Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Qissa Khwani: An interview with a Takhalus

Q: So what have you been up to ?

Ans: Work work and more work..oh yes I decided to set up a new group blog called Qissa Khwani. 

Q: What does Qissa Khwani mean? 

Ans: I named it Qissa Khwani, after the famous Qissa Khwani bazaar (story tellers market) in Peshawar's old city.

Q: Ok so that answers the What..the next question is why?

Ans: That is a difficult question to answer, when I was younger I remember the Frontier Post as a paper which was read widely all the way from Peshawar to Lahore. While over the last few years I have seen and participated in some real interesting blogs. Ranging from Pakistaniat , Five Rupees amongst others. These have been big influences on me and shown the power of the (well) written word.

Q: So what is the point? 
Ans: Simple it is about creating a platform for writers and challenging the narrative ..

Q: Platform I understand but challenging the what? 

Ans: Narrative! When you read articles or reports to do with people who live in the area , stretching from Attock to Kabul , Chitral to Bolan. It is often written by outsiders and simplified into stereotypes (some well meaning) backward warlike savages, graveyards for empires and long bearded lawlessness. That isn't the case, they are people who bleed, love, live and die like anyone else. Their lives are as worthy of attention as as their views as much as anyone elses and just as interesting.

Q: Ah so this is one of those nationalistic blogs about Pashtun nationalism?

Ans: No, after all many a ethnicity and many a people have lived in the area: it is about enabling new writers to express their views to a wider audience and each will have their own distinct perspectives on the world.

Q: Where do you see the blog being in a years time?

Ans: Who knows?  I have plans and i am hopeful..but as they say -‘If You Want To Make God Laugh, Tell Him Your Plans’.

Q: Ah now you're throwing quotes at us! Borrrring! How about something that lets us know how you really feel ?

Ans: Okay how about this one ? "Come to the edge," He said. They said, "We are afraid." "Come to the edge," He said. They came He pushed them... and they flew.

Q: Deep....So is this the end of 'a tale by a takhalus'

Ans: Nope..the blog is about me and I still haven't told all my tales. Qissa Khwani is about everyones story..

Q: Hmm deep stuff ..so how can I help?

Ans: Well I need contributors and readers, tweeters and facebookers: so spread the word ..and since you're me that shouldn't be that hard!

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