This is the second episode of the Zanaan Wanaan Podcast: Season 2 titled ‘Why We Write.’ For this episode we were joined by three brilliant upcoming Kashmiri writers:
Samia Mehraj, Master of Public Policy, University of Oxford. Samia is working on a book of interconnected short stories set in Kashmir. These stories attempt to witness how the lives of Kashmiri women and children interact with their cultural milieu, be it on streets, households, or their relationship with Kashmir’s rich natural tapestry. Currently halfway through the book, Samia is a fellow at the South Asia Speaks mentorship writing program, collaborating with Mirza Waheed on her literary venture.
Aashna Jamal, MA in International and Development Economics, Yale. Engaged in the South Asia Speaks Fellow 2022 program under the mentorship of novelist Karan Mahajan, Aashna brings a unique perspective shaped by her desire to rediscover places and their sentiments. Trained as an economist, she is currently working with the governments in Somalia and Timor-Leste. Her journey from economist to writer is marked by a dedication to exploring Kashmir through stories, starting with short stories and features and currently working on a coming-of-age novel set in the region.
Sadaf Wani, M.Phil. in Sociology, Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi. She is a senior communications professional specialising in impact-oriented feminist communication. Her academic focus on digitality and visual cultures in Srinagar and Hong Kong adds depth to her research and writing. Author of a commissioned biography of Srinagar, her debut book is set for release in July 2024 by Aleph Book Company.
Tune into the second part of the conversation where they talk about the audiences they have in mind whilst writing, the works they are inspired by, reflect on the publishing process- what are some of the challenges they face and finally share some advice for the aspiring writers in Kashmir.