Kashmir's engineering dropout self-publishes debut novel

Faheem’s novel revolves around the theme of struggling with reality while achieving the impossible. Fenin Brown, the central character, discovers his love for books, which is the emotional heart of the novel and can be taken as an autobiographical section.

Illustrating his thoughts by weaving a provocative narrative, Faheem Bhat, a young author from Kashmir Valley has published his first book under the title Wandering for Love. A 19-year-old Kashmiri, Faheem is an engineering dropout, who after realizing his love for writing, decided to take his literary endeavours seriously. He self-published his book with the aid of Notion Press, a self-publishing company in India.

“The genre of my novel is science fiction and it is a modern-day tale of an unrequited love, set in Massachusetts, US. It is about finding the courage to keep moving determinedly in the opposite direction to the current. Also, it delves deep into how certain dreams can be realized even if that means profaning the principles of possibility. Through my characters, I have tried to experience life and examine what happens when certain things don’t go according to our plans,” says Faheem.

Before diving into the world of literature, Faheem used to spend a fair amount of time explaining what he was interested in doing with his life. In any case, he didn’t think of writing as a career in the beginning.

“At first, I thought of myself as a software engineer. But then I started my journey as a reader and that was the time when I realized there was nothing exciting about the field that I had chosen. Everything else seemed stale,” says Faheem.

When he decided to confront his family about his decision of dropping out from college, where he was doing his diploma in IT, he received direct thumbs down from his parents right away.

“I summoned up the courage to admit to my family as well as to myself that I saw myself as a writer and would like to be one. They were furious which was acceptable for so many reasons. But I have learned there is always a way of pushing through the wall and stepping out of your comfort zone. I can see how proud they are of me now. I have no regrets,” he says.

Faheem’s novel revolves around the theme of struggling with reality while achieving the impossible. Fenin Brown, the central character, discovers his love for books, which is the emotional heart of the novel and can be taken as an autobiographical section. Talking about his journey as a writer, Faheem says,

“To fight against all odds takes so much effort and perseverance. It took me seven months to finish my work including the editing part. There are a lot of pitfalls associated with writing and it’s rather hard to dodge them. My journey as a writer has made me realize a lot of things and I am grateful for it. I’m also one of the lucky ones, in that I was able to make the right decision at the right moment.”

Faheem aspires to study literature after completing his higher secondary school education. Apart from writing, he is an avid reader and enjoys cooking.

“To all the budding authors out there if you have a story to tell and want to write a novel, do it. Don’t say it unless you are going to do it. Now is as good a time as any. My story came into existence because of everything I have read and felt till now. I couldn’t be more thankful,” says Faheem.

Wandering for Love was released on December 6 in a Café in Srinagar and is available at all leading online stores like Amazon, Flipkart etc. Besides that, e-book version of this book is also available on Google Play, Kindle and other platforms.

 

— Faheem Bhat, 19, author ‘Wandering for Love’

asma.hafiz.z@gmail.com