This youth is just 17-year-old and hailing from the troubled state of Jammu and Kashmir is already making an impact on the literary scene in the country.
Munawar Ali Hussainy, a 17-year-old poet from Jammu and Kashmir, has been named ‘Poet of the Year’ for 2014 by the National Urdu Cultural Academy here.
Speaking to the media over phone, Hussainy – who was awarded for his poem “Zulm Ka Mara” – said the academy every year invites five poems from a poet to be adjudged by a jury.
“I submitted my best three poems,” said Hussainy, who has been writing since childhood.
“Although I started reading ‘Diwan-i-Ghalib’ since I was in primary school, I only recently started understanding the legendary Urdu poet,” he said.
Hussiany said he had his hopes pinned on “Zulm Ka Mara”.
“The 20-stanza poem describes the life and death of children across the Muslim world,” he said.
The poem sketches the conflict-hit life in Jammu and Kashmir, Palestine, Myanmar and Syria.
Hussainy also writes short stories in English, but is confused about how to get his works published.
“I have written a good number of poems now, but I don’t know how to get them published,” he said.
Asked about his mentors, he said: “Allama Iqbal is my ‘roohaani peer’ (spiritual guide) and Pakistan’s Mohsin Naqvi has been my great inspiration.”
Hussainy said he has two ‘guides’ on social network Facebook who helped him improve his poetic skills, but he has never met them.
“I have two Facebook friends who have always been suggesting corrections in my writings and if I have won any award, a share of credit goes to them as well.”
Hussainy, a resident of Srinagar, has also cracked the Jammu and Kashmir Combined Entrance Test (JK-CET).