Poetry gave her freedom

Fathima Salim’s collection of poems Manaveeyam is becoming popular among avid readers
The launch of Fathima Salim’s first book Manaveeyam
The launch of Fathima Salim’s first book Manaveeyam

KOCHI:At 40, in the silent corners of her apartment in Saudi Arabia, leading a lonely homemaker’s life, she rediscovered the poet hidden in her. Kochi native Fathima Salim’s maiden book Manaveeyam has hit the right chord with readers who have appreciated her language and versatility of themes.

“I used to write since I was 13  and wrote actively in college magazines, but with the passage of time and family responsibilities coming up, I left behind my passion,” says Fathima. She says it was her close friend and old collegemate Vani who encouraged her to write again after a gap of 22 years.

Fathima also remembers how three years ago on her visit to Haj, she underwent a trauma due to the Mecca crane collapse. “After that I completely lost my voice and was unable to use my fingers. Slowly, I overcome it and at that juncture, my friend kept cheering me on to start writing and come out of the shock,” she says.

Also, with her husband busy at his job and her kids going to school, she spent hours alone in the house. As the country had a lot of restrictions, she found solace in the pen again. Thus Manaveeyam was born.
The collection has 52 poems on different themes, from romance, childhood, revolution and women’s empowerment.

Fathima who has now shifted back to Kochi said that her stint in Saudi Arabia has influenced her work. “In Saudi, we hardly get to see a rainfall and there is a special aura when the drops touch the hot soil, all this reflects in my poem. Most of the poems come from my experience with a touch of fantasy and fiction,” she said.

She mentioned the non-repetitive element in poems has received an overwhelming response from readers. From a child enjoying the rain, the book moves to a romantic fascination of a teenager, miseries of a housewife and also touches on contemporary topics.“I have been constantly encouraged by my friends to write more and my next outing will be a story based on the lives of three different women,” says Fathima who holds tuition classes at home.

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The New Indian Express