After the Kashmir situation orphaned her, the young girl from North Kashmir decided to become narrator to revive the reading habits in youth with her poetry collections, Riyaz Ul Khaliq reports
It was the spring of 1994 that a teacher-turned-rebel, Ghulam Mohammad Parray alias Naeem Siddiqi, returned home in coffin. He was associated with Hizbul Mujahideen armed group. “He was arrested and then tortured in custody,” one of his relatives says, “He was severely interrogated for three continuous days after which he died.”
Twenty-one-years later, Lubna binti Naeem has come out with a collection of poems, she believes will revive the reading culture among Kashmiri youth. Coming spring, Lubna is planning to get admission in Kashmir University to pursue her dreams in Science.
Naeem Siddiqi is a popular Pakistani Islamic scholar, writer and politician. Lubna’s father, Parray, used this nom de guerre because of “his strong pen”, his admirers say. He had written two “revolutionary” books: Lahoo Rang Vaadiyaan in Urdu and Yad Pyeme Be! in Kashmiri.
Following her father’s footsteps, Lubna says, “I have not seen my father but I believe it as my responsibility to carry forward his legacy.” Lubna was born five months after her father’s death.
After completing her class 12 from Muslim Educational Trust Sopore in medical sciences, Lubna went to Pakistan to study medicine. “I could not stay there for long as my health deteriorated,” Lubna informs. “I left my dream of becoming a doctor and returned home after two-and-a-half month in February 2013.”
At home, Lubna was advised to join Degree College Sopore to continue her studies. “I am in final year today but the urge to continue father’s legacy kept me writing poems,” Lubna narrates her journey. She says, “The poems speak of nature, emotions and of course, those who read my poems will get a feeling of revolution.”
Lubna comes from a modest village of Daulat Pora Kreeri in North Kashmir’s Baramulla. She is the youngest sibling in her family. With sound educational background, her three brothers are already done with masters degrees. The eldest one is working in Saudi Arabia.
Living with her grandparents, Lubna is indebted to her Dada Ji. “He is a retired headmaster, so he keeps always an eye on us,” Lubna says about his grandfather, who is busy now looking after his apple orchard.
Priced @ Rs 150 a copy, the 135 collection of Lubna’s poems have been published by Kashmir Book Depot, Srinagar titled: “A Walk with Nature”. “I am continuing with the work and I will be writing on the issues which concern us as youth. I am positive rather optimistic that my work shall inspire our young generation to work for the upliftment of our society,” she says.
Parray alias Siddiqi’s books were published but “people could not read him,” Lubna says, “the books had to be dumped because of the then developing situation.” “The books included revolutionary Taraana and Nasheeds.”
Lubna says that her family, particularly her mother who is a homemaker, made it possible for her to complete the work. “Look, I am a girl and am supposed to work side-by-side with my mother in kitchen but she forced me to study and concentrate on my work,” Lubna informs.