In conversation with Niddal Bin Tahir

In the perilous time of corona, almost every aspect of human life became uncertain. With all its peculiarities, people were forced to stay in their homes and resort to a completely new way of life. Amidst this drastic shift, some found a hobby or learned a new skill. While others like Niddal found an opportunity to bring into existence their long held dreams. Let’s meet Niddal Bin Tahir and get to know his amazing story.

Meet Niddal Bin Tahir

Niddal Bin Tahir is a storyteller by profession and an adventurer at heart. He is an emerging voice in Pakistani literature. Niddal is a graduate with a degree in communication and journalism. For the past six years, he has produced theatre plays all across Pakistan. Apart from theatre, he holds experience in directing documentaries and advertisements.Children of the North”  is his first foray into the world of writing.

 

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Niddal’s Writing Journey

Niddal’s writing journey began not long ago when the pandemic hit the world by storm. During that time, the whole world paused. Therefore, he decided to bring to life a story that he had been carrying for years. Initially, he wanted to turn that story into a film or a mini web series. But, the universe had other plans in motion for him.

“When the pandemic hit, I just started to write it down without knowing what would become of it”. Later, I realised it could be a book. – Niddal Bin Tahir

Children of the North

Children of the North is a non-fiction travel adventure book for young adults. The book follows the story of four boys who decide to take an adventure up north in their summer vacation. Having no prior experience or knowledge of traveling the north, the young boys find themselves treading in the unknown. After some ups and downs, they make their way to the Naran Valley. However, it is not until they are returning back home, their adventure reaches the climax. To unravel this thrilling and exciting tale, get your copy of “Children of the North” at Qissa now!

Niddal Bin Tahir

“It is a story of friendship, crime, drugs and adventure”, says Niddal.

Role of Nature in Niddal’s Life

Growing up in Islamabad, nature has always been a constant in Niddal’s life. He recalls his student life being spent in the footsteps of Margalla Hills. In addition to that, he has spent most his life in parks and other natural settings. Niddal believes in the incredible healing power of nature, for in his vulnerable times, nature has served as a refuge and retreat. In a way, he has always been a wanderer of sorts. Therefore, he couldn’t stay from nature for long and traveled all across Pakistan in the last decade.

Niddal’s take on Reading

Having found his way back to books recently, Niddal is surprised to see the increasing reading trends in Pakistan. To him, the act of reading is a holistic experience. Other sources of entertainment like social media and film are also present but they have certain limitations when it comes to storytelling. It’s then the job of books to cover longer narratives.

Among Niddal’s personal favourites are classic fiction books Secret Seven, Famous Five and J.K Rowling’s Harry Potter. He also enjoys books that take one on a spiritual journey. Currently, Niddal is exploring works of the South Asian writers like Mohsin Hamid, Arundithi Roy and Khalid Hosseini.

From Theatre to the realm of Writing

We asked Niddal how his time with the theatre impacted his writing journey. Here’s what he told us:

Quote - Niddal Bin Tahir

 

For instance, his protagonists from the Children of the North, get their flamboyancy from the people he came across in theatre. As far as his writing style is concerned, Niddal’s originality defines it. According to Niddal, mediums like theatre and film offer a limited time frame to narrate a story. But with books, one can expand the time and provide much more details to the plot.

On the subject of storytelling, we also asked Niddal how does the future of storytelling appears to be in Pakistan. In his opinion, the future of storytelling seems promising. New avenues are opening up for the youth. One aspect that is guaranteed to pick up the pace is animations. For it has no limitations.

Niddal’s Future Plans

Creating a fiction book is a work of art. Niddal appreciates the writers who create whole new worlds and characters from scratch. In the future, I may venture into the world of fiction says Niddal. His future work is most likely to be a juxtaposition of fiction and non-fiction. For, he derives his writing inspiration from his travel adventures, meeting and observing new people and through his imagination.

Writing Advice

Since Children of the North is his first book, Niddal is still exploring the realm of writing. But there’s one thing he would like to share with the newbie writers. Consistency is the key, says Niddal.

“Set up daily targets. Start small and stick to it consistently. Write every single day without breaks”.

Niddal consistently stuck to his daily goals and put aside the time just to write. He wrote 300 words a day and after two months he reached a word count of 20,000 words. Then, after two more months, he hit 35,000 words. Niddal’s writing process is a fine example of fruits that consistency bears. While commenting on the importance of consistency, Niddal also brought our attention towards the curse of writer’s block.

Quote | Niddal Bin Tahir

A message for Adventurous Souls

Traveling is something Niddal loves to talk about. We have made for you a list of pre-requisites of traveling as shared by Niddal. The list is as follows:

  • The first needless to say is; do your homework about the place you’re going to. Equip yourself with enough knowledge about the geography, culture, people and customs.
  • Be prepared for the challenges of the journey.
  • Start your adventure with a right frame of mind.
  • Respect the norms, culture, people and nature of the place you are visiting.

Niddal believes respect to be a huge part of traveling. He advices people to show respect to the people they meet on their journey and especially to women. He understands that Pakistan has been structured to be believed as a man’s world but there are also courteous people here who help women. On his travels, he has come across many powerful solo women travellers. He applauds their strength and will power.

In the end, he said that you don’t need to be afraid of the world for it’s yours.

We at Daastan wish Niddal best of luck for his future adventures! You can get a copy of Children Of The North by Niddal bin Tahir here.

Buy Now

Noor Hashmi
Noor Hashmi is a student of literature at Numl University. She is an aspiring poetess. She runs a blog by the name of “Diaries of Huda” sharing her journey through poetry. In her free time, she loves to paint and bake.

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