Monday, May 18, 2015

LIFE OF A POET - SANAA RIZVI

This week, my friends,  we are crossing the Atlantic once again to visit Sanaa Rizvi, who writes at A Dash of Sunny.  Sanaa is from Pakistan, currently living in Saudi Arabia. She arrived on the poetry circuit with such a burst of positive energy that I thought we'd ask her if we could pay her a visit. And here is a sneak peek: there will be a musical interlude!







Sherry: Sanaa, thank you for allowing us this visit. Paint us a picture of your life today, won't you?


The Story of 50 Years


Sanaa: It's 2015, my life has taken me to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. At present, I am working in British council as an invigilator. I am called upon once a week to invigilate for IELTS examinations. The session of May – June will bring CIE examinations. So excited and pumped up to attend invigilation on a daily basis. But of course it will not affect my poetry, which is my first priority. (Smiles)

Sherry: Wow, that sounds like a cool and unusual occupation. How interesting! Now let's flash back to your childhood. Where did you grow up, Sanaa?

Sanaa: Born and brought up in Karachi, Pakistan, I bloomed into a fiery and independent soul. As a child I was told to have a wild imagination which I would satiate in the world of books. I read my first novel at the age of ten. It was a thrilling experience. I would stay up past my bedtime and finish reading until the last page. The suspense would keep me rooted to the spot.

As the time came to enroll in high school, I was super nervous and excited. Little did I know that the journey ahead wouldn’t be half as pleasant as it seemed. When we enter into our teenage years, we are at the stage of growing up into the person we would like to see ourselves grow up to be.

And trust me, I was not going to allow anything to run amuck. At the mere age of fourteen, I was exposed to bullying. The reason being that I was different than the rest of the crowd. But instead of cowering down; I faced them head on without a trace of doubt in my soul. Courage is not the absence of fear; rather it’s the ability to move beyond it.

Sherry: True words, Sanaa. I am glad you stood up to the bullies. People who stand out from the herd are usually people who do amazingly well in their lives. Unlike many of the bullies.

Sanaa: It feels like a million years ago, but the memory still runs a chill up my spine. To have risen up from that era and grown up to become a fine individual is one of my greatest achievements in life. Putting that behind me, I dived into the world of Literature. 

In college, the love and admiration of a female professor led me to study the subject. Literature, to which I was foreign, allowed me to express myself in ways I would have never imagined before. Hence I graduated in English Literature.

Sherry: A wonderful accomplishment, Sanaa. What came next, after graduation?

Sanaa: After graduating I just couldn't find a suitable job in my field. I spent four months in severe depression. It felt like life had come to a standstill. Then my family suggested that I apply for a job in an airline called air blue. Aviation is my father's career path who used to be a pilot in his youth. Later on as an air traffic controller and at present as an instructor in GACA academy. 





And so I got a job in  air blue as a flight dispatch assistant. For a year I would be seen coordinating with different departments at the airport on phone, while sitting at my desk while simultaneously entering data on the computer. And if that wasn't hectic enough - radio transmissions to pilots who needed to know the weather conditions before landing. 




But let me tell you, Sherry, it was absolutely thrilling..! After a year, I got promoted to an analyst and started compiling reports for all the sectors of the airline.

But life changed its course and I had to move to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, where I am situated at present.

Sherry: Oh, that does sound like an exciting job! Now, I am wondering, is there something in your childhood that you feel contributed to your becoming a poet?

Sanaa: According to my mother, poetry ran far and wide in her family bloodline. Her father held a great interest in writing romantic poetry, whereas her mother’s paternal uncle, (my great grandfather), was a renowned poet whose work is taught in universities even in these times. So it is safe to state that poetry was in my blood.

Sherry: Wow, that is impressive! Who are your favorite poets and is there a most favorite among them?

Sanaa: My favorite poets are the Old Poets. Namely John Keats, as I resonate a great deal with his writing technique. His theory of "Negative Capability" really intrigues me; to the point that I sometimes like to incorporate it into my writing style. He is truly an inspiring Poet. (Smiles)

Sherry: Keats is wonderful! Is there a poem of yours you might wish to share with us?





