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My Story

Childhood

Birth-1999

Like it's written in my father’s diary, I was born on March 4, 1986, at my maternal home. A few days later, I was brought to my paternal home in Arout, a village in Samastipur, Bihar. As the years passed, I grew and experienced a profound internal conflict between my mind and heart. I learned the wisdom of life at the government school and the wind taught me the art of love. In spring, the mellow yellow aroma of mustard flowers filled my breath, creating a symphony of sounds. This melody carried me into summer, where I would pluck fresh fruits from the trees and sing along with the koel cuckoo. I floated on the Bagmati River, and as I dipped my feet into its pristine water, I felt my soul flowing with the current. The river's flow led me to the rains, and I danced to their rhythm. This dance gradually intensified, causing the leaves to fall from the trees. These withered leaves promised to return, etching autumn into my heart. I felt a deep sadness, which transformed into the chill of winter, a change I still struggle to comprehend.

 

Evenings in my village seemed like an elusive woman. As twilight descended, the doors of the village used to start preparing for brooming. Cows and buffaloes with dangled chimes around their necks were coming back towards home. Cow-herders were humming the songs. In those moments, amidst the light of fireflies and the calls of birds, I tried to hide my fears. From a distance, I could hear film songs playing on the radio. The sun set over the Bagmati River, and twilight draped a black bedsheet over the white day. The earthen patio echoed with the sound of crickets. Holding a lantern, I would put a sack on the ground to start my studies. Amidst bookish words, I used to weave the dreams that never came true. I loved identifying animals' shapes in the clouds by day and counting stars by night while lying on a mat. I also had a calf who was a dear friend. With age, I experienced many dimensions of life. 

 

When I was thirteen, my father died. Seeing his dead body felt like seeing my own. It was a strange experience, as if I was observing myself from outside my being. A boy cried, another laughed, and in that moment, I became the third person—a witness. I shed no tears as I cremated my father, only realizing that a part of me was dying inside. On that day, with my father's death, my childhood also ended.

Teenage

2000-2005

I was admitted to a new school, and for the first time, I had to live in a hostel. My village, the river, fireflies, butterflies, crickets, rain, moon, stars, calf, and cow were no longer part of my world. In this unfamiliar environment, I encountered wounded words whose meanings were always changing. For the first time, I experienced loneliness. I often think that if someone investigates my hostel room, they would still find traces of my whimpers. Those tears are invisible, only recognizable by the plants in the garden. For some unknown reason, I always preferred sitting in the garden over playing.

 

During my time at the hostel, I found joy in thinking about a girl. I was stuck between sleep and dreams. Although I never spoke to her, her blurry face still illuminates my mind. And how can I forget that mysterious night of 12 August 2001, when poetry happened to me? I woke from sleep, wrote a few lines, and went back to bed. That was the beginning of a journey that continues to this day. That very day, I dreamt of becoming a film lyricist. Throughout my life, different people came and went, and I changed with time, circumstances, and those around me.

 

After the hostel, I moved to Patna because it was the only option. Living with my elder brothers, I experienced every kind of freedom and had the chance to fight with them. We were all growing up. It took me a long time to realize that I never truly grew up. In the courtyard of my mind, a thirteen-year-old sad boy still sits, hoping his father will return. In Patna, I failed my second year of intermediate school. This failure led me to Delhi.

College Life

2006-2013

Coming to Delhi was a transformative experience for me in every way. It opened up a new world, allowing me to delve deeply into Hindi and Urdu literature at the University of Delhi. This academic pursuit was complemented by my later completion of an M.A. in Mass Communication. My time at the North Campus was marked by significant achievements, as I won dozens of trophies and accolades for my literary efforts. For the first time, my poetry and stories found their way into newspapers and magazines, broadening my audience and establishing my presence in the literary world. I was also invited to mushairas and gatherings, where I had the privilege of sharing my work with fellow enthusiasts. It was during this vibrant period that I experienced love for the first time, adding a new dimension to my creative expression.

 

This era was characterized by a fervent outpouring of my thoughts in Hindi and Maithili, with the rhythms of ghazals and nazms pulsing through my work. Fiction became a guiding force, giving new wings to my inner cosmos and expanding my imaginative horizons. Yet, amid these creative explorations, there was a part of me that remained unmelted, untouched by the full intensity of my experiences. This led me back to my roots in Urdu poetry, where I have since been experimenting with various forms, seeking to express the inexpressible and capture the nuances of my inner world.

 

The journey through Delhi’s literary landscape was not just an academic or professional milestone; it was a profound personal evolution. The city’s rich cultural tapestry, its intellectual vibrancy, and the diverse voices I encountered all played a crucial role in shaping my artistic sensibilities. The exposure to different literary traditions and the opportunity to engage with a wide range of literary forms enriched my writing and deepened my understanding of the power of language.

Dreamland

2014-Present

In January 2014, I finally moved to Mumbai to chase my dreams. Each day brought new experiences and beautiful surprises, with colors constantly raining down on me. I had countless opportunities to lose and find myself again. It felt like my life had taken a significant turn. Now, ten years later, I look back and realize how far I've come. My journey in Mumbai has been nothing short of extraordinary. I've had the privilege of being part of half a dozen TV series, each project teaching me something new and pushing the boundaries of my creativity. Writing lyrics for over forty singles allowed me to collaborate with talented musicians and explore the vast emotional landscape that music offers. Crafting hundreds of jingles and thousands of ads honed my ability to convey powerful messages succinctly and effectively.

Three of my books have been published, each one a milestone in my literary journey. Winning numerous fellowships and awards for my writing has been a humbling experience, reinforcing my belief in the power of words. My poems have even found their way into school textbooks, a testament to the enduring impact of poetry on young minds. I had the incredible opportunity to write additional Urdu dialogues for a film, an experience that expanded my understanding of cinematic storytelling. Yet, despite these successes, there were many projects that never reached completion, each one a lesson in perseverance and the unpredictable nature of creative pursuits.

 

Amidst all these vibrant experiences, it was entirely possible for my dream to get lost. But my dream remained steadfast. For 23 years, I've nurtured it, held it close, and refused to let it fade. I'm still caught somewhere between sleep and dreams, where the line between reality and aspiration blurs, fueling my passion and drive. And now, my dream of becoming a film lyricist has come true! My first film, 'A Wedding Story,' as a lyricist, was released in theatres on August 30, 2024. Seeing my words come to life on the big screen was a surreal and fulfilling experience. It was a moment of culmination, the realization of a dream that had been years in the making.

Reflecting on this journey, I am filled with gratitude for the opportunities and experiences that have shaped me. Mumbai, with its relentless energy and unending possibilities, has been the perfect backdrop for my creative evolution. The city has taught me the value of resilience, the importance of staying true to one's dreams, and the beauty of finding one's voice amidst the chaos. As I look to the future, I am excited about the endless possibilities that lie ahead. My journey is far from over, and I am eager to continue exploring new horizons, telling new stories, and touching more lives through my work. The dream that brought me to Mumbai ten years ago is still alive, and it continues to inspire and guide me every step of the way.

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