Chat Naheed Azmathulla believes that poetry is simply an expression of profound emotion
Naheed Azmathulla offers a shy smile before saying, “I am very nervous to be addressing so many people who are not three years old.”
At the launch of her maiden anthology of poems titled Ten (Power Publishers) at the Oxford Bokstore, Naheed — owner of a pre-school called Toppers quoted Frost, “Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words,” she says.
And if her work is anything to go by, this premise does hold true. Ten explores an array of human feelings — love, happiness, despair, strife, cynicism, passion and grit in a simple, lucid, heart warming style that cannot help but touch its reader. “My poetry varies depending on my emotion at the time — I can write when I am both very sad and very happy,” she says. “Poetry can say so much,” she adds.
The book was unveiled by theatre personality Ashish Sen, President of the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters, Asia Pacific. “As someone who grew up surrounded by poetry and who truly appreciates it, I must say this volume was unputdownable,” says Sen before handing over the microphone to Munira Sen, Director of Common Purpose, Bangalore who proceeded to read from the anthology.
But Naheed says that she never wrote for publication. “I used to just put down on paper, the words that came out. It was my family and well wishers who encouraged me to publish it,” she says adding that having so many people to support her was a real blessing. “It makes me believe that I can do anything.”
Born in Bangalore, Naheed Azmathulla did her schooling at the Sacred Heart Convent, followed by a science degree at Mt. Carmel. “I started loving poetry in school. We had a lot of teachers who were very good,” she says adding that Keats, Tagore, Shakespeare, Wordsworth, Gulzar and Javed Aktar were among her favourite poets.
She then went on to do a course in child developmental studies and opened up her pre-school, “I try teaching them in a fun way,” she says.
She also dabbles in art and enjoys recreating European classic masterpieces both landscapes and waterscapes. “I think both my sketching and writing is connected at some level — after all poetry is about creating a word picture,” she says. “I am a science graduate who loves and respects art. I truly believe that art can spread love and unite people.”
Priced at Rs 100, Ten is available at the Oxford Book Store.