Passion


Hark! bloweth life,
Into a stone.
Nay! Thy heart,
Doth I disown.
Thou art a vortary,
To fond desire.
Tis passion of late,
Which thee conspire.
Thy passion is such,
As fiery ember!
Thee scent,
Tis fathoms,
Suave lavender!
Hark! bloweth life,
Into a stone.
Beguile thy senses,
With bourguignon.
Ye riveting gaze,
Much like a maze.
Setting thy heart,
Thoroughly ablaze!
Tis passion which sets,
Thy life asunder.
Lying awake into the night,
Reminiscing thee,
With sheer delight!
Hark! bloweth life,
Into a stone.
Nay! Thy heart,
Doth I disown.                                        
Sanaa: This poem is very close to my heart, as it is one of the earliest of my writings. It was composed back when I hadn’t even realized that I could write poetry. The poem speaks volumes about my fiery passionate nature. While composing this poem, I closed my eyes; letting my mind wander to how I would respond to a person if we were in love.

Sherry: It is an intriguing poem, Sanaa. When I first started reading your poems, they were written in the language of the Old Masters, as is the above poem. More recently, they seem to be written more in your young woman's voice. Can you talk a bit about that?

Sanaa: Well let’s see, initially my poems would include archaic language but gradually my writing style changed as I joined other Poets in Poets United. Sometimes a specific theme requires a specific approach. The language changes accordingly. Nevertheless, I enjoy composing in both styles i.e. modern and archaic.




Sherry: Yes, I can see that. I love how the Old Masters flavor your work. You have an unusual and intriguing voice. When did you write your first poem?

Sanaa: I guess my first poem was at the age of 18, when I used to scribble poems in my notebook, short poems mostly. But back then the fire did not have a spark as it does now at present. The credit goes to my friends. They encourage me to write; even though they don’t really understand my poems, they are supportive nonetheless.

Sherry: When did you begin blogging, and what has the impact been on your work?

Sanaa: I came upon blogging around three months ago when my sister, a fellow blogger, suggested that I give my poems a platform. And so the journey began. As I mentioned earlier, Poets United changed my life. Sharing my poems with them each week on Mid-week Motif had me soaring high up in the clouds. (Smiles)

Sherry: It was the same for me when I found Poets United. It was the first poetry site I stumbled upon, and it opened the doors of the world to me. It is such a supportive atmosphere, in which poems can flourish. Let's look at another of your poems, may we?





Foolishness

Lo! To be foolish once again;
How delightful would it be?
To discard all thee muddles,
Whilst roaming around free!
To be young once again;
Splash in the river stream.
To travel back in time;
Chase the impossible dream!
To be clueless once again;
Lose track of time.
Disburse all thee wealth;
And travel without a dime!
To fall in love again;
Lose all thee sanity.
Get thy heart broken;
Reverse back in reality!
For everyone is foolish;
Before acquiring wisdom.
Hence; the circle of life;
Is quite a gripping system.
Lo! To be foolish once again;
How delightful would it be?
To discard all thee muddles,
Whilst roaming around free.

Sherry: It sounds like fun to me! 

Sanaa: (Giggles) This is one of my most creative poems. I remember composing it late at night while watching my favorite movie and nibbling on popcorn.

Sherry: What other things do you enjoy doing, when you are not writing poems?

Sanaa: Oh Sherry, I am so glad you asked! Besides composing poems; would you believe it? I love to sing!

I spend my free time, which is usually after dinner, singing along to my favorite songs.  I have been singing since the age of twelve. 





Sherry: How wonderful! You look and sound so sweet! Thank you so much for this! I used to sing, too, many moons ago. Great joy. So, do you have a favorite place?





Hawkes Bay Beach in Karachi
Photo credits: www.groupin.pk


Sanaa: My favorite place in Karachi, Pakistan is none other than Hawkes Bay Beach. It is situated 20 km south west of Karachi. It is accessible through Mauripur Road (formerly Hawkes Bay Road) or the Mubarak Goth Road from Karachi. The beach is named after Bladen Wilmer Hawke, later 9th Baron Hawke of Towton, who had a beach house there in the 1930's. He used it for the weekends and other of his contemporaries joined him building houses.


It’s a famous tourist resort. It is a sandy beach with crystal blue water. I remember visiting there in 2009 with my relatives on a picnic (smiles). We had rented a hut there for an entire day and went home the next day. It was wonderful, the sun, sand and sea, plus the pleasurable company of your loved ones. What more could anyone wish for? 






Sherry: You look so happy there, Sanaa. So tell us, what hopes and dreams do you have for your writing in the years ahead?

Sanaa: Well, in the years to come ahead, I hope to publish a book of my poems for all those people out there who have a love for composing poems and are afraid to come out in the open. Perhaps my book would encourage them to explore their talent.

