A rights activist and a researcher turned into a motivational speaker, an environmentalist, a fashion designer, Sadaf Raza is indeed a multi-dimensional literary and creative personality, a role model for the youth. She is working on multiple fronts and has asserted her forte in each role. Recently she gave an unexpected joy to her fans by bringing out her third book titled “In the Space of a Dream” published. The book is well-received and reviewed by critics. Some of the much-quoted lines from the book are:
I am now and will always be,
In His Image,
You pound away your failures,
Your hatred of what you are,
You rape me………
Earlier she published two collections of poetry books, “Like a sleepwalker” and “Write me in Red.” Honour killings, women rights, gender-based violence, female education and sexual abuse, these are only some of the hard-hitting realities of Pakistani women that Sadaf Raza highlights in her poetry. She is doing every bit to educate and motivate the Pakistanis women. Pakistan Observer caught her unawares at a local bookstore where she was signing her recent book to get firsthand knowledge how she sees things and what inspires her to write.
Pakistan Observer: What do most well-read poets have in common?
Sadaf Raza: I think they feel passionately about the subject or the issue being discussed in their work. They use the right language tools in which they feel comfortable.
Pakistan Observer: What inspires you to write poetry?
Sadaf Raza: A nagging thought that becomes very incessant and a certain state of mind where you feel an urge to express yourself.
Pakistan Observer: Which of your composed poems, you are most proud of?
Sadaf Raza: There are many. I have written two poems about Sarah Shagufta and I cried while writing them. I’ve written a poem about girls being gang-raped and the social connotations of it. I’ve written about girls being robbed of their childhood by early marriages. I have written about violence against women where it’s not only the destruction of self but also the framework around that person Pakistan Observer: Usually what do you try to communicate with your art?
Sadaf Raza: What goes on inside comes outside. And what is around finds its way inside.
Pakistan Observer: Which authors have influenced your life and writing?
Sadaf Raza: I am the kind who reads paper bags made out of newspapers. There are many authors such as like Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Sylvia Plath, Tony Morrison, Milan Kundera, Paulo Coelho, Khaled Hossein, whom I find close to my heart.
Pakistan Observer: Most of your poems are about feminism and as a devotee of equal rights for women, how far do you think your poetry influences the concerned?
Sadaf Raza: I advocate through my work, self realization of women, especially the ones which are translated in Urdu and have been turned into dance and theatrical performances to reach out to audiences which have language barriers. And this is where I feel I have done my job as a social activist.