Rooh- Soul. I describe Rooh as a journey for me it is not a book but it is like a river that flows and flows. It is azaad – free, free from barriers and borders it is simply just the Rooh- soul. I started putting together my poems for a potential collection together just a year ago, around this time. The poems range from many different things from being in the diaspora to Panjab across to India and beyond man-made borders with history, politics, taboos and love with an emphasis on the roles of genders.
In most of my poems I always use words from – Panjabi-Hindi-Urdu, this is something that just comes natural being a lover of poetry that comes from India more so before it’s partition, the poetry in Panjabi/ Hindi/Urdu is just so beautiful and full of so much language. I hope one day I can write fully and properly in each language as I love them all.
The canals by Brindley place
become a prayer for Jhelum.
The library becomes a home for reading Faiz and Iqbal
with Lahore coming so close
yet so far away.
I write half ghazals thinking of Amritsar and Delhi,
languages spin intermingling Hindi Panjabi Urdu English.
Which is mine?/ when all four are mine…
(poem from Rooh)
I came across the artwork of a Pakistani artist called Maryam Mughal and I just fell in love with her art, and style…and then I saw this painting and I just wanted it… I didn’t want anything else after as I felt it was perfect for Rooh. I felt it captures the essence of Rooh completely. And everything about it is just what I am… my mum actually thinks the painting looks like me lol. So after trying to get her contact details for so long, my publisher was able to get in contact with her and we got the rights for this beautiful beautiful painting for my cover. Please do check out her other work too, it’s absolutely beautiful you can search her on google. She isn’t on social media expect Facebook.
Now, coming to the title – I decided on the name Rooh for my poetry book — firstly because poetry is literally my Rooh (soul) and because it is a word which unites languages – Languages that are so rich in heritage and culture, words that are literally poetry.
Rooh (soul) is originated from Arabic but is used by many languages such as mentioned. Panjabi and Urdu are two languages in particular that I love, Panjabi being my mother tongue and Urdu the language that I literally fell in love with.
Rooh is available for pre orders and it will shipped world wide see links below. And thank you to those that have been giving a lot of love and appreciation I can’t describe how it all feels to see your dream coming true. At the age of just 22 I would have never imagined to be a published poet!
I can’t thank my publisher enough, for being so patient and understanding with my work. I am truly grateful to Stuart who is the co-founder of Verve Poetry Press along with Amerah Saleh.
Please do pre-order and come down to Waterstones if you can!!!
link for pre-orders;
ticket link for launch at Waterstones in Birmingham ;