Dreams

Alas! When we follow our dreams;
People tend to snort tend to laugh.
Alas! When we follow our dreams;
People tend to crumple up in half.
Hush darling let them speak;
Our heart isn’t theirs to keep.
Wipe the tears on your cheek;
Strive towards the highest peak.
Alas! When we follow our dreams;
Learn to distinguish common allies.
Alas! When we follow our dreams;
Troubles in life help make us wise.
Hush darling let them speak;
Our heart isn’t theirs to keep.
Wipe the tears on your cheek;
Strive towards the highest peak
Alas! When we follow our dreams;
Prone to spite people bemoan.
Alas! When we follow our dreams.
The path to success weaves alone.
Hush darling let them speak;
Our heart isn’t theirs to keep.
Wipe the tears on your cheek;
Strive towards the highest peak.

Sherry: I am sure you will write many books! Online self-publishing venues make this so much easier now than it used to be. Do you have any words for the members of Poets United?

Sanaa: I would like to thank Poets United for embracing me and letting me be a part of their wonderful community. It feels like a home to me as I frolic in the realms of poetry along with my family – the poets.

Sherry: You are most welcome. I know I speak for our members when I say we are very much enjoying your enthusiastic presence. Smiles.

Well, my friends, wasn't this a delightful visit? The vibrancy of youth - a breath of fresh air! Do come back and see who we talk to next! Who knows? It might be you!


50 comments:

  1. What a special Monday treat, sherry. Sanaa, what a pleasure to meet and enjoy your interview. You have a wonderful future ahead of you.
    ZQ

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    1. Hello Sir,

      Thank you so much! I believe Sherry has done a wonderful job with the interview :D it looks great!

      Delete
  2. Sherry, oops! With a CAPITAL "S"

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    1. LOL, trust me, lower case is just fine, my friend......I have a humble heart. Smiles.

      Delete
  3. Another wonderful interview Sherry and Sanaa. It is indeed a pleasure to meet you. I love knowing about the people whose poems I like to read.

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    1. Hi Peggy :D

      Thank you so much :D glad you enjoyed reading :D
      xoxo

      Delete
  4. Yay, what a happy place this is today, with the beat of Sanaa's sweet song. It will ring in my head all day, I'm sure. Sanaa, thank you - you gave me great material to work with!

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    1. Sherry this looks fantastic :D bordering on pure perfection :D thank you so so much for publishing it :D

      Hugs & Kisses

      Delete
  5. YAY, Sanaa, so good to see you and hear your voice. You always seem so bubbly and positive in your comments; I'm glad to see that is a character trait. Great interview, Sherry, always so nice to get to know the poets better. Thanks for sharing, Sanaa.

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    1. Hey Debi :D

      Thank you so much :D yeah its sort of contagious, this community, the environment.. can't help being bubbly :D glad you enjoyed the interview :D
      xoxo

      Delete
  6. Sanaa, I really enjoyed reading your interview! First of all, good for you for standing up to the bullies when you were in school. It isn't an easy thing to do! I am fascinated by the fact that, because of a teacher, you began to enjoy Literature and graduated with an English Literature degree. Just proves, I think, the influence a good teacher.
    can have! Smiles. It sounds as if you have followed an interesting career path since that point.

    Neat that poetry has run in your family. Sounds like you have had some good examples to follow there. Interesting to learn that your first love was the Old Poets. I remember when you first started sharing poetry here at Poets United your poems often were written in that 'old' style you so enjoy!

    I like the poem you wrote about following your dreams! Very wise words. It sounds like you are following yours; and I wish you much success in your dream of someday writing a book. I'd say you are on the way!!

    Thanks for being such a supportive commenter, Sanaa, as well as being an active poet. I am enjoying watching your poetry evolve. In my (humble) opinion, I can already see how much you have grown since I first noticed your online presence!

    Sherry, thanks for another great interview..

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    1. Hi Mary :D

      Thank you so much, so glad you enjoyed the interview. Lol I remember starting off with "To the Sun" and "Waterfall".. at the time I wasn't so confident because I was still learning.. :D but yes.. as you have noticed.. I have grown a lot as a Poet.. I blame the month of April.. NaPoWriMo :D

      The constant juggling of writing for both Poets United and for the Toads.. had me on a roll.. hence learning much along the way.. so in short .. i have a lot of people to thank for :D

      Well.. I never knew my ancestors.. the ones mentioned in the interview.. as they died before I turned three.. nevertheless.. the legacy continues to move on :D

      So to sum up.. thank you everyone :D specially you Mary.. for always guiding me along the way! Cheers :D
      xoxo

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  7. Thank you Sherry and Sanaa for this very nice interview!

