Orooj-e-Zafar (meaning: height of success) is a phenomenal poet and a storyteller, you also know her as the author of ”Home and Other Debris”. She talks to Piñata about poetry, her aspirations and so on. She grew up in a household where English and Urdu poetry had significance; the love and passion for poetry came from her grandparents.
Orooj-e-Zafar is the kind of a human being who is not a deep thinker (as many assume her to be) but a person who gives attention to detail – which is helpful for a writer because meaningful description matters the most and poetry is nothing without meaning and significance.
Even though English and Urdu literary work are appreciable, Orooj mainly focuses on English poetry because her Urdu in literary work is weak. According to her, that’s the only reason behind choosing English as a language for poetry.
Being specific on the subject of poetry, Orooj implies free verse technique when writing a poem. ”Free verse” is a literary tool that can be defined as poetry that is free from limitations of regular rhythm and does not rhyme with fixed forms. She believes that poetry has its form and discipline. Therefore, one should always be careful with the words and rhythm because that’s what makes a poem easy to read and digest.
While talking about her favorite poet, Orooj says,
”I could write a book on this”.
She is a fan of many poets but her all-time favorite is ”Andrea Gibson”. Gibson’s poetry mainly focuses on gender norms, politics, social reforms and the struggles LGBTQ people face in today’s society. According to Orooj, the most likable thing about Gibson’s work is that it talks about sexuality, mental health, and depression in a positive way.
Furthermore, talking about the importance of poetry, Orooj tells us,
”It became a journey, through which I actualized a lot of things that occurred to me”.
”It was tough”,
she answered when she was asked,
”Isn’t it difficult to manage poetry and studies at the same time?”.
By allocating the days and organizing her work and studies, she is successfully nailing both.
Opportunities came along the way, for Orooj. She gained access to the international audience when she reached out to international publications for her literary work to have such a reach. As a Muslim woman, she did face discrimination but apart from that she also had privilege. Such freedom changed her as a person and she became an example for other people and this inspired her to write a poem called ”Brown village girl”.
”Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?”.
”As a poet, i want to tour.”
Other than that, her goal is to become a successful writer with many books and publications.
Orooj’s new book ”Home and Other Debris” is published, we can’t wait to read it! Team Piñata would like to thank Orooj for her time, and such a fun filled interview.
Interview conducted by: Huma Amjad
Written by: Hamza Tariq
Video by: Muhammad Ali Raza