. Since then, composing Poetry has been both my recreation and diversion from this insane chaotic world we live in. So much so, my perception & outlook has adapted over it. I find explicit words in arbitrary observations which most people will attribute to inexplicit randomness. The inspiration to write Poetry came from none other than my Father, who proudly declared that I would never be able to compose random poems into something significant and expressive. I took up the challenge and have never looked back since. Today, am the author of 4 non-pedagogical books and several others under publication. I draft poetries as well as translate poetries and verses from various canonical sources and texts, understanding their “Pre-Text” in History and their “Con-Text” in contemporary times. I compile anthologies and collectaneas as well, merging critical and cultural pieces of literature from different continents, cultures and historical eras in a single volume, with refinement and illustrations depicting the theme and mood. To sum it up, becoming a Doctor was a chance or maybe pre-destiny, but taking up Poetry was a choice and determination.
2. What did you learn when writing the books?
The most significant fact I learned is that the fixed set of alphabets have great power and rationality if you know which words to put where, articulating them into a sentence, then rhyme, then stanza, quatrains, sonnets and what not. Another fact I observed will be that “writing” is congenially gratifying, if you are doing it without any selfish motives or interests, without care of name or fame, without care of profit or loss. This concept has been brilliantly put forth by the great author Mr. Salman Rushdie, and I will paraphrase him – “Books choose their authors, the act of creation is not entirely a rational and conscious one”. Writing keeps your literary senses subconsciously honed and refined, it gives you a purpose. You attain a new cognizance, new postulation, new perspicacity, new perception, new insight and it distills your attitude in general to life and life elements.
3. What surprised you the most?
I am often surprised by the profound richness of Literature in all major continents, be it from any historical era and century, even when fine writing and reading skills were not fully developed. Humans have throughout the centuries evolved and conceptualised observations, extrapolating them in scriptures, bards and lyrics. The major human emotions have remained the same – Love, Lust, Anger, Betrayal, Denial, Sadness, Gloom, Debauchery, Sin, Praise, Providence, Euphoria. Another thing that surprised me was the distinct styles of Poetry followed over different kingdoms and empires – from the way the poems & verses are rhymed, aligned, meticulously concised, often sending sub-toned and cryptographic gists to future generations. It is like the authors of the verses had foresight and fore-ordainment, and did knew that their future generations are going to read their creation and analyse them critically. Equally astounding is how punctiliously and thoroughly the various translators of these verses and poems have put their souls and lives in the translations, selflessly to promote cultural and historical unification and integration.
4. What do the titles of your books mean?
My first book is titled “A Quatrain of Moods” – it is a collection of quatrains drafted by myself. These quatrains represent the various human moods and desires, be it ecstatic or tragic. My second book is titled “Bebakhshid” – which translates as “Excuse Me” in Persian. It is a collection of translated verses from prominent and acclaimed Persian authors, poets, polymaths, Qalandars and nomads who spearheaded the Persian Literature and Poetic Movement, trailblazing it into a major reckoning force in World Literature and Poetry as a whole. If English and Irish poetry has a succulent sweeping glacial charm to it, the Persian poetry has the distinct mystical aura blustering through them. My third book is titled “La Siesta” – and it is a compendium of translated poems from the Iberian Peninsula, covering the Spanish, Portuguese, Castilian, Galician and Catalan poetry. Again, the Iberian Peninsula has traditionally been ruled by distinct Christian and Islamic empires, and it is sheer literatim beauty to see the poetical forms getting integrated and amalgamated within each other throught the last 1000 years in history.
5. Have you ever thought of writing stories?
Yes, I am writing a Story Book for my son, Samar Ahmed (Sam), who is 3 years in age and brings light and life into my world. This book am writing exclusively for him, and it hints the adorated fondness and premonitions that a father would want his son to recognize and realize in the fullness of time. Hopefully, this book would make many formidable facets and aspects of life lucid for him, and he will be able to envision the panorama that concurrently develops unbeheld, in silence all through our lives. To pick up writing stories as a hobby – it is difficult for me to make a statement in affirmation or denial now, but you never know, 2 years back I was not sure myself if I would have the courage and determination to be an author and poet. The afternoon will know what the morning never suspected.
6. Any suggestions for your readers?
I would just like my readers to know is that never let someone tell you that you can’t do a thing. You can do it (I emphasize on the “can”), and ultimately, it is your life, you are the author of your life. You live it as you want, uninhibited and unrestricted. Reap all that enriches your soul. Time is limited and the clock is ticking. Godspeed and Godbless!