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    1. Hello Gabriella,

      Thank you :D so glad you enjoyed it!
      xoxo

      Delete
  8. Oh Sanaa it's so lovely to get to know you better...your spontaneous words do bring a lot of freshness and joy to the heart...wish your dream of publishing a book on poems come true very soon....thanks Sherry for another great interview...

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    1. Hi Sumana,

      Was waiting for you to come :D I knew you would love it! Thank you so much for your warm wishes :D
      xoxo

      Delete
  9. So nice to see you featured here Sanaa. Awesome! Thanks for sharing that video. It's cool to be able to put a voice with the words. Your poetry is filled with your spirit, enthusiastic and heart warming. I want to be foolish again also!!

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    1. Hello Sreejit,

      Thank you so much :D so glad you liked the interview! Thanks for giving me such a huge compliment. :D Hope you are well and do keep writing that awesome online novel of yours! Cheers :D

      Delete
  10. Wonderful to learn more about you Sanaa, your energy is so inspiring.. I can feel such warmth in your words.. Very inspiring,

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    1. Hello Bjorn,

      Thank you so much :D so glad you liked the interview :D

      Delete
  11. what an inspiring interview. I love how versatile your writing, Sanaa! Your homeland looks beautiful as well. Really enjoyed reading about your life experiences. :)

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    1. Hello Stacy,

      Thank you :D so glad you enjoyed reading the interview :D
      xoxo

      Delete
  12. What a delight this interview is Sherry. Sanaa, your poetry is so full of hope and achievement for the future and is so inspiring. I loved you singing "Why not?" as well as it good to hear you give voice to hopes and dreams for the future.

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    1. Hello Old Egg,

      Thank you so much :D so glad you liked it :D I wanted to go all the way and make this a very special interview for Sherry to share with everyone :)

      Thanks for the sweet compliments :D lots of love
      xoxo

      Delete
  13. How lovely, song and words and thinking. It is a pleasure to hear your voice here--I have been enjoying it so much in the oems and comments. Follow those dreams, and take us along for the ride!

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    1. Hello Susan,

      Thank you so much :D really glad you enjoyed the interview :D I was hoping to make it special by adding the video :D thank you for the love and warmth :D

      Lots of love
      xoxo

      Delete
  14. So wonderful to know of a young lady with a mission in life as you Sanaa! You bring the exuberance of youth so very naturally into our adult world. Perhaps also a singing poet in no time! Every best wishes!

    Hank

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    1. Hello Hank,

      Thank you so much :D well I always loved to sing.. and if given the chance would have become a professional singer :)
      So glad you enjoyed the interview :D have a great day ahead :D

      Delete
  15. Sanaa, we are so glad your sister told you to start blogging. I too love your archaic and style; its like a whisper from the past.
    Your voice is clear and fresh and I hope you can sing more. Poetry and music are cousins in the creative spectrum so it is no surprise that you flourish in both.
    Many paths to walk
    dreams to awaken to
    sunny days ahead

    Sherry thanks for sharing about Sanaa and her vibrant spirit

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    1. Hey Leslie,

      Well it would never have been possible without you by my side with all your love and support :D so glad you liked the interview! Thank you for your sweet words and constant guidance :D moreover thank you for being my friend and mentor :D

      Lots of love
      xoxo

      Delete
  16. Hi Sanaa, I'm in a place now where net access is a bit difficult, now I see everyone is speaking about your song which unfortunately I couldn't listen to, even now I see no video uploaded here and it says the server unexpectedly closed the connection...grrr...

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    1. Oops! Its ok Sumana perhaps you will be able to view it when the internet connection is working properly.. as it's a YouTube video it shouldn't be a problem :D
      xoxo

      Delete
  17. Sanaa, it's been such a delight to get to know you better. I listened to your song and loved it. Your voice is soft and beautiful. You poetry is like that too. You seem like such a happy, positive, enthusiastic person. I wish you the best in life and look forward to reading more of your lovely poetry.
    Sherry, thank you for this interview. Again you did a marvelous job. You are so supportive and know just the right questions to ask.

