Under A Poet’s Moon

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A Kashmiri Girl’s Book of Poems – Written with the Heart of Habba Khatoon

 

Through 2020, people complained globally that the lockdown made them slip into depression and gloom. Soliha Shabir, a young Kashmiri poet used the lockdown period to write from the heart of Habba Khatoon, Kashmir’s beloved poet and ascetic who lived nearly 500 years ago.  

Habba Khatoon has a profound presence in Kashmir’s oral tradition. Soliha named her book Zoon – The heart of Habba Khatoon. Habba Khatoon’s real name was Zoon (moon, Kashmiri) because of her great beauty. She was the wife and beloved of Yousuf Shah Chak, the last Emperor of Kashmir. The book has a string of beautiful photographs of a beautiful Kashmiri woman whom one understands to be Habba Khatoon. Her face is never fully visible.

Soliha is 22, and this is her third book of poetry. She started writing when she was 15 years old. Soliha’s first book was titled In The Lawn of Dark and her second book is titled Obsolete- The Poem Market.

Soliha added her name to India’s World Records as the youngest and first author in Jammu and Kashmir who has recreated the life of Habba Khatoon’s poetry.  Soliha did Class 10 from Minto Circle School Allochi Bagh and Class 12 from Government Girls Higher Secondary School, Khanyar, in Srinagar. She later did graduation from Islamia College of Science & Commerce, Hawal, Srinagar. She is currently pursuing Masters in English Literature from IGNOU. She lives near Dalgate in Srinagar.

Her first book, In The Lawn of Dark, is a compilation of 200 self-motivational quotes accumulated over years. Soliha says her sole motive of writing this book was to inspire and motivate the young generation.

“During my school and college years, I was not social. My teacher Ms Sabiya Gulzar encouraged me to write. I scored high in Class X and chose the medical stream, but did not pursue it professionally. I devoted myself to writing,” says Soliha. This effort resulted in her second book, which is a collection of poems. Soliha says the book is multi-dimensional. It addresses the challenges we face from time to time.

Soliha said that the youth of J&K should not just go after instant fame. “We must know about our culture, traditions and languages. We must pursue our dreams and fulfill them, but we should not go against the wishes of our parents. Instead, we should take them onboard by convincing them about our talent.

 

Do You Remember

Do you remember every time we made love

With the shining stars outside

That when moon engulfed the sorrows of my life in her arms

Then my love, I let my soul rest beside yours with the falling night

And the advent of sun

When the breeze from your lips doused my frame and

I let my arms catch your dreams

Then my love, we smiled together in the

night we both owned

I was the noor of your eyes, you said

The hoor on earth

Then my love, those angels

Burned when we talked enough till eternity.

When the night we lived was less than not Eid,

Those forehead brushes, Eidi, indeed

The warmth of your arms safeguarded

Then my love

We saw each other in

The gardens of peace

 

Come Home

The beauty of blossoming buds

The advent of new spring

The chirping life in my garden

Welcomes you to my home

Colonies of fragrances will die of jealousy

As soon as lotus’ll flaunt over Dal

This beauty my love I capture for you

This beauty welcomes you to my home

Tired I am of listening your reasons

My heart is in pain, do pay a visit

This pain of mine welcomes you to my home

Live your beauty, this temporary era

Won’t we fade when skies will go black?

All your colors will not be a mirage?

These colors of you welcome you to my home

Trace my journey within my lines

I left my times finding you in them,

I missed your presence in the walls of my breath

This choked breath of mine welcomes you to my home

I tried to escape the chapters of destiny,

See how pain is in love with me

True I call it, its dedication for me

This dedication of pain welcomes you to my home

I’m devoted or distracted I am

May I find the paths I deserve

My destiny finds you in the empty rooms they have

These rooms of mine welcome you to my home

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