Secrets from the Lair: A Book of Uncommunicated Treasures, is a small collection of poems that Tanjina Ashraf Khan Mou had written over the years. The poems call the readers to dig deeply within the words and discover a message through them. Stories of life, loss, hope, wonder, and freedom lie within! Many of her poems contain references to herself and her life, in a hidden form, and one needs to delve a little deeper to unlock the Secrets within them. She has put a lot of herself into these pieces of literature. The Clues are there, you need only uncover them!
Today we got a chance to chit-chat with the author of (Secrets from the Lair) book, Ms. Tanjina Ashraf Khan Mou, and; let’s reveal some secrets behind this poem. ☺️
Q1) Hi, can you tell us a little bit more about your book “Secrets from the Lair”?
I am not a poetess, I am probably the sort of person who can usually be found reading a book, and that book will more likely be a science book. However, I enjoy writing too. I have been writing poetry since as long as I can remember and only a handful of people in my life know about it. We all know creative outlets can be extremely powerful to help cope with hardships. I turned to writing when I was probably 10, by the time I was a teenager, poetry was a something that helped me through some of my more difficult times.
Along that journey, I started writing not just when I was distressed, but all the time. Whether happy or sad, there was something extremely cathartic about putting my feelings on paper. As a mental health professional I would say that writing poetry has helped me to assess my own emotions and to understand the impact these emotions have on me. Expressive writing as such did increase my self-awareness and at a young age I was able to identify my strengths and the areas where I needed improvement.
Imagine a world where we harnessed this power for good and didn’t stigmatize it. Who says that people can’t be writers, artists, and musicians in their free time? Who says that being a scientist technologist, or accountant prevents someone from exploring the creative? As a society, we so often separate the two worlds. High time to bring them together. I remember that my first research that got published was about the therapeutic benefits of expressive writing and hence the release of this book is both important and encouraging to me.
The poems in this book are not recent; rather they are some of my work from pre-teen and teen years. If you had asked me back in 2019 if I would want to share my poems with the public, I would have probably said, “no, they are secrets” (hence the title “Secrets From the Lair”). This is because majority of my poems were written in my darker moments. Hence, I mostly kept them to myself. Sure, I did share some here and there with one or two people, but largely speaking, I had reserved those works. Writing a book though was always on my bucket list, and with SECRETS FROM THE LAIR, it became a reality. 2020 was the year I finally made up my mind to accomplish this little dream of mine. 2020 was the year I dove back inside my old notebook and discovered some poetry I had forgotten about. I finally had the courage to share those, and I couldn’t be more grateful.
Q2) What inspired the idea for your book?
I was inspired by two things. The first is that I sort of wanted to talk about the poems that I had written as a child. There were times when I felt really voiceless as a kid and I felt really isolated even though I had a good number of friends back in school. I think it was because I was a deep thinker all my life. Eventually I ended finding my power and voice through writing. Then, in 2020, I decided I was going to write a book. And I didn’t know what it was going to be about; all I knew is that it was going to be about how I felt when I could not fit in, how my ideas never connected with others and about people who felt like me as a kid, people who felt that sort of powerlessness, but rose above it. So it was very much a combination of my childhood isolation and the pandemic isolation.
Q3) How did you come up with the title for your book?
It was rather easy considering the fact that each poem has a little secret of its own and they had been kept away from the world for a very long time.
Q4) Who are your favourite poets?
Robert Frost definitely! The poetry of Robert Frost is of immense beauty. Almost all of them are about life and I admire how he slips the lines in the nature’s elements. Through nature, he gives us important messages about life and that is brilliant!
I also admire Rabindranath Tagore’s poetry. I think the fact that he talks about love in so many metaphors is so very interesting and also very positive.
It sort of strikes a chord with us readers because we have all loved and lost and loved again. He is clearly intelligent and a wordsmith but uses relatively simple language which makes him somewhat universally accessible.
Q5) How did you manage to fit writing in with other demands of your time?
I love writing and I write whenever I get the chance to. As a kid, I would spend hours and hours everyday writing my diary, poems, essays, taking quizzes etc. Nowadays, I hardly get the time and lack energy but I write every week.
Sometimes it’s about taking a break from technology, books, movies, messages and just “being” and doing what you love doing.
Q6) Are you good at managing your time?
Yes! I improved over time and I am more of the old school “to do list” in paper type of person (more writing you see!).
Q7) Has writing and publishing a book “Secrets from the Lair” changed the way you see yourself?
I think it has definitely given me more confidence to talk about my experiences and myself. Writing a book can be the perfect tool for a bit of self-discovery and a bit of a confidence booster.
Q8) What impact this book will create on readers?
The readers will hear the voice of a young girl who might have lived in darkness but always looked on the brighter side of things. It’s a rather simple book but it will definitely leave you feeling something.
Q9) Are you going to write another book?
Well, everything in life is writable, and I just might!
Checkout The Book @
|Amazon Paperback Link||https://www.amazon.in/gp/product/1637452098/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?smid=A15DBATYR506U3&psc=1|
|Notion Press Paperback Link||https://notionpress.com/read/secrets-from-the-lair|
|Read Her Personal Interview||https://www.startocure.com/tanjina-ashraf-khan-mou/|
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