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    1. Hello Myrna,

      Thank you so much :D so glad you enjoyed the interview! Sherry has really done a fabulous job! Thank you for your kind and warm wishes :D

      Lots of love
      xoxo

      Delete
  18. Sherry...thank you for another great interview. Sanaa.....your presence at Poet's has been most welcome as you always provide such a positive and exuberant energy :-) You have had such a very interesting career path. Wow. Really fascinating to hear more about your life story. Thanks for opening up and sharing more about yourself with all of us. Great to get to know more about you. Looking forward to seeing more of your poetry in the pantry as it's always something I enjoy reading for the combination of sweetness and wisdom.

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  19. Hello C.C

    Thank you so much for you lovely warm & kind words :D its been such a pleasure being here and sharing poems with everyone :D there is a very positive and loving atmosphere and everyone is so supportive of one another! Glad you enjoyed the interview :D

    Lots of love
    xoxo

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  20. Hello Sanna, nice to know about you. You have followed your passion and enjoying it too, the real essence of life that is. Best wishes.

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    1. Hello Vandana,

      Thanks for stopping by to read the interview :D so glad you liked it! I feel that everyone should follow their dreams regardless of what other people think. Thank you for your warm wishes :D

      Lots of love
      xoxo

      Delete
  21. Hi Sanaa, you are a very unique individual. Your style of writing is meritorious and you seem like a sweet and cute poet with a lot in your life. I loved all of you poems featured in the article and good luck on your future endeavors. Yes, I have to say our poems seem to be parallel as we like to repeat stanzas. Sort of like music isn't it? Happy Tuesday!!!

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    1. Hello James,

      Thank you so much for stopping by :D so glad you liked the interview, highly appreciate your warm & kind words :D

      Lol yes we do have that in common.. the refrain has a musical quality to it :D I really love composing in that style.. and find great pleasure when others appreciate it as well :D Happy Tuesday to you too!

      Delete
  22. Sanaa,

    This was a wonderful interview and an opportunity to 'get to know you.' You have had a great link with poetry through your family.
    I have appreciated your great support and interaction at Poets United, since you found the site. Your poems are always vibrant and interesting.
    Lovely to expand knowing more about you and your life, via this great Sherry interview.
    Eileen

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    1. Hello Eileen,

      Thank you so much, so glad you enjoyed the interview :D I wanted to go all the way and leave a memorable interview for our dear Sherry :D
      Thank you for stopping by and giving me such lovely compliments! Highly appreciate your kind words :D

      Lots of love
      xoxo

      Delete
  23. Sanaa I have enjoyed reading your poetry since you came here and also your lovely comments on my blog are always a treat....now to get to know you through Sherry's marvelous interview has been a joy. You know Sherry these posts make a great start to my week.

    Sanaa you have such a lovely unique voice and I look forward to continuing to read your poetry and your book of poetry for a long time to come!

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    1. Hello Donna,

      Thank you so much :D so glad you enjoyed the interview :D you have always been a constant support system and have offered so much love! Highly appreciated your warm & kind words :D

      Yes I hope to publish a book in the years to come.. I still have a long way to go.. lots to do and so much to learn :D

      Lots of love
      xoxo

      Delete
  24. Sweet Sanaa, I always enjoy your unique style of poetry and your very kind comments to me and others. It's a delight to learn more about you, and hear your voice and see you smile. Many thanks, Sherry, for featuring Sanaa.

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    1. Hello Rosemary,

      Thank you so much, so glad you enjoyed the interview :D I truly enjoy reading everyone's work specially yours as there is so much to learn from others... I love making people smile :D which is why my comments are always bright and sunny!

      Thank you for your kind words.
      Lots of love
      xoxo

      Delete
  25. I love your attitude and enthusiasm, Sanaa! I don't know which I enjoyed most ~ your poetry or your singing as both are wonderful. You are also a beautiful young woman with a gorgeous smile!

    My granddaughter is seventeen and a poet, artist and full of fire like you. I hope she turns into a woman of your caliber.

    Thank you, Sherry, for a really great interview (as always.) And I agree with you both that Poets United is a wonderful community!

    dani

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  26. Hello Dani,

    Thank you so much! That was so sweet of you :D
    She will turn out to be even better than me just wait and watch :D So glad you enjoyed the interview :D

    Lots of love
    xoxo

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  27. Bravo, thanks for the song Sanaa, how interesting, reading about you today

    stay blessed

    much love...

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  28. Hello Gillena,

    Thanks for coming by to read :D so glad you enjoyed the interview :D lots of love :D
    xoxo

    ReplyDelete